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JAIN FAST - DAY 6 - Making Jainism Globally Understood

Published: 09.09.2010
Updated: 10.09.2010
Giving my lecture at Liverpool Hope University

I was invited yesterday to give a lecture at Liverpool Hope University, in the famous city of Liverpool in Britain. The subject was - My Jain Faith - What in My Faith I cannot live without.

It was a very apt moment to speak on this subject as I was fasting and it was our festival time. The audience was mainly postgraduate students and members of the Merseyside Council of Faiths, and faculty from the Department of Theology at the University. I took a powerpoint presentation with pictures and spoke about the importance of facets like community, monks and nuns, festivals, art and Jain values to my life - they all came together to provide an anchor and what was beautiful was that this anchor was both timeless and contemporary at the same time.

The audience seemed very rivetted to the pictures and to what I had to say. And there was a lively discussion afterwards. Dr. Elizabeth Harris said: "It was a very comprehensive and vibrant presentation with a lot of information about the Jain community and its living faith context in British civic life. We are blessed to have this community, with such high ideals, in our midst, and it is unbelievable that these values and festivals are being celebrated in this country at this time. Dr. Shah is a very articulate and eloquent speaker, and a lot of food for thought was left as a result of his fast. We look forward to welcoming him here again."

My fast is going well and I am now entering the finale. It is only two more days, and I know I can get there. The hunger has gone, but there is weakness so I need to be careful and rest frequently. I do feel the fast yesterday helped me in my lecture as I was living what I was speaking about. I do feel quite spiritual at this time. For me Jain faith is a reservoir of wisdom very timely of our age - it is like an infinite ocean, and we need to work with media to bring it to global attention, so that the world wakes up to the beauty and integrity of its wisdom.


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