Tributes to Shri Gurudev Ranade

Opinions on "A Constructive Survey Of Upanishadic Philosophy"
Provided by academics from around the world

Excerpt from "A Constructive Survey Of Upanishadic Philosophy":

"Just like a mountain which from its various sides gives birth to rivers which run in different directions, similarly the Upanishads constitute that lofty eminence of philosophy, which from its various sides gives birth to rivulet of thoughts, which, as they progress onwards towards the sea of life, gather strength by the inflow of innumerable tributaries of speculation which intermittently join these rivulets, so as to make a huge expanse of waters at the place where they meet the ocean of life".

Dr. R D Ranade
(Page 131, A Constructive Survey Of Upanishadic Philosophy, R D Ranade)

"Will be accorded a foremost place among the standard books on of Upanishadic Philosophy"
H Jacobi, Professor in the University of Bonn, Germany

"A monumentum aere perennius"
R.Garbe, Professor in the University of Tuebingen

"The valuable book promises well for the high standard of the forthcoming Encyclopedic History Of Indian Philosophy"
M Winternitz, Professor of Indology and Ethnology at the German University of Prague

"A magnificent and grand effort"
Theodore Stcherbatsky, Professor in the University of Leningrad

"Contains many illuminating pages. Is the certain token that the undertaking will be very useful"
L. De la Valle'e Poussin, Professor al'Univesite de Gand

"Extremely grateful for your important work"
E.J.Rapson, Professor of Sanskrit in the University of Cambridge and Fellow of St John's College

"A monument of patient research and vast scholarship"
H G Rawlinson, Principal of Deccan College, Poona

"Your important work will have the effect of making the Indian Civilization better understood in the West"
J.H.Muirhead, Emeritus Professor of the University of Birmingham

"A mere glance at the book will show how far you have gone beyond Deussen's Philosophy of the Upanishads"
R Zimmermann, St Xavier's College, Bombay

"You admirable book altogether a most noteworthy work"
E.A.Wodehouse, Indian Education Service

Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak

From "The Reminiscences of Lok. Tilak", Vol-II, pp. 33-35

Ranade, when he was only twenty in 1906 went with his few friends to meet Lokamanya Tilak after his return from the Mandalye Jail. Then Lokamanya showed him his hand-written manuscript of Gita-Rahasya. After Lokmanya had Published his great book 'Gita Rahasya' Ranade read the big volume within eight days of its publication in 1916.

Shri. N.C.Kelkar, the personal secretary of Lokamanya Tilak then requested young Ranade to write a review of the book. Ranade replied that he was too young to review the great book of Lokmanya. Then Lokmanya Tilak himself asked a very searching question to Ranade, as to what was the most important portion of Geeta Rahasya. He promptly replied, "The typical selective references to the stories in Mahabharat and their moral import communicated in Geeta Rahasya is the most important portion. Similary, the utterances of political wisdom and statesmanship referred to in Geeta Rahasya from Mahabharat are important portions of the book which could not have been written by anybody else. "Lokamanya was astonished and completely satisfied with the critical and comprehensive study of Gurudeo Ranade. Then in the year 1917 being very much influenced by the intellectual eminence of Ranade, Lokamanya Tilak felt that he should be dragged to politics. Hence, he called him and requested him to do so. The young Ranade (the future Gurudev in him) replied 'Sir, I have an inherent liking for religion and spirituality and not for politics. I have become a life-member of the Deccan Education Society only three years back and as yet there has arisen no reason for leaving it. Moreover, according to you a person must be a 'Sthitaprajnya' 'before he enters politics'. So, one must see whether one possesses these qualities. Lokamanya heartily smiled and remarked 'Arvinda Babu' is also a mystic like you".

Secondly, observing young Ranade's special aptitude for religion, Lokamanya suggested "I can collect a lakh of rupees and hand them over to Bombay University with a request to appoint you as a professor of Hindu Religion". At this the young Ranade replied "Well Sir, you can do your part of the work, but it is doubtful whether the University would do its part, owing to its internal politics".

