Members of Jain community stage silent protest, knock Raj Bhawan to protect sanctity of Sammed Shikhar Ji

Ranchi: More than 1,500 Jains marched to Raj Bhawan from Jain Mandir near Saheed Chowk for the protection of the sanctity of their Giridih-based religious place Sammed Shikhar Ji which is likely to get converted into a tourist spot. It was a two-hour exercise during which people of the Jain community marked their protest against the central government to notify Sammed Shikhar a tourist destination.

According to them tourist spot status will not pave the path of desecration of the religious place as those who go for tourism have a mindset different from those who go for pilgrimage. They handed a memorandum to this effect to the governor and sought his intervention in the matter.

Ajay Jain, a member of Digambar Jain Panchayat said followers of Jainism are not going to leave any stone unturned to save the sanctity of their religious place. Shikharji is on Parasnath Hills located on the Chota Nagpur plateau.

It is considered the most important Jain pilgrimage site in the world as 20 of the 24 Tirthankaras (supreme Jain gurus) of Jainism attained salvation in this holy region only. Moreover, it was here that Lord Parshvanath, the 23rd Tirthankara also attained Nirvana.

20 of the 24 Jain Tirthankaras are believed to have attained salvation here at the height of 1,350 meters (4,430 ft) height. The location is also at the highest point in Jharkhand. Before the memorandum addressed to the governor was submitted, a senior member of Digambar Jain Samaj Digambar Sethi said that the agitation will continue till the fulfillment of the demands. It is not acceptable to turn Sammed Shikhar Ji into a tourist site.

Tourism principles are diametrically opposed to religious values. When you visit a temple, you go with complete faith and devotion, but when you visit a tourist attraction, your mindset changes. Tourism is a recreational activity. Our sacred site is not for recreation; it is a pilgrimage site. Unlike tourists, we approach the mountain barefoot and in clean clothes a person participating in March said.

Another one said that the practitioners of Jainism have the same faith in Sammed Shikhar Ji which Hindus have in Vaishno Devi and Sikha in Amritsar’s Golden Temple.

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