Category Archives: Talks

Veganism is a Part of Jainism, a persuasive presentation

Jain nuns and monks from a variety of sects address the violence in dairy products in the video, and then there is an extended discussion between three principled vegans about the overlap between Jain ahimsak practice and veganism. It is in Hindi with English subtitles.

This photo shows Acharya Chandanaji from Veerayatan showing compassion for animals, however, she is not one of the ascetics in the video voicing support for veganism.

Climate Focused Jain Pratikraman: Recorded Guided Meditation with Text

As we prepare to observe Paryushan and Das Lakshan Parva for this year, here is a resource for those that may wish to practice a non traditional pratikraman. This guided meditation takes us through an application of our Jain values to the climate crisis, suggesting ways we can reflect on our actions and commit to making positive changes as individuals, in our communities and as world citizens. Going vegan and advocating for veganism on a large scale is an important part of the solution.

You can download the text of the pratikraman here.

Essence of Jain Diwali Program: Recordings and Presentation

Happy Diwali and Happy New Year!

We are happy to share with you the recordings of these segments of the program:

1. Spiritual celebration of Diwali at https://youtu.be/yhKiJQ2Jcao

Ruchika Chitrabhanu’s presentation, a great resource is available here

2. Cultural Celebration of Diwali with Recipes at https://youtu.be/sqeyjZ_P6_Q

3. How Jain centers, families and children celebrate an ahimsak Diwali at https://youtu.be/-IVsO2_8g24

and 4. Reflections on Diwali and Group Discussion at https://youtu.be/gCpUoye-z0c

Slides for Parliament of World Religions Session Ahimsa and Veganism in Jainism

Talk by UK based Jain vegan leaders and drJina

Prof Chris Miller invited Mahersh and drJina to give a guest lecture for his “The Earth is Calling You” summer session for Jain young people. The recording is posted here.

Padmasagar Maharaj encourages community to go vegan

Svetambar sadhu Padmasagar Maharaj talks to the community about the blood and pus consumed in drinking milk and encourages his followers to give up milk, too. He reminds them that mung beans and other legumes are very nutritious and a staple of the Jain diet.

Animal Agriculture and the Pandemic: Jain scholar sees beyond our cultural blind spot

Dr. Brianne Donaldson, scholar of Jainism, recently wrote an article about the cultural blindness of our response to slaughterhouse workers. In the Covid19 pandemic, the mental health of farmers was deemed worthy to support. However, “essential” slaughterhouse workers are traumatized every day.

As she says, ” If killing animals is this traumatic, why have anyone do it? Far from “essential” business, slaughterhouse work destroys animals and corrodes the well-being of people. Since nearly all humans living in the industrialized world can live well and healthy without animal flesh, the time has come to transition away from a practice widely acknowledged to be a source of personal trauma and social harm.”

She also gave an engaging 40 minute interview the role of animal agriculture in the Covid19 pandemic.

As Dr. Donaldson describes, it is often immigrants and refugees that work in slaughterhouses. Back when I worked on refugee health, I, too found that the resettlement agencies in NC had placed the refugees from Asia into slaughterhouse jobs.

So what do I mean by cultural blindspot?

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BhattarakJi Explains Why Vegan

At the last JAINA convention in 2019, I had the great honor of meeting and interviewing Shree Charukeerthi Bhattarak Panditacharyavarya Swami about ahimsa as the guidine principle for  Jains to should consider veganism.  He explains the lineage of other monks and teachers such as Chitrabhanuji that have inspired him. His gentle style “No force”, is a beautiful example of how we can encourage each other.

 

 

 

 

A whole food plant based diet to address heart disease risk in South Asians (Indians)

Dr. Nandita Shah from Sharan gives a great introduction to veganism in this video

and this NYT article discusses the increased risk of heart disease in South Asian, linked both to those that eat a very traditional diet with lots of refined grains and saturated fat, and also a too Western diet with high fat meat and dairy. The type of whole foods, plant based diet that I, and Dr. Nandita and other vegan nutritionists and doctors recommend fit the recommendations to  incorporate whole grains, vegetables and legumes into a mixed diet.

Petition to end the Use of Dairy in Jain temples: A Pre-paryushan plea by Nirva

Dear readers,

Paryushan and Das Lakshan parva are just around the corner. Starting on Friday, September 6thJains all over the world will increase their level of spiritual intensity. 

My childhood Jain Centers included Norwood, Massachusetts and Houston, Texas. I now live in Massachusetts with my husband and four children and have been practicing veganism (food, clothing, even my car is leather-free) for 2 years. Last year, I attended a lecture in Mumbai where a Jain marajsaheb spoke to us about the dairy industry as it applies to Jainism. It inspired me to reach out to all of you.

As you may know, the Jain Center of Southern California  decided this year not to allow dairy in the temple due to the incredible suffering animals go through in order to produce ghee/milk, etc. They made an inspirational video which is worth watching;

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m.youtube.com/watch

Unfortunately, many other Jain centers today still use dairy products (whether it is ghee in pooja or food served). In our private homes we must respect a person’s wish to do as he/she pleases. However, our Jain center is shared by a community of people seeking to observe and follow Jainism, and more specifically ahimsa. In order to follow ahimsa to the highest level, I ask that you observe a non-dairy practice for 18 days (September 6 – September 23).  In addition to your individual practice, please sign a petition to end the use of dairy products in our Jain temples. This will magnify your good personal choices so that we can do better as a community.  

https://www.change.org/p/lets-end-the-use-of-dairy-products-in-our-jain-temples

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