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Jains gather to observe fast for world Peace

    Chennai (Tamil Nadu), July 20, 2012: “I was addicted to tobacco and suffer from hypertension, diabetes and swollen kidneys. Despite this I am observing the fast as faith in my guru has motivated me to do the impossible,” says 54-year-old Kishan Lal Ranka of Pudupet. He was among the 10 people who began a 30-day or 720-hour fast for world peace at the YMCA grounds in Royapettah on Friday, on the eve of the 113th birth anniversary of ‘Rashtra Sant’ Anand Rishi, a Jain saint.

    Nearly 7,000 Jain devotees, mainly from Ahmednagar, Pune, Bangalore and Chennai, thronged the YMCA ground on the occasion which was also the last day of an eight-day (athai) fast undertaken by 600 people. For 20-year-old Suraj Solanki, a student of Vivekananda College, who ended his eight-day fast, said, “My faith and devotion gave me the will power.”

    People listened in rapt attention to the spiritual discourses of many acharyas, including Pravin Rishi, Rajyash Surishwar and Gautamuni. Later, Acharya Pravin, who came barefoot from Pune to Chennai, said: “People have undertaken the fast for world peace and as a mark of devotion for their guru. The world is in a flux and ultimately humanity which is steeped in divinity will triumph despite the prevalence of evil.” A new era would dawn, he said. For four months from the last week of July, Acharya Pravin said, he would discourse on topics such as law of karma, a happy home, facts about Jainism, etc.

    Mukesh Muthiyan from Ahmednagar, who began a 30-day fast, for the fifth time, said, “will power and devotion can perform miracles.” “My gall bladder burst when I was fasting for the fourth time but I did not break the fast,” he added.

    Ahimsa Parmo Dharma (non-violence is the ultimate virtue), the basic tenet of Jainism, and the need to inculcate a desire for inner peace through penance which would culminate in world peace was constantly stressed at the event, a confluence of all Jain sects. “In 2010, the event was held at Dadavadi in Ayanavaram and saw equal participation and enthusiasm,” said Sanjay of Sakal Jain Shree Sangh Chaturmas Samiti, which organized the meeting. – News Courtesy: Times of India

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