Friday, December 31, 2010

Vegetarian way of life a useful resolution

By Vlad Mazak

This has not been a good year for the meat, dairy, and egg industries.

In January, ABC News provided extensive coverage of cow abuse by the dairy industry. The BP oil spill in April called attention to an even-larger Gulf "dead zone" caused by the massive amounts of animal waste dumped every day by the Mississippi River. A month later, a UN report urged a global shift toward a vegan diet to reduce world hunger and climate change.

In June, FDA asked factory farms to stop routine use of antibiotics that lead to drug-resistant bacterial infections in humans.

August witnessed the largest-ever recall of more than a half-billion eggs harbouring salmonella.

Finally, this month, President Obama signed into law the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act to replace fatty animal products and other junk foods in school lunches and vending machines.

According to the School Nutrition Association, 65 per cent of U.S. schools now offer vegetarian lunch options.

Vlad Mazak
Vancouver Sun

Jain monk Janakmuni Maharaj passes away

Jain saint Janakmuni Maharaj Saheb passed away in Mumbai on Thursday morning after prolonged illness. He was 78. He died at 9.09 am at Hingwala Upashray in Ghatkopar, in the presence of a large number of followers.

"Maharaj Saheb was suffering from a heart ailment for the last couple of months. He was taken to Asiad Hospital in Mumbai a month back after he suffered a massive heart attack in Rajkot," said Dinesh Doshi, secretary of Rajkot Sthanakvasi Jain Sangh.

Janakmuni was born on the 13th of August, 1933 in the Pransva village in Junagadh district. He was keenly interested in the significance of Jain Agam (scriptures). He renounced worldly life at the young age of 18. He took diksha at Veraval in Junagadh under the influence of his religious preceptor, Saursashtra Kesari Shri Pranlalji Maharaj Saheb.

After taking to monastic life, he went to Rajasthan for further study of the Agam, became a scholar of the Jain scriptures and wrote many books. His profound knowledge of the Jain scriptures is evident in his books.
The Jain monk, who had lakhs of followers both in India and abroad, was honoured with several awards including Agam Diwakar (Shining Sun of Scriptures) in 1968, Gujarat Saint Shiromani in 2002 and Bahushrut in 2005.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

M P Veerendra Kumar Wins Sahitya Academy Award

M P Veerendra Kumar Wins Sahitya Academy Award

M P Veerendra Kumar, the famous writer, publisher and politician have won the prestigious Sahitya Academy award for his travelogue in Malayalam.

Read more about M P Veerendra Kumar at Famous Jains blog at:

-Mahavir Sanglikar

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Dalits of Maharashtra looking towards Jainism

-Prof. Pradeep Phaltane, Pune

A Dalit caste in Maharashtra, which is in search of a new religious identity, is looking towards Jainism! This caste is second largest one in Dalit community in Maharashtra. It has a good population in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh also. Interestingly, its population in Maharashtra alone is about 65 Lakhs. This number is larger than the official number of Jain population in entire India!

In marriage ceremony rituals in this community, they have started to remember Teerthankar Suparshwnath and Mahaveer in the Mangalashtakas. In a latest development, activists from this community have started to put picture of Teerthankar Mahaveer on their letterheads, posters etc. A renowned journalist and writer from this community is presently writing a novel on an ancient Jain Acharya, who belonged to them.

A leader of this community, who is a professor with Doctorate, said to this author, “Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar connected his people with Gautam Buddha. I want to connect my people with Teerthankar Mahaveer”.

An interesting fact is that this Dalit community was follower of Jainism in ancient times. Not just follower, but it gave many monks, great Acharyas and even a Teerthankar! We can find many literary proofs in Jain canonical texts and elsewhere about it. As this community was staunch Jain, and even savior of Jainism, the Brahmanical forces banned it and declared it as untouchables after decline of Jainism.

I myself am writing a book on their Jain tradition and their history, which will be published soon.
This community is poor and their literacy rate is lower. In last few decades many people of this community have got converted to Christianity and Islam. Many became victims of Hindutwa forces. But now the intellectuals and activists from this community have found their origin. In near future, their will be a socio-religious revolution in this community. This revolution will change their lifestyle. It will also affect the political and social scenario of Maharashtra.

