Part VI — World luminaries speak about Jainism


"May the Siddhas, purer than the moons, more radiant than the suns, and as profound as the oceans, give me protection. p1:" — Jaina hymn of praise

"Buddhism with its high and noble ethics, Jainism with its austere ideal of self-conquest, Hinduism with its magnificent examples on all sides of the Dharma are not inferior in ethical teaching and practice to any religion or system, but rather take the highest rank and have had the strongest force."
  — Sri Aurobindo

"How can the Hindu, whose whole fabric of thought centres in God, believe in Buddhism which is agnostic, or in Jainism which is atheistic?
  The Buddhists or the Jains do not depend upon God; but the whole force of their religion is directed to the great central truth in every religion, to evolve a God out of man. They have not seen the Father, but they have seen the Son. And he that hath seen the Son hath seen the Father also.
  " — Swami Vivekananda

"I am not Rama. I have no desire for material things. Like a Jina, I want to establish peace within myself.
  " — An utterance of Sri Rama in the Yoga Vasishtha

"Mahavira proclaimed in India the message of salvation that religion is a reality and not a mere social convention, that salvation comes from taking refuge in the true religion, and not from observing the external ceremonies of the community, that religion cannot regard any barrier between man and man as an eternal verity. Wondrous to relate, this teaching overtopped the barriers of the race's abiding instinct and conquered the whole country.
  "— Rabindranath Tagore
  Nobel Laureate (Literature)

"No religion of the world has explained the principle of ahimsa so deeply and systematically with its applicability in life as Jainism. As and when this benevolent principle of ahimsa is practised by people to achieve their ends of life in this world and beyond, Jainism is sure to have the uppermost status and Bhagwan Mahavira is sure to be respected as the greatest authority on ahimsa. If anybody developed the doctrine of non-violence, it was Lord Mahavira. I request you to understand the teachings of Mahavira, think it over and translate it into action.
  "— Mahatma Gandhi
  Father of the Indian Nation

"The path of ahimsa, non-violence, emerges unmistakably as the only effective counter to the atom bomb. The Jain message of non-violence can make a significant contribution in helping national and international societies to resolve conflict. More and more people have begun to appreciate the imperative need to adopt the non-violence formula so that a global war can be averted and tensions overcome.
  "— H.H. Acharya Sushil Kumarji Maharaj
  Jaina Spiritual Leader

"Jainism is really neither Hinduism nor Vedic Dharma. It contributes to the advancement of Indian culture and the study of Indian philosophy.
  " — Jawaharlal Nehru
  First Prime Minister of India

"The term Jain stands for self-control and ahimsa. Where there is ahimsa, the feeling of hatred cannot remain.
  "— Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel
  The Iron Man of India
  Political Leader and Patriot

"Jainism has contributed to the world the sublime doctrine of ahimsa. No other religion has emphasised the importance of ahimsa and carried its practice to the extent that Jainism has done. Jainism deserves to become the universal religion because of its ahimsa doctrine.
  "— Dr. Rajendra Prasad
  First President of India

"There is evidence to show that so far back as the first century BC there were people who were worshipping Rishabhdeva, the first Tirthankara. There is no doubt that Jainism prevailed even before Vardhamana or Parshvanath. The Yajur Veda mentions the names of three Tirthankaras: Rishabha, Ajitnatha and Aristanemi.
  "— Dr. S. Radhakrishnan
  Second President of India

"All religions preach love and the shedding of hatred. It is the distinctive glory of Jainism that it has taken a lead in propagating the efficacy of ahimsa. The Jains have set the pace in serving humanity. The glorious heritage of the Jain religion can benefit the entire world.
  "— Giani Zail Singh
  Tenth President of India

"The sages, who discovered the law of non-violence in the midst of violence, were greater geniuses than Newton, greater warriors than Wellington. Non-violence is the law of our species as violence is the law of the brute.
  "— Romain Rolland
  Nobel Laureate (Literature)

"I do not know if there is rebirth or not, or life after death. But if it is true, then I would like to be born in India as a Jain.
  "— Albert Einstein
  Nobel Laureate (Physics)

"Let me assert my conviction that Jainism is an original system, quite distinct and independent from all others; and that therefore it is of great importance for the study of philosophical thought and religious life in ancient India.
  "— Dr. Herman Jacobi
  German Indologist