Monument of Peace ►Jain Temple and Meditation Centre Antwerp ►A Jain Documentary Film

Published: 22.10.2010
Updated: 30.07.2015

Jain Cultural Center Antwerp

Monument of Peace - Jain Temple and Medi.tation Centre Enhancing to Glory of Belgium

A Jain Documentary Film

Concept, Research, Script, Main Mentors:

Dr. Bipin Doshi and Pankaz Chandmal Hingarh

Documentary Direction:

Hiten Sobha Trivedi

Film Producer:

The Jain Cultural Centre of Antwerpen VZW

Film Coordinator:

Hareshji Mehta (Antwerp)

Webmedia Partner:

Antwerp is capital of world diamond industry. And Jain diamond merchants have been residing in Antwerp almost for last sixty years but still other residents of Belgium were unaware about Jainism, its sublime message and Jains residing in Antwerp. They only knew that they are law-abiding citizens and worked on ethics, for welfare of basic layman.

On Occasion of Antwerp Jain Mandir Pratistha, Antwerp Jain community wanted to telecast a documentary film creating awareness about Jainism, Jain Temple, Meditation centre as many Belgium Govt. Officials and others were about to attend the function. The Jain Cultural Centre of Antwerpen VZW didn’t wanted to compromise on quality and wanted film to leave lasting impression on its viewers. Hence Antwerp Jain Sangh approached prominent Jain scholars, Dr. Bipinji Doshi and Pankaz Chandmal Hingarh  & formally proposed them for same. Documentary director Hiten Sobha Trivedi was provided by Sangh to them. Dr. Bipinji Doshi specially felt that this documentary film should also highlight glory of Belgium and should introduce Jainism, Jain ethics, Jain way of life, etc to western people.

Almost one month was spend on research of Belgium history, conceptualizing and scripting documentary film by dr. Bipinji Doshi and Pankaz Chandmal Hingarh who leaded project as main mentors. And they worked hard on appeal of film and also provided some religious and some historical audio and visual material to director. And Hitenji Sobha Trivedi  Director also researched some important historic  visual footage on same. Dr. Bipinji Doshi, Pankaz Chandmal Hingarh and Hiten Sobha Trivedi tirelessly worked day and night almost one month for same. Unique combination of Mentor’s concept, research, script  and Director’s classic direction resulted in awesome documentary film on Belgium and Jainism. And they acknowledged additional support of Dr. Rannaji Doshi, Hareshji Jain (Photographer) and Dimpleji Mehta.

This film was produced by Antwerp Jain Sangh and they need to be originally credited for screening main mentors & director and then handing over them this project. And from Antwerp Jain Sangh Shri Hareshji Mehta coordinated project between mentors, director and Antwerp Jain Sangh. Finally this film was released on 29th August 2010 in Antwerp and was well received and appreciated. Script, concept and direction was adored by many. Since 19min. time limitation was provided by Antwerp Jain sangh,Mentors and Director had to edit 70% of script material. It was priviledge to know glory of Belgium. And it’s surprising that this documentary film is  first Asian film on Belgium Heritage, Jainism, Antwerp Jain Temple and Meditation centre. And same is available only on Herenow4U esteemed International Magzine and

Antwerp holds many emotional moments for Jains. On 18/06/10 at Provincie House Auditorium, Antwerp,  'Acharya Mahapragya Memorial Assembly' was held to pay homage to Acharya Mahrapragyaji known as 'Ambassador of Peace'.

5% glimpse from unedited script of Film:

Jain Om

…..We are in land of world renowned Monarch, King Albert 1 often called as defender of right. Who stood up in crucial times for wellbeing of his country layman and adopted vegetarianism at age of 50. We are in land where Mahatma Gandhi’s statue is installed in Parc Marie Jose, Molenbeck, St. Jean, Brussels. He is often called as father of the nation in India, who fought for wellbeing of his country layman on principle of non-violence, which helped India to get independence.

We are in land of people who drew their strength from their savior in the Antwerp, Cathedral of Our Lady, which is one of the first gothic masterpieces in Europe and even now it is the tallest one in Antwerp City.

