In Honor of Salil Gewali’s Great Minds on India

A fine writer here or anywhere Salil Gewali graces the pages of DavidVance.net with his writings. Today I would like to write about him and his work myself, and congratulate him. His books have recently been formally prescribed by a prestigious institute in India, and one title by a school in Virginia, which is run by NRIs.

An NRI School is a School for Non Resident Indians. Those from India that reside in any nation other than India, but who want their children to not just be enriched by the nations in which they reside, but to maintain the enrichment of the native customs, culture, and teachings of India.

Letter to Mr. Gewali from India International School Cultural Center, Virginia, USA

22 March, 2023 

Dear Salil ji, Namaste! 

I am happy to hear that your book “Great Minds on India” has proven to be great source of inspiration for all, and an effective tool for children to learn about India’s cultural and spiritual heritage. This book has also been translated into many languages including Hindi. 

Our School “India International School Cultural Spiritual Center” in Virginia USA is delighted to prescribe the Hindi version “Bharat Kya Hai?” for our Hindi students and the English version “Great Minds on India” to all students and Non-Resident – Indians NRIs. 

I strongly recommend that this book in any language be made available as widely as possible. 

Kind regards, Tanjay Kre Dhananjaya Kumar Trustee 

., enhancing the understanding of Indian culture, through quality instructions in the arts, languages, Yoga and the History and philosophies of India” since 1984A non-profit organization registered with The Commonwealth of Virginia, USA 

Mr. Gewali deserves the recognitions he has received, he has earned them. As The Shillong Times put it in their recognition of his book Know Your India.

SHILLONG, March 22: Shillong-based author Salil Gewali’s book Know Your India has been approved for academic purpose for students of higher classes of Agrasain Balika Siksha Sadan of Howrah, West Bengal. It may be mentioned that Know Your India shows how the rich literary heritage of India influenced the works of world-renowned scholars such as F. Voltaire, Schopenhauer, Goethe, Schrodinger, Mark Twain, and Carl Sagan, etc.
The book is prefaced by an acclaimed scholar — Pakistan-born Khalid Umar from London and another Yoga enthusiast Linda Epton from Perth, Australia.
Gewali is best known for his research-based book Great Minds on India, which has been translated into thirteen languages. Chief Minister Conrad Sangma had formally launched the German edition of the book last year.

As his book GREAT MINDS ON INDIA has received similar praise.

Gewali’s ‘GREAT MINDS ON INDIA’ will be instrumental in raising the PRIDE and DIGNITY of the nation from a global perspective. It immensely contributes to create the right awareness about the “higher truths” about the literary wisdom and scientific knowledge of ancient India which never failed to mesmerize the top intellectuals of the WEST such as — Voltaire, Fredrich Hegel, Arthur Schopenhauer, Ralph Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Albert Einstein, Julius Robert Oppenheimer (father of atomic bomb), Werner Heisenberg, Niels Bohr, Erwin Schrodinger, TS Eliot, Mark Twain, to name a few.

It is not less intriguing that there is a statue of Nataraja at CERN in Geneva, the depiction of Lord Shiva who performs his cosmic dance destroying the universe so that it may be reborn as a new creation by Lord Brahma. A simple and symbolic explanation of the Big Bang that science believes started our current universe. A modern theory yet depicted 1000s of years ago in Indian Philosophy. The statue was donated to CERN by the Indian Government, and was welcomed with joy by the scientists that do their work there.

A God or Spiritual being at such a holy place of science? A place where math and physics are the deities? Science exists for one reason. It exists as a tool for man to learn how and why things work. It exists for man to unravel how everything is entwined, interconnected, effects and influences each atom of existence. The ancient texts of India speak to all of this, just look at the list of intellectuals above who they have inspired to achieve such great works. Without the number system of India, the world of science would not have made any progress. Voltaire, Pierre-Simon Laplace and Albert Einstein are all praise for India’s mathematical contributions.  

Mr. Gewali’s goal is to enlighten the citizens of India to their intellectual heritage. I applaud his work, his dream and his mission. The people of India deserve to understand their incredible heritage and how it has influenced so much of the modern world as mentioned in Gewali’s book by a theoretical physicist John Archibald Wheeler, a man credited for popularizing the term “black hole,”. I would like to add to it if I may, I believe Mr. Gewali has hit on a crucial piece that otherwise would have been ignored by general populace.  Mr. Gewali’s book Great Minds of India doubtlessly is a brilliant beacon of knowledge of the East. It is not just for Indians but all seekers striving for an understanding of themselves, the world view, and the interconnections of everything in the universe — the deeper knowledge that East first taught to the West as underlined by the Nobel laureates Erwin Schrödinger and Niels Bohr. Bohr was so much impressed by the ancient texts that once he disclosed – ‘I go into Upanishads to ask question’. 

Will Durant, American historian and philosopher

“India was the motherland of our race
and Sanskrit the mother of Europe’s languages.
India was the mother of our philosophy,
of much of our mathematics, of the ideals embodied in
Christianity… of self-government and democracy.
In many ways, Mother India is the mother of us all.”

Mark Twain, American writer

“India is, the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grandmother of tradition. our most valuable and most instructive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only.” …

Werner Heisenberg, modern physicist

“ After the conversations about Indian philosophy, some of the ideas of Quantum Physics that had seemed so crazy suddenly made much more sense. ”

August Schlegel, German poet

Even the loftiest philosophy of the Europeans appears like a feeble spark before Vedanta.

John Archibald Wheeler, modern physicist 

“I like to think that someone will trace how the deepest thinking of India made its way to Greece and from there to the philosophy of our times.”

J. Robert Oppenheimer, modern physicist, father of atomic bomb 

“We knew the world would not be the same,”  “A few people laughed, a few people cried. Most people were silent. I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad Gita; Vishnu is trying to persuade the Prince that he should do his duty and, to impress him, takes on his multi-armed form and says, ‘Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.’”

I remember another quote from Oppenheimer “What we shall find in Modern Physics is an exemplification, an encouragement and a refinement of old Hindu wisdom.”

Mankind has a very short memory. Our institutions of learning ignore the bulk of our history, short-term and long-term history. Mr. Gewali’s writings are not only a reminder of that, but a very good first step in correcting it, by showing the importance of the information we already have that is not passed on to our children. Information that can enrich and inspire all of our lives.

A Few of The Inspired

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