HYDERABAD: The Jains in the city have embarked on unique “peace building” initiatives.
Nearly 5000 Jains will assemble at a place in Ranigunj and chant “Navkar Manthra” for 36 lakh times for world peace on July 16, under the aegis of Shri Vardhaman Sthanakvasi Jain Shravak Sangh Secunderabad
Navkar Manthra is to Jains what Gayatri Manthra is to Hindus – a highly revered and the most significant mantra in Jainism. This is the first prayer recited by the Jains while meditating. This japam will be undertaken under the guidance of Jain monk Shri Praveen Rishiji Upadhayaya.
The activity is coordinated by Sri Jain Seva Sangh. It is the apex body of about 3 lakh Jain community people of all sub-sects in twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad.
This Navkar Maha Manthra Jap will be held from 8.30am to 10.30am for two hours at T-19 Towers, beside Sundaram Honda, Ranigunj said Parasmal Dungarwal, president of Shri Vardhaman Sthankavasi Jain Shravak Sangh Secunderabad.
Similarly, Jain Samaj has also embarked on another initiative where 1008 Jains along with their monks will go on 8-day fasting from July 17 to July 24 in Ranigunj. Along with them 18 leprosy patients belonging to different communities and religions will also go on the fasting. They will commence their fasting in Chennai on July 17 and arrive in Hyderabad by flight on July 23 morning to join 1008 Jains for the concluding ceremony of the fasting.
During the fasting they will drink only hot water that too till sunset. After sunset, they don’t even take water. Lalalitayi Jaangda of Chennai is coordinating this activity. She has been training 800 leprosy patients who became vegetarian.
Fasting is very common among Jains and is a part of festivals. Most Jains fast at special times, during festivals and on holy days. Paryushan is the most prominent festival, lasting eight days in Svetambara Jain tradition and ten days in Digambar Jain tradition during the monsoon. The monsoon is a time of fasting, said Sampatraj Kothari, chairman, Shri Vardhaman Sthanakvasi Jain Shravak Sangh Secunderabad.
“I prefer peace on earth than pieces of earth. Let us all give peace a chance. I urge a people to take a step for peace,” he said. “I appeal to people to be part of the peace building. Our objective behind these initiatives is to sensitize people to a culture of peace,” said Praveen Rishiji Upadhyaya. “Through these initiatives, we want to build a sustainable movement for a culture of peace for generations to come,” added Ashok Bohra, working president of Shri Vardhaman Sthanakvasi Jain Shravak Sangh Secunderabad.
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