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 Jain Samaj  News 2008 (Jain News in English)

  Temple at Sao Jose de Areal, Goa burgled
  MARGAO, December 30, 2008: Burglary in temples is never without a rich haul. The one that was reported at the Jain Mahavir temple early Monday morning at Mugali in Sao, Goa.  Jose de Areal was a repeat story except that the burglars could not carry the heavy metal donation box beyond a certain distance and had to drop it in the hilly terrain some half a kilometre from the temple. Sniffer dogs trailed a distance and helped police recover the box that had not been broken open.  
  Maina Curtorim PI Dharmesh Angle said the pujari of the temple called at around 6 am to inform him about the burglary. The police team rushed to the site and found the lock of the main door broken and the silver arch around the deity (Lord Mahavira) along with other ornamental items stolen. It is estimated that the total loss could be around Rs 1.50 lakh, but with the recovery of the donation box, police peg the net loss at around Rs 1 lakh. 
  Police believe that the heavy box was dropped because the burglars might have apprehended being nabbed by police patrolling teams during the night. Angle held a meeting with temple authorities in his jurisdiction a few months ago. He had even advised the president of the Jain temple to depute security guards.
 Source: The Times of India

Two held with antique Jain idols
  Hyderabad, December 28,2008: Two persons were arrested from Baglingampalli here while they were trying to dispose off an antique Lord Mahavira idol, worth Rs 35 lakh, police said. Acting on a tip off, Commissioners Task Force ( North Zone) officials apprehended Alete Mithun Reddy and Shaik Habeebuddin, Commissioner& aposs Task Force DCP V B Kamalasan Reddy said.
  The idol was bought by Habeebuddin from Rajasthan for Rs 2 lakh and both the accused were searching for potential customers here stating that the Lord Mahavira idol pertains to 15th century AD and is worth crore in international market, he added. The duo was nabbed before they could sell the idol, Reddy said adding after examination by the experts, it was found that the idol has antique value.
Source: PTI

  75 Jain pilgrims from Mumbai looted in Jharkhand

  GIRIDIH, December 24, 2008: At least 75 Jain pilgrims from Mumbai, going to a temple at Madhuban in Jharkhand's Giridih district, were stopped by a 12-member gang of robbers who entered their buses and took away money, ornaments, mobile phones and watches. 
  The pilgrims were part of an 850-member group, including women and children, who had arrived in Parasnath from Mumbai on Tuesday by a special train. Around 9 pm on Tuesday evening, they left Parasnath for Madhuban, which is about 50km away, in 50-odd vehicles. The vehicles ran into a barrier erected by the robbers at Dumri Mor. The gang, armed with lathis and iron roads, pulled out the drivers and smashed the vehicles. "I was in a car. The robbers looted Rs 5 lakh from me and snatched the ornaments of my wife. They took away Rs 37,000 from those in the car behind us and Rs 11,000 from another,'' said Rajnibhai Shah, 57. 
  Pilgrims said mobile handsets and even spectacles were snatched from them. "When I resisted, they assaulted me,'' Shah said. In his bid to escape, a panicky driver ended up driving his vehicle 
into a roadside ditch. The occupants were injured, and later looted. Eyewitnesses said at least 17 vehicles were looted in two hours.
  Giridih SP A V Minz told TOI on Wednesday that cops had been sent to the area and an FIR was registered. The Dumri Mor-Madhuban road is notorious for road robberies and Maoist violence. Wary of red terror, the state government last week cancelled the two-day Sri Shikharji Mahotsava in Madhuban from December 22. 
Source: The Times of India 

AHMEDABAD: Over 7,000 Jain industrialists and professionals living in 60 countries will participate in the community's biggest business event here from January 8 to 12. The mega mela is expected to draw over 7 lakh visitors and generate a lot of business opportunities by providing entrepreneurs a networking platform. The previous two editions of the international event organised by Jain International Trade Organisation (Jito) were a major hit. The last event in January 2008 drew 10,000 delegates and close to 10 lakh visitors. 
  Chief minister Narendra Modi and BJP's leader LK Advani are also expected to participate. The event comprising an international trade fair, conference and a Jain pavilion will be different from its earlier editions in many ways. The last version had Jains from 40 nations participating.


  Delhi, December 10, 2008: An unique institution in the name of 'Navkar Teerth'  at Delhi, will provide compressive facilities for worship, devotion, meditation, discourses, studies and research in Jainism. The centre will provide meditation halls, discourse halls, seminar and conference halls, library and documentation centre, research centre apart from hostels and guest house, bhojan shala etc. Apart from discourses by learned saints and sadhwis, practice of yoga and Pranayam as well as practice of learning various Jain rituals and mantras, business growth, mental development, spiritualism, health improvement, will power development and attainment of physical and mental peace will be held regularly.
  This Navkar Teerth is being established by the efforts of local Jain community, specially the Shwetambar Sthanakwasi samaj with the inspiration and blessings of Up-Pravartak, Dr. Rajendra Muni Ji Maharaj, disciple of Acharya Shri Devendra Muni Ji Maharaj. Bhumi-Pujan ceremony for the establishment of this teerth held on the 7th December, 2008 at Ghevra Moad, Near Mahavideh 
Kshetra, Delhi-110041, where the institution is going to be established. 

  A 2500 years old renovated Jain Temple at Kolanpak opened 

  Koalnpak, December 3, 2008: An important Jain Pilgrimage located at Kolanpak (Kulpak) near Aleru Mandal in Nalgonda District on the way to Warangal city is 2500 years old. This temple of Sri Shwethambar Jain Tirth after a prolonged renovation for the past 20 years now opens its doors to devotes on December 7th, 2008. Over 1000 workers, artisans and stone cutters worked for about 20 years to complete this renovation work. The various Jain Philatropists, community people in the A.P, Rajashathan, Gujarath have togther contributed and spent about Rs 9 crore on this renovation work.  
  The temple house a Chow Mukha - a four faced idol of Jain tirthankara. The temple is constructed on one acre land. The remaining eight acres house a dharamshala, guest houses, museum and Jain Library for visitors. The North-Western region in Andhra Pradesh commonly known as Telangana provided a firm foothold to Jainism during the medieval period. 

  Unique '18 Abhishek ceremony' at India's Jain temples

  MUMBAI, November 23, 2008: Shree Akhil Bharatiya Tirth Prabhavak Adhar Abhishek Anusthan Samitee has organized "18 Abhishek Ceremony" in three parts for more than hundred years old Jain temples having around one lakh idols all over India. In Gujarat (except Palitana) and Maharashtra, this ceremony will be held collectively on Sunday, Nov 23 and in the other parts of India, it will be held on Sunday, Nov 30. However, in Palitana Tirth in Gujarat, it will be held on March 19, 2009 on the mountain (places of pilgrimage) as well as all Jain temples situated in the Palitana village. 
  Thus "18 Abhishek Ceremony" shall be performed on about one lakh idols of 10,000 Jain temples in three parts all throughout India. As per the principles of Jainism, "18 Abhishek Ceremony" removes impurity & brings serenity, tranquility and piousness all around. 
Source: India Post News

  Rare Jain idols discovered in Rajasthan 
  Tonk, November 13, 2008 : A remote outpost in Rajasthan's Tonk district has become a major attraction for thousands of Jain devotees after a number of rare Jain idols were found at a construction site. 23 rare idols of Mahavir Jain were discovered on Tuesday night (Nov 10) by a group of labourers and soon the word spread. The idols are believed to be of the 14th century. The idols have now been kept at a nearby Jain temple as devotees continue to flock for a holy glimpse. 

 23 rare Jain idols were found at a construction site. 

