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The Family and the Nation

The Family and the Nation
$19.60$24.50  [ 20% off ]
Item Code: IHL405
Author: Acharya Mahapragya & A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers
Edition: 2008
ISBN: 9788172237479
Pages: 216
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details: 8.8 inch X 5.8 inch

As we talk of rising economic prosperity and a strong and confident India, this book forcefully reminds us of the values that make for a truly sustainable society at the heart of which is the family. For it is not economic growth or military strength alone that will make India strong. Sustainable success comes from values, and these can sustain a society, and a nation, even in times of hardship. The book expresses an ideal by which Indian society may prosper, and speaks of how spirituality can help create a noble nation and a better world. It provides a valuable counterpoint to the modern-day emphasis on consumerism and the philosophy of more is better, highlighting the sanctity of the natural world and its great power to evoke human creativity and love.

Writing on this crucial subject are two iconic Indians. Together Acharya Mahapragya and A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, one a Jain muni revered as a saint, the other a visionary, a distinguished scientist and a former President, bring their vast experience to bear on this important subject. As the authors put it, it's only a strong and happy family that will lead to a noble nation, one that can be a true fulifilment of 5,000 years of India's civilization. The book takes up the difficult and pressing task of setting a new agenda in a time of radical social change. It shows us the path we need to follow to take India to its rightful place as a great nation.



A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

The Family and the Nation




Birth of the Book


Part 1: The Evolution


The Dynamics of Indian Culture



The Evolutionary Process and Pain



The Idea of Unity


Part 2: The Individual, the Family and the Nation


Creating Healthy Individuals



The Birth of a Beautiful Home



Birth of a Noble Nation








About the Authors



In writing this book, our ideas have been shaped by our interaction during the past few decades with millions of our countrymen hailing from different walks of life. Each interaction enhanced our experience and added to our understanding of the development of a noble family, a noble society and a noble nation. While embarking on this journey of writing a book, we realized the magnitude of connectivities involved and the extent of our society's evolution during the last few centuries. We realized too the extent to which it had been influenced by the people who had come to our country for various purposes. We particularly thank Dr Y.S. Rajan and all those people who have facilitated our understanding of our society and its unique characteristics.

Acharya Mahapragyaji would like to place on record his thanks to a number of devotees and followers who have contributed towards crystallizing his thoughts in this book. He particularly thanks Niyojikaji Sadhvi Vishrut Vibha, Prof. Muni Mahendra Kumar, Dr Sohanlal Gandhi and Prof. Arun K. Tiwari for their continuous involvement in the book and for enriching its content.

A.P.J. Abdul Kalam would like to thank the thousands of world citizens with whom he is virtually connected all the time and who provided him the inspiration for working towards the development of a value-based, prosperous, happy, peaceful and safe society keeping family as the foundation. He profoundly thanks Maj. Gen. R. Swaminathan for going through all the chapters and providing useful inputs for enriching the content. The book would not have taken this shape without the untiring and dedicated efforts of Shri R.K. Prasad and Shri Dhan Shyam Sharma in the preparation of the manuscript and its subsequent editing.

We also thank Shri Krishan Chopra, Shri Amit Agarwal and their team at HarperCollins for their excellent support.

Birth of the Book

Acharya Mahapragya is a fount of knowledge who purifies every soul that comes into contact with him. My first experience with him was at the Adhyatma Sadhna Kendra, Mehrauli, in October 1999. It was around midnight, and Acharyaji had prayed three times with his distinguished Jain monks for the welfare of the nation and the people. After the prayers, he turned to me and said words that still reverberate in my mind. He said, 'Kalam, God bless you for what you have done with your team. But the Almighty has a bigger mission for you and that is why you are here with me today. I know our country is a nuclear nation now. But your mission is greater than what you and your team have done; it is indeed greater than what any human being has ever done. Nuclear weapons are proliferating in tens and thousands in the world. I command you and you only with all the divine blessings at my disposal to evolve a system of peace wherein these very nuclear weapons will be ineffective, insignificant and politically inconsequential.'

When Acharyaji finished his message, a hush fell over the hall. It appeared to me as though the confluence of heavens concurred with the saintly message. For the first time in my life I felt shaken. Since then, Acharyaji's message has become my guiding light, and making it a reality a challenge that has given a new meaning to my life.

After that meeting, I met Acharya Mahapragya a number of times, and all my meetings with him gave me the distinct feeling that our conversations must have a higher purpose and that it must make itself manifest in some way. However, at that time, I did not know how that would happen. On 2 August 2005, I met Acharya Mahapragya again on the occasion of the conferment of the National Communal Harmony Award on him. We were seated together, and Acharayaji said, 'Kalam, the time has come to translate our thoughts into action—developing a peaceful, happy and prosperous society through the development of the family and the nation. And this we will do in the form of a book.' We thought over the question of how a noble nation could be formed and came to the conclusion that its seeds need to be sown in the family. Only an individual who has been brought up in a family that instils the right values will be able to realize his or her responsibility towards the nation. Such a citizen will adopt the principle 'work with integrity and succeed with integrity'. This premise is the bedrock of the book, which is why we have named it The Family and the Nation.


A beautiful and yet distinct

Reddish light engulfed the galaxy,

The Milky Way, our galaxy.

All the stars were surprised with the alarm,

Wherefrom this lovely powerful light,

Who emanates, who emanates,

That was the cry of the galaxy.

I will answer, my friends:

'Oh my galaxy friends, I am the Sun,

I have eight planets in orbit,

birth of the book

One of them is Earth,

Carries six billion human lives.

They live in hundreds of nations.

One of the nations with great civilization,

India 2020, celebrates the birth of the noble nation.

Light of celebration from India reaching our galaxy,

Nation with clean environment without pollution,

Having prosperity without poverty,

Peace without fear of war,

The happiest place to live.'

—A.P.J. Abdul Kalam


Acharya Mahapragya is one of the most celebrated Jain thinkers of the world and is the tenth Acharya of the Jain Shwetambar Terapanth sect. Born in 1920 in a village in Rajasthan, he became a monk at the age of ten. He got his education under the guidance of Acharya Shree Tulsi, who launched the Anuvrat Movement in 1949 to rid the world of violence and hatred and free religion from sectarianism. A multidimensional personality and a renowned scholar of Indian and Western philosophy and religion, Acharya Mahapragya is a prolific writer and has been called a 'modern Vivekananda'. He has traversed more than 100,000 km on foot and visited 10,000 villages to spread the message of non-violence. To this purpose he embarked on a Ahimsa Yatra in 2001. He was honoured with the Communal Harmony Award in 2004 for his contribution in this field.

Abdul Kalam was the President of India from 2002 to 2007, and is the recipient of the nation's highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna. Born in 1931 in Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu, Dr Kalam studied aeronautical engineering at the Madras Institute of Technology He played a key role in the development of India's first satellite launch vehicle, the SLV-3, and in the building and operationalization of India's strategic missile systems. As an elder statesman, he remains in the public eye for his role in offering counsel, reaching out to people and building bridges across religious and social divides. Dr Kalam's focus stays on transforming India into a developed nation by 2020 and to this end he has met and enthused three million youth.

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