The sagacity and wisdom of Indian seers, thinkers and philosophers are unparalleled but given our western orientation, we often quote from western thinkers with a misplaced belief that Indian quotations are didactic and not suitable for common illustrations. Unfortunately, this attitude betrays gross ignorance of Indian thought and authors, who have depicted enormous depth, spontaneity and brilliance while dispensing these pearls of wisdom. These compilations from various Indian languages prove the veracity of these noble and immortal thoughts projected during ancient and medieval times.
About the Author
The late Rajaram Narayan Saletore was a distinguished historian and author with a doctorate from the University of Bombay. After a brilliant academic career, he had an eventful tenure in the Indian Administrative Service and subsequently penned a number of books on Indian history and culture. Among them the five volumes of the Encyclopaedia of Indian Culture (Sterling Publishers) are a notable contribution.
Rajaram Narayan Saletore was one of the most distinguished historians of the century. A Ph. D. from the University of Bombay, a brilliant academician, a senior IAS officer, he held various positions of distinction in his illustrious life.
The present volume, "The Golden Treasury of Indian Quotations" is being published 11 years after the author passed away in 1988. It lay in the custody of Mrs. Radha Saletore and only now is it coming out in its present form.
It is our endeavor, as publishers of this veritable cornucopia of knowledge to bring to the reader and scholar of Indian History a volume that is complete within itself and at par with the author's other published works.
The quotations we generally find in the daily press of books of reference are mostly Western authors and rarely form Indian writers. The impression created from such examples is that such quotable thoughts are worth citing only from Westerners and few Indian writers offer such ideas for citation. Such a notion is hardly either justified or true as can be noticed from the following pages. Moreover, the general charge of Western critics against Indian thinkers and their thoughts is that they are mostly didactic and hence not suitable for common illustration. Such criticism is not only baseless but betrays a gross ignorance of Indian thought and authors through the ages. As can be seen from this collection, Indian thoughts can challenge comparison with the best from the masterpieces of Western literature. This book is an attempt to reveal that our writers too harldy lacked the oft-vaunted depth, spontaneity and brilliance, which are alleged to be found only in western thought. If a thorough compilation of our thoughts is to be made, it would cover a much larger volume than the one now presented. But several reasons have precluded me from embarking on such a venture and for numerous considerations I have purposely restricted myself to ancient and medieval authors and left the moderns out of this selection.
A writer once suggested to me that the value of this book would have been enhanced if the originals too could be cited and in this case also I have not attempted this especially because the thoughts are from several languages. If that suggestion was to be implemented, it would inevitably have enlarged this volume. In making this selection, which is entirely from a personal angle, I have in most cases cited the original sources and my translations are generally not strictly true to their originals but literal and free although their true sense has not been lost sight of or purposely ignored. In making this presentation, while utilizing translations where available, I have not completely followed them either verbatim or too closely. In the course of this work, I have also in several cases cited parallel thoughts of other authors, Indian and foreign, but even in such cases I have not pursued such comparisons too far or too often as that is not my purpose and, in fact, it would have virtually defeated my object.
In addition, I have appended brief bibliographical notes and a select bibliography, with the hope that they will enhance the value of this work. I trust this book will be the precursor of similar compilations to unravel the noble and immortal thoughts of our classical and medieval writers, as they are in no way inferior to the finest in the world. I have collected these thoughts as I considered them worthy of remembrance and if they could please at least some of my readers and offer them food for thought as they have done in my case, I shall be amply rewarded.
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