Monday, May 17, 2010

Jains Campaign on Census

Jinal Shah Tags : Census, Jains Posted: Mon May 17 2010, 00:26 hrs Mumbai:

Ahead of religion entry in February, activists write articles, circulate emails, posters, cellphone messages across community

Rajesh Shah (name changed), 52, of Ghatkopar refused to sign on the census form last week. He had resolved to register himself as a “Jain” in the religion column. The data collector had a hard time explaining that religion will only be included in the second round next February.

The city’s Jains want to make sure they get counted in Census 2011; they feel previous figures have not been a true representation of their population.

The Census will involve the task of preparing, for the first time, the National Population Register (NPR) and Jains feel this is the perfect opportunity. “This is the right time to make Jains aware of their right to be counted as Jains,” said Nitin H P of Bangalore, who has started a website on Jain heritage. “The religion column will be added in the second round; we have time to educate people.”

Jains from across India have been carrying out awareness campaigns, using the Internet, SMS campaigns, pamphlets and announcements at religious discourses, with the Jain Samaj in many cities having requested priests at temples to educate people.

In the South, activists have written in periodicals like the one from the Jain math of Shravanabelagola, and on websites such as and In the North, Young Jains has campaigned with posters in 50 temples urging people to register themselves as Jains, not Hindus.

“Over the years, knowingly or unknowingly, a lot of Jains have enrolled themselves as Hindus under the misconception that Hinduism and Jainism are similar,” said Yogesh Jain of Young Jains.

In Mumbai, Yuva Jains has sent more than 3,000 messages across the community. “We have a database of cellphone numbers of Jains in Mumbai,” said Rajen Parekh, 31, of Yuva Jains.

Of emails being circulated, one reads: “1st April, 2010 marks a historic day for the people of our country, India. Over next 1 year, everything - good or bad, small or big is going to be counted. Are we going to make ourselves count as Jains .Will India’s Jain Population dwindle further or are we going to make our presence felt through sheer Numbers? - Onus is on all the Jains.”

The ‘Report on Religion: Census of India 2001’ showed the Jain population at 42 lakh, a 26 per cent growth from 1981-91 to 1991-2001, but many in the community contested the number.

“According to many organisations, activists, Jain scholars and leaders, the actual population should at least be around 35 to 40 million. But this is not seen in the Census data due to many reasons like ignorance among data collectors as well as Jains,” said Nitin H P.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Rich tributes to Acharya Mahapragyaji

Jainism's Legendary era has come to an end with the passing away of The community's senior most Acharya and most versatile, learned Terapanth Acharya Shree Mahapragyaji on Sunday at Sardarshahar in Rajasthan.

Born on 14th June 1920 at Tamkor in Rajasthan, he took his Jain monkhood on 29th Jan 1931 at Sardarshahar and has been continuously serving humanity with his broader learning, understanding and enhancing approach on humanity, spreading peace and global harmony.

Sound technical understanding of various Jain and Vedic literature and philosophy and nicely derived linkage with human life well being led him in most sacred and holy place in spirituality. Ahimsa Yatra was one of most precious means derived by him to enhance human relationships, peace and prosperity. The great philosophical icon also wrote hundreds of books on Jainism, Happy Family, Spirituality, Happy Living, and alike lively subjects with descriptive and clear concepts presentation and application of basis of philosophy and values led down in Jainism on these aspects.

He took Terapanth community and followers to all new global heights and was conferred with many international, national awards for spreading peace and harmony. Acharya Mahapragya was given the title of 'Yug Pradhan' in 1999 as a mark of the highest honour of this era for his countless services to humanity in this Yug. For his exceptional and sustained contribution to the cause of 'Jain Yoga' the epithet of 'Jain Yoga Punruddharak' Resurrector of Jain Yoga) was also conferred on him. He has been regarded as the 'Modern Vivekananda' of India by many intellectuals including 'Rashtrakavi Ram Dhari Singh Dinkar'.

To quote "Mahapragya was a Modern Vivekananda but we have not seen Vivekananda, only heard and read about him. But now we can see Vivekananda through his Vision". Acharya Mahapragya has been called the "Columbus of Jain Meditation" by many intellectual commentators for his contribution in reviving Preksha Dhyan by which innumerable people have been benefited.Acharya Mahapragya was not only a spiritual leader of exceptionally high caliber but also an outstanding Philosopher Practitioner Thinker. His thoughts have inspired many categories of people and have yielded Positive Thinking in all walks of life.

Acharya Mahapragya Passes Away

Acharya Mahapragya Tenth Acharya, Supreme Head of Jain Swetembar Terapanth Group Is Passes Away

According to our Private sources Shree Acharya Mahapragya 1oth acharya of religion Swetembar Terapanth samaj has no more today , Acharya Mahapragya is today in sardarshshar of rajashthan , solon reports module come.

Acharya Shri Mahapragya (14 June 1920-09 May 2010) was the tenth Acharya, supreme head of Jain Swetembar Terapanth group.
He promotes nonviolence and leads the Ahimsa Yatra movement.

Followers refer to him as Gurudev, the Godly Teacher. He has traversed more than 100,000 km on foot covering more than 10,000 villages reaching out to the masses spreading the message of harmony and peace. Walked across the length and breadth of India From Kachchh in Gujarat to Kolkata and from Punjab to Kanyakumari, Mahapragya undertook travel on foot earlier under the leadership of Acharya Tulsi and later himself being the leader. During these travels, he addressed thousands of public meetings.

Acharya Mahapragya formulated Preksha meditation system in 1970s.
He is the supreme head of Jain Vishva Bharati University and also played a key role in its establishment[5]. The University draws its spiritual strength and direction from Acharya Mahaprajna,who is above any sectarian bias. Anuvrat movement is also functioning under his leadership.

His discourses are telecast daily on Indian television.

Mahapragya(14 June 1920-09 May 2010)was born to Tola Ram Choraria and Baluji in the small village of Tamkor in the Jhunjhunu district in Rajasthan. It was a Jain Shwetambar Terapanthi family. He was called Nathmal by his family. He lost his father when he was just two and half months old. It was a joint family and the child had support from all the family members. Nathmal’s mother was very affectionate for the child and took utmost care in the upbringing. There was no formal school in Tamkor village in those days and he didn’t get any formal education. Nathmal took some lessons on letters and mathematics tables from local teacher. Mahapragya’s mother was a religious lady. She preferred to devote all spare time in spiritual exertion. She also used to recite religious songs which made imprints on young child’s heart. Her indulgence towards spirituality inspired the young child.

Awards and Honours
Mother Teresa National award of peace by Inter faith Harmony foundation of India in 2005
Communal harmony award i.e. Sampradayika Sadbhavana Puraskar by Govt. of India in 2004
Ambassador of Peace (London) by Inter Religions and international federation in 2003
Lokmaharshi by New Mumbai Municipal corporation in 2003
Indira Gandhi National Integration award in 2002
D.Litt by Netherland Inter Cultural Open University in 1999.

Latest Jain News