  Jain appeal
  Kolkata, November 13 , 2008 : The Jain Samaj has announced a Rs 1-lakh award for information leading to the recovery of the idol of Lord Pareshnath that  was stolen from the Pareshnath Digambar Jain Temple at Alipore Park Place on October 8. Any person with information can  contact temple trustee Bhagchand Kashliwal at 9831002729. 

  Delhi Book Fair 2008 to Propagate Jainism 
Delhi: Vishwa Jain Sangathan will participate in Delhi Book Fair' 2008 (from 30th Aug to 7th Sep' 2008) at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi . The timings of the fair will be from 10 am to 8 pm. The objective of participation is to promote the Jain literature. researchers, professors, doctors, historians, scholars, students, publishers, writers etc., coming from from India and other countries, who visit this fair in the search of new books, research materials and more information. Make it convenient to visit the stall No. Hall #12A, Stall #3.   - Sunjay Jain, President, Vishwa Jain Sangathan. 
  Jain Centre in Leicester 20th anniversary

  Leicester August 14, 2008: AJain centre in Leicester is set to host a celebration marking 
its 20th anniversary.The Jain Centre, is the largest Jain temple outside of India,  and first opened its door to worshippers in 1988 after eight years of  development. The 25th anniversary celebrations will now allow visitors of all faiths to see for themselves the splendour of the Jain Centre, which features 44 pillars, 13 arches and a dome, as well as beautiful traditional Jain carvings. 

  Jain Center of Greater Phoenix, USA invites
 (An invitation to jaindharmoline.com and their readers on July 17, 2008) 
 Jain Center of Greater Phoenix, USA invites All of you, Friends, Family and Related Organizationto the first ever Panch Kalyanak Pratistha Mahotsav in the USA. Please Print this attachment and post it to your friends.
  Please forward this to your family and Friends. Regards Piyush Mehta President Jain Center of Greater Phoenix Phone: 001-480-820-5091


   As many as 7700 Cow Progeny Animals while being taken for slaughter have already been saved with the help of police. Now we bid to save further 20000 to 25000 Cows, Bullocks, Buffalo and other animals from miserable death due to starvation. The major part of Madhya Pradesh and nearby region of Uttar Pradesh is reeling under drought-like situation for last 4 to 5 years. Due to almost non-availability of water in this region, the helpless farmers have abandoned their houses, farms and agriculture and have moved to other areas. Before leaving their houses, these farmers pay odalisque to their animals, seek their forgiveness and the abandon them and migrate to other areas. The abandoned animals wander in search of fodder and water in this region. These wandering animals are cornered by the butchers and are taken for slaughter in local slaughter houses and in some cases even to Bangladesh, from where beef is exported to foreign countries. In U.P. there is prohibition on slaughter of cow progeny animal by Law. However, thousands of cow progeny animals are slaughtered in local slaughterhouses and their beef is exported described as ‘Meat’ (flesh of buffaloes) on paper.
   Due to drought of last 5 years, approximately 4 lakh cow progeny animals from these regions have reached slaughter houses. Sometimes animals driven by the butchers die on railway tracks while crossing them. In one instance about 50 to 60 animals were run over by a speeding train on railway tracks and died. Young calves are slaughtered by the butchers for their own food and they roast their beef for their food. Mahoba region, from where these animals were rescued has acute water problem. On order to provide water to the rescued animals, bore-wells were dug at seven different places up to the depth of 300 to 350 feet. However, water was found only in one bore well. For further information please contact Viniyog Parivar Trust, B-2/104, Vaibhav, Jamli Gali,, Borivali(West) MUMBAI-400092. 91-22-2898 0749 / 91-22-2899 178.

  Thief dodges temple deities, caught on camera
Mumbai, June 13, 2008: Temples across Mumbai are tightening security after the CCTV cameras captured an audacious daylight theft at a popular Jain temple in the heart of Mumbai. The footage shows a thief entering Mahavir Swami Jain Mandir and cautiously pocketing the jewellery before walking out of the temple. Police suspect that the thief, caught stealing in the CCTV footage, is a professional. Meanwhile, temples across the city have now heightened security with similar incidents being reported from neighbouring temples as well.

Jains in Delhi get minority status 
   New Delhi, June 11, 2008 (PTI): With the assembly elections just a couple of months away, the Congress government in Delhi has approved the long-standing demand of the Jain community for minority status. "The Jain community in Delhi has been accorded minority status. It has already been granted minority status in several other states," Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit announced to the media on Tuesday after a Cabinet meeting which approved the decision. 
  She said after getting minority status, the Jains would be able to effectively manage their educational institutions as per the parameters specified for such institutions. Jain constitute around 2 per cent of the population of the national capital, but the affluent community has considerably more influence despite lower numbers. Christians, Muslims and Punjabis are already enjoying minority status in the city. -PTI
   11th century Jain statue found in Pushkar (Ajmer)
AJMER, June 6, 2008: A medium-sized black stone statue of 17th Jain Tirthankara Kuntunath, dating back to 11th century, has emerged during excavations in holy town of Pushkar, about 15 kms from here.  More...
  Tirthankara and Goddesses  Idols stolen from Jain Basadi in Vittal
Bantwal, May 24, 2008: Idol thieves have once again targetted the historically famous Sri Chandranatha Swamy Basadi in Vittal, after a gap of about three years. Besides taking away the idols of goddesses Jwalamalini Devi and Padmavathi Devi being worshipped in the Jain Basadi, they have stolen 16 bronze idols and the golden Karimani necklace and golden bangles found on the idols. The estimated value of the stolen idols and gold ornaments is Rs 24,300.
  The temple priest discovered the theft when he came to the Basadi in the wee hours on Friday May 23 to attend to his duties, and thereafter, filed a complaint with the Vittal police.

  Acharya Kishore Kunal awarded

 PATNA, May 20, 2008: Acharya Kishore Kunal, retd IPS official and chairman of the Bihar State Board of Religious Trusts, has been conferred upon the prestigious Bhagwan Mahaveer Award for his dedicated community and social services. President Pratibha Patil gave him the award at a function organised at Rashtrapati Bhawan on Monday. This was stated in a Press note released by the secretary of the Jain Sangh, Pradeep Jain. 
  The award instituted by Bhagwan Mahaveer Foundation, Chennai, carries a cash component of Rs five lakh, a commendatory citation and a memento. Pradip Jain, secretary of Jain Sangh, Patna, informed that Acharya Kunal is the first individual from Bihar-Jharkhand to get this award. His selection was made by a jury headed by Justice Shri M N Venkatachalaih, former chief justice of India. 
Mahavir Janm Kalyanak Celebration by Digamber Jains of Bangkok 
 Bangkok, May 11, 2008: Mahavir Janm Kalyanak, auspicious Vedi Shuddhi and Sthapana of 1008 
Shri Mahavir Swami's five panchdhatu Jin Pratimaji were collectively celebrated by Digamber Jain Samaj with full vigor at Bangkok, Thailand Mandir Ji from 18th to 20th April 2008. Around 25-30 Sadharmi bandhus also traveled all the way from India and other parts of the world to participate in this wonderful event. The whole event was well organized and successfully completed by Samaj's enthusiastic members under the able guidance of  Shri 108 Vidhyasagar Ji Maharaj's disciple, Brahmachari and two Pratimadhari Shri Sanju Bhaiya Katangi. 
  The Bangkok Digamber Jain Mandir was established in a small office space of one of the committee members around 3 years ago by bringing one Pratishthit panchdhatu Jin Bimb of Lord Mahavir Swami from Kishangarh, Rajasthan. At that time there were only 40-50 known Digamber Jain families in Bangkok. Today the number has grown up to around 100 families. During this auspicious celebration, sthapana of 4 pratisthit Jin Bimbs of Lord Mahavir Swami recently brought from Jaipur was completed on a very beautiful 7 feet high Sarvobhadra Chaturdig Stambh and Mulnayak Lord mahavir's previous Jin Bimb was placed in the well decorated marble Parikar.

