Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Acharya Vijay Abhay Sen Suri, the religious head of Jains in India.

 Every man is a god who can show you the way to righteousness and truth, says Acharya Vijay Abhay Sen Suri, the religious head of Jains in India.

Renowned as the sensible monk among Jain ascetics, Acharya Abhay Sen Suri believes that science should not be shunned at any point from the religion. “When you deeply analyse the doctrines of this religion, you can see scientific undertones everywhere. So why eschew science from religion?” asked Acharya.

He said that every religion should be simple and should cater to the needs of the people.
“It is a common sense that the doctrines of olden days will not suit this century. The essence of the religion will not reach people, if we stick to the old dogmas. We should not forget the fact that it is for the benefit of humanity that these rules were made,” he said.

When asked about the controversial custom of ‘Santara’, where Jains resort to fasting to death to attain salvation, Acharya Abhay Sen said: “It is the blatant denial of Acharya’s teaching. How can you take your own life, when the gamut of the religion is ‘Live and let live’. The custom is being misinterpreted which is very unfortunate.

Acharya opined that despite fasting to death, it should be done all through your life. “But, you should only fast as long as your mind is stable,” he said.
“The definition of a Jain is quite simple. Anybody can be a Jain - a Christian can be a Jain, a Hindu can be a Jain. If you follow the truths embodied in Jainism, you are a Jain. There is no need of conversion,” he said.

Acharya had undertaken many journeys and several of them by foot. When asked why he is not opting for other alternatives for travelling, he said: “Walking will always take you to the corners of every remotest village possible, which is very essential to feel the pulse of the place and the people. You hardly come into contact with people while you travel in any other modes of transportation.”

Acharya was staying so close to Jain sadhus and sadhvis that the desire to become a monk sprouted in him when he was just about  twelve years old.When asked why Jain monks endure great hardships, he said: “We are enduring hardships to attain spiritual strength which we can use for the benefit of humanity.”

published in The New Indian Express

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Antony needs help.....please respond

Antony had his own dreams which he never expected to shatter. That was what happened eleven years back when he fell down from a three storeyed building while at work. His spine was fractured leaving him paralyzed from waist down.

The fateful incident happened when he was working in a school building.As the school building was not insured, the school authorities did not provide him any assistance. " They promised me to help.But later they washed their hands off from the responsibility," Antony said.

Later he was taken to many hospitals for hospitals like Medical college, Thrissur, Edappally Kochi Spine Hospital, Cherthala, Thrippunithura Ayurveda hospital, but to no avail." I was the only bread winner of my family and my mother is seventy five years old and that she was not in a position to lend any substantial help. It was too difficult for her to take me for treatment. Besides, she is an ashtma patient," he said.

Most of the hospitals he approached are of the opinion that a surgery could give some relief to his woes." I am struggling hard to earn my bread and butter every day. A surgery is something which I cannot think at this point of time. Besides, I had taken loans for my treatment. It also has to be repaid," he said.

Antony said that what he now badly needs is an alternative for a descent living. " I have been bed ridden for the past eleven years.Last year, I married, because my mother is not at all in a position to take care of me and she is also ailing from many diseases. Hence, my wife has to take care of me and my mother. Owing to this, she also could not go work.The only money I am getting is the pension for disabled, which is of Rs 300. There are no other sources of income available for us, now. Our neighbours and other people do help us occasionly. But we can't live like this for a long time. So I am planning of opening a grocery shop for which I need financial assistance."

Antonty also said that he badly needed help as the living life each day has become a burden.” I have knocked several doors. But all my pleas fell on deaf ears. I was hoping to receive some kind of monetary assistance when this article gets published,” he said. 

Those who would like to extend any support can contact him on this number 8893009044

His address

P A Antony
Puthussery House
Nayarambalam P O
A T H West, Ernakulam
P O 682509