In The Scientific Foundations of Jainism Professor Mardia attempts in elucidate the point that Jainism is a science with religion. It brings together his attempts in a unified way. Four axioms are constructed which highlight the foundation of Jainism. For example, axiom I states that "The soul exists with karmic matter and it longs to be purified." These four axioms focus on the essence rather than on detail. After a very brief introduction to Jainism, the author introduces the Axioms and discusses their theoretical and applied aspects and their plausibility in a modern context. It gives Jaina logic together with present trends in scientific thinking and indicates how Jainism and modern science are related. The book includes a bibliography, glossary and an index. Wherever possible, a sha. per scientific pictorial representation has been given, and very few original terms are used in the text so that the flow of the argument is not hampered. Paul Marett in the Foreword says "Prof.
Mardia's book divides naturally into three parts. First he explains the basic ideas of the soul, karma, living beings and non-living matter, and brings these together in the Jain explanation of life and death and the universe. Next he moves from the general to the particular, to the practice of self- conquest and the path of the individual soul towards purification. Thirdly, in two chapters which demand, and reward, close reading, he places Jain logic in its rightful position as a valid and acceptable system, and draws together the most fundamental and up-to-date aspects of modern physics with the scientific theories of the Jain writers."
Professor Mardia was born on 3rd April 1935 in Sirohi (Rajasthan). He received the M.Sc. (Statist.) degree from the University of Bombay in 1957; the M.sc. (Pure Maths ) degree from the University of Poona in 1959 and the Ph.D degree from the University of Rajasthan in 1964. He received the Ph.D. degree and the D.Sc from the University of Newcastle, UK in 1967 and 1973 respectively. He has been the holder of the chair of Applied statistics at the University of Leeds since 1973 respectively. He has been the holder of the chair of applied statistics at the University of Leeds since 1973. He is also director of the centre of medical imaging research.
Prof. Mardia is currently President of the Yorkshire Jain Foundation and vice chairman of the Jain Academy. He has written several articles on Jainism in reputed journals and was a founding editor of the jain.
In the Foreword, Paul Marett writes “Professor Mardia is very distinguished scholar in a very exacting science. He is a mathematician, or more properly a statistician and his university degrees include three doctorates. He is also devoted and practicing jain. Thus he is particularly well-qualified to approach the task of rendering the basic principles philosophy and ethics of Jainism in the terms of modern science.
It was very flattering to be asked by Professor Mardia to write a Foreword to his book The Scientific Foundations of Jain ism and I am delighted to do so. I am pleased for a number of reasons. I have known Professor Mardia for a good number of years and we have had many interesting discussions on questions relating to Jainism. We did, in fact, discuss his intention to write an explanation of Jain philosophy and religion in terms of modern science: I am pleased that I saw the first draft of this book and I am delighted to be one of the first to read it in its final form. I believe that he has made a valuable contribution to the literature on Jainism. And, one other reason must be mentioned: perhaps some of the reflected glory will fall on me and the learned and wise, reading Professor Mardia's book, will happen to glance at this modest note of mine!
Jainism is a religious system of great antiquity. Jain tradition traces its origins back through almost limitless time. Certainly the most skeptical cannot deny its nearly 3000 years of history. In that time, of course, it has not stood still. Generation after generation after generation of scholars have added and commented and explained, so that the total mass of written Jain scholarship is vast indeed, and growing vaster with every year that passes. r have always maintained, since r first began my own amateur study of Jainism, that its principles accord well with modern science. Jain thought, Jain philosophy is timeless. However, the ancient t texts are written in the language of their particular time and their ideas are expressed in terms of the scientific vocabulary of their day. They are written in languages, Sanskrit and the Prakrits, which are well-adapted to give precision and clarity to abstruse and difficult ideas, though not infrequently they can be difficult of in perpetration owing to extremes of terseness or of repetitiveness. The terminology can be difficult, and a modern book on any aspect of Jain thought will be littered with, and often rendered almost incomprehensible by, un translated technical terms for which no concise modern equivalent has been sought or found.
