A Perspective in Jaina Philosophy and Religion
Prof. Ramjee Singh
The basic ideology of Jainism has been close to my heart for the following reasons – firstly, I have found an intellectual basis of the Gandhian principle of Ahimsa in the Jaina, theory of Anekantavada (Non-absolutism); secondly, I had, therefore started my initial research on Syavada-Anekanta-vada which was later changed into the “Jaina Concept of Omniscience” on the advice of my revered teacher late Dr. D.M. Datta, Thirdly, I have been greatly benefited in my life from the association of several Jaina scholars and saints, who have bestowed upon me their affection and kindness. Lastly, as a student of Indology, I thought that it is better to devote my attention to Jainology, which has been relatively a neglected discipline although it has immense potentiality.
Jainology is an amalgam of Jaina philosophy, Religion and Culture. The scope of the literature produced by Jaina masters and scholars are unlimited. However, a systematic research on Jaina philosophy, Religion and Culture has been very meager.
The present work is perhaps the first important contribution in this comprehensive field born out of deep study and analysis. It is undoubtedly a scholarly compendium of Jaina Epistemology, Metaphysics, Ethics, Psychology, Religion and Culture. However, unlike an introductory outline, it is marked by profundity and the typical synthetic approach to all problems. The book is neither sectarian nor unsympathetic in this treatment but fully balanced.
This book will enrich the small shelf of books on Jainism in English of every intelligent scholar and lover of Jainism.
My first work on The Jaina Concept of Omniscience was published by L.D. Institute of Indology, Ahmedabad in 1974. In the meantime, I have prepared several research papers on Jaina Philosophy, Religion and Culture, which were presented to various national and international conferences. However, they have been so arranged that the collection looks like a monograph.
My grateful thanks go to my friend and Director, Dr. Sagarmal Jain, of Parsvanatha Sodhapitha, Varanasi, who agreed to publish it from his Institute. Whatever deficiencies are there, they are mine, and whatever merit is found go to Dr. Jain and the management of his Institute without whose help this work would not have seen the light of the day.
Ramjee Singh, Vice-chancellor,
Bhikhampur, Jaina Visvabharatim,
Bhagalpur – 812 001 (Deemed University) Ladnun (Rajasthan).