14 Jain rock beds found atop hill near Vellore
CHENNAI, July 22, 2014: Fourteen Jain rock beds dating back to the 5th century AD have been excavated inside three
caverns on top of a hill in Vellore district.
The beds were found on the Bhairavamalai in Latheri on the Vellore-Gudiyattam road when Jeeva Kumar, a Jain priest, was
on a study tour in search of abandoned and neglected Jain sites in Tamil Nadu. "It was difficult to climb the hill because the
rock steps to the caverns were almost lost over the years. Recently, the locals have built a temple near the caverns. They have also
built a flight of 1300 steps for the new temple. Unfortunately, there is no passage to these caverns that house the ancient rock
beds," says S Jeeva Kumar, who has excavated a number of Jain sites in various parts of Tamil Nadu.
The hill is situated in a small village called Kukkara Palli and scholars say the word 'palli' has a strong
association with Jainism. "The hill must have been a centre of Jainism in the 5th and 6th century. The ascetics used to
call their education centre as 'palli'. As the name shows, the village has strong connections with Jainism," says K Ajithadoss, a Jain scholar.
Out of the two small caverns, one houses four rock beds while the other has only one rock bed. The big cavern, however,
houses nine beds. A natural spring is found very near the two small caverns.
Even though there are a number of Jain sites excavated by heritage enthusiasts and scholars in the state, they
are not being taken seriously either by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) or the state-owned department of archaeology. Source: The Times of India
Palitana gets first long-distance train in Railway Budget 2014
RAJKOT, July 15, 2014: Jain community members wanting to go to Palitana from Mumbai
have something to cheer in the Railway Budget. Railways minister Sadanand Gowda has announced Mumbai-Palitana weekly
express train in the Budget for 2014-15 on Tuesday. The demand for a direct train to Palitana from Mumbai had been hanging fire since a long time.
Presently, there is just one train running between Bhavnagar and Palitana. This is the first long distance train to the temple town.
Every year, Palitana receives around 10 lakh tourists, mostly from Jain community, and large numbers from Mumbai.
Besides connecting with Palitana, Saurashtra region has got two more express trains, Rajkot-Rewa
Express via Jabalpur and Hapa-Bilaspur Express via Nagpur. All the three express trains will run once a week.
A senior railway official from Rajkot division said they had run special weekly trains of Rajkot-Raipur and Hapa-Bilaspur as holiday specials
last year. "The response to the holiday special trains was overwhelming," he said. Source: The Times of India
Restoration of Jain temples in Lahore and Gujranwala
LAHORE, May 24, 2014: The Lahore High Court issued notices to respondent functionaries of the
federal and provincial governments to submit replies on a petition for restoration of Jain temples in Lahore and Gujranwala and issuance of
postage stamps to honour Bhagat Singh.
Justice Mansoor Ali Shah of the LHC also directed the Punjab chief
secretary to hear petitioner Barrister Jawaid Iqbal Jafree’s contentions on May 26 on these issues and issue a speaking order within one month.
The court adjourned the hearing until June 26. Jafree named Punjab chief secretary, federal cabinet secretary, ministry of religion affairs
secretary and Pakistan Post director general respondents in his petition.
He said the Supreme Court of Pakistan had repeatedly observed that religious minorities’ rights could not be violated. He said Islam gave
the world concepts of due process of law and equal protection of law for one and all without discrimination.
He said in Gujranwala butchers had opened shops in a Jain temple, which
was part of the architectural and cultural heritage of Pakistan, besides being the worship place of a religious minority. He said this heritage
was being dismantled, distorted and maligned . The lawyer said that he had sent thousands of complaints to various authorities in this respect
since 1985 but no action had been taken.
He said that Jains were peace-loving, non-violent and hardworking
people. The petitioner said the Jain temple in Old Anarkali had been grossly violated and politically sponsored land mafia had opened shops
there. Jain temples in other parts of Pakistan were also being desecrated and violated, the lawyer stated. Churches, pagodas, and other
places of worships for non-Muslims had been encroached upon and desecrated which was shameful and a violation of constitutional guarantees, he added.
He requested the court to direct the respondents to protect the Jain temples and other places of worship and restore the Jain Mandir in
Anarkali. He also requested the court to order that encroachers are expelled from the Jain temple in Gujranwala.
He said Jains and Hindus should be allowed to visit their temples and perform their rituals. He also prayed that one Jain pandit should be
allowed to reside in every province to look after the temples. Published in The Express Tribune, May 23rd , 2014
New Jinalaya in Vashi to have 1,075 idols of the 24 Tirthankaras
NAVI MUMBAI, May 9, 2014: Thousands of devotees, belonging to Jain community from
different parts of the country, thronged at a Vashi ground in sector 10 to witness the foundation laying ceremony of Sahasrakut Jinalaya. The
ceremony, known as Pancha Kalyan Mahotsav, established a Jinalaya, which will house 1,075 metal idols in various sizes of the 24 Tirthankaras.
The consecration ceremony of the idols started on Thursday and the final
installation ceremony will be held on Monday. "We had to organize the five-day programme at Sainath Hindi High School ground to accommodate
thousands of outstation devotees. The idols will be transported to the main Digamber temple on the final day," said B K Jain, a trustee.
