Samanijis’ Participation in Parliament of World Religions 2015

Posted: 31.10.2015

Samani Parimal Pragya and Samani Maryada Pragya from Jain Vishva Bharati Houston and Samani Shukla Pragya and Samani Rohit Pragya from Miami participated in the sixth Parliament of the World’s Religions (PWR), organised from October 15 - 19, 2015 at Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. This grand event was attended by about 10, 000 people of 80 nations and 50 faiths. Imam Malik Mujahid, Chair of the Parliament Board of Trustees expressed his warm welcome to all representatives of Jain faith. Samanijis with T.K Jain and Sanchay Jain came from India, also extended their greetings to him. The Inauguration was held on 15th October where the people from various faiths entered the large hall with procession. The chair of PWR, Imam Malik Mujahid welcomed all the guests and wished for a successful programme. This evening was graced by Governor and Mayor of Salt Lake City and by many prominent male and female scholars and speakers.

One of the trustees of PWR, Mr. Kirit Daftary represented a leading role for Jain faith in this splendid event. As a symbol of Jainism, one small Jain temple was fabricated in the middle of the registration hall which became the centre of attraction for the audience passing through. On 15th October, the inauguration of temple was done by various Jain and non-Jain religious leaders came from India and other countries. Inauguration was started with the vibrant chanting of Namokar Mantra by Samanijis followed by different prayers of Jainism, Buddhism and Hinduism. During the event Samanijis led various sessions.

On 17th October Samani Shukla Pragya conducted a workshop on “Application of Non-violence for Existential Well being”. Sharing her views on the topic she made the audience aware about the significance of ahimsa in Jainism. She introduced Moral code of conduct (Anuvrat) and Training in Non-violence (Ahimsa Prashikshan), great contributions to whole humanity by Acharya Tulsi and Acharya Mahapragya. The workshop consisted of lucid explanation through power-point presentation, practical exercise, meditation and conversation with audience.

On 18th Samani Parimal Pragya presented a paper on “Saving the Planet: Jainism May Provide New Avenues of Thought”. She spoke on three core principles of Jainism - Ahimsa, Aparigraha and Anekant as the solution to maximum problems which the world is facing today. Connecting her views with the theme of parliament she said the creation of harmonious world is possible only through respecting the lives, respecting the thoughts of others and respecting the environment.

The same day Samani Maryada Pragya presented her paper on “Holistic Approach to Health and Well being through Tapa Yoga”. She spoke on the physical, mental and emotional health and to attain this holistic health she discussed the concept of Tapa. She threw light on how the external and internal austerities help to have health and well being. She also spoke on the concept of nirjara (shedding off karma) to get the spiritual health.

Samani Rohit Pragya, everyday led the session of Preksha Meditation in morning from 7:00 - 8:00 am. She introduced meaning and significance of Preksha, importance of sound and hand postures followed by the practice of Preksha Meditation. Every day she guided each technique viz. Relaxation, Internal Trip, Perception of Deep Breathing, and White Color meditation on Centre of Enlightenment. Participants liked it and shared their positive feedback. They showed interest to learn more about it. CD of Relaxation was distributed to participants.

Workshop, Paper Presentations and sessions of Meditation all were followed by Question - answers and received very well by audience. Participation in such event was a good opportunity to present Jainism to the mass. During their stay samanijis had meeting with various faith leaders, prominent speakers and representatives of many organizations.

Arvindbhai Shah and Bipinbhai Shah, members of Jain community of Salt Lake City privileged to host Samanijis at their residence. Chandraben and Prajnaben whole heartedly took care of samanijis during all the days of convention. On 19th October, Samaniji did discourse and discussion with Jain community of Salt Lake City. The whole event set a good platform for exposure and exploration.

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