Jain scholars are putting together a new set of books that translate and explain the philosophical verses of Jainism. The first volume of the book will be released next month.
More than 25 Jain and philosophy scholars from across the country have invested in the project to bring out three volumes of the translated versions (in English, Hindi and Sanskrit) of the agamas (verses) from the fundamental book on the religion – Saman Suttam.
The Saman Suttam is a compilation of 756 verses from Jainism’s four sects that was brought out in 1974 after spiritual leader Acharya Vinoba Bhave tried to bring the sects together.
Since last week, scholars have arrived from cities such as Jaipur, Delhi and Puducherry to put the finishing touches on the first volume in a ten-day workshop at the KJ Somaiya Centre for Studies in Jainism in Ghatkopar.
“While the Saman Suttam has been translated before, this is the first time we will have Shabdartham (translated meaning of every word), and more importantly, commentaries from acharyas (religious scholars) from centuries ago,” said Dayanand Bhargav, a professor from Jaipur who has a PhD in Jain ethics. “The commentary will reflect the true meaning and analysis of the verses,” he said.
Some of the other scholars working on the book include Sagarmal Jain from the Prachya Vidyapeeth in Madhya Pradesh; Shriyanth Kumar, a philosophy expert from Jaipur; and Shantha Kumari, a professor from the Pondicherry University. Profes-sors Geeta Mehta and Kokila Shah from the Somaiya institute are editing the copies.
“This book will help anyone – from a layperson to a student to a researcher – understand the essence of Jainism in a simple way,” said Mehta.