International Symposium  on Jain History, Art and Culture

Museum of Asian Art, Corfu, Greece

17 – 18 November 2018

Jointly organized by:

The All India Digamber Jain Heritage Preservation Organisation, New Delhi, India

The Greek Chair at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India

The Indo-Hellenic Society for Culture and Development (ELINEPA), Athens, Greece

The Museum of Asian Art in Corfu, Greece


Objectives

The main objectives of this symposium are to bring together top scholars of History, Art and Culture of Jainism from around the world and present their research, to exhibit the  Jain art objects from the collection of the Corfu Museum of Asian Art, and to suggest future areas of fruitful research and co-operation in the field.

Program

Click on the photo to download the program in PDF format

Participating Scholars

Inauguration of the Symposium by H.E. the Ambassador of India to Greece MS. SHAMMA JAIN.

Greece

DR DIMITRIOS VASSILIADIS
Professor of Hindi and Sanskrit / National & Kapodistrian University of Athens
Spiritual Liberation in Ancient Greek and Jain Philosophy

MS. DESPOINA ZERNIOTI 
Archaeologist – Director, Museum of Asian Art, Corfu
Jain Art in Greece: The Case of the Corfu Museum of Asian Art

DR APOSTOLOS MICHAILIDIS
Professor of Religion and Assistant Principal at Model Varvakeion High School
Voluntary Death: Eastern Orthodox Christian and Jain Perspectives

DR STYLIANOS PAPALEXANDROPOULOS
Professor of History of Religions / National & Kapodistrian University of Athens
Supporting the Truth by Science: The Case of Jainism

DR MARIANNA BENETATOU
Editor, Greek Philosophical Society
The Atomist Theory of Jainism and Democritus: Historical and Philosophical Convergence

DR NIKI PAPAGEORGIOU
Associate Professor of Sociology of Religion / Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Women’s Issues in Contemporary Jainism

MS. KASSIANI KAGOURIDI
Archaeologist – Head of the Department of Museum Collection
Jain Art in Greece: The Case of the Corfu Museum of Asian Ar

MS. MARI SIAMPANI
Architect at Siampani Architects
Jain Temple Architecture

MR. KOSTANTINOS KALAITZIS
Musician, Researcher / Indo-Hellenic Society for Culture and Development (ELINEPA), Athens
Jain Music

See the photos of the symposium at ELINEPA’s page in Instagram

India

MR. NIRMAL KUMAR JAIN SETHI 
National President, All India Digamber Jain Heritage Preservation Organisation, New Delhi, India
Intoduction to Jainism

DR JAGAT RAM BHATTACHARYYA
Professor of Sanskrit, Pali & Prakrit / Visva-Bharati University, Santiniketan 
Jain Ethics and Modern Reference

DR BHAGCHANDRA BHASKAR JAIN
Professor & Head of Jain Philosophy / JRRS University, Jaipur
Jainism in Ancient Greece

DR LAXMI CHANDRA JAIN
Former Professor of Physics / Jabalpur University
Modern Science and Jain Philosophy

DR SNEH RANI JAIN
Retired Reader of Sciences and Indology / Sagar University, M.P. 
Violence in India and Greece

DR ANIL KUMAR SINGH
Assistant Professor of Greek Studies / Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
Jain Religion in the Context of Graeco-Indian Studies

DR BRIJESH CHANDRA RAWAT
Assistant Professor of Ancient Indian History / Dr. Shakuntala Misra National Rehabilitation University, Lucknow
Tirthankara Nemi: History And Tradition

DR SHRIKANT DWIVEDI
Professor of Ancient Indian History, Culture & Archaeology / Jiwaji University, Gwalior (M.P)
Institutionalization of Jainism as a Stratified Organization in
Early Medieval Period in the Gopadri Region

DR. VASANT SHIVRAM SHINDE
Vice – Chancellor / Deccan College, Pune
Ancient India’s Contribution to World History

MS. JAYAVIJAYAN NEELAKESI
Research Scholar in Jainology, University of Madras
Fine Arts in Jain Temples in Tamil Nadu

Mr. RISHABΗ JAIN
Vice President – International Relations, All India Digamber Jain HeritagePreservation Organisation 
Photo Exhibition on Jainism

Pakistan

DR MUHAMMAD IQBAL CHAWLA
Proffesor and Dean, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Chairman (History/Archaeology) University of Punjab, Lahore
Status of Religious Minorities in Pakistan: Refocusing on the Jaina Community

DR MUHAMMAD HAMEED
In charge of Department of Archaeology in the University of Punjab, Lahore
Exploration and Documentation of Jain Archaeology, Art and Architecture in Pakistan and Role of Department of Archaeology University of the Punjab

Germany

MR. AJIT BENADI 
President Jain Association, Germany
Jaimism the Oldest Living Religion


Exhibition

The Jain and Indian artefacts of the Museum of Asian Art will be exhibited during both days of the conference. A photo exhibition will be organized by the  All India Digamber Jain Heritage Preservation Organisation and a documentary on Jainism will be screened.

