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Posted: 25.04.2016

International Conference on Science and Jain Philosophy



 

The International Conference on Science and Jain Philosophy was organized by Bhagawan Mahavira International Research Centre (BMIRC) of Jain Vishva Bharati Institute, Ladnun, Rajasthan during Jan. 8-10, 2016 at Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Powai, Mumbai. A website was established for the conference to reach out to a large segment of people (www.icsjp.org).

THEME



The theme of the Conference was 
“Avenues of Scientific Research in Jain Philosophy”

The major objective of the Conference was to comprehend the Jain doctrines and practices in the light of modern scientific theories and laws and to utilize this comprehensive knowledge for the welfare of mankind

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COLLABORATORS



  • Indian Institute of Technology Bombay
  • University of Mumbai

KNOWLEDGE PARTNER



  • Centre for Philosophy and Foundations of Science, New Delhi

MAJOR SCIENTIFIC PROGRAMME



  • The conference was comprised of 11 scientific sessions spread over 3 days, namely, Relativism and Jain Logic, Soul and Consciousness, Relevance of Jainism in Modern Times, Science, Society and Ethics, Laws of Nature and Karma Theory, Environment and Ecology, Science and Spirituality, Macrocosmology: Universe, Cosmography and Cosmogony, Jain Mathematics and its Importance, Microcosmology: Paramanu and Atom and Jain Culture, Literature and Science.
  • Each Sessions was planned with a Plenary Talk followed by Invited talksand Short talks.
  • There were organized 2 Panel Discussions chaired by a distinguished scientist/philosopher and panelists drawn from science, philosophy and spirituality were invited.
  • Round Table session was organized with theme Developing scientific-cum-spiritual techniques for inculcation of moral values and development of EQ in global education curriculum.
  • Young Researchers’ Session was organized to give an opportunity to young minds to articulate their thoughts and opinions on the theme of the conference.
  • Poster Session was organized for presentation of papers and interaction with peers and scientists/specialist.
  • An Experimental Workshop was held on Impact of life style interventions, preksha meditation and yoga in achieving holistic health.

There were more than 50 presentations in the Technical Sessions by esteemed Scientists, Scholars and Philosophers, more than 15 presentations formed a part of the Experimental Workshop. There were 11 Poster presentations and an excellent turnout at the Young Researchers’ Session.

DELEGATES PARTICIPATION



The conference was planned for about 500 participants. Registration of interested participants crossed 650 sometimes in middle of December and registration had to be closed due to limitations of accommodation and sitting space. Parallel sessions were conducted. Halls were full to capacity and extra sitting arrangements were required to be made. A total of about 850 delegates attended.

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INAUGURAL SESSION



The Conference was inaugurated by Mr Justice Dalveer Bhandari, a former Judge of Supreme Court of India and presently a Member of the International Court of Justice, Hague, The Netherlands. Hon'ble Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Science and Technology was the Chief Guest. The Secretary of HH Dalai Lama Foundation, New Delhi, Mr Rajiv Mehrotra graced the occasion. Prof K.P. Mishra, Director and Chairman, ICSJP briefed about the scope and plans of conference. About 850 delegates and guests attended the conference. Prof D. Parthasarathy, HOD, IIT Bombay welcomed the delegates.Mr B.R. Bhandari, Chancellor, JVBI presided. Respected Prof. Munishri Mahendra Kumar graced the dais and addressed the audience. Samani Charitra, Vice Chancellor, JVBI and Dr Samani Chaitanya Prajna, Executive Director of BMIRC, JVBI, Ladnun addressed the august audience.

VALEDICTORY FUNCTION



The Valedictory function was graced by Mr Justice Adarsh Goel of Supreme Court of India as Chief Guest. Mr Annurag Batra, Chairman, Business World, Mr Justice Jasraj Chopra (Retd.) of Rajasthan High Court and esteemed Spiritual Leader, Muni Mahendra Kumari graced the dais and addressed the delegates. Rev. Muni Nandigoshsuri graced as Special Guest. The respected Chancellor, JVB University, Mr B.R. Bhandari presided the function. Prof K.P. Mishra, Director & Chairman, ICSJP presented his views on research and administration of BMIRC. Dr Samani Chaitanya Prajnawelcomed the guests. Dr Narendra Bhandari, Chairman of Steering Committee, ICSJP gave a highlight of the conference. 

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HIGHLIGHT/OUTCOME



A notable feature of the conference was technology based presentations in including some talks on SKYPE from overseas and India. One notable talk was by world famous scientist, Sir Roger Penrose who is an English mathematical physicist, mathematician and philosopher of science. Entire presentations and discussions of the conference have been recorded. A common viewpoint emerged that understanding of spirituality by employing the scientific methods and tools is timely and important. Scientists from West brought out the lack of information on Jainism compared to Buddhism and OSHO. It was felt that essentials of Jain preachings and traditions should be effectively communicated to western philosophers and scientists. The scientific aspects of Jain philosophy needs to be researched and presented to world. The concepts of soul and consciousness were discussed in the light of modern knowledge and deeper research should be encouraged. A notable aspect was eagerness of young scholars and others to know more about scientific basis of Jain philosophy and doctrines. There were several notable papers and demonstrations on life style practices and their impact on holistic health. The question of ahimsa, anekantvad, preksha meditation were discussed in terms of modern physics. Biological aspects of consciousness and soul appear to draw attention of many scientists and spiritual leaders. Time constraint of speakers was a common concern which was acceptable due to more than expected general registration and invited speakers.

PUBLICATIONS



Souvenir and an Abstract book were published which were released by honourable dignitaries in the Inaugural Function. It is planned to publish the Proceeding of the Conference in a book form. In addition, News Bulletin vol 1 issue 2 of BMIRC was published on this occasion.

MEDIA COVERAGE



The deliberations of the conference attracted unusual media attention. More than 50 reportages in various Dailies of English, Marathi, Gujarati and Hindi from Mumbai and India covered the events of the conference.

FEEDBACK AND SUGGESTIONS FOR FUTURE



Delegates were given opportunity to express their views on relevant issues of Jainism and science. They were also given feedback form for evaluation of quality and future course. It turned out that expectations were high for starting appropriate research projects on science and spirituality in the context of Jain philosophy at Bhagwan Mahavira International Research Center. It was suggested that BMIRC should be developed into a world class Research Center engaging best minds and talented scholars by granting fellowship. A Ph.D. research program should be designed and implemented. In view of possible collaborations with reputed Institutions like, TIFR, MU, IIT Bombay, BARC, NEERI, ICMR Laboratory, Institute of Reproduction and many others in Mumbai, it was suggested to establish BMIRC in or around Mumbai and some other metropolitan cities to effectively disseminate the message of Jainism on the basis of philosophy and modern science. In modern society the Jain preaching of non-violence (ahimsa) has a torch bearing role to help steer mankind in right direction. It was suggested that such conferences should be organized every 2-3 years. Many youths proposed that conferences should be organized for young Jain students and scholars. Intellectual consensus was to present principles and practices of Jainism in innovative manner. 

 

Regards,
Secretariat
International Conference on Science and Jain Philosophy

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