Philosophy is an overall vision or attitude towards life and the purpose of life. It is a resolute attempt to understand and appreciate the universe as a whole, and enquire into the nature of truth and reality. This book offers an insight into Hindu philosophy, with special focus on its principles of life and beyond.
Tracing the origin of life on earth, it presents the Indian religious view of the universe and time. Further advancing proofs for the existence of God, it deals with the six prominent schools of Indian philosophy—Sankhya, Yoga, Vaiseshik, Nyaya, Mimansa and Vedanta Making a comparative study of the Western and Indian views of pluralism vis-a-vis monism, it also presents an elaborate discussion on ethics, transmigration of soul and rebirth, the hierarchy of self-realization, and salvation or Moksha.
Dr. Satya Prakash Tiwari, a Ph.D. in Genetics from Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi, is a well-known agricultural scientist. Dr. Tiwari has served in various managerial capacities, including Project Coordinator, Directorate of Oilseeds Research, Hyderabad; Director, National Research Centre for Soybean, Indore; Assistant Director General (Seed), ICAR HQs; Director, National Academy of Agricultural Research Management, Hyderabad; and Deputy Director General (Education), ICAR HQs, New Delhi.
He was one of the team members who arduously and successfully promoted soybean to make the crop a significant pillar of yellow revolution. Soybean continues to make significant contribution towards agrarian economy and farm-prosperity. As a senior manager in ICAR, he provided customized and enabling infrastructure and policy support to agricultural research and education in the country. He conceived, got realized and operationalized several mega-projects.
Dr. Tiwari has travelled widely. He ardently and arduously represented and at times negotiated for the country in international forums. Dr. Tiwari had an early exposure to religious and philosophical studies. The present book is one of the results of his continuing pursuit of knowledge and wisdom as related to nature and philosophy.
For a humble person like me, whose life and experiences could probably be summarised on the back of an ordinary-sized postal stamp, nothing described hereunder could probably be path breaking. I have learnt from the experiences and exposures undergone by me and also from those happening to persons around me.
I was born on 14th November, 1947 as a Hindu and labelled a ‘Brahmin by birth which I, just and often, attempted to prove true. The word labelling has been used by me because, proselytization apart, predominantly there is no system of allowing the human beings to he without a religion till they mature and then choose a religion. Moreover, it is not by birth that one becomes a knowledge-seeking, knowledge-possessing and wise person. One has to prove the status by striving to obtain knowledge and wisdom. It is by one’s deeds that one becomes so. That is why, a learned and wise person has to have two births and is, thereafter, called the ‘twice-born’ or ‘dvij.’2 The biological birth is to be followed by spiritual birth.
Like most of the Kanyakubja Brahmins of Madhya Pradesh, our family also had migrated from Unnav (Kutmaua Madarpur) in United Province. In view of easy living and low cost of land in Madhya Pradesh, we migrated in the end of the nineteenth century- to a place called ‘Garha,’ which is now a part of Jabalpur. Later in the year 1913, my great grandfather, Pandit Jia Lal Tiwari, who also served in agriculture department of the Central Province, bought a major portion3 of the village ‘Singod’ near Panagar, from Shri Beohar Raghubir Singh of Jabalpur. I had many occasions for meeting his son Shri Beohar Rajendra Singh ji. My great grandfather died in the year 1925. His headstone4 still lays at the bank of big tank of Panagar, now almost a suburb of Jabalpur.
I had a great treatment of misfortune during my adolescence. We had almost every thing in our suburban dwelling, including a sizeable agriculture land, a Morris Cowley car, two motorcycles and a small bicycle for me, which was an imported one. But, as fate will have it, my grandfather and his colleagues had opened a bank probably during 1926-27, which became sick by 1935-36 consequent upon which a part of our ‘malgujari’ was seized. The bank totally failed in forties. It was then sarcastically called ‘the lame bank We lost almost everything. One thing, nevertheless, stayed on; there was penury but no social rejection and we continued to be respected as before. This was a great solace.
