Jain Vishva Bharati
Jain Vishva Bharati : An Academy of Oriental Learning
The Jain Vishva Bharati was established in 1970, under the able guidance of Acharya Shri Tulsi. It is located at Ladnun, a small township of District Nagaur in Rajasthan. During the last three decades, this organization has grown into a vast and beautiful tapovan. It is full of greenery and gardens, amidst which several buildings for different activities have been constructed.
The aim of this institution is to carry out different activities related to non-violence and peace. It is one of the best achievements during the period of Acharya Shri Tulsi's leadership, being a central and vital institute for spiritual guidance as well as for the teaching of Jain philosophy and ethics. There are mainly seven types of activities. They are as follows:-
1. Education ( Shiksha)
Jain Vishva Bharati has made a considerable progress in the field of education. In addition to the Jain Vishva Bharati Institute (Deemed) University, a college by the name of Brahmi Vidya Pith exists for Mumuksu sisters and Samanis.
In addition, an English Medium school is run for children (by the name of Vimal Vidya Vihar to be renamed as Jai Tulsi Vidya Vihar).
In 1991, the Jain Vishva Bharati Instititue was recognized by the Central Government and U.G.C. as a deemed university. Mumukshu sisters, Samanas, Samanis, monks and nuns, after graduation from Brahmi Vidya Pith, carry on their further studies in this university. It is also open to the lay community.
There are five teaching departments of Post- graduate-Studies, viz.
1. The Department of Jainology and Comparative Studies of Philosophy and Religion.
2. The Dept. Of Prakrit and Agamic Studies.
3. The Dept. Of Science of Living (Sol), Preksha Meditation and Yoga.
4. The Dept. Of Non-violence and Peace Research.
5. The Dept. Of Social Work.
Each department offers both M.A and Ph.D. Degrees.
Moreover, a number of diploma and certificate courses are also being offered by this University in the regular mode and distance education mode in multiple subjects of different disciplines. An Under- graduate College for girls and a Teacher's Training College for girls are also run by the University.
2. Research Department
Anekanta Shodha Pitha is Research Center of South Asian Studies with emphasis on the study of Jainology (affiliated with Ajmer university for the Ph.D. Degree.) The Jain Vishva Bharati also sponsors numerous research projects-for example, Jain Cyclopedia Dictionary of Technical Terms of Jain Agamas is currently being prepared. A small but excellent library with more than fifty thousand books serves the student's research needs. The Research Journal ( Quarterly) Tulsi Prajna is published from this center.
3. Meditation Centre (Tulsi Adhyatma Nidam)
The programmes of meditation, yoga and other forms of sadhana ( spiritual practice) are taught at Tulsi Adhyatma Nidam. A great number of persons form India and abroad and from all walks of life have been trained here and at other affiliated meditation centers throughout India. A monthly" Preksha Dhyana" is a regular publication from the center.
4. The Seva Bhavi Kalyana Kendra
The Seva Bhavi Kalyan Kendra is an Ayurvedic Department of J.V.B. It is a center of research in Ayurveda. There is a dispensary for the free treatment of patients wherein about 700 persons are treated daily and almost 300 types of Ayurvedic medicines are manufactured in the pharmacy.
5. Shramana Sanskriti Sankaya
The Department of Shramana Sanskriti Sankaya runs the activity of Jain Studies throughout the nation. By conducting courses and holding yearly examinations and approximately seven thousand students take part. This department also conducts certificate courses in Jainology through correspondence.
6. Jain International
Jain International is one of the departments of Jain Vishava Bharati which is set up in order to organize international activities related to Jainism. It organizes tours of Samanas and Samanis to travel abroad and spread the message of non-violence. So far, they have visited Canada, Hongkong, England, Finland, Italy, Japan, Poland, Switzerland, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, U.S.A., U.S.S.R., Germany and many other countries. A monthly newsletter on their activities is circulated from this department and sent overseas.
7. Publication Department
The Jain Vishva Bharati is actively involved in the publication of educational materials on Jain Studies and books of Jain Philosophy, specially the canonical literature. More than 400 titles have already been published till now.
Acharya Bhikshu was the founder of Terapantha Sangha and Acharya Mahaprajna is the present Acharya ( the tenth in lineage) in this esteemed line of Acharyas. The intermediate Acharyas viz. Bharmalji, Raichandji,Jitmalji (Jayacharya), Magharajji, Manaklalji, Da1chandji, Kaluganiji and Tulsiganiji had made important contributions to the progress of the Terapantha order.
For example, the fourth Acharya (Jayacharya) encouraged the development of literature, calligraphy, drawing, art & craft and oration. At that time, new avenues were opened in the management of the Order. Jayacharya was supported by Sadhvi Pramukha Sardaraj i.
The period of Acharya Shri Kalugani, the eighth Acharya is remarkable for pioneering and widening of Vihar-Kshetra ( the places for foot-journing) out side Rajasthan. Moreover, there was a significant increase in the number of monks and nuns, and, as a result the lay followers were also greatly benefited.
Acharya Shri Tulsi, the ninth Acharya, assumed responsibility of the order at the tender age of twenty-two. His accomplishments during the 60 years' tenure of his Acaryaship are unparalleled. They have been briefly outlined in this book. He continued to educate and inspire in his role of Ganadhipati too.
At present, under the leadership of Acharya Shri Mahaprajnaji, the tenth Acharya, the Sangha continues to make progress in the fields of education, literature, sadhana, research and in its mission of non-violence.
Yuvacharya Shri Mahasharamanji who has been designated as his successor by Acharya Shri Mahaprajnaji, is aptly fulfilling his responsibility by assisting the latter in all of his activities. In the same way, the present Sadhvi Pramukha Shri Kankaprabhaji is also rendering her yeomen services to the Sangha by inspiring both the nuns and lay women to utilize their energy for spiritual development.
Acharaya Mahaprajna has been undertaking 'Ahimsa Yatra' ( Foot-journey for propagation of non-violence) since 2001. Ahimsa Yatra has gone to Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana and Punjab.
The main objective of 'Ahimsa Yatra' is to find out the root causes of violence and means to eradicate them and also to develop the moral values.
I hope that the Terapantha Sangha, which has made remarkable development over the past 236 years world continue to progress towards spiritual, philosophical and literary ideals through the spiritual upliftment of humankind for a long time to come. Just as a tree which spreads wider provides greater shade, let this order also grow in the same way so that more people may take refuge under the shelter of its teachings.