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What we shall find in Modern Physics is an exemplification, an encouragement and a refinement of old India wisdom. - Julius R. Oppenheimer, father of Atomic Bomb - Julius R. Oppenheimer,

India and its wisdom unlocked this enormous big door in the back of my consciousness. - George Harrison, the Beatles

Ever since I developed my liking and fondness for Indian spiritualism, I have been attracted and deeply fascinated by many facets of the multi-dimensional Hinduism. Spirituality in it transcends many barriers of mere religion. - Julia Roberts, Hollywood Actress ` 140/-

ISBN 9788192084633 ` 140/-

9 788 192 08 463 3

Great Minds on India Salil Gewali Edited by

Dr. A.V. Murali

Susan Strebe Kensington, California, USA

Academic Publications Shillong


Published by Academic Publications Bara Bazar, Shillong-793002 MEGHALAYA, India Ph: 9774140451, 9863028358 Email:

First English Edition: 2009 Seventh Edition: 2013

Copyright reserved with Salil Gewali

Printed at:

NBC Press, New Delhi



- Wilhelm von Humboldt German philosopher,






Albert Einstein

Source: Ignited Minds : Unleashing the Power within India by APJ Abdul Kalam

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T. S. Eliot

Source: After Strange Gods - by T. S. Eliot Eliot learnt Sanskrit and studied Vedas, Upanishads, and the Bhagavad Gita

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The greatest French Enlightenment author, critic, essayist, historian, and philosopher; a forerunner of the French revolution, best known for ‘Candide’. 1694-1778

Francois M. Voltaire

Source: Riding the Indian tiger - by William Nobrega, Ashish Sinha

Source: Eclectic magazine: Foreign literature by John Holmes Agnew, Walter Hilliard Bidwell Great minds on India 4



Julius R Oppenheimer

Source: The Tao of Physics - by Fritjof Capra

Source: The Eye of Shiva: Eastern Mysticism And Science by Amaury de Riencourt

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- Fritjof Capra, The Tao of Physics



Werner Heisenberg

Source: Vedic Equality and Hinduism - by O P Gupta

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For books contact



Ralph Waldo Emerson

Source: The Commemorative Sanskrit Souvenir 2003 Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan

Source: Sacred Jewels of Yoga - by Dave DeLuca

Source: Autobiography of a Yogi - by Paramhansa Yogananda

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Ralph Emerson Hkkjr D;k gS\ 126

Erwin Schrodinger

Robert Juice Oppenheimer

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For books contact

India, beloved Mother by Ms Cristina Bejar, PHILIPPINES

Mark Twain

Will Durant

Henry D. Thoreau

Comments by various intellectuals Salil Gewali has lovingly compiled an excellent set of quotations that illustrate how highly great thinkers from all over the world valued Indian spiritual culture and how it transformed their lives. An inspirational read that reminds us of our amazing ancient heritage and why we need to incorporate it into our lives as modern Indians. - Prof Chitra Divakaruni, US based renowned writer, her famous novel, 'The Mistress of Spices' was released as a film starring Aishwarya Rai and Dylan McDermott.


This compilation is simply outstanding! I never knew that such a compilation exists and we all should be thankful to the author! These great quotes should be embossed on plaques and displayed on the walls of our Parliament, State Assembly Halls, and at all our educational institutions. Most importantly, the material should be made a compulsory reading for all the school students — elaborating more on ' who is who' and the monumental contributions of these intellectual giants. - Prof. A. V. Murali, Ph. D, Former NASA scientist, Houston, Texas (Prof. Murali was an internationally recognized former NASA scientist in the fields of geochemistry/cosmochemistry and Planetary Science. He was one of the few scientists selected to study the lunar samples collected by both Apollo, USA and Luna (former USSR) missions and explain the origin and evolution of Moon).


‘Great minds on India’ is a great book. More than an East/West philosophical encounter, this book reveals how the Upanishads and other Indian classics transformed the thinking of many western thinkers. 'Great minds on India’ brings to light the ancient wisdom of the East, and reminds us in the West that spiritual knowledge, not the pursuit of pleasure, is the true source of happiness. The Modern science even confirms the wisdom of Vedanta. - Robert Maldonado, Neuropsychologist, New York

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This book communicates the great impact of Indian wisdom on the great thinkers throughout history. It has shown the impact of the ancient thought and wisdom on prominent intellectuals and influential people whose contributions to the world are immeasurable. One of its contributions is to place these related impacts in one book so that comparative studies on the impacts and thought can be made. One thing that impressed me so much about this book is its wide span of time and thinkers across history covering a broad spectrum of subjects. The profound importance of Indian wisdom is shown throughout by the greatest of the great rational thinkers. Undoubtedly, India has served as a beacon of light throughout time, and will continue to do so. - Dr. Carolyn D. Heising, PhD, Nuclear Scientist, Iowa State University, USA ***

It seems to me that one of the distinctions that can be usefully made between the East (beginning with India) and West (epitomized in the USA) is that the West has excelled at investigating and manipulating the Exterior world, while the East has specialized in understanding and transforming the Interior world. This book is a superb eye-opener. - Dr. K Bruder, Communication scholar, psychotherapist, Michigan, USA ***

All have got to go and read this amazing compilation by Salil Gewali.