The pecuniary crisis, however, kept on deepening. I remember to have eaten literally bread and pulse6 for quite some time in middle fifties. As a fall-out, a cousin of my grandfather, Kesari Kakkji as we used to call him, could not get needed treatment for his asthma and one day he asked me for his gun, on the pretext of cleaning it, and shot himself dead. We recovered partially later and had a reasonable living but those good old days, gone with the wind, never returned. For my young mind, it was all very shaking. It, however, gave me a tolerance for all time to come and even today some loss of money/property (I had my share of bad luck and deceit by near ones as well), a stroke of ill fate and vicissitudes do not matter much to me.
Owing to propinquity of Unnav with Lucknow, my elders, especially my grandfather Pandit Sheetala Charan Tiwari, a scholar of Benaras Hindu University, also had a good command over ‘Urdu’ language. During my childhood, my grandfather had appointed an ‘Urdu’ teacher for me. I studied preliminary ‘Urdu’ tutors (‘qaaida’‘awwal’, ‘doyam’, ‘soya in’ i.e. tutor the first, second and third), in which it was stated that “Allah khahik hai” and “Allah raqib hai” (God is the creator; God is the protector). At that age itself, I shed my insularity and embarked learning and respecting other cultures and religions. The diverse exposures inculcated open-mindedness in me and saved me from being an uncompromising extremist. I experienced the same peace and solace in Saint Petro and Basilica when I visited Rome, Italy, as I had experienced in Somnath Temple, Veraval, India.
Besides my usual course in Sanskrit in middle school, I was induced to learn Sanskrit by a tutor. I also took examinations in Sanskrit language organised by the All India Sanskrit Language Examination Board, Surat.
Several exposures related to the religion and philosophy were undergone by me. To start with, we had some religious books in our home. As a young boy, I would steal into a corner with fascinating red, maroon and saffron hard-bound volumes of these religious books and peruse them for yielding their meaning but these, being full of terse and often cryptic statements, largely eluded me. It took its own time to reach the intended meaning. Even today a new meaning seems to be emanated from these scriptures. I grew with the time. Adi Sankaracarya’s Viveka Cadamani, srimad Bhagavad Grta, Ramacarit Maims of Tulsidas, Valmiki Ramayana, some main Upanisads, and books on Indian philosophy, in particular, were studied. I had a fascination for Kabir, whom I studied to an extent. I do not claim to have understood all these in totality.
I believe in what Vince Lombardi stated: “The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to his commitment to excellence, regardless of his chosen field of endeavour.” Sadly, there are social values attached to field of endeavours! I was labelled a ‘fool’ by one of my uncles when I did not consummate my confirmed admission in the engineering college even though I had the grip on the subjects and had obtained distinction in mathematics and physics in my higher secondary. The decision to come to agriculture college for graduation was mainly due to the following reasons: (i) having obtained the national ICAR Merit Scholarship of Rs. 75 per month (it was not a small sum for me in the year 1965), as I topped the list, (ii) nearness of the agriculture college to my house, and (Hi) the fact, as related to me during my childhood and adolescence, that my great grandfather was in agriculture department of the Central Province after having had his education in Nagpur College. I had never regretted for taking this decision. Eventually, I obtained a Ph.D. degree in genetics from the reputed Indian Agricultural Research Institute, popularly called as Pusa Institute, New Delhi. Eventually I served in the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), the apex national agency for agricultural research and education in India, as (i) Project Coordinator, Directorate of Oilseeds Research, ICAR, (H) Director, National Research Centre for Soybean, Indore, (Hi) Assistant Director General (Seed) at ICAR Headquarter (twice/two terms), (iv) Director, National Academy of Agricultural Research Management, Hyderabad, and (v) Deputy Director General (Education), ICAR Headquarters, New Delhi. To my great satisfaction, I have been one of the team who arduously and successfully promoted soybean as a new crop in India by comprehensively generating knowledge, technology and product to make soybean a significant pillar of yellow (oilseed) revolution. The crop continues to make significant contribution towards agrarian economy and farm-prosperity. Again as a team-member, I have successfully promoted ‘rabi’-summer groundnut cultivation, as a new approach towards increased productivity/production. As Director, NAARM, situated at Hyderabad, I contributed towards the learning and capacity building of the Indian National Agricultural Research System (NARS) in terms of development and management of human resource, information and communication management, related research and policy support in regard to management of agricultural research, and education. Being in ICAR H.Q. as ADG (Seed), DDG (Education) and DDG (Crop Science), I provided