Balloons flung at women lead to Byculla spat
MUMBAI, March 23, 2008: A mere balloon fight turned into communal discord, leading to lathi charge at Byculla on Saturday. Although both the accused and the victim are from the same society and had burnt the holika a day earlier together, they were at each other the very next day. While the rest of India celebrated the festival of colours on Saturday, there was turmoil in Love Lane of Byculla (E) on Saturday
afternoon. There were altercations between the otherwise peaceful Jain community members and the other community members of Sankeshwar Darshan society. There are three buildings in the society and the Jains stay in A and B wings while the other community members stay in C wing. 
  This incident took place when the Jains were busy playing holi in their compound and decided to wind up around 1.30pm. “We had organised a function for our community at 3pm and were winding up,”  said Dilip Jain(22) a resident of A wing. “Just then, residents of C wing threw a balloon at the ladies assembled in the compound,” he adds.This made the Jains angry leading to arguments, which turned violent.  Source: DNA

 Jain Society of Metropolitan Chicago wants visas for masons

  Chicago, USA, March 19, 2008: Organizers of a Jain in the Chicago suburbs have been trying for almost two years to bring in the skilled stonemasons they need from India. Members of the Jain Society of Metropolitan Chicago has spent $35,000 on lawyers and other expenses trying to get visas for the craftsmen, and the failure to complete the temple has lost them millions of dollars in donations.
  The U.S. government is considering changes to regulations on religious visas. Members of other religions say the rules are biased in favor of Jews and Christians, and against religious traditions in which a mason, for example, could be considered a religious worker.
  The Jain religion is one of the world's oldest. There are about 8 million Jain in India, and growing numbers in immigrant communities. The society was originally trying to get visas for five masons or silpis. They have since discovered a silpi in Detroit and now need only four from India. (UPA)

 Put down intolerance with an iron hand: Supreme Court 

New Delhi, March 15,2008: The Supreme Court on Friday deprecated the growing intolerance of exhibition of certain films or paintings and said such dangerous tendencies must be put down with an iron hand. The court made these observations while upholding the action of the Ahmedabad Corporation in closing down slaughter houses in the city for nine days during the period of the Jain festival  Paryushan. 
  The Bench, consisting of Justices H.K. Sema and Markandey Katju, said the closure was a reasonable restriction and would not violate Article 19 1 (g) of the Constitution. The Bench said: “Since India is a country of great diversity, it is absolutely essential, if we wish to keep our country united, to have tolerance and respect for all communities and sects. It was due to the wisdom of our founding fathers that we have a Constitution which is secular in character and which caters to the tremendous diversity in our country.”
  In the instant case, the Bench said: “One should not be touchy about a short restriction when it is being done out of respect for the sentiments of a particular section of society. The great Emperor Akbar himself used to remain a vegetarian for a few days every week out of respect for the vegetarian section of Indian society and out of respect for his Hindu wife. We too should have a similar respect for the sentiments for others, even if they are a minority sect.”  The Bench allowed the appeals against a judgment of the Gujarat High Court, which quashed the order of closure of slaughter houses. 

 Idols of Jain Tirthankara  and Lord Yamraj excavated
Sirpur (Chhattisgarh), March 6, 2008: Archaeologists in Chattisgarh claim to have discovered 7th century idols of Yamraj, the Lord of Death, astride a buffalo and Jain Tirthankar Supasharvanath, a divine figure of Jain faith. The excavation of lands in search of the Jain monuments is being carried out at Sirpur in Chhattisgarh’s Mahasamund District. Archaeologists hope the latest finding will enable them to uncover the ancient history of Digambar Jains in the region.
 Source: ANI  

 Jain sadhvi alleges molestation in Palitana

BHAVNAGAR, February 19, 2008: A Jain sadhvi's alleged molestation outside a dharamsala in the pilgrim town of Palitana has outraged the region's Jain community. In a complaint registered on Monday, the 27-year-old sadhvi told the police that a man attacked her on February 9, when she had gone into the open field behind the dharamsala to attend to the nature's call. She said the man molested her and ran away when she shouted for help. 
  As the community threatened a major agitation, the police held an identification parade on Monday, in which the sadhvi identified a balloon-seller, Laxman Bhara, who lives near the dharamsala , as the culprit. Bhara was immediately arrested. Palitana police inspector R J Waghela said Bhara had taken the sadhvi by surprise, pushed her to the ground and tried to gag her. But sadhvi's cries forced Bhara to flee, he said. The sadhvi had immediately informed the dharamsala caretakers about the incident. The police was called in, but the caretakers didn't want to register the complaint initially, preferring to discuss the issue among themselves first.  
  Maharaj Revant Vijay of the Palitana Jain temple has demanded stern action against the accused. The community's religious heads are planning a protest rally. 
Source: The Times of India

 Jain and Buddhist sites discovered in Jajpur

BHUBANESWAR, February 13 2008: Archaeologists have stumbled upon about 30 Buddhist, Jain and Brahmanical sites dating back to the 4th century AD to 10th century AD at Korai in Jajpur district. The antiques discovered from these sites include potteries of different shapes and sizes, wares and some bone specimen. The villageto- village survey was conducted by the Orissa Institute of Maritime and South East Asian Studies (OIMSEAS) under the Culture Department. 
  The survey was concentrated in about 50 villages on the right side of river Baitarini in the catchment area. Department’s archaeologist Balaram Tripathy said the survey was carried out between January 25 and February 3 and was basically preliminary in nature. They plan to carry out more work in the coming months, exploring other areas in the district as well. Culture Secretary Gopinath Mohanty said the department would utilise a part of Rs 6 crore sanctioned by the Ministry of Culture for protection and preservation of these findings.

Jain trust moves HC over ‘trafficked’ idols from Gujarat
MUMBAI, February 10, 2008 : Kandivali-resident Dilip Shah and Marine Drive-based Shree Patan Jain Tirth Seva Samiti (SPJTSS) moved court against another trust in Shahapur, Thane, for allegedly bringing in 61 registered idols and 16 marble idols from Patan in Gujarat to a temple in Shahapur for achieving its “wrongful goals”. The petition, a copy of which is with DNA, states that under the Archaeology and Antiquities Act, 1972, idols over 100 years cannot be shifted to another location. “The two main idols of Ghia Parshwanath and Shantinath (both Jain deities) are 2,200 years old and the other idols are over 500 years old. This is a clear violation of the law and the idols should be handed over to the Gujarat archeological department,” said MP Shah, a member of the SPJTSS. 
  The idols were originally placed in Patan in Gujarat and were managed by the Ghiyanapada Jain Derasar Trust. The petition however alleges that the Trust allegedly in connivance with Shetrunjay 
Teerthdham Bhuvanbhan Manas Mandiram Trust (STBMMT), Shahpur and Abhinandanswami Jain Derasar Trust, Sion, sent the deities into Maharashtra stating that more devotees would visit the temples in Shahapur. “They have also built two new temples for the installation of these deities,” Shah said. 
  Justice Bilal Nazki and Justice SA Bobade heard the petition on Friday and directed the STBMMT to file their reply to the petition in one week. The petitioner had first filed a police complaint in July 2005 and brought the incident to the notice of the Archeological Survey of India and authorities in Gujarat, Delhi and Mumbai. On February 5, the Archeological department of Gandhinagar directed the STBMMT to restore the idols in Patan, however, no action has been taken yet. 

