The volumes of the PROJECT ON THE HISTORY OF SCIENCE, PHILOSOSPHY AND CULTURE IN INDIAN CIVILIZATION aim at discovering the main aspects of India's heritage and present them in an interrelated way. In spite of their unitary look, these volumes recognize the difference between the areas of material civilization and those of ideational culture. The project is not being executed by a single group of thinkers and writers who are methodologically uniform or ideologically identical in their commitments. The Project is marked by what may be called 'methodological pluralism'.
Inspite of its primarily historical character, this project, both in its conceptualization and execution, has been shaped by scholars drawn from different disciplines. It is for the first time that an endeavour of such a unique and comprehensive character has been undertaken to study critically a major world civilization. The historical, conceptual, theological and the social ethos of Indian culture come alive in the vast spectrum of themes related to the origins and development of Jainism, one of the oldest living religions of the world.
Eminent contributors to this volume explore the immensity of the Jaina scriptures, literature and art, to open up a vast store-house of knowledge. The socio-anthropological and metaphysical conceptualism of various philosophical theories and their development in the context of the evolution of human society, are analyzed in depth. The teachings of a galaxy of Teerthankaras culminating with Mahavira, have contributed immensely to the essence of Indian culture - freedom of thought, belief and expression, tolerance and non-violence (Ahimsa), that is the backbone of Jaina philosophy.
The work is divided into three sections: part I: HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY AND LITERATURE; Part II: EPISTEMOLOGY AND MYSTICISM and Part III: CULTURAL CONTRIBUTION. Together these offer to readers, researches and scholars much food for further exploration of the mystique, that is Jainism.