On the next occasion of their meeting Lokamanya Tilak asked the young scholar whether he would translate the Geeta Rahasya in English. Gurudeo replied him, it would be rather difficult to translate such a book and suggested that an adaptation of the book in English would be better. Lokamanya liked the suggestion. But the matter was left there and suddenly Lokamanya posed another question to young Ranade- "Do I appear to be an atheist to you?" Gurudeo Ranade then immediately replied that it would be audacious and foolhardy to call a person atheist who has so much implicit and profound faith in the philosophy of Bhagwadgita.

Shri Aurobindo

From Shri Aurobindo's reviews of Prof. Ranade's Pamphlets on a comparative study of Greek and Sanskrit and Herakleitos

"A very solid article...Prof. Ranade has done his work with great thoroughness...... with a minute accuracy ... I have dwelt on these points because they leap to the eye in the perfection otherwise complete of an admirable essay, which, I hope, is only the first sketch of a more important treatise. Especially new and interesting are the parallels between Greek and Vedic accents and the re-arrangement of Greek Conjugations according to Sanskrit classification. It is perhaps too much to hope that it is from a series of essays an philosophers or a history of philosophy by this perfect writer and Scholar. At any rate such a work from such a hand would be a priceless gain. For Professor Ranade possesses in a superlative degree the rare gift of easy and yet adequate exposition; but he has more than this, for he can give a fascinating interest to subjects like philology and philosophy which to the ordinary reader seem harsh, dry, difficult and repellent. He joins to a luminous clarity, lucidity, and charm of expression in equal luminousness and just clarity, of presentation and that perfect manner in both, native to the Greek and French language and mind, but rare in the English tongue. In these seventeen pages he has presented the thought of the old enigmatic Eohasian with a clearness and sufficiency which leaves us charmed, enlightened and satisfied." (In the Year 1916).

When Gurudeo Ranade published his essay on Herakleitos in 1916, Shri Aurobindo differed from Prof. Ranade regarding the fact that Herakleitos was not a mystic. In this context both of them, exchanged many letters, and finally Prof. R. D Ranade wrote to Shri. Aurobindo 'Let us wait and See'. In this connection Shri. Aurobindo Ghosh wrote this in his preface to book on Herakleitos.

"On one or two difficult points I am inclined to differ with the conclusions he adopts. He rejects positively Pfieiderer's view of Herakleitos as a mystic, which is certainly exaggerated and, as stated, a misconception; but it seems to me that there is behind that misconception a certain truth.....
..... Certainly, as Mr. Ranade, says, 'mere aphorism is not mysticism' (From Arya - December 1916 to June 1917)

Dr S Radhakrishnan
Second President of India (1962-1967)
First Vice President of India (1952-1962)

'I enjoyed his friendship and affection from the time I met him in 1925 at the first Indian Philosophical Congress in Calcutta. His simplicity, his integrity, his sweet and affectionate nature impressed all who came into contact with him'.

Philosophy for him was not a profession but a consuming passion. He thought not merely with his intellect but with his whole life.

He had remarkable linguistic equipment. Apart from his mastery of English, he knew Greek and German. He expressed his deepest convictions in words and ways intelligible to the ordinary man. For many years he taught Philosophy at Poona, Amalner and Allahabad.

It has been possible for him much more than for myself to pursue his supreme object in a spirit of, dedication...

With Ranade, philosophy is the pursuit of wisdom not a mere intellectual exercise. It is for him meditation on the spirit, a dedicated way of life.

In our Country, we have worshipped not the industrialists, or the Military Heroes, or Kings or the Emperors, or the dictators or the Statesmen but we have worshipped the saints who have penetrated behind the layers of body and mind, sunk into the depths of the Self, and anchored themselves to the Divine.

Ranade lived philosophy and was touched by the Grace of God.

The God realised souls from a blessed community 'Anubhava mantapa' working with love for afflicted mankind. History is the progressive embodiment of the vision of human brotherhood, culminating in a society of free spirts a body of men, dedicated to seeking truth.
Ranade spent his life in the pursuit, of this ideal. He reminds us of the verse in Sankarachary's Moha Mudgara.

Prof Ranade tells us that - No real mystic usually gives expression to his own experience. An American poet Emily Dickinson says - 'Tell the Truth but tell it slant'.

While going through the file of old letters from Gurudeo and other luminaries who used to go to him for inspiration, and guidance, I saw a letter from Dr. S.Radhakrishnan dated 30-4-1948 written in his own hand from All Souls College, Oxford. It reminded me of the following striking and inspiring event at the residence of Gurudeo at Allahabad.

