HYDERABAD: Five thousand Jains chanted the Navkar Mantra, 36 lakh times in two hours for World Peace and created a record in the city. The venue T-19 Towers, near Sundaram Honda showroom at Ranigunj reverberated with the powerful mantra on Sunday, Parasmal Dungarwal, President of Shri Vardhaman Sthankavasi Jain Shravak Sangh Secunderabad, informed.
The Navkar Mantra Jap started at 8.30 am and went on non-stop for two hours till 10.30 am. The peace initiative is lead by Jain Monk, Praveen Rishiji Upadhyaya.
“We want the world to be as peaceful as possible. Live and let live,” commented a few Jains who participated in the initiative. Young and old, men and women, people from all walks of life from Jain Community participated. About 100-plus people from different religions too took part in the chanting of the Navkar Mantra,” he added. It was organised by Shri Vardhaman Sthanakvasi Jain Shravak Sangh Secunderabad which embarked on two unique “Peace Building” initiatives.
The mantra is what Gayatri Manthra is for Hindus. It is highly revered and the most significant one in Jainism. This is the first prayer recited by the Jains while meditating. Many Jain monks too participated in the initiative which was coordinated by Sri Jain Seva Sangh. It is the apex body of about 3 lakh Jains of all sub-sects in twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad.
Now, the Jain samaj is all set to embark on another initiative where 1,008 Jains along with their monks will go on eight-day fast from Monday, July 17 to July 24, at Ranigunj.
Fasting is common among Jains and as a part of festivals. Most Jains fast at special times, during festivals, and on holy days. Paryushan is the most prominent festival, lasting eight days in Svetambara Jain tradition and ten days in Digambar Jain tradition during the monsoon. The monsoon is a time of fasting informed Sampatraj Kothari, Chairman, Shri Vardhaman Sthanakvasi Jain Shravak Sangh Secunderabad.
Along with them, 18 patients of Hansen’s Disease (leprosy) belong to different communities and religions will also go on the fast. They will commence their fast in Chennai on July 17 and arrive in Hyderabad on July 23 to join 1,008 Jains for the concluding ceremony of the fast.
During the fast, they consume only hot water, that too till sunset. Lalalitayi Jaangda of Chennai, who has been training 800 leprosy patients, is coordinating the activity.
Quoting Martin Luther King, Jr, Praveen Rishiji Upadhyaya said Peace is not an accident. Peace is not a gift. Peace is something we must all work for, everyday, in every country. It begins with smile. Love your religion, but hug other religions too,” Praveen Rishiji Upadhyaya.
“Through these initiatives, we want to build a sustainable movement for a culture of peace for generations to come,” adds Ashok Bohra, Working President of Shri Vardhaman Sthanakvasi Jain Shravak Sangh Secunderabad.“Join in this endeavor; spread the word, practice in some new way. And keep on working for peace,” he adds.