Yoga and Meditation in the Jaina Tradition
- Module Code:
- Year of study:
- Taught in:
- Term 2
The course offers an introduction to yoga and meditation in the the context of the Jaina path of liberation. The historical roots of contemporary Jaina practices of asceticism and meditation will be explored with refenrence to their metaphysical and soteriological rational and institutionalisation in Jaina mendicant and lay traditions in India and the UK. The later influence of Patañjali and later Hindu philosophy and yoga practices on medieval Jaina philosophers writing on Jaina-Yoga will be demonstrated. The course concludes with a survey of the new teachings and techniques of competing modern schools of yoga and meditation.
Objectives and learning outcomes of the module
LO1. to account for the history and principal doctrines of the Jaina traditions
LO2. to discuss the differences between different schools of Jaina yoga and meditation
LO3. to analyze the distinctive contribution and influence of the Jaina tradition on contemporary yoga philosophy and practic
10 lectures, of one hour's duration each per week; as well as 10 seminars, of one hour's duration each per week.
Scope and syllabus
Lecture 1: Roots of Jaina Yoga and Meditation
Lecture 2: Film: The Frontiers of Peace
Lecture 3: Pārśva, Mahāvīra, and Gośāla
Lecture 4: Body and Soul: Karma, Bondage and Liberation in Early Jainism
Lecture 5: The Jaina Cosmos and its Inhabitants
Lecture 6: The Jaina Path of Liberation
Lecture 7: Sallekhanā: The Religious Practice of Voluntary Death
Lecture 8: Asceticism and Meditation
Lecture 9: The Influence of Patañjali on Jaina-Yoga: Haribhadra, Śubhacandra and Hemacandra
Lecture 10: Modern Forms of Jaina Meditation
Method of assessment
AS1 - Essay - 3000 words (100% of total mark for the module)
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Schubring, Walther. The Doctrine of the Jainas. Described after the Old Sources. Tr. Wolfgang Beurlen. 2nd English Edition. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidas, (1935) 2000.
Amitigati, Acarya. Yogasāra-Prābhṛta (Gift of the Essence of Yoga). Translation & Annotation by S. C. Jain. New Delhi: Bharatiya Jnanpith, 2003.
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Chapple, C. (ed.). Yoga in Jainism. London: Routledge, 2015 (Routledge Advances in Jaina Studies 5)
Chitrabhanu, Gurudev Sri. The Philosophy of Soul and Matter. New York: Jain Meditation International Center, 1977.
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Qvarnström, Olle. “Jain Tantra: Divinatory and Meditative Practices in the Twelfth-Century Yogaśāstra of Hemacandra.” Tantra in Practice. Ed. David Gordon White, 595-604. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000.
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Qvarnström, Olle & Jason Birch. “Universalist and Missionary Jainism: Jain Yoga of the Terāpanthī Tradition.” Yoga in Practice. Ed. David Gordon White, 365-382. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2012.
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Rajneesh. Meditation: The Art of Ecstasy. London: Harper Collins, 1976.
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Samuel, Geoffrey. The Origins of Yoga and Tantra. Indic Religions to the Thirteenth Century. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008.
Shastri, Suvrat Muni. Jaina Yoga in the Light of the Yogabindu. An Analytical Study. Delhi: Nirmal Publications, 1996.
Shivmuni, Acharya. Self-Development by Meditation. Delhi: Bharatiya Vidya Prakashan, 2005.
Shubhachandra, Acharya. Jnanarvana: Ocean of Wisdom on Meditation. English Translation by Dashrath Jain. 2014 (Gems of Jain Wisdom Volume 8).
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Tulsi, A. Transmutation of Personality through Preksha Meditation. [Prekṣā Anuprekṣā] Translated by R. K. Sheth. Editor: Sadhvi Kanakaprabha. Ladnun: Jain Vishva Bharati, 1994.
Umāsvāti/Umāsvāmī. Tattvārtha-Sūtra. Translated by Nathmal Tatia as That Which Is. With the Combined Commentaries of Umāsvāti/Umāsvāmī, Pūjyapāda and Siddhasenagaṇi. New York: Harper Collins, 1994.
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