Jaina Convention 2019: Kumbh of Jain Religion
Ontario, CA, July 4-7, 2019; Every two years JAINA (the Federation of Jain Associations in North America) in partnership with a local community hosts a biennial JAINA convention with over 3,500 guests from not only across the nation but across the world. This year, from July 4 to July 7, JAINA in partnership with the Jain community of Southern California is hosting its 20th Biennial Convention in Ontario, California, just outside of Los Angeles.
JAINA Executive Committee’s First Vice President and Convention Convener, Mr. Mahesh Wadher of Southern California, proudly announced the theme “Celebrating Jain Religion in 21st Century” and conveyed that attendees will have an everlasting impression of JAINA and unique immersion into self-realization with education and inspiration with multiple perspectives.
The convention will be graced by pre-recorded speeches from the world-renowned Jain acharyas.
Resonating the theme of this convention, many dignitary keynotes from multiple faiths will address the convention attendees. Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev – Yogi, mystic and author involved in social outreach and environmental initiatives; Tulsi Gabbard – First Hindu US Representative from the State of Hawaii; Ingrid Newkirk – President of “People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals” (PETA); Philip Wollen – Animal right activist; ISKCON Monk Gaur Gopal Das – Motivational Speaker, Life Coach and Engineer, and Nipun Mehta – Founder of Servicespace.org, a volunteer-based non-profit, and others will speak on significance of lifestyle that embodies Jain principles of non-violence (ahimsa), non-possessiveness (aparigraha), and multiple-viewpoints (anekantavada) – the main tenets of Jain religion.
Convention Co-conveners, Dr. Nitin Shah and Dr. Jaswant Modi of Los Angeles, mentioned that the theme for this convention is “Jain Religion in the 21st century”. The convention will feature five distinct tracks of learning about Jain principles and practices during the afternoon sessions. Five tracks will represent the five elements – Seva, Satsang, Samarpan, Sadhana, and Self-Realization – depicted in the convention logo represent the steps in a path of progression of a spiritual journey towards achieving moksha, the final liberation. In addition to sessions on Jain principles and Jain virtues, we will explore ways to promote devotion, compassion, and transformation. Multiple speakers and dignitaries will share examples and demonstrate how a Jain Way of Life could make a profound impact on you and allow you to influence the people around you. We will also offer sessions in Jain communities and world challenges and the role of Jainism is diffusing the issues around the world.
There are 80+ distinguished speakers including Jain Sadhu-Sadhvis, Professors, Doctors, Scientists, Authors, Swadhyaykars, Jain Scholars, and Spiritual Guides; such as: Acharya Shri Chandanaji – Founder of Veerayatan and First Jain Sadhvi to receive the title of Acharya; Acharya Dr. Lokesh Muni – Social reformer, thinker, writer, poet; Acharya Namra Muniji (via live video conference) – A revolutionary saint with extraordinary dynamism; Gurudev Shri Rakeshbhai Jhaveri – Spiritual Leader and Founder of Shrimad Rajchandra Mission, Dharampur, India.
First-time attendees can expect to see the largest gathering of Jains in North America and partake in networking opportunities and concurrent talks on various topics including – Religion, Jain way of life, Ecology, Cruelty-Free Products, and Exhibit Space with over 50+ vendors.
Convention Board member and JAINA Treasurer, Mr. Atul Shah, mentioned that all of the food services, covering 10 freshly prepared meals for 3,500 attendees, over a 3-day convention event, will be served by the dedicated volunteers of BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir of Los Angeles.
A Grand Procession featuring colorful artifacts and represented by all Jain Sangh’s of North America will be attended by participants and guests on Thursday, July 4th. The procession will be followed by an unveiling ceremony of a uniquely constructed Jain Temple at the convention venue. First, of its kind at such a convention, this Jain Temple will span over 5,000 square feet of prime space of the convention center.
One of the significant youth education and development initiatives is a team-based competition, Jain Academic Bowl (JAB), launched first about a decade ago. JAB is a jeopardy style vocabulary game in which young Jains compete with other teams.
As the sun goes down, the evening entertainment highlighted by a Jain’s Got Talent competition, a Jain Cultural show, and a Bollywood concert, will amaze you! Each night will be a night of excitement with music and dance till the wee hours of the morning. On Thursday night, Parth Doshi, Kalpesh Kharwa and Shilpi Paul will lead the traditional Raas-Garba with their melodious singing.
The Cultural Program “One World, One Rhythm”, will rock in a non-stop music, dance, and drama performances by artists of all ages on Friday night.
