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By Nithin Sridhar
Amidst raging debates and protests regarding the meat ban, especially in Mumbai, the Jains have started the celebration of Paryushana festival worldwide. It is one of the most important festivals celebrated by the Jain community. Before analyzing the merits or demerits of the meat ban and arguments that are being made against such a ban, let us first look into the philosophy and essence of the celebration of Paryushana.
Paryushana- the festival of “Self-Purification”
“Paryushana” means “Self-Purification.” It is usually defined as “Parismantadushayante dhante karmani yasimannasau paryushnm” which means “The celebration through which the Karmic matter attached to the soul is totally burnt or vanquished (both internally and externally) is known as Paryushana.”
The festival is rooted in the practice of Chaturmasya of monks that is common to both Jain and Hindu monks. The monks who always wander otherwise, stay at a place for 2-4 months during the rainy season.
During the rainy season many organisms become more active and the monks do not want to injure them. The monks spend their time in meditation, self-control, and self-introspection. Hence, the festival of Paryushana that is rooted in the Chaturmasya also involves intense meditation, self-control, and self-introspection.
The festival is celebrated for 8-days by the Swetambara Jains and for 10-days by the Digambara Jains. The Swetambaras call the festival as Paryushana Parva and it ends with Samvatsari on September 18 this year. The Digambaras call the festival Dasha-Lakshana Parva and will celebrate it from September 18 to September 27.
A person commits various Adharma (non-righteous actions) like violence, cheating, and others because of the influence of these mental impurities, therefore, the goal of the festival is to help a person to do Prayashchitta (repentance) for the wrongdoings committed in the past by asking for Kshama (forgiveness) and to purify oneself from emotions like anger, hate, and frustration.
Forgiveness is one of the central features of this festival. But, forgiveness alone cannot bring about complete purification. Jain scriptures speak about 10 tenets of Dharma (duty/righteousness) that they call as Dasha Lakshana.
These 10 tenets should ideally be practised every day. But, during the festival, these 10 tenets are given special importance and they should be practised to the best of one’s ability.
These 10 tenets are Kshama (forgiveness), Mardava (humility), Arjava (straightforwardness), Shaucha (cleanliness), Satyam (truth), Samyama (restraint of all senses), Tapa (austerity), Tyaga (renunciation), Aparigraha (non-possessiveness), and Brahmacharya (celibacy).
The utmost importance of the practice of these virtues during the festival can be understood from the fact that Digambaras practice a 10-day Dasha-Lakshana Parva dedicated completely to the practice of these tenets of Dharma after the end of the 8-day Paryushana celebration taken by Swetambara Jains.
The 8-day festival ends with a ritual of forgiveness, where the practitioners ask forgiveness from everyone and in turn forgive others. One of the common sutras that is used for asking forgiveness says: “I forgive all the living beings of the universe and may all the living beings forgive me for my faults. I do not have animosity towards anybody and I hold friendliness towards everyone.”
Meat ban: Much ado about nothing
Earlier this week, the Brihan, Mumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), imposed a ban on the sale of meat for four days. A similar ban, but for the whole 8 days, was imposed by Mira Bhayander Municipal Corporation in Thane. Rajasthan has also imposed a meat ban.
Following the ban, many people took to Twitter to express their outrage. Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) protested against the ban by selling chicken and fish on Thursday. The criticism that is being heaped against the ban ranges from calling it a violation of the fundamental rights to branding it as an attempt by the BJP to appease a particular community.
Before proceeding further, let us first look at the history of the ban. The ban on meat during the Jain festival was first implemented in 1964 when the BMC passed a resolution to that effect.
The ban was stipulated for two days at that time. Then, in 2004, the Congress-NCP government passed another resolution endorsing the two-day ban. It is only after that, the Mumbai observed a four-day ban on meat.
Hence, any attempts at calling it a BJP ban or BJP’s attempts to appease a community falls flat on the face. The fact is that there has been neither protest nor outrage since the enforcement of the ban in 1964. It is only this year that the issue is being blown out of proportion. This clearly points towards political opportunism and a deliberate attempt at maligning BJP.
Now, coming to the merits of the ban itself, let it be categorically stated that the ban itself was quite unnecessary. Jains, who are vegetarians, have no practical benefit from the meat ban.
