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A Proposal for
Jain Academic Foundation of North America

At a time when the world and people are torn with violence and war, understanding of Jain Principles can bring internal peace as well as world peace. This awareness can be brought out effectively by media, publications, and interfaith discussions, etc. We can not sit quiet and wish that it will happen automatically. For this we would have to have solid foundation of Jain literature in English and awareness of Jain teachings among Western Philosophers of all walk. This can be achieved by introducing Jainism in Academic world and participating in the interfaith discussions.

To achieve this we have to have an organization. For this reason we are establishing Jain Academic Foundation of North America (JAFNA). Through JAFNA we can approach Universities and Academic world to introduce the world its one of the oldest religion.

The Primary objectives of JAFNA are as follows:

  • Support academic Studies in Jainism at different Universities.
  • Conduct and support academic research and publish literature.
  • Establish Jain Study Center or Chair in next five years.

The Secondary objectives of JAFNA are as follows:

  • Create a general awareness about Jainism and its time-valued tenets.
  • Create a centralized Jain Information System.
  • Prepare Jain Literature for News Media and Magazines.
  • Provide means to research and publish Jain Scriptures in English.
  • Train and bring forward well versed Jain Scholars.
  • Prepare a Video Series on Jain Topics.
  • Educate Jain Teachers in Jain Philosophy.
  • Other Charitable activities.

These goals may seem too ambitious and tough to achieve, they can be made possible by hard work and dedication. We need a positive approach with a vision for future. JAFNA will like to propose a 15 year plan, divided in three 5-year plan periods to materialize this task. The highlights of this plan are:

Formation of JAFNA

JAFNA will be a non-political, tax deductible, and ethics oriented organization. It will consist of fifteen members. All of these members will be part of a Governing Committee and would select five members to be on Executive Committee. The Governing Committee will be responsible for defining goals and raising funds. The Executive Committee will be responsible for planning, communicating and carrying out defined tasks. There will also be an Advisory Panel of prominent Professors, Jain Scholars and Leaders who will provide logistical support and a futuristic vision. JAFNA will undertake projects for three years as an expeirments to see how does the things work in Academic world.

Jain Endowment Fund (JEF)

This fund will provide funding for university level research on Jain philosophy and related topics. The startup fund of at least $20,000 will be contributed by members of Governing Committee. The Governing Committee would also raise the necessary fund for yearly projects. If experience for three years would be favorable then JAFNA would raise the funds to establish a Center for Jain Studies in one of the prestigious US Universities. The funds for Center for Jain Studies will be generated by various fund raisers and donations from the worldwide Jain community.

Center for Jain Studies

This center will be the core of the research program. The center will be headed by an endowed chair. This chair endowment can be named after a donor for $1,000,000 or more. Otherwise the chair may be named after one of the Tirthankara. This center will also incorporate a Jain library consisting of audio, video, and traditional and other book media. The library will also provide access to any available material on Jainism. The center will conduct research and teaching to create an awareness for Jainism.


This is the most pressing need of near future. However, the publication has to be split up in phases. During the first phase concentrate on literature which would increase awareness in Jainism. This phase will also provide the teachers aid books for a Jain Education and also prepare material in a multi-media format on CD - ROM. The second phase will include the original research and publication of Jain books and also compiling, editing and translating the work done in India. Third and last phase will provide the translations of all Jain scriptures.


The Jain Workshops will provide an opportunity for scholars of western world to closely examine the tenets and principles of Jainism. The first planned symposium will be in 1996 and will be followed each year. These symposiums will be followed by international conferences in next three years.

The First Phase 1995-1999

  • Formation of JAFNA.
  • Jain Endowment Fund with a start up fund of at least $20,000.
  • Work out the details with selected Univerisites to introduce Jainism as part of their curriculum.
  • First JAFNA symposium on Jainism.
  • Fund research projects in various universities in lieu of original published papers.
  • First set of awareness literature.
  • Publication of first set of Teachers aid books on Jain Education.
  • Second JAFNA symposium on Jainism.
  • First set of Jain Education material in multi-media.
  • Evaluate the feasibility of Center for Jain Studies and endowed chair position.
  • Third JAFNA symposium on Jainism.
  • Fourth JAFNA symposium on Jainism.
  • Wide range of awareness literature.
  • Jainism as a known religion in North America.

The Second Phase 2000-2004

  • Fully functional Center for Jain Studies.
  • First International JAFNA Conference on Jainism.
  • Establishment of Jain Library.
  • Fully operational research program.
  • University level teaching program.
  • Third set of awareness literature.
  • Expand the range of awareness literature.
  • Publication of books about Jain Philosophy.
  • Advanced set of Jain Education material in multi-media format.
  • Operational Jain Education Program.
  • Fully functional Jain Library.
  • Complete set of awareness literature.

The Third Phase 2005-2009

  • Second International JAFNA Conference on Jainism.
  • Translation program for Jain scriptures.
  • Publication of literature.
  • Project planning for the future.
  • Access to all Jain scriptures in library.
  • Multi-media capability in all sectors.
  • Complete translation of all major scriptures.