World Cruise, 1932–3: I
From Hiralal Amritlal Shah, ‘Bernard Shaw in Bombay’, Shaw Bulletin, November 1956; first published in Gujarati in Prabuddha Jain (Bombay), 15 November 1950. On 15 December 1932 the Shaws embarked on the Empress of Britain at Monaco for a cruise round the world. Their first port of call after passing through the Suez Canal was Bombay, where the Empress anchored offshore from 8 to 16 January 1933. Shaw had expressed a wish to see the Jain temples and Hiralal Shah took him out in his own commodious, chauffeur-driven Delage touring car. After they had visited one temple, Shah proposed another and Shaw willingly agreed. Jainism, which resembles Buddhism, was an offshoot of the central Vedic religious tradition in India, differing in its belief that one may escape the endless cycle of rebirth, punishment or reward by attaining a true understanding of human life. The first man to do this was the Jina, and he and others who have succeeded are called Tirthankaras. Although Jainism had virtually no mythology in its original pure form, legends and the miraculous soon attached themselves to it.