Sunday, April 15, 2018

Hats off to Jain Center of Southern California (JCSC) at Los Angeles

Hats off to Jain Center of Southern California (JCSC) at Los Angeles

Only Jain Vegan food to be Served at JCSC Center of Los Angeles
The Executive Committee of the Jain Center of Southern California (JCSC) at Los Angeles (Buena Park CA) announced on the Mahavir Janma Kalyanak day (April 8, 2018) that the Jain society will serve only Jain Vegan food (vegetarian food without dairy products and root vegetables) at all future programs of the Jain society. The implementation phase in period is year from April to December 2018.

Also on Mahavir Jayanti Day, it served complete Vegan food to more than 1000 people who attended Shri Mahavir Jayanti program in the evening. All members were very appreciative of the society action.

This is the first Jain Society of America who has took such a bold step on its own without support from Jain Ascetics and popular Jain scholars of India. This is a history making decision for all Jains of North America as well.

Three days later when I heard the news, I needed to verify its authenticity.  I called the president Dr. Jasvantbhai Modi and talked to him at length about this announcement.  Dr. Modi  is a newly elected (4 months ago) first time president of the Jain Center.  In such a short time period he was able to convince the majority of its 15 executive committee members to support the Vegan diet resolution presented to JCSC committee. 

Dr. Modi’s main point was that Jains should not consume dairy products due to animal cruelty (Jainism’s main tenet  is non-violence), and its detrimental effects on human health. We should serve only vegan food at our Center and this will provide a good example to other Jain Centers of North America. We need to educate members of our society that why we should consume only vegan food.  This way our members not only at the Jain Center but at their homes also consume vegan food. The resolution was passed by over whelming majority of the executive committee.  I was very very happy to feel his enthusiasm in implementing Vegan food resolution.

History Making Jain Center (JCSC - Buena Park CA)
The Los Angeles Jain Center (JCSC) consists of more than 2000 community members.  It is one of the largest and history making Jain Center of North America.
  • It is a birth place of the Federation of JAINA that occurred in 1981.  The creation of JAINA was inspired by Gurudev Shri Chitrabhanuji and Acharya Shri Sushilmuniji.
  • The Los Angeles Jain Center is a home to a priceless, historical and more than 100-years old replica of a temple similar to the Palitana Temple.  The replica is on display in the main lobby of the Cultural Complex. The assembled structure, weighing nearly 10,000 lbs measures 15 ft x 20 ft x 35 ft high, is carved out of teakwood. The structure has elaborately carved columns, wall panels, doors, a dome, two curved staircases and two ornate jarukhas (enclosed balconies).
  • Serving only Jain Vegan food at the Center is another major history making event that occurred in 2018. 
Our heartiest congratulation to the president Dr. Jasvantbhai Modi, his supporting executive committee members and the members of the history making Jain Center (JCSC) of Los Angeles.

Universal Law of Nature
The following law of Nature explains in brief the reasons why Jains should not use milk and other dairy products.  This is true for mothers of human as well as for animal under natural healthy environment.
·         No mother (cow and human) produces milk unless she delivers a baby first.
·     After the birth of a calf, the cow starts to produce milk only to feed her calf.  She also produces just enough milk that is needed for her calf (same as human).
·         The cow slowly stops producing milk after her calf reaches a weaning age (same as human).
·         Nature has not made any provision for mother cow to produce more milk than the need of her calf so that human can drink her excess or surplus milk.

In conclusion, under natural environment we can safely state that:
Any drop of milk that we drink or we use in dairy products is considered stolen from the mother cow that was meant for her baby calf.
Any other reasons that we hear (we use excess milk of mother cow) from our religious scholars and leaders or from other sources are totally incorrect..  They do not possess good knowledge of this subject and makes an authoritative statement.

From the Jain principle point view, by consuming dairy product we commit the highest sin of violence which is:.
“Stealing and consuming the food from mother cow that was meant for her child”

Gurudev Chitrabhanuji’s Mission
After confirming the news, I called Shri Gurudev Chitrabhanuji in Mumbai and talked to Smt Pramodaben.  For about last 15 years Gurudev’s full time mission was to promote Veganism among Jain communities across USA, India and other places of the world.  Shri Chitrabhanuji was extremely happy and joyful to hear this great news from Smt Pramodaben  (Gurudev is now 96 years old and cannot communicate over the phone). He has felt that his tireless effort to promote Veganism finally produced a great result in America.

Jain Center of Chicago, which will be celebrating its 25th temple anniversary in June 2018, will honour Gurudev Shri Chitrabhanuji by installing his Bust at the Center.  We earnestly request the executive committee of Chicago Jain Center to serve only Vegan Food during 25th year celebration function.  This will be real honour to Gurudev Chitrabhanuji’s mission and work.

Various JAINA Committees’ Work on Veganism
For the past 10 to 20 years, several JAINA committees (YJA, YJP, Ahimsak Eco Vegan Committee and Jaina Education Committee) and several Jain Vegan WhatsApp groups promote Veganism across USA, Canada, India and around the world. During this time, these committees have educated few thousands Jains who practice Veganism in their daily lives. 
  • For the last 10 to 15 years, YJA convention has served 95%+ vegan food, and used environmental friendly paper products for their national conventions.  Several young speakers were invited to speak on Veganism.
  • Ahimsak Eco Vegan Committee is a resource center for Veganism and Ecology related literature
  • Jaina Education Committee is fully committed to the practice Vegan way of life.  It prepared all new Pathashala books about 13 years go and dedicated to the people who are committed to live Vegan way of life.  All Pathashala teachers’ conferences and Jain Education workshops conducted at various places serve only Jain Vegan food.
  • The education committee has published the Book of compassion which consists sever articles related to animal cruelty, Veganism, Environmental protection, and complete elimination of animal products from Jain rituals. 
Vegan Movement at UK and India
Shri Digambar Jain Association (SDJA) 400 member society of London declared in September 2014 that they will serve only Jain Vegan meals to the members at any Jain society function.

Jain Vegan Group in UK is very very active promoting Vegan way of life across UK.  Please visit its website to review their activities.

Jain Vegan Transition and Veganize Jain Monks and Nuns WhatsApp groups of India are very active promoting Veganism.  Few Jain Swetambar and Digambar monks are actively participating in the Jain Vegan Movement of India.  However no high level Jain Acharyas and scholars are promoting Veganism.

There may be more Jain Vegan organisations promoting Veganism but I am not aware about it.
Pravin K. Shah, Chairperson

JAINA Education Committee
Jain eLibrary Website in-charge
Jaina JAB competition coordinator
919 889 1900 Cell