The Variegated Plumage: Encounters with Indian Philosophy, a Commemorative Volume dedicated to the memory of Pandit Jankinath Kaul "Kamal" is a collection of diverse scholarly articles and research papers contributed by the veterans who are specialists in their respective fields.
The present volume adequately covers different aspects of Indian Philosophy and Culture. The extensive section on Kashmir Saiva studies will provide impetus to further research in the subject. The second section is a collection of papers dealing with a wide range of issues in Indian Philosophy and Culture. In the following section we have learned articles contributed by reputed Sanskritists on different aspects of Sanskrit Kavya literature. The next section deals with a variety of topics on Bhakti, Yoga and Poetics. The five essays in the last part spell out the spiritual culture of India.
About the Author
Dr. N. B. Patil was Director of Languages, Govt. of Maharashtra. After his retirement in 1987, he is associated with Ananthacharya Indological Research Institute, Mumabi as an Hon. Director of MM Dr. P. V. Kane P.G. Institute of Asiatic Society of Mumbai. He is an editorial consultant of Tattvaloka, an English monthly from Chennai. There are about twelve English and Marathi books to his credit. He is a fellow of United Writers Association of India.
Mrinal Kaul 'Martand', an undergraduate student of Sanskrit at St. Stephen's College, is a keen student of Kashmir Saivism and Vedanta Philosophy. He has to his credit a number of research papers concerning Scientific Sanskrit literature published in various research journals. A multilingual poet holds good interest in Indian Culture and Philosophy. The Project-work of the present Commemorative Volume has been successfully accomplished under his able co-ordinatorship.
We, the editors and the members of the Advisory Board are happy to offer this comprehensive Commemorative Volume to the academia of the East and the west. The volume is a tribute to Pandit Janakinath Kaul, who is no more with us. He had adopted a pen name- KAMAL along with all the sublime qualities of the latter. He was indeed a full-blown red lotus in the limpid waters of the Dal-Lake of the Kashmir valley. For centuries the valley is known for academic scholarship and a number of Sanskrit poeticians, rhetoricians and philosophers have contributed to the enrichment of philosophy and culture.
It was a lifetime commitment of Prof. Kaul to absorb the philosophical literature of this land, and he continued to do so till the last breath of his life. He lavishly gave, with great compassion, to all those who approached him, whatever he had acquired during his lifetime. His students and admirers are widely spread in India and abroad and a few of them have contributed to this volume. We, as editors, are extremely grateful to all of them.
With the onset of the third millennium, the world scenario is changing fast. Science and technology are taking long strides and within a few years new inventions and discoveries become obsolete and lose their significance. The frontiers of the earth, our Vasundhara, are fast expanding and the days of inter planetary traffic are not far off. Even so, we have to stand firmly on our feet and we need terra firma as a launching pad for our flights to infinity. We cannot afford to lose the ground on which our ancestors have built up a sound thought structure and produced philosophies of eternal values.
When we look around, we are saddened to see the state of affairs even after fifty years of Independence. Long before we gained our Independence, Swami Vivekananda had laid down a plan of action for the youth of this country. He verily wanted the youths to go to the masses and care for them in a spirit of worship. Gandhiji wanted the last man to be on his own and lead a life of contentment. All this did not happen and we are in the midst of a society where moral and spiritual values are dwindling. Consumerism is rampant and a rat race is on to gain trivialities.
Prof. Kaul spent his life in imbuing the youth with a spirit of worshipping Sakti. He invoked Sarasvati to bless his students with supreme knowledge. His long association with Sri Ramakrishna Ashram, Srinagar, Kashmir made him a source of inspiration for the intelligent youths around him and he loved them till last.
We have therefore, arranged the responses, we have received from far and near, in the form of research papers and articles as a tribute to Pandit Janakinath Kaul. The areas covered are vital to philosophy and culture of this land. These papers will stimulate scholars for further research. All the papers are so arranged that they produce a pattern of variegated plumage of a peacock. The volume ends with essays on Spiritual and Divine Path.
We hope the reading of this volume will set the reader on the way of realizing his ideal.
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