India is the land of my soul. The Vedas and Upanishads are the greatest wisdom of this universe. There is so much to discover in Indian philosophy. Thanks, the modern science has acknowledged that. - Agnes Goyvaerts, Huston, USA ***

Hi Salil Gewali, I suddenly came upon your book. I thoroughly read it from the start to finish! No one can deny the vast expanse of eternal wisdom from beautiful Mother India. I can personally attest to my own self-perceived growth in immeasurable degrees, thanks to the Spiritual and Philosophical Sages and Geniuses she has gifted us with. Thank you so much for the enlightenment.

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- Timothy Hart, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US

Congratulation for an excellent compilation. As other scholars my intense efforts in quest of real wisdom led me to Indian spiritualism. I can't describe this experience, neither to show it. Every Act is Gratitude, Meditation, and Devotion now. I can live my humble vocation in Joy at every moment... the credit goes to the Indian literature. Well, please do not forget to mention Pythagoras of Samos, who made a long journey into the Indus, and studied the Sulba Sutras and carried to Greece, studies including geometry and trigonometry — with applications to astronomy, geography, navigation etc, and the spiritualism. - Prof. Philippe Le Marchall, Brittany, France ***

I must congratulate Salil Gewali for bringing out such a wonderful booklet containing the quotes of the world renowned intellectuals on Vedas, Upanishads and the Gita which are in appreciation about the supremacy of the Indian wisdom. The youth of today should be wholly aware these great quotes so that they will have better appreciation of our Indian culture, tradition and heritage. - Dr. D. Swaminadhan, a prominent scientist, UNESCO International Consultant, Vice Chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Hyderabad ***

At the age of 59, I am still a student of India and I have not come across such a RICH compilation by anyone. I am absolutely thrilled at the quality and depth of this compilation. A ‘must read' for every scientist and an educated man. - S. Murthy Divakaruni, Energy & Utilities Senior Executive, Texas, USA ***

Thanks for the enlightening compilation of the quotes by the most renowned scholars. India´s knowledge is what we need to live in a better way, in a human way. Spiritual masters have brought us the light we need to join East with West. I hope someday this will be a reality, and we will be able to develop our spiritual nature. East, specifically India, is the light the world needs for real progress, as Great minds on India 125

a civilized humanity. Yes, we have the privilege of access to Vedic Scriptures, it´s the best contribution that India has made to all human kind, and to all living entities. - Cynthya Tejada Del Pozo, Lima, Arequipa, Peru *** It is a must-read for every Indian, particularly for him or her who is not very happy with the image of India as projected today by some unpatriotic, unscrupulous people with vested interests. It is a shame that we do not think highly of our own motherland and look to the West for whatever reasons. - Omar Luther King, columnist, Delhi ***

I greatly love the slides show presentation of ‘Great minds on India’ by Salil Gewali. Being a lover of science, philosophy, and literature, I have long believed that many of these great minds had an eastern influence to many of their ideas. It is enlightening to have such connection acknowledged and so well documented. I find it too interesting that eastern thought is so permeated with the concept that there are different aspects to what we think of as Self. While different traditions will split it up in different ways, they seem to agree that there is a self that is driven by emotion and a self that is driven by rationality. The east goes beyond these two selves to explain the Ultimate Unchanging Supreme Truth, 'Absolute Brahman.' - G. Andrew, New England, USA ***

It was very rewarding to read the book ‘Great minds on India’ It is a non-trivial compilation of the critical observations made by intellectual giants, mostly from the west, on the Hindu philosophy. The editing and the selection task is superb. This book is a good starting point for anyone interested in getting a glimpse of the immense wealth of knowledge that existed in the ancient Indian sub-continent. - Dr. Laxmi P Gewali, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, USA ***

It is a remarkable effort to compile the words of wisdom about treasure of Indian knowledge, heritage and legacy from the mouths or pens of greatest scholars of Great minds on India 126

the world around. The educational institutes should incorporate this book in academic curriculum if they really revere this sacred land. - Dr. Priyanka Roa, California, USA *** The book is a wonderful source of inspirational thoughts for we all Indians who have lost the sight of India's values and her contribution to the world and to the modern science. It is doubtlessly a mirror of the intellectual prowess of our rishis who created Vedas and Upanishads. - Prof Shubham Das, Switzerland *** An excellent depiction of who we are and what the scholars of the world thought about our religion, culture, ancient wisdom, and glorious History of the greatest land in the world. - Girish Gandhi, scholar, Florida, USA ***