The Jain Pavillion at Mumbai  exhibts the glory of Jain art.

 Mumbai, January 07, 2008: The Jain Pavillion at the NSE Grounds at Goregaon, Mumbai exhibits  the glory of Jain art. With over 150 intricately carved idols of Lord Mahavir made of precious and semi precious stones and a collection of Jain iconography, miniatures, wall paintings from different periods of history, the Jain Pavilion is part of the second Jain International Trade Organisation (JITO) conference which began on Thursday. 
  The highlight of the Jain Pavilion is the 14.6 feet wide, 12.7 feet high, 5 feet deep ‘ Ashtapad’- the place where Tirthankar Adinath is believed to have attained nirvana, a location near the Mansarovar - carved in crystal and brought form Brazil, all 11.8 tonnes of it. “The Jain pratimas (idols) on display have 
been made by local artisans from Jaipur from various gemstones including emerald, ruby, aquamarine, tourmaline, amethyst, kunzite, smoky, rose quartz and malachite,” said Naresh Mohnot of Mohnot Gems. Reportedly, a Jain doctor  residing in the US owns some of the idols. Once the exhibition ends, the idols will be transported back to his home in the US. 
  A unique section of the Jain Pavilion also houses photographs of sculptures, mantras, cosmology and paintings from all prominent Jain pilgrimage centres  in India. The sculptures date from 2nd Century AD to 15th Century AD. From a massive Shatranjay Patt (1641 AD) featuring Sahasrakoot (miniature painting of 1,024 tithankars) from Ahemdabad to the benevolent statue of Neminath in Shravanbelagola, the exhibition captured the attention of young and old visitors alike.    

Over a million expected at the Jain International Trade Organisation fair

Mumbai, January 2, 2008: Prominent dignitaries, including ruler of Dubai Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, IT wizard Sam Pitroda, Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi will be among the million visitors expected at the second four-day Jain International Trade Organisation (JITO) fair, which opens here Thursday. Apart from the trade fair, a conference of Jain businessmen from around the world will be held at the NSE Exhibition Complex at Goregaon in northwest Mumbai.
  Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, Deputy Chief Minister R.R. Patil and Shiv Sena Executive President Udhav Thackeray will also be present, a spokesman for JITO told IANS.  According to JITO President Hemant Shah, the fair will give Jain businessmen and industrialists an opportunity to showcase their products and services to an estimated one million visitors from all over the world.
  'Last year, 500,000 visitors had visited the JITO fair. This year, the number will be more than double,' Shah said.  JITO Vice President Champalal Vardhan said 10,000 Jain delegates from 50 countries would take part in the conference, to be held during the fair. An added attraction will be a pavilion that will exhibit over 500 rare Jain artefacts. 'On display shall be the best of treasures from various Jain temples in India, Jain iconography, miniatures and wall paintings, idols carved out of precious stones from all the world called Ratna Pratimas, sculptures and other items dating to the second to 14th centuries sourced from Sravanbelagola, Khajuraho, Devgadh, Gwalior, Mathura, Chanderi, Vidarbha, Kolkata, Surat, and Rajasthan,' said one of the organisers, Girish Shah. 

 Source: India Business

Digambar Jains celebrate 75th birth anniversary of Acharya Bahubali Maharaj 

Gurgaon, December.18, 2007: Thousands of Jain devotees converged in Gurgaon on the weekend to celebrate the 75th birth anniversary of Acharya Bahubaliji Maharaj, the spiritual Guru of Digamber sect of Jain community and perform mass rituals. Acharya Bahubaliji Maharaj, during his sermon, laid stress on the need to educate the masses for a progressive Indian society. 
  "I bless all castes and religions of the society. All religions should bring in home Sanskars. When we have ethics at home, we can look forward to the creation of an ethical society. Education should be emphasized on by all religions as education is the key self-improvement," said Acharya Bahubaliji 
Maharaj, spiritual head of Digambar Jain community. 
  The Digamber Jains, under the aegis of their Acharya, provide free primary education to children at various places. "Besides spreading word about religion, our Acharya is keen to spread education amongst the youth. He has schools at various places. We are soon planning to open a Jain University," said Kanwar Singh, President, Digambar Jain Association. 
 Source: (ANI)
 W.B.  declare the Jain community a religious minority
Kolkata, December 13, 2007: The West Bengal Assembly today passed a bill that will empower the government to  declare the Jain community a religious minority. Minority Affairs minister Abdus Sattar said Jain contribute only 0.07 percent of the state's population and there was o question of 'building vote bank'. The minister also denied any instance of torture on minorities in Nandigram.
Six Jain Tirthankara idols stolen 
Gurgaon , November 15, 2007 : Six ancient idols of Jain Tirthankaras, made of Asthadhatu, and other valuables were stolen from a temple at Kasan village near here on Thursday, police said. The theft came to light when the locks of the sanctum sanctorum was found broken on Thursday morning by some devotees. "All six idols of Jain Thirtankars and other valuables were found missing from the temple," Commmissioner of Police, Gurgaon Mohinder Lal said. 
 Source: PTI

  Bihar-Gujarat MoU on tourism spot at Parasnath, a Jain pilgrimage. 
RANCHI, October 25, 2007: The state government has entered into an agreement with the Tourism Corporation of Gujarat recently in a bid to develop the famous tourist spot at Parasnath, a Jain centre of pilgrimage. Tourism secretary NN Sinha, who signed a MoU for the development of the tourism sector in Ahmedabad during the ‘Travel and Tourism Fair’ organised in Gujarat capital, said that both the states will support each other to develop tourism. 
  Lakhs of tourists from Gujarat, especially Jains, visit the Parasnath hills near Hazaribag to worship the 23rd Jain Tirthankara Shri Parsavnath. The MoU with Gujarat, he said, would enable a partnership between the two states provide more transport linkage to the tourist spot to ensure healthy flow of tourists from the western state and enhancement of infrastructure scenario at the spot. 
  Parasnath Hill located at a height of 4431 ft is the highest mountain south of the Himalayas. It was made accessible since the construction of a road in 1838. The Parasnath Hills hold special significance for the Jains which arises from the tradition of 23rd Tirthankar Parsva or Parsvanath, who is believed to have attained nirvana on the hill. 

Lakhs of tourists from Gujarat, especially Jains, visit the Parasnath hills near Hazaribag to worship the 23rd Jain Tirthankara Shri Parsavnath.

 Garments hurt the religious sentiments of Jains and Hindus
Ahmedabad, October 15, 2007: Ahmedabad's Ellis Bridge police station  was stormed by an angry mob led of local MLA Bhavin Sheth with heaps of kurtas, apparently confiscated from hapless local vendors.The BJP MLA had come to lodge a complaint against an apparel store in the city, which sells fashion garments at budget prices to attract youngsters. With Navratra season on, kurtas brought out by the store, inscribed with ‘Om’, ‘Gayatri mantra’ and ‘Navkar mantra’ have been a big hit in the market. Sheth told the police officers that these garments hurt the religious sentiments of Jains and Hindus  and immediate action must be taken to ban their sale.
Tension in MP town over damaged temple statues

 SHAJAPUR (MP), October 10, 2007:  Tension gripped Susner town here as some unidentified men vandalised statues installed in a Jain temple, prompting residents to call a bandh and block vehicular traffic on the Indore-Kota road, seeking immediate arrest of the accused, police said. The situation became tense after two statues constructed on the outer wall of the Bada Jain temple in Itwaria Bazaar were vandalised by some persons on Tuesday night, SP Ahirwar said. Angry over the incident, the locals observed a bandh in the area. A case was registered against those behind vandalisation of the statues and efforts were on to trace them, Ahirwar said.
 Source: PTI

October, 07, 2007: Eminent jurist, noted statesman and former Member of Parliament, Dr. L. M. Singhvi  passed away at the Max Devki Devi Hospital this afternoon. He was 76 years of age and ailing for the past couple of weeks. He was  India’s longest serving High Commissioner to the UK, a prolific author, poet, publicist, linguist, litterateur and patron of art and culture. Dr. Singhvi was Member of Lok Sabha (1962-1967) and Rajya Sabha (1998-2004) and was Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India . 
   He is survived by his wife, Kamla Singhvi, son, Congress Spokesperson and MP, Dr. Abhishek Singhvi, Senior Advocate, and daughter, Abhilasha.


