Sri K. A. Krishnaswamy lyer was a Vedantiri par excellence, with a deep understanding of Vedanta as a whole and Shankara’s works in particular, backed up by a wide learning extending up to the western shears from all the brilliant pundits of this land from where Vedanta sprang.
The present book gives a glimpse of his erudition, didactic discussions and dictum on the subject, characterized by his continual thoughts, the clear logic of his presentation, and his command over the English language which runs through an easy flow to represent his understanding of the subject matter never even once digressing from the main stream. During his time he was respected for his authoritative hold on Vedanta, which none the less was never intrusive. But somehow his fame did not run down to the next generations, may be, because his output in terms of books was not quite large.
He was a generous man, very considerate with all the concern for others. His help to Sri Yallambalase Subrahmanya Sharma (later Sri Sri Satchidanandendra Saraswathi Swamiji) in his school days at Bangalore, providing him shelter and arranging for his food at home and at other friends’ houses and more importantly, having come to know of his inclination and interest in Vedartta, he gave lessons to the youngster on Vedanta everyday after he came back from school. Later when he realised the quick grasp and the quick silver sharpness in deductions, he was liberal to treat the youngster as a friend for his discussions.
His gesture in pointing out the wrong, interpretations,
by the later commentators, of Shankara’s views in his ‘Bhashyas’ resulting in its material disfigurement in total contrast to the original, but still entertained as gospel truth by all who followed right up to the present great Vedas also, paved the way for Sri Sharma to bring out ‘Mulavidya Nirasa’ a masterly piece of scholarship and clarity; this also led his incisive mind to every other aspect, hunting and drawing out several such serious discrepancies from Shankara. Naturally, Sri Sharma held this elder in great esteem as his ‘guru’ and their friendship lasted their life time.
Therefore, Sri Satchidanandendra Saraswathi Swamiji was happy to get this book published at Adhyatma Prakasha Karyalaya, just as he wrote a long introductory review on Sri Krishnaswamy Iyer’s ‘The Science of Reality’ - his magnum opus. What this book misses is a similar introduction from the Swamiji.
This is the second print of this book, brought out by scanning the original first print in 1969; hence, it comes out as it was in 1969, in a new garb with nothing added or taken.
The Karyalaya deems it a good task rendered, if only I lie discerning followers of Vedanta readily take to this book, bind make use of it, which would prove to be a good collection their library.
The Karyalaya is grateful to Sri M. V. Ramachandra for Iit munI(icinl donation for the publication of this thought Provoking book.
My part in the publication of these Miscellaneous Writings of the late K. A. Krishnaswamy Iyer, has been mostly compiling and arranging rather than editing them.
All these except one have appeared in print, but they were scattered in various periodicals, and could not have taken an easily accessible form, if the idea of collecting them all had not occurred to me immediately after the completion of the revised edition of the Vedanta or the Science of Reality by the same author.
The first of these writing is the ‘Meditations’, hitherto hidden in a note-book written in the author’s own hand. From the dates prefixed to the several installments, it is seen that it was commenced on 14-3-1900, and I do not believe that it was ever meant for publication, seeing that K. Iyer never mentioned its name before his intimate friends even when he had published his Magnum Opus. It could never have been rescued from oblivion, had not Sri K. S. Krishna Iyer, the author’s brother-in-law, so kindly lent the notebook to us for publication. It is perhaps the earliest connected essay affording us a clue to the evolution and development of the writer’s philosophic ideas. His small brochure containing a critical appreciation of Dustan’s Elements of Metaphysics, was published ten years later. The Karyalaya must be grateful to Sri Garadi Rachappa of Bangalore, for having lent it a copy of the little book. The next is the ‘Fundamentals of Vedanta’, a lecture delivered before the Mythic Society of Bangalore. This as well as the views on Deussen’s Elements, discloses the importance that Sri Iyer came to attach to the ‘Method of Avasthas’ almost from the beginning of his lucubrations on Vedanta.
Uma’s Mirror and the Drum-beat of Angels, are the only poems to reveal that Sri Iyear had also some taste for poesy, as his article on “Tiger Varadacha” discloses his proficiency in the Science of Music, while we all knew that he was an adept player on fiddle. Except for his article on the Philosophy of Advaita, (p. 267), most of his other writings were essays contributed to the Vedanta Kesari of Madras on various philosophical topics.
I have every hope that this collection of Sri Iyer’s works confirms us in the belief that he was really a born Vedantin in the highest sense, who strove to make his fellow-beings equally happy by sharing his ennobling ideas with them through his inspired writings. For myself I consider it the benign grace of Bhagavan Narayana that blessed me with the happy company of his rare personage for some time, and urged me now to edit his works with the collaboration of the Adhyatma Prakasha Karyalaya, who have undertaken to publish them.
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