JVBL - H.H. Acharya Mahapragya Honoured with IOJ Ahimsa Award 2008

Posted: 26.10.2008
Updated on: 30.07.2015

On 15 October 2008, the Institute of Jainology held its sixth annual Ahimsa (non-violence) Day at the House of Commons, sponsored by the Labour, Lib-dem and Conservative ‘Friends of India’ groups, is attended by MPs, Ministers, Lords, the Jain community and others and celebrated the central Jain tenet of ‘non-violence’ as a means to growth and prosperity.


Jaysukh Mehta, a Trustee of the Institute and the coordinator for the Ahimsa Day event announced Acharya Mahapragya ji as the recipient of the Institute of Jainology's Ahimsa 2008 Award. The Ahimsa Award for 2008 was given to Acharya Mahapragya, in recognition for his endeavours in line with the Jain principle of Compassion. He is widely accredited with the rediscovery of Jain meditation - Preksha Dhyana, promoting Jain lay vows widely and achieving harmony during the recent sectarian riots.

This award was accepted by Samani Prasanna Pragya, Samani Rohit Pragya and Sayerdevi Chorariya on behalf of Acharya Mahapragya from U.K.'s UNICEF Head Lord Puttanam.

The Programme started with the recitation of Navkar Mantra and verses of Agams reflecting the Principle Non-violence, in Prakrit & English language by Samanijis. President of Institute Shri Nemu Bhai Chanderia gave the introduction of IOJ Organisation.  On this occasion Lord David Puttnam, Labour Peer and President of UNICEF UK delivered the key note speech on ‘alleviating global poverty’. As President of UNICEF UK he said he had seen at first hand the poverty, hunger and lack of basic health and education provision for children in many countries. He argued passionately that our lack of action will see this becoming common place, and that tackling environmental issues and fighting poverty needs to be an urgent priority now for countries and industry.


Other speakers included Minister for London and Employment, the Rt Hon Tony McNulty MP, who spoke eloquently about ahimsa as being more than a non-violent or pacifist view. He gave examples from the life of Mahatma Gandhi to illustrate how conviction and non-violent action can achieve great outcomes. 


Samanijis and JVB people

Shri Jaysukh Mehta highlighted the life and work of Acharya Mahapragya. Shri Rashmibhai Jhaveri from India has presented his paper over “Jain clues to eradicate the poverty” and gave introduction of Preksha Meditation. Dr Rashmi Zaveri  drew up the picture of global poverty and   described how  ‘Economics of Lord Mahavir’  can help to solve many of our problems and bring peace in life.


Lord Puttanam

Mr. Ratilal Chandaria, Chairman of the Institute of Jainology, said: “This 6th Ahimsa Day has been an outstanding success. As Jains we are proud that our values and philosophy are respected by many Parliamentarians, who show as deep a conviction towards compassion to life as we do. We will certainly build on this in years to come.”


On this occasion, special message of H.H. Acharya Mahapragya was read by Shri Manak Choradia. In his message, defining the principles of Lord Mahavira, Acharya Mahapragya said that the development of ahimsa is not possible without ending the dividing line between violence and possession.  It is not possible for a social being to free him from possession but he can be free from the violence, which is unnecessary and resorted to deliberately. Similarly, he can be free from unnecessary possession and from the possession used for fulfilling his craving and longing. He who limits violence and possession can rid society from the problem of violence and solve the problem of economics too.  The world is passing through the crisis of economic recession today. It is the result of man’s ignorance about the principle of restraint or limitation. H.H Acharya Mahapragya said that those who celebrate ‘Ahimsa Day’ must also celebrate ‘Non-possession Day’- Aparigraha day.  Those who are organizing the celebration of Ahimsa must also organize the celebration of non-possession.


Manik Choraria

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