1st Edition

Contemplative Studies & Jainism Meditation, Prayer, and Veneration

    160 Pages 13 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge India

    160 Pages 13 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge India

    This volume is one of the first wide-ranging academic surveys of the major types and categories of Jain praxis. It covers a breadth of scholarly viewpoints that reflect both the variegation in terms of spiritual practices within the Jain traditions as well as the Jain hermeneutical perspectives, which are employed in understanding its rich diversity.

    The volume illustrates a complex and nuanced understanding of the multifaceted category of Jain religious thought and practice. It offers a rare intrareligious dialogue within Jain traditions and at the same time, significantly broadens and enriches the field of Contemplative Studies to include an ancient, ascetic, non-theistic tradition. Meditation, yoga, ritual, prayer are common to all Indic spiritual traditions. By investigating these diverse, yet overlapping, categories one might obtain a sophisticated understanding of religious traditions that originally emerged in South Asia. Essays in this book demonstrate how these forms of praxis in Jainism, and the philosophies that anchor those practices, are interrelated, and when brought into dialogue, help to foster new tools for understanding a complex and variegated tradition such as Jain Dharma.

    This book will be useful to scholars and researchers of religious and theological studies, contemplative studies, Jain studies, Hindu studies, consciousness studies, Yoga studies, Indian philosophy and religion, sociology of religion, philosophy of religion, comparative religion, and South Asian studies, as well as general readers interested in the topic.

    Introduction – Cogen Bohanec Part I: Meditation 1. The Mindful Renouncer: Jainism & the Contemplative Path- Anne Vallely 2. Jain Yoga and Dhyāna – From Contemplative Introspection to Blissful Meditation- Parveen Jain 3. Comparative Contemplative Praxis in the Jain Yoga-Śāstra and the Hindu Yoga Sūtra- Cogen Bohanec 4. The Aims of Contemplative Practice in Jainism and Advaita Vedānta: A Comparative and Contrastive Study- Jeffrey Long 5. Contemplating Jīvas:  The Pedagogical Implications of Jainism’s Elemental Meditations- Chris Miller Part II: Prayer & Worship. 6.The Problem of Prayer in the Jain Tradition- M Whitney Kelting 7. “The Fire that Burns the Forest of Karma” : Haribhadrasūri’s Theory of Devotion as Contemplative Practice- Anil Mundra 8.Jain Ritual: Ethics and Pūjā - Chris Chapple 9. The Ritual Veneration of Living Digambar Jain Renouncers - Tillo Detige 10.Terāpanth Prabodh: Devotion to Ācāryas in the Modern Jain Śvetāmbara Terāpanth Tradition - Shivani Bothra 11. The Worship of Virtuous Women in Jainism- Sherry Fohr 12. Liminal and Embodied: Some Notes on the Popular Worship of the Jain Goddess Padmāvatī- Nika Kuchuk


    Cogen Bohanec currently holds the position of Assistant Professor in Jain Studies at Arihanta Academy, and he has taught numerous classes on South Asian Culture & Religions and Sanskrit language at the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) in Berkeley. Along with Jain philosophy and literature, Dr. Bohanec specializes in comparative dharma traditions, philosophy of religion, and Sanskrit language and literature, and has numerous publications in those areas. He has a PhD in “Historical and Cultural Studies of Religion” with an emphasis in Hindu Studies from GTU, where his research emphasized ancient Indian languages, literature, and philosophical systems. He also holds an MA in Buddhist Studies from the Institute of Buddhist Studies at GTU where his research primarily involved translations of Pāli Buddhist scriptures in conversation with the philology and philosophy of the Hindu Upaniṣads.

    Rita D. Sherma is founding Director and Associate Professor at the Graduate Theological Union’s Center for Dharma Studies (CDS) in Berkeley, California. She has developed programs in multiple MA and PhD concentrations, and is Core Doctoral Faculty and Co-Chair of Sustainability 360, an environmental humanities project. She holds an MA in Religion, and a PhD in Theology & Ethics from Claremont Graduate University, CA. Prior to coming to GTU, she served as the Swami Vivekananda Professor of Hindu Studies at University of Southern California (USC), Los Angeles.