I have talked about this subject with many Jain monks and Acharyas. There was a positive response from some of them. I am regularly in touch of activists from this community. Now I am working on action plan. This community needs a psychological support from Jain community.
For more details, please contact:

Prof. Pradeep Phaltane, Pune
Institute for Jain Social Studies
163 Yashwant Nagar
Talegaon Station
Dist Pune 410507
Maharashtra, India
Mobile Phone: 91 988 152 5766

Read my articles at:

Ancient Jain Idols Recovered

Karwar: Ancient antique panchaloha idols of Chandranatha and Parshwanatha were recovered by the Bhatkal police. They were stolen from Padmavathi temple (a Jain temple or Basadi) at Haduvalli village in Bhatkal taluk in August last year.

Raman Gupta, Superintendent of Police, showed presspersons here on Tuesday the recovered idols. He said Vijayanand Sambanna (48) of Harihar in Davanagere district was arrested in this connection and the other accused Nasrulla, alias Munna of Harihar and Ashok Joshi of Hospet were reported to be absconding. Bhatkal taluk has some ancient Jain temples administered by the Archaeological Survey of India.

Mr. Gupta said the idols of Chandranatha and Parshwanatha were estimated at Rs. 30 lakh and the value of these antique pieces in the international market could be much higher. The antique idol of Chandranatha weighed 17 kg and two-foot tall and Parshwanatha weighed 15 kg and was 1.5-foot tall.

He said Vijayanand was an autorickshaw driver in Harihar, he was a Commerce graduate. Later he worked as a sales man in a private company at Harihar. He was transferred to Hospet in Bellary district. There he came in contact with Ashok Joshi who used to buy stolen antique idols from Vijayanand. Nasrulla and Vijayanand had stolen idols from Shirur, Hiryadka, Bhatkal, Bidkalkatte, Kundapur and Yerlapadi in Uttara Kannada and Udupi districts since 2000, said Mr. Gupta.

On August 7, 2010, Vijayanand and Nasrulla allegedly came to Bhatkal on a motorcycle and visited the Padmavathi temple in the afternoon. Nasrulla broke open the door of the temple and both lifted the idols and left for Harihar. Next day, they sold the idols to Ashok Joshi in Hospet for Rs. 1,15,000 which was divided by Vijayanand and Nasrulla among them.

Vijayanand was taken into the custody by Bhatkal police and was interrogated.

Based on his information, police seized the idols from the house of Ashok Joshi. Mr. Gupta said that the idols would not be returned to the temple authorities unless a closed-circuit camera was installed there.

Additional Superintendent of Police V.B. Gaonkar, Bhatkal DySP M Narayan amongst other police officers were present.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Radha Krishna Idol in Jain Temple| Secularism or Cowardness?

Radha Krishna Idol in Jain Temple| Secularism or Cowardness?

According to news published in Gujarati and Marathi dailies, an idol of Radhakirshna was established in a Jain temple at Mumbai.

The news says that it is first time that a non-Jain idol was established in a Jain temple.

This temple is situated at Pawandham in Mahaveer Nagar area of Kandivali. The idol was established in presence of Jain monk Namramuni and Vaishnavite Acharyas Dvarakesh Lal and Yadunath.

This idea was promoted by Kapol International Trade Entrepreneurs.

The news says that it will promote secularism.

My comments:
Well, if these Jains really love secularism, they should establish idols of Gautam Buddha, Shiv Shankar, Jesus and Mary etc. also. They should not hesitate to put photographs of Mecca and Madina on the walls in the temple. But they will never do it. Their so called secularism is limited to Vaishnavites. Many members of the sect involved in such activities are Hindutwa minded and work according to the wish of RSS. Such Jains are always under pressure of Bramhinism.

Finally, RSS won! A secret letter of RSS circulated in 1994 said that idols of Rama or Krishna should be established in Jain temples. Now these Jains have actually fulfilling RSS wish.

Garv Se Kaho Hum Hindu Hai!

-Mahavir Sanglikar
Email: Cell: 91 962 372 5249

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Leopard sanctuary in Gujarat?

By Rishi Banerji

Gujarat may soon boast of its very own sanctuary dedicated to another wild cat, the leopard. With the recent leopard attacks on humans in Mandvi taluka of Surat, a political leader has requested the state government and forest department to build a sanctuary, exclusively for the leopards.

Jagdish Parekh, president of Mandvi Nagarpalika, has taken up the task to create a dedicated sanctuary for leopard conservation and protection. Parekh has already identified a piece of land, located on the banks of river Tapi in Mandvi, for the same. The 250 sq km area known as Singhwaay Farm is owned by the state agriculture department, of which only two acres of land is being utilised by the department as a rabbit breeding centre, cow research centre and staff quarters.