Dr. S. Radhakrishnan was then invited to Oxford University for the Gifford Lectures on Indian philosaphy. Before his departure one afternoon, he unexpectedly went over to Gurudeo's bungalow at 15-A Hastings Road, Allahabad. Gurudeo was deeply immersed in his afternoon meditation on God. Dr. Radhakrishnan instructed me not to disturb Gurudeo and He rested himself on an easy chair humming unto himself the Sanskrit Songs of the Gopees in Shreemant Bhagavat. After sometime when Gurudeo got up from his meditation and was informed about the arrival of Dr.Radhakrishnan, he rushed out and both of them affectionately hugged each other. Dr. Radhakrishnan was offered the tea prepared by Gurudea himself. Then the great philosopher narrated the details of the purpose of his visit. Gurudeo was happy and jubilant at the news that Dr. Radhakrishnan was going out abroad as an ambassador of Indian Philosophy. As he was in a hurry to return back to Banaras the some evening Dr Radhakrishnan sought Gurudeo's permission to start for Rambag Station to catch the train for Varanasi. When Gurudeo got up to reach him in his own car, Dr. Radhakrishnan suddenly put his handss on the shoulders of Gurudeo and expressed with an emotional and respectful heart "Ranade ! Your life is a property of the world, Kindly take utmost care of your weak health and frail physique". Gurudeo smilingly and heartily reciprocated his feelings and expressed best wishes for the noble mission on which Dr. Radhakrishnan was going abroad.

After the passing away of Gurudeo Ranade in l957 Dr. Radhakrishnan sent the following telegram on 8-6-1957.

'So the great Ranade has passed away. Another link is cut. We have to wait for the call. He lived a life of great simplicity and piety and ennobled the lives of many who came into contact with him. My life is richer for having known him'.

Shri B.D. Jatti
Vice President of India (1974-1979)

My association with Gurudeo Ranade was close and frequent after he came to stay at Nimbal in Bijapur District and the termination of tenure as the vice-chancellor of the Allahabad University. Gurudeo built an Ashram near Nimbal Railway Station. His followers began to flock into the Ashram where they took initiation either from Gurudeo himself or from his recognized disciple, Kaka Karkhanis of Bijapur.

When I was parliamentary Secretary and later Deputy Minister in Bombay I had occasion to visit Nimbal thrice or four times I found that Prof. Ranade had the innocence of a child, a quality that marked all his activities. He had an affectionate nature and his attitude towards those who came to see him was full of respect and consideration. Indeed it was like that of a mother towards children.

I have a vivid recollection of a few incidents concerning Gurudeo. I shall mention a few of them here.

I met Gurudeo once at a felicitation function at Jamkhandi. I was told that he planned to stay there for a week of so. Later he extended his stay for about a month. At that time he was staying at Ram Tirth Guest House of the Maharaja of Jamkhandi. During this period he expressed a desire to visit the Kannada Teachers' Training Centre which was functioning at Polo palace. When we went there all the students were in the playground playing games. The moment they saw me and Prof. Ranade a number of them came away from the playground to their rooms in the hostel. Prof. Ranade entered one of the rooms along with me, and all the students flocked there. Gurudeo asked me whether classes start after prayers. I said 'YES'. Then he asked me in how many languages they offer prayers. I said, "in three languages, Kannada, Sanskrit and Marathi." He asked the boys to sing, and the boys sang in the three languages mentioned. In this connection, I recall some instances of Gurudeo's extra ordinary prescience and intuitive sensing of the future. Humility forbids me narrating the incidents in detail. Suffice it to say that he had hinted more than once in the presence of friends that I would have opportunities of serving the nation in higher capacities. The predictions came true, as later events proved.

On another occasion when Prof. Ranade was in a particularly happy mood he narrated to me his belief in the presence of a spiritual current, which like rainwater is percolated in the soil. This current is found in different volumes and at different depths. Sometimes the spiritual current is near to the surface of the ground. In such a case, any person with high spiritual power walking over such ground will immediately feel that some force underground is exerting a pull on his feet. Such spots are said to be sacred spots and are selected by saints as places for erecting ashrams and temples. So long as the spiritual current in such spot flows strongly, crowds are attracted to visit these temples and ashrams. Sometimes the current will disappear and flow in another direction. Spots once sacred where the spiritual current is not flowing anymore are abandoned and become deserts. Gurudeo said that he had seen three such spots in his, life: Allahabad where he was working as vice-chancellor of the Allahabad University, Nimbal and Jamkhandi. He told me that the spiritual current at Jamkhandi was comparatively more powerful than at Allahabad and Nimbal.