International Day of Non-Violence (Ahimsa)
New York, October 2, 2007: The international community celebrates the International Day of Non-Violence (Ahimsa Day) in the UN General Assembly to pay tribute to Mahtma Gandhi on his birth anniversary on October 2, 2007 attended by 2000 person.   The 2nd October is decleared as International Day of  Non-Violence (AHimsa). Mahatma Gandhi was influenced by Ahimsa and Satya (Truth) the basic principle of Jain Dharma. The UPA chairperson Sonai Gandhi addressed the the world body. 

Jain Ekta Manch requested to shut the abattoirs during the Jain Paryushan Parva
Mumbai, September 06, 2007: The Jain Ekta Manch, an umbrella organisation of 50 Jain sanghs form the western suburbs, handed over a memorandum to the mayors of Bombay and adjoining areas on Wednesday requesting them to shut abattoirs during the Jain Paryushan festival every year. This year, Jain Paryushan for the Shwetamber followers will be from September 8 to 15 and for Digamber followers from September 16 to 26.
  A gathering of mayors 
present in order to grace the dais for 'Ahimsa Jiwdaya Abhiyan' were  Dr. Shubha Raul from Bombay, Narendra Mehta from Mira-Bhayendar, Manisha Bhoir from Navi Mumbai, Smita Indulkar from Thane, Pundalik Mhatre from Kalyan-Dombivili and Sanjiv Naik the former Mayor of Navi Mumbai. Shri  Mahendra Sanghoi, President of the Jain Ekta Manch said "There are illegal slaughterhouses all over the city besides legally run places like Deonar. We want the support of the government officials to close the slaughter houses during the festive time of 15 days."   The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has issued orders for closing down the abattoirs in Deonar on September 8 and 15. 
Jain woman in Gujarat attain salvation by observing Santhara

Surat (Gujarat), September. 5, 2007: A Jain community woman Anandshree attain salvation by observing santhara, a ritualistic fast unto death to attain salvation.  Anandshree was 67 year old 
and suffering from cancer for past two years. Anandshree was a disciple of Acharya Mahapragya. At the age of 19, Anandshree took 'Diksha' by travelling across India on foot. 
  A 'Palki Yatra' (palanquin procession) was taken out for her cremation. A crowd of saints and faithful followed the palanquin. Tejash Bhai, a member of the Terapanth religious group, said that the Jain community had come out in full force to pay their respects.

  According to a readers' survey conducted by the Times of India, the Bahubali statue at Shrawanbelgola in Karnataka state has been declared as one of the seven wonders of India. The statue is 17.38 meters tall in standing posture and is made of stone in one single piece. Situated between two hills, on the bank of a lake. This place is a major pilgrimage centre for Jain community in the country and is the main attraction of the state of Karnataka. Karnataka Minister for Tourism B. Sriramulu informed that the Govt. would provide sound and light shows at , Shravanabelagola in 2007-08.
Jains hold protest meeting
  Bangalore: The Shree Adinath Jain Swetambar Temple Trust, Bangalore, organised a meeting at the Shikshara Sadan here on Sunday in protest against the taking over of the ancient Shree Kesariyaji Temple in Dhuleva Raj village near Udaipur by the Rajasthan Government. According to the trust convener, Devkumar K. Jain, the Supreme Court had declared the temple as a Jain pilgrimage centre and had directed that a committee be formed consisting of members of the community to run the temple. 
 Despite the order, the Rajasthan Government was trying to take over the temple, Mr. Devkumar Jain said. It was the richest Jain pilgrimage centre in the world with 550 acres of land and 40 marble and granite mines on its premises, he said. The meeting decided that the Jains would take out a rally to Jaipur and continue the agitation through non-violence means.  

Court justifies deeksha in Jainism 

 Jaipur, August 24, 2007: An Udaipur court has ruled that bal deeksha (child sainthood) does not construe as a crime in Jain religion and dismissed the petition filed by two advocates in this regard.
  In his ruling, chief Judicial magistrate (CJM), Brijendra Kumar Jain said that if parents send their children to Jain acharyas then it does not come under the category of orphans.
  A petition was recently filed in the Udaipur court by advocates Hukam Raj Singh and Kanyia Lal. The petitioners  accuse the parants of four children of village Semad in the Udaipur district of leaving them (children) for deeksha to Jain acharayas on May 2, 2007. They pleaded that it was a crime in the eyes of law.  The Judge said, it is not a crime if the children are left for deeksha by their parents which is fully permissible in Janism. Every citizen of India is free to adopt any religion of his or her choice, he added. 
  The Judge said that to leave the children for deeksha has been prevalent since ages, which should not be be compared with the category of orphans.
  He added that it has got no relevance with the age of a person who attains it, the judge ruled.  The judge made abundantly it clear that it was the moral and legal responsibilities of the petitioners, who were also advocates, to study the Jain religion prior to filing the case in the court.  The judge said, "The accused made in this  case by the advocates are free to proceed legality against them." 
 Source: Hindustan Times

More than 6000 attend JAINA convention
 NEW JERSEY: More than 6000 people attended the 14th biennial JAINA convention at the NJ Convention and Expo Center in Edison, New Jersey, July 5-8.The mega scale convention saw more than 100 scholars, sadhus and sadhvis attending from around the world, among them Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Swami Ramdev and Swami Tadatmananda, Swami Rakeshbhai Jhaveri and Dr Dipak Jain (Dean of Kellogg Business School).
The four-day event had four parallel programs - for adult family members; young Jains (Ages 14-29), a Networking Forum for friendships, dating or marriage; and for children ages 5-12.At any given time, there were some 20 sessions going on simultaneously so the choice was enormous for everyone to be able to pick and choose what they liked. 
  Topics for the talk sessions included Peace through dialogue; dharma and sampradaya, ethics and values from a Jain perspective and so on. The highlight of the convention was the various symposiums, panel discussions and interactive dialogues with the various attending scholars. Former Ambassadors Dr L M Singhvi and Dr N P Jain talked about various aspects of Jainism like Ecology, Historicity, Jain Diaspora, etc. 
Congressman Frank Pallone and Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula graced the occasion. The evenings on all four days saw cultural programs performed by famous groups from India and other local groups. Other event highlights included: Ashtapad Mahatirth and the Hidden Treasure - A display of precious and semi-precious stones; Samosaran Rangoli -- an intricate rangoli, about 
16 ft by 20 ft in size done at a marathon pace in 6 days and 6 nights by a Jain group from Kenya; 54 vendor booths and Artist Exhibitions; Ranakpur Temple like Interior - The entire NJ Expo Center Main Hall interior looked like the Ranakpur Temple, designed by Architect Alvin Holmes based on the book on Jain Temple design by the famous photographer Thomas Dix who was present on the occasion; Food - some 80,000 meals were served during the four days by four different caterers.
 Source: IndiaPost.com
Pro-veg groups target Birla stores
MUMBAI, July 09, 2007: Advocates of uncompromising vegetarianism in the city prominent Marwari and Jain groups have denounced the Aditya Birla Group’s decision to sell non-veg food at its new retail outlets and accused it of putting profit over the community’s traditions. 
  This marks the start of a new conflict between pro-veg campaigners and sellers and consumers of non-veg food. Pro-veg groups have already been accused of blocking out nonveg-eaters from housing societies in south Mumbai. 
  The protestors, including the influential Marwari Ekta Parishad that represents nearly 2,000 businessmen from the community, the Maharashtra Gopalan Samiti and Vaishnav Group have said that the Birlas, who have iconic status among Marwaris and Jains, are violating the basic tenets of their culture by selling “unacceptable stuff ” and should immediately stop supporting the killing of animals for food.
  Representatives of the groups say they have sought a meeting with Rajashree Birla, matriarch of the family, to register their protest and if the retail chain still continues to sell non-veg food, hold demonstrations outside the outlets.  Businessman Narendrabhai Parmar of the Marwari Ekta Parishad 
said: “The move is disturbing because the Birlas are known to be vegetarian and religious. They have built temples across the country. Selling non-veg food is the antithesis of everything the family represents.” 
  Vinod Gupta of the Maharashtra Gopalan Samiti said a Marwari family could not back animal slaughter. “Should we let go of our beliefs, customs and traditions just to be competitive? Or can we strictly be ourselves? There should now be a debate on whether commercial thoughts should get ahead of our culture and tradition,” he said. 
  Source: The Times of India