This is a beautiful book, with quotes of great thinkers of the world. Many great minds agree on India as the cradle of divine philosophy. - Susanne Steinicke, Hamburg, Germany *** Very great compilation. The Government of India should honor Salil Gewali with Bharat Ratna. If India wants to be great in the world these quotes should be compulsorily taught to every school student and see in 15 years how all Macaulay's children becoming truly patriotic. Why alone that the whole world would be inspired to follow in the footsteps of Emerson, Yeats, Schlegel, Oppenheimer, Romain Vivekananda, Sri Aurobindo, Romain Rolland, David H Thoreau etc. A big revolution would take place in which the world community would be like one family as stated in VEDAS. I think all sensible people immediately should join and cooperate the compiler in the propagation and dissemination of this work. - Dr Naresh Mishra, Delhi ***

It is truly a enlightening experience to know what is Vedas, Vedanta and India from perspective of the renowned intellectual Giants of the West especially in India when pseudo intellectuals, politicians and its own people denigrate it and demean Great minds on India 127

it in name of secularism. Often facts are distorted to suit personal and political agenda. This book by Salil Gewali will certainly help in bridging the gap in knowing real India and her real culture and fathomless wisdom. In India all the facts and past achievements are deliberately hidden from the masses. I hope every Indians should know these facts and look up to the cultural and intellectual heritage of India which was the foundation of wealth, peace and prosperity of ancient Indian civilization. - Rashmi Sahu, Lt Cdr (Retd), Chandigarh ***

The collection of comments about India, by the world renowned intellectuals is a commendable attempt by Salil Gewali. The book makes us feel proud of the rich heritage inherited by us and it shall also serve the purpose of reminding Indians to take the past glory to newer heights in the coming time. - Sanjeev Trivedi, A noted business consultant, Gujarat, ***

Salil Gewali's ‘Great minds on India' is an indispensable reference guide on India's glorious legacy and its priceless heritage. World renowned intellectuals including writers, philosophers, scientists and academics have made their observations about India in the past. The author has meticulously compiled them for the benefit of all. The Orientalist have made remarkable contribution in propagating the cultural legacy of India in the past. Through their writings, the westerners came to know more about India and its heritage. This has given impetus to others in learning more about India and through them many classical books got translated into various foreign languages. The book throws light on all those people who wrote about India, its people, its languages, its literature and above all its antiquity. The author has aptly titled the book which catches the attention of all. The observations of the great personalities listed in the book are very much relevant today. In fact, their impartial observations give credence to the view that 'India is not only at the origin of everything but she is superior in everything.' The book should be a constant companion to all those who wish to know about India and its ageless

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heritage. - V.N. Gopalakrishnan, a social activist and writer, Powai, Mumbai ****

A great book indeed for inspiration for the knowledge seekers. I have very personal experiences with India as I lived six years in this sacred land. What India gave me or prepared me for was to love every place so much, like everywhere one finds oneself is a paradise. India for me is the spiritual fountainhead of the planet in the sense that all esoteric traditions have roots in India. All Branches of Buddhism originate in India. In my own experience I traveled to India for six years and met personally with over thirty fully awakened spiritual masters and this lay the ground work for my own awakening into the essential knowing of all the awakened ones — Sat-Chit- Anand, Nirvana, Moksha, paradise and pure divine presence. India is the perfect place to start or end and spiritual search or awakening and yet this type of awakening is available here and now and anywhere. - Dr. God Dieux, Canada *** Well, I would like to offer my impressions of your book. Let me recall a quote from Gandhi — 'the deeper I dive, the more treasures I find'. Reading ‘Great minds on India’ is extremely enlightening. I will have now years of pleasure studying and enlightening my spirit with the treasures found in this book. Your book has inspired me to learn more about India and her precious treasures of Vedanta, Sankhya philosophy, Bhagavad Gita and more! I appreciate all your hard labor in putting all these quotes together to open the eyes of society with what must be very precious to all! I feel the revival of right knowledge should come to the masses. Following the ancient wisdom I am on the right path and I am also proud to be a representative of the Universe now (not US, Texas), the idea I learnt from Upanishads and Buddhism. - Miss Sherrie Lake, 1404 Avenue V, Hondo, Texas

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It was truly providential that I laid my hands on this great work of Mr. Salil Gewali without any reference from anyone and it simply electrified and inspired my soul. It should be the endeavor of each patriotic Indian to see that this book reaches the maximum hands in the shortest possible time. - P Suryanarayanan, Chartered Accountant, Madurai 625014 ***