Once when I had gone to Nimbal to have darshan of Gurudeo while I was Deputy Minister in Bombay, he was sitting in the hall with a number of people around him. After I went there he asked some of the villagers to sing a Bhajan. While the villagers were singing, Gurudeo went into a trance and the singing stopped. After a few minutes all of a sudden Gurudeo came back to the waking state and asked the gathering to resume the Bhajan from the point at which they had stopped singing. This gave me an impression that he was practicing 'Sahaja Yoga' which means that whenever he heard something sublime about the Divine in Bhajan or otherwise, he would enter into a trance without the slightest effort. (1st Oct. 1976)

Prof George B Burch
Massachusetts University, USA

Another scrutinising and critical visitor to Nimbal Prof. George B Burch from the U.S.A. wrote to 'Aryan Path' in '1958

"Hindu Gurus as a class have a mixed reputation, some times seeming (at least to a Westerner, to be arrogant, pompous or conceited. I had heard of Gurus, including quite famous ones, who kept themselves in seclusion, refusing to see even their disciples, let alone visitors. But, I took a chance, wrote Ranade a letter, asking permission to visit him and was invited to come. The man I met was the opposite of what I had expected. Small, slight and frail, a mere wisp of a man whom you expect the slightest breeze to blow away, he was nevertheless vigorous, not only spiritually and intellectually but also physically. His brisk sprightly step was characteristic of his whole lively personality. Pomposity or unction would be impossible in this humble man, who kept his perspective and sense of humour, even though surrounded by disciples for whom he was divine. He was frank and friendly, eager to talk with me, to learn as well as to teach to discuss both his intellectual interests and mine. After telling me about his education, he asked me to tell him about mine. Rapport was established when we discovered a common interest in the pro-Socratics and we exchanged off-prints in the field. We became, close friends immediately. I did not get the impression that this was anything special about me. I believe that he was that way with every body. But for all his humility, a visitor to Nimbal could never be mistaken as to which man was the Guru. Ranade's spirituality shone clearly through every look, word and act. He did not have to pretend to be a saint because he obviously was one.

To love your family and your friends and above all God was Ranade's doctrine and Ranade's life. Spiritual meditation and mystical contemplation were the central activity, of his daily life He was a mystic in the perennial tradition of the mystic saints. Much as I appreciate Ranade's spiritual and intellectual achievements, it is his loving personality which remember best. Surely for many as for me, he was a friend never to be forgotten. For his disciples he was much more. For India he was one of her great men. In India as also in other countries there are many great scholars, engaged in various researches, many great philosophers with deep insight into reality, many great mystics with ineffable visions, many great teachers who inspire their pupils, many great Souls, Whose integrity and personality are radiant. But we seldom see one person who is all of these at once. Such a one was Shri Ranade, one of these rare spirits, who shows us how fine human nature can be.

R.D. Ranade is a man whose stature in my estimate, has only grown in retrospect... Ranade rejected the theory often advanced, that the Guru chooses the disciple and maintained that the disciple must seek and choose the Guru. When he told me this, a sudden emotion swept over me. Had not Providence or Karma brought me to this venerable man probably the most spiritually advanced person I shall ever know to whom I was aready bound by ties of mutual affection in order that he should be my spiritual preceptor ? Should I not ask him then and there to give me initiation?"

Dr Ganganath Jha
Vice Chancellor, University of Allahabad (1923-1932)

'It does not matter even if you don't deliver a single lecture. I want to enter your name in the list of Professors of our University. (Letter to Prof. Ranade).

The world of scholars is much beholden to the...talented writer Ranade.... The volume just to hand deals with the much-misunderstood subject of mysticism. It has been a queer irony of fate that there has been a lot of mist surrounding the transparent simplicity of mysticism, from time immemorial (from his letter and extract from his writing on Feb 22-1933).

