The uniqueness of Ramchandra Gandhi (1937–2007) as a contemporary Indian thinker can clearly be seen in the range of subjects he dealt with, as well as the variety of themes and genres he traversed.
One of the very few academic philosophers to seriously engage with the modern Indian thinkers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries—including Ramakrishna Paramahansa, Sarada Devi, Swami Vivekananda, Ramana Maharshi, Sri Aurobindo, Mahatma Gandhi and J. Krishnamurti—Ramchandra Gandhi's writings bring together Western, classical Indian and modern Indian philosophies in a novel way. In philosophically rejuvenating the modern philosophers in India, he not only reactivated both classical Indian and Western philosophies, but also broke away from the prevalent trend of studying either Western or classical Indian philosophy, or comparing the two.
Ramchandra Gandhi: Talks and Writings assembles selected works of this important Indian philosopher, including his essays, interviews, newspaper articles, talks and lectures, some of which appear in this volume for the first time in text form. Dialogic in tone, the works selected here engage meaningfully with past thinkers, while remaining firmly anchored in contemporary issues, offering a lively and interesting perspective on the subjects.
Touching upon the themes of philosophy, religion, spirituality, politics, art, aesthetics, modern Indian sages, secularism, nuclear proliferation, ecology, and several other overlapping topics, this collection serves as a window into Ramchandra Gandhi's work, and will facilitate a serious, critical and evaluative study of these important modern Indian thinkers in the future. This collection will interest scholars and researchers of modern Indian philosophy.
A. Raghuramaraju is Professor, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Tirupati.
On Hospitality: A Dialogue with Ramchandra Gandhi
I—Religion and Spiritualism: Modern Indian Sages
1. Modern Indian Spiritualism
2. Sri J. Krishnamurti
3. Indian Spirituality and the World
4. Nirmal Smriti Vyakhyan
5. The Peacock and the Sage: Reflections on the Advaita of Architecture
6. The Firefly's Prayer: A Parable of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa
7. Is Our Heart On the Right Side?
8. Foreword to the English Translation of Harilal Gandhi: A Life
9. Whitehead on the Distrust of Speculative Philosophy
11. What We Do and Say in Saying and Doing Something: An Exploratory and Experimental Move from Austin to Advaita
12. Philosophical Scepticism and Theistic Faith: Theistic Inquiry Cannot Be a Denial of Advaita, Only a Necessary Preparation for It
III—Self and Politics
13. Ethics, Ecology and Enlightenment
14. In Conversation with Ramchandra Gandhi
15. Confusion and Communication
16. Testing Times
17. Towards Nuclear Non-violence
18. Private Knives, Hives
19. A Sense of Rumour
20. Stephen Lila