"The remaining land is unused and if the government plans, it can create a very good sanctuary at the site. With constant reduction in forest cover, leopards have nowhere left to go. Thus they attack human settlements and their animals. Leopards are an essential part of the wildlife cycle and they need to be protected," Parekh said.

He added that the leopard is an identity of south Gujarat and with the region boasting of the maximum number of these cats, a sanctuary could help in their proper conservation. Apart from protecting the animal, the sanctuary could also be a tourist attraction, he said.

If the government doesn't help, Parekh has plans to create a small private sanctuary/zoo of 100 acres and has held talks with the Jain community in Mumbai and Gujarat, who are willing to help him. Parekh has been fighting for a sanctuary since two years, but has still not received any positive response.

"We are also ready to develop a sanctuary with funds collected through donations. There are around 200 leopards in and around Mandvi and I want to do something to prevent their extinction", adds Parekh.

Sadly, with repeated clashes between humans and the animal, the state forest department has issued orders to kill the leopards responsible for the attacks. With the leopard population on the rise and human settlements eating into their habitat, the situation has come to a head in the region. In the past month alone, four people including an 11-year-old girl have been killed in leopard attacks.

Jain community alerts sadhvis and munis

Alarmed by the rising casualties in road accidents, Jain spiritual leaders have asked members to be more careful

-Dhwani Pathak

Jain munis and sadhvis have been asked to walk carefully on highways when they are on a ‘vihaar’. A word of precaution has been circulated among the Jain sanghs following the Ahmedabad-Borivali highway accident which killed two sadhvis.

Following the Monday morning accident near Dahisar in Maharashtra, a lot of nuns and monks have stopped midway  fearing the same fate. This is the first road mishap after this year’s paryushan.

According to Jain tradition, the munis and sadhvis resume their walk only after Dev Diwali after the rains have stopped.

For the last three years, the sadhvis and munis are being instructed to affix to their walking sticks radium strips which reflect light. This could help prevent accidents. Says Jasmin Shah of Sarva Dharma Rakshak Sewa Trust, “It has been made compulsory for all munis and sadhvis on vihaar to have radium strips so that vehicle drivers can spot them from a distance.”

These radium strips are also affixed to their clothes and wheelchairs or tricycles as the case may be.Apart from this, they have also been asked to not travel in the dark. Acharya Kulchandrasurishwarji Maharajsaheb says, “Early morning is risky for sadhujis. A lot of these accidents happen when vehicles try to overtake in the wrong manner.”

Adds Shah, “Sadhujis and sadhvijis will now be travelling only after 6 am so that they can walk for 10-15 km and reach their destination by 8.30-9 am.”

Various sections of the Jain community have asked the state government to step up the security of the Jain spiritual leaders who walk on highways.

Says Yuvak Mahasangh president Piyush Jain, “The government should take concrete steps in this direction. Sign boards should be put up on the roads on which they walk and instructions be given to every driver who passes through toll booths. Pamphlets could be distributed among them as part of an awareness campaign.”

According to Maharajsaheb, “Often the truck drivers’ licences are not checked. Traffic police and the concerned area police should step up security.”

The community wants a separate lane for pedestrians built.

JIWO Honours CWG Women Medalists

The Jain community raised a toast to the 18 women who brought laurels for the country at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi.

The women were honoured with gold medals for their effort at a function organised by the Jain International Women's Organisation (JIWO), a unit of Jain International Trade Organisation here on Saturday.

Five of the 18 women, who made it to the function, received the medals, each weighing 40 gm, from Finance Minister K. Anbazhagan. Speaking on the occasion, he traced the history of Jainism and the community's contribution to Indian culture and society.

He congratulated the Jain International Trade Organisation for organising a daylong event ‘Happy Women Happy World' which included sports and colourful cultural programmes for women.

JIWO wanted the governments to increase outlay for women in their budgets and passing of Women Reservation Bill at the earliest.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Fashion Designer to Become a Jain Ascetic

-Srinivas Sirnoorkar,Gulbarga

In February, a fashion designer, his wife and their young son would be expected to travel to Dubai for the month-long shopping festival, Bali in Indonesia, or Cape Town in South Africa.

Instead, in eight weeks, couturier Kiran Maru, his wife Jyothi and son Bhavya are taking a journey into Sanyas (renunciation).

