Padmanabh S. Jaini was Professor emeritus of Buddhist Studies and co-founder of the Group in Buddhist Studies. Before joining UC Berkeley in 1972, he taught at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London and at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
He is the author of numerous monographs and articles on both Buddhism and Jainism. In the field of Buddhist Studies he is particularly well known for his work on Abhidharma and for his critical editions of the Abhidharmadīpa (a Vaibhāṣika treatise), the Sāratamā (a commentary on the Aṣṭasāhasrikā Prajñāpāramitā), and a collection of apocroyphal Jātakas, the Paññāsa-Jātaka, that appeared in four volumes (text and translation). His collected essays have appeared in two volumes, and, recently, he has been honored by a Festschrift (2003) with contributions on early Buddhism and Jainism.
In 2007, Professor Jaini established the Padmanabh S. Jaini Graduate Student Award in Buddhist Studies. This award, established with a generous gift from Professor Jaini and matched by the Chancellor's Matching Gift Program, will support high-achieving graduate students in Buddhist Studies at UC Berkeley. This award is open to men and women, regardless of race, creed, or national origin.
Prof. Jaini passed away peacefully in his home in the Berkeley Hills on Tuesday May 25, 2021, just five months shy of what would have been his 98th birthday.