Jain temple unearthed in Gujarat
June 7, 2013: The excavation at the site in Umta
village near Vadnagar in north Gujarat has unfolded a 100 ft by 100 ft
temple housing Hindu and Jain gods, Khajuraho-like apsaras, idols of
Jain gurus or tirthankars and finely carved pillars, dating back to between 11th and 13th centuries.
Interestingly, the excavation is being carried out by the villagers and
leaders of the Digambar and Shwetambar Jain sects after the Gujarat State Archaeology Department
refused to undertake it.
More temples are believed to be buried in what appears to be a massive
complex. According to M.V. Joshi, superintendent archaeologist with the
GSAD, there is every likelihood of smaller temples lying buried under
the partially excavated mound because in the Jain tradition temples were
built in groups of 24, 52 or 72. The temple is believed to have been buried under lime to
protect it from invaders. Among the buried figures that have been extricated are the twin idols of
tirthankars Parshavanath and Supaarshavanath, carved from a single marble stone. The idols have a cobra over their heads signifying Jain
God Dharnenda, the lord of Paataal (the nether world). According to Digambar Jain Muni Nirbhaysagarji, the idol is rare because
the two Jain tirthankars, though born in the same city, Kashi (present
day Varanasi), are rarely depicted together. Source:India Today
Scholars translate Jain verses in new books
Mumbai, May 31, 2013: Jain scholars are putting together a new set of books that translate and
explain the philosophical verses of Jainism. The first volume of the
book will be released next month. More than 25 Jain and philosophy scholars from across the country have
invested in the project to bring out three volumes of the translated
versions (in English, Hindi and Sanskrit) of the agamas (verses) from
the fundamental book on the religion – Saman Suttam.
The Saman Suttam is a compilation of 756 verses from Jainism’s four
sects that was brought out in 1974 after spiritual leader Acharya Vinoba
Bhave tried to bring the sects together. Since last week, scholars have arrived from cities such as Jaipur, Delhi
and Puducherry to put the finishing touches on the first volume in a
ten-day workshop at the KJ Somaiya Centre for Studies in Jainism in
Ghatkopar. “While the Saman Suttam has been translated before, this is the first
time we will have Shabdartham (translated meaning of every word), and
more importantly, commentaries from acharyas (religious scholars) from
centuries ago,” said Dayanand Bhargav, a professor from Jaipur who has a
PhD in Jain ethics. “The commentary will reflect the true meaning and analysis of the verses,” he said.
Some of the other scholars working on the book include Sagarmal Jain
from the Prachya Vidyapeeth in Madhya Pradesh; Shriyanth Kumar, a philosophy expert from Jaipur; and Shantha Kumari, a professor from the
Pondicherry University. Profes-sors Geeta Mehta and Kokila Shah from the
Somaiya institute are editing the copies. “This book will help anyone – from a layperson to a student to a
researcher – understand the essence of Jainism in a simple way,” said Mehta.
Source: Hindustan Times
15th-century Jain temple in Kerala to be reopened
PALAKKAD, May 14, 2013: A 15th-century Jain temple, which has been in a dilapidated
condition for past several years, is all set for reopening after its
renovation. As a prelude to its re-dedication, a three-day idol installation
ceremony began at the Chandraprabha Digambar temple at nearby Jainimedu
on Saturday attracting devotees from across Kerala and neighbouring Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
The shrine would be opened for daily rituals from Tuesday, temple
sources said. The temple, dedicated to Chandraprabha, the eighth 'Tirthankara', is one
of the few surviving structures in Kerala featuring typical Jain architecture.
According to Jainism, Tirthankara is an enlightened human being who can
be a teacher for those seeking spiritual guidance.
As part of the renovation, the old idol has been replaced with a new one.
Members of Chanraprabha Digambara Basti Devwaswom Trust, which manages
the shrine, said the temple walls, the 'mandapa' and the entrance have
also been redone to restore it to its past glory without affecting tradition and sanctity.
According to local legend, the Jainimedu temple was built centuries ago
by a family of diamond merchants from Karnataka. After one of its male members died during a routine business visit to
the area, his brother built the temple in memory of him as per a sage's
advice. In course of time, their family settled around the shrine. Following
them, hundreds of Jains, most of them diamond merchants from across the country, came and settled here.
With the presence of several diamond merchants, the place came to be
known as 'manikyapattanam' or 'muthupattanam'. Bedsides the idol of Chandraprabha Theerthankara, the shrine, made of
granite blocks, also houses the images of other tirthankaras and
"yakshas" and "yakshinis" (demi-gods). Source: PTI
ASI claim leads SC to pause temple restoration
New Delhi, April 4, 2013: Efforts to restore a seventh century Jain temple situated at Kundalpur
hills in Madhya Pradesh have been stalled by the Supreme Court on an
assertion by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) that the structure was an ancient monument.
