Washington, September 2
Democratic presidential candidate and former US vice president Joe Biden has greeted the Jain community on the concluding day of Paryushan and Das Lakshan festival.
"May we all find peace and reconciliation in our lives. Michhami Dukkaddam and Kshamavani!” Biden said in a tweet on Tuesday. Paryushana is an annual eight to ten-day period of fasting and meditation for Jain worshippers.
Over 150,000 Jains live in the United States, which is the community's largest population outside India.
Jain Acharya and founder of Ahimsa Vishwa Bharti Acharya, Lokesh Muni, welcomed Biden's message.
"Thanks a lot Mr Biden for your kind wishes on this holy occasion. We should be courageous enough to realise mistakes and ask forgiveness, (and be) gracious enough to forgive," the Jain Acharya tweeted.
It is wonderful to see Biden recognising various communities across the world and uniting people of all faith, colour, religion and place of origin, said Ajay Bhutoria, a member of Biden for President campaign and National AAPI leadership council.
“Biden is restoring America's leadership. He is the first American presidential candidate to recognise Anant Chaturdashi -- one of the holiest days for the Jain community. This morning, Joe Biden sent his wishes to the Jain community on the conclusion of Paryushan and Das Lakshan, and said 'Michhami Dukkaddam and Kshamavani!'" said Bhutoria, who is a Silicon Valley-based entrepreneur.
Nirmal Baid, founding director and co-chair of the Board of Jain Education and Research Foundation, said the Jain community welcomes Biden's heartwarming message.
"It is heartening to see the former vice president actively embracing the Jain message of peace, non-violence and forgiveness. These fundamentally human tenets are instrumental in addressing the discord we see in our society today," Baid said.
Mohini Devi, a septuagenarian from St Louis, said, "I had the pleasure of hosting Dr (Jill) Biden at my home last year and we are very proud of Dr Biden and Joe Biden for bringing the message of non-violence and peace in America and the world.” Samani Malay Pragya from Texas said it is a historic moment as Biden and his Indian-origin vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris have recognised the principles of Jain faith. PTI
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