It is indeed a matter of great pleasure and pride for Kavikulaguru Kalidas Sanskrit University, Ramtek to have this rarest opportunity of hosting the 50th session of All India Oriental Conference at Nagpur. This AIOC-50th session at Nagpur will be forever remembered by all as the year 2019 also happens to be the year of Centenary Celebration of AIOC. The premier objective with which the great scholars of yester years had contemplated and established this national academic event called All India Oriental Conference has been achieved through these years with scores of young scholars contributing significantly to the treasure house of knowledge through their valuable research work.
The research of yore and of the present should be properly recorded so as to make it easily available to all lovers of knowledge and wisdom in the years to come. With this objective, we have contemplated to commemorate the 100th year of this grand event of 50th session of AIOC by way of publishing 100 monographs on different subjects in four languages viz., Sanskrit, Hindi, Marathi and English. It is no doubt a herculean task but still worth of it, for the reason that these 100 monographs will inspire many young scholars to take upon a fresh study and research of the oriental subjects with more vigor and zeal.
The AIOC Centenary Publication Series includes wide variety of subjects like Literature, Language, Veda, Indian Philosophy, Sanskrit Grammar, Law, Children Literature, Yoga, Astronomy and Astrology, Ayurveda, Pali, Prakrit, Jain, Buddhism, Education, Library Science, Poetics, Aesthetics, and Indology. It also includes reprint of some rare texts of academic importance which have gone out of print are not easily available. We wish to mark these centenary celebrations with this series that connects the glory of the past and aspirations of future. I place on record my sincere gratitude to all the authors of these monographs who have kindly contributed to the richness of this series.
I am confident that the books published in these series will definitely inspire the lovers of Oriental Learning in general and of Sanskrit Language and Literature in particular.
On this occasion, we have published a memorable book of all the speeches of Section-Presidents of all previous sessions of AIOC. It is indeed a very capacious addition to any collection. I with all respect thank two eminent scholars of our times - Prof. Gautam Patel, President and Prof. Saroj a Bhate, General Secretary, the torch bearers of AIOC who have not only encouraged us in this venture but also made all efforts to provide these valuable historical speeches for us. I thank all executive members of AIOC and my colleagues of the varsity for making this event a grand success.
My words fall short in describing the painstaking efforts and scholarly commitment of my esteemed colleague Prof. Madhusudan Penna, local secretary of this session in bringing out this series.
I also take this opportunity to profusely thank Shri. Subhash Jain and Shri Deepak Jain, the proprietors of New Bharatiya Book Corporation, New Delhi for their enthusiastic approach and timely work with all precision and grace.
Let us all sanctify ourselves in the eternal flow of wisdom by reading these books and recommending these to others also!
Philosophy is an attempt to satisfy the desire for knowledge. It is not luxury but a necessity. Aldous Huxley in "Ends and Means" (1937) says: "Men live in accordance with their philosophy of life, their conception of world. This is true even of the most thoughtless. It is impossible to live without a metaphysic. The choice that is given to us is not between some kind of metaphysic and no metaphysic, it is always between a good metaphysic and a bad metaphysic".
As philosophy aims at knowledge of truth it is termed in Indian literature, "The vision of truth" ’darshana' Although the term darshana in India for philosophy is widely accepted, it is not without controversy. An eminent contemporary philosopher Prof. Rajendra Prasad has to say this: "The Sanskrit word `darshana' from the roots drs, etymologically means visual perception or cognition. In this sense of it, or even in its extended sense to mean perceptual cognition as such, i.e. any knowledge obtainable by the use of an external sense organ as well as by that of introspection, it is obviously inadequate to be used as the designation of classical Indian Philosophy, or even of any science.
Neither philosophy, nor science consists in being a collection of perceptions, howsoever minutely obtained or rigorously organized. And, those who call Indian philosophy darshana are too sophisticated to call it darshana in this sense. Normally, they use darshana to mean no sensuous, mystical or spiritual cognition, as direct immediate, clear and self-certifying as seeing something present before the seer's eyes is. Secondly, it is said to be the mystical perception or spiritual intuition, of the ultimate reality which is claimed to be not cognizable by any sense or reason. To quote Radhakrishnan, 'A darshana is a spiritual perception, a whole view revealed to the soul'. This view is echoed and re-echoed by many others.
For example, according to Malkani, Indian philosophy is `Science of the spirit, if we may so call it. It is adhyatmik vidya. This vidya has nothing hypothetical or speculative about it. It is more properly a way of direct seeing or darshana.
We do not wish to pursue this controversy any further. However, only as a passing reference to the 'other view' that we have quoted Professor Rajendra Prasad.
The uniqueness of Indian culture is the study of character together with thought; and that is why in this land of ours tattvadnyan is called `Darshan' as a substitute for the Western term philosophy, our thinkers have brought in vogue `Tattvadnyan' and have very conveniently saved themselves from the demonstration of thought.
Poomawad defines Tattvadnyan as the 'deliberation for wisdom', wisdom means demonstration (application) of knowledge. The hand in hand treading is specialty of Bhartiya Darshan Shastra (Indian Philosophy). Philosophy is an essential aspect of man's life. According to Dr. Parnerkar (1916-1980)"philosophy has started not in wonder or curiosity or extra sensory perceptions but out of sheer necessity of human life".
Professor S. Panneerselvam in his preface to "Poomawad Prabodh" says: "The uniqueness of Poomawad is that it discusses how Vedas and the Upanishads are relevant to our life. This makes Poomawad, a practical Vedanta".
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