It is a great privilege for us to have been entrusted with the publication of this book by the eminent savant, Mahamahopadhyaya Dr. Gopinath Kaviraj, the first Honorary Fellow of our young University. It contains nearly all the writings in English which my revered teacher had contributed to different journals and, anthologies at different periods of his ~glorious academic life, covering more than half a century. In his very life- time Mahamahopadhyaya Dr. Kaviraj has passed into a legendary figure for his amazing scholarship, wide edition and deep intuitive insight. In the vast sweep of his gigantic intellect he comprises the entire field of Indian philosophy with its innumerable branches as is reflected in the articles compiled in this book.
The evolution of Indian thought owes its origin to the genius or 'pratibha' of the Rises or Seers who actually saw or realized the Truth or Reality. We have put at the very beginning an illuminating article by MM. Kaviraj in which the nature of that 'pratibha' which gives birth to creative thought has been discussed at length from the view-points of all the different schools of thought. We feel that it is the ground as it were from which springs all the systems of Indian thought, as both the orthodox and heterodox schools equally hold' their tenets as revealed by intuition.
In the subsequent articles MM. Kavirs throws a flood of light on many obscure topics and little known schools of thought. From very slender materials he has tried to reconstruct by the genius that is his own what the different types of Theism happened to be like in ancient India. The Nyaya-Vaisesika system of philosophy gets a new treatment in his hands and we get a clear conception of the problem of causality as dealt with in this system in sharp contrast to the views of Samkhya- Yoga, which has also been elaborated at length in a separate article.
To MM. Kaviraj philosophy has not been a mere intellectual pursuit but a way of self-realization. So in the treatment of Yoga and Tantra he has been acclaimed as the highest authority. Tantric philosophy has been his forte in the late years of his life and we are happy to have been able to include some articles on this most pro- found but highly neglected branch of Indian philosophy. We sincerely hope that the publication of this book will give some incentive to younger scholars to probe this field and cover fresh grounds in Tantric philosophy.
We are thankful to the Ministry of Education; Govt. of India for their kind permission to reproduce the article entitled "Sakta Philosophy" which was contributed by MM. Kaviraj to the "History of Philosophy-Eastern and Western)' published by them. My thanks are due to my two young research scholars, Sri 'Viswanath Mukhopadhyaya and Sri Gopinath Nandi and especially to Srimati Bhakti Bandyopadhyaya for helping me in various ways to get the matter ready for the press. I must also thank Sri Sures C. Das, M.A. of the General Printers & Publishers Pvt. Ltd. for his ungrudging help in getting the matter through the press neatly. Lastly, I must express my heartfelt gratitude to our Vice-Chancellor, Dr. D. M. Sen for his enthusiastic encouragement and patronage for the publication of this book.
The following pages embody a few selected papers of mine on some aspects of ancient Indian. thought. Of these papers, one (pages 1-44) was originally published in 19~3":M in the Annals of Bhandarkar Research Institute, 'Poona, another (pages 175-15) formed a part of the work entitled 'Philosophy-Eastern and Western' sponsored by the Government of India Education Ministry-and published under its auspices in the year 1950, and the rest came out from time to time between 19~0 and 1988 in the pages of the Sarasvati Bhavan's Studies edited mostly by myself on behalf of the U. P. GoverIllllent as a Research Journal of the Government Sanskrit College, Benares. It will appear from a look at the contents that the papers published within and 1988 deal with ancient Indian thought in its varied aspects covering a wide field including its different schools, philosophical, religious or cultural and spiritual.
After the papers had been written and published I took no further notice of them, for I had no idea in my mind at that time that they would' ever appear in the form of a book. The entire credit of bringing out these papers lie with my r devoted young friend Dr. Govinda Gopal Mukhopadhyaya, who has done everything in this connection-collecting the papers, preparing transcripts of the selected' pieces for the press, arranging them in order, going through the arduous task of reading the proofs and editing the whole work. What can I render him in return for all these labors of love? Really I have nothing for him but a sense of mute gratefulness mixed with an outpouring of the heart in the shape of sincere blessings. May God grant him a long life of health and happiness?
I am also grateful to the authorities of the University of Burdwan for undertaking this publication.