Shravanabelagola, Jan 28: Jainism
is the only religion that recognizes women have equal rights as men and provides
canonized (dharmic) protection to the same. But, evils such as destruction of
female foetus are plaguing even the Jain community today and corrective measures
in the form of proper education in Jain value systems and
role of women need to be taken, said the speakers at the 'Mathru Vandana'
programme held on Saturday as a part of the Mahamastakabhisheka Celebrations.
The Speakers, including leading scholars such as Mrs.Hanumakshi Gogi, Deputy
Director Co-operatives, Hubli, and Dr. M S Padma, Chairman of the Post
Department of Jainology, Mysore University, said though women have been accorded
equal status in nearly all spheres, the contribution of women to the protection
and preservation of Jain
culture and heritage has not been recognized enough. More publications need to
be brought out highlighting the lives and deeds of various Jain sanyasinis who
have donned various mantles dictated by the faith and Jain women who have proved
their prowess in all other fields.
Conceding that essentially Jain women's role was as a wife and a mother, the
speakers pointed out that Jain Sanyasinis and women of Jain royal families have
emerged equal to their male counterparts.
This has been recorded in history and the earliest written inscription of the
deeds of the Sanyasinis is found in Shravanabelagola. While the first
Teerthankara Adinantha himself led by example by educating his daughters Brahmi
and Sundari, who in turn developed the script for Prakruth language, history is
replete with examples of Jain Sanyasinis initiating others as munis, being
philanthropic and encouraging philanthropy, and building temples. Jain women
have excelled themselves in all other spheres of life too, be it art, culture or
literature, they said.
Inaugurating the Sammelan Ms. Shobha Vimukthakumar, Chairperson of the All India
Jain Women's Sammelan, said the meet was very relevant and the challenges faced
by women need to be given proper focus through such meets.
Ms. Manjula Abhaya Chandra Jain, wife of Karnataka Legislative Assembly Chief
Whip Abhaya Chandra, who presided reminded the delegates of the age old saying
that home is the first school for a child and added this was very true in terms
of the over all development of a child, especially in the spheres of ethics and
values. She warned that if mothers fail, nobody else could succeed. She also
lauded the role of Jain sanyasinis in being a bridge between the monks and the
Releasing a souvenir brought out on the occasion, Ms. Usha Bahubali Kumar of
Kerala said the role of Kalaladevi in getting Chavundaraya to sculpt Bahubali
was immense and added that all women should hold their maternal values and
instincts with pride.
Aryika 105 Surathamathi Mataji warned the women against falling into the fast
track lane without heeding to time tested covenants on feminity, female body and
the role of women in society, proven both by science and faith across cultures.
Chief Guest Mrs. Bouridevi Bhandari, who released by Jalaja Jain's book 'Sadachara',
translation of a Hindi work 'Nari Bano Sadachari', by Arika 105 Vishudhamati,
said women should accept their role in society with responsibility and aid in
protection of values.
Jagaduguru Karmayogi Swasthishri Charukeerthi Bhattaraka Swamji graced the
occasion. MMC06 Working President Mr. A R Nirmal Kumar delivered the
introductory address. Ms. Shanta Sanmathikumar, Sammelan Convener welcomed.
In the Acharya Vandana programme
that preceded, Acharya 108 Vardhamana Sagar Muni Maharaj, Acharya 108
Sanmathisagar Muni Maharaj, Acharya 108 Kushagrinandi Muni Maharaj and Acharya
108 Thapasagar Muni Maharaj, spoke on the role of women as the backbone of Jain
culture and added it was their responsibility to ensure that the values
enshrined in Jainism was carried forward.
CROWDS START POURING INTO
Shravanabelagola, Jan 28: If the huge turnout at the Mathruvandana
programme at the Mahamastakabhisheka Mahotsava on Saturday was any
indication, the momentum for the celebrations for which preparations
began nearly six months has commenced. The huge Panchakalyana Mantap,
where the programme was held was full to the seams unlike the moderate
turnout witnessed during Friday for the Sarva Dharma Sammelan. What
was more important was that nearly the entire gathering comprised
women, with representatives from the nearly 100 Mahila Sanghas all
over the State participating in large numbers.
The food counters in all parts of the Mahotsav venue was overflowing
during the afternoon session.
MATHRU VANDANA: VIRTUES OF A
Shravanabelagola, Jan 30: The two-day 'Mathru Vandana' programme,
homage to Kaalaladevi, who inspired her son Chavundaraya to sculpt
Bhagawan Bahubali's giant monolith at Vindyagiri, concluded with a
colourful procession featuring various tableaus and folk groups from
different Jain Mahila Sanghas going round Vindhyagiri hills and the
town from Panchakalyana Mantap on Sunday morning.
Tableaus featuring various facets of Jain life and ideals were taken
out in the procession led by an elephant with representatives of
various Jain Mahilas Sanghas performing behind. The top honours of the
procession was bagged by Hubli's Shantinath Jain Mahila Samaj while
the tableau by Chennarayapattana's Jwalamukhi Jain Mahila Samaj came
second. Kushmandini Mahila Samaj of Shravanabelagola and Vama Devi
Mahila Samaj of Bijapur shared the third prize. Bangalore's
Chakreshwari Mahila Sangha received the consolation prize.
Later speaking at the valedictory ceremony, revolutionary Jaina Ascetic Tarun
sagar extolled the role of a mother in the society and said one needs
the blessings of three entities to attain happiness and peace in life.
If the first is the blessings of a mother as a child, it is a mahatma
when you are young and God when you are old. Pointing out that
Goddesses Saraswathi, Lakshmi and Parvathi symbolize Education, Wealth
and Power with a reason, he said it was to remind a mother the values,
duties and responsibilities she has to instill in her children if they
are to become good well-behaved and successful cultured individuals.
Ruing that the world was changing and relationships were becoming more
and more brittle, he said these were days one thinks twice before
saying that a new- born resembles either the mother or the father. Man
should realize that even an animal gives birth but being born in a
species that can give him culture is a blessing.
Stressing on the role of a woman in ensuring that all in the family
succeed, Tarun Sagar said though it is said 'The man of the house',
everybody knows actually who is the 'boss' of the house. The same is
true of our Union Government too. Everybody knows who is the boss even
though Dr Manmohan Singh is the Prime Minister. Continuing, he termed
the punishment meted out by the mother as the verdict of the Supreme
Court that cannot be challenged even by the father, whose authority is
just that of a High Court.
Jagadguru Karmayogi Swasthishree Charukeerthi Bhattaraka Swamiji
graced the occasion and congratulated the women for turning out in
large numbers and blessed them that all secure the instincts that made
Kalaladevi make Chavundaraya what he was that today we have the
divinity of Bahubali to savour.
Jayaratna Dharanendraiah of Mysore, Preethi Abhay Patil of Belgaum,
Nalini Jawali of Hubli and Susheela Kailash Chand Bhaj of Bangalore,
spoke. Harshini Sudhakar of Chellakere presided.