Dr. Alexis Carroll, a famous American doctor, towards the end of the last century wrote a book with this very title. He titled it Man the Unknown. Towards the end of the last century, this question had started agitating the scientific community: 'Is man only what we see about him, estimate about him with our sense organs? Has he a depth, a higher dimension? That is the subject Dr. Carroll handles in that great book. And since that time many scientists have tried to look into this subject and contribute their insights.
Today the whole of neurology including the science of the brain is engaged in this wonderful task-investigating into the true nature of man through the study of this body and its various functions. Behind this study of physiology is anatomy. But the most important study is the nervous system and the brain. All over the world today, great neuro-surgeons and neurologists are engaged in this quest for man the unknown. Man the known is not a difficult subject for any scientist today. We have studied every square centimeter of this human body and the nerves, including the stuff of the brain, but what do all these reveal? Is there a profound dimension behind these dimensions which is yet to reveal to us, beyond our senses? This is the crucial subject investigated by our scientists today and many books are coming out. In one such study we find this beautiful suggestion arising from experiment, that behind the brain there is a subtle reality, which you call the 'mind'
Study of man is a fascinating subject. There is a growing interest worldwide to understand what really constitutes a human being. With new and fresh researches made in the field of medicine and neurology, people want to know more and more of how these can be related to the concept of a human being as given in the Upanishads and other spiritual classics. This ever-growing and ever-widening area of study is the subject matter of this book. This is the transcript of a talk given by revered Swami Ranganathanandaji Maharaj, the 13th President of the exposition of the subject of the deeper nature of human personality in a lecture given many years ago in United States of America. Though we do not have the details of the place, time and occasion when it was delivered, we are glad to have the transcript. For this, we are grateful to a devotee from Delhi, who painstakingly transcribed the speech as a labour of love and provided this for publication. We are also thankful to Swami Atmashraddhananda, the present editor of our English monthly, the Vedanta Kesari, and other volunteers for the reference work and for editing the text.
We hope, like earlier books by revered Maharaj, this book too, though small in size, will bring us deeper and new insights into the subject.
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