Jains struggle to get exclusive cremation land

The Chandragiri Hill is named after him and even to this day devotees go upto the cave there and remember him and offer their respects.

Published: 23rd October 2022 09:44 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd October 2022 09:44 AM   |  A+A-

Funeral pyre, cremation

Image used for representational purpose only

BENGALURU: While Emperor Chandragupta Maurya the legendary founder of the Mauryan empire, who embraced Jainism travelled to Karnataka from present-day Bihar and died in Chandragiri hill in Shravanabelagola, yet 2300 years later the present Jains who are spread across the state are struggling to get exclusive cremation grounds for the community.  Jain Community members have petitioned the state government to consider their request.

Jain tradition experts and historians recall how Chandragupta Maurya in whose court Chanakya was a minister, renounced Hinduism and accepted Jainism and walked all the way from Pataliputra in Bihar to Karnataka led by his spiritual guide Bhadrabahu a Jain monk and died in Shravanabelagola.

The Chandragiri Hill is named after him and even to this day devotees go upto the cave there and remember him and offer their respects. Chandragupta is the grandfather of one of greatest kings of India, namely emperor Ashoka whose empire stretched from Afghanistan to Bihar and stretched as far as Karnataka where many Asokan inscriptions were found and to date has been the largest empire ever by any Indian emperor.   

Praveen Pandit, Jain priest of a Jain Mandir at Wilson Garden, who offers prayers for the safe passage of the dead into the next world said, “The practices and traditions laid down of Acharya Shantisagar which are laid down in several funerary texts are practised from generation to generation and Jains would need cremation grounds.”

State Minority Commission Chairman Abdul Azeem said, “The state minority commission has raised this issue with the government. I received requests from the Jain community seeking cremation grounds in Mandya among other places across the state.’’ 

The Dharmastala Manjunatheshwara Dharmothana Trust said they have donated many crematoriums to many groups to help in the cremation of the dead. They have helped in beautification of many cremation centres too by planting trees.   

Jains who are numerically less than 0.4 per cent of the population but control close to a quarter of the nation’s wealth and community wise enjoy the highest per capita income. Jain International Trade Organization, ex- secretary said, “The community has always been a net contributor and has demanded very little in return.”

‘0.4% POPULATION HOLDS 1/4 OF NATION’S WEALTH’

The Jains are one of the wealthiest communities in the country and have also complained that they don’t have designated funeral grounds, a privilege which they have enjoyed for centuries across the nation. In Bengaluru and several places across the state they do not have designated cremation grounds, complained the president of the Karnataka Jain Association.



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