Though constituting a small portion of the total Upanishadic literature, they yet contain a lucid exposition of all the essential ideas of this immortal literature. The spiritual insights of the Upanishads are an exception to the tyranny of time. Subsequent scientific advances have not only affected their truth-value but have, on the contrary, only helped to reveal the rational basis of their insights and enhanced their spiritual appeal. Read more Collapse About the author Swami Ranganathananda — , the 13th President of the Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission, was hailed as one of the greatest exponents of Vedanta in the 20th century, especially in the lines of Ramakrishna-Vivekananda.
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Between and , he served as the secretary and librarian at the Rangoon branch of Ramakrishna Mission. He then served as the president of the Karachi centre of Math from to until the partition of India , after which the mission found it difficult to continue its activities at Karachi.
Advani came in contact with him and listened to his discourses on the Bhagavad Gita. The swami became president of the Hyderabad branch in , where he developed the Vivekananda Vani School of Languages, a temple, and a library. He declined the Padma Vibhushan as it was conferred on him in his individual capacity and not for the Mission. By the mids he was known within India as an authority on practical Vedanta. He also lectured in Iran and in the Soviet Union.
He was His body was kept for darshan at Belur Math near Kolkata on that day, then was cremated the next day. India Post released a postage stamp in the denomination of Rs 5 to commemorate the th birth anniversary of Swami Ranganathananda, during December at Kolkata. The Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan has published around twenty-nine of these books.
Ganapathy, a correspondent of The Hindu writes that "In all his lectures, Swami Ranganathananda had stressed on the philosophy of eternal religion, a practical Vedanta, which teaches universal acceptance". He conducted moral and religious classes for the prisoners in the Bangalore and Mysore jails. In Delhi, Ranganathananda organised social services at hospitals and worked for the relief of leprosy patients. Can you love others?
Can you feel oneness with others? Have you peace within yourself? That is called spiritual growth, which is stimulated by meditation inwardly, and by work done in a spirit of service outwardly. We belong to a world. The vast world is around us. We cannot do without it. We cannot become human without a human world around us. How much we owe to the world of other human beings around us!
But the real impulse comes from emotion. It makes you work at your best. Otherwise, that meditation has no meaning or value. Meditation at the end of a lazy day has no meaning; but the same at the end of an active day, filled with good deeds, has meaning, and is rewarding. By working for oneself? No; it is not possible to find that continuous joy in work through selfish motivations.
Frustration and ennui are the end of all selfish motivations. Frustrations and nervous breakdowns are the end of a self-centred life. The first advice of modern psychiatry to such people is to get out of this prison of self-centredness, and to find a genuine interest in other people.
Everyone has to learn the lesson some day that, the best way to be happy is to strive to make others happy. So wherever you find frustration, you will always discover that the person concerned had been too self-centred, and the only hope for him is through learning to take interest in other people, to find joy in the joy of other people. This is the royal path that makes for health, for strength, for efficiency. This great truth—universal and human—we should apply to the world and to our life in it.
All great undertakings are product of teamwork. We can meet the challenge of freedom only when we have learnt this character-efficiency involved in teamwork, and intelligent hard work. This is the philosophy which we have to learn consciously, not unconsciously, somehow stumbling into it.
But behind ego, there is an infinite spiritual dimension. When there is no love in the heart, even a little work makes one feel very heavy.
As soon as you have love for a particular cause, you can do anything; do hard work, but have a spirit of detachment based on a larger love. Work is no work at all. It is a question of agency and attachment. When these two are not there, work ceases to be work, it becomes a play, it becomes spontaneous, and it becomes natural.
When you become thoroughly detached, then all that tension goes away. What a beautiful idea! There is joy in work also.
Do not abandon work; go on doing work; but, mentally renouncing all actions. It is a wonderful state of mind-working, and yet not working. Those who work, work with a zest and with joy and in work, learn calmness and the serenity of the human mind and heart; what a wonderful joy it is to work in such a way! When science insists on studying things from the point of view of the objects themselves by eliminating the personal equation, it is in effect, emphasising the sakshi-bhava or sakshi point of view witness attitude ; for, the limited and circumscribed vision of the ego gives place to the unlimited and universal vision of the sakshi, by the practice of scientific or intellectual detachment.
An intellectual approach to truth will end only in agnosticism; and often in cynicism. But the whole being of man seeks to experience truth, to realise it. Great mystics, like our own great scientists, envision the world as being larger than those tenets, as transcending our traditional views.
The Message of the Upanishads