21.05.2016 ►Ahimsa Walk Tamilnadu ►An Unique, Voluntary Movement In India

Posted: 21.05.2016


Ahimsa Walk


‘Ahimsa Walk‘ - Tamilnadu, an unique, voluntary movement in India

For discovering, protecting, preserving, safe guarding the abandoned Jaina heritage sites, monuments, hills, dilapidated ancient temples, Thirthankara images from vandalism, destruction, quarrying, conversion.

‘Ahimsa walk’, a commoners movement has been designed and conducted by Thiru. A. Sridharan of Puduchery (Pondichery) with a small group of self-motivated individuals with a noble aim of creating awareness among people about the necessity of protecting a considerable number of abandoned Thirthankar images, a number of forgotten and unprotected Jaina hills through out Tamilnadu; these ancient Jaina hills containing stone beds for Jaina ascetics, inscriptions, sculptures, and pits for grinding medicines are at present subjected to quarrying, vandalism, abuse, immoral activities,. These ancient Jaina sites, hills are not known to the people by and large and it is pitiable that these invaluable treasures are not yet come to the notice of the Archaeological Survey of India and State Archaeology department which have been established only for safeguarding the heritage treasures; day by day destruction of Jaina heritage sites, monuments continues unabated.

The plan is very simple; the objectives are noble and praiseworthy

“Ahimsa Walk” has been a monthly event of heritage lovers, conscious of protecting the nation’s heritage treasures; the first Sunday of every month Ahimsa walkers from different places-villages, towns, cities, travel to a designated place, mostly a village, that is nearer to the heritage site; they go around the village streets inviting the people and students, teachers to join Ahimsa walk; hand bills containing information about Ahimsa walk, historical aspects of the heritage site, need for protecting the heritage site etc., are distributed to all householders of the village; a procession-Ahimsa walk is conducted from the village to the heritage site with slogans, catchphrases which emphasise the importance of protecting heritage sites, monuments, hills, abandoned ancient sculptures from destruction, vandalism and theft; along with such slogans the importance of Ahimsa for a peaceful living is also voiced; with a simple breakfast, participants (including the local people) visit the spot where experts explain various features of the site (history, antiquity, inscription, stone beds, images, Jaina ascetics who used the place for penance, preaching Ahimsa dharma, imparting education to the mass, giving medical aid to the afflicted, etc.;) after that few of the participants speak on very useful subjects including importance of Ahimsa, restraint of senses, community service etc.; the participants discuss about measures to be taken for protecting the heritage site or the abandoned Thirthankara image; (if a sign board near the heritage site and on high way or a protective shelter for the abandoned Thirthankara image is needed then a request is made for sponsorship); a summary of previous ‘Ahimsa walk’ is read and the place of next Ahimsa walk is decided and announced. importantly writing materials, books, note books are distributed to all students of the village; after a simple lunch start the reverse journey, awaiting the day of next Ahimsa walk; (request are made for sponsoring free breakfast and lunch).

Objectives of Ahimsa walk

 

  1. To protect the abandoned sculptures throughout Tamil Nadu Viz., Digambar Jain Idols, bas-reliefs, stone beds for Jaina ascetics,, dilapidated Jain temples, vestiges, paintings, inscriptions in the hills and hillocks, isolated rocks, boulders,
  2. To involve in the temple service in the rural areas (keeping the temple premises clean, removing destructive plants growing on temple towers and other areas, cleaning the idols)and to preserve palm-leaf, paper manuscripts and their digitization; to make awareness among the people concerned about the security related issues in temples
  3. To follow the guidelines of ASI to protect the sculptures and inscriptions
  4. To invite the local people from areas surrounding the Jaina heritage sites and monuments for participation in Ahimsa walk. To create awareness among local people by explaining the historical aspects, religious importance and heritage value of the monuments; to make them understand that the heritage site/ monument of that area is their priceless treasure.
  5. To enlighten the importance Ahimsa Dharma to the local people (almost all abandoned Jaina heritage sites are without any Jain family or Jain individual)
  6. To explain the local people ways and means of protecting the heritage structures from destruction, vandalism and abuse and quarrying
  7. To take appropriate steps to bring to the notice of the ASI or/and State archaeology dept. to include the heritage sites hitherto not included in the notified list of protected monuments/ heritage sites.
  8. To organize programmes for motivating, educating people to involve in the protection and maintenance of heritage sites, to take care of abandoned images
  9. To arrange attractive programmes including photo exhibition, power point presentation, small documentaries for children and youngsters to explain ‘what is Ahimsa walk?’ ‘ what are Jaina heritage sites?, monuments?, ‘the contributions of Jains for Tamil language, literature, grammar and culture’; to suggest and encourage children to plan for heritage tourism to important Jaina heritage sites and monuments with their parents; to help them to plan tours to Jaina heritage sites
  10. To send details of Ahimsa walk to all the Jaina villages, one month in advance, by way of hand bills, posters, by face book- WhatsApp messages, flex board displays, by announcements during festival time etc.
  11. To arrange transport facilities for ahimsa walkers (cost by equal share basis) from common centres; (the cost subsidised for those who are economically vulnerable)
  12. To provide food free of cost to the participants and the locals, to print and distribute hand bills, booklets explaining the importance, antiquity, of the heritage site/ monument being visited, and to arrange for lectures at the heritage site by experts; to explain the philosophy of non- violence (Ahimsa) by organizing meetings, seminars, classes, exhibition, books etc. by arranging educational tours, by photo exhibition, power-point presentation, (electronic media)
  13. To serve Digamber Munis, & Muni Sangam.
  14. To run free Medical Aid Centre to the needy irrespective of caste, creed and religion.

