Samanijis’ Trip to Krakow (Poland)

Published: 28.09.2009
Updated: 29.11.2012
Samani Prasanna Pragya
Samani Rohit Pragya


Samani Prasanna Pragya and Samani Rohit Pragya were invited to Krakow (Poland) by the community of Sant’ Egidio to attend a three-day conference entitled “The Civilization of Peace - Faiths and Cultures in Dialogue” from 6th-9th September 2009.

On 6th September, a Eucharistic Celebration (Sanctuary of the Divine Mercy) was organized, in the presence of His Eminence Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, Archbishop of Krakow and many other representatives of the Christian churches and denominations. The keynote address in the opening session was given by Prof. Andrea Riccardi of the community of Sant’Egidio. Speeches were given by many dignitaries including Karol Musiol-Rector of the Jagiellonian University, Poland, Michel Camdessus- Honorary Governor of the Bank of France, Jose Manuel Barroso-President of European Commission, Belgium, Henro de Luxembourg-Grand Duke of Luxembourg and Filip Vujanovic - President of the Republic of Montenegro.

On 7th September, eleven panels were held in the morning and eleven panels in the evening on various topics at various locations. During these panels, representatives of various religions presented their views. On behalf of Jainism, Sohanlal Gandhi from Jaipur presented a paper on the subject ”Faiths and Values of Life”.

Krakow is a historical place. It is the place where the seeds of Second World War were sown as it is the place where Hitler killed millions of Jewish people. On 8th September, all the participants were taken to the Auschwitz Memorial Museum and Birkenau Concentration Camp to pay their homage to the victims of Nazism. All the conference attendees participated in a silent march along the rail tracks and performed a memorial ceremony at the Monument for the Victims.

In the evening, representatives of all religions were requested to do their own prayer of peace at different locations at the same time. The Samanijis presented the Jain prayer, “Arhat Vandana” with an English translation. This prayer was attended by young volunteers and some people of the community of Sant’Egidio. After finishing the prayers, all the participants of various religions gathered in Market Square.

His Eminence Cardinal Stainslaw Dziwisz, Archbishop of Krakow, presented his thank you speech. This was followed by a speech of Appeal for Peace, accompanied by the lighting of candles. Representatives of all religions were invited to light the candle of peace and sign the register. The purpose of the whole event was to pray for the peace of whole world. The event was attended by around 1,200 people and more than hundred religious leaders.

During this conference, the Samanijis got opportunity to meet various faith leaders and talk about Jain philosophy, ethics and Preksha meditation. For many people, it was their first opportunity to meet Jain nuns so they asked many questions regarding the Jain ascetic lifestyle. They were impressed by the restraints which Samanijis observe. Thus, it was a successful trip as many people were introduced to Jain religion and culture.


JVB London
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