Jain Study Circular
Glimpses of the October 1999 Issue

Quotations from scriptures:

Discerning knowledge is extremely important. It helps us to react properly to the various situations we encounter in our daily lives. Bondage and fruition of karmas depend on our reactions &endash; thoughts and feelings. Consequently, our physical and mental well-being depends on how we react in different circumstances.


Discerning Knowledge

From Acharya Kundkund's SAMAYASAAR:

Through our senses and mental activity, we decipher
the true nature of the objects of knowledge;
we can not attain peace of mind &endash; equanimity,
without a clear understanding of the process.

Link to Complete Article

 

From Religious Books:

In the following article, Dr. S. Radhakrishnan presents a comprehensive and practical view of nonviolence in Indian culture. He observes, "Religions, however, have exalted nonviolence as the supreme virtue, and acquiesced in violence on account of human imperfection. The good is never found in a pure form in this imperfect world; for its pure manifestation we must enter a world that is beyond good and evil. If the ideal has not penetrated the world as fully as we would desire, it does not follow that the ideal is to be abandoned."


Nonviolence And War
by Dr. S. Radhakrishnan 

We profess different aims for our enemies, but adopt identical means. We believe that we can use cold-blooded hatred for developing love, total compulsion for attaining increased freedom. It is a competition in unscrupulousness and injustice; but all this will result in an insanity of the soul for which there is no cure. Thomas Aquinas says: "even for good ends we must pursue right paths, not wrong ones."

Link to Complete Article

Meditation

Here is an scholarly presentation of meditation which is rather different from what we are accustomed to hearing and which is supported by the Jain scriptures.


Meditation: An Important Aspect Of Rational Conduct
by Anop Vora

There appears to have developed a big divergence between the way Bhagwaan Mahaveer practiced religion and the traditional forms of Jain religious practices that sprung up afterwards. Many of our customs and traditions place considerable emphasis on rituals than on the true spirit of religion. Too many distractions surround us when we go to our temples. When we do introspection (PRATIKRAMAN), we tend to go through the entire exercise in a routine fashion without taking time to reflect.

Link to Complete Article

Teaching Jainism to the Young Generation

Practicing and teaching Jainism to youngsters involves a lot more than prayers, worship, fasting and introspection (PRATIKRAMAN). Teaching Jainism to youngsters entails application of the Jain principles in day-to-day living.
Individuals and institutions invent novel arguments to rationalize their designs, and thereby adopt improper means to attain their ulterior motives. They compromise the basic principles of religion in the process. Sometimes, individuals make certain decisions and then try to justify them on the basis of religion. At other times, they follow what others do without considering the pros and cons of their actions. These have an adverse effect on the Jain system. We Jains should make every effort to refrain from such practices. We should instill Jain concepts and values in our daily lives.


Is Jainism A Religion Of Convenience?
by Duli Chandra Jain

I am the youngest in the family and so I have needed your help and the help of mommy and Sejal to pick and choose things that are good and to avoid things are not good. Accordingly, I enjoy being a vegetarian. I trust you because your love is instinctive and unconditional. It is without any desire for return. I do appreciate other people and friends. They do help me shape my life but I understand that they do not have the same kind of selfless interest in my well-being as you have. This is my experience and I accept it as a reality of life.

Link to Complete Article

Meeting of Minds:

Jain scriptures have given adequate guidelines about our religious practies such as observing fasts. A fast should lead to spiritual awareness. It should also promote good health.
In view of these facts, should young children be encouraged to observe fasts?


Should Young Children Be Encouraged To Observe Fasts?
By Shri Rasik M. Shah & Duli Chandra Jain

A person should decide about fasting after taking into consideration his physical strength, stamina, faith, state of health, place and time. Children need to be motivated for the custom of fasting. Such motivation may result in adoption of partial vows (ANUVRAT), which are prescribed for householders.

Link to Complete Article

Excerpts From Past Issues:

Jainism in a nutshell:


An Introduction To Jain Religion
by Vinay K. Vakani

A pure soul acquires complete perception and knowledge (omniscience) and infinite spiritual bliss. Such a soul is VEETARAAG, meaning that it does not have any kind of attachment and it does not bestow any favors or frowns.

Link to Complete Article

Observations & Views:

A thought-provoking presentation of an ancient tradition, based on a feature shown on the TV Program 'Religion & Ethics':


Voices of Reason in Contemporary Society
Arranged Marriage: American Style

Dr. Steven Wolin said, "Despite the lack of romance and incidents of failure, everyone can learn from the ancient tradition of arranged marriages. The strengths of arranged marriages are that the spouses are carefully selected by the families in terms of similar values, similar social class, similar history, similar interests. Couples who have more similarities than differences do better."

Link to Complete Article

Observations & Views:


Selling of Religion

Sir George Birwood has given an intriguing description of a fund-raising practice [for charity] used by Jain and Vaishnav guilds in Gujarat.