Besides, many Hindus who are vegetarians also practice fasting without calling for a ban. Also, there is merit in the argument that people have a right to decide what they want to eat. But, is the meat ban such a big violation of rights that it required such a big outrage?
People don’t feel outraged when hundreds of children die due to malnutrition or farmers die due to the burden of debt. Yet, a simple ban on the sale of meat for a few days is making it to the headlines.
Have Indians become so addicted to meat that they cannot even live a day or two without eating it? Or, is the addiction actually symbolic of managing a hue and cry on every non-issue?
Hence, a simple prohibition on the sale of meat cannot be a justifiable reason for such an enormous outrage. Every person protesting against the ban must ask himself/herself whether his/her outrage is even necessary? The arguments against the ban have merit, but the question remains, was there a necessity to make a mountain out of a mole?
Indians are known for their generosity and tolerance. The government, for example, provides Haj subsidy for those devout Muslims who want to go to Haj. It spends a significant portion of taxpayers’ money to fund religious pilgrimages to Manasarovar and other spots. These are all acts of generosity towards those sections of society. Similarly, can the Indian society not show some generosity to the Jains as well by taking this ban in a positive way and not as a violation of fundamental rights?
The very central tenet of the Jain festival of Paryusham is forgiveness. But, the whole essence of the practice has been sidelined due to the noise generated by this outrage against the meat ban. It is true that in a democracy, no action should be forcefully imposed. But, have Indians become so rigid that they cannot go beyond their own self-serving desires and viewpoint?
Forgiveness is not a tenet unique to Jains. It is shared by Hindus and Buddhists as well. In fact, it is among the universal virtues that are applicable to every human.
Hence, won’t it be more useful, if the non-Jains also get involved in this practice of forgiveness during Paryushana? After all the practice is aimed at self-purification and hence it will help everybody.
As a first act of forgiveness, people can then forgive the government itself for imposing the ban. The gist of the argument is that, even though the ban was unnecessary, it has been practised for a few years now, after a certain section of Jains requested for such a ban.
Instead of taking the ban negatively and wasting time and energy in protesting and venting out one’s frustration, it would be more useful if people consider the ban as a show of generosity towards a peaceful community.
Going one step further, non-Jain Indians can join the Jains in their celebration of forgiveness and truth. This will not only strengthen the Dharmic unity that upholds this nation, but also will help each such individual to purify oneself and become a better human.
Bitcoin has become an essential crypto asset in modern portfolios and investment funds. The confidence generated in this cryptocurrency will depend a lot on the diversification that companies make in their balance sheets in Bitcoin and the increase of institutional investors that allocate a percentage of their funds in this crypto. American fund manager Cathie Wood makes some interesting predictions, both in the rise that the Bitcoin price will experience in the next 5 years, suggesting these institutional investors allocate 5% of their funds; this will help leverage the Bitcoin market.
Bitcoin will grow by a tenfold
Bitcoin is projected to grow by 10 times its current value in five years, i.e., it could reach $500,000. Of course, this will require companies to invest in cryptocurrencies. This makes it necessary to increase the weight of Bitcoin on balance sheets through investments. One of the investment gurus who supports this prediction is Catherine Wood. Contrarily, Ray Dalio, despite being clear that relying on cash is not a good strategy, views Bitcoin with suspicion, although he calls for its investment. This behavior is due to the actions of governments against the cryptocurrency market.
If something is undoubted is the vertiginous increase that cryptocurrencies have had in general, they have risen more than 60% so far this year. So, even when some governments are trying to regulate cryptocurrencies, they will fail. This attempt to regulate will end up triggering even more cryptos, especially Bitcoin, which is the oldest and most solid of that market.
Bitcoin, is the oldest and most solid of the market. | Photo by Executium on Unsplash
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The current Bitcoin price means is time to buy:
The current price of bitcoin invites you to buy, and perhaps it would be foolhardy not to. In either case, bitcoin will always represent money. Maybe some external factors generate some misgivings, but if you refuse to invest in cryptocurrencies, you are basically denying the near future, it would be as if you didn't have a cell phone or internet.
In India, more and more people are becoming convinced of the benefits of holding some Bitcoin. This can be clearly seen in the rapid increase in the number of new accounts at crypto exchanges such as WazirX and CoinDCX.
ALSO READ: How can you trade in Bitcoin in India?
