Padmanabh Shrivarma Jaini is an Indian born scholar of
Buddhism, currently living in Berkeley, California, United States. He
is from a
Digambar Jain family; however he is equally familiar with
Svetambara forms of Jainism. He has taught at
the Banaras Hindu University, the School of Oriental and African
Studies (SOAS), the
University of Michigan
University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and at the
University of California
University of California at Berkeley, from which he retired in 1994.
Professor Jaini is the author of several books and papers. His best
known work is The Jaina Path of Purification (1979). Some of his major
articles have been published under these titles: The Collected Papers
on Jaina Studies (2000) and Collected Papers on Buddhist Studies
1 Early life and education
2 Path to scholarship
3 Works and publications
Early life and education
Jaini was born to a
Digambar Jain family residing in Nellikar, a small
town near Moodabidri, Karnataka, India. His father had abandoned
his title of Shetty and adopted the name of Jaini—after the famous
Jain scholar, Jugmandar Lal Jaini (1881-1927)—responding to calls
within the community to change their names to foster a greater sense
of Jain identity. After completing his elementary education, he was
Digambara Jain Gurukul, a boarding school in Vidharbha,
Maharashtra. It was run on traditional Jain principles and here he
came in contact with Jain scholars of his time like – Pandit
Nathuram Premi, Dr. Hiralal Jain, Dr. A.N. Upadhye.
After completing his secondary education here, he went to Arts College
at Nashik where he took the degree of BA hons in 1947 in Sanskrit and
Prakrit. During this time he supported himself by taking a job as a
superintendent of a Jain
Svetambara Hostel and thus coming in contact
Svetambara community for the first time.
Path to scholarship
After graduation, he was invited to study with Pandit Sukhlal
Sanghavi, a renowned scholar belonging to the
tradition. His daily meeting with Sanghavi, involved not only a
formal and rigorous instruction in Jain logic, but he was also exposed
to Sanghavi’s views on various sectarian debates and controversies.
With Sukhlalji's encouragement he studied
Pali canon and decided to
continue his postgraduate studies in Sri Lanka, thus acquiring a
thorough knowledge of Pali Canon and Buddhist scriptures. Here he
became a Dharmananda Kosambi memorial Scholar and met Dr. B. R.
Ambedkar (before his conversion to Buddhism) and was awarded
Tripatakacarya degree in 1951 at the residence of the Prime Minister
Senanayake. His years in Sri Lanka were the basis for his first
publication in Gujarati, “Ceylonman Be Varsa” (Two years in
Ceylon). It contains much information on the Theravada Buddhism
philosophy and practices.
On returning he took up position as a lecturer in Ahmedabad and in
1952 he took up position as a lecturer in Pali in Benaras university.
Subsequently he took up position as a lecturer in Pali and Sanskrit
with SOAS, London from 1956 to 1957. There under John Borough’s
supervision he completed his Ph.D. in Buddhist work, Abhidharmadipa.
From there he travelled to Burma, Indonesia, Cambodia and Thailand to
collect various Buddhist manuscripts which he later edited and
translated for Pali Text Society. Subsequently he moved to University
of Michigan as professor of Indic Languages and Literature up to 1972.
.Thereafter from 1972 to 1994 he served as a professor of Buddhist
studies in Department of South and Southeast Asian studies, University
of Berkeley, California. After his retirement, he has continued as
Professor Emeritus of the University. The University has
constituted “Padmanabh S. Jaini Graduate Student Award in Buddhist
Studies” that supports high-achieving graduate students in Buddhist
Studies at UC Berkeley and honors Professor Jaini's important legacy
in the field of Buddhist studies.
Works and publications
A partial list of his published works:
Jaini, Padmanabh (1998). The Jaina Path of Purification. New Delhi:
Motilal Banarsidass. ISBN 81-208-1578-5. (First edition in
Jaini, Padmanabh (1991). Gender and Salvation: Jaina Debates on the
Spiritual Liberation of Women. Berkeley: University of California
Jaini, Padmanabh (2000). Collected Papers on Jaina Studies. Delhi:
Motilal Banarsidass Publ. ISBN 81-208-1691-9.
Jaini, Padmanabh (2001). Collected Papers on Buddhist Studies. New
Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publ. ISBN 81-208-1776-1.
Padmanabh Jaini & Mark Tully (2009). Christianity and
Jainism : An Interfaith Dialogue. Mumbai: Hindi Granth Karyalay.
A partial list of works published by Pali text Society include:
Subodhalankara: Porana-tika (Mahasami-tika)
Apocryphal Birth-Stories (Pannasa-Jataka)
His other works include "Abhidharma
Buddhism to 150 A.D." published
under Encyclopedia of Indian Philosophies series.
^ Wiley, Kristi (2006). The A to Z of Jainism. Delhi: Vision Books
(originally published by Scarecrow Press). ISBN 81-7094-690-5.
OCLC 422763446. p.103
^ Dundas, Paul (2000). "Foreword". Collected Papers on Jaina Studies.
New Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. ISBN 81-208-1691-9. pp.
^ Dundas, Paul (2000) p. vi
^ Wiley, Kristi (2006) p.103
^ Dundas, Paul (2000) pp. vi–vii
^ Dundas, Paul (2000) p.viii
^ "Ph.D. candidate Nancy Lin receives first Padmanabh S. Jaini
Graduate Student Award in Buddhist Studies". Buddhist Studies at UC
Berkeley. April 2, 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-18.
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