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Knowledge Reality and Happiness (An Old and Rare Book)

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Item Code: NAS546
Author: R. K. Mishra and B. M. Sagar
Language: English
Edition: 1991
ISBN: 8121505206
Pages: 240
Other Details 9.00 X 6.00 inch
Weight 550 gm
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About the Book

The knowledge and information explosion in the recent times has made human life and affairs almost unmanageable. Ecological influences of knowledge has therefore become a matter of investigation. In recent times Woijeichowsky, Herman, Wigner, Pribram, Delgado, Weizsacker have been active in this field the need for which was already implied by one of the founders of quantum physics. The latter made the assertion that like position and momentum, life and ‘knowledge of life’ constitute canonical conjugates; to the extent we know of one we are uncertain of the other. More and more we know of mechanisms of living organisms, life slips out and we deal with the deader and deader objects. This certainly follows from [Vedantic Concept] which emphasises the concept that the doer must eventually become pure existence immersed in ultimate bliss. This idea is not only perennial but in various ways of expression, ubiquitous as we saw in the writing of Valery.

It is rather remarkable that each of the words used in this context is bristling with difficulties and begging much, even a definition. The scientist, the philosopher, the musician, the mystic all use them in somewhat private sense. But the spectra of ideas enshrined in these concepts are vital. These are not only vital for mere being, mere working, but to get out of thraldom of banality to become a whole man in the context of Nature. Doubtless these have been investigated since man mimicked the sounds of Nature to express the leaves of ideas aflutter in the winds within, but now in this year of revolution, face-to-face with the challenges of the 21st century, the terrible, these must need to be looked into by all, the humble and the great.

Themes relevant to this objective are discussed in this book.


The Indian Institute of Advanced Study organised a seminar on "Knowledge, Reality and Happiness" in March, 1986. A number of scholars participated in the. seminar by contributing papers on different dimensions of the subject. For some unavoidable reasons it took a little longer than the usual time taken in preparing the volume for publication. Nevertheless, the subject is important in itself and the contributions made by the scholars make its discussion also meaningful. I have every hope that this volume would be as much welcome to the enlightened reader as to the formal philosopher.


A seminar on ‘"‘Knowledge, Reality and Happiness" was organised at Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla, from 22 to 27 March 1986. A number of scholars from India and abroad were invited to participate in it. The papers they presented there have now been collected in the present volume.

The papers present a rich variety of ideas on the subject, though one notices a common thread running through most of them. D.P. Chattopadhyaya believes that happiness comes through freedom from ill-health, poverty, misery and through living virtuously. But the best happiness lies in creativity that comes from fullness of being. Therefore, knowledge resulting in power needs to be supplemented by knowledge as virtue and goodness and knowledge as a way of being and living, so that we may get over our physical and social problems and lead richer and happier lives.

K. Chaitanya argues that modern knowledge, ignoring the self, cannot lead us to happiness.

S.A. Paramhans argues that whereas secular knowledge contributes to human welfare it is the spiritual knowledge that ends sorrows and gives peace of mind.

D. Conrad gives a succinct account of how consciousness has been ignored as a phenomenon worthy of scientific investigation because of its being purely subjective, rather than inter-subjective, and advocates scientific study of qualitative conscious experience. So remarkable is this view that we soon had a seminar in Temple University on the subjectivity of scientific investigations themselves.

Abasama believes that meditation on "AUM" will result in harmony between the individual and the universe, which will result in happiness.

H. Skolimowski advocates a synthesis of the Yoga of subjectivity and the Yoga of participation. He believes that, whereas the scientific mind rejects the self in the interest of objectivity and becomes destructive, the participatory mind re-establishes our presence in the unitary universe and becomes the healing mind, giving us happiness as the co-creator of things. Skolimowski seeks a method of science based on this paradigm.

R.K. Mishra argues for the rejection of the anthropomorphic perception of Nature in order to be happy in a truer understanding of reality.

C.R. Sankaran points out that there is no division between the consonant and the vowel on the time continuum that can be experimentally determined, vowel — consonant distinction being an out-of-the-time contribution. He seems to suggest that there may be similar interactions between time and timelessness in Yogic meditation.

A.K. Gangadean rejects the mind based on the principle of identity because it fragments reality into a multitude of binary opposites and would like to replace it by the holistic mind based on meditation that experiences the continuum of reality.

S. Dube lists states of mind from consciousness to sleep and their alterations. She examines the relationship of body and mind and discusses the Upanishadic thought on consciousness and its later explications.

A.K. Jha deplores the neglect of durable values in contemporary life and believes that a life focused on firm values will find fulfilment in a meaningful social order.

A. Vidyalankar argues that our feelings are supra-personal manifestations of the same undivided consciousness, which though normally directed towards objects and actions are contentless when intense and can lead us to happiness.

S.C. Malik believes that replacement of polarities like you vs. me, conflict vs. consensus, domination vs. subordination, identity vs. alienation, science vs. art by the concept of continuum, as in the eastern world view, will result in complementarity of opposites, or balance, harmony, cooperation and happiness based on true reality instead of the false reality of the present binary thinking.

D. Lohiya questions the very basis of the theme of the seminar by arguing that if the theme of ‘‘Knowledge, Reality and Happiness"’ is thought of as a system in the sense of "Knowledge of Reality results in Happiness", it cannot be understood in terms of itself because within a logical mathematical system propositions cannot be proved or disproved on the basis of axiom within that system, something from outside the system being necessary.

W. Shukla argues that all rational inquiry produces only an illusion because it is true or false only within its own field and not outside of it and therefore necessarily requires another rational inquiry. In this way Shukla suggests the impossibility of acquiring complete knowledge of complete reality.

M.R. Delgado proposes research into neurobiological mechanisms of happiness. He would like to define happiness, understand its causality, investigate its biological mechanism and behavioural consequences. Based’‘on. this information, he would like to plan environment to engineer happiness.

K. Sundaram attempts to substantiate, with the help of evidence from microelectronics, the view that the universe is evolving towards a highly organised arrangement of living beings, where egoism will disappear, resulting in a state in which an individual is one, or at peace, with all other individuals.

G. Mathur would like to unite disparate economies and societies into one world economy and society in which brain power is utilised not for creation of instruments of destruction but for resolving problems to create equalitarian society all over the world.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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