IoJ Project, JAINpedia in the News!

November 5th, 2014 by Bansri Mehta

The Sunday, Times of India published an article about JAINpedia on 12th October 2014. This is not the first the Times of India group has written about JAINpedia and the work of the Institute, and we are grateful for their exposure. We hope this encourages other publications to write about this valuable website.

The article talks about the collections of Jain manuscripts held in UK institutions, how some of them were obtained and their importance and relevance to the Jain community now. The value of JAINpedia lies in the fact that these manuscripts can be viewed in high resolution, almost as if they were in front of you, from anywhere in the world, and without risk of damaging any fragile ones. In addition the contextual information and the sister Learn Jainism site, complement and increase the utilization of the site. Read the rest of this entry »

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£1000 raised! Pledge to help us raise 10K in the next 22 days!

July 9th, 2014 by Bansri Mehta has been a huge success thanks to contributions from the Jain community worldwide, and from other charitable organisations.

The bulk of the project has been completed, with over 90 manuscripts from major UK institutions (the British Library, the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Bodleian Libraries, Oxford, the Wellcome Trust and the Royal Asiatic Society) digitized.

The manuscripts have been contextualized with articles from renowned scholars worldwide, with images, glossaries and other links.

The project has brought awareness of the Jain faith and cultural heritage, and makes history and heritage accessible and relevant to everyone. It brings Jain heritage to the 21st Century.

Of the 250 articles that bring context to the manuscripts and create an ‘encyclopedia’ of the Jain faith, 144 are complete and online. We are raising funds through a crowd-sourcing site, in order to complete the site with further essential articles such as Vegetarianism, Environmentalism, Jains and Buddhism etc and many more.

We need your help in making this crowd-sourced funding successful. Pledge to the campaign in return for some exciting rewards, and more importantly share the campaign with your friends and family!

You can pledge here:


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Jains Gain Minority Status in India

January 28th, 2014 by Bansri Mehta

Some wonderful news in the New Year for the Jain community at large.

The Jains have become the sixth community to be granted ‘minority status’ at the federal level in India. The result will be the provision of protection and recourse mechanisms that all minorities should get. Some of the immediate benefits of obtaining this status are:

  • Temple & trusts will now be able to seek legal recourse and evict tenants that have been dwelling in their properties at very low rents for many years.
  • Government interference in institutions and trusts of the community will cease to exist;
  • And there will be 50 per cent reservation for Jain students in colleges run by the community.

The principle benefit of the minority status in India, will be that the government can no longer intervene in the daily function of running trusts and temples. These temples hold  enormous wealth, and the wealth can now be put to good use as per the community’s wishes.

Jain Temple in Ranakpur, India

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Royal Asiatic Society gems on JAINpedia now

December 20th, 2013 by Bansri Mehta

The Royal Asiatic Society (RAS), with funding from the Shraman foundation have added to the JAINpedia site with their own gems from their Jain collection. The 3 items are now live on JAINpedia and can be found easily from the newly published article written by the librarian of the RAS Kathy Lazenbatt.

The RAS is the oldest scholarly society focusing on the study of Asia in the UK. It was formed in 1823 by the famous Sanskrit scholar and Indologist, Henry Colebrooke and has a particularly strong collection of manuscripts and books from South Asia. It boasts some rare Jain works, with the key ones live on JAINpedia:

1) A meditation diagram , the Suri-mantra-pata, on cloth, dated from the mid-15th century, which is also one of our highlights on JAINpedia, as it is a rare type of yantra, used only by the highest-ranking Śvetāmbara monks.

sūri-mantra-paṭa Image by Royal Asiatic Society © Royal Asiatic Society

Image by Royal Asiatic Society © Royal Asiatic Society

2) A Jain map of the universe on cloth c. 1816, the adhai-dvipa presented to the RAS by Major-General William Miles on 17th June 1837. It had been given to him ‘by a Jain Priest of the Province of Marwar’.

3) A manuscript of the Kalpa-sutra, a very popular Svetambara scripture, which is a colourful early example from 1404 with exquisite coloured illustrations.

We’re delighted to be working with the RAS as a new partner organisation for JAINpedia and as always will continue to add to the site.