Relying on a 1913 notification, ASI claimed to own the property and
demanded immediate stoppage of all construction and restoration work
carried out in and around the structure by a private trust. But the need
for apex court’s intervention arose after this demand of ASI was rejected by the Madhya Pradesh High Court on September 17 last year.
For the present, the apex bench of Justices SS Nijjar and PC Ghose has
ordered status quo and directed the MP government and the private trust
- Sri Digambar Jain Atishay Kshetra Kundalpur Public Trust, to file their response.
The concern of the ASI was two-fold. Gazette notifications of July 16,
1913 and November 30, 1914 declared the temple a protected monument vesting supervision and control powers with the Central
The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act 1958 retained
the existing list of protected monuments without any change. As a result, the Digambar Jain temple or the Bade Baba Jain Temple continued
to be an ancient monument of national importance. Source: The Pioneer
Tourism development projects work at Sitthannavasal
TIRUCHI, March 20, 2013: Tourism development projects worth over Rs.35 lakh under way at the
tourist spot of Sitthannavasal have been progressing at a fast pace. The
government has identified the coastal Kodiakkarai village in Manamelkudi
taluk for developing another tourist spot and has sanctioned Rs.28 lakh for development work.
The district administration has drawn up plans, taking into consideration the heritage value of the Jain monument at
Sithannavasal, about 12 km from here. A number of tourism development work was being
executed for renovation of the old tourism attraction units and new ones
at the sprawling space outside the jurisdiction of the Archaeology Survey of India-maintained rock-cut cave temple at Sithannavasal.
The works of construction of boat house (Rs.5 lakh), children’s park
(Rs.8 lakh), renovation of tourist bungalow (Rs.5 lakh), construction of
entrance arch (Rs.12.5 lakh), and sculptures park, statues, developing
the pavement around Muthamizh park, musical fountain (all Rs.5.60 lakh) are in full swing.
At Kodiyakkarai village shore, the government has planned to construct
tourists’ reception centre, dress changing room, toilet block (all at a
cost of Rs.13 lakh), and viewing tower (Rs.15 lakh). Source: The Hindu
Mahamastakabhishek of Bahubali Held at Jain Temple, Shirlalu
Karkal,February 22, 2013: Thousands of devotees witnessed
Mahamastakabhishek, significant religious rituals during Panchakalyanotsav held at Bahubali Basadi located at Siddagiri in
Shirlalu village near here, on Monday February 18. Swami Lalitakeerti of Jain mutt, Karkal; Swami Bhattaraka Charukeerti of
Jain mutt, Moodbidri; Akhil Bharat Jain Milan executive president D Surendra Kumar and others were present at the occasion.
Tne Mahamastakabhishek Committee executive president M N Rajendra Kumar,
president Ratna Varma Poovani, chief secretary Professor Gunapal Kadamba
Shirlalu and others involved in efficiently organizing the religious
celebrations. The magic show, skits, folk singing, folk dances that was held to
enthrall the viewers, besides two-hour attractive display of fireworks
held at the occasion. Source: Bellevision Media Network
Munishri Kshamasagar Ji become an ascetic at the tender age of 23
February 18, 2013: Munishri Kshamasagar Ji, the disciple of Acharya Shri Vidhyasagar Ji Maharaj is among one of the most respected Jain Munis. Muni Kshamasagar ji, an M.Tech. from the Sagar University, renounced all the worldly pleasures and material belongings to become an ascetic at the tender age of 23 to tread on the path of peace and salvation as propagated by his Guru Acharya Shri Vidhyasagar ji Maharaj
1,500-year-old Jain rock bed with symbols unearthed
CHENGALPET, February 14, 2013: A rare Jain rock bed
with rockcarvings of 'yantras' was excavated on top of Mottamalai in Narapakkam village near Chengalpet recently. A yantra
is an abstract diagram of symbolic geometric forms which is used as a meditation aid or as part of rituals.
While searching for ancient monuments, S Jeeva Kumar, a priest in the Jain temple in Thirukazhukundram, found this
1500-year-old bed surrounded by shrubs in the hill. He immediately
informed some Jain scholars, who after studying the yantras, said the place was once a centre of Jains. "The bed here is a
primitive one. When I first saw this, I was not very sure if it was
a rock bed and the symbols were not clear. So, I searched for some
vital clues and found two 'yantras', a square-shaped one and a triangle-shaped one," said K Saravana Kumar, a Jain scholar and
epigraphist. A huge part of the hill has been lost to quarrying.