Link to Complete Article

Observations & Views:


Index of Social Health

(Published in Spectrum Magazine)

Link to Complete Article

Readers' Comments:


Nayan & Nita Sheth, Little Rock AR

We have been receiving the Jain Study Circular for a few years and it has helped us learn about our religion. Every time it comes in mail, we just sit and read the whole issue at one sitting. The last few issues, especially October 1998 and the January 1999 issues, were really helpful to know and understand the physical and spiritual aspects of religion.

Dr. Ramesh Shah, Newark DE

I really enjoy the Jain Study Circular. I have learned a lot from this little publication.

Roxanne Lee Barker, Carmel CA

I just received the April-July issue and found it inspiring. May I ask a few questions? Being a Westerner, how does one go about applying a belief in Jainism to modern, everyday life? What are Jainism's observances and issues? . . . I am intrigued by the Jain studies and would like to incorporate them in my daily life as a belief system.

Dear Ms. Barker:

We Jains believe that religion is eternal. Its fundamental principles are beyond time and place. Thus the practice of religion in modern times and in the West are essentially the same as it was in ancient India. The practice of nonviolence, truth, non-stealing, purity of body and mind, and non-possessiveness bring genuine happiness and peace of mind in our lives.

The article 'Practice of Jainism in A Foreign Land', published in the July 1998 issue and the article 'Religion of Convenience' published in the present issue may be of interest to you. - D. C. J.

Dr. N. C. & Nayana Shah, Lattingtown NY

We especially liked the article entitled 'Charity: A Word To The Donors', published in the January 1999 issue of the Jain Study circular.

Dear Readers,

We greatly appreciate your interest in the Jain Study Circular.

- Directors of JSC

Announcements:


From the Jain Study Circle

Jain Study Circle holds quarterly meetings in the New York Metropolitan Area. Those who wish to attend the quarterly meetings and participate in the discussion of the principles of Jainism published in the Jain Study Circular should write to:

Jain Study Circle, 99-11 60 Avenue, #3D, Flushing NY 11368-4436

or call (201) 967-9344 or (718) 699-4653 or send us an e-mail.

The next quarterly meeting will be held on September 26, 1999.

Readers are requested to send their comments on the articles published in the Jain Study Circular. Also please send articles for publication in the Circular.

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Jain Study Circle, Inc.

Report of Annual Meeting Held on June 6, 1999

The annual meeting of Jain Study Circle was held at Mr. Anand K. & Mrs. Ratna Nahar's residence in Forest Hills Gardens, New York. After Mr. Vinay Vakani's and Dr. Jayantilal Shah's opening remarks, the annual report and the account for the period from January 1, 1998 to December 31, 1998 were presented. The account accepted at the meeting is presented below.

The detailed account was available at the meeting for the perusal of all members.

The Financial Statement for the year 1998, audited by Mr. Krishna K. Mehta, C.P.A., includes:

Jain Study Circle Inc. is a corporation formed in the City of New York on January 25, 1987. The corporation received the approval for the status of tax exempt organization from the Internal Revenue Service under section 501 (C) (3). This corporation has been organized exclusively for religious and educational purposes. All of the income has been derived by the unsolicited contributions received.

The nomination/election committee consisting of Mr. Krishna K. Mehta, Mr. Jaykumar Shah and Mr. Naresh Shah was charged with submitting nominations for four directors at the next annual meeting.

At the end of the business meeting all members who were present enjoyed a discussion on 'Should very young children do long term fasting', 'Stages of Spiritual Development (GUNASTHAAN)' from Studies In Jainism: Reader 2, and 'Grades Leading a Householder to Monkhood (PRATIMA)' from the April-July, 1999 issue of the Jain Study Circular.

The meeting was adjourned with a vote of thanks to the host family.

Jain Study Circle, Inc.
Accounts Accepted at the Annual Meeting
Held on June 6, 1999

Income
1998
1997

Voluntary Contributions & Subscriptions to Jain Study Circular

$5007.60

$31,077.47

Book Sale

$518.50

-

Interest

$512.06

$107.22

Total income

$6038.16

$31,184.69

Expenses
1998
1997

Printing

$7944.98

$16,071.20

Postage and mailing

$4606.83

$5,228.18

Office supplies

$250.81

$156.81

Total expenses

$12802.62

$21,456.19

Balance Sheet
1998
1997

Balance on January 1 , 1998

$17,740.87

$8,012.37

Balance on December 31, 1998

$10976.41

$17,740.87

Annual Surplus (Deficit)

($6764.46)

$9,728.50

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Readers are requested to send their comments on the articles published in the Jain Study Circular. Also please send articles for publication in the Circular.

We make every effort to answer our readers' letters, and mail books and back issues ordered by our readers as soon as possible. If you do not hear from us within a reasonable time, please send a reminder. We greatly appreciate your interest in the activities of the Jain Study Circular.

- Board of Directors

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