Shri F W Bain
Principal, Deccan College, Poona
Tribute written on 18-2-1916

'I am much pleased with your essay on Heracleitos. It is very interesting and extremely acute. And as the field of Greek Philosophy is not much cultivated in India, I think you might do well to take it up.'

And before he left India he wrote to Gurudeo - 'There are not even five persons in India, who will understand your scholarly booklets on Greek philosophy. I shall leave the whole of my library in India but take with me your valuable booklets on Greek Philosophers.'

Gurudeo Ranade revered Principal Bain as his academic Guru and Shri Bhausaheb Maharaj Umadikar as his spiritual Guru.

Shri G V Tulpule
Retired Deputy Post Master General

In the year 1913 when we were talking about friendship with the young Gurudeo, he referred to Aristotle and suggested that there were three types of friends (1) friendship on principle, (2) on pleasure and (3) on profit. The first type is best as the friendship is based on common ideal. In the absence of common ideal, the friendship is undesirable. I was a bit upset but the argument of Gurudeo was convincing. But then I said to Gurudeo, "the old friends have a claim on our goodness. He replied 'Yes' they have claims on our goodness, so has the world." This reply had a deep impression in my heart. After reading his book in 1964 on Pathway to God in Hindi Literature, I realised that the two seeds of thoughts were latent in his casual expressions in 1913. The first principle is that without the company of saints the spiritual progress is impossible. Hence, we have to avoid the company of the ungodly people. So, the friendship on principle should be friendship for common ideal. The ideal of Gurudeo was self-realisation. So the friendship should be for this ideal only. Secondly the spiritual aspirant has to develop and nourish the qualities of compassion, piety and helpfulness. After self-realisation, these good qualities get spontaneously identified with the nature of the saints. This is exactly what Gurudeo wanted to drive at in his suggestions that the world has a claim upon our goodness. The compassion and pity for all but the friendship must be with saintly persons is the upshot of Gurudeo's suggestion.

Again in 1931 I asked Gurudeo if for self-realisation and spiritual experiences, meditation on the name of God is necessary and for good meditation, the virtues must be developed, what should be done for the development of virtues? What do you do in this regard? Gurudeo replied 'I do not do anything for the growth of virtues. I was confused at this reply. Then cheerfully Gurudeo smiled and replied. Why do I meditate on the name of God? As a result of meditation on the Divine Name along with spiritual experiences there is also the growth of virtues'. Then I began to think on these lines and I was convinced about it. He has expounded all these principles in full details in his "Pathway to God in Hindi Literature."

Once in 1914 when I had gone to Gurudeo he was just going out for a few minutes, so he opened a page of, Jnyaneshwari and gave it to me to read. On reading that page I found the exposition of saint Jnyaneshwar on Raj Vidya in Chapter 9 Verse 2 of Bhagavad Gita. At every step on the spiritual path there is the experience of happiness for the Devotee. I was happy to read this and felt relieved. Till then I was under the impression that we have to traverse for long on desolate path full of renunciation and detachment and finally at the end we may enjoy bliss. On reading the above lines from Jnyaneshwari I was much relieved and care free. In the meanwhile, Gurudeo returned. I showed him the passage of Jnyaneshwari. We have to climb to God realisation on the steps of happiness. Is it true that we experience happiness on these steps? Certainly, we experience happiness at every step, otherwise, who would take to this desolate and dreary path? His reply was full of compassion and innocence. On reading his books I came to know that the spiritual bliss is the axle of his wisdom and philosophical knowledge. Gurudeo has said that the Upanishads contain the ocean of bliss. Similar is the case with Jnyaneshwari and the books of Gurudeo.

The daily book of prayers and Bhajans 'Nitya Nemavali' was arranged by Gurudeo at the instance of his spiritual master - Shri. Bhausaheb Maharaj in 1910. He has written a long preface to it. In 1911 I made use of the book of, daily prayers but never knew that the preface was written by Gurudeo. When I learnt the same I read it many times and understood it partially, Because it contains some minute principles of self-realisation, which he has elaborated in his later books. When later I read his books, I came to know this. The distinction between intellectual knowledge and spiritual wisdom could be known only after getting the sprouting 'Sabija Nama' duly initiated by a spiritual preceptor and a constant meditation on it. And the process of Self-realisation is like the mingling of the Jeeva with the Spiritual Bliss and achieves the Spiritual form of Brahman. All these ideas have been mentioned in the preface of 'Nitya Nemavali'.

