Shri. Gurudeo Dr. R. D. Ranade, M.A., D.Litt. was one of the greatest Mystic Saints of the modern India. He knew many languages – Sanskrit, English, Hindi, Marathi, Kannada, Greek, Latin, German, Persian, Hebrew and studied both ancient and modern philosophy in all these languages. He was born in Jamakhandi in Karnataka state. He stood second in Matriculation Examination for the entire Bombay Province. He passed BA with mathematics and secured prizes. He passed MA with philosophy with flying colours and got the Chancellor’s Gold Medal from the University of Mumbai.
Ever living Shri.GurudeoDr.R.D.Ranade was one of the greatest Mystic Philosopher of Modern India. Gurudev always used to say “ONE MUST BE A LIFELONG STUDENT IN THE UNIVERSITY OF GOD”. Further Dr. R. D. Ranade mentioned that “EXCELLENCE IS THE MARK OF SPIRITUALITY”.
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Calender of Events in Prof. R. D. Ranade's Life
3-7-1886: Birth at Jamkhandi
1901 Initiation by Shri. Bhausaheb Maharaj – Umadikar
1902: Matriculation – Awarded Jagannath Shankarsheth Scholarship
1903 to 1907: Student at Deccan College, Pune
1907: B.A. with Mathematics, Bhau Daji Award.
1907: Daksina Fellow at Deccan College, Pune.
17-10-1908: Meeting with Mrs. Annie Besant and Prof. Wodehouse at Benares. Prof. Ranade declined their invitation to join Theosophical society.
1909: Serious illness and recovery by the Master’s blessings
1911: NITYANEMAVALI’ edited and published.
1911 to 1913: Tutor in English at Ferguson College, Pune.
1913: Curator of the Manuscript Library at Deccan College-Pune.
1914: Awarded Chancellor’s Gold Medal for excellence at Philosophy at Poona University, Pune.
29-1-1914: Passing away of Shri. Bhausaheb Maharaj, the spiritual Master of Gurudev Ranade.
1914: Publication of two important essays –
1) ‘On the study of Indian and European Philosophy’ and the second
2) ‘On the study of Indian Philosophy’ this latter essay is reprinted in “Essays and Reflec- tions” by Prof. R. D. Ranade in 1964.
1914 1915: Foundation of the Sanskrit Academy at Bangalore. Delivered inaugural lectures on “The Psychology and the Philosophy of upanishads” under the Chairmanship of H.H. Sayaji Rao Gaekwad of Baroda, who supported the Academy and the Publication of these Lectures.
1917: Lokamanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak admired Gurudev Ranade whom he offered to shoulder the responsibility of the daily Kesari” and also wanted Prof. Ranade to join Politics with him. Prof. Ranade humbly declined due to preoccupations and as the work was not suitable for him.
1914 to 1920: Gurudev Ranade was a Professor of Philosophy at Ferguson College – Poona. May 1915 to July 1917: Founded “Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute in collaboration with Dr. Kurtkoti, Dr. Belvalkar and Dr. Gune.
1916: Foundation of “Tatwadnyan Mandir” at Ammalner with the active initiative of Shri. Pratap Seth.Delivered the foundational lectures on Philosophy. Edited the book on Thomas Carlyle.
Feb. 1916 to June 1917: Among the several essays on the Greek Philosophy, Comparative study of Greek and Sanskrit Lan- guage, an illuminating treatise on “Heraclitus” by Prof. Ranade was highly appreciated by Shri. Aurobindo. But he had a minor difference of opinion with Prof. Ranade on the status of Heraclitus as a mystic. Shri. Aurobindo wrote a series of articles in Arya on Heraclitus whom he wanted to justify as a mystic, whereas Prof. Ranade had already evaluated him as a high intellecual who decried mysticism and who was not a mystic at all. The exchange of essays and personal correspond- ence between Shri. Aurobindo Ghosh and Prof. Ranade is of historic and mystical significance.
1917: Construction of ‘Carlyle Cottage’ at Pune.
1917: Prof. Ranade, in collaboration with Prof. A.G. Vijari started “The Indian Philosophical Review” at Baroda. “The Philosophi cal quarterly worked well for some years. Then in 1930, a quarterly named “Review of Philosophy and Religion” was started under the auspices of A.C.PR. with Prof. Gode as the editor for quite many years. It was taken over by Prof. Taimani after 1936.
1918: Passing away of mother and wife
1918: Building of ‘Adhyatma Bhavan’ at Pune 20th June 1924: Resigned to the Deccan Education Society.
