Author’s Preface

Among the religions of the world we find that Jainism is the only religion which has accorded utmost importance to the Doctrine of Ahimsa both from the theoretical and practical points of view. The principle of Ahimsa not only forms the basis of Jaina Philosophy but also serves as foundation on which the entire ethical code has been built. This code of conduct, prescribed by Jainism for its lay followers and ascetics, has been designed so as to translate the tenet of Ahimsa into actual behavior to a maximum extent possible. In view of this unique position assigned to the observance of Ahimsa in daily life, the Jaina Religion has become synonymous with Ahimsa Religion and the Jaina Culture is termed as Ahimsa Culture. That is why for comprehending the nature and significance of Jainism, it is necessary to have a proper understanding of Ahimsa as envisaged by Jainism. With a view to satisfying this important need, the present Monograph “The Jaina Path of Ahimsa” has been written. This Monograph discusses in detail the various aspects of Ahimsa like the vow of Ahimsa, the observance of Ahimsa the comprehensiveness of Ahimsa, the carefulness in Ahimsa, the practicability of Ahimsa, the positivity of Ahimsa, and the social significance of Ahimsa It is therefore hoped that this Monograph will help in having correct understanding of the unique position of the doctrine of Ahimsa in Jainism and will also encourage further studies in the subject.

I am really very happy to see that Padmasri, Mahila-ratna, Balbrahmcharini, Pandita Sumatibai Shah, the Founder Architect of the Educational Complex of “Shravika-Sanstha Nagar” and the Founder-President of Bhagawan Mahavir Research Center decided to start a significant project of a new Series of Monographs on Jainology and to publish the present Monograph, viz., “The Jaina Path of Ahimsa” in this series as its first Monograph under the auspices of Bhagawan Mahavir Research Center with which I have been very intimately associated from its very inception in 1984 in the Shravika Sanstha Nagar, Solapur. I am, therefore, extremely grateful to respected Pandita Sumatibai Shah for this fine gesture on her part. I am also thankful to Pandita Vidyulata Shah and other members of the Board of Trustees of Shravika Sanstha Nagar Trust for giving encouragement to me in this publication and also in my other academic and research activities.

My thanks are also due to my friend and active social worker Shri. Suresh Shipurkar, the Proprietor of Bharati Mudranalaya, Kolhapur for completing the work of typesetting and printing this Monograph in record time and that too in such a nice manner.

I must also mention my sincere thanks to the Librarians of Rajaram College Library, Kolhapur and Anekant Shodhpitha Library, Bahubali for their valuable and timely help of books.

Vilas Adinath Sangave
6, Rajarampuri
Kolhapur – 416 008
Republic Day
26th Jan. 1991