25.11.2010 ►Prof. Dr. Nathan Katz ►Delhi ►Seminar and Meeting with Prof. Muni Mahendra Kumar

Posted: 28.11.2010
Updated on: 07.12.2010


Jain Education and Research Foundation

Report of the seminar held on 25th of November 2010, Delhi

Exploring New Possibilities Of Jainological Studies

In the benign presence of Muni Mahendra Kumar, one of the outstanding scholar and Monk Professor of Jainism, Jain Shwetamber Terapanthi Sabha, Shahdara, orangised a seminar on “Exploring New Possibilities of Jainological Studies” at Vidya Bharati School, Surya Nagar, Delhi on 25th of November 2010.

The Seminar began with the auspicious sound of ‘Mangalacharan’ by Muni Ajit Kumar and Amrit Kumar. Muni Abhijeet Kumar introduced and welcomed Prof. Muni Mahendra Kumar, Prof. Nathan Katz from Florida International University and all other eminent and distinguished guests including Prof. Vinay Jain, Prof. Sudeep Jain, Dr. S.R. Bhatt, Prof. V.P. Jain, Prof. Kamala Jain, Prof. Aruna Anand, Mr. R.P. Jain &  Mr. Mangilal Sethia. There were also present many other distinguished Educationalist, Professors, Publishers and Social Workers in the Seminar.

Mr. Shanti Lal Patavari, President of Jain Shwetamber Terapanthi Sabha, welcomed all guests. Mr. Mangilal Sethia presented a memento to Prof. Nathan Katz and Dr. Dhanpat Lunia and Bhikam Chand Surana honoured Prof. Katz by presenting literature.

The seminar had wonderful discussion on the concerned issue and was brainstorming. The scholars of International repute presented their valuable thought about how new possibilities can be explored in the field of Jainistic studies. Some of the crucial points of the seminar-discussion are as follows:

Prof. Muni Mahendra Kumar appreciated the efforts of FIU through JERF for opening new doors for Jain studies. Still there is a need to take more initiatives in this direction. In order to be read and known Jainism widely Jain community should come forward and work for that.  The Jain community of America has done really a wonderful job by laying the foundation of this great work in FIU.

He said that in modern scenario, online education is the best way to spread the doctrines and practices of Jainism. He also emphasized on the need of the wider applications of Jain principles in various fields of modern education, opening new centers to train the mind, body and soul of the people and thereby creating a happy and harmonious living free from unnecessary violence, fundamentalism, dogmatism, terrorism, disparity and war etc.

He said that it is high time that Jain Community should encourage the new generation to follow other streams of knowledge such as science, neuro-science, medical science etc. apart from business. Jain community must pay attention to create human resources to carry out further researches. New centres of Jain studies must be developed in the cities like Delhi.

Ultimate goal of all disciplines is to make human life free from all sufferings, terrorism, racial discrimination, disparity, war etc. To achieve the goal training of mind, body and soul is first necessity. The Jain doctrines related to the truth of life, contemplation, meditation are necessary to develop better understanding of life and to bring peace, happiness and tranquility of mind.

Prof. Nathan Katz, the Chief Guest and Keynote speaker, expressed his sincere gratitude to Acharya Mahaprajna and Dalai Lama for sustaining religious studies at FIU. He appreciated the way of living of Samani Charitra, Pragya, Chaitanya Pragya and Unnat Pragya teaching there. He further mentioned that every year students from FIU are coming to take classes into summer school organized at JVBU, Ladnun.

He also shared his wonderful experience about ‘Bhagawan Mahavir Professorship at Florida International University and said how it has been proved an important step for imparting Jain wisdom among the students of FIU. He believed, “we cannot understand Hinduism and Buddhism without understanding Jainism and vice-versa”.

Explaining some of the fundamental principles of Jainism he said that our approach is to infuse prospectus of Jainism into various fields of knowledge like medicine, social sciences etc. apart from religious and philosophical studies in the western universities like FIU. The principles of non-absolutism, non-violence, restraint etc. are doorways to peaceful co-existence. He said that all religions and cultures must interact freely.
He also said that FIU is going to begin soon an online program in Jainological Studies.

with spirituality exposed in Jainism. He said that research, education and application must be interlinked. He gave an innovative idea to convert the Jain scriptures into mathematical formulae. He also emphasized for enhancing Jain studies in the following areas:


He said that there are also many possibilities in the field of neuro-science. To harvest new opportunities there is a need to explore some researches in this field of Jainism in this area too. He also suggested to think of the regression therapy developed in America.

Prof. Sudeep Jain said that Jainism has its own great history. It is a way of living along with a highly philosophical trend. There is a need to introduce the basic elements of Jainism in the western academic world. He also emphasized to rethink of environmental science in the light of Jain values.

Prof. S.R. Bhatt stated that the basic doctrines and religious practices of Jainism provide a broad framework. They should be creatively re-invented and re-interpreted. Jainism is like a flowing river and it has flexibility in its outlook. He suggested the following three-point strategy for enhancing Jain studies:

  1. Key concepts should be understood in wider mode of understanding.
  2. There is a need to apply Jain philosophy to new situations.
  3. To develop intra and inter cultural understanding of Jainism.

Prof. V.P. Jain asked one thing, can we really solve the problems of society by teaching religion. According to him, we should go other way round. First we should find out the problems and then guide accordingly. He mentioned Nalanda and Taksashila Universities. How their aim was to improve society. He discussed two important things for Jain studies:

  1. To think of the importance of the vast Literature of Jainism.
  2. Contribution & creative aspects of Jainism should come up.

Prof. Aruna Jain talked about the utility of Jainological studies in academic field to dissolve cultural and social conflicts. Young scholars should be encouraged and trained under senior scholars.

Mr. R.P. Jain, Publisher Motilal Banarasidass Delhi said that there is a lot of generation gap. Only academic efforts are not sufficient to help. There is really a great need of brining ancient wisdom to modern generation.

Mr. Mangilal Sethia, the reputed person of Jain society, has said that through the centre of Delhi he would take more initiatives in the direction of Jain studies.

Last but not the least, Dr. Kusum Lunia, the seminar-coordinator, expressed her thoughts and extended vote of thanks to all the dignitaries and invited them for Lunch at her home. The seminar has really paved path for new dissection and a practical approach to Jainological studies in modern times.


25.11.2010, Delhi:

  • Seminar on "Exploring New Possibilities of Jainological Studies" at Vidya Bharati School, Suryanagar, Delhi and Meeting with Prof. Muni Mahendra Kumar at 10am to 12.30pm.

    The coordinator of the seminar is Dr. Kusum-Dhanpat Lunia.







Full program:

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Photos: Dr. Kusum Lunia