Address at the inauguration of National Symposium on Jain Philosophy and Science in Context of Bhagavati Sutra
Address by Shri CH. Vidyasagar Rao, Governor of Maharashtra at the inauguration of National Symposium on Jain Philosophy and Science in Context of Bhagavati Sutra organized by Bhagwan Mahaviar International Research Centre, Jain Vishva Bharati Institute (Deemed University) Rajasthan at Yogi Hall, Dadar (E), Mumbai at 0900 hrs on Sunday 8 May 2016
Justice K K Tated, Hon’ble Judge, Bombay High Court, Prof. Muni Mahendra Kumar Ji, Munishri Namra Muniji, Prof Samani Chaitanya Prajna, Samani Charitra Prajnya, eminent science leaders, Shri Ashok Kothari, IRS, Honorary Director, Members of the Managing Committee, Jain brothers and sisters, invitees, ladies and gentlemen,
Jai Jinendra ! Jai Gurudev !
I am happy to be present here this morning for the inauguration of the National Symposium on Jain Philosophy and Science in the context of Bhagavati Sutra.
I congratulate the Bhagwan Mahavira International Research Centre of the Jain Vishwa Bharati Institute (Deeemed University) Rajasthan and the entire Jain community for organizing this wonderful event and for inviting me to attend it.
I understand that the International Conference on Science and Jain Philosophy organised in the month of January in collaboration with IIT Bombay and the University of Mumbai was a grand success.
Today’s meeting is even more important as the organizers will be explaining to the people, the highlights of the Conference and the future scientific projects that are being undertaken, by the Bhagwan Mahavira International Research Centre, for the benefit of humanity.
The Bhagavati Sutra is one of the foremost, authentic and ancient Aagamas containing the scientific aspects of Jainism. I am happy that the 5th volume of Bhagavati Sutra, with first ever Hindi commentary, is being published today.
I appreciate the vision of the Spiritual leaders of the community, beginning with Acharya Tulsi, who undertook the project of editing the Jain Aagamas. The publication is a tribute to Acharya Tulsi, Acharya Maha Pragya and Acharya Maha Shraman and others.
I also convey my appreciation to Muni Mahendra Kumar Ji and others for organizing today’s meeting and thereby making the people stakeholders in the research work undertaken by the academic and research institutions.
I have no doubt in my mind that the outcome of the research project will reach thousands and thousands of people in a simple language and guide them to the path of enlightenment and liberation.
This is real democratization of knowledge and I welcome it wholeheartedly.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
India is an ancient civilization marked by rich culture, philosophy and spirituality. This land was steeped in spirituality and the pursuit of the Invisible reality from time immemorial.
Rishis, Sages, scholars, Yogis and spiritual leaders have made significant contributions over the ages towards India’s spiritual beliefs. They have provided valuable direction to the masses.
In our country’s glorious tradition of self-enlightenment, Bhagwan Mahavira who propounded the Jain Philosophy stands out as a towering personality. Through his divine preachingof Ahimsa (nonviolence), Anekant and Aparigraha (non-possession), he aimed at spiritual upliftment of the people.
Today we see violence in many countries of the world. Terrorism has created a great havoc in the world. Every day there are news of bombings, killings, kidnapping and exploitation coming from different countries of the world. It makes me wonder, how nice it would be if the teachings of Mahavira, reach those people and those countries.
Sisters and brothers,
Mahatma Gandhi was deeply influenced by Mahavira’s teachings and Jain Philosophy. He said, and I quote “No religion of the world has explained the principle of non-violence so deeply and systematically, with its applicability in life as in Jainism…….Bhagwan Mahaveer is sure to be respected as the greatest authority on non-violence” (unquote)
Mahatama Gandhi became the first person who brought the principles of Jainism for social and political movements. Jainism has thus played a crucial role in India’s freedom movement and also in shaping the world-view of the nation after Independence.
Inspired by Mahatma Gandhi, many leaders including Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and others actually brought the ideals of Jainism into political movements.
Dear brothers and sisters,
All of you are truly blessed people. You are inheritors of knowledge from a great tradition.
After Lord Mahavir left his mortal coil, several Jain Acharyas appeared on this planet and carried forward the rich spiritual legacy of Bhagwan Mahavira.
Acharya Bhikshu was one of those eminent Acharyas. He stood against the mis-interpretation of religious texts and doctrines.
Acharya Tulsi was a humanitarian, peace activist and the originator of the Anuvrat Movement.
A visionary Saint, Acharya Tulsi established several noble organizations including the Jain Vishwa Bharati Institute, the All India Terapanth Women Congregation and the All India Terapanth Youth Congregation which have thousands of members today. These organisations are working in the field of meditation, Jeevan Vigyan and Ahimsa Samavaya.
I have no hesitation to say that Acharya Maha Pragya was one of the brightest stars in the galaxy of Jain Acharyas.
Acharya Shri dedicated his entire life for spreading the knowledge and teachings of Mahavira in the simplest language. I was amazed by the vast scientific knowledge of Acharya Maha Pragya. He spent every single moment of his life for the welfare of humanity.
In his book ‘Tattva Bodh’, Acharya Maha Pragya called for the development of Adhyatmik – Vaigyanik Vyaktimatva to create a new world order. I have no doubt in my mind that India will be a Jagat Guru if every person in the country evolves as a Adhyatimik- Vaigyanik Vyaktimatva.
Ladies and gentlemen,
I am thoroughly impressed by the scientific approach taken by the Jain organisations for carrying out research in the Aagamas and other texts.
For India to become a world leader, it must inculcate in children, in students and in its youths the scientific temper and the spirit of enquiry.
I was reading an Article by Muni Mahendra Kumar Ji on the Bhagavati Sutra. He has mentioned that Sri Gautam and other disciples asked Mahavira some 36,000 questions !! To his credit, Mahavira replied to every question to the satisfaction of the disciples. We must encourage children to ask questions.
Secondly, I do feel that the knowledge contained in the Aagamas and other scriptures must reach the common people in an easy to understand language. Thought must be given to integrating spiritual education with traditional education to develop the personality of students.
Jainism is a religion of peace. Jainism is a religion of Ahimsa. Jainism is a religion of religious harmony.
The teachings of Jainism and the teachings of Acharyas hold great relevance for moral upliftment of individuals and transformation of nations alike.
I am happy that Acharya Maha Shraman, who is the supreme head of the ‘Terapanth’ has been carrying forward the legacy of the great Acharyas and has been performing the Ahimsa Yatra for the last few years.
Through his Ahimsa Yatra, he has been generating Sadbhavana, promoting moral values in society and appealing the youths for de-addiction. I do feel that the Ahimsa Yatra should become a national movement.
As Chancellor of 20 universities in Maharashtra, I will appeal to the Bhagawan Mahavira International Research Centre and the Jain Vishwa Bharati Institute to work closely with Universities and Colleges in Maharashtra.
Maharashtra is witnessing acute drought this year. I appeal to Terapanth Youth organizations and women’s organizations to work for environment protection and sustainable development. I will also call upon them to work for the eradication of dowry, prevention of extravagance and wastage of food and water.
I congratulate the organizers of today’s Symposium and wish them Godspeed in their noble work.
Jai Jinendra. Jai Gurudev. Jai Hind, Jai Maharashtra !!