Two rare antique idols of Lord Mahavira were seized
NEW DELHI, 27 June  2007: Two rare antique idols of Lord Mahavira were seized by the crime branch of Delhi Police at Roshanara Bagh in north Delhi on Monday. The police also arrested one Omkar Nath Saxena while allegedly trying to sell an idol.
  The Lord Mahavira idols are of Jain Tirthankar seated in padmasana mudra on a asana. While the height and width of one idol are 19 cm and 14 cm respectively, the other has a height of 17 cm and width of 13 cm. The police said that the origin of the idol may date back to 10-12th century AD.  According to Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), these idols are very precious. A preliminary ASI report reveals that these are rare antique idols with all 32 characterstic features of the Mahapurusha. 

The Shetrunjaya hills now a big draw for foreigners.

 June 11, 2007: The Shetrunjaya hills, with the world’s largest cluster of Jain temples at Palitana, are, in fact, now a big draw for foreigners and it’s not surprising to find tourists from Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Singapore, UK and USA there. “Finding inspiration in the Jain religion, foreigners throng these temples,” says the managing director of Tourism Corporation of Gujarat, PD Vaghela. “Although they contribute hardly 1% of tourists visiting such destinations, religion is undoubtedly turning into a major draw for foreigners visiting India.

  Rs 4 cr worth ashtadhatu idols seized, three held
Lucknow, June 5, 2007: The Qaiserbagh police on Tuesday recovered three ancient ashtadhatu idols of Jain Tirthanakara and arrested three persons in this connection. Weighing about 4 kg, the value of the idols in the international market is estimated to be approximately Rs 4 crore. The arrested trio were operating as peddlers and had been in the process of transporting the idols to the next destination, when they were caught by the police. Identified as Keshav Rawat, Ramsanjivan and Ramkresh Yadav, all natives of Barabanki, they used to work for one Kailash Rawat, the gang leader, who also operates from Barabanki. 
“Kailash is a criminal involved in stealing such precious idols from the Jain Temples in cities of North India like, Allahabad, Barabanki and Lalitpur. On receiving information about their presence in the city, a team posing as international smugglers, met them. A deal was struck and the accused were arrested from the Butler Park, when they came to deliver the idols,’’ informed SP (West) AK Rai. Experts of Archaeology Department confirmed the value of the seized idols. “Two idols are of Lord Mahavira and they weigh around 1.75 kg and 1.25 kg. The third idol is of Lord Bahubali and it weighs about 1 kg. Some metal was chipped from the idols for testing and one of them also comprised of about 40 per cent gold,’’ added Rai. And the various symbols on the idols, as told by the experts, suggest that they belong to the temples of Northern UP. “While all of them are in a standing posture, standing on a Pithika, a ‘Shri Vatsa’ symbol is also engraved on the chest. Creepers are also engraved on the shoulders of all the idols and, according to experts, these are typically the characteristics of idols found in the temples of north UP,’’ explained Rai. 

Ravindra Jain a
composer and lyricist was the first recipient of the G Devarajan memorial award instituted by 'Swaralaya'. At a glittering ceremony in the University Senate Hall-Thiruvananthapuram, the award was presented to Ravindra Jain by Dr K J Yesudas. Ravindra Jain born at Alighad in Punjab in 1944, has composed music in several languages. It was Ravindra Jain who catapulted Yesudas to heights of popularity in Hindi filmdom with Chitchor. He has also composed music for the Malayalam film Sujatha (1977), in which Asha Bhosle, Hemalatha and Yesudas have sung.


Protest call over Rishabdev temple handover withdrawn
Jaipur, February, 24, 2007 - Tribals protesting the move to hand over an historic temple in Rajasthan to the Jain community have withdrawn their call for Sunday's protest demonstration following Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje's assurance that she will look into the matter. The Rajasthan Janjati Vikas Parishad, an association of tribals, had this week threatened to stage a 'mahapadav' or sit-in at the temple if the state government did not listen to its demand on the temple in Rishabdeo town, over 450 kms from here. Officials said the protest call was withdrawn after the chief minister assured them that the government would consult legal experts to request the apex court to review its decision. 'We would take a decision after seeking legal advice in this matter,' Vasundhara Raje had told a tribal delegation here this week.

Violence at Rishabdev town
Rishabdev:  February, 10, 2007
Violence erupted at Rishabdev town a famous jain tirth of Lord Rishabdev (Kesariyaji) on February 5 and again February 7, 2007. Several soaps, houses and properties of Jain community were damaged by the Adivasis (Tribals). The cause of violence was due to the Supreme Court ruling by accepting Rishbdev (Kesariyaji) as Jain Tirtha. Supreme court handed over its management to Jain community. Though Supreme court judgment did not bar tribals from worshipping their presiding deity "kala Baba" (Lord Rishbdev) in the Temple.

      Lord Rishabdev Temple

  Due to misgiving about the Supreme Court order on control of Kesariyaji temple, more than 6,000 tribals armed with traditional arrows, slings, stones etc. attacked the police and non-adivasis on Thursday, February 7 from the nearby hilltop to protest against the verdict.
  Tribal development minister Kanakmal Katra said, "Leaders from diffrent parties including BJP, Congress held several rounds of discussions wit representatives of tribals to apprise them of the apex court judgment. District collector Shikhar Agarwal said, "the situation is under control hence the army has not been deployed.
  President Bharatvarshiya Digambar Jain Teertank Akshetra committee NK Sethi   said, "government should give protection to the Jain community and restore peace."

Friday, February 9, 2007 (Udaipur):
The army is on standby in a town of Rajasthan's  Udaipur where violence erupted over the handover of a temple to the Jain community. One person was killed and nearly 30 were injured in violent clashes between tribals and the local police on Thursday in Rishabh Dev town of Udaipur.  The trouble started after the Supreme Court had in January ordered that the management of Kesariaji temple be handed over to the Jain community. Though Jains and tribals have been worshiping in the temple for centuries, the tribals took the SC order to mean they would no longer be allowed to worship there.  On Friday afternoon, tribals pelted stones and torched two vehicles in Kalyanpur village in the area.  With their homes and shops being targeted by tribals, the Jain community is traumatised.

