"An Integrated Science of the Absolute" is Nataraja Guru's commentary on Narayana Guru's major philosophical work, The Darsana Mala.
For each of the ten Darsanas of the poem, he provides examples of its philosophical viewpoint: from the side of Indian Philosophy as well as from that of Western Philosophy and Science.
He covers a wide range of subjects, from a detailed critique of Einstein to Heidegger, Sartre, Descartes, Western and Islamic mysticism, as well as a survey of all the schools of Indian Philosophy and much more.
Using the search engine for the site on the upper right-hand corner of the screen will give the reader some idea of the broad scope of this work.
With profound adoration to the Absolute with all the long line of its bygone teachers and the makers of its tradition, irrespective of time or clime, and with apologies for seeming to treat, by any chance, any of them as not perfectly equal in spiritual status under the aegis of the Absolute.
This work is hereby dedicated to Narayana Guru, the one sustaining source of its inspiration, by his disciple, the present writer.
PREFACE By Nataraja Guru
WHEN I was still a teenager, more than 55 years ago, preparing to pass the high school examination which included some elementary science lessons, there was an elderly guest who was staying in my father's house, He looked like a simple Indian villager without even a shirt on, yet he also seemed to command great respect from my father who was an England-trained medical officer working under the Government of Mysore in Bangalore, South India.
This enigmatic person one day decided to ask me a pointed question. He prefaced the question with the following description of a mischievous spirit or imp known to the villagers of what was then Travancore State, (South India) as a kutti-cathan. (The word cathan may perhaps be derived from the word shasta which is one of the names for the Buddha, while kutti means small.) Such a spirit is not unknown in the West. He goes under the name of Puck in Shakespeare, and the well-known poltergeist is connected with him.
I was then told by this old gentleman:
"Stones will fall from the roof; you can pick them up or put them under the coconut tree in your garden. They will remain there for any length of time. If you search for any stones of the kind missing in the surrounding area you will not find any. The falling stones can land near persons to frighten them."
After thus giving me a full account of the kutti-cathan, I was asked the following question:
"Have you any such thing in your science?"
This question from a simple man of an earlier generation left a strange and deep impression on me. The science I was taught at school limited itself to questions as to how a candle burned, etc. The decades that have followed have changed the simple character of science into what is now a vast body of knowledge, ever-encroaching into the domains of religion and philosophy. The answer which I could not give when I was a schoolboy, I feel I am more prepared to attempt now. It had never lost the poignancy and significant potency that it suggested to my mind at the time it was asked.
In the following pages I hope, however indirectly or partially it may be, to try and answer this question. I have also to say here that I have been guided throughout by this same man who first awoke my curiosity in this direction. This enigmatic man was none other than Narayana Guru, and it is to him again that I dedicate this attempted answer to his question. It is in the hope that it might serve similar disciples who are agitated by similar doubts and questions to my own that this book is written. These pages have been primarily intended for my own education and it is suggested that those who feel that the question asked me by Narayana Guru was superfluous, and that my answer in the following pages could also be so, need not take the trouble to continue its perusal.
As stated on the title page, the present work is based on the Darsana Mala (A Garland of Visions) by Narayana Guru, whose direct disciple the present writer happens to be. This Sanskrit text, consisting of 100 verses of 10 chapters with 10 verses in each, is meant to comprise the chief categories of all philosophical visions. Usually in India the Darsanas are treated as six in number, but works like the Sarva Darsana-Samgraha (Epitome of all Visions of Truth) sometimes discuss in detail 15 Indian darsanas. Each darsana is a recognizable philosophical system, or rather a unitive viewpoint referring to the Absolute.
Narayana Guru has not limited himself to the scope of Indian thought only, but thinks in terms of a series of all possible visions of any time and place. These visions are structurally strung together like precious stones forming a garland meant to be an ornament enhancing the dignity of humanity through wisdom. There is no mistaking that he draws his inspiration from the Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita, as is shown by his precise advaitic terminology. Another important source for his inspiration is what he derived from his own tapas (mystical. discipline). The Garland of Visions is the product of both inner experience and confirmation from outer textual sources. The primacy of this former radical source of wisdom makes his dependence upon texts only incidental.
In order to let the reader have the text in Sanskrit, there is a word-by-word transliteration which can be examined by anybody for purposes of verification or conviction. We have kept our own comments on the text strictly separate from the verses and Narayana Guru's intended commentary, as explained at the beginning of the text.
As this book is primarily meant for the use of disciples and only secondarily for the general reading public, we have taken care in our concluding remarks to explain to those who might be inclined to question the genuineness of this philosophy which we have attributed to Narayana Guru, that we have not departed from his own finalized standpoints and teaching. Let this Garland of Visions enhance human dignity and decrease suffering through a better understanding of life in the light of the Absolute. This is what we hope will happen to the earnest wisdom-seeker who reads this book. It is meant for true and dedicated seekers only; not those who are merely curious in a light-hearted way. A whole-hearted approach is necessary when wholesale wisdom is in question.
Thanks are due to many who have kindly and willingly cooperated in completing and giving this book finalized form. I shall not attempt to mention all of them by name, because of the difficulty of doing so in view of the quality or quantity of the help rendered by them when treated together as they ought to be. Those who helped me in those items in which I could not help myself, and those who answered consciously or unconsciously to the pressure of actual need, deserve my most grateful thanks.
Some have helped me with reference books and paper cuttings; others have offered me hospitality in far-off lands, added to my travel facilities, or arranged interviews and contacts for me. Others again have given me virtually the use of their eyes when my own eyesight has been weakening, especially during the last years. Some have taken down dictation during the early hours of the morning, by day and by night, while travelling or staying in the different centres or camps between Gent and Bombay, Delhi or Varkala, within which points I have been constantly moving, as they helped to prepare with promptness the first typescript.
The penultimate preparation for the press has been done, as before, by John Spiers, to whom I have already been so much indebted, almost, as it were, by divine dispensation. Fred Hass has also been a similar friend in need, as also Sannyasini Ramarani. I have always kept Nitya Chaitanya Yati in my mind as a disciple who would benefit much from these writings.
I must also mention the help that came from Jean Convent, Dr. Joseph Vercruysse, and good Celine Gevaert, whom I am conscious to have troubled too much in reading to me and rereading the difficult passages from Bergson's criticism of Einstein's theories. They deserve my special thanks
I have exchanged notes on axiomatic thinking and schematization with Prof. Janin of the University of Lyon, besides receiving help from the several librarians of that university, as also those of Rome, Gent, Brussels, and London, all of whom took the trouble of seeking out valuable documents for me, and thus deserve my thanks. They were most serviceable to me in connection with the Unified Field Theory of Einstein, on which the finalized papers are still to be traced.
Besides all those who consciously gave their help, I can think of many whose hand has been more mysteriously evident now and then, lending themselves almost as if by accident to be helpers of much significance, enabling me at critical moments during the composition of the work, often to open up new avenues of fruitful research before me. Books have sometimes come to my hands very strangely and inexplicably. Some sort of good genie, whether called an elemental or a favourable spirit must be suspected even by a scientist, as being behind some, at least, of many such apparent coincidences.
By thanking the Absolute I can inclusively thank all my helpers, whether mundane or spiritual. I therefore incline before the Absolute in everlasting adoration, in the belief that in doing so I am in effect only adding glory to ourselves whose totality is no other than myself.