Dalai Lama Blesses JERF Donation to FIU

Posted: 10.11.2010
Updated on: 24.11.2010

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Jain Education and Research Foundation


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Jain Education and Research Foundation (JERF), a newly organized US based non-profit organization in Miami, FL, is already hard at work at the Florida International University (FIU) of Miami. An elegant ceremony was organized on October 25th in Miami Beach in honor of HH Dalai Lama. Dr. Dipak Jain, ex-Dean, Kellog School of Management and Chairman of JERF, the Board of Directors of JERF and many leaders of Jain Society including Samani Charitra Prajna, Samani Chaitanya Pragya, Mr Bharat Desai, Ms. Neerja Sethi and Mr. Rajiv Jain were present on the occasion. They presented a check to HH Dalai Lama as the second installment of a multi-million dollar plan with FIU toward Bhagawan Mahavir Professorship for Jain studies. This historic professorship was started with the blessings of His Holiness Acharya Shree Mahapragya and HH Dalai Lama [in April 2010 on the great occasion of Bhagawan Mahavir Jayanti. It is the first ever Jain Professorship outside India -- a new step towards spreading the teachings of Jain Philosophy like non-violence, pluralism, tolerance and non-attachment to the western world.

 

Jain studies were started for the first time in 2006 under an exchange program by Jain Vishva Bharati University (JVB) in collaboration with FlU. The program started with the four students. With the hard work and vision of Samanijis teaching, the endless enthusiasm of local Jain leaders and tireless efforts of the Jain community of Miami paid off the program has mushroomed to a variety of different courses on Jainism in regular academic track and this semester it enrolled more than 100 enthusiastic students.

Addressing the exclusive gathering, HH Dalai Lama called Jainism and Buddhism "twin brothers" from India. In his meeting with Samanijis, the BOD of JERF and other Jain leaders, he fondly recalled his meetings with Acharya Shree Tulsi and congratulated the Jain community for its vision and effort. He also invited Samaniji and Dr. Dipak Jain to the dais. Dr. Jain spoke eloquently about the Jain studies and research efforts by JERF.

Following the ceremony, a delicious lunch and beautiful cultural program was hosted by Princess Thi Nga of Vietnam. In his address, Prof. Nathan Katz, the first Bhagawan Mahavir Professor and Chair of the Religious Studies department as well as Dean Ken Furton of FIU appreciated Jain studies at FIU and inspired people of other communities to learn from the Jain community. During a public address on the second day of the program at a well known synagogue, HH Dalai Lama mentioned Jainism many times along with non-possession, non-violence and self-discipline practiced by the Jain monks. There was much curiosity about Jainism from present media and other attendees at both functions. The visit by HH Dalai Lama provided a great exposure to the percepts of Jainism to the western world and highlighted the role that teachings of Jainism can accord in resolving the problems of modern day world.

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Jain Community Recognition Ceremony

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HH Dalai Lama blesses donation to FIU

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HH Dalai Lama and Platform Party on 26th Oct. at Jewish Synagogue

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Reception of HH Dalai Lama by
Samanis, Directors of JERF and Bharat-Niraja Desai on 25th Oct.



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