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Jainism »

Jain religion based on Bhagwan Mahavir's philosophy of Non-Violence, Peace and Harmony is more contemporary for humanity when people are faced with many problems like violence, global warming, income inequality etc. Bhagwan Mahavir's principles are recognised by science also. Following the lifestyle shown by him we can build healthy, prosperous and happy society. Peace is necessary for development. Parallel development of all sections of the society can solve many social problems. Acharya Lokesh explained that deprivation and excessive availability both are harmful. Adapting Bhagwan Mahavir teachings can solve many contemporary social problems like Degradation of Environmental and Natural Resources, Violence, War and Terrorism, Religious intolerance and Economic exploitation.

Bhagwan Mahavir show the path of attaining Bliss as the trio of jewels namely 'Right faith-knowledge-conduct'; during his own life, He used ahimsa and self effort to resolve burning problems like women slavery, giving equal status to women to get education and practice religion; bring social equality by opening his creed to all regardless of caste, creed or race by saying that all living beings are equal and have the potential of attaining the highest state of Bliss; improve yourself first before asking others to improve; eliminate animal sacrifice for religious purposes by propagating the doctrine of self effort (shram) and karma; Categorising the living beings in six to address the so called ecological problems of today and resolve economic inequalities by giving the doctrine of aparigraha or removing the feeling of possessiveness replacing it by trusteeship/ charity and leading a simple life. Mahatma Gandhi used all these principles in his life to free India from the British and address burning issues of untouchability, self reliance, poverty etc.

His teachings are as relevant now to address today's global problems like rampant erosion of our environment and natural resources due to aggressive consumption based development, violence in the form of terrorism and wars; religious fanaticism, political ideologies, exploitation and corruption all around. In all corners of the world we hear a common response of people visualizing a new man, a new society and a new world. Efforts are also afoot to realize the above vision. Will the efforts succeed based on the permanent as a new order cannot be affected without a radical change in the mind set? It is that a change of mindset as propagated by Lord Mahavira is essential to usher in a new order. Let us take a few pressing issues to see how Lord Mahavira's doctrine can help us find a lasting solution and sustainable development of prosperity and happiness simultaneously.

Global warming & depleting natural resources: The underlying causes for these disabling developments are: 1. our lack of concern about air /water/ mineral resources and plantation; our greed; rapid consumerism, extravagant lifestyle and convenience. Mahavira's doctrine of Shatjivanikay i.e. living beings of six types of body formation i.e. mobile (2 to 5 senses and can move on their own) and one sensed living begins of five types namely water bodied, earth bodied, air bodied, fire bodied and plant bodied living beings is a masterly concept along with the practice of ahimsa towards all these living beings (and not just human beings). Mahavira always emphasized compassion, equanimity, forgiveness, and love towards all living beings. He further exonerated us to exercise utmost care in consuming natural resources or polluting our environment as doing so will kill the living beings with air water wire and plant bodies. Indeed for our survival we need to use these and hence Mahavira talks of minimisation of the use of such resources by adopting the attitudes of carefulness (samiti) and self restraint (sanyam) and the fifth vow called parigraha parimana or limiting possession of durable and non-durable material wealth. He said 'So on earth, be like, śramaņa, liberated recluse, seeks food pure, with caution due, offered wilfully by a devotee donor'shows us the path to be careful in consumption. Even Mahatma Gandhi said 'The earth has enough to satisfy the needs of all living being but not enough even to satisfy the greed of one human being.'

Economic disparities: Mahavira said 'Both non-availability (Abhav) and excess of availability (Atibhav) are dangerous'. We see the impact of growing financial powers of a few individuals /countries and using the same to deprive & exploit poor masses or even countries of even the bare essential needs of life. Such situations result in growing intolerance and terrorism by have-nots against the rich or the leadership. He therefore talked of eliminating feeling of possessiveness (murchha) or ownership and replacing by trusteeship of wealth. He always asked his followers to put strenuous efforts (sadhana) in earning spiritual or worldly beneficiation but share the attainments with others to improve their lot. He practised these by renouncing his wealth completely and practised the life of a recluse to perform strenuous exertions (sadhana on the self) to bring social changes, attaining the true and complete knowledge of the soul share his achievements by showing the path to his followers to do the same and ultimately attain liberation (nirvana).

Discrimination due to caste/race/colour or religion: The world has seen and continues to see the devastating effects of ethnic cleaning in Europe, our own country's partitions in 1947, Israel-Arab conflict, apartheid, untouchables and so on. Mahavira aptly said 'No hine, no aeritte; umuvvo banbhano hoi, ummuno hoi khattie' i.e. no one is neither downtrodden nor blessed by birth i.e. man is known not by his birth but by his actions'. It is our ego or feeling of superiority or arrogance which is contrary to the nature of soul's true nature of peace and bliss which not only hurts the individual by developing feelings of insecurity and health problems but causes his discriminating the others.