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Jain Manuscripts and Painting from India at the V&A

September 12th, 2013 by Bansri Mehta

Enjoy the last chance to discover the JAINpedia display of fascinating illustrated manuscripts from India with curator Nick Barnard and explore the sacred pilgrimage site of Shatrunjaya through a huge and spectacular painting recently acquired by the V&A.

The JAINpedia display at the V&A will close on 22 September 2013 to allow these fragile and light-sensitive manuscript pages to be rested. Come and see the new display of early Indian paintings, opening 28 September, which will include nine other fascinating and beautiful Jain manuscript folios. The Shatrunjaya painting will also remain on display.

Rules of conduct for monks (detail), page from an Uttarādhyayanasūtra manuscript, opaque watercolour on paper, Gujarat, India, about 1450. © V&A Images / Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Rules of conduct for monks (detail), page from an Uttarādhyayanasūtra manuscript,

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Royal Asiatic Society joins JAINpedia

February 15th, 2013 by Bansri Mehta

The Institute of Jainology and JAINpedia team are glad to announce its partnership with The Royal Asiatic Society (RAS).

The society  was the first British organization dedicated to the study of Asia, and played a key role in encouraging an exchange and transfer of cultural understanding. It is only appropriate that we add to the JAINpedia website with some of the collection from the RAS too.

The RAS in partnership with the Jiv Daya Foundation will be conserving and digitizing 3 Jain artefacts to put on the JAINpedia website, a meditation diagram on cloth dating, from the mid-15th century, a Jain map of the universe on cloth (c.1816) and a paper manuscript dated 1404 of the story of Kalaka and part of the Kalpasutra. These 3 artefacts, will also be described and contextualized in the same manner as the current digitized artefacts on JAINpedia, making them more accessible to a wider audience.

The meditation diagram known as a suri-mantra-pata is believed by Professor Nalini Balbir, to be the only one of its type in a European collection; full details of the artefacts, can be found on the RAS blog. The artefacts, are expected to be digitized and uploaded to JAINpedia by the end of June 2013, and we will keep you updated of the progress.

A Yantra of the Suri-Mantra-Pata


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The Final Event – Dazzling Diwali – a Huge Success

December 3rd, 2012 by Bansri Mehta

Once again, JAINpedia celebrated Diwali at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London this year. The day began with an entrance by 80 people from Leicester, organised by Kalpit Doshi from the Jain Centre, Leicester. Over 2000 people were recorded to have attended the event, which had a fun-filled programme throughout the day.

Activities included a giant snakes and ladders game, with accompanying song and dance, and some enjoyable ‘shake, shake shake’ moves. Little members of the audience were the playing pieces and rolled the giant die to achieve the position of ‘moksha’ or ‘liberation’ on the giant board.

Children playing Snakes and Ladders at the V&A Museum

Children playing Snakes and Ladders at the V&A Museum
© Bansri Mehta

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New Painting of Shatrunjunya Hill at the V&A – Talk takes place on Karttika-Purnima

November 27th, 2012 by Bansri Mehta

The V&A has recently acquired a large and splendid painting of Shatrunjaya Hill in Gujarat, one of the holiest Jain sites. Thousands of pilgrims climb up to the temples on top by a path with over 3,000 steps. Detailed paintings like this of the sacred site enable worshippers unable to be there to envisage and contemplate it.

Come and see the painting on karttika-purnima, the special day when these paintings are traditionally venerated, and learn about it. Read the rest of this entry »

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Dazzling Diwali event – 25th November 2012

October 30th, 2012 by Jasmine Kelly

Join the JAINpedia Team at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum this year as part of our exciting ‘Dazzling Diwali’ event.

It promises to be an exciting day for the whole family, with activities including an interactive and musical Giant Snakes and Ladders, the story of Rushubdev Bhagwan in dance, traditional Rangoli demonstrations and workshops, and a chance to see the JAINpedia Travelling exhibition. Read the rest of this entry »

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10th Annual Ahimsa Day – Ahimsa Award Winner Scott Neeson

October 29th, 2012 by Bansri Mehta

The Institute of Jainology, celebrated its 10th Annual Ahimsa Day on 17th October 2012 at its regular venue, the House of Commons, London. Again, the room was filled to the brim and the compere for the evening, Mrs. Komal Mehta, welcomed the audience.

Scott Neeson - Ahimsa Award Winner 2012

© Ravin Mehta

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