1925: The construction of a house at Nimbal.
1-8-1924: The foundation of the “ACADEMY OF COM- PARATIVE PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGION” at Adhyatma Bhavan, Pune. Prof. Ranade was the director, Prof. N. G. Damle and Prof. P. K. Gode were the secretaries of the A.C.PR. A detailed prospectus of the A.C.PR. in which its objectives, mission, the nature of projects undertaken and the spread of this organization at active centres in various parts of India and other details are discussed.
A sixteen volume scheme of an Encyclopaedic history of Indian Philosophy was launched with a network of a large team of Philosophers from different Universities of India who were assigned various portions of the project. Considerable part of the project was completed in subsequent years.A quarterly journal named “A Review of Philosophy and Religion” with Prof. PK. Gode and Prof. R. D. Ranade as editors was started from 1930 under the auspices of the A.C.PR.
16-02-1924: Address to the Nagpur Philosophical Society named after St. Augustine of Hippo on “Mysticism and Beatification”.
1925 to 1927: Under the ‘Adhyatma Granth Mala’ a series of four anthologies of saintly poetry or four Vachanamritas were published to constitute the source books for the later publication of “Mysticism in Maharashtra”.
In 1927, ‘History of Indian Philosophy volume Two, The Creative Period’ in joint authorship of Prof. R. D. Ranade and Prof. S. K. Belvalkar was published.
1926: The publication of the monumental work on ‘A Constructive Survey of Upanishadic Philosophy by Prof. Ranade
1927 to 1947: At Allahabad University. On 1-12-1927 Gurudev Ranade joined the Allahabad University to adorn the chair of the Professor and the Head of the Philosophy Department offered to him with great persuasions from the then Vice Chancellor Dr. Ganga Nath Zha who was himself a great Philosopher to have recognised the worth of Prof. Ranade’s work on Upanishadic Philosophy.
1942: The construction of a house at 15-A Hastings Road-Allahabad. From January 1938 to August 1945, Prof. Ranade was the Dean of the Faculty of Arts at Allahabad University.From 4th September 1945 to August 1946, Prof. Ranade was the Vice-Chancellor of the Allahabad University. From 1946 onwards Prof. Ranade was the Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at Allahabad University.In recognition of his exceptional contributions to Philosophy the Allahabad University conferred on Prof. R. D. Ranade, D.Litt Degree-Honoris causa in November 1947.
1928: Prof. Ranade delivered Rao Bahadur Kinkhede Lectures under the auspices of Nagpur University. These lectures on the Philosophy of Bhagavadgita were later extended at M.M.M College Allahabad in March 1954 and one lecture at Rashtrapati Bhavan on 15th April 1954, at Delhi, together constituted the book entitled “Bhagavadgita As a Philosophy of God-Realization.
March 1929: Prof. Ranade delivered a series of lectures on Vedant Philosophy’ named as Basu Malika lectures under the auspices of Calcutta University. Later additions to the lectures made the present book entitled “Vendanta The Culmination of Indian Philosophy” Published posthumously by Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Bombay 1970.
1933: The Publication of the “Mysticism in Maharashtra” The passing away of Shri. Amburao Maharaj, on 23rd December 1933.
1936: Gurudev Ranade started imparting initiations, three years after the passing away of Shri. Amburao Maharaj in whose life time he abstained from giving initiations.
December 1937: As the General President of the 13th session of the Indian Philosophical Congress held at Nagpur Prof. Ranade delivered the presidential address on the theme entitled “The Philosophy of spirit”. Dr. S. Radhakrishnan was present. The Congress was inaugurated by Sir Hyde Gowan, the then Governor of M.P. It was an extempore yet a very substantial Presidential address by Prof. Ranade. He brought to bear the latest researches in Physics, Biology and Neurology to substantiate his “Philosophy of Spirit”, which he thought should replace the nihilistic and anarchical ideologies and politics of the day. The speech is published in the “Philosophical and other Essays” (1956), orginally printed in the “Review of Philosophy and Religion” (Vol. VII, No 2nd December 1938)
20th October 1947: A Centre of the “Adhyatma Vidya Mandir” was opened at 15 A Hastings Road, Allahabad, with the Cooperation of the Rayasaheb of Sangli. Eminent Scholars from all over the world used to deliver lectures under the auspices of the A.V.M. generally Gurudev Ranade used to be present at these meetings.
6th and 7th April 1947: Two lectures under the auspices of Kaushik Vyakhyan Mala were delivered at S.P. College Poona, the first was on “Kabir and Dnyaneshwar” and the second lecture was on “Dnyaneshwar, Guru Nanak, Meerabai and Suradas”.
