Eternal Tributes


1) Sri Aurobindo’s words of appreciation for Gurudev Ranade’s treatise on Heraclitus.:

Professor R.D.Ranade has recently published a small treatise on the philosophy of Heraclitus. From the paging of the treatise it seems to be an excerpt, but from what there is nothing to tell. It is perhaps too much to hope that it is from a series of essays on 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 an 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 Ephesians with a clearness and sufficiency, which leaves us charmed, enlightened and satisfied.

On one or two difficult points I am inclined to differ with the conclusions he adopts. He rejects positively Puffeiderer’s view of Heraclitus 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.
(Sri Aurobindo-“In Heraclitus” Arya Publishing House College Street. Calcutta 1941. Page-2 & 3.)

2) Dr.Rajendra Prasad’s Speech:

At the end of Dr.R.D.Ranade’s lecture on “The sublime in Mystical Experience” at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi, on 16th April 1954.

“You have been so far hearing a discourse on a very abstruse subject, and it is Prof.Ranade’s special field of work, in which he has studied not only the old Sanskrit Philosophy, but also the philosophy of the West,and the philosophy that has been taught by people who have practical experience in their own life.

We have a large body of literature dealing with what is called the ‘Sant Bani’, the teachings. We know his book dealing with the ‘Sant bani’ in Marathi literature. The book in Hindi has just, I think, come out, and we are anticipating an equally good book for those who can understand it—the Sant bani in Kannada literature, and of course Sanskrit is at the bottom of all these. So the philosophy, which we have inherited from the past, now lives in him, and I am very happy that it has been possible for us to have this second lecture of his in this house. We have had the privilege to listen to his another discourse, I think, about two years ago.
We had the pleasure of hearing a very elevating speech to day. On behalf of you all, I desire to convey the thanks of all of us to Prof. Ranade.”

3) Dr.S.Radhakrishnan:

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

The God realized souls from a blessed community ‘Anubhavamantapa’, working with love for afflicted mankind. History is the progressive embodiment of the vision of human brotherhood, culminating in a society of free spirits 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 Shankaracharya’s “Moha Mudgara”.

After the passing away of Gurudev Ranade in 1957 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”.

Dr.S.Radhakrishnan, President of India delivering Inaugural
Speech,after inaugurating the ACPR headquarters, on 8th Dec.1965

Extracts from Dr.Radhakrishnan’s Speech:
At the publication Function of the Paramartha Sopan at Sangli on 9th January 1954:

i) “I am grateful to the Organizers of this function for asking me to associate myself with the publication of Dr.Ranade’s Paramartha Sopan.

I have known Dr.Ranade for a number of years. It has been possible for him, much more than for myself, to pursue his supreme object in a spirit of dedication. My activities have been scattered, and I have had to give much of time and attention in recent years to other things than Philosophy and Religion.
All the same Philosophy remains my first affection. 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.

ii) “You call the Institute ‘Adhyatma Vidya Mandir’, and rightly so. Each religion and philosophy aims at the understanding of self and communion with self. They are based on the fundamental bedrock of self-realization”. When therefore, it is said that we are pursuing the goal of Adhyatma-Vidya which is the quest of the Supreme Self, we are getting beyond the dogmatic and sectarian controversies. “What we have always stressed is the fundamental spiritual state variously called etc. that is, direct communion with the Divine, that direct union of the human soul with the Divine”. What may be regarded as the reconditioning of man’s nature must take place, so that his self soaks and sinks completely in the spirit of the Divine”.

iii) “Paramartha Sopan may be translated either as the Ascent to the Divine, or the way to perfection. Wherever Philosophy has been seriously pursued, wherever religion has been understood in the truest sense of the word, it has meant the study of the true nature of the self. All religions and philosophies at their highest have agreed on this point”.

iv) “Socrates was asked,when he was to die where shall we bury you? He gave the answer “You may bury my body, but my soul you cannot bury; it is incorruptible and imperishable’. The Upanishads say; however far you may go, there is something beyond. The limits of Self are unreachable. There is something, which exists beyond logic and language. Buddhism holds that one can rise to be Buddha. The potentialities of human nature extend to Divinity. Jainism makes discrimination between Atma and Anatma. Then attains the knowledge of ‘Atma’ Christianity says,’The Kingdom of God is within you’. It is the universal spirit of God that dwells in you. ‘The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord’. Say the Jews. St.Paul observes, ‘Know you not that you are the temple of God, and the Spirit of god dwelleth
in you” .

