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Champat Rai Jain (1867-1942) was an influential Jain writer and comparative religion scholar of the 20th century who contrasted Jainism and Christianity. He visited various European countries to give lectures on Jainism. He was conferred with the title Vidya-Varidhi (lit. Ocean of Wisdom) by Bharata Dharma Mahamandal (The India-Religious Association).


Champat Rai Jain
Champat Rai Jain.jpg
Born(1867-08-06)6 August 1867
Delhi, India
Died2 June 1942(1942-06-02) (aged 74)
Pen nameC.R. Jain
LanguageEnglish, Hindi, Urdu
SubjectJainism, Comparative religion
Notable works"The Key of Knowledge", "The Practical Dharma", "Jainism Christianity and Science"
Notable awardsJain Darshan Diwakar


Champat Rai Jain was born on 6 August 1867 in Delhi, India.[1] He was married at the age of 13.[1] In 1892, he went to England to study law.[2] He was the founder of the Jaina mission in London.[3] He died on 2 June 1942. He was a barrister-at-law, orator, writer, and attempted to explain Jainism with modern age psychology and science terminology.[4][5][6]

According to Padmanabh Jaini, the colonial era Champat Rai Jain was an apologist of Jainism, defended the Jain doctrines that were criticized by Christian missionaries, and authored the first Jaina text aimed at the Christian world when Christian missionaries expressed frustration at Jain people with no pagan creator gods refusing to convert to Christianity.[3]


Champat Rai Jain attempted to present Jainism as a scientific religion, a knowledge that he claimed had neither dogmatism nor mysticism.

Jainism is a science, and not a code of arbitrary rules and capricious commandments. It does not claim to derive its authority from any non-human source, but is, science-like, founded on the knowledge of those Great Ones who have attained perfection with its aid. Scientific validity can be claimed neither by dogmatism nor mysticism; and it is unnecessary to add that nothing but science and scientific thought can be relied upon to produce immediate, certain and unvarying results.

— Champat Rai Jain, Essays and Addresses[7]
  • Jaina Doctrine - Lecture delivered before the "Association des Amis de l'Orient" (Paris) on 28 November 1926[8]
  • Jainism And Its Power To Stop Human Warfare- Lecture delivered before "Le Trait d'Union" Society at Nice[9]
  • Religion and Comparative Religion- Lecture delivered at Genova, Italy (6 January 1927)[10]
  • Ahimsa as the Key to World Peace at the World Fellowship of Faiths (1933)[11]


Champat Rai Jain wrote in three main languages of his time: English, Hindi, Urdu.[12]


  • The Key of Knowledge (1915, 1919, 1928)[13]
  • The Householder's Dharma (1917): English translation of the Jain text, Ratnakaranda śrāvakācāra.[14]
  • The Practical Dharma (1929)- Second edition of "The Practical Path" (1917)[15]
  • Confluence of Opposites (1921)[16]
  • The Jain Law (1926) [17][18]
  • Nyaya- The Science of Thought (1916, 1924)[19]
  • Jainism, Christianity and Science (Allahabad, 1930)[3]
  • The Lifting Of The Vell or The Gems Of Islam (1931)[20]
  • The Practical Dharma (1929)
  • Risabha Deva- The Founder of Jainism (1929, 1935)[21]
  • Sannyasa Dharma (1926)
  • Sacred Philosophy. 1920.
Essays and Addresses
  • What is Jainism (Essays and Addresses- I)
  • Jainism and World Problems (Essays and Addresses- II)
  • The Change of Heart (Essays and Addresses- III)


  • Jain Law
  • Sanatana Jain Dharma


  • Jawahrat-e-Islam

Key of KnowledgeEdit

Book cover of "The Key of Knowledge"

"Key of Knowledge", a book authored by Champat Rai Jain, was published in 1915. It was widely acclaimed among the scholars.[16]

The Pioneer (on March 12, 1916) wrote: "Mr. Rai's book is singularly lucid and readable and not a word in it could give umbrage to the most sensitive votaries of the creeds discussed."

"The author's learning and breadth of outlook entitle him to patient hearing......"- The East and West—March (1916)

Vijay K. Jain, a modern Jainism scholar in the Preface of his book From IIM-Ahmedabad To Happines wrote:[5]

Many illuminated works and teachings of great thinkers and sages of the past have repeatedly told us that we need to be able to distinguish between valuable gems and valueless stones, both of which are scattered along our way. One such valuable gem that I could lay my hands on, about a decade ago, was that amazingly comprehensive yet precise treatise The Key of Knowledge, by Champat Rai Jain. The book, first published in 1915, true to its title, has timeless pearls of wisdom in each of its 900-plus pages; one has only to have patience, and develop appreciation and understanding to pick them up. No other work that I know of treats of the great issues that confront humanity with the same simplicity, charm, ease, authority and freedom. As could be expected from a Barrister-at-Law of that era, he was a brilliant grammarian and logician; but more than that, he was a great philosopher.

See alsoEdit



  1. ^ a b Kumar 1996, p. 98.
  2. ^ Kumar 1996, p. 205.
  3. ^ a b c Jaini 2000, p. 33.
  4. ^ Indian Book Industry. 1976. p. 8.
  5. ^ a b Jain, Vijay K (2006). From IIM-Ahmedabad to Happiness. p. xi. ISBN 9788190363907.
  6. ^ Farhadian, Charles E. (2015). Introducing World Religions: A Christian Engagement. Baker Academic. ISBN 9781441246509. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
  7. ^ What is Jainism?: Essays and Addresses, C.R. Jain (1927)
  8. ^ Jain 1928, p. 27.
  9. ^ Jain 1928, p. 35.
  10. ^ Jain 1928, p. 46.
  11. ^ Bregman 2010, p. 203.
  12. ^ Pruthi 2004, p. 123.
  13. ^ Jain, Champat Rai (1919). The Key Of Knowledge. Internet Archive (Second ed.). Allahabad: The Central Jaina Publishing House. Retrieved 17 November 2015.
  14. ^ Jain, Champat Rai (1917). "The Ratna Karanda Sravakachara". Internet Archive. The Central Jaina Publishing House.
  15. ^ Jain, Champat Rai (1929), The Practical Dharma, Allahabad: The Indian Press Ltd., archived from the original on 2015
  16. ^ a b Jain 1921.
  17. ^ *Jain, Champat Rai (1926), The Jaina Law, Devendra printing & publishing Company, Limited
  18. ^ *Flügel, Peter (2006), Studies in Jaina History and Culture: Disputes and Dialogues, Routledge, p. 424, ISBN 9781134235520
  19. ^ Jain, Champat Rai (1916). "Nyaya- The Science Of Thought". Internet Archive. The Central Jaina Publishing House. Retrieved 17 November 2015.
  20. ^ "The Lifting Of The Vell or The Gems Of Islam". Internet Archive. Archived from the original on 2015.
  21. ^ Champat Rai Jain (1935). Risabha Deva - The Founder of Jainism. Internet Archive. The Jain Mitra Mandal.