Dr. Karan Singh, heir-apparent to the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir was born on March 9, 1931. At the age of eighteen, he was appointed Regent and thereafter was Head of State for eighteen years. In 1967, he was inducted into the Union Cabinet and held many important Cabinet portfolios. He served as India’s Ambassador to the United States and has been elected four times to the Lok Sabha and since 1996 is a member of the Rajya Sabha. A Ph.D. from the University of Delhi he has been Chancellor of Jammu & Kashmir University, President of the Author’s Guild of India, and the People’s Commission on Environment & Development; Chairman of the Temple of Understanding, a global interfaith organisation; Member of the Club of Rome, the Club of Budapest, and the Green Cross International. Currently he is Chairman, Governing Board of the Auroville Foundation, Chancellor of the Benaras Hindu University, and President of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, with the rank of Central Cabinet Minister.
Karan Singh is recognised as one of India’s outstanding thinkers and leaders and has written many books and has lectured on political science, philosophy, education, religion and culture both in India and abroad. This book reveals the amazing depth and sweep of his mind.
As I travel around the world I am often asked,
usually by younger people, a simple but formidable
question : "What is your philosophy?" While 1 speak
extensively on the philosophy of Vedanta, of the
Upanishads, of Sri Aurobindo and so on, that does not
answer the question. So I thought I would try and spell
out what precisely I believe.
Our beliefs flow from the totality of experience to which
we have been exposed. I have been fortunate that my
exposure has in many ways been more varied and intense
than falls to the lot of most people. There are four main sets
of factors that have moulded my thinking — books, music,
travel, and people. In all four I have had the good fortune of
an extremely wide and stimulating contact, and if] have not
imbibed more from them the fault is entirely my own. In
any case, I shall try briefly to identify the major beliefs I have
come to hold, even though J am acutely aware of the
difficulty in expressing complex ideas in simple words :
1. I believe that man, still in an intermediate stage
between the animal and the divine, can raise himself
to a higher plane of being if he makes a conscious
and dedicated effort to do so; and there can be no
nobler endeavour than this aspiration towards
divinity. I believe that each human being born on
this planet, or for that matter anywhere else in the
limitless cosmos, carries within themselves an
unquenchable spark of divinity. Our true destiny as
human beings revolves around fanning of this spark
into the smokeless flame of spiritual realization.
2. I believe that all political, economic, and social
activities should have as their ultimate goal the
fostering of this divinity within each individual.
Scientific and technological developments are
ultimately counter-productive if they do not lead us
towards this end.
3. I believe that at their highest all religions are so many
different paths leading to the same goal, the ineffable
and indescribable union between the human and the
divine; that mystics of all religious persuasions have
realized and preached essentially the same doctrine
of human love and divine communion; and that
strife and hatred in the name of religion is therefore
(see p. 33) the very antithesis of spirituality and a
gross slur on the name of humanity.
4. I believe that India, with its unique heritage
stretching back to the very dawn of civilization, has
a special role to play in fostering a society which
would support this process of evolution. In a world
torn by violence and hatred I believe that India can
play a crucial role in leading humanity towards a
new equilibrium between wealth and wisdom,
having and being. I believe that we must work for
political integration, economic growth, social
transformation, and secular democracy not merely
as ends in themselves but because this combination
can best provide the framework within which the
people of our ancient land can fulfil their destiny.
5. I believe that as long as millions go without the
basic necessities of civilized existence it is utterly
unreal to talk to them about things of the spirit, and
that the basic material needs of man must be satisfied
as a foundation for further spiritual growth. I
believe that this can be achieved only when we
succeed in motivating the people of India to put in
several decades of hard, disciplined effort for the
production of wealth and simultaneously adopt
policies to ensure that the wealth so produced is
distributed fairly to all sections of society. I believe
that this can be achieved not by propagating the
bitter doctrine of implacable class warfare but, rather,
by trying to involve the nation as a whole in the
mighty effort required to break the poverty barrier
that still persists around us.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
Your email address will not be published *
Send as free online greeting card
for saving your wish list, viewing past orders, receiving discounts, and lots more...
Email a Friend