Indian Wisdom – Literature

I have had the good fortune to be initiated (during my formative years) to the unique world of “Indian Wisdom”  mostly through the illuminating lectures of Late Swami Ranganathananda of the Ramakrishna Mission.(pronounced as Ranga natha nanda) From the early seventies I used to listen to him keenly. Swami was a very versatile speaker. I visited him at the Belur Math on 29th December 2004 (he passed away later in 2005) to pay my respects. He was very cheerful and alert. He readily agreed to give me a personally autographed copy of his famous 3 Volume exposition of the Bhagavad-Gita. I am getting better insights on the Gita through his brilliant exposition.

Swamy’s lectures on Viveka Choodamani (Adi Sankara’s timeless teachings) are a great eye opener to the world of philosophy. I am still studying the Viveka Choodamani and will be glad to share in due course the unique gems from this great work. I must acknowledge the brilliant explanations I get from my wise friend and colleague Mr. Jnan Dash ( ).

Recently (Sep 11, 2007 YES 9/11) Jnan and myself had the opportunity to visit the Bangalore Ashram of Sri.Sri.Ravi Shankarji after a tiring day at office reviewing projects. As we were walking through the sprawling Ashram, Jnan recalled with reverence Swamy Ranganathananda’s time in Mysore where HE was deeply involved in the study of the ancient scriptures while  attending to his daily duties at the Mysore Ashram. Swamy’s life is beyond description. HE  was the very embodiment of  discipline.

Kautilya’s “The Arthashastra” is another great work. This book edited and translated by Mr. L.N.Rangarajan ( formerly Indian Ambassador to many countries) is a brilliant piece of work. As Rangarajan puts it “ Arthashastra is a pioneering work on states-craft in all its aspects, written at least one thousand five hundred years ago”.  I urge serious readers to get this book as an excellent reference material that covers a very wide range of topics. Mr. Rangarajan has done an excellent job. Let me share one quote from this book on Code of Conduct.

“It is possible to know even the path of birds flying in the sky but not the ways government servants who hide their dishonest income” { 2.9.34}

There are several illustrations of financial irregularities and the scale of punishment for these offences.

OM Asato ma sadgamaya,

Tamaso ma jyotirgamaya,

Mrityor mamritam gamaya

OM Lead me from falsehood to truth, from darkness to light, from death to immortality


2 thoughts on “Indian Wisdom – Literature

  1. Dear Sri VVR,
    How ingorant and stupid of me not to have visited your website earlier?I plead ignorance.
    I enjoyed Subhashitam immensely.The wise words have proved to be true in my case!!.
    Dr SSB

  2. Dear Sri Ranganathan,

    I am happy to read your column.

    With reference to Vivekachoodamani, I have heard the lectures by Dr. R. Ganesh Avadhani in Kannada. The audio CDs are available at Gokhale Institute/ Vedanta Book House in Bangalore. I am quite impressed.

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