WHAT HAS LIFE TAUGHT ME
Some eminent personalities of the present-day,
leaders of thought and action, speak in this book about
the lessons they have learnt from their eventful lives.
Each one of them, who has attained success and
celebrity in a particular field, looks back reflectively
on the course of his life, on his failures and
achievements. It will be seen from their accounts that
their lives were marked by an interplay of fate and
circumstance and that a kind Providence gave them
the wisdom and the opportunity to surmount
obstacles in their way. The lessons that they have
learnt from their lives are only amplifications of the
central maxim that "where there is Dharma, there is
Victory," that there are no short -cuts to success and
that it cannot be achieved bypassing the etemal laws
The contributors, who are from various sections
of contemporary life, write with a revealing candour
and, in not a few cases, are unsparing in the criticism
of themselves. High-lighting the situation and events,
rather than projecting themselves, they take care to
keep their personalities in the background thereby
sustaining the interest of the reader throughout.
THE Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan-that Institute of Indian
culture in Bombay-needed a Book University. a series of
books which, if read, would serve the purpose of providing
higher education. Particular emphasis. however, was to be
put on such literature as revealed the deeper impulsions of
India. As a first step. it was decided to bring out in English
100 books, 50 of which were to be taken in hand almost at
It is our intention to publish the books We select not
only in English, but also in the following Indian languages:
Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, Tamil. Telugu, Kannada
This scheme involving the publication of 900 volumes,
requires ample funds and an all-India organisation. The
Bhavan is exerting itself to the utmost to supply them.
The 'objectives for which the Bhavan stands are the
reintegration of Indian culture in the light of modern know-
ledge and to suit our present-day needs and the resuscitation
of its fundamental 'Values in their pristine vigour.
Let me make our goal more explicit:
We seek the dignity of man, which necessarily implies
the creation of social conditions that allow him freedom to
evolve along the lines of his own temperament and capacities; we seek the harmony of individual efforts and socia;
relations. not in any makeshift way, but within the framework of the Moral Order; we seek the creative an of life,
by the alchemy of which human limitations are progressively transmuted, so that man may become the instrument of
God, and is able to see Him in all and all in Him.
The world. we feel. is too much with us. No'
would uplift or inspire us so much as the beauty and aspiration which such books can teach:
In this series, therefore, the literature of India, ancient
and modem. will be published in a form easily accessible
to all. Books in other literatures of the world, if
illustrate the principles we stand for, will also be included.
This common pool of literature, it is hoped, will enable
the reader eastern or western, to understand and appreciate
currents of world thought, as also the movements of
Indian mind, which, though they flow through different
linguistic channels, have a common urge and aspiration.
Fittingly. the Book University's first Venture is
Mahabharata, summarized by one of the greatest living
Indians, C. Rajagopalachari; the second work is is on a section
of it, the Gila, by H. V. Divatia, an eminent jurist and a
student of philosophy. Centuries ago, it was proclaimed
the Mahabharata: "What is not in it, is nowhere."
twenty-five centuries, we can use the same words about it.
He who knows it not, knows not the heights and depths
of the soul; he misses the trials and tragedy and the beuty
and grandeur of life.
The Mahabharata is not a mere epic; It is a romance,
telling the tale of heroic men and women and some
were divine; it is a whole literature in itself, containing
code of life, a philosophy of social and ethical relations,
speculative thought on human problems that is hard to rival;
but, above all it bas for its core the Gita, which is, as the
world is beginning to find out, the noblest of scriptures and
the grandest of sagas in which the climax is reached in the
wonderous Apocalypse in the Eleventh Canto.
Through such books alone, the harmonies underlying
true culture. I am convinced, will one day reconcile the
disorders of modern life.
I thank: all those who have helped to make this new
branch of the Bhavan's activity successful.
**Book's Contents and Sample Pages**
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