Monday, June 28, 2010

Summer school on Jainism attracts foreign participation

VARANASI: Is the millennia-old city on verge of witnessing confluence of Jainism and Buddhism and spreading the philosophy of two old religions to other parts of the world?

While Sarnath (where Buddha preached his first sermon) has emerged as international centre for Buddhist studies, now Parshwanath Vidyapeeth (PV), an external research centre of Jain studies recognised by Banaras Hindu University (BHU), in association with International School of Jain Studies (ISJS) looks all set to promote research on various aspects of Jainism besides exposing students (research scholars) and teachers to real life experience of peaceful co-existence of various religions in the city.

"We have established ISJS-PV global centre for ahimsa (non-violence) and Indic research and special summer schools are being also hosted for foreign scholars, who get first hand experience of rituals and traditions of different religion that the city offers," said Shagun C Jain, vice-president (PV) and chairman ISJS-PV global centre, in a press conference on Sunday. "The numbers of foreign students (from under-graduate to Ph D level) visiting the PV centre during international summer school have also increased from seven (2005) to around 60 this year," he added.

It may be mentioned here that ISJS-PV global centre for ahimsa and Indic research was established in 2009 while ISJS had been conducting annual summer schools at PV centre for the last five years in the months of June and July each year.

The whole idea is to attract foreign students and teachers and give them practical inputs of various aspects of Jainism and other religions that co-exist peacefully in one of the oldest living cities of the world, said Prof SL Jain, director, PV on the occasion. The centre is also initiating efforts to link Jain philosophy with modern life style, making it relevant for addressing various issues including terrorism and environmental pollution, added Prof Jain, who was also the former dean, faculty of Arts, BHU.

As per reports of the centre, the first group of 14 scholars (under graduate level) visited the centre on June 7 while the second batch of 15 members arrived on June 14 this year. Presently, a group of 11 senior scholars that arrived on June 23 (for 10-days visit) is staying at the centre, getting practical and theoretical inputs on various aspects of Jainism.

So far, the programme has attracted around 60 foreign scholars from 11 countries in the world. "A majority of them (over 50 per cent) come from North American countries like the US and Canada, but recently scholars from Asian and European countries including Thailand, Czech republic, Slovenia, Denmark and Norway have also shown interest in summer schools," said Shagun C Jain, hinting at the popularity of summer schools.

From TOI

Monday, June 14, 2010

Centre favours giving minority status to Jains: Khurshid

Bangalore, Jun 13 (PTI)

The government is in favour of giving minority community status to Jains, Union Minority Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said today. He said a decision of a 11-judge Supreme Court had become a hurdle in taking action on the matter.

"Government is seized of the matter", he said at a Jain International Trade Organisation (JITO) national conference here, adding, the Government is in discussions with Attorney General with regard to constituting a 11-judge SC bench on the issue.

Constitutionally, it's imperative for the Jains to get the minority community status, the Minister said.Praising the community for its enterprising spirit, he said, "If there is any example of any community being majority community despite being in minority, it's the Jain community", Khurshid said.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Jain, Darda Elected as M.P.

Vijay Darda (Congress) and Ishwar Lal Jain (NCP) were elected today as Rajya Sabha Members of Parliament of India.

Both the candidates belong to Jain community and are from Maharashtra

Jain Monuments Found in Andhra Pradesh

Vijayawada, Jun 7 (PTI)

Ancient Jain monuments were found by a team of archaeologists in Andhra Pradesh's Srikakulam district.

"The team, which visited the hills around Dannanapet and Chittivalas villages for three days from May 29-31, found 'rocky beds' in the caves at four places," G Jawaharlal, former deputy director of Archaeology Department of Andhra Pradesh, who led the team of researchers told reporters today.

Each cave consisted of five rocky beds, which belonged to Jain monks dated back to the second or third century BC, he said.

The monks used to fast until death on the rocky beds to get 'moksha' (salvation).

Jawaharlal said Bhagavan Mahaveer visited many places in Andhra Pradesh to propagate the philosophy of Jainism and he also stayed many days around these hills before visiting other parts of the state. .

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