Jainism Inside Out (16 April 2023)

Key information

10:00 am to 5:30 pm
Brunei Gallery, SOAS
Brunei Lecture Theatre

About this event

The Brunei Gallery, SOAS is delighted to host a series of events presented by The Centre for Jaina Studies, SOAS co-organised by the Jain community UK to accompany the exhibition Pure Soul: The Jaina Spiritual Traditions.

Entry is free both to the events and exhibition. Attendees are encouraged to visit the exhibition during the course of the day, which will be open between 10:30am to 5:00pm. Please book here: puresoulsoas | Instagram | Linktree

Event programme

  • 10:00am to 10:20am Morning Coffee/Tea
    Enjoy a cup of tea or coffee before the first session of the day.
  • 10:25am to 11:00am Taran Swami: 16th Century Jain Saint Ankur Jain, Research Schola
    Ankur Jain will introduce Taran Swami, and outline this 16th century Jain Saint’s contribution to Indian philosophy, and his continuing influence on Jainism today.
  • 11:05am to 11:40am Pilgrimage to the Jain Temple City Shatrunjaya* Dr Saurabh Maheshkumar Shah, community teacher of Jainism
    Embark on a virtual pilgrimage to India to visit one of Jainism’s holiest sites, courtesy of Dr Shah’s photo diary. From the comfort of your seat, ascend the 3364 steps required to witness hundreds of temples overlooking the city of Palitana, Gujarat. 
  • 11:45am to 12:20pm Illustrated Manuscripts of a 17th Century Jain Tale Prof. Nalini Balbir, Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris
    Revealing photographs of a colourful illustrated manuscript held in a private German collection, Professor Balbir tells the story of Prince Simhala. The narrative poem composed in Rajasthani by Samayasundara, a 17th century Jain monk, highlights the virtues of generosity and caring.
  • 12:25pm to 1:00pm Hidden Treasures of the Jaina Libraries in India Dr. Kalpana Sheth, Ahmedabad University, freelance manuscriptologist
    Sharing photographs and video footage, Dr. Sheth lets us into the rich diversity of Jain objects housed in Jain libraries across India. She will deliver a fascinating insight into the process of their production centuries ago. Highlights include palm leaf and paper manuscripts.
  • 1:00pm to 2:15pm Lunch
    An opportunity to sample Jain vegan food. Enjoy the experience of tasting food that has been prepared without root vegetables, onion and garlic, or dairy. 
  • 2:15pm to 3:15pm Songs of Devotion* Shrimad Rajchandra Mission Dharampur & Raj Saubhag Satsang Mandal
    Melodious and spiritually uplifting rendition of the verses of Shrimad Rajchandra, Jain mystic poet and enlightened philosopher of the 19th century. The lyrics will be explained in English and performed by a talented group of musicians and singers.
  • 3:25pm to 4:00pm Jain Treasures at the V&A Nick Barnard, Curator Victoria and Albert Museum
    A whistlestop visual tour of some of the V&A’s impressive collection of Jain artefacts, including a Parshvanatha statue and a diagram of the Jain Cosmos.
  • 4:15pm to 5:15pm Autobiography of One Soul’s Journey: A Story in Dance* Nilpa Shah & Naytika Shah, Bharatnatyam Dancers
    An interpretation in classical Indian dance of the autobiographical poem ‘Dhanya Re Divas’ (‘Hallowed be the Day’) written in Gujarati by Shrimad Rajchandra. The poem recounts how intense spiritual progress led this 19th century diamond trader to become an enlightened philosopher and mystic poet.