Description of the theme

From the point of view of the world population statistics there are less than ten Jains among one thousand people, but in the history of world religions, Jaina dharma occupies a distinctive place, because of its significant contribution to the Indian philosophy and ethics and its superb art and architecture. Innumerable Jaina images made of stone, metal,  including gold, silver and bronze, wood, terracotta and even precious stones are available in India and abroad. Archaeologists have noticed a remarkable resemblance between the earliest images of Rsabha and the figures of standing or seated nude yogis found inscribed on some terracotta seals and relics of the prehistoric Indus Valley civilisation, discovered at Mohenjo Daro, as well as the nude Harappan red-stone statuette, almost equally old. Antiquities & Art monuments help us in getting a better understanding of the Jain history and development.

Jainism is one of the world’s oldest and at the same time least understood faiths. The historicity of the Jaina tradition is amply borne out by the social tradition, literary and archaeological evidences. Yajurveda mentions of Rsabha Deva who is regarded by the Jains as the founder of Jainism. After Lord Rsabha, the first Tirthankara, there was a succession of 23 other Tirthankars, who came one after the other at intervals varying in duration up to the historical era of the last Tirthankara Mahavira (6th century BC). The doctrinal basis of Jainism comprises metaphysics and ontology, cosmology and cosmography, theology and mythology, epistemology and psychology, logic and dialectics, ethics and ritual, in short all that goes to make a well-developed comprehensive philosophical and religious system. Jaina metaphysics starts with the scientific axiom that “nothing is destructible,” that is, the cosmos is uncreated and real by virtue of its being existential and is, therefore, eternal, everlasting, without a beginning and without an end, being everlasting and eternal, and that the wheel of time incessantly revolves like a pendulum in half circles from the descending to the ascending stage.

The sanskrit word ‘Jaina’ derives from jina, ie. ‘conqueror’, an epithet given to a line of teachers who, having overcome the passions and obtained enlightenment, teach the true doctrine of non-violence and subsequently attain the freedom from rebirth which constitutes spiritual deliverance according to their teaching of the ‘Three Jewels,’ namely, right knowledge, right faith and right conduct. The Jain tradition which enthroned the philosophy of ecological harmony and non-violence has formed a vital part of the mainstream of ancient Indian life and contributed greatly to the philosophical, artistic and political heritage. The fundamental teachings of Jainism offer the world today a time- tested anchor of moral imperatives and a viable route plan for humanity’s common pilgrimage for holistic environmental protection, peace and harmony in the world.

Greeks were aware of the Jains since antiquity. Herodotus speaks of Indian ascetics who were vegetarian and welcomed  death. Democtritus traveled to India, met with Indian gymnosophists before developing his atomic theory, Alexander the Great had long discussions with the Indian gymnosophists, and his succesor Seleukus gave his daughter Helen for marriage to the Jain Emberor Chandragupta Mautya. The rest of the Europeans seem to have become aware of the Jains since the beginning of the sixteenth century, albeit describing them as merchants, frequently referring to non-violence, vegetarianism and ascetic practice. Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of Modern India, based his life on the Jain principle of non-violence (ahimsa) and his birthday on 2nd October is celebrated as Non-violence Day all over the world as decided by the United Nations.


Chairman

Dr Dimitrios Vassiliadis

Prof. of Hindi and Sanskrit, National & Kapodistian University of Athens

President, Indo-Hellenic Society for Culture & Development (ELINEPA), Athens

Director, Athens Center for Indian and Indo-Hellenic Studies

Registration and further information for the Conference

Mr. Rishabh Jain

Vice President – International Relations

All India Digamber Jain Heritage Preservation Organisation

E-mail: jain@elinepa.org

Information and coordination for the exhibition 

Ms Kassiani Kagouridi

Head of the Department of Museum Collections

Museum of Asian Art, Corfu

Tel. 26610.27925

E-mail: kkagkouridi@culture.gr

This post is also available in: elΕλληνικα (Greek)