Report ISSJS2009 Bangkok
The inauguration program was attended by the entire class of 17 plus registered participants to the program and twenty community leaders and university faculty. The program was inaugurated by H.E. Mrs. Latha Reddy, Indian ambassador to Thailand. It was a very well organized program which started with lighting the lamp. Manglacharan by Dr. Shugan Jain followed by brief speeches by Prof. Sophana Srichampa of Mahidol and coordinator of the program, Mr. Pramod Jain president of DJF Bangkok, Dr. Shugan Jain director ISJS India and the Mrs. Latha Reddy Indian ambassador. DJF organized an exhibition of important Jain temples in the world which was also inaugurated by the ambassador. The function ended with light refreshments to all attendees. After the program an orientation program for the participants was organized and conducted by Dr. Shugan Jain in which a Help book was given to each student along with a CD containing Study notes Version 3.0 and Key to Tattvarathasutra. Jain path of Purification was also given to each participant.
From 22nd to 25th April, eight lectures as scheduled were delivered by Dr. Shugan Jain. These formed the foundation of Jainism for the participants to learn the concepts and practices in Jainism properly.
The following lecture schedule was delivered to the participants
· First week Dr. Shugan Jain (9 lectures)
· Second week Prof. Kusum Jain (5 lectures), Prof. Sogani (9 lectures)
· Third week Dr. Priya Jain (9 lectures)
· Fourth week Prof. Bhag Chandji (10 lectures)
Besides two lectures by ISSJS alumni from Thailand were also delivered for a total of 45 academic lectures on all aspects of Jainism.
· On Sunday April 26th, a three hour Shwetambar Jain puja was organized at Shwetambar Jain temple in Bangkok.
· On Saturday May 2nd a three hour Digambar Jain puja was organized at Digambar Jain temple in Bangkok.
Both pujas were followed by a sumptuous brunch organized by DJF.
All the lectures were highly interactive including group discussions by participants. All the seventeen participants attended the programs completely with others coming off and on depending on their interest. Participants are a mix of students and faculty members (6). A very senior philosophy scholar (Dr Savior, an advisor to UNO and a number of MNCs) is also attending the program on full time basis. Three Jain business men and women also attended the program completely besides the university students and faculty. At the end of the each week all the participants were requested to give their comments and suggestions for improvements which were very valuable and showed complete satisfaction by the attending participants.
Overall a feeling is generated that this program is the beginning of an annual ISJS class regularly. More the half class wishes to attend the two months program in India also and others a similar program in Bangkok next year. Dr. Savior, the Spanish scholar wishes to come to India for the two months program and a stay later at PV Varanasi for experiencing the Jainism tradition in more details. A detailed meeting with the dean and senior professors of Assumption university (Dean Sriwarakuel and Director international affairs Glen Chatelier and senior professors) was held with a view to enhance cooperation between ISJS and them. Similarly, Mr Prasong, an ISJS alumni and a lecturer at Rahmbeg University was held to review cooperation. By all accounts ISJS has been fully established in Bangkok with very exciting activities already being planned.
ISJS thanks the organizers of ISSJS2009 Bangkok i.e. DJF (Mr. Pramod Jain, Mr. Atul Shah and Mr. Nikunj Mehta particularly and the entire council of ISJS Bangkok and DJF), Mahidol University, especially Prof. Sophana Srichampa for their special efforts and hard work to make this program a grand success. ISJS alumni Mr. Prasong and Nomnian have also worked very hard to make this program a reality. Special thanks go to Shri Nirmal K. Sethi president of Shri Bharatvarshiya Digambar Jain Mahasabha for financially sponsoring the visit of all the five faculty members of ISJS.
ISJS Bangkok chapter was also inaugurated with Mr. Pramod Jain as its chairman. The chapter members requested director ISJS to significantly increase ISJS activities in Bangkok. The current program is a joint offering by Mahidol University and ISJS and a certificate of participation will be given to all participants by both institutions combined. The candidate selected as best performer in ISSJS 2009 Bangkok will be offered a trip to India to attend the lectures by Prof. Jaini and participate in the pilgrimage.
Some photos of ISSJS2009 at Bangkok are enclosed.