Preface to ‘A Constructive Survey of Upanishadic Philosophy’, by Dr. R.D. Ranade
One who goes through the Preface to the first edition can easily see that mere scholarship is the least part of the book. Dr. Ranade was not only a thinker and a philosopher but also one who spent the most important part of his life in meditation and devout contemplation. The Atman, the ultimate Reality, was not something to be merely thought about or casually felt but something to be realized by constant meditation by one’s whole being. Spiritual experience by the totality of one’s being is the most important thing. While this way is enough and soul-fulfilling so far as an individual is concerned, out of sheer surfeit of joyful ecstasy one has to find channels of communication. Language and logic, at once lucid and clear, therefore have to be the common instruments for this purpose.
This kind of study and presentation is absolutely necessary in so far as India is no longer an isolated peninsula nor Indian thought a monopoly of the Indians alone. The narrow national outlook characteristic of past generations has already passed away. Men all over are developing a world outlook, and are prone to global thinking. All religions, all cultures, all people are but integral parts of the mighty human endeavour to reach higher levels of existence and richer dimensions of consciousness. To this endeavour India and Indians can and ought to contribute substantially being one of the oldest people with a rich heritage of history and wisdom. There is no doubt that the attempts of Dr. Ranade will play its humble part in the march towards common humanity and a higher destiny.