The Jaina tradition has a natural three-tier universe. Its vast middle universe has a high mountain-called Sumeru in its centre. There are four grand forests on it at its different strata of heights named as :
(1) Bhadra-sala: Sacred forest,
(3) Saumanasa, Benevolent forest full of flowers, and
(4) Panduka on the top: Pale-white forest.
The middle Jaina universe indicates that Nandanavana is the second one somewhat at strata of higher level than the ground level. This Nan, (Gladdening forest) is also a flower orchard of literary forests, at a somewhat academic level. It is quite vast. It has been arranged by Dr. N. L. Jain- the noted Jaina scholar and scientist. It has two mini gardens of Hindi and English, which have 24 subject-trees, having about 195 branches (articles etc). It has a cluster of fifty books and. booklets. The subject-trees include canons, religion, science, archeology, chemistry, travel, biography and autobiography etc. The books and booklets include original and translated books on Jainology along with a variety of subjects. The branches of articles have many categories. These have been presented separately in the appendices. It is only few important subjects (trees), books '(clusters) and articles (branches) which have been selected for this multiform literary forest.
'Religion and Science' has been his most interesting subjects. He feels Jaina system has highest trend and content of scientificity which should be well promoted. He has presented large number of papers in national and international seminars with about four scores of published papers and books. He holds 'Lal' and 'Children Literature' awards for his literary activities. He attended Assembly of World Religions ( 1989 ), Parliament of World Religions ( 1993 ), International History of Science Congress in Germany & Spain and International Anti-vivi-section Conference in London. He has lectured in Jaina centres of U. S. A. and U. K. He has developed a uniform Jaina Glossary through Jaina International, Ahmedabad. Currently, he is involved not only in authoring original books on scientificity of Jainism but also in translating advanced Jaina pro-canons in English besides sending Jaina literature ( worth Rs. 1,25,000.00 ) abroad through various agencies. He is actively associated with Theosophical Society and Jaina Kendra, Rewa ( M. P. ).
My children celebrated the golden jubilee of my marriage in 2002. I felt that a scholar should celebrate it literarily. This led to the nucleation of the collection of these writings. Many of my friends and children concurred with this idea. Later, the appearance of some publications of this nature (of course, on specific occasion) concretized it. They are designated as writings as they include not only my academic papers but also those papers published or otherwise, in Indian as well as foreign journals, but also write-ups on some subjects of general interest to me with a specific bent of mind. Most of the papers and articles have been written out of my academic hobby, many of which later became presentations or invited papers.
There are 196 papers and articles and 32 books written by me covering 20 topics related with Jainology and other subjects. They cover ten times the pages of this book. They are listed in appendices. The 44 writings presented here are representative ones covering 14 major topics involving religion to science, Indian to foreign and biography to autobiography with a specific scientific and analytical bias (containing graphs and tables for illustration). They were written at different periods varying in between 1966 to 2004. Their contents should, therefore, be taken with respect to their times of write-up. Their contents might have improved due to later researches.
These articles were written and are collected in both the languages - Hindi and English. However, the subject matter in them has been selected with a view not to repeat a similar topic in other section. All these papers/articles form three categories:
(1) Presented in National and International seminars 25%
(2) (ii) Published in Indian and foreign journals and magazines 45%
(3) (iii) Unpublished papers/articles 30%
The articles published in many felicitation volumes have not been included here. Of course, there are three articles forming part of some books. The papers on different aspects of Jainology have an analytical and modernized approach in tune with the current scientific age. Many of them will seem not to be in tune with traditional style, but they might encourage the reader for serious thinking. Many of the thoughts presented in many articles should be taken as an annexe to the scriptural contents to make them tuned and improve their intellectual digestibility.
The articles on other subjects (about 8%) connote my variety of writings. However, they also have the same objective of encouraging newer lines for academics or popular themes. Their comparative lightness will serve as salt in the pudding making it more relishing.
In the end, I must express my gratefulness to publishers of my papers and articles in their journals, magazines and newspapers, which are reproduced in this book to continue my literary hobby. The editors, Dr. Shriprakash Pandey and Dr S. C. Lahri M.S. have done commendable task of arranging the articles in different sections and going through them. They deserve my special thanks. How can I forget to offer my thanks to many advisers concurring with the idea of this publication and its materialization. My thanks are also due to publisher-Parshwanath Vidyapeeth and its officers involving Prof. Sagarmal Jain, Secretary, Prof. Maheshwari Prasad, Director and the publication officer Dr. Vijay Kumar.
I offer my blessings to my children, Dr. Amitabh Kumar, M.D., Dr. Amit Armstrong, Ph.D. (U.S.A), Shri Abhinaya Armstrong, M. Tech. (U.S.A), Dr. Kalpana Jain, M.D., Dr. Karuna Jain (I.1.T., Mumbai), Dr. Ambar Jain (U.S.A) and Pratibha Jain who have rendered all kinds of support including the financial one without which this adventure could not be materialized. Dr. D. K. Jain, M.S., Dr. Shrish, Dr. Avinash (U.S.A) and Ajay Jain also deserve my thanks. Lastly, I am highly grateful to my wife, Mrs. Kshama Jain and my daughter-in-law Dr. Mrs. Madhu Jain M.D. for their regular and affectionate prompting for completion of this project.
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