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Wednesday, 29th November 2023

Dharma and Wisdom

Science, Jain Dharma and Wisdom

Eminent Scholars of Jainism who spoke at the Gyan Sagar Science Foundation conference in New Delhi, February 2014 in the presence of Acharya Gyan Sagar Maharaj.

I have just returned from an amazing conference in New Delhi on Jain Science and Wisdom where I was a keynote speaker and invited Chief Guest. It was organised by the Gyan Sagar Science Foundation, and was the third of its kind. Among the speakers were eminent scientists, agriculturalists, veterinarians, biologists and neurologists, all born in the Jain tradition and now having achieved significant professional success in their fields. Some of them were running large laboratories and international research projects. Professor Paras Mal Aggarwal, an eminent Physicist, was given the inaugural Jain Laureate Award for his outstanding research on Jain scriptures and their translation. Professor Rajmal Jain from the Physics Research Institute in Ahmedabad has been honoured with the Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Astronomical Society and is coming to UK this June 2014 to receive it.

I also met eminent health scientists, biologists, philosophers and neurologists who were very keen to connect their scientific understanding and achievements with their own ocean of Jain wisdom which they have inherited for free, and are keen to interpret and share it with the world.

I spoke about some of the projects and initiatives I had led, including the founding of Young Jains and Jain Spirit, the research on Social Cohesion, the work on Boardroom Diversity, Jain Business Ethics, and our expertise in Cultural Intelligence and Leadership.

What was fascinating was that all of them, with such significant scientific achievements and credentials, had the same key words to say:

Jain Dharma was a science way ahead of its time, and modernity has much to learn from its vast ocean of wisdom. There are a range of practical applications to alleviate world problems which need to be shared with a global scientific, institutional and policy-making audience . Some even predicted future Nobel prizes can come from Jain-oriented research, or science drawing from Jain scriptures and discoveries.

This is indeed a very powerful statement, and given the global challenges of personal and mental health, of economic inequality, of environment and climate change, family and community breakdown, and of business ethics and social cohesion, we urgently need innovative and sustainable solutions. The challenge is to collate them and communicate them in a modern professional way to targeted institutions, policy-makers and media. Whilst there, I proposed a global Jain Think Tank, professionally organised and managed, which would act as a medium to disseminate such outstanding research and help heal the world from its many ailments. This idea was accepted with significant enthusiasm, and I am now on the drawing board to develop an action plan for this.

The whole event was organised by the Gyan Sagar Science Foundation, mentored by Acharya Gyan Sagar Maharaj, an eminent Digambara saint and scientist. This was the third meeting of its kind, with more to come. Dr. Sanjeev Sogani was its convener.

Whilst in New Delhi, I also visited the outstanding Akshar Dham Hindu culture, art and ethics complex and had a long meeting with its head Shri Atmaswarupswami, discussing various issues around faith, spirituality, management and ethics.

I look forward to sharing more of such experiences in future with this blog. You are very welcome to explore the Diverse Ethics website for a range of articles and films around ethics, diversity and wisdom.

Article added on 12th February 2014 at 8:34am