How Jain values lead us to the path of inner peace

In his new book ‘Potpourri of Jainism’, Dr. Sulekh Jain elucidates on the application of these values, to common everyday experiences

GN Bureau | February 24, 2023


#Literature   #Society   #Jainism   #Religion  
The statue of Mahavir Swami, known as Gommateshwar in Shravanbelgola of Karnataka (Photo: Ananth HV/WikiMedia Creative Commons)
The statue of Mahavir Swami, known as Gommateshwar in Shravanbelgola of Karnataka (Photo: Ananth HV/WikiMedia Creative Commons)

What is ahimsa or non-violence? Is it only an absence of violence or is it something more? Is ahimsa even possible in today’s world? How does one interpret the meaning of war from the lens of ahimsa? Or how does one apply this concept to our own life? How can one learn respect and tolerance from the Jain doctrine of ‘anekaantavad’ (non-one-sidedness of views)? How and why should one apply the principle of aparigraha (non-attachment and non-possessiveness) in our life? Can a certain set of Jain values lead us to the path of inner peace?

Can Jainism answer all these questions and some more? The answer is yes, according to Dr. Sulekh Jain, Ph.D., who retired as an engineer with GE Aviation in the US and has been devoting his post-professional life to the promotion of Jain education in academia to share and educate students about Jainism.

In his new book, ‘Potpourri of Jainism’ (edited by Palakh Jain and Payal Seth), Dr. Jain elucidates on the application of these values, to common everyday experiences (like how it inspired Dr. Christopher Miller to not kill a lizard after attending a lecture on ahimsa) and to understanding the historically unprecedented events (like how the COVID-19 pandemic can be explained through the Jain concept of paras-prop-graho-jivaanaam or interconnectedness of all life forms on earth).

The book offers practical applications and learnings of the Jain principles from the life of Dr. Jain (and many others) over a span of 30 years. It is written and published with the hope that it encourages the readers to discover whether whatever is mentioned is relevant or not by applying these principles to their life.

Dr. Jain also authored the book ‘An Ahimsa Crisis: You Decide’. As chairman of JAINA Academic Liaison Committee, Dr. Jain and his team have raised millions of dollars to promote and fund academic programmes in several universities in the US, Canada, UK, Belgium, India, Israel,  Brazil and Pakistan. The funding of Jainism academic programmes is instrumental in establishing permanent endowed academic chairs, professorships, lectureships, post-doctoral fellowships, and annual lecture series in many universities.

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