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Foreign students studying nuances of Jainism

    Indore (Madhya Pradesh), June 26, 2015: Six students from the United States and European countries have come to Indore and are conducting research at Kundakunda Gyanpeeth to understand the philosophy and teachings of Jainism. Students are on a three-day visit to the city under International School for Jain Studies programme.

    During the three-day programme in Indore, students from United States, Canada, England and Czech Republic studied Jain culture, various chants and importance of science and mathematics in Jainism under the guidance of Professor Prakash Chhabra and his wife Pooja Chhabra.

    PhD student Benjamin Zenc, 28, from Hawaii, US, said, “I developed interest in Jainism while I was doing my research on Indian philosophy. I opted to study Jainism further. This religion has depth and many of its aspects can be related to science and mathematics, which are very authentic as well”.

    Another PhD student of University of England, Anya, 25, said, “I am doing research in Jainism and Diaspora and my primary reason to come here was to experience and learn about Jainism. I was fascinated by Jain temples and the science behind them. Meeting monks and nuns helped my research”. She said she would be visiting Jamnagar, Gujarat, where she would start field work on her research topics and complete her research in UK.

    “Religion study in US has been gaining popularity, which is why I opted to do research on an Indian religion, particularly Jainism. This religion is vast, and after completing my research, I would try and inculcate this learning in US universities,” said Michael, 28, pursuing PhD from US. While Clarissa Pulley, 22, who is doing research on environmental philosophy and Jainism said, “I wanted to explore all sects of Jainism for which we are moving to different places in India. Over here I learnt about rituals and histories of Jain pilgrimages and social orientation of Jainism”.

    Along with them PhD student from Czech Republic Jitka Schlichtsova, 27, and Komal Bohra, 24, from Florida, US, learnt about transformation of laity in becoming a nun or monk.

    Professor Prakash Chhabbra explaining about the programme said, “This is a unique programme, we invite graduates, undergraduates and research scholars for two-month summer stay in India to teach them about Jainism. This time summer school was organized in Delhi, Jaipur and Indore”. – News Courtesy: Times of India

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