Jainism [Caillat-Upadhye-Patil]: Preface

Published: 14.02.2011
Updated: 16.02.2011

THE CELEBRATION of Lord Mahavira’s 2500th Nirvana will be an incentive for us to reflect upon the great Prophet’s life and message.

He who listened to many a philosophical teaching, who was well acquainted with the conditions then prevailing in his motherland, and meditated on all the problems in which his fellowmen could be interested. The magnificent doctrine, which he preached, the example, which he set, have inspired the followers of his creed until this day. Whatever their number, they are known to have played a major part all through the history of their country. And it is, to a great extent, due to them, that India appears as the home of forbearance, of ahimsa, and, consequently, of benevolence and sympathy toward all that is alive. Any one who has, in the least, been acquainted with the great Jain teachers’works cannot help but feel deep admiration for all those, religious and laymen, who have devoted multifarious efforts, through so many centuries, to preserve a revered message, prevent its withering, and always infuse renewed life into it. Their descendants, who have helped us, foreigners, to get a genuine glimpse of what the Jain faith and achievements are, deserve our thanks: my thoughts go to those, in and around Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Baroda, Bombay, Calcutta, Cambay, Delhi, Kolhapur, Lalitpur, Mangalore, Mudabidri, Mysore, Patna, Varanasi, Vaishali, who have been to me kind hosts, advisers, teachers, friends.

Today I feel extremely honoured and grateful to be given the privilege to participate in the present celebration: I thank all those who generously made it possible for me: the Committee, the Editorial Board, the office staff of the Bhagwan Mahavira 2500th Nirvana Mahotsava Samiti; the Honorary Secretary, Shri Rishabhdas P. Ranka, the translator of the present essay, Shri Bal Patil, also Dr. B.K. Jain (Sevres) who read the translation through with me, and Dr. A.N. Upadhye whose guidance is a joy to all. I am glad that the Editions Gallimard (Paris) and the staff of the Encylopaedie de la Pleiade (particularly M. Raymond Queneau, Mme. Odette Drocourt, Mme. A. Chevallier) agreed to give the copyright for this publication: I express my sincere thanks to them.

May this hearty collaboration serve as a humble tribute to one of the eminent teachers of mankind, and to the brilliant Community who keep this message alive.

COLETTE CAILLAT

Sources

Edition: 1974 © Bal Patil Cover Design: Aravind Teki

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  1. A.N. Upadhye
  2. Ahimsa
  3. Ahmedabad
  4. Bal Patil
  5. Bangalore
  6. Baroda
  7. Bhagwan Mahavira
  8. Bombay
  9. Calcutta
  10. Colette Caillat
  11. Delhi
  12. Kolhapur
  13. Lalitpur
  14. Mahavira
  15. Mangalore
  16. Mudabidri
  17. Mysore
  18. Nirvana
  19. Patna
  20. Samiti
  21. Varanasi
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