The first Ahimsa Walk was on 5-1-2014 and the latest on 1-5-2016 (so far 29 Ahimsa walks)

The first Ahimsa walk was inaugurated on 5-1-2014. Sunday at a village called Vuranithangal by Sri Lakshmisena Bhattarak, the Head of Jinakanchi Digamber Jain Mutt, MelSiththamur, Tamilnadu. He is the guide, and religious head of all Digamber Jains living in Tamilnadu. He is the sole custodian of all Digamber Jain temples in Tamilnadu. Symbolically He is also the sole protector of all Jaina sites found in Tamilnadu. The first Ahimsa walk was greatly encouraged by sizeable participation from the community as well as the local people of other faiths.

The event started with recitation of Pancha Namaskara Maha Mantra The youngest participant for the walk was 5 years old and oldest were in the range of 85- 90 years; the ‘Ahimsa walkers” wear a special, white T-Shirt with a print “Ahimsa walk”


Heritage sites, monuments, hills visited so far

Vurani thaangal (5-1-2014 the First Ahimsa walk)
Neganurpatti
Vazhuthalamkunam
Kanjiyur
Onampakkam
Vilanagar
Konaipudur
Thiyaga durgam
Valli malai (Palli malai)
Seeyamangalam, Kizhangunam, Vedal
Marakkunnam
Aatchipakkam
Ananthmangalam
Thirunatharkundru
Thirunarunkundram
Ennayiram
Kazhugumalai
Kollimalai
Thirumalai
Kontha Konthala (Andhra Pradesh)
Valaththi, Paraiyanpattu, Avalurpet, Sindhipattu, Seeyampoondi
Santhapettai, Thotti, Vazhvidam thangal, Nedumudaiyan, Koovanur
Pudukkottai District (, Annavasal, Siththannavasal, Aluritty malai, Bommadi malai Kudagumalai,
Mayilapatti, Thekkattur, Kayampatti, Kannagkudi, Kizhnanjur, Koilvirakudi, Mosakudi,
Malaiyadipatti, Mangadevanpatti)
Dhalavnur
Velappadi
Kukkalapalli
Onampakkam
Vilappakkam
Acharya Kuntha Kuntha hill, Thirakoil (1-5-2016 - the latest-29th Ahimsa walk)

Next Ahimsa walk- 30th walk- on 5-6-2016 Sunday- to Nagalapuram, Punniyam,

We thank Thiru Sridharan, Puducherry for initiating this timely needed, great movement.
Please extend your helping hand for the success of this ‘Ahimsa movement” by way of sponsoring construction of small shelters for the abandoned Thirthankara images, erection of sign boards on the highway and at the heritage site, sponsoring the cost of breakfast and lunch; above all please join Ahimsa walk, join in this movement of ‘Marga Prabhavana”, the supreme act a Jain can do for the Religion of Ahimsa and the Nation in the present situation.

Ahimsa Paramo Dharma

- Prepared by Prof. Dr. Kanka. Ajithadoss, P. Rajendraprasad

Photos:

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6-9-15 Ahimsa walk-22- Vazhvidam Thangal - Thirukkoilur Thaluk

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Ahimsa walk to Somasamudram-Konaipudur jana hill-8-6-14

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Ahimsa walk to Somasamudram-Konaipudur jana hill-8-6-14

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