Spreading Message Of Ahimsa

Published: 13.08.2005
Updated: 02.07.2015

Aug. 13th, 2005

It is difficult to believe but it is true; another Gandhi, like a colossus, has appeared on the scene and he is speaking the language of the ‘Mahatma’. Gandhi could inspire a whole generation by his mantra of Ahimsa; Jain seer Acharya Sri Mahapragya’s unstinted efforts for peace, respect for all religions and promotion of non-violence through Ahmisa has inspired the present generation. His message is loud and clear: “ The religion which does not bring about a change in man’s life, which does not impart peace to him, deserves to be thrown into the river Ganges rather than carried on as a burden on one’s shoulders. Rituals or idol worship alone are not enough unless one’s conduct also gets transformed. Unless one is righteous and honest, both to himself and others, and leads a value oriented life, he is not religious despite his proclamation”. Honouring Acharya Sri with National Communal Harmony Award by President APJ Abdul Kalam was indeed a tribute to his contribution to the promotion of communal harmony and national integration.

Acharya Mahapragya’s 4000 km long ‘Ahimsa Yatra’ undertaken to douse the flames of Gujarat riots and spread the message communal harmony drew global attention and widely acclaimed. It passed through Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. Starting the peace march from Rajasthan on a freezing morning of December when the 82-year-old Acharya reached Gujarat, afflicted by a wave of communal violence, the temperature had soared to over 40 degree; it was summer. Akashardham temple was attacked in the aftermath of Godhra incident and Gujarat was undergoing most traumatic experience. Then almost a miracle happened; Acharya’s message of communal amity had gone home and things started improving. Then the real test came. The Jagannath Rath Yatra was to be held and the question on everybody’s lips was; will there be violence? Should the Rath Yatra be aborted? Acharya Mahapragya came out with a clear answer: “This is a procession that has taken place very year for the past 112 years. To stop it this year would leave negative impact on the minds of the people”. He was so simple and clear that the procession was whole-heartedly welcomed by the Muslim community. After this success people of Gujarat began calling him, a messenger of peace; the second Gandhi. Touched by the Acharya’s efforts, President Abdul Kalam met him. The then Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani, Congress President, Sonia Gandhi and the RSS Chief K S Sudarshan traveled to Gujarat and met the seer. Ahimsa is not a mere slogan but a great mission for him. So impressed was the President with the Acharya that when the Ahimsa Yatra reached Mumbai, he met him twice. Acharya Mahapragya’s message of non-violence even reached President Pervez Musharraf. He addressed a high-level delegation of Foundation For Unity of Religion and Enlightened Citizenship during his visit to Delhi. In a message of Pakistan President, the Acharya said; “ Pakistan and India have similar problems and worries. We can only fight poverty, illiteracy and diseases rampant in our region, if our region is peaceful”. While praising the ‘Ahimsa Yatra’ President Musharraf hoped that it would come to Pakistan also to create an atmosphere of peace and harmony in his country. The poet laureate, Ramdhari Singh ‘Dinkar’ would call Acharya Mahapragya “second Vivekananda of India”. Described by his followers as “ a living legend” and “ mobile encyclopedia”, the Acharya was born in 1921 at Tamkor, a small village in the Jhunjhunu district of Rajasthan. He became a monk at the tender age of ten. Under the guidance of Acharya Shree Tulsi, he got his education and proved to be a prodigy. Study of history, philosophy, logic and grammar made the foundation of his knowledge quite formidable. He also made an in-depth study of modern physics and bio-sciences, Ayurveda, politics, economics and sociology along with the concepts of communism, socialism and capitalism. At the age of 59, he was appointed the successor-designate of Acharya Tulsi. According to Acharya Mahapragya the concept of war is first initiated in the minds of the people and it finds conclusion in the battle field. Traits of violence too can be found in the mind. He believes that the right type of meditation can bring about a change in this trait. What is needed is a change in the mental attitude. He successfully applied this precept in Gujarat. One of the oft repeated quote of the Acharya is: “When anger is conquered, the spirit of forgiveness springs in the soul”.

The Hitavada, Aug. 13th, 2005
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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. APJ Abdul Kalam
  2. Acharya
  3. Acharya Mahapragya
  4. Acharya Shree Tulsi
  5. Acharya Sri Mahapragya
  6. Acharya Tulsi
  7. Ahimsa
  8. Ahimsa Yatra
  9. Anger
  10. Ayurveda
  11. Communal Harmony
  12. Delhi
  13. Gandhi
  14. Gujarat
  15. Madhya Pradesh
  16. Mahapragya
  17. Maharashtra
  18. Mahatma
  19. Mantra
  20. Meditation
  21. Mumbai
  22. Non-violence
  23. Pradesh
  24. Rajasthan
  25. Sonia Gandhi
  26. Tamkor
  27. Tulsi
  28. Violence
  29. Vivekananda
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