Glimpses of the October 2008 Issue

Quotations from scriptures:

Selections from TATTVAARTH SUTRA

Enjoy the imaginative and elaborate presentation of the lower and middle worlds presented by Acharya Umasvati in TATTVAARTH SUTRA.

Quotations From Acharya Umaswati's TATTVAARTH SUTRA

In his commentary on TATTVAARTH SUTRA, Acharya Umasvati compares the demigods who visit the hells to wealthy men engulfed in lust, deceit and delusion. Such men have an irrational view of life and its purpose. Their focus is on material possessions and sensual gratification.

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A Gem From the October 1982 issue:

In the present article, the eminent scholar, Dr. Machwe focuses on the Jain teachings of nonviolence, multiplicity of viewpoints and non-possessiveness, and compares the Jain concept of relativism with logic of probability.

Jainism And Modern Age

by Dr. Prabhakar Machwe

All this deliberate and pointed killing of men by men, or even of men by man, as in recent highjackings, leads to one conclusion, that as easily man can take life, he cannot give. Science and technology have come to his aid to add to the poignancy and lethal power of this nihilistic activity of man. And under what sweet names, masks and cloaks does man enact this drama of cloak-and-dagger, war to end war, and what not!

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Religion and Society:

Insightful and visionary scholar of Jainism, Shri K. C. Lalwani, predicted that enormous advances in science and technology, conjoined with greed and materialism would result in significant problems for humanity.

Reflections Of A Visionary: Modern World

by Shri K. C. Lalwani

Already this new power of science and industry has started polluting the environment making the world unhealthy for human habitation. The ever-growing surplus of industrial and scientific power has created a worldwide scarcity of fuels and basic minerals. In this manner, as the human society is engrossed in a material problem of its own creation, it has appropriately forfeited a right to invoke a spiritual solution.

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In this article, Aidan Rankin brings out certain unique features of the Jain religion. The two small articles that follow ['Non-absolutism And Tolerance' by Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, and 'A Word Of Caution About Multiplicity Of Viewpoints' by Munishri Nyayavijayaji] present related concepts.

Multiplicity Of Viewpoints And Nonviolence Of The Mind

Based on The 'many-sidedness' of Jainism by Aidan Rankin

Aidan Rankin writes, "The more dogmatically certain someone is, the further they are likely to be from enlightenment." Obviously, the doctrine of multiplicity of viewpoints 'is an inoculation against fundamentalist rigidity'. Thus it eliminates dogmatism.

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Some insightful observations of eminent scholars:

Teachings Of Jainism In The Eyes Of Some Great Men

Compiled by Dr. Sudeep Jain

If instead of criticizing and finding faults with others, we adopt the beautiful and efficacious teachings of Bhagwaan Mahaveer, then bribery, dishonesty and oppression will definitely disappear from society. If we cleanse ourselves of our weaknesses and faults like Bhagwaan Mahaveer, then the world around us will be spontaneously ameliorated.

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From Religious Books:

A small article based on scriptures in the same vein as 'Jain Concept Of Reality And Determinism', published in the July 2008 issue:

Interplay of Destiny And Endeavor

Based on Acharya Haribhadrasuri's YOGABINDU

Thus endeavor and destiny (karmas) are mutually dependent. Endeavor leads to karmic bondage and fruition of karmas generates thoughts and emotions - an aspect of endeavor.

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Three examples from the history of India exemplify the virtues of religious tolerance, secular posture and immaculate moral character:

Some Pages From The Glorious History Of India

Whoever praises his own religion, due to excessive devotion, and condemns others with the thought "Let me glorify my own religion," only harms his own religion. Therefore contact [between religions] is good. … All should be well learned in the good doctrines of other religions.

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Observations & Views:

Our readers are expected to enjoy the thought-provoking concepts presented in the following items:

Generation Gap: An Aspect Of Mental Violence


Multiplicity Of Viewpoints - A Resource To Bridge The Generation Gap

by Dr. Sagar Mal Jain


Use Of Tobacco Products: Self-directed Violence


Facets Of The Culture Of Materialism


Business And Multiplicity Of Viewpoints

by Dr. Sagar Mal Jain

Link to Complete Article

Readers' Comments

Sean D. DeWitt (Editorial Advisor):

I enjoyed the Rankin article [Multiplicity Of Viewpoints] very much. It is a very timely article, referencing so many recent issues in our modern world. … I agree completely that knowledge and understanding exist only to each individual and that ultimate truth demands a multiplicity of these viewpoints. What saddens me is that it seems there are less and less forums for such a sharing of these viewpoints - even with the introduction of communication technology that theoretically could bridge these gaps. It seems we are in a world of very short attention spans where analysis and introspection are rare indeed.

If the world could adopt a thoughtful approach, as Jainism offers, based on respect and harmonizing, rather than the capitalist impulses of competition, it would be a healthier place in which to live.

I suppose the important question is not how to "fix" the world, but how to "fix" oneself. This is something I need to better incorporate into my life. I think a rational practice of religion offers the most valuable tools to enable this. Do you have recommendations on how to ensure that meaningful time is dedicated to these important activities of philosophical reflection?

Pratik Shah (by e-mail)

I am a new reader of the Jain Study Circular publications on its web site and I sincerely enjoy reading all the articles.

I am a 25-year old Jain living in Arkansas for the past 4 years and want to learn more about the history, thoughts and ideas of our great religion and this magazine of yours is a wonderful resource.

I would like to be informed of new issues of the Jain Study Circular as well as I want to know if there is a subscription required for any other publications from your group.

Keep up the great work. Thank you and congratulations for your efforts.

Prof. Gary L. Francione,
Distinguished Professor of Law, Rutgers University (by e-mail)

I am studying Jainism and Preksha Meditation at the Jain Vishwa Bharati Center in Iselin, New Jersey. I have been a vegan for 27 years in observance of Ahimsa. I used to receive the Jain Study Circular at Rutgers and I looked forward to receiving it. I have not gotten it in a while and I see that you have taken it on line. I am so glad to see that you are continuing to produce the Circular! I would appreciate receiving notification of new issues and I will continue to read the Circular now that I know where to find it.

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