 Exterior Look of Antwerp Jain Temple: (Meticulous Carving on Makrana Marble)

Interior Carvings on Pillars and ceiling of Antwerp Jain temple

Meticulous Craftmanship on Jain Temple (exterior) (Carving on Makrana Marble)

Side View of Antwerp Jain temple

Inside view of Meditation centre:

Exterior Look of Meditation Centre: Antwerp Jain Upashray (Adjacent to Antwerp Jain temple)

Friends Magnificent Jain temple & Meditation centre in this City of Antwerp is now one more monument added to this beautiful city. Here THE TRIUMPHAL ARCH ARC DE TRIOMPHE of Belgium exhibits the message of peace and harmonious co-existence. Jain temple is result of marvelous craftsmanship, architecture symbolizing message of world peace and nonviolence to all living beings.

We are in pluralist city where at Wilrijk, Antwerp, in Faculty for Comparative Study of Religions all world religions are taught including study of Jainism and Prakrit also as part of curriculum.

We are in a country, whose city Ghent is only privileged city in world who practices non-violence and vegetarianism on every Thursday which is praiseworthy. Jains universally practice non-violence and are pure vegetarians.

We are on this great land whose govt. respects all religions and the place where we see the Ijzertoren Museum of War, peace and Flemish emancipation. The museum, which conveys the miseries of war and need of peace. 

Jain way of life symbolizes a life where forgiveness is more valued than conflict (Kshama Virashya Bhushanam) where peace is precious than prosperity. Art of giving is more precious than art of living.

And hence as return gift to this peace loving country, Jain community of Antwerp have plans to implant 108 trees in Antwerp city.

Jain temple in Antwerp is not merely a temple but a classical monument of a philosophy. Jain Philosophy, a way of life, where the ethical epicenter is peace and nonviolence.

A religion where non-violence is not limited to human beings but it extends to innocent animals, beautiful birds and even insects, butterflies and microorganisms.
A religion where a drop of water is more precious than leaps of gems. A religion where walking on a grass is compared to walking on belly of pregnant women.

A religion where purposeless digging of earth in the name of progress / globalization is not accepted and a philosophy where even an air is considered as a living organism.

It’s a religion with utmost respect not only to human beings but also to all that is vital.

Jains follow teachings taught by 24 tirthankars, …….

In current cycle Jainism was founded by First Tirthankar Lord Adinath and revived by 24th Tirthankar Lord Mahavir, Jains have magnanimous contributions in the field of civilization, culture, art & architect, literature and economy of India. Philanthropy contribution of this community is beyond once imagination considering its size. Numbers of animal shelter houses, Hospitals and educational institutions are founded and managed by this community.

It is world’s most ancient religion.


History of diamond mentions that India is country where first diamond was discovered in 800 BC and it dominated for diamond supply all over the world till 18th century. But later main source of diamond was found in South Africa and diamond Jain trader migrated to this land. And comparing nature of business today Govt. of India refers Antwerp, Belgium and Surat, India as twin Cities.

When one refers history, one finds that wherever this community has migrated they have preserved their culture of non-violence and has harmoniously embedded themselves in the country they reside.

Jainism has categorically and emphatically propounded vegetarianism. It says that food is not just the chemical composition of carbohydrate fats, protein, vitamins and minerals but it is vital force, which not only influences your body but also has vital effect on your mental, emotional and spiritual faculty. We invite learned scholars to experiment the concept of vegetarianism and see its long terms effects on mental faculties of human race which facing the outburst of crimes not only in numbers but also in its variants and world over too.

The Greek philosopher Pythagoras, who lived towards the end of the 6th century BC, argued that the flesh of beasts contaminated and brutalized the soul.

Its noteworthy that famous Belgian 1911 Nobel prize winner Maurice Materlinck was vegetarian and advocated vegetarianism in his book The Buried Temple, III in 1903.

Peter Paul Rubens a great Flemish painter whose museum exists here was a vegetarian. To see his museum in our country is the thirst, which every painter or covers of painting have. One of the famous picture “Pythagoras advocating the vegetarianism” is not only grand in its painting but its equally great for the message it sends –  that ancient civilization of Europe was vegetarian and nurtured animals not for meat but for their various friendly needs.

