India is capital of spirituality: Venkaiah

Calling India the capital of spirituality, Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday said the country had no history of attacking or invading any other country as all saints and spiritual leaders of the land taught peace and non-violence.

He was speaking after participating in Rajyabhishekha, a ritual held as part of Pancha Kalyana Mahotsava in the run-up to the Mahamastakabhishekha, here on Saturday. Many ruled, while some ruined the country, he said, and added, “But we Indians never attacked anybody. We believe that peace and progress go together. I feel proud for being an Indian.”

Expressing his happiness for being part of the sacred ceremony, he said, “I appreciate the efforts of Charukeerthi Bhattaraka Swami who is presiding over the grand ceremony for the fourth time.”

Shravanabelagola has a rich heritage. In the 3rd century B.C., Jain saint Bhadrabahu had come down to this place from north India along with Maurya king Chandragupta. “This is just an example how cultural matrix evolved with the contributions of people from all over India,” he said.

Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Ananth Kumar announced that the Union government would set up a Prakrit university in Vaishali, Bihar, the birthplace of Bhagwan Mahaveer.

On the occasion, Mr. Naidu released 108 books published by the organising committee of the event in association with Bharatiya Jnanapeeth, a literary organisation. Charukeerthi Bhattaraka Swami said several rare works had been republished by spending about ₹1 crore.

Demand for ‘ahimsa kshetra’

Jain saint Acharya Pushpadanta Sagar Maharaj has called for declaring an area of 5 km around Shravanabelagola as ‘ahimsa kshetra’ and prohibiting all “immoral activities” in the place. He was speaking during Rajyabhishekha ritual here on Saturday.

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