Introduction to Bauddha and Jaina Philosophy
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Vivekananda International Foundation organised a talk on March 1, 2021, on Introduction to Bauddha and Jaina Philosophy by eminent speaker, Professor Shashi Prabha Kumar, Dean, Sri Sankaracharya Sanskrit Mahavidyalaya, Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan. This lecture is a part of the VIF lecture series 'Philosophy for Beginners'. The webinar began with the opening remarks by Dr Arvind Gupta, Director, VIF.

Bauddha Philosophy

Professor Shashi Prabha Kumar began the lecture by reciting a Vedic invocation. At first, Prof. Kumar stated some of the sources of Bauddha Philosophy. Moving forward, she emphasised the epistemology of Bauddha Philosophy. She explained that Buddhists believe in two ways of knowing: pratyaksha and anumana. She said that Buddha didn't propound theories and mentioned ten topics, later increased to twenty-eight, that shouldn't be discussed. Some of those topics were: is this world eternal or non-eternal; is this world finite or infinite; is the soul and body different from each other, and is there rebirth or reincarnation after death, stated Prof. Kumar. She added that Buddha didn't want to answer metaphysical questions of which the world is uncertain. She mentioned that Buddha aimed to free humanity from suffering.
Moving further, Prof. Kumar mentioned the four noble truths propounded by Buddha: everything in the world is suffering; every suffering has a cause on which it is dependent; suffering can be eliminated, and some paths lead to the end of suffering. Later, Prof. Kumar explained the different aspects of Buddhism and its similarities and differences with other schools of Indian Philosophy.

Jaina Philosophy

In the other half of the lecture, Prof. Kumar introduced the Jaina Philosophy by explaining its nomenclature. She said that Jaina is based on the term Jina, translating to a person who has conquered herself. She mentioned different sources of Jaina Philosophy, including the Tattvartha Sutra. Moving forward, Prof Kumar emphasised the contribution of Jaina Philosophy to the Indian schools of thoughts. The two theories of Jaina Philosophy include metaphysics and epistemology, said Prof Kumar. She added that according to Jaina Philosophy, there are two types of knowledge: direct and indirect. Some of the Jaina philosophy's significant theories are the theories of relativity and relative pluralism, said Prof. Kumar. She said that one of the most crucial contributions of Jaina Philosophy to the Indian tradition is the theory of non-absolutism. The lecture was followed by a question and answer session and closing remarks by Dr Arvind Gupta.

Event Date 
March 1, 2021

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