Shravanabelagola, January 27, 2006: After critical look into the role of the sants and political leaders themselves in dividing people on religious lines and the responsibility of individual citizens in aiding communal harmony, the Sarvadharma Samanvaya Sammelana organized on the occasion of the Mahamastakabhisheka celebrations today concluded that non-violence and renunciation, the basic tenants of Jainism, held the key to maintaining peace and communal amity in the society.
Inaugurating the Sammelana, Former Principal Secretary (Karnataka) Mr.Chiranjeev Singh said the tensions between different religious groups and faiths were a reality and nobody could turn a blind eye to it. But, it is only those who do not understand that God is too big to fit into one religion that is creating these tensions.
Mr.Singh said all religious orders essentially enunciate ways of attaining salvation with only the paths and means through which it can be attained being spelt out differently in each religious order.
However, there are tensions between different religious orders when one tries to increase the number of followers. “This is outdated and has to be relegated to the past. The contemporary society it will only be counterproductive and against the interests of peace Now we can only live and think of ensuring how our society through our actions can be made a place to live and for this, one should take the best of all religions,” he added.
Pointing out that Dharma essentially means the values by which lead our lives, Mr.Singh life is both internal, deciding our mental and emotional state, and external, the way we behave and inter-act with another human being. “Religion, faith or dharma helps one fine the right balance in both aspects of life. In the modern world, Jainism with its tenants of non violence and renunciation can become the basis helping man secure the right balance, be it in right conduct, right belief or right knowledge, “he added.
Mr. Singh said the Sammelana, a confluence of all the religions and faiths on the occasion of Mahamastakabhisheka was very appropriate and added that two processes were happening simultaneously in the world.
On the one hand we are witnessing growing fundamentalism and on the other, increasing inter faith dialogues, with organizations such as United Nations and UNESCO involving in such activities through its programmes such as ‘Culture of faith’.
Revolutionary Jain Monk Tarun Sagar held the sants themselves responsible for dividing people on the lines of dharma. Questioning the moral right of different sants in dividing people on lines of caste and religion, he dared them to divide the sky and the air and if they could not, leave the people alone and not divide them on the lines of religion. “The sants instead of providing dharmic guidance and helping live in peace and harmony are doing just the opposite by dividing them on lines of different mutts, castes and divisions.
Similarly, if it was not for the selfish interests of some politicians partition would not have happened and people on both sides of the border would have been living happily,” he lashed out.
Sir Raghaveshwara Bharati Swamiji of Ramachandrapura Mutt, Theerthalli, who began by saluting the eternal truth that every religion is trying to teach, said he had come here earlier as a student and now donning the role of a guru, but Bahubali stood there the same without any change. “When I had come here as a student, I must confess that the thought ‘why is he naked?’ came to my mind. But, now I know the answer. In fact, we are unnatural and Bahubali is natural, for a man is born naked and he dies naked”, he said.
The Swamiji said Bahubali belongs to all faiths as the ideals he stands for are universal and beyond time. These ideals can help attain lasting peace and for the sake of peace and amity let us bring heaven down to earth and if violence is indeed inevitable in life, let us ensure that there is no violence owing to religion, he added.
Expressing happiness at heads of various religious orders coming together, he said all the religious orders are like different types of sweets in a sweetmeat shop but the taste essentially is the same. And the person who realizes this is always in harmony with himself and his surroundings.
The Swamiji said Jain monks lead one of the most rigorous lives in the world. They are in a state of mind where they are beyond pain. “They are like a coconut, with hard exterior and soft and loving inside. Jain munis have three eyes, the third being their mind’s eye which is active owing to the rigorous life they lead,” he added.
Shivasugnana Swamiji of Aremadanahalli Mahasamthana Mutt, Hassan, appealed to all not to waste their precious life fighting one another in the name of religion, caste or faith. “In the entire universe, there is life only on earth and man is the only one of his kind among all living beings. Your life is so very precious, value it and leave in peace,” he said.
The Swamiji said God is like a light that was covered by a pot called ignorance of mankind. Saints, who realized this truth and showed the way, showed the different ways through which they had realized God could be seen and known. Christ, Prophet Mohammed, Shankara and others did this. “Why then, this fight between religions even though all religions seek to take mankind toward realizing God through the right path? Jainism realized that God can be realized through different means, recognized it and gave the world the root mantra ‘Ahimsa Paramodharma’.
Further, he said Tyaga (Renunciation) of Jainism is great ideal and very relevant during the current times when materialism has overtaken man and he is moving away from dharma. Jain monks are role models for all in renouncing everything and turning the mind toward pursuit of the eternal truth.
Shivananda Shivayogi Rajendra Swamiji of Kodimutt, Arasikere, said though there was only one Jagat, there were many Jagatgurus. And then there is this race of superiority among one another. If one names himself as Noorkhan, denoting 100, the competing guy will name himself Noorondaiah, denoting 101 while the third will decide to end all
competition by naming himself Ananthakoti Narayana.
“This is the way different religious orders are competing instead imparting actual values. Dharma is one that protects the weak, those in trouble and those in need. Moving away from these, dharmic one-upmanship is what is being indulged in now. Faith is not blind, only minds are blind. Selfishness is deep rooted and unless that is not removed dharma cannot take roots. Consumptive lifestyle is also taking deep roots leading to erosion of values; hence there is a need for timely action. Life is all about being awake, sleeping and dreaming. All values are degenerating though there are more mutts, swamijis and temples today”, he said.
Shwethambar Sthanikvasi Vinayaji Maharaj said the Sammelan was very relevant during the current times when influences that are alien to the Indian civilization are spreading among the current generation. Religious leaders should come together in mind and not just on platforms, he added.
Basavaraj Swamiji of Chinmooladri Bruhanmutt, Chitradurga, said religious fundamentalism is the root cause for terrorism. For peace to reign supreme non-violence should permeate all actions of life including thought. Day or kindness is the root of dharma, he said.
Earlier in his opening remarks MC06 Hon. President Mr.Naresh Kumar Sethi said communal tensions are always the handiwork of a few, He termed the partition of the country a folly by some leaders, following which the two countries are not grappling with the reality of tension between the two reality of tension between the two countries. “In such a scenario, if we truly follow the principles of ahimsa, we can ease the atmosphere and all can live in peace. Secular tenants, truly, should actually mean a state without orthodoxy and conservative polity and not one that is described as ‘dharma nirpeksha’ in Hindi. Without the directions of dharma, no society can succeed,” he said.
Jagadguru Karmayogi Swasthishri Charukeerthi Bhattaraka Swamiji of Shravanabelagola graced the occasion. Swasthishri Charukeerthi Bhattaraka Swamiji of Moodabidri presided. MMC06 Working President A R Nirmal Kumar welcomed. Mr.Rushabhadas Shastri thanked. – Jain Heritage Centres News Service (JHCNS)