The Enigma Of The Universe : Research in Jain Astronomy & Jain Mathematics

Published: 06.08.2014
Updated: 02.07.2015

I have made discussion about Jain Astronomy and Jain Mathematics only with respect to the issues connected with the problems of shape and size of the universe and the numerological facts related with them. As a matter of fact, the doctrines of the Jain philosophy which are related with the astronomical description require separate studies and research in the light of modern scientific concepts. Only a few scholars have paid attention to this necessity. Whatever is described in the ancient Jain works firstly needs right interpretation and mathematical computation. Then, a further effort can be made to understand them in right perspective.

Besides the astronomical aspects, the pure mathematical aspects also need further research. The ancient works dealing with geometry, algebra, arithmetic etc. have to be thoroughly studied and interpreted in right perspectives. Some scholars have already made a beginning, but still much more is needed. The names of A.N. Singh, [1] Laxmichandra Jain[2] etc. are worth mentioning. They have done commendable work in this field.

The scientific works of the eminent scientists like Newton, Einstein, Heisenberg, Hermann Weyl, Fred Hoyle, George Gamow and the like have furnished me the first-hand knowledge of the scientific theories. In the same way, for the philosophical views of the scientists, the works of Sir Arthur Eddington, Sir James Jeans, Prof. Henry Margenau, Edmund Whittaker, Reichenbach and the like were studied thoroughly. Pluto's Republic, Aristotle's Physics etc., were the sources for understanding the views of the ancient western and Greek philosophers. And also the works of the modern eminent philosophers like Bertand Russell, Will Durrant etc. helped me a lot in understanding the views of Western philosophers.

The exposition of the Jain view is made mainly on the basis of the Jain canonical works, and also on that of the post-Jain canonical treatises on the Jain cosmology, which are consistent with the original scriptures. The Bhagavati (Viāhapaṇṇatti) is the prime source of the Jain philosophy, which contains not only the original views of Bhagawan Mahavira, but also, the actual dialogues of Bhagawan Mahavira with his disciples, mainly Gautama, the first Ganadhara (Chief Disciple), and also with the heretical philosophers of that age. The Bhagavatī Sūtra is the fifth Añga Āgama (the principal canonical work). Besides it, the Paṇṇavanā, the Jambuddīvapaṇṇattī, the Anuogadārāiṃ, the Uttarajjhayaṇāṇi etc., are other Āgamas frequently used in this work. The Tattvārtha Sūtra of Umasvāti, which is one of the oldest philosophical treatises in Sanskrit and equally acceptable to both the Shvetambara and Digambara traditions, and its commentaries serve as a very important source on the metaphysical exposition of the Jain philosophy. In addition to them, Lokaprakāśa, Jaina Siddhānta Dīpikā etc. are relatively later works, but throw important and systematic light on the subject. These are all the works of the Shvetambara tradition. In the Digambara tradition, we get Ṣaṭkhaṇḍāgama, the Dhavalā Ṭikā which is the commentary on Ṣaṭkhaṇḍāgama by Vīrasenācārya, Acharya Kundakunda's Pañcāstikāyasāra, Yativrsabha's Tiloyapaṇṇattī, Nemichandra Siddhantavakravarti's Trilokasāra and Bṛhad Dravya Saṃgraha, Padmanandi’s Jambūdīvapaṇṇattisaṃgaho and the like. Dr. G.R. Jain's modern work "Cosmology: Old and New" is also very important commentary in English on the chapter V of Tattvārtha Sūtra, based on comparative studies in Jain philosophy and modern science.

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Sources
Title: The Enigma Of The Universe Publisher: JVB University Ladnun English Edition: 2010 HN4U Online Edition: 2014

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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Acharya
  2. Bhagavatī Sūtra
  3. Calcutta
  4. Digambara
  5. Dravya
  6. Eddington
  7. Edmund Whittaker
  8. Einstein
  9. Ganadhara
  10. Gautama
  11. Heisenberg
  12. Henry Margenau
  13. Hermann Weyl
  14. JAINA
  15. Jain Cosmology
  16. Jain Mathematics
  17. Jain Philosophy
  18. Jaina
  19. Jaipur
  20. Mahavira
  21. Nemichandra
  22. Newton
  23. Reichenbach
  24. Russell
  25. Sanskrit
  26. Science
  27. Shvetambara
  28. Sir James Jeans
  29. Smriti
  30. Sūtra
  31. Tattvārtha Sūtra
  32. Āgama
  33. Āgamas
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