"Jainism is a rich philosophy, why should such
a philosophy be deprived of flourishing.”
These are the
views of scholars like professor Dr. Natan katz, a director of ‘Center for the
study of spirituality in FIU’. This
thought opened the doors of Jain studies in US University. The dream of His
Holiness Acharya Tulsi and Acharya Mahapragyaji came true. Samani Charitra
Prajna and Samani Unnata Pragya have been teaching at FIU since 2006, with full
vigor while opening new windows. Shashi Jain, took the initial and leading step
to make this happen. The Jain center of South Florida
along with the whole Jain community has whole heartedly supported this project
and the Samaniji, facilitating their residence, Jochari and all the other
requisites, without which this would not have been possible. They have served
as guardians for Samanijis since day one.
Courses offered in FIU:
Nonviolence, Meditation & Spiritual development, Religion, life &
Vegetarianism, Intro to Asian religions, Religious Classics of Asia & more.
There has been a good enrolment, where students look forward to learning from
the living practitioner. The courses gives them the eastern perspective of
Religion, Philosophy & Meditation practices. The courses are geared towards
nonviolence, healthy living, Vegetarianism and more.
Preksha Meditation Club:
started a Preksha meditation Club on campus. Through this club various
enlightening events and meditation sessions are organized. This has been a
blessing for the stressful life of students.
‘This is best for my wandering mind’, say some students. ‘It helps me
focus and align my mind. It is a blessing and a bliss’. The Preksha meditation
Club also received two awards for its wonderful activities. The ‘Best New
Organization Award’ and the ‘Outstanding Club award in the Religion &
Spirituality Category’. This has created awareness among students, as to how
they can control their mind, stay stress free and lead a healthy life.
Samaniji are at FIU
to impart the knowledge and philosophy of Jainism, Nonviolence and healthy
living. A series on Nonviolence was organized on Campus, where different
aspects of Nonviolence, healthy living, stress management were discussed and
brought to light. The events were not mere theoretical but also practical to
help them feel and experience the difference. We welcomed different orators,
Activist, and organization including Dr. Dipak Jain, Dr. Hiene, Bernard
lafyette, Surabh Dalal, Big Cat rescue organization and many more.
Jayanti in FIU
On the eve of Mahavir Jayanti, Essence of Jainism = was presented by Samani Charitra
& Let live –
A special event which focused on Vegetarianism, animal
rights and nonviolence in life. The event was enlightened by three great speakers.
Samani Charitra Prajna brought to light the violence of life and the counter
acting forces. Carole Baskin talked about the violence on Big Cats and Saurabh
Dalal highlighted vegetarianism and vegan food.
the color of you aura and heal it –
This event was
about what You know about your aura, how you can see and change it. Samani
Unnata Pragya spoke about the concept and ways to seeing the Aura. Samani
Charitra Prajna guided the class into meditation.
in Business –
This event was vibrant
with the presence of the then Dean of Kellogg, Dr. Dipak Jain. He shared his
experience of Jain values in the field of Business. Samani Charitra Prajna’s
speech on Nonviolence in economics followed that.
This event lectured
By Samani Unnata Pragya and Swamiji walked through the different steps of
Peace Diet –
The Author of World
Peace Diet, Will Tuttle was invited to FIU on 25th Feb, 09 to talk about his
Book and his life changing experience.
in the world-
March 11th 09, the
event was for the students, by the students, and of the students. Convened by
Preksha Club, different organizations on campus,came and shared the practice of
nonviolence in different cultures. Different vegetarian food and activities
from all various cultures were offered to acknowledge the thriving practice of
nonviolence in diverse human life. This commenced with a meditation session by
Samaniji and concluded with fun activities.
and Meditation for peace –
16th Sept 09,
students demonstrated making vegetarian dishes and brought an awareness towards
the easy ways of healthy living.
Camps were organized and interfaith programs attended by Samaniji to spread the
message of self respect the self
training in Ahimsa
Summer was a
training period for Samaniji. Samaniji also participated in the Nonviolence
training in the Ahimsa Center of Cal Poly, Pamona University.
I truly enjoyed
this course. I found that it had very insightful and meaningful messages that I
will remember for the rest of my life. I also enjoyed learning about Jainism
It was a
religion I had not yet studied and I believe it helped me understand people
I am a
nursing major and I have to work with a large diversity of people and I feel
that this class helped a lot with how to take care of them. I would suggest
this course for everyone.
This was a truly
excellent course for me to take. I feel much better about my life in general.
By taking these classes I am better able to deal with the stress currently
existing in my life. I truly agree with many aspects of Jainism such as the
pursuit of spiritual growth. I see the real advantages having learned of them
from this perspective.
This has been a
very interesting and enjoyable course. I have learned a great deal about Myself
and how my actions and reactions affect myself and others. I am now conscious
when I waste the earth’s precious resources. The best thing about Jainism in my
opinion is the way they make a point of not hurting any living creature. I
agree with the belief that our behavior attracts different kinds of karmas. I
will now try to be more conscious of the things I do, say, think and consume.
"I hope FIU
continues this course for the future students”
from different students-
"I’m an American
but I have faith in nonviolence….we appreciate the knowledge you are sharing
with us.” "We know many things but we need some awakening….” "I agree that
nonviolence is the core. This can help get away from disparity. It could be by
more education of it.” These are the voice of the students. The inclination of
students is crystal clear. Though the course was for the undergraduates, even
graduate students turned up to take advantage of this unique opportunity. ‘it
is very intriguing as well as helpful not just for the purpose of the course
but for life, career, mind and most of
offered different courses over the last four years. This has been educative and
transformative at the personal level. Some students have changed to vegetarian
diet, some are stepping towards it. Students have added meditation in their
daily practice. Students are exposed to different aspects of wellbeing, and
peaceful world. Guest lectures in various classes have facilitated the spread
of Jain philosophy. The diverse events have created an awareness of the rich
spiritual heritage we humans carry unexplored. The Jain ideal "Nanassa saram
ayaro”, ‘the essence of Knowledge is Conduct’, is seen coming true, the purpose
served. This is an attempt to sow the seed of Jainism in the academic world in
US, it has started sprouting, the day is not long away when we would enjoy the
branched green tree, its shade and sweet fruits.