"The Key of Knowledge" became out-of-print after 1928. Since then due to public demand three editions were reprinted. This edition is the reprint of the fourth edition with adjustments on the auspicious occasion of second Mahamastakabhisheka Mahotsava of the millennium at Shravanabelgola. This book makes possible to explain the strange similarities and identities between the esoteric teachings of all religions. This is indeed a magnum opus on Theology-on Jaina principles, Hinduism, Christianity and Islam. The originality of thought of C.R. Jain is bound to have a lasting influence. The reading of the works of the author is a pleasure from the literary point of view Not reading this book would be missing a life time experience because it is a key with the aid of which the locked doors of wisdom might be unlocked, enabling you to enter into then and see for yourself the priceless treasures which have remained hidden from the common view so long.
The sacred books of Hindus, Christians, Jainas, Muhammadans, Parsis and Jews went on allegorizing the doctrines of spiritual science. Most of the allegories hide their true meaning from the common man but have been decoded by the author providing really an ocean of wisdom.
C.R. Jain says "The proper method of studying "The Key of Knowledge" —indeed, of any other work on education and religion—is to reflect on its passages, not to skip over them erratically. It is well to bear in mind that knowledge is like food, and becomes ours only when it is absorbed, assimilated and digested by the intellect."
C.R. Jain was born on 6th Aug, 1867 to parents L. Chandra Mal and Smt. Parvati Devi at Delhi. He was adopted as a son by L. Sohanlal Bankelal at the age of seven and married to the daughter of Barrister Pyare Lal Jain when he was only 13 years' old.
C.R. Jain went to England to study Law in 1892 and returned back as Barrister in 1897. He practised at Delhi, Moradabad, Amritsar, and Hardoi in U.P. In 1913 he studied Hinduism, Christianity, Islam and made a thorough study of Jaina Concepts.
He visited many countries and addressed the World Fellowship of Faiths in Chicago (USA) on 30th Aug, 1933. In 1942, he created C.R. Jain Trust for publishing and distribution of Religious books. He was one of the founders of All India Digambar Jain Parishad. Tall and fair complexioned, C.R. Jain had a charming personality. He had met Ravindra Nath Tagore at Shanti Niketan and had contacts with Mahatma Gandhi.
He was a powerful orator. He wrote several books important among them were-"The Key of Knowledge', `Confluence of Opposites', 'Gems of Islam', `Jaina Logic', 'Faith, Knowledge and Conduct', `Jaina Penance', 'Householder's Dharma', `Jaina Law', etc. His essays & addresses in USA and Europe on "What is Jainism" in three volumes are out of print after 1933.
He had bad health as TB patient and returned back to India from England. He passed away on 2nd June, 1942 in Karachi. He was hailed as "Ocean of Wisdom". Editor
THE KEY OF KNOWLEDGE does not claim to be a new Scripture, nor is it intended to found a new religion or a new sect. It is merely what its title indicates-a 'key', with the aid of which the locked doors of wisdom might be unlocked, enabling its possessor to enter into them and to see for himself the priceless treasures which have remained hidden from common view so long. Its chief value will be found to lie in its power of reconciling the numerous religious doctrines which have hitherto been regarded as irreconcilable.
It is not likely that every reader will find its perusal interesting. There is a certain class of people who do not care to think on the vital problems of life for themselves, and are ever content to be guided by the thoughts of others. For such and others who take no interest in religion the book is not meant. It is meant only for those, in the first instance, who 'labour and are heavy laden, and whose souls are panting for rest and for a breath of the air of freedom. They will find the 'yoke easy and the burden light.'
The book lays no claim to elegance of diction, and the critic would be wasting his breath if he merely criticise, its literary merit or style. Though stimulating criticism is, however, always wholesome, and the author would be happy to have his errors pointed out, if any.
The author does not pretend to be a learned man in any sense of the word. In the following pages he has merely put down the chain of reasoning which brought satisfaction and rest to his soul, in the hope that others also might be benefitted thereby, if they have an earnest longing to understand themselves and the great mystery which surrounds existence. It is possible that in dealing with the vast range of subjects discussed in the book he may have unwittingly trodden upon the corns of some; if so, his excuse is that the causing of pain is not intentional. In an earnest search for Truth there is no room for an apology.
The proper method of studying the "Key of Knowledge" - indeed, of any other work on education and religion- is to reflect on its passages, not to skip over them erratically. It will be much better not to read the book at all than to read it in a hurry. It is well to bear in mind that knowledge is like food, and becomes ours only when it is absorbed, assimilated and digested by the intellect.
Serious confusion is apt to arise unless the various standpoints from which statements are made are constantly kept in mind. An endeavour has been made to point out all the different points of view as far as possible; but the injunction is thought necessary to put the reader on his guard. A full grasp of the Jaina doctrine of Nayavaa (the philosophy of standpoints), which finds its culmination in the Saptabhangi (that is, the sevenfold), system of predication, is necessary to avoid all such pitfalls. Ordinarily, language fails to deal at one and the same time with any given situation, in all its aspects, and is apt to mislead the unwary. For instance, the word 'unknowable' is a contradiction of its own sense. Herbert Spencer could not well have meant what the word signifies. What he meant was that which could not be fully known, not that which was wholly unknowable; for the mere fact that we know that there is a thing, however unknowable be its attributes, removes it from the category of the unknowable, or unknown, and puts it in that of the known. The Jaina method is calculated to overcome this difficulty. It maintains that full knowledge of a thing is possible only when it has been looked at from all the different points of view which exhaust the categories of knowledge. For instance, to know merely what a thing is, is not enough; we ought also to know what it is not. But as we are not concerned here with the Saptabhangi, we need not tarry to describe it any further.
It only remains to be added that the 'Key of Knowledge' does not blindly follow the teaching of any particular sect or creed, not even of Jainism to which sublime and noble faith the author has the privilege of belonging by a happy incident of birth. The views set out herein are based on a study of the nature of things, and the interpretation of the scriptures of some of the prevailing religions has been undertaken only to show that the impartial conclusions of Reason are precisely those which have been set before men in the form of doctrines and myths. The reader is, however, requested to bear in mind that the author's profound admiration for the wisdom of the ancients, compared with which the much boasted knowledge of the moderns is but a mere smattering, does not allow him to launch this book into the world except with the sincerely-felt observation that whatever is beautiful, grand or sublime in the following pages comes from the sages of the past, and all the rest which is wrong and ugly is his.
In dealing with the basic principles of religion it was not found necessary to go into a minute analysis of all the existing religions of the world, inasmuch as a survey of the principles underlying those actually dealt with sufficiently disposes of them all. Besides, a thorough treatment of each religion separately would have swelled the bulk of the book beyond all proportion, voluminous as it already is.
Item Code: NAP944 Author: Champat Rai Jain Cover: HARDCOVER Edition: 2018 Publisher: Shri Bharatvarshiya Digambar Jain Mahasabha Language: English Size: 9.50 X 7.50 inch Pages: 650 (4 Color Illustrations) Other Details: Weight of the Book: 1.5 Kg