6th, 7th and 8th August 1947: Prof. Ranade delivered three lectures under the auspices of “Gujarat Vidya Sabha at Ahmedabad.
1) The Spiritual Life of Mahatma Gandhi and Hindi Saints, the book was published by Gujarat Vidya Sabha Ahmedabad in 1956.
2) The second lecture was on “The spiritual mission before the new India”.
3) The third lecture on “How all humanity could be made one” some Gandhian intellectuals like Shri. Rasiklal Parekh and Shri. R. B. Athavale had lively dialougues with Prof. Ranade. Prof. Ranade also visited Sabarmati Ashram during this period,
1948: Publication of “Bodha Sudhe” the book of instructions for a spiritual life by Shri. Nimbargi Maharaj.
26 the August 1950: Prof. Ranade delivered the first lecture in a series on “An Introduction to Karnataka Mysticism” at Dharwad, under the Chairmanship of Shri. R. A. Jahagirdar, the then V. C. of the Karnatak University which sponsored the series of lectures.
25th November 1951: The Second lecture on the “Epitomeof Karnataka Mysticism” at Lingaraj College, Belgaum under the auspices of Karnatak University was delivered by Prof. Ranade under the Chairmanship of the then Chief Minister Shri. B. G. Kher and the welcome speech was given by the then V. C. Shri. C. C. Hulkoti. A twenty lecture series was planned originally but only fourteen lectures could be delivered under the plan leading to the publication of the “Pathway to God in Kannada Literature” in 1960.
26 the November 1951: Prof. Ranade delivered a lecture on “The Self Realization of Kabir” at the R.PD. College Belgaum. The Principal of the College Shri. Korea Alfanso welcomed the guest and presided over the lecture.
2-3-1952 Lectures at Delhi: Prof. Ranade delivered three lectures at Delhi, of which the first two were delivered at the Consitution Club and the third one at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, Delhi, on the following subjects.
- Genesis of Spiritual realization.
- The growth of spiritual realization and
- The Indian Philosophy.
Prof. Ranade delivered some lectures in the All India Radio, Allhabad on the themes:
- The relation of God to saints and
- The beginnings of the pilgrimage which were published in the daily “Leader” in 1952 and incorporated as two chapters in the “Pathway to God in Hindi Literature published in 1954.
9-1-1954: The “Parmarth Sopan” an anthology of the selected poems of Hindi Saints (to constitute a source book for the subsequent book on ‘The Pathway to God in Hindi Literature”) was published at the hands of the then Vice President of India Dr. S. Radhakrishnan and in the presence of Gurudev Ranade at Sangli.
March 1954: A lecture on the “Various approaches to thestudy of the “Bhagavadgita” was delivered by Prof. Ranade at Pt. M.M. Malaviya College at Allahabad.
15th and 16th April 1954: Lectures at Rashtrapati Bhavan Delhi.
Two lectures were delivered by Prof. Ranade at Rashtrapati Bhavan, Delhi, on the Subjects.
- The philosophy of Bhagavadgita and the philosophy of Kant – a comparative view.
- “The sublime in the Mystical experience ” Dr. Rajendra Prasad the then President of India, Chaired both the sessions, responded in reverence and appreciation of Prof. Ranade’s studies of the Upanishads and of the teachings of the saints in various languages of India. He expressed gratitude to Prof. Ranade for his second visit to Rashtrapati Bhavan for elevating talks.
April 1953 – July 1954: An American Professor George B. Burch Tufts College Metford: Massachusetts U. S. A. visited Prof. Ranade at Nimble Twice. Prof. Burch wrote an article on Gurudev Ranade in Aryan Path 30-12-1959.
December 1954-1955: Mr. and Mrs. J.D.E. Marquette, Fo Bd Mausin Basie Nevily sane from FRANCE visited Nimbal. The French couple was initiated by Gurudev Ranade with a Christian name of God after earnest queries by the French lady about the purpose ofspiritual life
3-7-1956: The Amrut Mahotsava” on the completion of 70 years of Gurudev Ranade, was celebrated at Jamkhandi when a large gathering of his disciples and admirers listened to a very brief message of Gurudev Ranade. He underlined the crucial significance of Guru as one who has merged or communed with the hidden form of Divinity.
20th April 1957: Gurudev Ranade finally left Allahabad for Nimbal due to ill health.
6th June 1957: Nirvan – the final departure at 10.30 PM. at Nimbal.