"Quarrying has killed the hill and its monuments. The marks
that it left are still visible on the edges of many rocks. If we
explore, we may find more such monuments here," said Jeeva
Kumar. The yantras found in Narapakkam are similar to those seen in
many Jain hillocks of Tamil Nadu, particularly in Kurathimalai near Onampakkam and Thiruppanmalai near Arcot.
"The symbols look similar to the 'Vardamana Vidya' yantra which is used in Jain rituals. Generally, Jain yantras are
found in cloth, paper, wooden boards, metal plates. The two 'yantras'
found denote two different purposes, according to Saravana Kumar.
"The square yantra is very important to Jains. It has four
channels and the centre is considered the energy releasing part.
Ascetics sit on the central portion of it andmeditate," he said.
The rock-carvings of yantras are found only in Tamil Nadu,
according to K Ajitha Doss, a scholar. Both Jeeva Kumar and Saravana
Kumar are planning to write to the state archaeology department about the new discovery. "We have informed them, but there is
no response. We will send a letter to the department soon," said Jeeva Kumar. Source: The Times of India
Thieves steal R 45,000 from Jain temple in Indore
Indore, January 31, 2013 (DNA): Unidentified thieves struck at a Jain temple in Annapurna area
late on Tuesday night and decamped with four donation boxes containing cash.
The theft occurred at Adinath Jain temple in Sudama Nagar. When a caretaker of the temple Devendra Jain reached there around 5.30 am, he
found the door open. When Jain entered the temple, he found that four donation boxes kept
inside were missing.
He immediately raised an alarm and soon police was also informed.
During preliminary investigation police recovered a broken and empty
donation box near the temple but the thieves fled with a big box containing over Rs 45,000 as they could not open it, police said.
A large number of members of Jain community and residents of the locality gathered on the spot and alleged lackadaisical patrolling by
cops as the main reason behind soaring incidents of thefts in the area.
It may be noted that after posh localities of Palasia police station
area, various colonies in Annapurna area have become a hotspot for burglars and thieves and earlier only houses were targeted but for past
few months thieves are targeting temples. Source: DNA
Idol, parasol stolen from Digambar Jain temple
GURGAON, January 19, 2013: Thieves stole a parasol and an idol from a Digambar Jain temple
located in Hans Enclave near Rajiv Chowk. On the received complaint, the
Sadarpolice have lodged an FIR. According to police, Dinesh Jain, a resident of Delhi, has lodged a
complaint with the Sadar police station about the theft. In his complaint, he stated that he has a piece of land near
Rajiv Chowk, where he maintains a Digambar Jain Mandir. On Monday night, unidentified
thieves took off with stolen a parasol and an idol from the temple. He
received the information about the theft early on Tuesday morning. "We have lodged an FIR and are investigating. The value of stolen
property is reportedly around Rs 15,000," said ASI Shailendra, who is
investigating the case.
Source: Times of India
Death of Jain monks sparks violent outbursts across state
Bharuch, January 5, 2013: Wide spread protests have been reported following the mowing down of two Jain monks by a
truck near Asuria village located nine kilometres from Bharuch on Tuesday. Stone pelting on the police and subsequent lathi charge took
place during their Palkhi Yatra in Bharuch on Wednesday.
More than 10,000 people from the Jain community across the state
gathered in Bharuch to attend the cremation of the two monks. The route
of the Palkhi Yatra of monks Shri Gyanshekhar Vijay Maharaj and Shri
Hastigiri Maharaj Sahib was to begin at 9 am from Srimali Pole Jain Temple in Bharuch to the place where the accident had taken place.
However, the route was changed following insistence by the police that
was protested by the community leaders. The yatra reached Zadeshwar Chowkdi on the highway causing a massive
traffic jam. Efforts were made by Inspector General of Police Shashikanth Trivedi, Superintendent of Police Gautam Parmar, MP Mansukh
Vasava along with MLAs Dushyant Patel and Arunsinh Rana to maintain calm but they went in vain.
Some miscreants started pelting stones on the police and the latter
resorted to a lathi charge to disperse the crowd. The yatra eventually reached the spot of the accident late in the
afternoon where the bodies of both the monks were cremated. Ajitbhai R Mehta of Jain Monk Vihar Group based in Surat said, "We
demand a thorough investigation in the accidental deaths of the
monks which we believe is premeditated. We condemn the attitude of the
police. Instead of beating innocent people who came to attend the cremation of respected monks they need to investigate the killing of
saints who spread the message of peace and harmony in the society." He
said that more than 40 monks have been killed in road accidents in the last five years.
Meanwhile, reports of protests by community members have also poured in
from Vadodara, Navsari, Ankleshwar and other places. Source: Times of India