The JGT competition participants will showcase some of their enactments on Saturday night followed by an enthralling “Bollywood Night” show conducted by Rex D’souza, Mauli Dave, and Sunny Jadhav.
Jain Connect will be introduced this year as a new perspective on how to make, build, and retain genuine connections in the real world for Jain youths age 21 to 42. Whether you’re looking to make new friends, new business connections, or find a special someone; Jain Connect will offer a variety of tools to get to know you better and offer opportunities to meet and greet others. Special sessions will be held specifically for Jain Connect registrants on communication, relationships, and matrimony.
Being featured for the first time in JAINA convention history and hence unique to this convention is Shatavdhan. Jaynesh Jain will demonstrate his ability and talent to memorize 100 questions, objects, or statements asked by a live audience. He will recall these questions, and even answer them as per his ability, in any order or sequence. Art Workshop – Kartik Trivedi, the famous artist whose impressionist paintings are hanging in world-famous galleries and accepted by Late President Ronald Regan, President Bill Clinton, and French President Francoise Mitterand, offer a hands-on 3-hour art workshop. Jain Yoga – Shanti Parakh, an internationally known Yoga teacher, Reflexologist, Metaphysician, and Healer, will conduct morning Yoga sessions on July 5th and 6th.
In closing, commenting on transition and evolution of the Jain community in North America, Mr. Dipak Doshi of Chicago, Chairman of Public Relations and Press-Media Committee of this convention, quoted that in the past four decades Jains have migrated to America with their population reaching nearly 165,000 in North America. On this July 4th weekend in the Greater Los Angeles area, around 3,500 Jains and others will gather and celebrate their philosophy of nonviolence, their practice of vegetarianism, and their traditions of forgiveness and tolerance while reminiscing and addressing topics that shape our lives:
Number of Jains in North America at nearly 165,000 —What are their Jain values? What can this religion teach us?
As the world celebrates Gandhi’s 150 birth anniversary year — Jains celebrate their contribution to Gandhi – the philosophy of nonviolence. Learn about how a little-known concept which was embedded as a main principle of a select religion transformed India and America. Jains can help us see how nonviolence can be applied in our daily lives not just for political causes.
125 years ago, in 1893, the first Jain came to American at the Parliament of World Religions, Mr. Veerchand Gandhi, and today there are nearly 165,000 Jains in North America and they are making a profound impact all around.
Institutions across America are seeing a new set of courses in religion. Jainism has been added to the course catalog in nearly a dozen universities through generous grants from Jain philanthropists. What is Jain religion and how does it add to the tapestry of religious studies in America?
The truth can be delusion – an ancient India religion, Jainism, can help us gain a better perspective on this. The story of 6 blind men and elephant, a Jain parable states the truth is made up of multiple perspectives.
For Further Information, please contact Mr. Dipak Doshi, Chair of Public Relations and Media Committee of 2019 JAINA Convention at firstname.lastname@example.org Co-Chairs, Mr. Hemant Shah at email@example.com or Dr. Manoj Jain at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Founded in 1981, JAINA is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt non-profit organization. JAINA (www.jaina.org) is the umbrella organization of 70+ North American centers / temples in the USA and Canada. Operated by a staff of hundreds of volunteers, it functions as a philanthropic, educational, and service-focused organization. JAINA is certified by USAID as a non-governmental humanitarian organization and was awarded Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations in 2006. Jain Centers routinely organize free wellness clinics, hold classes on healthy lifestyles, conflict-resolution, inter-cultural dialogues, volunteering at animal shelters, food banks, and homeless shelters, and partnering with civic groups such as Habitat for Humanity, the Humane Society, Rotary, Lions and Boy/Girl Scouts. JAINA partners globally with humanitarian organizations help to render disaster relief, medical aid, polio eradication, restorative limb camps, as well as organizing annual Legislative Conferences on Peace, Harmony, and Non-Violence on Capitol Hill.
For thousands of years, Jains have believed in meditation, yoga, compassion for animals, vegetarianism, environmentalism, equal rights for women, respect for other cultures and forgiveness, among other virtues. Lord Mahavir, born in 599 BC in Bihar, India, is slated to be the last known perfect Jain soul to have attained “Nirvana”. Jainism emphasizes non-violence by encouraging amity, compassion, appreciation, and equanimity. The three jewels of Jainism are – Right Faith, Right Knowledge, and Right Conduct. It emphasizes the equality of both sexes and respect for all life forms. It encourages kindness and tolerance for multiple points of view, some of which may even appear to be contrary to others. The convention will highlight these topics along with devotion, compassion, and transformation and create opportunities for dialogues on global issues and the role that Jainism can play in mitigating them.