customized and enabling infra-structural and policy support to agricultural research and education both in macro-management and schematic modes and facilitated capacity building of NARS including that through overall strengthening of about 45 agricultural universities in the country. I had the consummated opportunities to travel widely both within the country and abroad with a score of foreign visits to countries like USA, UK, Switzerland, Italy (Rome), Spain, China (including Hong Kong), Brazil, South Africa, Korea, Mongolia, Philippines, Thailand and several others such as Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh. I ardently and arduously represented and at times negotiated for the country in international fora such as ITPGRFA, FAQ and UPOV. I represented ICAR/India in the First Governing Body (GB) of the FAO’s Seed Treaty (ITPGRFA) held in Madrid, Spain in 2006. The Standard MTA and several global policy decisions were adopted in the GB of the ITPGRFA. I represented ICAR at the Second and Third Asian UPQV Meeting at Beijing (in 2001) and Seoul (2002). I also represented ICAR in several other international fora and also in regional consortia/nets viz. SANPGR (South Asia Network for PGR), SAARC and IBSA (India, Brazil and South Africa) Trilateral Initiative. While serving in the ICAR HQ, I could also get associated to contribute my mite in several policy and promotional aspects of agricultural research and development. I shall ever remain grateful to the ICAR for providing me an upright and honourable means of living that promoted right engagement, right action and positive thinking. The profession of agricultural R & D and related management is also approved by many scriptures especially Vedanta. It states in Taitrfya Upanisad that one should multiply the grain/seed and that enhancing the grain/seed production is an aim worth pursuing.
When I was passing through my preparatory phase in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, I came in association with Aacharya Rajnish (1931-1990), the Osho to be, and was associated to some extent with “Yukrand” (acronym for “Yuvak Kranti DaY’). During my graduation, owing to the efforts of my teacher, I could study some works of Vivekananda, J. Krishnamurthy and others. I also had an exposure, especially when I was in Simla, to the western philosophy through books. Later, while in Gujarat, I attended several religious gatherings, particularly of those ‘gurus’ who preached and sang from the epics. I have studied and listened to the Sadhu Vaswanis, both of them. I attended discourses in Radha Svami Satsanga and Maram Mrain and studied the related literature. I am not in a position to ascribe myself to any particular sect or branch, lam also unable to claim myself as a disciple of any one of the ‘gurus’. In other words, my thirst for knowledge took me to several ‘gurus’° and everybody is my teacher.
The narration that follows is an outcome and assemblage of these experiences and exposures along with some of my own analysis and synthesis. Some of these observations are self-realised and some of these are learnt from scriptures also. Since long, I maintained my personal succinct notes of those observations and learning that I should essentially know and try to practise as a child of the universe. I wish such synthesized notes could be available to me when I was young so that the exposure could help me in knowing the essentials and then I could go to the original scriptures and books to further and deeply understand the area of my interest. This book is to be taken as an extended form of those notes and to serve the purpose of exposure.
Regardless of their historical authenticity of occurrence, until and unless so stated, several allegories are narrated in the book merely to drive home a point in a simple way. These allegories are to be taken only in this context. I have tried to maintain gender- neutrality in narration. Therefore, the frequent use of the words such as ‘one’ and ‘one’s’ (instead of his or her) should be acceptable. At several places, I have thought it would be proper to cite verbatim from the original statement of scriptures in devnagari, mostly as footnotes, This unusual bilingual nature of expression may be forgiven in view of the intent of exposure to the original text.
Any narration, belief, indication, apparent conclusion, method or apparent recommendations may and would not suit to all or even anybody in some case. The beliefs, convictions, suitability, benefits etc. expressed are all personal to me. These are not to be taken as a panacea. The reader may or may not follow what is stated; he or she may do so only using his or her own personal discretion and at his or her own responsibility. Nothing is promised.
It is stated by elders that one should not speak and express without having authority on the subject’1. I have dared to express although I do not claim any authority. Something from within prompted me to do so. No originality or scholarship is claimed. It is only an attempt to put together the observations and realisations in order to understand what I understand and that which I understood will always remain a fraction of which I did not.
Children’s Books (81)
Brahma Sutras (85)
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