JAINA CODE OF CONDUCT
It is a matter of pride and pleasure for me to deliver this 13th Series of Shri Rajakrishna Jain Memorial Lectures at this reputed University of Delhi, under the benign auspices of the Department of Buddhist Studies. My pride implies the fact, that these lectures happen to be on Sravakacara— the Jaina Code of Conduct for Householders, and the late Shri Rajakrishnaji, in whose honour they have been instituted by the R.K. Jain Charitable Trust. He was an illustrious sravaka with exemplary dedication to numerous religious, social, national and humanitarian causes, that have left a lasting impression on certain spheres of the present day society of Delhi. Moreover his son, Shri Prem Chandraji Jain, is also a worthy sravaka, who has been treading the same righteous path with all sincerity, devotion, and charity. My pleasure, of course, immanates from my compliance with my acceptance of the kind invitation of R.K. Jain Memorial Lectures Committee, by duly preparing and delivering this Series of Lectures, which the undertaking was quite hindered by my ill health during the month of April last year, when the scheduled program of these lectures had to be postponed indefinitely. Fortunately, I have been now, able to travel and come over here and appear before all of you.
I have strived to present, in the course of these lectures, a succinct depiction of Sravakacara— the Jaina Code of Conduct for Householders (i.e., the Lay Doctrine), as based mainly on the basic texts on this subject which was composed by authors of both traditions, Digambara and Svetambara. I have also utilized, at proper contexts, some other additional sources, like the Jaina Inscriptions, Jaina story literature, Colophons of works by Jaina authors and some field work done by myself, not exhaustively but representatively. I have tried to bring out in short, the significance of this Code of Conduct for Householders, and to establish its relevance to the present days on convincing grounds and, at times; by presenting my own views and critical observations.
Through the contents of these lectures, I believe, one would find that this Code, comprising the choicest human virtues and profound moral values, systematized with an eye on the universal good, has come down all along the ages with needful adaptations and adjustments and has remained even to this day, a proud privilege of the Jaina heritage. One would also be convinced that if heeded in time, and practiced properly, at least essentially, by all people, it holds a great promise to cure the major maladies of the present day world and bring solace to mankind.
Now, let me express my sincere gratefulness to the members of Shri Rajakrishna Jain Memorial Lectures Committee, University of Delhi, for the honour they have done by inviting me to deliver this Series of Lectures and for extending this opportunity for presenting my study on the Jaina Code of Conduct for Householders, which program the Department of Buddhist Studies has so ably organized. My thanks are also due to Dr. K.K. Mittal, the Head, and other members of the staff of the Department.
Now, the same study has come in the form of this treatise with some additions effected in the light of the latest developments in the field; and Shri R.K. Jain Charitable Trust, Ahimsa Mandir, New Delhi, has been kind enough to publish it so promptly.
In the course of preparing these Lectures at home, in the remote town of Sankeshwar, my late lamented son was of great help in procuring some rare books and journals from different University Libraries and other basic sources. He encouraged me, as I was keeping indifferent health for a few weeks, by promising to accompany and escort me along the journey to Delhi for delivering these lectures that has been already postponed. But unfortunately, destiny suddenly whisked him away before he could do so. Hence, I have reconciled myself by dedicating this treatise to his Soul. I am grateful to the Chairman of the Trust for giving his consent to this sentiment of mine.
Lastly, I must on behalf of the esteemed R.K. Jain memorial trust, thank Dr. C.S. Naiker, Reader, Department of Sanskrit and Prakrit, Karnatak College, Dharwad, for doing the arduous work of proofreading and the proprietors of the Manohar Printing Press, Dharwad, for printing the book so neatly.
Sankeshwar — 591313