When Gurudeo was only 24 years of his age, all these details of spiritual process were quite clear before him. When I asked him whether the basic skeleton of his future spiritual Pathway was potentially present in his preface to Nitya Nemavali, he said that there is nothing wrong in saying like that.

Prof E A Wodehouse

A portion of the letter from Prof. E.A.Wodehouse who wrote it to young Ranade to console him for his loss of 1st class at his B. A. as he offered Mathematics for his B. A. in place of Sanskrit which was his pet subject:

'Examination is not true criterion of one's calibre. From what I have known of you, I would say, if any one deserved a first class, it is you. It is therefore, better to think that you were destined to taste the bitter fruits of your past actions and that you are now free from them by actually tasting them. Since you possess first class intellect and sterling character the class you get in the examination is of no consequence at all. I am extremely sorry, no doubt for this unfortunate result, as I entertain great love and respect for you. I won't allow this affection for you to go in vain. I assure you, that I will try my level best to do every thing possible for you. I repeat examination is an accident. It is not a real measure of one's merit or capacity. You have passed the real test long since. This is the opinion of all those who know you like myself' (Bombay 19-12-1907)

Dr N S Christian

"Every time I visited the Ashram at Nimbal, I rejoiced in the sanctity and, affection of the great master... He was a saint who had conquered hunger and thirst and proved in his life that 'Man does not live by bread alone'. He defied bodily ailments and refused medicines and treatment. As Rishis of old he shunned publicity and lived to perfection the Teaching 'Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good work and glorify your Father'.

The spirit of the Universe encased in a pale ivory frame, and a frail body, mostly skin and bones he resembled a feathered bird, a pair of God intoxicated eyes glowing compassionately in their hallowed sockets, situated beneath elevated eyebrows, the symbol of triumph in his lifelong Yoga, an extremely affectionate heart, tirelessly pouring out its life-giving nectar of spiritual wisdom, in warbling words of Divine melody. Gurudeo Ranade was a self-sustained angel of the Lord - in brief God in flesh and blood.

Shri R R Diwakar

Dr. Rambhau Ranade as we familiarly called him, was my professor in English in the B. A. Class in the Fergusson College, Poona in 1914-16. As he came from Jamkhandi and knew Kannada, we Kannada students often went to him for advice. He taught us Carlyle's 'Hero and Hero-worship. In the terminal exam, he saw my answer paper and called me home and advised me to take philosophy as my subject for B. A. I had taken English Hon. and Sanskrit as my subjects. There were only six months left for the degree examination; I pleaded saying, dear Sir, I have to pass my exam. and how can I master philosophy in six months? He lovingly smiled at me and said. you have the make of a philosopher in you But I declined his advice with thanks and due respect and took my graduate's degree in English Honours in 1916. But that sincere advice was practically the beginning of a closer tie between us, which continued not only till his passing away but even afterwards. I have seen to it that the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Bombay, which has been one of my dear institutions, published everything that Dr. Ranade wrote in English, including what he wrote earlier than his popularity as a great philosopher and a Spiritual person of high calibre. Once when I complimented him later for his philosophical writings he said. Rangrao, what is this writing, it is more intellectual play! The real thing is quite different, it is the inner experience that counts!

The Fergusson College of the Deccan Education Society of Poona, founded by the great patriots, Shris. Chiplunkar, Tilak, Gokhale and others was and is a private institution and has always been known to have very learned and competent staff. Even so, Dr. Ranade as a professor was one of the most brilliant of them. He would speak in the classroom as one possessed and his flow was like a cascade coming down from above, especially when philosophy or spirituality were the subjects. Perhaps many students could not grasp what he said but were certainly overwhelmed with the atmosphere he created in the classroom.

Dr. Ranade's methods of teaching in a college were somewhat different from those of teaching in a school. Many of the other professors followed the method of reading the text in classrooms and also giving notes. He said in a we have to teach the students how to study, furnish information about the author, his style and make general observations about the subject matter and leave other things to the students. He completed the round of his lectures usually earlier than the end of the semester. This was not liked by the senior authorities of the college and he left the college and joined sometime later, the University of Allahabad as Profess-or of Philosophy. He retired from there after his full term. It was sometime before he left Poona that he started the Adhyatma Vidya Mandir with the ambitious plan of Vedantic publications.

