New Delhi, The first copy of "The Silent Earth", English translation of the Hindi epic poem "Mukamati" authored by Jain saint poet Acharya Vidyasagar was presented to President Pratibha Devisingh Patil at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. The epic presents the Jain religious philosophy and spirituality by making the soil (Mati) the subject matter as it is from the base clay that the potter artistically crafts the sacred pitchers worthy of worship. He kneads the soil, crushes it, removes impurities and provides the requisite shape at his wheel and then bakes it in a furnace. The process is used as a metaphor for the journey of the soul to attain liberation from the bondage of 'Karma" and advance towards a stage of perfect purification.
During the course of the 488-page work, references are made to modern scientific trends, about the destructive power of the atom and faith as the saviour. "Over and above, the machine is thundering, beneath it, the holy incantation is being sung, the one is a killer, the other is a saviour..." goes the poem. A reference to terrorism too comes up. "Till terrorism is alive, This earth can't take the breath of peace," says the Acharya. At another place, the author says about elevation of the soul. "Pay homage to humility which is the mother of eminence..." Among the recurring symbols used in the epic are Mukamati, the heroine as a symbol of the recurrence the life cycle, the potter-artisan, a symbol of the "Mahamuni", the great ascetic who moulds the feelings, thoughts and conduct of a votary householder (the hero) to advance on the true path of spiritualism. The book is published by Bharatiya Jnanpith,and priced at Rs 350, has been translated into English by Mr Lal Chandra Jain (Ex Lecturer, Varni Jain Inter Collage, 39/625 Aalok Bhawan, Chhatrasalpura, Lalitpur-284 403 Uttarpradesh Contact – 05176 272640). Courtesy: Nitin Kumar Jain, Singhai Market, New galla Mandi, Khargapur 472 115 District- Tikamgarh (MP)