This small book was originally meant to be a textbook on “Philosophy,” to be used in undergraduate studies in all Indian universities, if made a compulsory subject. The compelling necessity of doing so is made clear in the “Introduction.” Even otherwise, all the educated youth will find this book useful as a guide in life. Fully grown-ups and even elders will find it beneficial to lead themselves and their children.
The first five chapters answer all the fundamental problems of life based simply on our common sense and love of truth. The next five chapters teach us how to live in the light of this understanding. The latter half also contains some of the universally acceptable moral teachings culled from world religions.
Swami Muni Narayana Prasad is the Guru and Head of Narayana Gurukula, a guru-disciple foundation open to all, irrespective of caste, creed, gender, religion or nation, aimed at promoting the Science of the Absolute as restated by Narayana Guru. A disciple of Nataraja Guru and Guru Nitya Chaitanya Yati, he has travelled widely teaching Indian Philosophy. He has authored around sixty books in the Malayalam language. His English books are: commentaries on the Kena, Kafka, Prana, Mundaka, Taittirna, Aitareya and Chandogya Upaniads, Vedanta Satras and DarL4anamala of Naroyana Guru, Vedanta up to Naroyana Guru, Karma and Reincarnation, Basic Lessons on India’s Wisdom & The Philosophy of Narayana Guru.
This small book was originally meant to be a textbook on “Philosophy,” if included as a compulsory subject in all undergraduate studies in the Indian universities. The compelling need of the Government taking such a step is made clear in the “Introduction.”
Now this is published with the hope that it will be of much help to the educated youth of India as well as all over the world, to give a shape to their lives with a proper understanding of life’s meaning and how it can be lived meaningfully. I am sure this book will also help those who are fully grown-up and even elders, to guide themselves and their growing children. This is because having a proper understanding of the meaning and goal of life is a necessity that cuts across all barriers of religions and nations.
I always remember, with a whole hearted feeling, the interest Mrs. Brinda Erickson of Portland, U.S.A., showed to carefully read script of this book and finally to edit it taking much trouble. And many are my friends who enthusiastically inspired me to get this book published, and a few even offered financial help.
The interest shown by Messrs D.K. Print world, New Delhi, to publish this simple-looking but serious book, is worth of appreciation.
I confess that the ideas and views presented in this book are not my own. They all are derived from the philosophy of Narayana Guru the scientific way in which my Guru nataraja guru re-presented it and the simple way in which Guru Nitya chaitanya yati interpreted it. With prostrations at the sacred feet of all these gurus I present this small book before the truth-lovers of the world.
This small book, Pure Philosophy Simplified for Youth was written to be a textbook for undergraduate studies in all universities, as a compulsory subject. Why it has to be a compulsory subject needs explanation.
The latest trend throughout the modern world is to groom the young generation to be money-making machines. Especially so after the advent of computerisation and globalisation of business Such a channelising of life, in the normal course, begins as the youth enter the university level of their education. This really is the stage in life when proper value-based orientation with a well-conceived goal is to be made firmly rooted. Ironically, the younger generation who pursue professional careers, are unwittingly denied the opportunity to develop a proper view of the meaning of life, and also how to live that meaningful life. The omission of this opportunity at a crucial formative time leaves these newly educated graduates with no idea as to what they live for and show their skills for. Their yearning for earning more money becomes their priority one way or another. As a result, with no moral judgement, weak minds embody the potential to become criminals.
The authorities continue to try their best to universalise technical and professional education, because it creates more and more job opportunities. In the meanwhile, they fail to curb the criminal tendency which is groomed in the modern youth. This phenomenon is also creeping into the fabric of Indian society.
Take the case of a young person who takes to an MBA course in a university. What is basically taught in this highly skilled study is, how the money in the pocket of another could be skilfully brought to one’s own pocket, or to the company one represents, with full consent and gladness of the other. A person who undergoes this professional training is never enlightened of the evilness hiding in such pursuits.
What is the remedy for this grave problem of global proportion? Bringing in a turnabout in the modern trend in education is not possible, and it is not what is needed either. I am confident that what is lacking in modern education could be infused into it.
Whatever one’s livelihood, whether as doctor, engineer, lawyer, teacher, farmer or even ordinary labourer, all are to live meaningful human lives, and to do so they should have the awareness of the value and meaning of human life. They need an understanding of the nature of the world of which they are intrinsically a part. Then they need to know their real role in that world order. Therefore I feel the imminent necessity of the inclusion of a subject that deals with these, in all the undergraduate studies irrespective of the chosen course of study, whether humanities, science, professional, technical, commercial or any other. As is well known “Philosophy” is the only subject that covers all the above- said aspects. Therefore, I propose the inclusion of “Philosophy” as a compulsory subject for all undergraduates regardless of their chosen field of study.
Philosophy, as we know, is branched into various schools of thought and religious teachings. Which school of thought, or which religion, we should follow in order to implement such a scheme in the undergraduate studies of all the universities in a secular democratic republic like India, or in a world of various religions and ideologies?
Admittedly, the problem to be addressed is of a global dimension. Therefore, following any one particular philosopher would not solve our problem in a way acceptable to everyone everywhere. The entire human race, as we know, is divided into numerous religions. Which religion should we rely on for our purpose? Following one religion would naturally hurt the feelings of those who believe in others. Therefore, the best way would be not to follow any one particular religion. We really need a newly developed way of looking at our own lives as an intrinsic part of the total world and the total life-system. An impartial directive on how to live meaningfully as part of the whole is also needed. Such a philosophy that directly relates man with the cosmic life-system could be called “Pure Philosophy”.
This small book is meant to be such a textbook on “Pure Philosophy Simplified for Youth”. My sincere and earnest wish is that it would satisfy any youth anywhere in the world.
The first five chapters of the book deal with the basic problems of a fundamental nature, asked naturally by any human being, and how these questions are answered in the most natural way. The next three chapters concentrate on how to live a meaningful life in the most natural way. These chapters naturally deal with moral lessons. No direct moral injunctions are available in the world at present other than from the scriptures of religions. Therefore, the best moral lessons available from the most important world religions are joined together in these chapters.
How religion naturally becomes part of human life, and what kind of prayer would be part of a natural religion are outlined in the last chapter.
I do not make the tall claim that the worldwide social vice in question would by completely wiped out by including this subject as compulsory in the curriculum of universities. An evil-less world, in fact, has never existed. But, definitely mitigating it at least to a certain extent can be expected.
I confess that the vision presented here is not my own; it is rather the extraction of honey from various flowers like perennial philosophers and world religions. And I obtained the overall guidance in doing it, from the vision of oneness of Narayana Guru, and the scientific representation of it by his wisdom-successor, his commentator and my own direct Guru, Nataraja Guru. I prostrate myself at their feet while presenting this book to the youth of the world.
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