Seeking Many Perspectives

“We understand betterwhen we consider multiple perceptions.”

On Saturday, November 4th, the Northern California Jain Center in Milpitas hosted their second annual Interfaith Conference: “Seeking Truth from the Perspective of Different Religions.” The theme of the day was inspired by a Jain teacher, Acharya Siddhasen (c. 5 c.e.), whose words are above.After a light breakfast, those gathered enjoyed a time of religious singing and chanting that included offerings from the children of the Jain Temple, Christians, Buddhists, and Sikhs. I was then given a few minutes to share about the importance of interfaith relationships in our community.The core of the day was devoted to multiple perceptions expressed by the members of an interfaith panel which included:

  • Harendra Shah (Jain)
  • Bart Charlow (Jewish)
  • Jessi Kaur (Sikh)
  • Maha ElGenaidi (Muslim)
  • Ven. Jian Hu (Buddhist)
  • Rev. Ben Daniel (Christian)
  • Jayrami Reddi (Hindu)

Each panelist spoke on tolerance and forgiveness, religion and globalization, and non-violence and peacemaking from their own faith perspective. There followed a lively discussion moderated by Chetan Sanghvi with sometimes pointed questions about the different traditions, including questions from the audience.The Jains are a little-known and under-appreciated religious tradition that began in India centuries ago. Jains are devoted to the principle of non-violence in actions, thought, and speech, making them natural hosts for bringing people together to seek peacemaking. Our thanks to the hospitality and graciousness that we all experienced at the Jain Center

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