The Jain community in Canada is raising concerns over encroachment and security threats faced by devotees at a sacred pilgrimage site in India. Members of the community have formally submitted a letter addressing these issues to Siddhartha Nath, India’s consul general in Toronto. They received assurance that their concerns would be communicated to the Home Ministry in New Delhi.
I was met with mixed emotion this past summer when I came across a sculpture of Bahubali, Jain saint and son of Bhagvan Rishabhanatha, the first Tirthankara, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. I was proud to see Jain art displayed so simply yet majestically among other Asian artwork.
Preface: I have made an analytical study of the 10th century text of UPAMITI-BHAVA-PRAPANCA-KATHA, in this thesis. My aim was to study and evaluate the uparalleled allegorical text of Upamiti-Bhava-Prapanca-Katha written by Siddharsi. The subject matter of the text inspired me to take up this research study. It is marvellous indeed that the author has interwoven an entire tale with philosophy and expounded the concept of manifold existence, which cannot be confined to a particular philosophy or religion.
Palitana is an important city of pilgrimage holding the significance of salvation for the Jain community that is situated 50 km South-west of the Bhavnagar city in the state of Gujarat. Since ancient times, it is been said that the number of people who achieved liberation is equal to the number of stones (millions and millions in number) on the Shatrunjaya hills on whose foot is the Palitana city. Such is the divinity of these hills. Therefore, for the Jains, the temples on the Shatrunjaya hills are considered the most sacred tirth (place of pilgrimage). It is believed that once in a lifetime, every Jain should go to Palitana to obtain the liberating karma (deed) of ‘Bhavya’ status, which makes one capable of attaining salvation.
Virchand R Gandhi was a great scholar of Jainism as well as an outstanding exponent of the various systems of Indian Philosophy and Indian culture. He was the only the Jain representing Jainism at the first parliament of world religion held in Chicago in 1893. Due to his success and popularity at the conference, he stayed a further two years in the USA and delivered many hundreds of lectures on Jainism, Yoga, Indian systems of philosophy, Indian culture, occultism, and spiritualism at various institutions.
Our day is incomplete without dairy in all its forms, be it milk for your porridge, curd for lunch, cheese and paneer in almost everything they can fit in and yet the cases of falls, fractures and osteoporosis is more than ever before. Our dairy industry has done a swell job in convincing people that dairy is the best source of calcium which is so important for our skeletal structure. But let me burst this bubble for you. This is far from the truth. There is no denying that milk and other dairy products contain a high amount of calcium, but only 30% of this is actually absorbed.
Rituals play an important part in our religion to build culture around the community, to inspire one another, strengthen religious values, build up interest in religion and for survival of any religion. However, rituals must be performed with the right understanding and interpretation, such that it provides an inspiring and uplifting experience. Rituals should enable our spiritual growth and serve as a reminder to reflect upon the Jain philosophies, values and proper conduct.
IF ONE does not practice non-violence in one's personal relations with others, and hopes to use it in bigger affairs, one is vastly mistaken. Non-violence like charity must begin at home. But if it is necessary for the individual to be trained in non-violence, it is even more necessary for the nation to be trained likewise. One cannot be non-violent in one's own circle and violent outside it.