    Dr. Sherma serves on the Editorial Board of the American Academy of Religion’s Reading Religion Journal, the Advisory Board of the Yale University Forum for Religion and Ecology, and is Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Dharma Studies: Asian and Transcultural Religion, Philosophy, and Ethics. Published in June 2022, was her 35-chapter edited volume titled Religion & Sustainability: Interreligious Resources, Interdisciplinary Responses (UN Sustainable Development Goals Series, with P. Bilimoria, Springer-Nature). Her monograph Radical Divine Immanence: An Ecofeminist, Emancipatory Hindu Theology of Shakti is pending publication in 2023. She has published eight books including Contemplative Studies and Hinduism: Meditation, Devotion, Prayer & Worship (2020), Swami Vivekananda: His Life, Legacy, & Liberative Ethics (2021); Woman & Goddess in Hinduism (2011); Hermeneutics and Hindu thought: Towards a Fusion of Horizons (2008), and 35 academic book chapters and articles. Her works have appeared in publications released by NYU, SUNY, Georgetown University, and other notable publishers. She has produced two documentaries through GTUx, titled Ecospirituality: Environmental Pathways to Healing, and Greening Spirituality (with Dr. Devin Zuber), and was a religion and culture advisor on the animated movie, Soul, which won several academy awards including best feature in its category. Rita Sherma has presented over 100 scholarly research papers at major academic forums such as the American Academy of Religion and other eminent venues. She is a meditation teacher of long-standing, and speaks widely at invitational events.

    Purushottama Bilimoria works in the areas of Indian & Cross-Cultural philosophy, Continental Philosophy, Philosophy of Religion, Critical Thinking, and Diaspora Studies. Current affiliations: Professor in Law School, O.P. Jindal Global University (India); Principal Fellow at University of Melbourne; Faculty @ San Francisco State University and University of California (Merced); he is Permanent Fellow of the Oxford Center for Hindu Studies; serves as Co-Editor-in-Chief of Sophia and Assoc. Editor Journal of Dharma Studies. Recent publications include: History of Indian Philosophy (with Amy Rayner, 2019, 2021), Religion and Sustainability (UNGSD series, edited with Rita D. Sherma, 2021), Contemplative Studies and Hinduism (edited with Rita Sherma and Cogen Bohenac, Routledge, 2021); Indian Ethics Vol. 2: Women, Justice, Ecology and Bioethics (edited with A. Rayner Routledge, 2023, forthcoming).

    "This excellent book gives a detailed yet accessible exposition of daily practices like prayer, worship, rituals, and contemplations practiced by the Jain laity It contains a fascinating scholarly discourse on how Jains recite the qualities of Jinas and pray to be able to achieve the same through their self-effort with restraint and nonviolence while maintaining a peaceful and happy worldly existence as human beings. Another important contribution given herein are some points about important comparative Jain practices with those of Hindus. I highly encourage readers to enjoy this subject presented herein with a first-rate scholarly discussion."

    Dr. Shugan C. Jain, President of the International School for Jain Studies (ISJS)



    "Jainism is one of the main traditions of philosophy and religion that emerges from India. However, unlike Hinduism and Buddhism, which also emerge from India, Jainism is not as well known. With respect to contemplative studies, it is also not well known in terms of the unique and interesting contributions it makes. Thus, Bohanec, Bilimoria and Sherma's determining Prayer, Worship, Ritual, and Contemplation in Jain Worlds provides a much needed contribution to scholarly literature as well as general knowledge. The authors in this work are true scholars doing important work and helping others see the core aspects of Jainism." 

     Professor Anand Jayprakash Vaidya, Department of Philosophy, San Jose State University


    "This volume is a much-needed Jain contribution to the field of Contemplative Studies. The authors present diverse topics in a balanced way, both in terms of textual studies, but also in terms of cataloguing important lived experiences of practitioners while notably underscoring issues regarding gender. This is an indispensable work for both general readers and scholars alike who are interested in Jain practices and contemplative states that includes pan-Indic yoga and bhakti practices, but that also goes beyond quietude to include prayer and worship, and underscores how the distinctive Jain ethos of non-violence (ahisā) has profound phenomenological implications."

    Dr. Venu MehtaBhagwan Chandraprabhu Postdoctoral Fellow in Jain Studies, Assistant Professor of Comparative Religions, Claremont School of Theology


    "Contemplative studies are an emerging field whose developments stimulate a significant paradigm shift in the academia today. It therefore gives me great joy to see that thanks to Bohanec, Bilimoria and Sherma's determining Prayer, Worship, Ritual, and Contemplation in Jain Worlds, Jain studies embark on this journey from its early stages, attended by the world leading experts on contemplation and mindfulness in the Jain tradition from a ritualistic, philosophical, literary, social, and first-person stance perspective."

    Dr. Marie-Hélène GorissePostdoctoral Research Fellow, School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion; University of Birmingham