'Knowledge' and 'Wisdom' are the two anchor words, which are the theme of spiritual philosophy presented in this book. Concepts of knowledge (jnana) and wisdom (vjnana) are those used in scriptural texts. Briefly, there are two levels of knowledge (vidya). One is the lower knowledge (apara Vidya), which includes study of various scriptures, knowledge of various mantra-s for performance of religious rites, to understand the concept of one God and various gods as its limited manifestations, etc. Other is the higher knowledge (paravidyaj, which alone leads an aspirant to wisdom that enables realization of the oneness of the (individual) self (atman) and the supreme Self (Paramatman, Brahman). Both are needed. One proceeds from the lower to higher knowledge. Acquiring knowledge in Part I of the book lead the way to (realization of) wisdom in Part II.
"The first Indian thought brought before the world was in the form of the Veda-s, which mean jnana, the knowledge. The Vedas spread their light when the rest of the world was wrapped in the cover of ignorance. The essence of the Veda-s was placed in Upanisad-s and the nectar of Upanisad-s in the Bhagavadgtta The jnana of the Veda-s was thus transformed into wisdom through the Bhagavadglta.
The present book entitled "Knowledge and Wisdom" is a successful venture in bringing the knowledge to the store of wisdom. It helps us understand the basic concept, as of Om, the various Paureiuks and Vaidika mantra-s, of self (atman) and also Brahman, (Paramatman) the one Reality and Its various manifestations as gods (deva-s), etc. It gives detailed description of Pancadeva .Visnu, Siva, Ganesa, Devi; (the mother goddess) and Sun-god (Surya), considered as the Pantheon of Hindu faith ... Prof. Gaur discusses many issues of Indian philosophy, knowledge and wisdom enshrined in various scriptures. The book is capable of widening the horizon of the thinking and understanding of its reader.
Prof. H. C. Gaur started his career as a scientist with a Ph.D. (1949) and was awarded D.Sc. (in 1960). He taught Chemistry at Delhi University for nearly four decades, during which he was also Head of Chemistry Department and Dean, Science Faculty. After retirement in 1990, he was drawn to spirituality and attended daily pravacana-s of (generally of one-month duration) at the nearby temple. These covered various discourses from the Bhagavadgtta, or topics from Bhagvata, various Upanisad-s, Purana-s and texts as Vivekacudamani, which he followed with self-study (svadhyaya). After about seven years, he started writing articles to share his thoughts with others similarly inclined. These appeared in the monthly magazine Kalyana Kalpataru (published by Gita Press, Gorakhpur), under the column 'Meditation' of Hindustan Times and serially under the column 'Horizons' of the Pioneer; 175 articles have been published so far. Three years ago, some of these were compiled in the form of a book entitled, "Understanding Isavasya Upanisad - an Exegetical Exposition", which was published under Book University Series of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan (BVB). The present book entitled "Knowledge and Wisdom", also based on the published articles, was also accepted by BVB under Book University Series. This book was scheduled, but could not be released, on 1st June 2005, Prof. Gaur's 80th birthday. Two of the messages received on the occasion, concerning his interest in spirituality, were:
" .. Prof. Gaur has excelled not only in the field of his specialization (Chemistry) but also in spirituality. He has written extensively on various topics with a rare insight, Txts on spirituality require re-interpretation, considering the need of the modem times. The wisdom enshrined in them needs to be conveyed to present day masses in an expression that is intelligible to them, so that they can imbibe without straining themselves. It is precisely this, that he has been doing - a task in which he achieved marked success. It was a pleasure having written a 'Foreword' for this book. (Prof. Satya Vrat Shastri, JNU, New Delhi)
" .. His views and thoughts are a regular feature of the Pioneer and are read with great interest... his interpretation of sloka-s gives a new dimension to Indian philosophy... “(Prof. Harish Chandra, Delhi University)
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