Realizing that the differences in individuals capabilities and needs exist; Mahavira organized his congregation in four folds so that everyone can practice the path of self purification according to his/her needs /capabilities. He further talked of practising social ahimsa comprising compassion, equanimity, forgiveness, love, tolerance etc to encourage His followers focus on their own betterment by letting others also achieve the same. For developing an attitude /thoughts, He gave the doctrine of Anekantavada or multiplicity of viewpoints which says that opposites co-exist; like good and bad or white and black or rich and poor; our knowledge is relative to our own perception; so try to reconcile these differences (diversities) through dialogue and practice of social ahimsa. The attitude YOU or ME has to be replaced by YOU and ME.

Sustainable development As we have seen earlier, Mahavira's doctrine talks of multifaceted development and not just to maximize one aspect only. For example He says that focussing on any one aspect like financial or spiritual or physical or social or political etc will bring unsustainable of imbalanced development. If individuals are encouraged to plan and act to achieve this multi faceted development, then they feel encouraged to exert more and excel as per their inclination and capability and contribute to total development. To support his statement he said 'The nature of all living beings is to be happy. Every one wishes to eliminate pain so that he/she can be happy forever'. Thus Jains will support an index of development based on Gross National Happiness 'GNH' rather than just GNP or GDP to measure the level of development of a society. The concept of Gross National Happiness 'GNH' as the measure to evaluate the development of any country or community rests on the four pillars i.e. sustainable development, preservation and promotion of cultural values, conservation of the natural environment, and establishment of good governance. To work towards this goal, it is essential that peace and harmony prevail in the society and the world implying a time when there is no fighting, no rudeness, no cruelty but only calmness, the total absence of hostility, or the existence of healthy or newly-healed interpersonal relations, acknowledgment of equality and fairness in political relationships and, in world matters and promoting social or economic welfare. Here Mahavira though his own life style showed that the leadership has to practice these doctrines first and be seen that they preach what they themselves practice.
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Global Consciousness Event
National Event
Upcoming Event
  • World Confluence of Humanity, Power and Spirituality' conference by SREI at Kolkata on December 22, 2017
  • Acharya Dr. Lokesh Muni has been honoured with ‘Ambassador of Peace’ award at House of Commons in London.
  • Inter Faith Conference organised in Atlantic City on June 24, 2017
  • 'Acharya Dr. Lokesh Muni honoured with ‘Bharat Gaurav Award’ at United Nations Headquarters in June 2017.
  • JAINA Convention 2017 organised on the theme ‘Jainism and Science’ at New Jersey, USA.
  • International Yoga Day function organised in USA in June 2017.
  • Acharya Lokesh addressed the Advisory Forum meeting of KAICIID in Vienna
  • Joint Declaration of Religious Leaders against Modern Slavery
  • Indo- Vietnam Round table Medical Conference.
  • International Yoga Day Inauguration at United Nations Headquarters New York, USA.
  • World Peace, Harmony and Sustainability conferences organized in many countries.

 

  • 'Ahimsa Diwas' to celebrate 13th Foundation Day of Ahimsa Vishwa Bharti on 12th November 2017 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.
  • 'Vishwa Maitri Diwas and Tapasvi Bahuman Samaroh' organised at Gujarat Rajbhawan on August 30, 2017.
  • 'Unity in Diversity- Indian Heritage' Interfaith seminar in the auspicious presence of H.H. Dalai Lama on the eve of Independence Day in Mumbai on August 13. 2017.
  • 'World Peace and Harmony through Interfaith Dialogue' in the auspicious presence of H.H. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar at Birla Matushree Sabhagar, Mumbai on April 28, 2017.
  • National Seminar 'Development through Peace and Harmony' was inaugurated to celebrate Bhagwan Mahavir 2616th Jayanti, Acharya Dr. Lokesh Muni's 57th Birthday and 12th Foundation day of Ahimsa Vishwa Bharti on 8 April 2017 at Constitution Club of India, New Delhi.
  • Acharya Lokesh honored with Prestigious Bodh Religion Mahakaruna Award 2017.
  • Ambassador of World Peace Jain Acharya Dr. Lokesh Muni was honored with 'Great Achiever Award' for his remarkable contribution in the field of establishing World Peace and Harmony, Promoting Human Values, Inter Religion Harmony at Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhya birth centenary celebrations

  • The Mumbai Fest- The World Peace Charter at Mumbai, India, 26,27,28 January 2018.
  • Interfaith Conference Nakoda Rajasthan, India, 2,3 February 2018.
  • Diksha Mahotsava, Mumbai, India, 4 February 2018.
  • Suryadutta National Awards, Pune, India, 7 February 2018.
  • 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbkam' 'World is One Family' at Ahmadabad on 18th February 2018.
  • KAICIID, Advisory Board Meeting, Vienna, Austria 26,27,28 February 2018.
  • Peace and Harmony Tour to Europe, 1-7 March 2018.