Details of book
Lord Mahavira Vol.1 (Hardcover)
by Editor: S.C. Rampuria
Towards the end of the 4th century B.C. an ambitious young man, prince Alexander of Macedonia, was bent on conquering the world by crushing his enemies to defeat by using brute force and lethal weapons. Nearly two centuries before that, an Indian prince, Siddhartha of Kapilavastu, renounced princely comforts and preached the message of love and non-violence. At about the same time, may be a little earlier, Lord Mahavira came on the scene to propound the religion of Jainism which was based on the pillars of non-violence (ahimsa), steadfast commitment to truth (satya), control of gross physical impulses (brahmacharya) and rising above greed and the desire to possess (aparigraha). Commitment to these noble human values made Jainism a truly humanistic religion and inculcated the spirit of respect for and tolerance of other views among its followers. Rabindranath Tagore in one of his poems described this strife-torn world of today as a world simmering with the spirit of insane violence (himsaya unmatta prithvi). It hardly needs to be told that in today violence-prone intolerant world, the message of Mahavira is gaining more relevance everyday. It is, therefore, most gratifying to see that the Jain Visvabharati Institute at Ladnun, Rajasthan, has taken steps to collect, compile, edit and publish the writings of various eminent scholars in the field on the life and teachings of Lord Mahavira, in three volumes under the able editorship of Shri SC. Rampuria, the present chancellor (Kuladhipati) of Jain Visvabharati and an astute scholar himself. It is also a fitting occasion to bring these volumes out during the 2600th Birth Centenary celebration of Lord Mahavira. Editing any worthy publication is a stupendous responsibility, but it becomes enormously difficult when it come's to collecting and putting together the contributions of so many luminaries in the field from both inside India and out. Unfortunately a number of dedicated and competent scholars, (like Acharya Tulsi, Hermann Jacobi, K.C. Lalwani. K.V. Mardia, B.C. Law, Ganesh Lalwani, N.M. Tatia, G A.B. Keith, D.S. Kothari, to name a few) whose writings have been incorporated in these volumes, are no longer with us. We can only express our gratitude and indebtedness to all of them. In this highly commercialised world of today everything can be paid for in cash and all obligations cease to exist after the price is paid. However, in matters academic, a different norm prevails. The products of a scholar's thinking, as mirrored in his writings, are not mere commodities with a price-tag - they are the priceless treasures to be adored by the humankind in general. No words of thank can, therefore, be adequate to express our deep sense of gratitude and indebtedness to all those who have kindly contributed their highly erudite insightful papers for inclusion in these volumes, gave us unstinted help in the past and without whose valuable advice and boundless co-operation this project might not have been successfully completed. Still, however, inadequate it may seem, we take this opportunity to express our heart-felt thanks to all these scholars whose help we have received and still continue to receive in matters connected with the publication of these three-volumes work on Lord Mahavira.
Prof. T. K. Sarkar