Twelve Gates President Gives Remarks at the 11th International Conference on Peace and Nonviolent Action


Twelve Gates President Gives Remarks at the 11th International Conference on Peace and Nonviolent Action

On February 13, 2024, Twelve Gates President, Dr. Frank Kaufmann offered his remarks at the inaugural session of the 11th International Conference on Peace and Nonviolent Action.

The event gathered influential speakers and guests to discuss aspects of ahimsa (nonviolence), explore nonviolent strategies to prevent wars and violent conflicts, and create a world free of such violence and hatred.

Please see a more full list of conference presenters here.

The event was organized by Anuvrat Global Organization in academic collaboration with the International Institute of Peace Studies and Global Philosophy.

Anuvrat Vishva Bharati Society is a Transnational Centre for Peace and Nonviolent Action associated with DGC of the United Nations. It is a non-profit socio-cultural organization dedicated to peace and nonviolent action. ANUVIBHA was designated as a global actor of a culture of peace and nonviolence for the children of the world by UNESCO (2001-2010). It has been in the forefront of campaigns for promoting ahimsa and already has organized ten international conferences on these urgent topics and concerns.

His Holiness Acharya Mahashraman is the spiritual patron of this event and the Anuvrat Vishva Bharati Society.


Please view Dr. Kaufmann’s full speech here:


Honor All 

Remarks for the 11th International Conference on Peace and Nonviolent Action (ICPNA)

Frank Kaufmann, February 13, 2024

Your Holiness Acharya Shree Mahashraman, Revered Sadhvi Pramukha Vishrut Vibha ji, dear friends Professor Gandhi, Ambassador Chowdhury, and honorable speakers and participants.

It is my extreme honor to be included among presenters in this Inaugural Session of this 11th International Conference on Peace and Nonviolent Action (ICPNA) by Anuvrat Global Organisation (ANUVIBHA).

I have been blessed over the years to attend many of the 10 prior ANUVIBHA conferences where I have been enriched and edified to be part of affairs as profound ancient wisdom is brought to life in the forward-looking, creative innovation of sincere scholars who bring everlasting truth to meet the constantly evolving needs of our time.

Throughout these years I have patiently longed to be in the physical presence of Acharyaji, but apparently Heaven has concluded that  I still need more training in the area of this particular divine virtue (Patience). I continue with a child’s anticipation for the coming of that moment when I can meet Acharya and such saints at Sadhvi Pramukha. Such things are always according to God’s time.

We are asked by the organizers to speak briefly, which also is a good discipline and virtue. We all know how long a speech was needed for Mahakashyapa to learn the true nature of the Dharma.

As such, I wish to share with you a single inspiration I received while praying to create this brief offering.

For outsiders to the sacred Jain tradition (such as myself) the most prominent concept and ideal we know and hear of course is Ahimsa. This is most commonly translated into English as non-violence.

Of course this singular Gem is not the whole of Jainism. It is merely its best known and most prominent tenet. When a novice seeks to learn more about Jainism we eventually discover a tapestry of tenets, but for non-natives we can only approach them through translation.

From among these tenets and guidelines behavior, Three are expressed in the negative, two are metaphysical affirmations that are not prescriptive for behavior, and only one is expressed as a positive.

When I use the term negative, I do not mean common parlance as “negative” means lesser or bad. I use it in the cosmic sense of harmonious balance, as though we may be speaking of physics or biology. Plus-Minus, Positive-Negative, Masculine-Feminine.

In Christian Theology, the renowned medieval Theologian Thomas Acquinas called this the Via Negativa. God is so much, and only mystically known, so that the most we can explain is what He is not.

Similarly in Taoism, Laotze said, “The Way that can be spoken of is not the Tao.”

So when I speak of Jain tenets as expressed in the negative, I mean it in this way.

The novice asks, yes I understand, NON-violence, but if NON that, then  what? (Perhaps the best response is silence. “Just start there.”)

Then there is Asteya (NON-Stealing), 3. Brahmacharya (Chastity or Celibacy), also a NON, , 4. Aparigraha (NON-Possessiveness), 4. Anekantavada (NON-Absolutism).

And again, yes OK, NON, but then what? And in the classic wisdom of saints or teachers, as Shakyamuni or Aquinas, a silent gaze. You will know, and at that moment, you too will be silent.

Of these core tenets only one is expressed positively Satya (Truthfulness).

To me as a visitor to this world-saving tradition, Jainism looks and feels like a family.

For me the injunction and the ideal of Satya comes to me as though from a Father. I feel a fatherliness in the feeling of this life expectation and obligation.

On the other side, I feel that the model of Ahimsa is through our mother. I feel the true wellspring of Ahimsa as originating in the eternal Mother. In the, True, infinite Mother no harm is present or possible.

From this Eternal Father, Satya (be True my son, my daughter) and from Mother, Ahimsa; unqualified, infinite loving kindness (become incapable of harm, be only kind to all, dear children). These are like parents to me, and from these are the three children of ethical life in the world. Ethical life among our brothers and sisters. Asteya (Non-Stealing), 4. Aparigraha (Non-Possessiveness), 4. Anekantavada (Non-Absolutism) the conditions for perfect social harmony.

Satya and Ahimsa are vertical, spiritual descending as the Way from the infinite Divine. Asteya, Aparigraha, and Anekantavada are horizontal, social, and ethical.

Together this family of 5 walk the cycles of Samsara until not just for me, not just for my family, but for all beings to dissolve into the bliss of Moksha.

This precious and tender tradition of Jainism is not a small thing. It is not a religion. It is the presence of (to use Western language) of God’s eternal dream in which we are all welcome to be a part.

Thank you for listening.