21.09.2015 ►IOJ ►Symposium on Jain Scholar, Shree Virchand Ragavji Gandhi’s Accomplishments

Published: 04.09.2015
Updated: 20.11.2015

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Institute Of Jainology


Ahmedabad  Tuesday, 25th August 2015

A symposium to highlight the life, personality and achievements of the torch bearer of Bharitya culture, Shree Virchand Raghavji Gandhi (VRG) was held at the Gujarat Vidyapith on this day to celebrate his  151st birth anniversary. The program commenced with prayers by Smt Falguniben Shah at 9.30am. Ahmedabad’s well known Jain philanthropist, Shree Shreyakbhai Sheth welcomed the invited dignitaries and the guests.

Shree Shreyakbhai Sheth Welcoming the Guests

University’s Vice Chancellor, Shree Anamik Shah highlighted the activities of VRG and Swami Vivekanad and how they raised the awareness of Bhartiya culture when they attended the World Parliament of Religion’s first meeting in Chicago in 1893. Shree Gunvantbhai Barvalia spoke of the VRG’s deep knowledge and understanding of the six Indic philosophies and in particular the Jain philosophy. He also explained the role played by VRG in helping to resolve the conflicts amongst the Jain sects in connection with the major Jain pilgrimage centres of Palitana and Shametshikar.

Dr Kumarpal Desai, the leading Jain scholar talked about the width and depth VRG’s scholarship on  Bharitya culture. Over 120 years ago, VRG had lectured on subjects as diverse as yoga, spirituality, intense concentration, vegetarianism, Vaisheshik, Buddhist and Jain philosophies and Indian history - subjects on which the western world at the time had absolutely no knowledge. VRG had prophesised in 1893 that India which was a colony at the time would seek and achieve independence through non violent (ahimsa) means. It would maintain cordial relations with all countries on the basis of Indian aphorism ‘વસુધૈવ  કુટુમ્બકમ’ - the whole world is but one family.  VRG’s lectures at the World Parliament had drawn a lot of interest and he had been invited to speak at several gatherings elsewhere when the Parliament ended. VRG had established three societies in the USA and two in England to help promote the Indic philosophies.

University’s Registrar, Shree Rajendra Khimani stated that VRG delivered twelve lectures in America on the subject of  concentration - demonstrating the subject’s popularity and VRG’s impressive delivery. Shree Khimani also reaffirmed his own experience that spinning provided the best medium for practicing concentration. Dr Priti Shah spoke about the conditions that arose through Jain community’s action of outcasting VRG for having travelled abroad. Dr Nalini Desai compared that to the grand impression created by VRG in the USA and accolades he was given.

Smt Chayaben Shah spoke about the opposition shown by VRG to the social traditions based on blind faith and ignorance. Smt Pritiben N Shah reiterated some VRG’s achievements whilst in the US. Shree Maheshbhai Gandhi gave an appreciation of the VRG’s selfless activities and his deep understanding of not only the Jain philosophy but of other Indic philosophies and the Indian History.

Shree Gaurav Sheth in his vote of thanks suggested that lectures and discussions on VRG’s accomplishments should be arranged throughout this celebratory year.

Sources
jainology.org
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  1. Ahimsa
  2. Ahmedabad
  3. Chicago
  4. Concentration
  5. Gujarat
  6. Institute Of Jainology
  7. Jain Philosophy
  8. Kumarpal Desai
  9. Palitana
  10. Swami
  11. VRG
  12. Vegetarianism
  13. Virchand Raghavji Gandhi
  14. Yoga
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