Thirty-six-year-old Kiran has decided to free himself from worldly pleasures and pressures. He, wife Jyothi (34) and eight-year-old Bhavya are all set to become Jain ascetics by renouncing all their material possessions. Their move towards asceticism has brought great joy to the Jain community here and elsewhere.

The three will attain the highest order of spiritualism for the noble cause of preaching and propagating one of the oldest religions on February 23, 2011, with Acharya Bhagawant Kalapuran Surishwar formally initiating them into the ascetic world at Adhoi in Kuchch district of Gujarat.

Kiran from Adoni in Andhra Pradesh and Jyothi, a Kannadiga from Belgaum, married 10 years ago and are settled in Mumbai.

“They were passionately discussing the tenets of Jainism and were planning to take sanyas to attain moksha (liberation) which is the ultimate goal in our religion. Over the last couple of years, they have been preparing for the ultimate by renouncing one pleasure after another of the material world,” said Manilal Shah, Kiran’s cousin.

The Marus were given a rousing reception by the Sankeshwar Parshvanath Jain Sangh when they were here recently to seek the blessings of their elders before taking up sanyas.

The three Shwetambars have already undertaken the ‘aparigriha vruta’, a religious ritual of not accepting anything from anybody, and have been undergoing vigorous training of the life of sanyas ashrama. After attaining sanyas, each of them will be moving independently all over India to preach and spread the universal values of Jainism. For the rest of their life, they will have to live on the alms and eat only once a day.

Manilal Shah said Bhavya, who has studied up to third standard, has also been given due training and he has been mentally prepared to take up ‘bala sanyas’ to become an infant ascetic. Ten years ago, a young commerce graduate Sapna from Gulbarga had taken the Deeksha.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Two Jain MLCs Elected in Maharashtra

Manish Jain (Jalgaon constituency) and Rajendra Jain (Gondia-Bhandara constituency) were elected as members of Legislative Council of Maharashtra.

Both the candidates belong to NCP (Nationalist Congress Party )

Jain Vishva Bharati BA Part III Results Declared

Jain Vishva Bharati University (JVBU), Ladnun, Rajasthan, has declared the result of Bachelor of Arts (BA) Part III Department of Distance Education (DDE) exam. The exams were held in 2010. To know more about the results, candidates can visit the university's official website:
Jain Vishva Bharati Institute (JVBI) was founded in 1970. Government of India notified Jain Vishva Bharati Institute as Deemed University under University Grants Commission (UGC) Act, 1956, in 1991. Thereafter, the name of the institute has been changed as Jain Vishva Bharati University (JVBU) as per the Notification issued by UGC in 2006.
Category of Exam
Arts - Bachelor of Arts (BA) Part III Department of Distance Education (DDE) Exam
Where to Go for Result

Contact address:
Jain Vishva Bharati University
Jain Vishva Bharati Institute
Nagaur - 341 306
Phone: +91-1582-222110, 224332
Fax: +91-1582-341306

Saturday, December 4, 2010

All Politicians Should Follow Teaching of Jainism: Jyotiraditya Scindia

Gwalior: Dec. 3, 2010

Union minister of state for commerce and industry Jyotiraditya Scindia has urged all politicians to follow divine teachings of Jainism termed as 'Kshama Diwas' (forgiveness) at least once every year, and practise values like secularism, tolerance, forgiveness and public service.

It is interesting that the young and enthuastic minister and his family follow Jain values. One of his uncle is renowned Jain monk. Yashodhara Raje Scindia, sister of Madharrao Scindia has wished to become a Jain nun.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Padma Awardees from Jain Community

Padma Awardees from Jain Community
I have just published a list of Padma Vibhushan and Padma Bhushan Awardees from Jain community at my blog at: .
Padma Vibhushan is the second highest civil award in India, while Padma Bhushan ranks at number 3. Until now, 5 Jains have got Padma Vibhushan, while the number of Padma Bhushan Awardees from Jain community is 28. The number may increase as I have to confirm about some persons.
I will publish a list of Padma Shree awardees at the blog soon.
Please have a look at:
Padma Vibhushan Awardees from Jain community:

Padma Bhushan Awardees from Jain Community:


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Sangeet Ratna Award to Harsshit Abhiraj

Famous Music Composer Harsshit Abhiraj was felicitated by All India Marathi Sahitya Parishad by conferring Mahatma Phule Sangeet Ratna Award on him.Renowned Dalit writer Ratanlal Sonagra and Social Worker Vijay Kolate presented the award.

Harsshit is a Jain by birth and deeds. To know more about Harsshit Abhiraj and his work, please visit:

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