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Economics of Lord Mahaveera
To pay my tributes to Bhagwan Mahaveer on his birth anniversary celebrated on April 17, 2019, I wish to comment on his economic thoughts. Mahaveer Jayanti is a sacred festival for Jains and followers across the world celebrating it in a grand way by taking out processions including chariot, horses, elephants, drummers and chanters.

Silent prayers are also offered and his preaching is recapitulated in the form of sermons to the followers on this day. Traditional Mahaveer Jayanti recipes are also prepared in order to celebrate the festival.

 I am fortunate to receive the book 'Economics of Mahaveera(2013)' by Acharya Mahapragya  from Professor B.D. Dugar, Vice Chancellor Jain Vishva Bharati Institute, Ladnun, Rajasthan on March 09,2019 when I delivered  inaugural address as Chief Guest in the  national seminar on ' Environmental Protection and Social Work'.

A   reading with rapt attention of the book   published by Adarsh Sahitya Sangh, New Delhi   divided in 11 chapters and developed in 158  Pages   with  concise but informative outlines of the basic teachings of  Mahaveera  which are relevant to the real understanding of  economics.  The central focus : man and money, the economic concept of development, economics of non -violence and peace, limitations of individual ownership and personal consumption, environment and economics, poverty and unemployment , mahavira marx keynes and gandhi, parameters of new economic policy, livelihood with religion: limits of desires, introspection and clarifications , mahavira and economics are the headings of the 11 chapters worth reading and grasping the content therein.

Economics is the science and art of economic prosperity and the limitation of wealth is the science of peace. To drive happiness from economic affluence without peace is difficult if not impossible. We need harmonization between fulfilment of economic needs and peace. Economics based on relative principle and the economics of peace are complementary to each other in all times to come.

We need to understand, analyze, interpret and adopt the  theories of economics of Mahaveera which are capable of  addressing the problems of environment  and provide solace to the people under mental  stress of the miseries of materialism consisting of consumption, luxury and comforts of prosperity. The economic  thoughts of Mahaveera are source of contentment for the victims of  agony caused by accumulation, earning, conservation and consumption of wealth.

The central themes of Jainism are ahimsa (non-violence), anekant (nonabsolutism) and aprigraha (non-possession). Non-violence strengthens the autonomy of life of every being and if one believes that every soul is autonomous then one will never trample on its right to live. Non-absolutism strengthens the autonomy of thought of every individual and if one believes that every person is a thinking person then one will not trample on his thoughts and allows diverse views to prevail. Non-possession strengthens the interdependence of every soul and if one believes that one's own existence is interdependent one will think twice before trampling on this planet. These core elements have been the building blocks of economics of Mahaveera. Economics without ethics is like eyes without sight.

I firmly believe that the rate of progress in spiritualism is faster than the rate of progress in materialism which justifies accepting spiritually guided materialism making a case for 'needonomics'  as a solution of various problems . There is no doubt that India will emerge as a world leader on its spiritual strength only. To make it happen we should adopt an evolutionary approach and should not expect miracles.

For proving  India as independent, nonviolent, democracy with integrity and amity ,we need to learn spiritual economics confining to needs (needonomics) and no to greed (economics of greed - greedonomics) which is nonviolent in nature for  living and working without worries (www). It needs to be understood that God has promised to satisfy needs and not greed which should be kept in mind by every individual in the present times of consumerism.

*The writer is Professor of Economics and   presently Vice Chancellor of Jaipur based Jagan Nath University.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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