The Perennial values of Indian Culture is a collection of seventeen annual Surrendra Paul Lectures delivered by eminent personalities at the Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture during the period 1991-2007, covering diverse aspects of Indian life and culture.
These Lectures commemorate Surrendra Paul. He was born on 28 December 1935 in Jalandhar, Punjab. In 1958, after completing his studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, U.S.A., he joined the Apeejay Group's family business and by 1982 took over as Chairman of the Group. He died a most tragic death in 1990.
A noted industrialist, Surrendra Paul was also a devotee of Indian culture. His relations have made arrangements for an annual memorial lecture as well as Surrendra Paul Chair for Indological Studies and Research at the Institute.
Originally the lectures were published as separate monographs. Now that they are being collected together in a single volume. The relations of Surrendra Paul have cooperated with us in this project. It is hoped that they will be enjoyed by a wider circle of readers.
Surrendra Paul, who came of a respectable Punjabi family, was born on 28 December 1935 in Jalandhar, Punjab. He passed the senior Cambridge Examination from Vincent High School in Mussourie, Uttaranchal. Later on he moved to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the U.S.A. to acquire knowledge and training in engineering technology and management. In 1958, after completing his studies in MIT, Surrendra Paul joined the Apeejay Group's family business and by 1982 took over as Chairman of the Group.
Surrendra Paul died in most awful tragic circumstances in 1990. Notwithstanding his deep and intense involvement in industrial and business activities, Surrendra Paul was very keen to promote India's ancient values amidst the clashing ideologies of the age. Remembering this, a Chair, named Surrendra Paul Chair of Indological studies and Research, has been created at the Institute to encourage young scholars to study different branches of Indology. Surrendra Paul's relations are helping to make the project, which includes arranging an annual lecture, a success.
There has been a deep underlying conviction in the Indian mind since time immemorial that beneath the ground of human life there lies a mine of gold, which, with, proper digging and tilling, is to be brought upward if we want to remove all our wants. But unfortunately most of us are unaware of our richest heritage and spend our lives in utter penury. In our time, it was left to Swami Vivekananda to remind us of it once again, when he defined education as 'the manifestation of the perfection already in man'. The Upanishad, ages back, told us of the same thing through beautiful imagery: 'As those who are unaware of the worth in gold of the land or field, over which they move all the time again and again, under which lies embedded a mine of gold, similarly all brings, through day after day, go to Brahmaloka, never attain it, being engulfed by the falsity, i.e. ignorance.' In age after age the perennial values have thus been voiced to remind us about them.
Everyone is thus looking to the East, specially to India, for the light and that is because it has enshrined the perennial values in its culture through all the ages. In the pursuit of culture, the need and purpose of every man's efforts were found to be fourfold, which were called purusarthas. They have been named as dharma-artha-kama and moksa. These are the caturvargas, but for men in general trivarga was set fourth as the goal, leaving out the last one, moksa, liberation or freedom, for the chosen few, had achieved or attained in full all the previous three.
This present volume, the Perennial Values of Indian Culture, is a collection of seventeen annual Surrendra Paul Lectures delivered by eminent personalities at our institute during the period 1991-2007, covering diverse aspects of Indian life and culture. These lectures commemorate Surrendra Paul, a noted industrialist and a staunch follower and admirer of Indian culture. Originally the lectures were published as separate monographs. Now to have them under one cover they are presented in this single volume.
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