Federation Of Jain Associations In North America (Jaina) Honors Dr. Sulekh C. Jain With Jaina Ratna Award

Posted: 11.07.2009

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15th JAINA Convention 2009
Thursday to Sunday July 2-5 2009
Jain Center of Southern California
8072 Commonwealth Ave
Buena Park CA 90621, USA

 



Federation Of Jain Associations In North America (Jaina) Honors Dr. Sulekh C. Jain With Jaina Ratna Award.


http://www.herenow4u.net/fileadmin/v3media/pics/JAINA/Sulekh_C._Jain.jpgAt the 15th biennial convention, held during July 2-5 in Los Angeles, California, JAINA honored Dr. Sulekh C. Jain with its highest award, the JAINA RATNA. The award is presented for exceptional dedication and contribution towards promotion of Jainism in North America.

By profession, Dr. Sulekh Jain is a Mechanical Engineer. He taught mechanical engineering at several universities in India and USA, published more than 50 papers  and has nine US and international patents.   Eleven years ago, he retired from General Electric (GE) Aircraft Engine Division in Cincinnati, Ohio and now devotes all his energies to the promotion of Jain and Ahimsa related causes and projects. 

Dr. Sulekh C. Jain has been instrumental in the establishment of a large number of Jain centers, institutions and programs in North America, Europe and India. For nearly 50 years, he has served the community with vision, commitment, dedication and unflagging energy.  He served JAINA for eight years, first as Secretary then subsequently as President for two terms. No other has served as long.  He has been the president of two Jain Centers (Cincinnati–Dayton, Ohio and Houston, Texas) as well as several other organizations. Currently, Dr. Jain is the Founder and Chairman of the Governing Council of International School for Jain Academic Studies (www.jainstudies.org) and Secretary of Mahavir Vision Inc. USA.  

http://www.herenow4u.net/fileadmin/v3media/pics/JAINA/Dr._Sulekh_C._Jain_With_Jaina_Ratna_Award.jpgA news release from JAINA States “With great spiritual excitement, over 2000 people attended the JAINA convention.  It took place in the elegant temple complex of Jain Center of Southern California.  Over 600 attendees were youths with parallel programs for both adults and youths.  The keynote speakers, Dr. Gary Francione, Dr. Jagdish Sheth, Dr. Dipak Jain, instilled new ideas towards living a Jain Way of Life.  Many Jain monks and nuns and pundits graced the attendees with their spiritual insight. Dr. Sulekh Jain, a pioneer for Jains and Jain organizations in North American received the Jain Ratna award.  Lata Champsee was elected as the first female President of JAINA and first Canadian and Dr. Sushil Jain as the First Vice President. See the slide show on the right.  Content presentation and more photos will be posted on Jain link over the next several weeks. There are 66 Jain Centers throughout North America which are affiliated with JAINA.”

In his acceptance speech, Dr. Sulekh Jain said “respected dignitaries and brothers and sisters. There are two thoughts that come to my mind while accepting this award: honor and recognition

For me, the highest honor represents the eight years, from 1985-1993, when you put your faith and trust in allowing me to serve you and JAINA as Secretary for 4 years followed by President for another 4 years.

Today’s JAINA RATNA award is the recognition of the life-long service to the community. It represents the tireless work of hundreds of people with whom I have worked alongside, both past and present. Some of these are here today.  Forty years ago, we found North America a fertile ground to plant the seeds of Jainism.  We were able to grow them into Jain organizations including JAINA with hundreds of its activities. My generation is proud of what we were able to accomplish. This award is recognition of that work. No one does it alone. I accept this award in the names of those many hundreds such as Prof. Cromwell Crawford, Drs. Shugan Jain, Tansukh Salgia, Vinay Jain, Dhiraj Shah, Mahendra Pandya and many others. I am also thankful to my wife Ravi Jain and my family in supporting and encouraging me always to serve you more.

To me, Ahimsa and its practice has been a guiding star. I am passionate about Ahimsa. My brothers and sisters, our religion is Ahimsa and we call it Jainism. The seeds of Ahimsa have to be planted very early in young minds. This is the most basic need.

Let me share one brief incident about my granddaughter; Divya Jain when she was hardly 5 years old. During my travels in Russia, I bought a many simple wooden toys costing only 50 cents each. All these toys were mechanical in a sense that by pulling a string or manually moving some part, the other part of the toy would move. After coming home, I gave all the toys to Divya. She took all except one which she dropped on the floor and refused to touch. I asked Divya what is the matter. She said Baba Ji (grandfather), don’t you see, there is himsa(violence) in this toy? This particular toy had two bears; one daddy bear sitting in the front and another baby bear with a paddle or rod in his hand sitting in the back of the daddy bear.  The pulling of a string will cause the baby bear to hit the daddy bear with the paddle or the rod that the baby bear had in his hand. I then realized what Divya was saying. She was looking at ahimsa (non-violence) at a micro level (sooksham level). I said to Divya, your Baba ji did not have that sense. I am sorry, I said Divya you are like Mahavir who can look at and analyze ahimsa at that level. Brothers and sisters this is what Jainism is and this is what I appeal to you to think and practice ahimsa beyond our food plate or thali and look beyond at all the aspects of ahimsa at mental, verbal and physical levels. This is what we need to learn and practice and teach our children right from their birth.

Let me close with a quote by President Obama: “because its moments like these that force us to try harder and dig deeper and to discover gifts we never knew we had—to find the greatness that lies within each of us. So don’t ever shy away from that endeavor.”

Thank you, thank you and thank you. Jai Jinender.”

Source/Info

Mrs. Vandana Jain

vjain(at)mchsi.com

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