Glimpses of the July-September 2009 Issue

Quotations from scriptures:

Selections from TATTVAARTH SUTRA

Acharya Umasvati, in the seventh chapter of TATTVAARTH SUTRA, brings out that by following the basic human qualities of nonviolence, truth, non-stealing, chastity and non-possessiveness, an individual obtains auspicious karmas, which may eventually lead to the supreme state of existence.

Quotations From Acharya Umaswati's TATTVAARTH SUTRA

Rational perception leads a person to understand the nature of mundane existence of living beings. It brings out the truth that soul is distinct from other entities of the universe. We observe that material comforts and sensual pleasures are transient. We realize that desires are unbounded and ultimately lead to anxiety and gloom. Thus sensual desires are transgressions of rational perception.

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An article presenting Mahatma Gandhi's view of nonviolence

Non-violence - The Gandhian way

By Bharti Mazumdar

Gandhiji strongly believed that permanent good could never be the outcome of untruth and violence. Man has unsuccessfully tried to solve his problems and bring peace through violent methods. History is full of wars. One war sowing the seeds for another. Gandhiji wanted to reduce the desire for exploitation in the individual to the minimum level and bring out the goodness of human nature.

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A gem from a past issue:

In this article, Pandit Phool Chandra Jain Siddantacharya brings out the scriptural fact that feeling-producing karma does not lead to acquisition of money and material wealth.

About Feeling-producing Karma

By Pandit Phool Chandra Jain Siddhantacharya

Happiness and unhappiness do not always accompany the presence and absence of materials. Many people are seen to be happy or unhappy in spite of means of comfort and discomfort while others suffer from anxiety and dissatisfaction even when they have all the means of comfort and luxury. Thus it is evident that the feeling-producing karma is not responsible for providing desirable and undesirable materials.

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Gems from past issues:

The following series of four articles presents some interesting historical facts about the Jain system after Bhagwaan Mahaveer's NIRVAAN.

* Meeting of Minds (October 1989 issue):


By Chandrakant P. Shah, Omaha NE, Pravin K. Shah, Cary NC & Duli Chandra Jain

Dr. Nemi Chandra Shastri Jyotishacharya describes TEERTHANKARs in the following words: TEERTHANKARs are not traditionalists or orthodox. Their mode of thinking is progressive and revolutionary but tolerant. During their individual eras, they give a constructive orientation to the internal conflicts between religions. They worship (establish) nonviolence, equanimity, tolerance, etc., through their wholesome thought process. Through the liberal medium of relativism (SYAADAVAAD) or multiplicity of viewpoints (ANEKAANT), they not only make a concerted effort to establish harmony between different religious groups but also uproot blind faith and orthodox rituals.

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* Meeting of Minds (April 1990 issue):


By Chandrakant P. Shah, Omaha NE, Pravin K. Shah, Cary NC & Duli Chandra Jain

In modern times, especially in North America, we Jains are educated and professionals. Many of the Jain scriptures are available in English. If we can master medicine, engineering, business, etc., we can certainly understand our scriptures. Jainism does not have any concepts that do not conform to common sense. Thus the Jain scriptures are easily understood. The problem is of developing interest. We should spend some time in self-study (SWAADHYAAYA) of our scriptures. It is an essential part of the practice of Jainism.

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* Meeting of Minds (July 1991):


The Age of Acharyas: Part 1

Jainism: Interaction With Other Religious Systems

By Dr. Chandrakant P. Shah, Omaha NE

Jains worship the virtue of being beyond attachment and aversion (VEETARAAG). Thus the worship has the dual purpose of understanding the attributes of a pure soul and of purifying one's thoughts and feelings. The concept of pleasing God or demigods is nonexistent in Jainism. Further, Jain worship is not performed with the desires of material comforts. In this sense, Jain worship is not a ritual.

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* Meeting of Minds (October 1991):


The Age of Acharyas: Part 2

Jain Temples, Idols And Worship

By Dr. Chandrakant P. Shah, Omaha NE

The Jain community has to do some soul-searching. Instead of pointing fingers at others, we have to look at ourselves. We have to realize that whether we were born and brought up into Digambar tradition or Shwetambar tradition or Sthaanakavaasi tradition or Teraapanthi tradition, our doctrine is identical regardless of cosmetic differences in our beliefs and practices. Whether a monk wears clothes or remains nude is his preference. We will only pay respect to him for his conduct. Whether an image is bare or decorated, it is the image of a TEERTHANKAR and it is a symbol of non-attachment and non-aversion. It is this sacred thread that has bound the Jain community through the ages.

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A gem from July 1991 issue:

Generation gap causes considerable violence of feelings of youngsters as well as adults. How to bridge this painful gap!

How To Bridge The Gap Between The Elder And Younger Generation

By Late Shri Girdhar Lal Jain, Indore, M.P. India

… the generation gap is a consequence of the differences between the teachings of religion and the conduct of individuals.

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A gem from July 2003 issue:

Enjoy some views of the golden age of India!

Ashok - Emperor Or Monk

By Duli Chandra Jain and Sunita Jain, Flushing NY

Ashok … devoted all his time and energy for the moral, social and economic welfare of his people. He treated all his subjects as his children. He built hospitals for both men and animals. He had trees planted along roads and erected rest houses for travelers. He established a number of institutions for medical, philosophical and religious education. Some of these, including the one at Taxila, in Afghanistan, developed into universal centers for learning - universities.

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Observations & Views:

Our readers are expected to enjoy the thought-provoking concepts presented in the following items:

Conceits Of War

We should bear in mind that violence leads to further violence. Lasting peace cannot be attained through war. Remember, World War I was branded as 'the war to end all wars'. There will be less violence, bloodshed and misery for the common people if individuals and nations avoid conflicts resulting from selfishness, greed and ego. Avoiding war is a genuine sacrifice on the part of individuals and nations.

What Is Religion?

True religion, argues Radhakrishnan, remains open to experience and encourages an experimental attitude with regard to its experiential data. Hinduism more than any other religion exemplifies this scientific attitude. …

Evidently, the Jain religion, with its concepts of relativism and multiplicity of viewpoints, falls into this distinguished category.

Culture Of Consumerism: Gifts And Presents

These days the focus has shifted from spiritualism, purity of heart and simplicity to money and material. "One thing we know is that very large numbers of people feel we've become too materialistic," said a Boston College sociologist, Juliet B. Schor, author of "Born to Buy."

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Readers' Comments

Kalpana Lloyd-Jones (e-mail)

I am interested in the study of Jainism (as also other religions as I am doing an informal self study of World Religions). I liked what I read on your website. I think it is a very good way of keeping in touch with Jainism online. I wonder if I can be of any use in helping you. Also I would like to know who do I need to address questions to regarding some clarifications on Jain principles? I am born of both Jain parents but I am practically new to a serious study of the subject. I wish to study Jainism and I need guidance.

Thanks for keeping the website running and so well too.

DCJ: We greatly appreciate your interest in our activities. We are happy that you enjoy studying Jainism on our website.

Thanks a million. -DCJ

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