I sometimes call Dr. Ranade a modern Acharya as he has written commentaries, albeit in English, on the Prashtan Trayi, The Upanishads, the Brahma Sutras (Vedant as a culmination of Indian thought), and the Geeta Book of God realisation. In addition to these he has written, 'Pathway to God in Marathi Literature,' 'Pathway to God 'in Hindi Literature and 'Pathway to God in Kannada Literature'. He has also some Marathi books to his credit.

My field of work is in Karnataka, and mostly in the fight for struggle for Freedom (1921 - 1947). And yet neither long distance nor difference in our field of work came in the way of my deep reverence for Dr. Ranade and my intense desire to serve him through literature. In collaboration with Dr. D.R. Bendre and another research scholar Dr. S. S. Joshi of Dharwar, I read Dr. Ranade's 'Constructive Survey Of Upanishadic Philosophy' rendered in Kannada under the title' Upanishad Rahasya.' When I read out to him certain portions in Kannada, he exclaimed in his own childlike manner, 'Rangrao this is, somewhat better than English and sounds so sweet.' I just explained to him the reason, that it is not the translators who can write better than you, but they had the whole of Sanskrit vocabulary at their command while you were handicapped in expression highly spiritual thoughts in English, which has not yet developed such a terminology! He immediately saw the truth of my observation. Later I was instrumental to a great extent in completing and bringing out his lectures on 'The Pathway to God, in Kannada Literature' delivered at the Karnataka University and also his lectures delivered long ago at the Calcutta University on 'Vedanta, the Culmination of Indian Thought,' and his lectures at Nagpur University on the Geeta. Of course, in all these efforts, the help of Dr D.C.Pavate, then vice-chancellor of the Karnatak University, of Professor N.G.Damale of Poona, of Professors Gajendragadkar of Dharwar, of Shri. M.S. Deshpande, of Athani, of Prof. B.R. Kulkarni now in Delhi, of Prof. Pandit and many others was invaluable. Most of all, without the willing co-operation of Shri K. M. Munshi and Shri Ramakrishnan of The Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Bombay, we could not have succeeded in placing before the public, the rich treasure of spiritual thought and experience which Dr. Ranade has left for us.

Though a giant in intellect, a distinguished scholar in Sanskrit, in philosophy both Indian and Western and in mathematics, a lucid exponent of the most abstruse thought both in English and Marathi and though a fluent and impressive speaker and though he was one who had the standing of the departmental head in a popular university, Dr. Ranade childlike in his simplicity and straightforward in his behavior.

He was very popular among equals and commanded reverence from his spiritual followers and was looked upon as a guide and adviser by his juniors.

Once I had arranged his three talks at Rashtrapati Bhavan in Delhi when Dr. Rajendra Prasad was the President. When I appeared at the Bhavan along with Dr. Ranade, Dr. Prasad asked me where is Dr. Ranade... so slight, unassuming, frail was his figure and bearing!

Philosophers and Scientists are proverbially simple and absent-minded too. I am tempted to quote a story of Dr. Ranade while he was staying in Poona It was Ekadashi and a partial fast was being observed. Dr. Ranade's mother asked him to bring some fruits, some nuts etc. for the fasting day. He went at about ten O'Clock, bought some things and entrusted them to a patiwala (coolie) and asked him to follow him. Dr. Ranade, came home and straight went up to his study and was absorbed in reading. The mother waited and waited for her philosopher son to bring things. She then went up to his room at midnoon and asked, 'Ramu, where are the things, you promised to bring?

It was then that Dr. Ranade recalled his having gone to the market and entrusted certain things to a Patiwala. He exclaimed to his mother, Oh did not the Patiwala gave you the things? Seeing that the Doctor was absent-minded, the Patiwala had made a show of following him and quietly made away with the precious things!

Blessed are we that Dr. Ranade missed giving vegetable and fruits to his mother, but did not miss to give us the treasure of his well-earned intellectual wealth and his experiential spiritual gains!

