Kochi (Kerala), December 20, 2011: Every man is a god who can show you the way to righteousness and truth, says Acharya Vijay Abhay Sen Suri, the religious head of Jains in India.
Renowned as the sensible monk among Jain ascetics, Acharya Abhay Sen Suri believes that science should not be shunned at any point from the religion. “When you deeply analyse the doctrines of this religion, you can see scientific undertones everywhere. So why eschew science from religion?” asked Acharya.
He said that every religion should be simple and should cater to the needs of the people.
“It is a common sense that the doctrines of olden days will not suit this century. The essence of the religion will not reach people, if we stick to the old dogmas. We should not forget the fact that it is for the benefit of humanity that these rules were made,” he said.
When asked about the controversial custom of ‘Santara’, where Jains resort to fasting to death to attain salvation, Acharya Abhay Sen said: “It is the blatant denial of Acharya’s teaching. How can you take your own life, when the gamut of the religion is ‘Live and let live’. The custom is being misinterpreted which is very unfortunate.
Acharya opined that despite fasting to death, it should be done all through your life. “But, you should only fast as long as your mind is stable,” he said.
“The definition of a Jain is quite simple. Anybody can be a Jain – a Christian can be a Jain, a Hindu can be a Jain. If you follow the truths embodied in Jainism, you are a Jain. There is no need of conversion,” he said.
Acharya had undertaken many journeys and several of them by foot. When asked why he is not opting for other alternatives for travelling, he said: “Walking will always take you to the corners of every remotest village possible, which is very essential to feel the pulse of the place and the people. You hardly come into contact with people while you travel in any other modes of transportation.”
Acharya was staying so close to Jain sadhus and sadhvis that the desire to become a monk sprouted in him when he was just about? twelve years old.
When asked why Jain monks endure great hardships, he said: “We are enduring hardships to attain spiritual strength which we can use for the benefit of humanity.” – News Courtesy: IBN Live