Inculcating nonviolence at young age

By Arvind Vora

AMDAVADMA (Palindrome): Gandhi Ji launched the Salt March from his Sabarmati Ashram in this city, officially spelled as Ahmedabad. The event of Salt March that changed the course of history, where Gandhi took a vow before starting the march that he will not return to his beloved Ashram until the British quit India. The biggest city in Gujarat is a business, commercial, and industrial center where the Jain community with 2.5% population as per 2011 census, has played a vital role in its growth and prosperity. 

Civic minded and progressive Jains played a significant role in establishing world famous educational institutions, some of them one of its kind in India. Being religiously compassionate and caring, they built shelters and hospitals for animal and birds. Jain temples are dotted within walking distances in the center city and within society or condo complexes in the suburbs.

I have fond memories and attachments being born, raised and educated in the center city. Being blessed with temples and Upasharyas around many Sadhus and Sadhvis would grace us with their presence daily. Our parents and elders would seek their blessings and instruct us to do the same by bowing head and joining our hands in namaskar posture. They were also a last resort for parents when unruly youths did not obey them.

I still remember if any youngster was involved in a minor infraction like:

  • Kicking stray animals- cats, cows, dogs

  • Physical fight with a member of opposite sports/games teams e.g., cricket

  • Ignoring instructions of elders or siblings

  • Damaging properties

  • Releasing air from bicycle tires

then, many a times parents would inform Sadhus and Sadhvis. They would lovingly but firmly help us to amend these acts by offering to take Anuvrat (small vow) like:

  • Do not eat rice today

  • Help mom by folding clothes or cutting vegetables for a week

  • Do homework right after coming from school for a month

  • Go to temple one more time every day for next ten days

  • Help younger siblings or a neighbor to do school homework

Many of us grew up in such an environment and are reaping benefits till today in our old age.

Arvind Vora is Main Representative of ANUVIBHA at UN.

Acharya Tulsi Ji

People Also Ask 

Who is the richest Jain?

Gautam Adani is the richest Jain in the world and second richest person in India. He and his company are based in Amdavad (Ahmedabad).

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