Jain Study Circular
Glimpses of the October 2004 Issue


Quotations from scriptures:

Selections from TATTVAARTH SUTRA

TATTVAARTH SUTRA is a brief treatise on TATTVAs - aspects of reality. In the process of discussing the aspects of reality, Acharya Umaswati presents the theory of karma and the path to salvation. In previous issues, rational perception and rational knowledge were explained. In this segment, discussion of soul - the first and basic aspect of reality is continued.

Quotations From Acharya Umaswati's TATTVAARTH SUTRA

The five senses help living beings grasp general features of an object. The external senses grasp the shape and color of an apple, its smell and feel. The function of the mind (thinking faculty) is to discern that it is an apple and not an orange. Thus the mind assists in the acquisition of sensory cognition (MATI JNAAN). Further, the mind helps in obtaining literal or scriptural knowledge (SHRUT JNAAN) as well. We read the scriptures and other books, listen to discourses, participate in discussions, and logically ponder over the concepts presented. This is the process of acquiring knowledge. Our minds play a pivotal role in these activities.

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From Religious Books:

In this article, the illustrious Acharya, based on his insightful study and perceptive observation, provides some important guidance to Jain individuals and society.

Institutionalized Religion

by Acharya Shri Mahaprajna

One who is perpetually involved in quarrels and fans the fire of strife can never be blessed by paying lip service to AHIMSA. Many a time I have asked people if they could assert on the basis of their personal experience whether AHIMSA and non-possessiveness are good. Everyone denies having had any such experience. One simply tries to justify one's beliefs by quoting the scriptures. It is these devils quoting the scriptures who have lowered the prestige of nonviolence and non-possessiveness, and have painted the face of religion black.

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Concept of nonviolence in Jainism goes far beyond 'do not hurt or kill' other living beings. It is a sophisticated interplay of mental and physical activities.

Some Special Features Of Nonviolence In Jainism

... the Jain concept of nonviolence is predicated on the freedom and equality of each individual soul. Further, an individual adopts the virtue of nonviolence, as any other aspect of rational conduct, after inculcating rational perception and rational knowledge. A person embraces a firm belief in the aspects of reality, nature of his/her mundane existence - that material world is fraught with ultimate misery and that true happiness entails contentment and equanimity. One realizes from one's experience that passions such as anger, hatred and jealousy hurt the feelings of the individual self and thus they constitute self-directed violence. Therefore, violence directed toward others usurps the peace of mind of the individual who commits violence. The virtue of nonviolence is motivated by such reasoned knowledge and experience. This is rationalism - rational perception, rational knowledge and rational conduct in practice.

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Religion & Society:

Sometimes we Jains overlook the message of tolerance implied in the Jain concept of multiplicity of viewpoints, accept literal interpretation of scriptures and claim that 'my faith is superior to your faith'. Such tendencies have led to considerable grief in society.

Religion And The Scourge Of Fundamentalism

Fundamentalists are not friends of democracy. And that includes your fundamentalists in the United States. ... Every fundamentalist movement I've studied in Judaism, Christianity and Islam is convinced at some gut, visceral level that secular liberal society wants to wipe out religion.

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Mahatma Gandhi's Observation About Religious Zeal

I heard of a well-known Hindu having been converted to Christianity. It was the talk of the town, that when he was baptized he had to eat beef and drink liquor; that he also had to change his clothes, and that henceforth he began to go about in European costume including a hat. These things got on my nerves.

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From the Past Issues of the Jain Study Circular:

In the first issue of the Jain Study Circular, it was stated that "Our religious practices have to conform to the modern scientific age. ... The study circular will contain articles bringing out the true spirit of Jainism, free from myths and legends. It will also present ideas about rational practice of the Jain religion." It is up to the readers to assess the successes and failures of the vision of the Jain Study Circle. It is hoped that our readers will appreciate the following items from some past issues of the Circular:

The Spirit Of Jain Religion

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A Few Suggestions For The Practice Of Nonviolence

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To The Sons Of India

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Wisdom Of A Former President & Utilization Of World Resources

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Observations & Views:

As usual, some thought-provoking concepts have been presented in 'Observations & Views'. Please enjoy the following items:

Relativism And Multiplicity Of Viewpoints: An Expressive Illustration

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Ten Commandments And Jainism

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From the Jain Study Circle:

Quarterly Meeting Of The Jain Study Circle

Jain Study Circle holds quarterly meetings in the New York Metropolitan Area. Those who wish to attend the meeting 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 at jainstudycircular@earthlink.net

- Board of Directors

Report of Annual Meeting Held on May 16, 2004

The annual meeting of Jain Study Circle was held at Dr. Rashmi & Jaipat Singh Jain's residence in Cliffside Park, New Jersey on May 16, 2004. After Mr. Vinay Vakani's opening remarks, the account for the period from January 1, 2003 to December 31, 2003, and the annual report were presented by Alpa Sanghvi and Tamanna Nahar. The account accepted at the meeting is presented on the following page.

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

The Financial Statement for the year 2003, 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 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 members present at the meeting expressed their sincere gratitude to the individuals who participate in editing and proofing the Jain Study Circular. They are: Mr. Vinay K. Vakani, Mrs. Sunita Jain, Dr. Ahamindra Jain, Mrs. Richa Jain, and, Rashmi and Ranita, daughters of Dr. Suresh D. & Mrs. Manikanta Jain of Wise VA.

At the end of the business meeting all members who were present enjoyed a discussion on 'Rational Perception (SAMYAK DARSHAN)'.

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 May 16, 2004


Voluntary Contributions & Subscriptions to Jain Study Circular



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Balance Sheet

Balance on January 1



Balance on December 31



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Complimentary Copies Of Studies In Jainism:

Primer, Reader 1 and Reader 2

The Jain Study Circle is offering complimentary copies of the series 'Studies In Jainism' to all individuals and institutions.

The charges for postage and handling are:

Set of Studies In Jainism: Primer, Reader 1 and Reader 2

US $5.00 per set

Studies In Jainism: Primer

US $2.00 per copy

Studies In Jainism:Reader 1

US $2.00 per copy

Studies In Jainism: Reader 2

US $2.00 per copy

The offer is valid till supplies last.

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Please make a check payable to Jain Study Circle for the postage and handling charges and mail it with your complete address to:

Jain Study Circle, 99-11 60 Avenue, Apt. 3 D, Flushing NY 11368

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