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The Meaning of India

The Meaning of India

Essays

Raja Rao
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First published in 1996 when he was eighty-eight years old, this selection of nearly six decades of Raja Rao’s non-fiction is an audacious contemplation on the deeper significance of India. A combination of fables, journeys, discussions and meditations, The Meaning of India advances the view that India is not just a geographical entity, or even a civilization-state. India is, above all, a metaphysic, a way of being and regarding the self and the world.
Drawing on a wide range of sources-including the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, the Gita, the Buddha, Sankara, Bhartrihari, Kalidasa, Dostoevsky, Valéry, Rilke, Mann and Mallarmé-as also meetings with Gandhi, Nehru, Forster and Malraux, Rao teases out the implications of Advaita or non-dualism, which he regards as India’s unique contribution to the world.

Imprint: India Penguin Modern Classics

Published: Aug/2020

ISBN: 9780143448600

Length : 256 Pages

MRP : ₹399.00

The Meaning of India

Essays

Raja Rao

First published in 1996 when he was eighty-eight years old, this selection of nearly six decades of Raja Rao’s non-fiction is an audacious contemplation on the deeper significance of India. A combination of fables, journeys, discussions and meditations, The Meaning of India advances the view that India is not just a geographical entity, or even a civilization-state. India is, above all, a metaphysic, a way of being and regarding the self and the world.
Drawing on a wide range of sources-including the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, the Gita, the Buddha, Sankara, Bhartrihari, Kalidasa, Dostoevsky, Valéry, Rilke, Mann and Mallarmé-as also meetings with Gandhi, Nehru, Forster and Malraux, Rao teases out the implications of Advaita or non-dualism, which he regards as India’s unique contribution to the world.

Select Preferred Format

Raja Rao

Raja Rao (1909-2006), a path-breaker of Indian writing in English, was born in Hassan, Mysore. After he graduated from Madras University, he went on to the University of Montpellier in France on a scholarship. He moved to the United States in 1966, where he taught at the University of Texas at Austin until 1983, when he retired as emeritus professor.
A powerful and profound writer, and a superb stylist, Rao successfully and imaginatively appropriated English for the Indian narrative. He was honoured with India's second-highest civilian award, the Padma Vibhushan, in 2007, the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1964, and the Neustadt International Prize for Literature in 1988.

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Raja Rao’s Gandhi – A life in words

In many ways, Raja Rao changed the way Mahatma Gandhi is read and written about. Get a glimpse into the processes of his writing through Makarand R. Paranjape’s introduction to Mahatma Gandhi: The Great Indian Way:    In the symposium on Raja Rao on 24 March 1997, I had spoken on his forthcoming book The […]