Today under scientific experiments, the Assurance Magazine and Journal of the Institute of Actuaries, Volume 7, by Institute of Actuaries (Great Britain) mentions, that In Belgium and other temperate countries, wherever you find a pure vegetarian, he is freer from disease and longer lived than his neighbors. It further mentions that this subject has been recently illustrated by very able men in USA. The result of all recent inquiries in America has been, that animal food shortens life, and that human existence has been protracted to a length wholly unlooked for by a diet of vegetable matter alone. The diet of the celeberated longevists recorded in history had chiefly vegetarian, as author has ascertained same by a very laborious research. This is also eminently the case with certain every great philosophers of the present day, and it is also remarkable that this diet increases the intellectual powers of man to an enormous extent, by inducing a more regular circulation of blood in brain and nervous system. 


Virchand Gandhi an eminent participant in first world religions parliament in Chicago in 1893 introduced to the world that Jainism is an independent ancient religion. English business Herbert Warren wrote a book on Jainism, but it was great german philosopher Herman Jacobi who translated many Jain scriptures in German and since then scholars and knowledge seekers all over the world have shown great interest in tradition, which stands for concepts and rituals which offers solutions to the various problems the world is facing. And Jain Saint Acharya Shri Vijayabhuvanbhanu Soorishwarji and Acharyashri Sushilsooriswarji  beautifully compiled all quotes of these world class western Scholars and historians on Jainism.

One more unique aspect of Jainism is its ascetics. The Jain ascetics are homeless wanderers, having no possession of any kind. They follow strict celibacy and guide basic layman about the principles of Jainism and principles of nonviolence, which they follow strictly. They never use vehicle and still travel thousands of miles. They renounce the material worldly things and show the people that true happiness lies in non-possessiveness and not in material or sensual pleasures. Their wealth is their spirituality.

Like any other religions Jains also have various sects and sub-sects but this temple is for all because we all believe in a religion of non-violence - a religion which offers godhood - a religion which respects all other religions, a religion which teaches not only art of living but art of giving - a religion where its spiritual guides where neither Shwetambar nor Digambar neither Murthipujak nor Sthanakwasi but Tirthankars.

Antwerp’s Murtipujak Jain segment and Sthankawasi Jain segment  has set an unique example of unity in diversity into the world, where both celebrate common days for Paryusan Parv festival, that is day of meditation, day for repentance of one’s faults and forgiveness is given and asked for, from all in universe.

Construction of Jain temple and Meditation centre also called as Upashray started in 1996 and divine idol of Lord Parshwanath was transported through special charter plane with utmost care following rituals prescribed in Jainism.

To some of you it might be amazing to believe in the worship of a statue but friends it is our tradition and faith where by a process called Anjanshalaka and Pranpratistha Jain Saints called Acharyabhagwant’s bring divine life in this statue as per guideline mentioned in Jain Scriptures. Great Jain Saint Acharyashri Subodhsagarji leaded dream of constructing Jain temple in Antwerp and after his sudden demise it was followed with utmost care under guidance of Jain Saint Acharyashri Manohar Kiriti Sagarsuriji and Jain saint Acharyashri Udaykirtisagarsuriji and his disciples. The meditation centre, a 2,000 square-meter addition to the temple was built according Jain Scriptures.

Yes this is temple of Jains but we want you to consider this as temple which spreads message of nonviolence, message of universal brotherhood, and message of “ Vasudev Kutumbhak…”, which means whole world is one family. We put on record our huge appreciation and thanks to all those who have helped us directly and indirectly to build this temple of peace specially Belgium government, Antwerp province, present dignitaries, Jain community of Antwerp and world over media and press.

……. Michamidukadam”


The Jain Cultural Centre of Antwerpen VZW was formed with 12 committee members and 52 founder members. And land for Jain temple and meditation centre (upashray) was purchased.


Construction of the temple and meditation hall began.


Anjanshalaka took place on 31 January and was performed by 'Jain Saints Acharyashri Subodhsagarji, Acharyashri Manohar KiritiSagarsuriji, Acharyashri Udaykirtisagarsuriji ' and also Shri Narendra Hiralal.


On 25 August the idols were brought to Antwerp soil by air, followed by a huge procession.


On 27 August the idols pratistha was performed

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