Dr. R.D. Ranade the author of this book; was born
on 3rd July 1886 at Jamkhindi in Bijapur District of Karnataka.
first monumental work - The constructive survey of Upanishadic Philosophy was
published in 1926. It instantly brought him international fame and in 1927 he was
invited to join the Allahabad University (then known as the Oxford of India by the
then Vice Chancellor Dr. Ganga Nath Jha. Later he became Dean of the faculty of
Arts and then Vice Chancellor. After his retirement from the Allahabad University
in 1946 he lived at Nimbal and passed away on 6th June 1957.
was equally steeped in ancient western though. His comprehension of Greek
philosophy was based on first-hand understanding of the source. He studied
Greek language including its script thoroughly and could quote passages from
original Greek. His long essay, "Greek and Sanskrit; A comparative study" ,
provides guidelines in comparative linguistics.
The life of Dr. Ranade was
God-inspired, God-possessed and God-intoxicated. His meditation continued
uninterruptedly till the end. And he was soaked in Bliss Divine. He was a Mystic -
philosopher. "Spiritual life," he said, "was the beginning of my career and let me
hope, it will be its culmination as well."
"A mystic", according to Ranade may
be a philosopher but is not necessarily so. His mystic experience is sufficient for
his own elevation into divinity; but if he philosophizes, he may raise thinking
humanity into a Kingdome of Ends".
His books include 'Constructive Survey of
Upnishadic Philosophy' (1927) described by the German savant, Prof. Garbe as '
A monumentum aere perennius (a permanent monument). This was followed by
'History of Indian Philosophy: The Creative Period (jointly with Belvalkar) which
begins with early Indian speculation to the advent of Buddhism. His Basu Mallik
lectures in Calcutta university on 'Vedant: The culmination of Indian through' was
published posthumously in 1970. His work the Conception of Spiritual life in
Mahatma Gandhi and Hindi saints (1956) is one of the greatest masterpieces
among other works on Mahatma Gandhi, His voluminous book Mysticism in
Maharashtra (1933) is based on the works of medieval saints in Maharastra such
as, Jananesvera, Tukaram, Ramdas, Eknath and others. This was followed by 1.
Pathway to God in Hindi Literature in two parts (1954), 2. Bhagvad-Gita as a
philosophy of God realization and 3. Pathway to God in Kannad literature (1960).
All these volumes constitute what may be called a spiritual encyclopedia of the
wisdom of Indian seers.
While still at school at Jamkhindi, he came in contact
with Sri Bhausaheb Maharaj, the great saint of Umadi who blessed him with
Divine Name (1901) and thus sowed the seed of his later spiritual greatness. He
pursued his spiritual sadhana also along with his studies as a result of which he
had wonderful spiritual experiences even in those early days. A great urge 'to find
intellectual justification for these spiritual experiences' prompted him to study
philosophy both Eastern and western. He worked as a professor of philosophy in
Ferguson College, Pune (1914) and Willingdon College, Sangli for ten years. He
was twice a victim of protracted illness of a dangerous type form which he could
get cure only through the all-abounding grace of his sadguru (master).
Year 1918 brought domestic calamities to Prof. Ranade, which resulted in
intensifying his devotion and Sadhana. A dream vision (1922) directed him to
Nimbal a small Railway station between Sholapur and Bijapur where he built a
small house with the intention of settling down. It has now assumed the form of a
small Ashram and has become a place of pilgrimage.
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