JVB London - Paryushan 2006 [06] Meetings

Posted: 05.09.2006
Updated on: 15.02.2008

Saturday, 26th August, was a day of meetings. Dinesh Z. Shah, author of quite a number of reports in HereNow4U on JVB London's activities, had invited us to take our Ekasana Lunch at his house. His wife Latika still remembered Karuna's favorite Paryushan dish from the last years and promised to serve the same. In the morning, we had met Dr. Atul Shah at JVB London's morning lecture. He also contributed to the kids' program with a very nice lesson on 'Who is a teacher?' focussing the kids' attention to teachers as trees or birds, softly opening their minds for perception of the unusual. We were happy to know that he also was invited for lunch at Dinesh' and Latika's house.

Dr. Atul Shah, former editor of 'Jain Spirit' Magazine, with the kids on Paryushan at JVB London

After the program, we went to Dinesh's and Latika's house, where we had the pleasure to watch a BBC-report together, dealing with the Jain temple at Potters Bar. Dr. Harshad Sangrajka, secretary of Institute of Jainology, was giving his comments on the architecture of the temple and the area. By the way, we met him and his wife Urmela the next day by chance. When Atul arrived, we all took a delicious Paryushan lunch together.

Dinesh Z. Shah (r) and editor Aparigraha Jain, sitting under the baby portrait of Paresh Shah, Dinesh's and Latika's younger son

It was a warm atmosphere, and the vivid discussion on various aspects of the importance of Jain values in the present brought all of us close together. We all agreed on Prof. Cromwell's thesis that Jainism actually is ready to conquer the western countries "...and has to be re-invented by the west...", as many of its values are held in increasingly high esteem there. Further, Jain way of life would be accepted from many people, if they only knew about this strategy to lead a happy and senseful life. For this, the universality of the Jain philosophy should be stressed, for many Indian Jain traditions would be strange for westerners to follow. All agreed that following nonviolence a vegetarian diet had to be the base.

Latika Shah (r) and editor Karuna Jain

Dr. Atul Shah (l), former editor of 'Jain Spirit' magazine in deep discussion

Dr. Atul Shah, who has got his doctor from London School Of Economics, had been a very successful manager and university lecturer, before he had changed his professional outlook to be editor of a magazine, dealing with Jain philosophy and reporting how and where Jain values were realised in an exemplary manner. For Europeans as us, it is difficult to retrace how it was possible that such a brilliant documentation of Jainology as Jain Spirit magazine had to collapse. In Europe, subsidies of cultural institutions are heavily defended against the 'money-making' mentality of finance ministers, arguing that cultural activities are not worth to be subsidised, as they are not profitable. Perhaps a luxury, the modest and self-disciplined members of the Jain community should have afforded. By the way, Atul's personnal attitude is not less than admirable, there is neither bitterness nor acidity in his voice when he talks about Jain Spirit magazine, only regret. He has opened into a new future by founding a new company, Diverse Ethics.

After the meal, Atul took all of us to visit of a friend of his, the painter Shanti Panchal. Shanti Panchal's studio is situated in a little garden house behind his residential house. There, we got to see an extraordinary painting, titled Diksha, detailled report on the paintings see: Shanti Panchal [02] Meeting Him In His Studio

From l: Dinesh & Latika Shah, editor Karuna Jain, Dr. Atul Shah, Paresh Shah in Shanti's garden, in front of his studio

From l: Atul's children feeding the goldfishes in Shanti's pond, Shanti, Atul, Dinesh

Atul and Shanti, in the background, a photo showing Shanti with his children

The longer the visit lasted, the more people appeared, from l: Dinesh, Paresh, Latika Shah, editor Karuna Jain, Shanti's daughter-in-law, Atul with his son, Shanti's son, Shanti

Shanti and Dinesh

Editor Aparigraha Jain and Atul

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