Discrepancies in PU textbook about Bhagwan Mahaveer anger Jain community
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MANGALURU: The II PU History Book in Kannada has raised the problems of the Jain community who have raised objections to inconsistencies and discrepancies regarding Bhagwan Mahaveer and the Jain religion.

The Moodabidri seer noticed these obvious errors and asked the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education Suresh Kumar to withhold the textbook until corrections were made.

Interestingly, the textbook has been mandatory for PU since the 2015/16 academic year.

Swasti Sri Charukeerthi Panditachayavarya Maha Swamiji of Jain Kashi Mutt, Moodbidri, told TOI that the discrepancies had recently been brought to the attention of prominent people in the community and that he had therefore written the letter to the minister to take the necessary action.

The seer said that certain paragraphs that appeared in the textbook on the history and message of Bhagwan Mahaveer are incorrect and do not correspond to the beliefs of the community.

The seer said that references to Bhagwan Mahaveer appear in the section “Indian History – With Particular Reference to Karnataka” where the text indicates the meaning that Bhagwan Mahaveer was married. “In the Shwethambara sect there is a belief that Mahaveer was married before he became Bhagwan, but the Digambara sect believes that he was celibate (Bala brahmachari) from childhood,” the seer said, suggesting that that Textbook drafting committee meets with experts in the field of religion to make corrections.

The seer also pointed out that the textbook states that Jainism was only limited to Kosala, Vanga, and Magadha, which is wrong. Jainism was followed in “Akhanda Bharatha” and it is “a religion that has neither a beginning nor an end” which is not just the Jain beliefs but a historical fact. According to Jain calculations, the first tirthankara was born in the fourth era, but it was mistakenly mentioned in the textbook as Shalivahana Shaka, the seer said.

He said brahmacharya (celibacy) was one of the sacred vows added by Bhagwan Mahaveer and the rest of the vows – namely, Ahimsa (non-violence), Satya (truthfulness), Asteya (not stealing), and Aparigraha (not acquiring) – were made by the earlier 23 Tirthankaras propagated. The text puts this under “panchasheela”, but it should be under “pancha anuvrata,” the seer noted.

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