I have great pleasure in commending this book to
the University students studying religion and to the
general public. Religion is one of the pivotal factors
in human life, being the foundation of man's moral
and spiritual values; and there can be no better guide
to these values than the lives and teachings of the
saints and prophets presented in this book.
Some years ago the Government of India appointed
a Committee on Religious and Moral Instruction,
with Shri Sri Prakash, the illustrious son of late Dr.
Bhagavan Das and ex-Governor of Bombay, as Chair-
man. The results of the deliberations of the Committee
together with its recommendations were published in
the form of a Report in 1960. The terms of reference
of the Committee were laid down as follows:
(i) To examine the desirability and feasibility
of making specific provision for the teaching of moral
and spiritual values in educational institutionas.
(ii) If it is found desirable and feasible to make
such provision, (a) to define broadly the content of
instruction at various stages of education, and (b) to
consider its place in the normal curriculum.
The Committee took note of the "feeling of frustration" among Indian youth, of "the loosening of
social relationships and increasing emphasis on careerism," of "corruption and dishonesty in our
and business life", of the "general decline in educational
standards" attended with student indiscipline, and of
"the disruptive forces" at work in our society outside
the school. It strongly recommended the introduction
of "instruction in moral and spiritual values" in a non-sectarian spirit in the educational
The Committee indicated a broad framework of
such instruction, suggesting among other things that
the students in the colleges and universities be required,
in the first year of the degree course, to familiarize
themselves with the lives of the great religious- and
spiritual leaders of the world.
Following these suggestions, I constituted a
Board or Committee of some teachers from the Departments of Philosophy and Indian Philosophy and
Religion, Banaras Hindu University, with Dr. N. K.
Devaraja, Head of the Department of Indian philosophy and Religion, as Convener to undertake the
preparation of a Volume on the "Lives of Religious
Leaders and Saints" for the benefit and use particularly of the students of the first year degree
At a later stage, the Committee was able to secure
active association and advice of Shri Sri Prakash
and Principal Ram Chandra Sastri of the Sanskrit
Mahavidyalaya, Banaras Hindu University, in regard
to the selection of names to be included in the "Lives"
and some other matters. I take this opportunity to
express my grateful thanks to them for their cooperation. I am particularly grateful to Dr. N. K.
Devaraja, the editor of the Volume, and to the teachers
and Research Scholars who have cooperated with
him in preparing the lives collected here.
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Ayurveda ( आयुर्वेद ) (1782)
Buddhist ( बौद्ध ) (619)
Chaukhamba | चौखंबा (2970)
Cinema (सिनेमा) (60)
Devi ( देवी ) (1225)
Dharmashastra ( धर्मशास्त्र ) (157)
Gita Press ( गीता प्रेस ) (731)
Hindu ( हिंदू धर्म ) (12986)
History ( इतिहास ) (7366)
Jainism (जैन धर्म) (86)
Jeevani ( जीवनी ) (902)
Jyotish ( ज्योतिष ) (1361)
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