Ten 500 years old idols were stolen from Gurgaon Digambar Jain Temple.
GURGAON: 28 Jan 2007: Ten 500-year-old idols were stolen from Shri Digambar Jain Mandir in Gurgaon on Saturday. DSP (crime) Rajesh Kalia added that seven teams have already left for Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana. The police said that the burglars had taken away the idols in a gunny bag. "We are working on all possible clues," Kalia added.
  Expressing shock over the incident, Devender Jain, general secretary of Digambar Jain Samaj, said that the value of the idols could be in crores in international market. Stating that it is a major loss for the community, he said: "Some of our brothers and sisters have not taken food since morning. The burglars have spared other idols which are only 20 to 30 years' old. Cops have indicated the involvement of a major gang behind the incident," Jain added.
 Kanwar Sain Jain, president of the Samaj, said that they never thought that idols could be stolen from the temple as it is located in one of the most crowded parts of the city and surrounded by Jain families. The members of Jain Sabha have decided to hold a protest rally on Sunday demanding the early recovery of the idols and they would sit on relay hunger strike.
Source:   Times of India 

   Jain Idols  were found in  Gwalior village
Gwalior, December 16, 2006
 Section 144 was clamped in Narwar town of Shivpuri disreict, as tension prevailed after 10 jain idols were found in an agriculture field in village Gopalia of the  town. Confusion prevailed as to who would take control of the idols. A section of Jain community claimed that the idols were of Jain disciples and therefore should be housed in a temple. However the state archaeological department officials opined that those  idols, which are of archaeological importance must be preserved in a museum, while the temple management could keep the remaining idols.
 That the idols, which were recovered on December 15, 2006, were taken to Narwar temple for safety till final decision about where to house them was taken. Members of the Jain community flocked the temple to catch a glimpses of the idols and later objected to ferrying out of idols from the temple.
    Source - Hindustan Times

Jainism needs more research
MOODBIDRI: The spread of Jainsim in South India should be extensively researched, said experts participating in the first national seminar on `Jainism in South India,' which began here on Saturday. The seminar has been organised by Kannada University, Hampi, the Abheraj Baldota Jain Samskriti Adhyayana Peetha and the Dravida Samskriti Adyayana Peetha in association with Alva's Education Foundation and Dhavala College of Moodbidri. 
 The Chairman of the Second National Administrative Reforms Commission, M. Veerappa Moily, in his inaugural speech said Jainism was one of the oldest religions of the world and was relevant in modern times. It was rational, logical and highly philosophical and had elements of  patriotism in its teachings. These qualities of Jainism should be studied and researched. Mr. Moily appreciated the idea of giving Jainism an academic platform, which was a good beginning for research. He called upon universities to enthuse researchers in the subject. 
  Writer Hampa Nagarajaiah, in his keynote address, said South India was a strong base for Jainism, and only when such national-level events were held would the academic value of religions come to the fore. Kannada University Vice-Chancellor B.A. Vivek Rai observed that documentation of such academic exercises would help scholars. About 100 senior scholars, teachers and researchers are taking part in the seminar.

New Delhi, November  5,2006
The second Young Jains of India (YJI) Convention concluded with two key revolutionary resolutions that are expected to transform the Jain community in the coming future. The key resolutions passed as a part of the convention are - “To exhibit humanity and compassion in all fronts by denying dowry system and practicing ahimsa by not promoting abortion”. The resolutions read out by the National Chairman of YJI Manish Kasliwal emphasised that persons practicing dowry and encouraging abortion will be denied from being members of YJI. Youths and dignitaries present at the convention accepted this resolution unanimously and there by setting the ball roll for a new era in the Jain community.
  The convention was inaugurated on 3rd November, 2006 at Siri Fort Auditorium and was attended by Justice Vijendra Jain (Acting Chief Justice Delhi High Court), Abhishek Singhvi (Congress Spokesperson), Indu Jain (Chairman, Times Group), N.P.Jain (Ex Indian Ambassador), D.R. Mehta (Ex Chairman SEBI and Ex Deputy Governor RBI), Kirit Daftary (President JAINA), Prem Jain (Ex VP Cisco System), R.K.Jain (President, Bharat Jain Mahamandal), Parveen Jain (VP MCafe) and Manish Kasliwal (Chairman YJI). The function start by a motivating speech by NP Jain. Justice Vijendra Jain emphasized assertively that all revolutionizing concepts and the everlasting rules that govern the world are in fact Jain principles. Smt Indu Jain quoted that youth have the maximum energy to lead the world in the right prospects. Abhishek Sindhvi, Pravin Jain, Manish Kasliwal addressed the function.  The function witnessed the launch of the movie ‘Samyaktva’ based on the principles of Ahimsa Aparigraha and Anekantwad by Dr Abhishek Sanghvi.

The entire Digambar Jain community was grieved to learn that Acharyaratna Shree Bharat Sagar Ji maharaj , a highly revered saint, left for his heavenly abode after a severe heart attack on the 21st October, 2006 at Aninda Parshwa nath sidhh kshetra, near Udaipur in Rajasthan. He had accepted samadhimaran, immediately prior to his death. Condolence meetings were held in various towns and cities all over the country to mourn his sad demise.

Sobha Yatra of Bhagwan Parshwanath on Kartik Purnima
The jains of Kolkata is going to  celebrate  Kartik Purnima on 5th November 2006 through a procession (Sobha Yatra)  of Bhagwan Parshwanath. Kolkata follows this tradition of procession on Kartik purnima since last 190 years. This procession is so famous in West Bengal that it is called Bhagwan Parasnath Sobha Yatra. This procession is organised every year on the day of Kartik Purnima by jain community of Kolkata.  Hundreds and thousands of Jain men and women from all parts of India assembles here to see this  Sobha Yatra. The  Sobha Yatra starts from Bara Mandir and after traveling a long distance ends at Parswanath Digambar Jain Mandir at Belgachia. This Sobha Yatra is organised by Shri Digambar Jain Rath Yathra Commetee under Shri Digambar Jain Mandir. 

Jainism helped India to fight superstition: Manmohan Singh
New Delhi, May 27 - Prime Minister Manmohan Singh  said that Jainism not only helped India to fight superstition and blind belief but also allowed scientific temper to grow. Launching the Jain Manuscripts Catalogue of the British Library, London, prepared by the Institute of Jainology, 
Manmohan Singh said Jainism, which 'rejected the rigidities of doctrines', presented a 'new openness' and 'a new freshness' to India's approach to spiritual matters.
'The rational basis of Jainism has contributed to the growth of scientific temper and the fight against superstition and blind belief,' Manmohan Singh said at a function held at Vigyan Bhavan here.
'This approach has helped in grappling with social, religious and even economic problems facing mankind. Jainism is part and parcel of the rich tradition of rational intellectual discourse that has flourished in this ancient land of India,' the prime minister said.
Lauding the religion, he said: 'Its enduring legacy of non-violence has shaped our approach to life and nature. Its principled stand against a hierarchical caste system inspires us to fight for equality of all even today.' 
'In our quest for material prosperity we sometimes forget the spiritual heritage of our civilisation,' Manmohan Singh lamented.'A balance between the material and the spiritual can help restore sanity when we are caught in the rough and tumble of life. An appreciation of the beauty of life and nature is needed to ensure sustainable development,' he remarked.
Ancient Jain idol found in Pushkar (Rajasthan)
Ajmer (Rajasthan), A nearly 1000-year-old idol of 17th Jain 'Tirthankar' Sri Kuntu Nath Ji has been found at Pushkar, Ajmer. According to Syed Azam Hussain, the curator of Ajmer Government Museum, the two-feet long idol, which is in broken state, was found during digging of a private land adjacent to the ancient Varah temple of Lord Vishnu. The museum has taken possession of the idol
During his recent visit to Jaipur, H.R.H. Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and patron of Heritage Foundation offered prayers at Sanghi ji Digambar Jain temple, lit a lamp and performed aarti. He then went round the temple premises, appreciating the immaculate art work, meena work and inlaying of kundan, frescos and mural paintings of Samvasaran, Panch Kalyanak, Jambu Dweep, Sammet Shikharji and many other items of deep interest. He also saw the ancient manuscripts in the temple museum. Shri N.K. Sethi, President of All India Teerth Kshetra committee, Shri Milap Chand Dandia, President of All India Teerth Raksha Camiti and other members temple managing committee received the Prince and accompanied him.
Two ancient Jain idols recovered

Jhunjhunu, February 27, 2006
 The Jhunjhunu (Rajasthan) police arrested four idol lifter and recovered two ancient idols of Jain religion. In the raid, two idols of Mahaveera dated Vikram Sanwat 1282 and 1940 were recovered. In this connection, Nathuram, Ramveer Singh, Yaseen and Durga Prasad Meena have been arrested by the police. The S.P. said that more idols were expected to be recovered from these culprits.

