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Learn More About Jainism with Paul Dundas' The Jains Pdf 37


Paul Dundas The Jains Pdf 37: A Comprehensive Review




If you are interested in learning more about Jainism, one of the oldest and most influential religions in India, you may want to read Paul Dundas' book The Jains. This book is a comprehensive and accessible introduction to Jainism, covering its history, doctrines, practices, texts, and interactions with other religions. In this article, we will review Paul Dundas' book The Jains in detail, highlighting its main themes, strengths, weaknesses, and relevance for today's readers.




Paul Dundas The Jains Pdf 37


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The author: Who is Paul Dundas and what are his credentials?




Paul Dundas is a professor of Sanskrit at the University of Edinburgh and a leading scholar of Jainism. He has published extensively on various aspects of Jainism, such as its literature, philosophy, art, ritual, ethics, and social history. He is also a co-editor of the Journal of Indian Philosophy and a member of several academic associations related to Jain studies. He has been studying Jainism for over four decades and has visited many Jain sites and communities in India and abroad.


Paul Dundas' book The Jains was first published in 1992 as part of the Routledge series on world religions. It was revised and updated in 2002 to reflect the latest developments and discoveries in Jain studies. It has been widely praised by both scholars and lay readers as one of the best introductions to Jainism available in English.


The main themes: What are the key topics and arguments of the book?




Paul Dundas' book The Jains covers a wide range of topics related to Jainism, from its origins to its present-day situation. It is divided into nine chapters, each focusing on a different aspect of Jainism. Here is a brief summary of each chapter:


The historical context: How does the book relate to the history of Jainism and its interactions with other religions?




The first chapter provides an overview of the historical background of Jainism, tracing its roots to the ancient Indian tradition of asceticism and renunciation. It also discusses the life and teachings of Mahavira, the 24th and last Tirthankara (ford-maker) or enlightened teacher of Jainism. It then explores how Jainism developed over time into various sects, schools, and movements, such as Digambara (sky-clad), Svetambara (white-clad), Sthanakavasi (houseless), Terapanthi (thirteen-pointed), and Shvetambara Murtipujaka (image-worshipping). It also examines how Jainism interacted with other religions, such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and Christianity, and how it adapted to changing political and social circumstances.


The textual sources: What are the primary and secondary texts that the book draws on and analyzes?




The second chapter introduces the main textual sources of Jainism, both canonical and non-canonical. It explains the nature and structure of the Agamas, the sacred scriptures of Jainism, which contain the teachings of Mahavira and his predecessors. It also describes the various genres and languages of Jain literature, such as Prakrit, Sanskrit, Apabhramsha, Hindi, Gujarati, Tamil, and Kannada. It then surveys some of the most important and influential Jain texts, such as the Tattvartha Sutra (The Treatise on Reality), the Kalpa Sutra (The Book of Rituals), the Uttaradhyayana Sutra (The Final Teaching), the Jina Caritra (The Lives of the Jinas), the Puranas (The Ancient Histories), and the Niyamasara (The Essence of Conduct).


The doctrinal issues: What are the main philosophical and ethical debates that the book addresses and clarifies?




The third chapter deals with the doctrinal issues of Jainism, explaining its core beliefs and concepts. It discusses the Jain theory of reality, which is based on the principles of anekantavada (non-absolutism), syadvada (conditional expression), and nayavada (perspectivism). It also explains the Jain theory of knowledge, which is based on the concepts of pramana (valid cognition), naya (standpoint), and dravya (substance). It then explores the Jain theory of karma, which is based on the notions of jiva (soul), ajiva (non-soul), bandha (bondage), moksha (liberation), and gunasthana (spiritual stages). It also examines the Jain theory of ethics, which is based on the values of ahimsa (non-violence), anekanta (non-one-sidedness), and aparigraha (non-attachment).


The contemporary relevance: How does the book contribute to the understanding and appreciation of Jainism in the modern world?




The fourth chapter assesses the contemporary relevance of Jainism, showing how it responds to the challenges and opportunities of the modern world. It analyzes how Jainism engages with various issues, such as science, ecology, human rights, feminism, interfaith dialogue, social justice, and globalization. It also highlights how Jainism inspires various initiatives, such as vegetarianism, animal welfare, environmental protection, peace activism, philanthropy, education, and art. It also showcases some of the prominent figures and organizations that represent Jainism in the global arena.


The strengths and weaknesses: What are the merits and limitations of the book?




Paul Dundas' book The Jains has many strengths and weaknesses as a comprehensive introduction to Jainism. Here are some of them:


The style and structure: How is the book organized and written?




One of the strengths of Paul Dundas' book The Jains is its style and structure. The book is well-organized and well-written, with clear headings, subheadings, summaries, diagrams, maps, tables, glossaries, bibliographies, and indexes. The book is also concise and accessible, avoiding unnecessary jargon and technicalities. The book is also engaging and informative, using examples, anecdotes, quotations, illustrations, and comparisons to explain complex ideas and concepts.


One of the weaknesses of Paul Dundas' book The Jains is its style and structure. The book is sometimes too dense and dry for some readers who may prefer a more lively and colorful presentation. The book is also sometimes too brief and superficial for some readers who may want a more detailed and in-depth analysis. The book is also sometimes too biased and selective for some readers who may disagree with some of the author's interpretations and opinions.


The accuracy and reliability: How well does the book reflect the current state of scholarship and research on Jainism?




The originality and contribution: How does the book advance the knowledge and discussion of Jainism?




A final strength of Paul Dundas' book The Jains is its originality and contribution. The book is not just a summary or a synthesis of existing works on Jainism, but a creative and critical exploration of Jainism from various angles and dimensions. The book offers new insights and perspectives on Jainism, challenging some of the common assumptions and stereotypes about Jainism. The book also raises new questions and problems for further research and debate on Jainism, stimulating the interest and curiosity of both scholars and lay readers.


A final weakness of Paul Dundas' book The Jains is its originality and contribution. The book is not without flaws or gaps in its coverage and analysis of Jainism, leaving some aspects and issues unaddressed or unresolved. The book also does not fully reflect the diversity and complexity of Jainism, oversimplifying or generalizing some of the features and facets of Jainism. The book also does not fully acknowledge the limitations and challenges of its approach and methodology, overlooking or ignoring some of the criticisms and objections that may be raised against it.


The conclusion: What are the main takeaways and implications of the book?




In conclusion, Paul Dundas' book The Jains is a comprehensive and accessible introduction to Jainism, covering its history, doctrines, practices, texts, and interactions with other religions. It is also a comprehensive and accessible review of Jainism, highlighting its main themes, strengths, weaknesses, and relevance for today's readers. It is a valuable resource for anyone who wants to learn more about Jainism, one of the oldest and most influential religions in India.


Some of the main takeaways and implications of the book are:



  • Jainism is a rich and diverse tradition that has a long and fascinating history, a profound and sophisticated philosophy, a rigorous and ethical practice, a vast and varied literature, and a dynamic and resilient culture.



  • Jainism is a relevant and inspiring tradition that has a lot to offer to the modern world, such as its teachings on non-violence, non-absolutism, non-attachment, karma, liberation, ecology, human rights, feminism, interfaith dialogue, social justice, and globalization.



  • Jainism is a challenging and intriguing tradition that invites further exploration and investigation, such as its sources on asceticism, renunciation, Mahavira, Tirthankaras, Agamas, sects, schools, movements, art, ritual, ethics, science, and contemporary issues.



FAQs: Some common questions and answers about the book




Here are some common questions and answers about Paul Dundas' book The Jains:



  • Q: Where can I buy or download Paul Dundas' book The Jains?