At the top of the temple, which is 27-ft-high, 1,000 miniature idols have already been placed. Apart from these 1,000, the high priests will
place 24 marble idols, each 2-ft-long, in the middle level of the temple. There are two five-feet-high idols that had been placed in the middle level years ago.
The Jain community is eagerly anticipating the establishment of these new idols in the temple, which is almost 17 years old.
Another 51 miniature idols, which are 3 inches tall, have been placed across the temple at various levels. Source: Times of India
Thieves strike Jain temple, decamp with precious idols
UJJAIN, April 27, 2014: Thieves targeted Jain temple at Laxminagar in Ujjain and
decamped with idols and valuables worth lakhs on Sunday night.
According to police sources, CCTV grab revealed that a motorbike and a
car were used to execute the crime. Two masked miscreants entered the temple pretending to be devotees and took away five ashtadhatu (eight
types of metal) idols and silverware.
Raising security concern, a number of people gathered on Monday morning,
and questioned poor police patrolling, particularly three days ahead of general elections in the region.
SP Anurag, who had to face the wrath of people, assured that culprits
would be nabbed soon. Lapses on part of the temple management has been exposed as no security men were deployed at the temple. Source: The Times of India
Thieves strike Jain temple again; idols, money stolen
INDORE, April 17, 2014: Jain temple located in Sangam Nagar area was targeted by thieves
for the third time in recent times on Thursday late night. Miscreants decamped with precious idols, five jewel crowns and money from donation
box total worth in lakhs. As per CCTV footage, four masked miscreants had remained inside the temple for two hours. Cops said that they were
all professional thieves as they wiped finger prints from doors and the places they touched.
Earlier, angry residents living in vicinity did not allow the police to enter temple premises when they came to know about burglary. However,
after senior officers of police reached on spot and sought cooperation, the police teams were allowed to do investigations. Forensic experts and
dog squad were called for taking finger prints and collect other evidences connecting to the burglary. Banganga police station staff are
studying the CCTV footages to get more clues in the incident.
Source: The Times of India
Tirthankara antique idol goes missing from Vellore
CHENNAI, April 6, 2014: Idol wing police have launched a hunt for a stone idol of Lord
Mahavira alias Vardhamana that went missing from Virinchi Puram near
Vellore. Police said the stone idol belonged to the period before 8th century AD.
Police said the antique idol was lying unguarded along the road near a
temple in Virinchi Puram and it went missing in 2008. Though an official of the Hindu religious and charitable endowment
(HR&CE) department lodged a formal complaint in 2008, the local police
didn't take the complaint seriously. But idol wing CID officials are
following up on the complaint now, after some nudging from by R Karthikeyan, HR&CE executive officer.
Idol wing CID officials believe that smugglers must have quietly removed
the artefact and shipped it abroad. "We are trying to trace the idol to
some museum in a foreign country. We are also suspecting the handiwork
of international idol smuggler Subhash Kapoor," an official said.
Idol wing officials said R Kannan, additional secretary for tourism,
culture and religions endowments, has discussed the Tirthankara stone
idol in his book. Kannan wrote 'Jain images in the districts of Tamil
Nadu' when he was the commissioner of Chennai museum in 2002. TNN
Maoists lock up Jain temple atop Parasnath
Giridih, March 30, 2014: A Maoists’ group has reportedly locked up a Jain temple atop Parasnath
hill, about 75 kilometres from Giridih in Jharkhand, and warned the
trustees of dire consequences if they continued hill cutting to expand the temple complex.
Maoists sealed Choprakund temple, which is the transit point for the
Jain pilgrims of Digambar sect. The group has posted red flags and banners in the complex.
The Parasnath hill is the place where Mahavira attained enlightenment and is considered very sacred by the community.
Giridih superintendent of police Kranti Kumar Gadidesi, said, “Yes, I am
well aware about the situation and the authorities concerned have
already been directed to act in accordance with the situation”.
“The Maoists have sealed the ‘Chaprakund temple’, basically used by the
Digambar sect of the Jain pilgrims as a transit point at the hill top.
They have also put up red banners and posters warning the trustees to
stop their anti -people or the anti -natural activities on the hill top.
The Maoists have also mentioned the name of one of the Jain trustees and
have written few poll boycott slogans”, a shrine board staff said on condition of anonymity.
Police and forest officials said that a legal battle was going in the
Supreme Court between the forest department and the Jain shrine board
regarding the Chaprakund temple, which is situated about 8 km from the foothills.
Since the area falls in the jurisdiction of the forest department, the
government is making efforts to acquire the land from the possession of the Jains. Source: Hindustan Times
Every problem has its solution: Seer Pragyasagar
Ujjain . March 24, 2014: There are many kinds of problems and every problem has its
solution within. Where there is poison there is elixir as well. Solution
to the life lies in struggle. The hand is a sign of blessings where it is also used for fear to slap at someone.
These views were expressed by Mahavir Tapo Bhumi founder Seer Pragyasagar during a religious meeting organised at Shantinath Digambar Jain temple
located at Lakshmi Nagar here on Thursday.
Walking to Shantinath Digambar Jain temple Lakshmi Nagar from Rishi Nagar Digambar Jain temple, Seer Pragyasagar was accorded welcome. A
portrait of Seer Pushpadant Sagar was also unveiled by Samajik Sansad president Ashok Jain and Shikhar Chandra Luhadia.