So delighting to come across your great quotes book, ‘Great minds on India'. It's again exciting to find the quotes of TS Eliot, my favourite poet, who was a Sanskrit scholar too. He wrote a huge epic poem (The Waste Land) about Dattatreya, one of the most interesting and mysterious of the divine characters in the Vedic tradition. My fascination for Indian knowledge and culture have brought me to set up a spiritual centre in the Santa Cruz mountains of California and a small temple — dedicated to sharing the ancient knowledge of India, and healing. - Ms Alx Uttermann, Bonny Doon, California, United States ***

It's marvelous book and so lovingly written indeed ! It clearly depicts the compiler's passion for the subject. I always felt similarly about our country but never imagined that I would one day get to read such a beautiful compilation of it all. And to think that it came my way from the very author himself and in such an unlikely manner, is more than I could ever imagine! I think it's only further evidence of the interconnectedness of the universal consciousness that I happen to be looking into currently. - Dr M Angie, Delhi ***

I congratulate Salil Gewali for this beautiful quotes book on Indian classical literature. True intellectual minds who are free from prejudices always appreciate Indian wisdom. Indian wisdom is secular and universal. A big proof is Salil's book with eminent scholars' comments. I really wish the depth of Hinduism's metaphysics will one day echo Great minds on India 130

across the universe, depending on the karmic forces... It is the only universal force with frequency that absorbs all of human's diversity — it is the only answer for humanity's quest for peace... Peace, peace! - Margaret Drummond, Dundee, Scotland ***

I completely got bowled over by the depth of knowledge and wisdom so meticulously complied in a short book by Salil Gewali. I think it is a good source book that one has to read again and again to fully grasp why those great minds applauded Indian literature and spiritualism. Yes indeed, Indian civilization is the oldest civilization that attracted even Greece's philosophers like Pythagoras and Apollonius Tyanaeus. - MIrza A Baig, London, United Kingdom *** ‘Great minds on India' is a rare jewel compiled by Salil Gewali. I would recommend that immediately whoever can afford to influence the authorities of schools, colleges and other institutions who have been maintaining any type of library, they should be convinced to buy and stack at least two to three copies of the book for the wider spread of this rich knowledge amongst the wider cross section of the society..! I am sure that after reading this book each and every child would feel genuinely proud of his motherland, its rich culture, its equally rich religious philosophies and knowledge! - Inder Krishen Wali, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir *** Congratulation for this great book. The knowledge and wisdom encrypted in our ancient texts and culture has not received the due attention of our own Indian scientists. It is unfortunate, but this has been due to misinterpretation of these great literature as mere religious writings. It is from this compilation we are becoming aware of our rich scientific heritage and our descendants will be benefitting too. - Sudhindra Mohan Sharma, New Delhi ***

This compilation needs to be diffused across the globe so that anyone Great minds on India 131

with a modicum of intelligence will realize the dept of Indian Philosophy and its Vedic Heritage. This link will make more of humanity understand that the Vedas is for all and it is universal knowledge for man's benefit. - Raj Sukhdeo, Canada ***

This collection of inspirational thoughts is something very precious these days. I have to thank Mr Salil Gewali for the remarkable effort in selecting the most inspirational quotes of some western intellectuals about Indian ancient culture. This booklet is a must read for Hindus and non-Hindus. It is a book in which Western science and literature meet the old Indian wisdom and heritage. It makes us understand how much the West needs the East and vice-versa. Many our French scholars, Voltaire, Laplace, Romain Rolland, Jean-Sylvain Bailly, Maurice Maeterlinck, Victor Cousin etc were greatly inspired by the knowledge of India. - Florina Beakovic, Italy ***

Well done Salil, it's a very enlightening book on INDIA. Well, India taught the West profound knowledge that God is everywhere. All that is seen and unseen, all that is tangible, yet intangible, within as well as without, manifest/unmanifest, the inhale and the exhale, the very breath itself. The God is you, the God is I and realize it through the path of Yoga. My personal experience is that the soil of India is saturated with the Spirit of the Divine so no matter where you go, no matter where step, no matter what you smell, taste, hear, feel, will connect with God and actually realize it. - Ms Angela Wiskirken, Carlsbad, California


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For books contact Academic Publications Bara Bazar, Shillong-793002 MEGHALAYA, India Ph: (+91)9774140451, 9863028358


Great minds on INDIA  

I am pleased to present you my self-compiled and published book, entitled “Great Minds on INDIA” containing the quotes of the world renowned...

Great minds on INDIA  

I am pleased to present you my self-compiled and published book, entitled “Great Minds on INDIA” containing the quotes of the world renowned...