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The Jain Path: Ancient Wisdom for the West Paperback – 9 Nov 2006

4.4 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: O Books (9 Nov. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905047215
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905047215
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 2.2 x 21.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 436,572 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

"If you have ever wondered precisely what a 'Jain' is, this is the book for you! If you are interested in developing a peace loving and compassionate nature with a reverence for nature and a moderate and ecological approach to life, this is also the book for you! In just 240 pages, Aidan Rankin explores the beauty of the Jain Path and provides a good glossary into the bargain. This is a well written, immensely informative book." Elizabeth Medler, New Vision "A very fine introduction to the Jain faith, and a reminder of the value of the wisdom traditions in our time. Pertinent, important, points to a truly sustainable future." Network Review "A masterpiece." Dr Atul K Shah, Chief Executive Diverse Ethics Ltd

About the Author

Aidan Rankin is the news editor of Jain Spirit, the international journal of the Jain community. He also works as the political and cultural editor of the European Business Review.


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One of the few books on the inner workings of Jainism in English. There has been some fringe debate about the Einstein quote which appears at the beginning of chapter one. 'I do not know if there is rebirth or not, or life after death. But if it is true, then I would like to be born in India as a Jain' and this has been attributed to Albert Einstein. I can imagine Einstein saying this but there appears to be no record of him saying this. George Bernard Shaw said he would like to be reborn in a Jain community. All this apart, it is a well written work on the subject and probably the best there is in English so all credit to Aidan Rankin.
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Format: Paperback
At a time of huge interest in ethical and green lifestyle, the ancient Jain tradition is largely ignored and there is significant mis-understanding and pretence by many modern-day green activists. The Jains have been leaving the lightest ecological footprint for thousands of years, quietly. They have lived peacefully with nature and developed a cuisine, art, rituals and lifestyle which is truly compassionate and respectful of all life. This book explains the tradition authentically and simply, connecting and comparing it with western philosophical thought and lifestyle. A timely book with a huge potential market for those vegetarians, environmentalists, and seekers of truth who are looking for a spiritual framework in their lives.
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Format: Paperback
This extremely thought-provoking and cogently argued book about the ancient Jainist way of life is so relevant for us today entrenched as we are in a materialistic, Western society where political leaders seem to think that 'either you're for us or against us.' Dr Rankin expresses so lucidly the Jainist path of many-sidedness in which there are many facets to truth and beliefs, each of which is as valid and has equal significance as the other; consequently, no one part can ever give us the whole picture. How important such a concept is for us to grasp in the 21st century where the rigidity and tunnel vision of fundamentalist views, whether they be religious or political, are all too prevalent. Dr Rankin has approached the way of Jainism with humility, great care and sensitivity; his book should be read by all of us who sincerely seek to connect to truth and the understanding of the human condition.
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Format: Paperback
This beautiful and interesting book introduces the ancient Indic faith and philosophy of Jainism to western readers. This is a welcome edition to the study and practice of spirituality in the west. The author shows that Jainism is a philosophy that engages eloquently with the problems facing western men and women (and a growing number of Indians) today. It reminds us that increasing wealth and knowledge bring with them responsibilities, especially to fellow humans and the rest of the natural world. Jain teachings emphasise the need for a balanced, non-exploitative relationship with our environment and a reduction of the materialistic cravings that lead to conflicts - external and inner. By following the path of non-violence, we begin to know ourselves and understand reality.

Aidan Rankin's timely book also shows how the doctrine of 'Many-Sidedness' - unique to Jainism - provides a framework for living in a pluralist society. He calls this principle 'Non-Violence of the Mind' and argues that it has the potential to free us (individually and collectively) from dogma and fanaticism. The author mentions that Jain thought profoundly influenced Mahatma Gandhi, whose message of non-violence and co-operation is as relevant to the western world today as it was (and still is) to the Indian subcontinent.
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Format: Paperback
Writing at its best: simple but not simplistic, entertaining without being patronising and instructive without being preachy. An insightful read. For the intellectually curious a book that should be read; for the spiritually curious a book that must be read. Gregory Dark
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For those of us interested in the World's faiths this book written by Dr.Rankin is a ' Must '.
Written in an informative and interesting style, it introduces the reader to the beliefs of
Jainism and points to their relevance in this modern and complex World.
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