By Shyamal Baran Roy
New Delhi: Bhagwan Mahavir’s principles of non-violence, unity in harmony and non-possession can help unite people of different religions and communities to work for the development of the nation and society, says Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu.
“Development of the nation and society is possible only when people of different religions and communities live in harmony to create a stable and peaceful atmosphere. Bhagwan Mahavir’s principles of non-violence, unity in harmony and non-possession can be very helpful in creating such an atmosphere. When people of different religion, caste and creed will work together for development, the society and nation will surely develop,” Prabhu said on April 8 at a national seminar in New Delhi on ‘Development through peace and harmony.’
The seminar was organized at the Constitution Club of India to celebrate the 2616th Mahavir Jayanti, the 12th Foundation Day of the Ahimsa Viswa Bharati and the 57th birthday of its founder Acharya Lokesh Muni.
Stating that the issue of development was being discussed the entire world, Prabhu said that the seminar had been organized at a time when there was an atmosphere of development and religious harmony in the country.
The seminar was attended, among others, by Apostolic Nuncio to India Archbishop Giambattista Diquattro, who handed over to Muni a message to the Jain community from the president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran.
Federal Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs Vijay Goel hailed Muni as an ‘international saint’ and an ‘ambassador of peace’ who reaches out to the world with Jain philosophy and Indian culture. Under the Jain monk’s leadership Ahimsa Viswa Bharati manages effective campaigns against female feticide, alcoholism and drug addiction, he noted.
In his response, Muni asserted that Mahavir’s principles were recognized by science. Mahavir’s philosophy of non-violence, peace and harmony is more relevant to humanity when people faced problems such as violence, global warming, inequity of income and the like, he added.
“Following the lifestyle shown by (Mahavir), we can build a healthy, prosperous and happy society. Peace is necessary for development,” Muni said, adding that parallel development of all sections of society could solve many problems.
Both deprivation and excessive availability were harmful for a society, Muni asserted.
Speaking on the occasion, Jain Acharya Shrutsagar ji Maharaj said that the happiness of a society depended on its complete development and establishment of good governance, besides conservation of cultural values and the environment.
“We can create such and atmosphere by adapting Bhagwan Mahavir’s philosophy. Resources are limited and limited resources cannot fulfill unlimited desires. Mahavir preached controlled lifestyle, limiting personal consumption. His principles are important for India as well as the world, the Acharya added.
Others present on the occasion included the president of All India Imam Organisation Umer Ahmed Illyasi, Muslim community leader Haji Shakil Saifi and chairperson of Gurdwara Bangla Saheb, Paramjeet Singh Chandok.