The late lamented Champat Rai Jain was a Bar-at-Law by profession; but he is better remembered on account of his numerous publications in English as a deep scholar of Comparative Religion. The Kew of Knowledge is his Magnum Opus. His comprehensive study of Comparative Religion and his deep understanding of Christianity and Islam he brought to bear on his study of Jainism. The result has been remarkable. In fact he can be looked upon as one of pioneers who introduced Jainism to the western world in a catching and effective manner. We owe to him a number of books in English dealing with the Householders Dharma, the Sannyasa Dharma, etc. His Practical Path or Practical Dharma is a neat exposition of Jainism, as a way of life. The present book Fundamentals of Jainism is based on the Practical Path of the late C. R. Jain from which some portions are omitted. The opening Chapter gives what can be called the method of understanding reality, or the AnekantaVada, which is rightly called 'intellectual Ahimsa' of the Jainas. The subsequent chapters give details about the fundamental principles of Jainism. They indicate how the mundane spirit can get rid of the shackles of Karma and steadily attain spiritual perfection following the stages on the path detailed here. The chapter dealing with Dharma in practice lays out what needs to be followed day-to-today by one who wants to lead a religious life.
This is indeed a useful book, which goes a long way to explain Jainism both to a lay reader and to an earnest student of comparative religion. It is but natural, therefore, that this brochure is blessed by Muni Shri Vidyanandaji.
The Publishers deserve our gratitude for its timely publication when we are celebrating the 2500th Anniversary of the Nirvana of Bhagawan Mahavira.
University of Mysore
Mysore; October 2, 1974
"There is evidence to show that so far back as the first century B.C. there were people who were worshipping Rishabh Deva, the first Tirthankara. There is no doubt that Jainism prevailed even before Vardhamana or Parsvanath. The Yajurveda mentions the names of three Tirthankaras---- Rishabha, Ajitnath and Aristanemi. The Bhagavata Puran endorses the view that Rishabha was the founder of Jainism."
Dr. S. Radhakrishnan
Indian Philosophy Vol. I, P. 287