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Muslim guide helps Jain monks get their PhDs

    Ahmedabad (Gujarat), February 13, 2013: NiranjanMuni (52) completed his thesis on ‘Austerities in Jainism and Other Religions: A Comparative Study’. The doctoral degree however has deputy commission of commercial tax IntajMalek beaming, as he is now a proud guide under whose guidance two Jain monks completed their doctoral theses.

    A year ago, Chintan Muni (45) completed his doctoral thesis on ‘Bhavna Shata Treatise on 12 Reflections of Jainism by Shatavdhani Ratnachandraji Maharaj’.

    With the two completing their PhDs, Malek can now rest a while as he had also turned into a nomad, moving from one place to another, keeping pace with his two students – who have to keep travelling as part of their ‘vihaar’.

    “I travelled to Kutch, Rajkot, Limbdi and a host of other places to ensure Niranjan Muni’s thesis progressed well and to keep guiding him. The thesis has turned out well. An exhaustive comparison has been made between the ‘tap’ or austerity measures undertaken in different religions including Jainism, Hinduism, Islam, Christianity”, said Malek, who thought nothing of following his on-the-move students around the country, meeting them at upashrayas. He would carry reference books and laptops for his students during these trips, which would also help monitoring their progress.

    Until they met Malek, the Jain munis of Sthanakvasi Jain Ajramar Sampraday were finding it difficult to register as PhD students with Gujarat University and to find a guide. The two munis have not cleared the standard XII exam, but have bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Jain Vishva Bharati University in Ladnun, Rajasthan.

    Malek helped them register. Once they came in touch, Malek was requested to become their guide since he was eligible, having done in-depth study on Jainism as well as other religions. He also holds a doctorate in ‘Upanishads and Islamic mysticism’.

    “This student-teacher relationship was special. Despite the fact that as monks they have to be on the move constantly, both my students were always prepared. If needed, they would even study under streetlights”, said Malek.

    Monk to move on to DLit

    Dr Chintan Muni has decided to pursue a Doctorate in Literature (DLit) after completing his Phd last year. While he wishes to pursue this degree from Gujarat University, he plans to apply to universities in Mumbai and Pune as well. Here too, the monk’s Muslim guide Intaj Malek is guiding him. Chintan Muni wants to pursue his DLit in meditation, as he feels meditation is a panacea for urban maladies.

    “In the 21st century, there is competition and stress. I would like to help people through my studies by embracing meditation and finding how a person can create an oasis of peace,” says Chintan Muni. – News Courtesy: Times of India

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