Vichara Vaibhavam is the collection of speeches delivered and essays written by the author, over the past few years. It covers a wide range of themes such as Relevance of Dharma Shastra in modern times, Challenges before the Sanskrit World, Bhagavadgita and Management, Manyu Suktam and Vedic Research. The book presents innovative interpretations of many traditional concepts and ideas with a view to bringing out the relevance of the Indian classical wisdom to the challenges of the contemporary world. Highly preceptive analysis of the different subjects dealt with here makes the volume a unique contribution to the modern Sanskrit literature.
Dr. V.R. Panchamukhi one of the renowned economists of India obtained his M.A. in economics with first rank achieving the Chancellor's Gold Medal and Ph.D. from Bombay University. He is an authority on the analysis of International Economics, Development Economics and Econometrics. He studied Sahitya, Vyakarana, Vedanta Sastras under the scholarly instruction of his father, recepient of President's Certificate of Honour,Vidya Ratna, Mahamahopadhya Shri R.S. Panchamukhi.
He published many books on Economics as well as on various Sastras. He delivered many extension lectures at national and international seminars. He is an expert of the United Nations Organisation in Economics. He has been honoured by various religious and cultural associations with many titles like 'Sastra Kovida' Sastra Bhusana etc.
Presently he is the Director General of Research & Information Systems, New Delhi and also the Chancellor of Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha, Tirupati.
Indian philosophical literature, consisting of Vedas,Upanishads, Puranas and Smrities, is a reservoir of profound knowledge and insightful wisdom covering diverse dimensions of human life. The subjects covered in this literature include, not only the metaphysical themes but also topics of physical and behavioural sciences of great relevance to the activities of the contemporary world. Experts have now been discovering that many fundamental theories and principles of physics, mathematics, geometry, trigonometry, medical science, astronomy, ecology, environment and also behavioural sciences of management, psychology, economics and political science are presented in the different books of this classical literature. It may be true that the style, terminology and framework of presentation in this literature is different from those adopted in the modern literature of the physical and behavioural sciences. However, when interpreted properly, one would find that the Indian classical literature has made significant contributions to the field of Knowledge which have remained not fully recongnised by the scholars of modern vintage.
We should feel proud that there are many firsts in the range of contributions made by India over the past thousands of years. It has now been recognised that the concept of zero and place value system were originally the contributions of India. The Arabs got the knowledge of numerals from India and the western world in turn got it from the Arabs. It was Boudhayana of the 6th century BC and Aryabhatta of the 5th century BC, who gave the value of p upto four decimal places much before the Arab mathematician rewrote this value in the 9th century AD. Boudhayana gave the proof of the Pythagoras theorem much before the Greek mathematician. It was Bhaskaracharya who enunciated the law of gravity, much before Newton did it in the 17th century AD. The Indian medical science performed plastic surgery in the 7th century BC and Shushruta is the father of Indian medical science. The depth of knowledge in the field of atomic energy, solar energy, environmental science, agricultural science, the science of aeroplanes, which are documented in the different texts, is simply amazing.
The contributions of our ancient scholars to the fields of behavioural science like management and economic development are also immense and profound. Despite the existence of this rich heritage of knowledge today, we are not in a position to recognise this knowledge base and use it to build an ethos of confidence and pride for enabling our society to make full use of our potential for material and spiritual prosperity. Today 'the forces of western thoughts have overtaken our minds and we are made to believe that the elements of modern knowledge base originated in the West. This defeatist approach towards India's heritage has developed in our society during the past few centuries of colonial rule. We are also responsible for this situation since we have not made any special efforts to study our literature, reinterpret them in the jargons of modern sciences and bring out the profoundness and the relevance of the knowledge contained in the classical literature to our modern times. If India has to emerge as a strong confident nation state in the coming years, it is important that we rebuild our faith in and respect for the rich heritage of the material and the spiritual knowledge base that has been developed in India over several thousands of years. For this purpose, we have to regenerate our love for Sanskrit and enable our students to study the text in Sanskrit itself. We should also encourage experts of different fields of physical and social sciences to take interest in Sanskrit and reinterpret the vast literature in terms of the challenges and issues relevant to our contemporary life.
This book entitled Vichara Vaibhavam is a collection of the speeches delivered and articles written by me over the past several years. I have been endeavouring to present the wisdom of our rich classical literature and the messages of our spiritual leaders and their works in terms of their relevance to the challenges of our contemporary life. I have always felt that it is only through such new orientation that we can benefit from the profound knowledge-base contained in our classical literature. Reflections in this innovative manner on the texts of our Vedas, Upanishads, Puranas, Smritis, etc. bring out that our classical literature deals with not only the meta-physical aspects of our life, but also with the physical aspects of our everyday life. It is only through the proper fusion of the meta-physical and physical interpretation of the classical literature that we get an insight into the interesting and practical philosophy of life conveyed in these works.
At the outset, I would like to express my gratitude and respectful Pranams to Dr. Murli Manohar Joshiji, Honourable Minister of Human Resource Development for giving the valuable Foreword to this volume. Dr. Murli Manohar Joshiji stands out as a unique living symbol of harmonious blend of scholarship, tradition and modernity. I consider myself to be greatly blessed and honoured by the kind words of appreciation and encouragement which Dr. Joshiji has expressed in his highly stimulating foreword.
The themes considered in this book have a wide range of coverage. They include subjects such as, Relevance of Dharmashastra in Modern Times, Vedic Model for Economic Development, Bhagavad Gita and Management, at one end of the spectrum. There are also essays and lectures which deal with the challenges of the Sanskrit world and which provide some innovative ideas about the ways and means of popularising Sanskrit in the modern world. It is strongly advocated that the principles of management implied in Bhagavad Gita are much more profound and relevant to the contemporary challenges of management than those contained in the thoughts of Western management science. It is argued that the Vedic Model of Development provides an integrated approach to the problem of achieving resource balance by the process of voluntary shifts in the life style of different individuals of Indian economy. It is pointed out that the problem of resource imbalances that the different economies in the world are facing, is largely due to unsustainable life style which the affluent sections of the society adopt today.
Some chapters of the book present English translations and Sanskrit commentaries on some of the Vedic texts such as Purusha Sukta, Manyu Sukta and Mrityunjaya Mahamantra. There is a long essay on Vishnu Sahasranama and the concept of Shritvam giving some new interpretation and meaning to the select traditional texts of Sanskrit.
There is one essay giving tributes to H.H. Shri Kanchi Paramacharaya. There is also another essay bringing out the main sermons and principles which are conveyed by the life and works of H.H. Shri Raghavendra Tirtha, the saint Philosopher of 16th Century, in a style and language which could be understood by the younger generation of today.
I am happy that Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha, Tirupati has brought out this volume in its publication Series. I am thankful to Prof. D. Prahladacharya, Vice-chancellor of Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha Tirupati for this. I would like to record my warm appreciation of Dr. Jaddipal Viroopaksha for his meticulous work in seeing through the text and going through the final proofs carefully.
The main thrust of the different essays included in this volume is to suggest that popular acceptance of Sanskrit and Indology can be fostered only when we have presented the knowledge base contained in the rich Sanskrit literature in a manner which is appealing to the modern world. I hope that this volume of essays and speeches would serve this purpose well.
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