Peace Through Dialog 2007 - A Dialogue With The U.S. House Of Representatives

Posted: 23.10.2007
Updated on: 02.07.2015

 

A Dialogue With The U.S. House Of Representatives

In the 2600th Mahavir Jayanti Celebration organized by the International Jain Sangh (US) in New Jersey on April 8, 2001, over 500 people of Jain and other faiths took a pledge for Mutual Respect and Nonviolence. It reads as follows:

"On this auspicious occasion, I..... commit myself to become respectful, nonviolent and peaceful person as best as I can because I know that the world will be a better place because of my effort. Therefore, from this day forward:

I will treat all living beings with respect and care. I will treat all human beings with respect, courtesy, and fairness; and I will avoid uncaring criticism, hateful words, and physical attacks. I will apologize and make amends when I have hurt another person. I know that we will grow in a peaceful and safe society when we honor the dignity of each and every person.

I will challenge myself to be truthful, and to reduce anger and greed. In my day-to-day life, I will also consider ethical implications before taking any action. I know that my individual choices and actions when combined with others will make a difference."

The cultural program by children that followed highlighted the teachings of Lord Mahavir. Present in this celebration was also the US Congressman Frank Pallone Jr. Conversations all around were about violence and destruction, particularly the infamous Gujarat earthquake. The US community members requested the Congressman to take Lord Mahavir's message of Nonviolence and eco-friendliness to the Congress in some appropriate manner during that 2600th Janma Kalyanak year. Representative Pallone was receptive to this idea and subsequent steps of working closely with his office followed.

On April 25, 2001, the Honorable Congressman Pallone went to the House floor with a message to commemorate the 2600th birthday of Lord Mahavir and to recognize the year 200las the year of nonviolence worldwide. A few days later on April 29, Frank Pallone invited the US members to his office in New Brunswick, NJ, and presented a copy of the Congressional Record in a special ceremony. The inclusion of this Commemoration in the House Records establishes an important milestone in bringing awareness about Jainism and Lord Mahavir's message to America.

During the next year's Mahavir Jayanti program on April 28, 2002, Congressman Pallone returned to the celebration and personally presented a copy of the congressional Record to the Jain community. Present on this auspicious occasion were several Jain community holy persons and leaders including HH Amrender Muniji, Samani Pratibha Pragya and Jagat Pragyaji, Dr. Dhiraj H. Shah, Dr. Navin Mehta, Dr. P. Jayaraman of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Mr. Dilip V. Shah and a large number of interfaith participants. It was truly a historic occasion. The Jain community is thankful to the Honorable Congressman Pallone for his communication to the Congress in promoting the message of Nonviolence.

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Honorable Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. presenting a copy of the Congressional Record commemorating the 2600lh Birth anniversary of Lord Mahavir. From Left standing are Dr. Ashok Jain, Ashok Jain Jeweler, Sampath Jain, Ashok K. Jain, Naresh Jain, Dr. Subhash Jain, Sarla Jain, Neelam Jain, Prem Jain. Sitting with Congressman Pallone is Rajendra Kumar

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