An Ahimsa Crisis: You Decide ► Some Inspirational Examples, Stories And Case Histories ► Concern For Cruelty To The Horse

Posted: 28.08.2016

We have been conducting an International Summer School for Jain Academic Studies (ISSJS) since 2005. ISSJS is meant for full time faculty, graduate, and undergraduate students from any foreign university. The participants go to India during summer for four to eight weeks for experiential based study of Jainism.

In the very first session of the International School for Jain Studies, in 2005, a graduate student named Sarah Hadmack, from the University of Hawaii in Honolulu, attended this school. One week of the ISSJS was conducted at the campus of the Jain Vishwa Bharati University (JVB) in Ladnun, Rajasthan. The JVB campus is located on the outskirts of the City of Ladnun. One day in the evening, ISSJS organized a field trip to a very old and historical Jain temple, which was dug out of the ground several hundred years ago. This temple is located in the heart of the City of Ladnun. A mini bus took them to this temple.

While the group was at the temple, suddenly there was a heavy cloudburst which created lots of deep water everywhere and the city lost electricity too. Darkness fell all around.

Due to too much deep water on the road, it was not possible to bring them back to JVB campus by mini bus for fear of the bus stalling in deep water. Therefore, the ISSJS organizers arranged for a few horse drawn tongas (carriages) to bring the group home (to JVB campus).

Sarah Hadmack was in one of the carriages. For the carriage to move through this deep puddle of water, the driver of the carriage was constantly torturing the horse with a sharp nail forced into its skin; the driver was using pain to force the horse and carriage move forward. Sarah saw all this and realized the himsa to this poor creature. Immediately, she got down from the carriage, in deep water all around her, and refused to go further in that tonga. She walked all the way to JVB on foot, not caring how much she herself suffered. Even to many Jains present, this was an eye opening experience; they had become generally indifferent to such treatment to animals. Sarah wrote of this account in her daily blog to her mother. Bravo, Sarah. This is compassion. 

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Title: An Ahimsa Crisis You Decide
Author: Sulekh C. Jain
Edition: 2016, 1st edition
Publisher: Prakrit Bharati Academy, Jaipur, India