In the words of Prof. Arnold Toynbee
'Religion -has been the greatest single influence on the history and
destiny of mankind.' It is originally aimed to bring out the divine in
man, and it certainly uplifts mankind morally and spiritually. As observed
by Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, 'Religion correctly interpreted, gives value and
dignity to the individual In its essence, religion is reintegration of
human personality and redemption of human society.'
Jainism, the creed of the Nirgrantha
Tirthankaras of the Shramana current of ancient Indian culture, is a very
comprehensive system, acclaimed as one of the oldest living religions of
India. Its last exponent was Vardhaman Mahavira (599-527 B.C.), the
twenty-fourth Tirthankara or Jina. Jainism has been described as an
ethical system par excellence, since it lays the greatest emphasis
on self-discipline and self-control in order to lead a life of peaceful
co-existence, co-operation, co-ordination and co-realisation.
In this book the essence of this
religious system has been dealt with in brief by way of introduction for
the benefit of those who wish to acquaint themselves of Jainism at a
glance. A brief life-sketch of Bhagwan Mahavira and a few excerpts from
his teachings have also been appended. For further and fuller information,
the reader is advised to refer to works like
1. Outlines of Jainism by J. L. Jaini,
2. The Religion of Ahimsa by Prof. A.
3. Jainism by Herbert Warren,
4. An Introduction to Jainism by A. B.
5. Religion of Tirthankaras by K. P.
6. Religion and Culture of the Jains by
Dr. Jyoti PrasadJain (3rd ea., 1981, Bhartiya Jnanapith, New Delhi).
The credit of inspiring the production
of this book goes to my friend Shri Jamnalal Jain, a reputed Sarvodaya
thinker and writer who has been good to undertake its publication also. I
am really very grateful to him.
I hope, the book will arouse the
curiosity of its readers to know more about Jainism and take sincere and
active interest in its wholesome teachings.
Jyoti Nikunj, Charbagh, Lucknow-1
Dated 27th. October, 1981
Mahavira Nirvana Samvat 2508.
-Jyoti Prasad Jain