Professor Mardia is a very distinguished scholar in a very exacting science. He is a mathematician, or more properly a statistician, and his university degrees include three doctorates. He is also a devoted and practising Jain. Thus he is particularly well-qualified to approach the task of rendering the basic principles and philosophy and ethics of Jain ism in the terms of modern science. His book divides naturally into three parts. First he explains the basic ideas of the soul, karma, living beings and non-living matter, and brings these together in the Jain explanation of life and death and the universe. Next he moves from the general to the particular, to the practice of self-conquest and the path of the individual soul towards purification. Thirdly, in two chapters which demand, and reward, close reading, he places Jain logic in its rightful position as a valid and acceptable system, and draws together the most fundamental and up-to-date aspects of modern physics with the scientific theories of the Jain writers.
It is a great pleasure to me to see this work of Professor Mardia in its final form after the many years labour which he has put into it. It will, I am sure, be of value both to Jains living in the modern world who often find it difficult to discern the relevance of the writings of long-dead authors to the world today. It will also be of value to non-jains, particularly those who approach the study of a little-known religion in a spirit of rational inquiry. This is, as I said earlier, an important contribution to the literature of Jainism. r congratulate Professor Mardia on his achievement and commend the book wholeheartedly to its readers.
There has recently been a revival in seeking to understand jainism and to search for its meaning in a modern context. Young jains abroad who are brought up in a multicultural community are trying to understand its relevance in the new environment. jainism, I suggest, was founded on scientific principles which can be assessed by each individual and to begin with, I have constructed four Axioms (fundamental basic assumptions) on which, in my opinion, jainism is founded. These Axioms focus on the essence rather than on the detail.
This work started with my Inaugural Address as Professor of Statistics at the University of Leeds in 1975 where its relevance to Statistics was demonstrated. The Axioms were first presented to a small gathering in Leicester in 1979 which included Dr. Natubhai Shah and Paul Marett, when it received enthusiastic welcome. The book The Jaina Path oj Purification (1979) by Professor Padmanabh S. jaini of the University of Calif Ofilia at Berkeley, rekindled my interest. The present book owes a great deal to Professor jaini's work. The sources from thejain scriptures which underly the following discussion can, in most cases be found in his book and, therefore, they have not been duplicated here. The spelling of jain terms generally follows Professorjaini's transliteration. His book also provides a very good glossary which will help the reader to realize that, for example, the words Iwrmaand yoga have completely different meanings ill jainism from those in Hinduism. That is, their popular meaning in English is not applicable (see the key words which follow). As a first introduction to the subject, we refer the reader to Paul Marett's book Jainism Explained (1985) and Vinod Kapashi's book [ainisin for Young Persons (1985). A recent article by Ursula King (1987) is also recommended.
For this book we assume a nodding acquaintance with lIathematics and Physics. This allows us to use a sharper scientific and pictorial representation than would have otherwise been possible. Many Jain children follow their religion by birth rather than by conviction; there are about9 million Janis in India and about 100,000 abroad. It is hoped that such a book as this might help teenagers to be Janis through conviction.
Chapter 1 gives a brief introduction to Jainism and lists four Axioms. Chapters 2 to 7 introduce the Axioms and discuss their plausibility in a modern context. Certain important details arise because of these assumptions and these are elaborated on. Chapter 8 outlines basic practices and Chapter 9 gives some ideas in Jain logic. Chapter 10 indicates how Jainism and Modern Science are related. Each chapter ends with the original terms with diacritical marks and our English equivalent; this will help the reader who warns to know the equivalence used a well as the diacritical spelling.
Appendix 1 gives the life of Mahavira as an individual. Appendix 2 gives some idea of the canonical scriptures from which the Axioms have been abstracted. Jainism does not have a single text like the Christian Bible; the number of existing canonical scriptures (by Svetambara) is as high as 45. Appendix 3A gives the precise original sources on which the axioms are based. Also, some important quotations which have been cited in the text are given in Appendix 3B. The important concept of purification stages is explained in a simple game-type representation in Appendix 4. We include a bibliography and index.
