Historical Meet of Spiritual Leaders with Hon'nle President Of India

Published: 15.06.2004
Updated: 06.06.2011

To Launch
Foundation for Unity Of Religions and Enlightenment of Citizenship

Jain Vishva Bharati Institute (Deemed University) had organized this meet at Rashtrapati Bhavan on 15th June, 2004 at 12.00 noon. The spiritual leaders met together before hand for a Preparatory Meeting at Conference Room No.2, India International Center, New Delhi on 14th June, 2004 at 3.00 p.m. to draw an action plan to re-establish religious harmony, right social conduct and morality towards character building and human values.

This historical meet was attended by the spiritual leaders who are signatories of the Surat Spiritual Declaration:

  • Shri Balagangadharanath Swamiji,
  • Dr. Homi B. Dhalla,
  • Bishop Dr. Thomas Dabre,
  • Munishree Lokprakash Lokesh,
  • Munishree Prashant Kurmar,
  • Jagadguru Sri Shivratri Deshikendra Mahaswamiji,
  • Syed Mohmed Jilani Ashraf,
  • Ezekiel Issac Malekar,
  • Brahamakumari AshaDidi,
  • Dr. J.S. Neki and
  • Ven. Rahul Bodhi,

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan and some other spiritual leaders who were not able to attend the meeting have send their representatives.
New members like Rev. Valson Thampuwas were also present there.
In addition several other educationists, scientists, writers, social workers and administrators also participated in the meeting.

It is coincidence that the last meeting was held at Surat on 15th October; 2003 on the birthday of Hon. President of lndia Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, where in the presence of Acharyashree Mahaprajna all the spiritual leaders made the historical "SURAT SPIRITUAL DECLARATION " which was also important part of the speech of the Hon. President, on the eve of Republic Day. This time the meet was held on 15th June, 2004 being the birth day of H.H. Acharyashree Mahaprajnaji.

It is understood that this two day meet will be a milestone to fulfil the dream of the Hon. Dr. Abdul Kalam of the religious harmony and human unity and to make India a developed country by 2020.

The 'meet' was started with the formal welcome of Hon'ble President of India Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, spiritual leaders and other guests by our ViceChancellor Madam S. Regunathan, followed by welcome address by Dr. L.M. Singhvi, a well known educationist, scholar and much reputed diplomat, Member of Parliament and Chancellor of Jain Vishva Bharati Institute (Deemed University), Ladnun.

After the welcome address a message was read from His Holiness Acharya Mahaprajna, the Anusashta of the Institute, who is now walking in the plains of Rajasthan in the relentless heat of the desert, carrying with him, as it was, the message of ahimsa.

In his message H.H. Acharya Mahaprajna has said that economics and religion are not contradictory. They influence and solve each other's problem. We should work for the balance in between spirituality and science, with a sincere reflection on the associated economic aspects.

Maulana Wahiduddin, a prolific writer, recipient of the Peace International Award 2002 and a living legend of Islamic Peace Movement presented a compilation of the reports of the activities that have followed the Surat Spiritual Declaration (SSD) to the Hon'ble President.

Revered Balgangadliarnath Swami presented the 1st Volume of SSD translation into Kannada and Urdu to Hon'ble President. The translation work has been done by Swamiji.
Shaikh-e-Traniqut Hazrat Allama Muhammad Jilani Asraf Sahib presented 2nd volume of SSD translation into Urdu to Hon'ble President.

Muni Shri Lokprakash Lokesh, a senior disciple of Acharya Mahaprajna presented CD (Vol-l) entitled Understanding Religions, to Hon’ble President. This CD was prepared by Jain Vishva Bharati Institute (Deemed University), Ladnun. A three minutes montage was also presented to the dignitaries as a peep into the CD.

Jagadguru Shivaratri Desikendra Mahaswamiji, the 24th pontiff of the Sri Suttur Math, Mysore, announced the decision of the signatories of the SSD arrived at the previous day's preparatory meeting.

Swami Jitatmananda, a thought provoking author and scientific blended great spiritual personality presented a copy of the aims and objectives of the newly formed society.

Dr. Homi Dhalla, a great contributor to Zoroastrianism presented the road map for cohesive action through the newly formed society to Hon’ble President.

Venerable Rahul Bodhi, the founder president of the Bhikku Sangh’s United Buddhist Mission which works to spread the message of compassion and amity amongst people made few important announcements.

Prince M. Sujjauddin representing Dr. Syedna Mohammed Burhannuddin from Bohra Samaj was also present.

Dr. Jaswant Singh Neki, a psychiatrist and Sikh theologian, proposed the vote of thanks to Hon’ble President.

In his speech at the launch of the "Foundation for the Unity of Religion and Enlightened Citizenship" the President, Dr. A.PJ. Abdul Kalam laid emphasis on the need for enlightened citizenship in which people undertook "service to humanity as service to God." He said this could happen when all devotees took a vow to educate students, plant trees and treat male and female children equally;

This way the citizens could feel proud that they were involved in nation-building, as the 'small vows' they took would have a tremendous impact on society by setting in motion a process of change. "Over 500,000 people of various religions visit major places of worship every day; Some vows may be displayed within the premises of these religious institutions prominently and devotees can take any of them as thanksgiving to God." he said.

Among the vows suggested by the President are: each devotee would pledge to educate five children or play a crucial role in activating one pond in his or her neighbourhood or nearby village; remove enmity within his family and withdraw court cases; plant five fruit-bearing trees; not succumb to the temptation of addictive substances and treat male and female children equally. "Even if 10 per cent of the devotees take up any one of these vows, I am sure there will be a tremendous impact on society," Dr. Kalam said. Recalling his visits to several holy places across the country, he said, "Wherever I went, I found that knowingly or unknowingly, integration of religions has taken place. There is a fabric of connectivity among the people." A billion people with multi-cultural, multi-lingual and multi-religious backgrounds were staying in unity, which was, in fact, the "core competence" of the country.

With the launch of the Foundation, the vision of the Surat Spiritual Declaration (SSD), signed nine months ago, had been translated into reality, he said.

The SSD, signed by spiritual leaders of all religions in the presence of the President, had been the basis for a number of projects to create "enlightened citizens," said L.M. Singhvi, Chancellor of the Jain Vishva Bharati Institute in Rajasthan and former Indian High Commissioner to Britain.


abha - quaterly newsletter of JVBI, Ladnun
June 2004
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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Acharya
  2. Acharya Mahaprajna
  3. Acharyashree Mahaprajna
  4. Ahimsa
  5. Delhi
  6. Disciple of Acharya Mahaprajna
  7. Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
  8. Dr. L.M. Singhvi
  9. JVBI
  10. Jain Vishva Bharati
  11. Jain Vishva Bharati Institute
  12. Ladnun
  13. Mahaprajnaji
  14. Math
  15. Muni
  16. Mysore
  17. New Delhi
  18. Rajasthan
  19. Rashtrapati Bhavan
  20. SSD
  21. Sangh
  22. Science
  23. Surat
  24. Surat Spiritual Declaration
  25. Swami
  26. Swamiji
  27. Zoroastrianism
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