HereNow4U - Living Jainism Tour 2006 - 05.02 Ladnun: Interview with JVBI's VC Dr. Samani Mangal Pragya

Posted: 19.03.2007
Updated on: 29.11.2012

23rd November 2006, 11:00 - 12:00

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Dr. Bhattacharyya had urgently to go back to the conference he was attending when we arrived. Members of the university sat together with the vice-chancellor in discussion on university matters. After some minutes, Samani Ritu Pragya invited us to follow her, as Samani Mangal Pragyaji was about to finish the conference. After a heartily welcome, we spoke with her for one hour.

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We conveyed our congratulations for her new function as Vice-Chancellor of Jain Vishva Bharati Institute (JVBI) Ladnun to Samani Mangal Pragyaji. She has been elected on 31st October 2006 for a term of four years up to 2010 with the option for a second term, “Not terms are important, only work is important.” The selection committee is composed from those members of the Jain society who grant the donations for JVBI.

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Immediately after election she went for blessings of H.H. Acharya Mahaprajnaji. She took over office on 5th November 2006. For the first time, a Samani is head of the Jain University. Samani Mangal Pragyaji gave Acharyashree credit for his foresightedness and said, “This is a paradigm shift in our monastic community.”

Asked about the main aims for JVBI, Samani Mangal Pragyaji reminded the dream of Acharya Tulsi who wanted to create a scientific cum spiritual centre for Oriental Studies in the remote area of Ladnun to preserve ancient wisdom and to help humanity on this base out of tensions and stress through Preksha Meditation, Jeevan Vigyan (Science of Living) and Jain Philosophy. “I want that dream to become reality,” she added, “and that theory can be combined with practical applications for intellectual and emotional development of the students.”

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JVBI Ladnun is situated in a remote area, which makes it difficult to attract students to the campus. The university is connected with the whole world through Internet, operating there for 24 hours. To increase the number of students on the campus, scholarships are granted for the whole duration of studies. Candidates for scholarship are selected among the students during their first term when they participate in one of the workshops on Preksha Meditation or Science of Living.

To provide literacy for rural people, focus is laid on women’s development, referring to Acharya Tulsi’s saying, “To educate a man enables him to earn his living, to educate a woman enables a whole family to participate in the achievements of a society.” JVB Ladnun already runs a girls’ college aiming to encourage girls to continue their studies for social cum spiritual formation resulting in BA.

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Further, Samani Mangal Pragyaji wants to realise a web learning program and courses in English, French and German languages at JVBI. German language is according to Samani Mangal Pragyaji linked with Jainism, as scholars like Hermann Jacobi have published the results of their research work in German language. We accepted her request to teach German language at JVBI.

On the question how vice-chancellor Dr. Samani Mangal Pragyaji feels in her new function, she responded that she is fully dedicated to H.H. and takes spiritual pleasure in the job given by him. She has the dream to make the sources of ancient wisdom available for the building of that kind of contemporary character that combines insight with foresightedness to the benefit of humanity.

Her aim is to translate this dream into action. “A remote area is no hindrance to this,” she added smilingly.

Audio

Interview with JVBI's VC Dr. Samani Mangal Pragya, Ladnun, Rajasthan

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