The Akram Vijñān Mārg, or Stepless Path to Salvific Knowledge, is a highly innovative religious movement. It originated in the 1960s in Bombay and is slowly spreading throughout Western India and the Gujarati diaspora in East Africa, North America, and the United Kingdom. The founder of the Akram Vijñān Mārg was Ambalal Muljibhai Patel (1908–1988), a contractor, who experienced enlightenment while waiting for his return train to Mumbai at Surat. His new religious movement offers a new synthesis of Hindu and Jain ideas and practices. The lecture will explore ways in which his teachings are enacted in the context of the rituals at the trimūrti temples of the movement in India.
Dr Peter Flügel (MA Dr Phil (Mainz)) is a lecturer in the department of the study of religions at SOAS. He is an expert in Jainism and has done textual work and fieldwork. He is the Chair of the Centre for Jaina Studies and a member of the Centre for South Asian Studies and the SOAS Food Studies Centre. Apart from Jaina studies, he has broad interests in religion and society, social anthropology, sociology, philosophy and Indology more broadly.