Bitcoin, despite its fluctuations, represents an excellent financial strategy. The support users give is significant. The same cannot be said of the FIAT currencies, which have lost value and support, showing how fragile they are, being subjected to a constant devaluation. As long as confidence in cryptos grows, the foundations will continue to be laid to maintain their rise and to be able to continue making transactions. We know this by previous experience, as has happened with Ether, thanks mainly to the growing activity of Defi and NFT, i.e. decentralized finance and non-fungible tokens.
Remember that when you invest in Bitcoin, you can do it by buying or trading. When you want to make these transactions do it in a secure Exchange, study your finances to invest, manage the risk, and learn to manage your portfolio efficiently.
Tech billionaire Elon Musk took to Twitter to reveal that there were "challenges" with the toilet during SpaceX's first entirely private trip to space and promised upgrades for future missions. "Definitely upgraded toilets :) We had some challenges with it this flight," Musk said in a tweet, answering questions from Twitter users. He did not elaborate on what these challenges were or how exactly the toilets would be upgraded. SpaceX's CEO recently said that next time the Dragon spacecraft will have a food warmer and free WiFi.
After spending three days in orbit, the world's first civilian mission of SpaceX's Inspiration4 returned to Earth on Sunday. The crew, onboard the Dragon spacecraft, re-entered Earth's atmosphere for soft water landing off the coast of Florida at 7.06 p.m. EDT (4.36 a.m. Sunday India time). The mission lifted off to orbit aboard SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft on last Wednesday (India time Thursday).
It was commanded by tech entrepreneur Jared Isaacman and joined by Medical Officer Haley Arceneaux, a physician assistant at St Jude Children's Research Hospital and pediatric cancer survivor, Mission Specialist Chris Sembroski, an Air Force veteran and aerospace data engineer, and Mission Pilot Dr. Sian Proctor, a geoscientist, entrepreneur, and trained pilot. The fully automated Dragon capsule reached an unusually high altitude of 585 km, surpassing the International Space Station by 160 km. The Dragon's dome window, inspired by the Cupola on the ISSl provided the crew with incredible views of Earth. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: SpaceX, Elon Musk, Inspiration 4, cancer, children, astronaut, space
To save up money for the future, you probably opened up one or more savings accounts at banks you trust. But have you noticed that your money isn't growing as much as you would like it to while it sits in those accounts? They probably are not earning much money in interest, so the amount that you have saved likely has not changed much since you put the money in the account. This can be frustrating and disheartening, and it can create quite a bit of fear about the future, especially with coronavirus lockdowns and restrictions and rising costs.
The good news is you can do something about this. Putting your money in the bank is not the only way to make it grow. Instead, you can invest in assets that will appreciate in value over time. That way, you can build your wealth, and if you ever need more cash on hand for any reason, you can sell the assets you invested in and get the money that you need.
What are some of the top assets that you should consider investing in? HotForex has created this infographic to illustrate some of the options that are available. Keep reading to learn a bit about them.
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When it comes to assets that you can invest in to grow your wealth, you probably think of real estate, right? A lot of people do. Unfortunately, many people these days can't afford to buy real estate because they might not be earning enough, they might not have enough money saved for a down payment, or the home prices in their area might be too high. But, again, there's no need to get discouraged because there are other assets, such as gold, that can be much more affordable but still give you a great return on your investment.
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Another way to hedge against inflation is by investing in commodities. According to HotForex, industrial metals and oil have done well since COVID-19 restrictions were eased around the world in the recent past, so when you look at how their values have changed, you may realize that they have increased in value and price. If you invest in them now, you might be able to reap the benefits of their value continuing to increase in the years to come.
Some of the commodities that you might want to consider investing in include oil, palladium, copper, and silver. Going with materials that are in high demand across a variety of industries is a good way to ensure you will be making a sound decision and a financially responsible move.
Asset #3: Forex
Finally, there's the forex market. If you have never heard of it, it's basically a market in which you trade currency pairs to make a profit, much like you would trade shares of stocks on the stock market.
To succeed in the world of forex trading, be sure to get a good quality trading platform, like the MT4 for PC download. That way, you can gain access to valuable tools and stay on top of every trade with ease to increase your earnings.
(Disclaimer: This article is sponsored and contains some commercial links)