Those who wish to gain an idea of Jain ism directly from the scriptures are recommended to read the Tattvartha-sutra of Umasvati; English translations are available, see Bibliography. However, for a first reading they should not take that text's com pre hensive classification, sub-classification, ete. of Jain ism LOO seriously, since this could sidetrack the reader from the essence into a mass of detail. These comprehensive synopses were essential for many centuries when the fundamentals were, in general, passed on by the word of mouth.
I wish to express my profound gratitude to Harry Trickett, who patiently went through the various drafts of the whole book and made many constructive comments. I also wish to acknowledge my gratitude to the President of Jain Samaj Europe, Natubhai Shah, Professor P.S. Jaini, Curudev Shree Chitrabhanu, Ganesh Lalwani, Paul Marett, Vinod Kapashi, Nigel Smeeton, Alan Watkins, Vijay Jain, Tim Hainsworth and also my dearest friend the late Kundan Jogator. I benefited greatly from the comments of my wife Pavan, my children Bela, Hemant and Neeta, and members of the Leeds Jain Group.
We have tried to re-interpret, as objectively as possible, various concepts in terms of modern science. One of the major difficulties in re-interpretation is that Jain terms are based on Prakrit/Sanskrit languages whereas modern science has its terminological roots in the Greek language. We recognise that in a small area of science, one works towards research degrees after many years of labour and one should .expect similar dedication in order to understand the technical basis of Jainism. We should bear in mind the time taken to comprehend Albert Einstein's Theory of Relativity, even by experts. Finally, we should also stress the Jain claim that one can see the truth of Jain Science when one attains "Kevalajnana" or infinite knowledge!
It is really gratifying to note that the first edition was well received by a large audience throughout the world. It has been most popular in the USA and the UK. This book has been successfully tried on the young generation and also it is a text book for a degree course at the De Montfort University, UK. With the increasing awareness of jainism in the West, we expect this trend of understanding its scientific aspects to continue.
In addition to carrying out corrections in this revised edition, various definitions have been sharpened. Furthermore, Chapter 9, on jain Logic, has been expanded, keeping in mind the increasing emphasis on the topic of Science and Truth. Further, we have added an Epilogue which highlights the main ideas of the book for the younger generation; this presentation has been well received as a single seminar. Also, the bibliography has been updated. There have been many important publications since the first edition. Namely, there has appeared various books related to Science and jainism, e.g. Arnrendravijay (1993), jain, L.c. (1992), jain, .L. (1993) and andighoshvijay (1995). An excellent new basic text book for young children is by Kapashi et. al. (1994). Furthermore, there is a new translation of Tattoartha-siura (Tatia, 1994) - the first English translation published outside India. The translation is elegant, simple, authentic and lucid together with important diagrams, tables and appendices. Another publication of great importance is The Jain Declaration on Nature (Singhvi, 1990) which was presented to His Royal Highness Prince Philip, President of the World Wide Fund for nature. (The author has had the great privilege of contributing to both these projects.) These are also taken into accounting the revised edition. My gratitude is owed to various encouraging reviewers, including Professor c.s. Rao, FRS (TheJain), Paul Marett (JainJournal, TheJain), Krisiti L. Wiley (Jain Manjari), j emichandjain i Tirtlumkar) and E.R. Sreekrishna Sarma (The Adyar Library Bulletin). In particular, I am grateful to Dr. N.L. Jainwho contributed substantially to this revision. My thanks are also due to Shri Chitrabhanu, Dr. Dulichand Jain and Raj Khullar for their constant encouragement, and to Harry Trickett for his comments. The members of the Yorkshire Jain Foundation have also contributed to the revisions through the regular readings of the book in their sessions. In particular, I benefited greatly from the comments of my wife Pavan, and my family members Bela, Raghu; Hemant, Preeti; and Neeta, Hemansu. Also, Pavan kindly proof read this edition and prepared the new index.
I am sure that the readers will be pleased that this edition is produced on better quality paper so enhancing the quality of the illustrations.
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