Shri Gangadharrao Deshpande

'I spent the past 50-55 years in national service and public life.....I could say without vanity and consistently with my self-respect, that I did much good work. But, for the last 4-5 years, I have been feeling that, despite of all this work, I have no peace, of mind, no contentment. Peace is the fulfilment of life. How shall I attain peace, how should my life culminate in contentment is what afflicts me today; on that account, I feel depressed. I do not even sleep well at night ... Luckily for me I met Gurudeo Rambhau Ranade 2-3 weeks ago. I very well know of his reputation for learning, pure conduct, spiritual greatness and unique experiences of the Soul. But, I had no direct or personal contact with him, until he came to Belgaum and met me in my own house. I heard him on Spiritual matters and he also showed me a spiritual way out. All this happened only three weeks ago But on that account, my turmoil was some what allayed, and I felt more and more at ease. I don't say, I have attained perfect peace of mind, but I was on the path to realize it hence the satisfaction I feel now.'

After that Gurudeo made a short speech. He said, 'Gangadharao is senior to me by 15-16 years. I have no right to speak after his excellent address. But I cannot refrain from saying a few words.

The realisation of God does not depend upon long Sadhana. It cannot be said that 25 crores of Japa will lead us to it. For realisation, the desired criteria are the softening of the heart and a restless urge for God. When these are present, God is not far away. These requisites are present in Gangadharrao in a truely unparalleled degree. It is rare to find such a melting mood in many people of his age. Given that, God is not far off.'

Shri Bapuji Aney

'I humbly prostrate before Ramachandra, who is a crown of honour to the family of Ranades, who is worshipped and honoured by the renowned people of high learning and wisdom, whose motto is first action and then preaching and who is a torch bearer of noble thoughts.'

'He was born at Jamkhandi and was a crown jewel among the learned scholars. He was busy in distributing the alms of wisdom and spirituality on the holy banks of rivers Ganga and Yamuna, at the sanctified place of their unique confluence. He churned the Upanishads which are at the helm of the numerous Vedas and he is distributing the nectar of their teaching to the thirsty (devotees) who are harassed by the conflagration of worldly fire of miseries and anxieties!'

'From whose mouth is emanating the holy river of, Gospel of devotion, dispassion and wisdom and which is purifying the hearts of his devotees and disciples and giving birth to the aspiration of spiritual Truth. I devoutly salute Rama who is engrossed in mysticism and whose heart is fixed in Yoga and who is a friend and brother off all in the world and who is bereft of all desires and human cravings.'

Shri Shankarrao Deva

When Shri Shankarrao Deva attended Gurudeo's lectures at Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi in 1972, he made the following remarks:

Even though my ears were hearing his lecture, my eyes were looking at him with a fixed and steady gaze. And I was enjoying the sight of his face more than hearing his lecture. Because the vision of his face immediately convinces anybody that he is a realised soul. If we have to look at the facial expression of these exalted saints - especially their eyes - we would easily realise that these persons, though moving on this earth, are really living in quite a different world.

Some more tributes

Dr M S Modak (Ex Registrar, Nagpur University)

Prof. Rambhau was not a mere professor of Philosophy. His students could readily realize that he was a great man of realisation, who had found the path for the realisation of Reality and had merged in its meditation.'

Prof. K.P Kulkarni: (Old student of Gurudeo)

Shri Rambhau has always carried al open mind. His heart was clearly reflected in his words and deeds. His was childlike nature. When we observed such a figure we felt that we were sitting as it were, before an ancient Upanishadic seer.'

Prof Punatambekar (Old student of Gurudeo who wrote a letter to Gurudeo on 8-9-1910 from Oxford)

I have not seen such a simple and loving personality like you till now. Hundreds of virtues found in you were not to be found in any other person. I have preserved all your letters like a valuable treasure. Your valuable words of advice to us can never be had anywhere also at any cost. You have achieved such great things by staying in Bharat alone. Had you gone to other countries, you would have moved the whole world.

Prof. Arthur I Shiilinglaw

Prof. Ranade's sketch of the development of his own thought is, I think, the most original of the contributions. His practice is to reach truth by a critical interpretation of great philosophers, and he gives a few specimens, of his method. These clearly indicate interpretative genius of a very high order, as witness his criticism of Zeller and Burnet on Parmenides and his comments on the Upanishadic Theories of Self Consciousness. (Extract from a Review from 'Mind' an International Journal on Philosophy)'