Mahavira and Jainism

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Please find here my recent reflection on Mahavira and Jainism, one of the heterodox traditions that emerges in response to early Brahmanism and the Upanishads.

Primary texts

Jaina Sutras, Part I and II, translated by Hermann Jacobi

– a collection of some of the corpus of Jain religious texts relating to theology and philosophy

Tattvârthsûtra by Âchârya Umâsvami

– the most succinct and accessible primary text of Jain philosophy giving a systematized philosophical framework

Sarvārthasiddhi by Acharya Pujyapada

– the oldest extant commentary on Tattvārthsūtra

Secondary texts

Great Minds of the Eastern Intellectual Tradition by Grant Hardy

– has a good introductory episode to Jain thought, and the entire series really puts Jainism within its historical and situational perspective

Jain Philosophy and Practice I and II by the Jaina Education Series

– accessible introductions into Jain thought, however written for a Jain audience (i.e. preaching to the converted)

Studies In Jaina Philosophy by Nathmal Tatia

– an older but excellent systematic reading of Jain philosophy within the context of Brahmanism/Hinduism and Buddhism

Intro and Outro music:

Reeder, Watchmaker’s Daughter – available on Free Music Archive or at

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