The aim of all religion is the
spiritual and moral uplift of man . Spiritual uplift may be individual in
pursuit as well as achievement, but moral uplift implies one's conduct and
behaviour in relations with other beings, human and animal. Man is a
social being, and hardly any of his actions, by thought . Word or deed, is
without its direct or indirect impact on the society he is a member of .
In fact, even spiritual development is well nigh impossible without the
cultivation of wholesome and appropriate moral values . Religion in
practice is, therefore, nothing but a determined and rational effort to
lead a pious, virtuous and moral life .
Jainism has been described as an
ethical system par
excellence, because 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 . Ahimsa or non-violence in
thought , word and action, is its keynote, and perfect equanimity its
In the present book, �Life and Legacy of Mahavira-A
Social Study', the learned author, after dealing with the antiquity of the
Tirthankara tradition, the life and work of Lord Mahavira, and his
philosophical and ethical doctrines, has discussed in the last chapter,
the significance of Mahavira . This chapter is the core of the book, and
in it, though very briefly, he has tried very ably to evaluate the social
aspects of Lord Mahavira's teachings, under six apt
subheadings-Establishment of Social Equality, Emancipation of Women,
Inculcation of Self-reliance,
Emphasis on Non-violence, Insistence on Tolerance, and
Encouragement to Social Welfare, which bespeak for them selves .
The author, Dr . Vilas Adinath Sangave, is a seasoned
scholar not only of Sociology, of which he is a reputed teacher, but also
of Jaina religion and philosophy . I congratulate him for this nice piece
he has prepared for publication in this year of 2500th Nirvana Anniversary
of Lord Mahavira, the Greatest Benefactor of Mankind. Shri Rajendra Kumar
Jain, the enthusiastic Secretary of the Veer Nirvana Bharati, Meerut, also
deserves thanks for bringing out this book for the benefit of the readers.
He has the credit of publishing several other good books in English and
Hindi through the Veer Nirvana Bharati .
JYOTI PRASAD JAIN
2nd October, 1975 .