In different ways, therefore, all the great Prophets have called us back to the realization of the deepest Self in us which lies behind the layers of the body and mind. Until man attains it, his goal remains unfulfilled. Spiritual realization is the manifest destiny of man. Until he is able to find way to the understanding of the Supreme, his heart is restless. All these Prophets of God believed that the natural culmination of human development was in the Divine”.

v) “In our country, we have worshipped not the industrialists. Or the military heroes, or kings or the emperors, or the statesman; but we have worshiped the saints who have penetrated behind the layers of body and mind, sunk into the depths of self, and anchored themselves to the Divine. Such men are not to be limited to Europe, Asia or America, or to this or that religion, the spiritual quality is common to the Arya, Anarya, Muslim or Christian”.

vi) “Secular state does not mean a state without religion. It is not secular in this sense that we deify the worldly and the material. It is secular only in the sense that we recognize that every religion shows a way to reach the supreme, and we do not wish to identify the state with any particular dogma or creed. It is secular in the sense that it is something, which takes its stand on the roots of our religion. In the secular state we give liberty to all to exercise freedom of worship and thought. We recognize the liberty of religious life. The same liberty must be given to all people”.

vii) “Spirituality does not involve renunciation of the world. On the other hand, spirituality is excellence in action. The world at present finds itself in a nightmare condition of tension and conflict from which it can be rescued and united only by true religion. The world can be really bound together and united at the spiritual level through religion expressing itself in love. Religion signifies two things in particular; one is the inward awareness of Spiritual Self, spiritual perception. Outwardly it is abounding love to humanity and wisdom and love, constitute true religion’.

4) Wrangler Dr.D.C.Pavate (Former Vice-Chancellor, Karnatak University,
“Dr.Ranade was a great scholar of international repute and held the chair of philosophy in Allahabad University…Dr. Ranade himself was one of the great mystics of modern times and grounded as he was in deep mystic experiences, he has expounded mystical philosophy as few have been able to do…

5) Prof.George B.Burch (Massachusetts University, U.S.A.):
Another scrutinizing and critical visitor to Nimbal 1958.

“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 humor. 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. But for all his humility, a visitor to Nimabal 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 was the central activity, of has daily life. He was a mystic in the parrinal tradition of the mystic saints…Much as I appreciate Ranade’s spiritual and intellectual achievements, it is his loving personality which I remember best. For India he was one of her great men. In India as also in other countries there are many great scholars. But we seldom see one person who is all of these at one. Such a one was Shri Ranade, one of these rare spirits, who shows us how fine human nature can be.

Had not providence or Karma brought me to this venerable man probably the most spiritually advanced person? I shall ever know that he should be my spiritual preceptor? Should I not ask him then and there to give me initiation?

6) Shri F.Bain (Principal Deccan College Poona) (18-2-1916):

“There are not even five person’s 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.”

7) Prof.Arthur I.Shillinglaw:
“His practice is to reach truth by a critical interpretation of the 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)

8) Prof. Alban G.Widgery: (Reviewer – Hibbert Journal):
‘Perhaps more than any other contributor Professor Ranade of Allahabad, has endeavoured explicitly to compare Indian and Western forms of Philosophy. He has a firm conviction that a correlation between Indian and European Philosophy is not only possible but necessary in the interest of the development of Philosophy in general’. The doctrine of Relativism fails at God; Self-consciousness is alone real, there are ethical and mystical sides, to the problem of self-realization and mystical experience has no meaning apart from moral development.”

9) Dr.N.S.Christian; (Aurangabad):
“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 eye-brows, the symbol, of triumph in his life-long Yoga, an extremely affectionate heart, tirelessly pouring out its life-giving nectar of spiritual wisdom, in warbling words of Divine melody. Gurudev Ranade was a self-sustained angel of the Lord in brief God in flesh and blood”.

10) Swami Rama:
(Himalayan International Institute of Yoga Science & Philosophy of the U.S.A.Honesdale, Pennsylvania, and U.S.A.)

Writes in his book ‘LIVING WITH THE HIMALAYAN MASTERS’ “I often visited Dr.Ranade of Allahabad University, one of the finest exponents of Vedanta philosophy of his time. This matchless teacher and great mystic was popularly known as Gurudeva among his disciples. He took me to his Nembal ashram later on. Among all the university scholars of India, I have the most respect for this great man. Whatever I have systematically learned about Indian philosophy was because of him. He taught me that Indian philosophy is divided into seven systems which attempt to answer the most basic philosophical inquiries.”