Governor of West Bengal Kesri Nath Tripthi released the Bengali version of the famous book “Great Minds of India” penned by an acclaimed author Salil Gewali of Shillong on July 7, 2019, at an impressive ceremony held at Raj Bhavan, Kolkata.
The special function organized for the book release was attended by a galaxy of scholars, academicians and representative of various colleges, universities, media houses, and social organizations.
The Governor said that unless we are awakened to the profound wisdom of Vedas, Upanishads and the Gita now, a day might not be that far when we have to send our children to Germany, France, and USA to study them, and to know about Indian culture.
Showering praises on the author the Governor said that Salil Gewali’s book showcases the exceptionally rich civilization of India and its remarkable contributions to the world in the development of the Modern science, Mathematics, Linguistic, Metallurgy, Cosmology, Psychology, and other areas of studies.
Quoting from the book, the Governor said: “Twenty-four centuries before Isaac Newton, the Indian scriptures asserted that gravitation held the universe together. The Sanskrit speaking Aryans subscribed to the idea of a spherical earth in an era when the Greeks believed in a flat one.”
Emphasizing the importance of the book in the present contest, the Governor further added: “This title doubtlessly serves as a LIGHT of wisdom even to the educated who have lost their faith in the ancient heritage. Truly, the ancient knowledge has been held as eternal wisdom. Our most beloved eleventh President of India, eminent scientist — Dr. Abdul Kalam has regarded Vedas as the oldest classics and the most precious treasures of the East. Great philosopher, writer, poet and artist Rabindranath Tagore was highly inspired by the Upanishads and the works of the greatest Sanskrit poet Kalidas while writing his ‘Geetanjalee’.
Mahatma Gandhi, an epitome of peace, tolerance and non-violence whose works and lifestyles inspired many great scholars, statesmen, scientists and diplomats of the modern age, also admitted the Bhagawat Gita as a boundless ocean of priceless gems. Even VS Naipaul, the renowned author of ‘A Wounded Civilization’, admits the Eastern Wisdom as the noblest of all.”
This unique book has been translated into Bengali by Dr. R N Das and edited by Prof. Nirmal Maity of Kolkata which is originally prefaced by a NASA Chief Scientist, Dr. Kamlesh Lulla of Houston, USA. This book is now being used as a textbook in some of the schools in Kolkata for students from Class -6 to 10.
The book first published in the Xerox format in 1998 and later brought out in its normal print format in 2009 by Academic Publications of Shillong (Meghalaya), it has been highly lauded across the country and abroad. The first original English edition unveiled in 2009 by then Governor of Meghalaya RS Mooshahary, the book’s translated versions such as Hindi, Malayalam and Marathi editions have subsequently been launched by the Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh and the Governor of Maharashtra and Gujarat in the years 2013 and 2015 respectively.
This landmark compilation of the quotes of world-famous luminaries, which is edited by a NASA scientist – Prof. A V Murali, has long been captivating the attention of the noted scholars from across the world. Robert Brenton of Brooklyn, New York says – “ ‘Great Minds on India’ is fantastic and a further testimony to the immense wisdom that comes from the great masters in ancient India, who saw the truth in ancient times and left it for us to ponder.’
During his exhaustive research, Mr. Gewali realized that Modern scientists like Erwin Schrodinger, Niels Bohr, Julius Oppenheimer, David Bohm, Werner Heisenberg, David Josephson, and so on had sufficiently got the ideas related to Quantum Physics from the ancient literature of INDIA. Voltaire, Johann Goethe, Hegel, Emerson, Henry Thoreau were other front-ranking philosophers of the modern time who were inspired by the fathomless depth of the ancient wisdom of INDIA.
Lastly, in the book, the opinion by one of the greatest poets of 20th Century – TS Eliot, swells our chest. Eliot writes in his ‘After strange God’ — “Indian philosophers’ subtleties make most of the great European philosophers look like schoolboys.”
Here again exclaims a prominent philosopher and critic of Germany – August Schlegel – “Even the loftiest philosophy of European appear like a feeble spark before the Vedanta.”
About West Bengal
Chief minister: Mamata Banerjee