 Jain Idols stolen from jain temple kota
Kota, december 30, 2005
Thieves, who had stolen 19 idols from Digambar Mahaveer Jain Temple of Kaithoonpole area in Kota city a week ago, five more were stolen from another Jain Temple, few meters  away. The small metal idols are believed to be of 15th and 18th century.
 The incident has caused resentment among the jain community, which has threatened 'Kota bandh' on January 4, 2006, if police failed to nab the thieves. 

Jain saint passes away
Bangalore | October 11, 2005 
Eminent Jain saint Acharya Sri Sushilsuriswarji  Maharaj died of old age at the Jain shrine at   Chickpet here today. He was 90. Chief Minister N Dharam Singh, in his condolence  message,  said the Swami had immensely contributed  to the harmonious development of the society. He    was instrumental in maintaining cordial   relationship among the followers of various  faith. 


The move of Punjab Govt. to order Shooting of "Neel Gai" or Blue Bulls in the name of saving crops is really shocking. Blue Bulls are numbering 3000-4000 in state. These are protected under schedule IV of Wildlife Protection Act 1972. These are shy creatures and come out of forests only due to lack of availability of sufficient quantity of food and water, due to human aggression and encroachment into their habitat. It is worth mentioning that due to massive cultivation /encroachments into forest land the habitat has suffered. Blue bull had vanished from southern India due to bad management of forests and wildlife.  

A dalit was anointed as a Jain monk.
In a historic event, a 22 year old youth Chandiram Megwal belonging to a dalit community was anointed as a jain monk at Ahore town in Jalore district. At a diksha ceremony Chandiram Megwal hailing from Mandwaria village, Sirohi got a new identity as Anant Punya Maharaj. A few years ago he was so impressed by jain saint Suryodaya Maharaj that he expressed his desire to dedicate his life to the jain religion. He was sent to Ahmedabad to study the jain ideology for almost four years.
Fourteen rare idols stolen from PAITOPUR Jain temple
Sitapur, Jan 13 : Burglars broke open the locks of an ancient Jain temple at Paitopur and decamped with 14 rare idols worth Rs one crore, police here said today. The burglars entered the Digambar Jain Parsvanath temple last night and stole 14 idols made up of eight metals besides the jewellery adorning the deities. A case had been registered and manhunt had been launched by the police to nab the culprits.

Of all the places where relics of ancient Jain monuments can be found in the state, Pakbirra, a remote village in Purulia seems to be the place most sprinkled with them. Around 56 km from Purulia town and situated near the western border of Bankura, Pakbirra has an undulated landscape, surrounded by distant hills and folds. Crumbling shrines, decrepit sculptures and images strewn across the district, bear the testimony of a settlement that had disappeared over the years. These rare and intricately carved architectural relics speak volumes of the glorious past of Jain architecture that flourished here in the post-Goud era. According to recent studies, the relics date back to the ninth and tenth centuries AD. The variety and the elaborate sculptures suggest that the state might have been an important centre of Jain civilisation some thousand years ago. The 24th Tirthankara, Mahavira had come here to spread the words of Jainism in 6th century BC but scriptures found in the region showed that many residents of Bengal had already taken up Jainism.
The 23rd Tirthankara, Parashwanath had visited the region to propagate Jainism in the 8th century B.C. But, it was only after Mahavir’s visit that Jainism took a firm root in Bengal. Surveying these historical sites, Mr Beglar found that only five of the 21 temples still remained there. Now, over the years only three are still existing. These three have been reduced to an absolutely ruinous state. The directorate of archaeology of the state has taken steps to conserve them and accordingly carried out renovation there. At least 48 intricately done sculptures can still be found there. Some of them are crumbling down in places but most of of them are intact. A greenish chlorite stone, found in abundance in the region, is the main material used for these sculptures. Undoubtedly the most impressive of these sculptures is the colossal naked figure of a Jina. About 7.5 feet high, it is carved of polished black stone. The image with large closed eyes, long ears, closed lips, curly stresses flowing down the beard and shoulders have a overwhelming effect on the viewers.
Except the restoration of the dilapidated temples by the state archaeological department, nothing has been done to preserve the priceless sculptures properly. The Directorate of Archaeology, West Bengal thinks otherwise. He said the excavation project needs huge amount of funds and the department is as usual cash-strapped. The Jain community of the state has approached the Governors and the concerned minister several times for preservation of the heritage sites and has also proposed to build a museum at Pakbirra. Only a few of them have seemed to care about the proposal. Information Courtesy: Vidya Bhushan Maji, E-Mail: bhushan@civil.iisc.ernet.in

Though the Jain culture at one time was very rich in Himachal Pradesh region, it almost disappeared and there is hardly any trace of it owing to the overhelming popularity and publicity of Buddhist religion. A few relics still remain which go to show that Jainism had a strong and powerful presence here once upon a time. One such example is an ancient temple within the premises of the ruined fort at old Kangra. It has been established with certainity that the idol of Bhagwan Shri Rishabh Dev, the first Jain Tirthankar, installed in this temple belongs to Shri Neminath Bhagwan's period, e.g. the Mahabharat time. This fort is now under the control of State Archeology Department and it is strongly believed that it was originally built by king Srushmita,a staunch devotee of Rishabh Dev Ji, who had fought against Pandavas and lost the fort. There had been continuous upheavals of power since then and the fort was damaged and re-built by several rulers, including Mohammed Gazanavi and Moghul emperor Jahangir. Though the fort was repeatedly attacked and damaged, the temple and the idol therin remained intact all through. Jain saint, Punjab Kesari Shri Vallabh Surishwar Ji, while touring through this region, some 50 years ago, had located this abandoned and unattended temple in the wholly ruined fort built on a tall hillock. Since then regular worship is carried out and the place is visited by tourists, visitors and devotees. The idol is about 100 cm. in height and is made in sandstone. The Shwetambar Jain Committee of Kangra has recently built a new temple of Adinath Bhagwan with proper facilities for stay at the foothills of the fort. 
Source : Ahimsa Times October 2004  
 Jain women most literate
    - Hindustan times : September 9, 2004 
The RELIGION BASED data of census -2001 has revealed that Jains have the highest female literacy rate (90.6 per cent) while Christians- known for running thousands of educational institutions - have a female literacy rate of 76.2 per cent. The Sikhs' rate is 63.1 per cent , the Buddhists' 61.7 per cent. The national average is 53.7 per cent. Jains also have the highest overall literacy rate (94.1 per cent) followed by Christians (80.3), Buddhists (72.7) and Sikhs (69.4).         




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