Ahimsa – the ultimate winner
Practicing Jainism in the 21st Century
J.A.I.N.A.’s biennial convention is a kind of homecoming for me in view of my close association with it right from its inception. The 11th biennial convention assumes added significance coinciding as it is with the 2600th Janma Kalyanak of Bhagavan Mahavir.
In less then a quarter of a century, JAINA has grown from an “idea” into an “Institution” and from the “Institution” into a “vibrant symbol” of the unified identity of Jain community and its increasingly global spread and impact.
For centuries, Jain Religion was confined within the shores of India. It is in the 20th century that some of its followers moved out and have settled far and wide in different continents. Here, in North America you have carved out a niche for yourselves with great success and élan in a highly competitive environment. It is to your credit and our pride that you are practicing and propagating Jainism in the ‘New World’ of the western sphere with fervor, dedication and missionary zeal.
The imaginative and dynamic manner with which all of you have inspired and integrated the younger generation to join you in your efforts deserves a loud applause and makes you deserve the epithet of “Jains Reborn”.
I salute you all as Mahavir’s Ambassadors flying sky high the flag of Jain Religion, which is in essence enlightened detachment, in the land of unbridled materialism and uncontrolled pursuit of multiplying wants.
Your faith in the compassionate, peace-inspiring and soul-uplifting teachings of Jainism has drawn many Americans also towards practicing Jain principles of Ahimsa, Anekant and Aparigraha in their day-to-day lives. Even non-Jains in USA and Europe once exposed to Jain philosophy have begun to grasp slowly and steadily that inner enlightenment is Key to true contentment.
Lord Mahavir preached –
“A man conquers millions of warriors in a terrible battle
Another man conquers himself“
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