Jainism is known for its antiquity. Paradoxically, it is equally modern and rational in its philosophy and approach. It highlights the inviolability and moral status and sanctity of all living creatures. It also recognizes the freedom available to each human being, but juxtaposes it with the responsibilities of the rational human beings. Jainism is also a compassionate religion, though over time, because of ignorance or misunderstanding, some of the sects have downplayed this aspect. Indeed, Jainism is the religion of the 21st century.

A large number of books on Jainism are available in Hindi and other Indian languages. But there is a need for a comprehensive book on Jainism in English language. It is encouraging that in the past two decades some scholars of international repute have made significant attempts in this direction. However, many more efforts are needed.

We are happy that Dr. (Colonel) D.S. Baya has responded to this requirement and come up with a very lucidly authored book that covers almost all the aspects of Jainism. Rightly, the book starts with a tribute to the last Tīrthankara Māhāvīra and goes on to touch Philosophy, Cosmology and Ethics of the Jainas. The historical perspective included in the book enhances its utility. The most important feature of this work is a full Sixth Section, with six essays, devoted to the practical aspects of Jainism. The author discusses the application of Jaina precepts in diverse fields like personal happiness, social harmony, world peace, environmental protection, personality development and management and leadership. This is a book both for the lay readers and scholars.

Dr. Kusum Jain and Shri Surendra Bothra have gone through the manuscript and given valuable suggestions, I thank them for their efforts. M/s Computer Hut, Udaipur too deserve our thanks for computer type setting and graphics. Thanks also to all others involved in the publication of this book.

D.R. Mehta

Founder and Chief Patron

Prakrit Bharti Academy, Jaipur.

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