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It was some 15 years ago, during 1960 a-61, when in connection with my research work, I consulted a number of excellent felicitation and commemoration volumes -- including Svarupa Bharati (a garland of 108 Essays on Indology, edited by my father-in-law, Professor Jagan Nath Aggarwal) -- that I conceived the idea of preparing one for my revered teacher, Professor S. P. Kanal. I kept on toying with the idea for long and could not do anything concrete till one cold evening (it was literally so!), February 1974, when I called a few friends of mine of the Delhi Ethical Circle (each M. A. in Philosophy and a student of Professor Kanal) in a coffeehouse, and we formed ourselves into a Samiti (Professor S. P. Kanal Abhinandan Samiti, which we got even registered later on).

Joyous with this initial success, I approached a well-meaning friend and a senior colleague with a request to associate himself actively with the project. He pleaded his diffidence with the words, "I wonder how many will write papers for a volume in his honor, when earlier attempts to bring out felicitation volumes in honor of some better-known persons in our field have not met success for want of good papers. I promise you my own, but for the rest I can only wish you will!" So after he gave me his paper.

'The incorrigible optimist' that I am, I attended more to his generous action than to his words of caution and hopefully went about inviting scholars to write for the volume. I have been amply rewarded for the same. Luckily for me, there has been a very warm and encouraging response. Papers have been contributed by many reputed scholars. I did not have to send a single second reminder to anybody.

Believing in 'the breadth of vision' as the spirit of philosophy, while inviting papers, I took care that the volume should not project or promote a single point of view but be a comprehensive conspectus that reflects all shades of opinion and, as such, mirrors the contemporary philosophic scene in its true colors. I wanted to and, happily, can compare it with an Art-Gallery wherein are exhibited works of all styles from the traditional to the modern, from the conformist to the nonconformist, from the graphic to the abstract and so on. For, if we, e.g., begin with the 'Devatma's Interpretation of Soul', wherein it is maintained that the soul, like other natural existents, has evolved, is not only born and grows but can also decay and disintegrate, then we also have a view that maintains that the soul is eternal, unborn, immortal and indestructible, say, in the 'Concept of Purusa in the Bhagavad-Gita'. If we have a number of papers on the philosophies of Swami Vivekananda, Sri Aurobindo and Mahatma Gandhi, then we also have a few on that of Marx. If someone is bothered by 'Some Philosophic Problems Concerning the Theistic Conception of Prayer' then someone else talks of 'Bhakti and Sufism in India' and still another invites one and all to 'Come Early to Praise and Serve the Lord.'

We not only have articles on Religion and morality but also on the 'Philosophy of Microphysics'; 'Some Recent Developments in the Philosophy of Mathematics'; 'Human Factors-Engineering'; 'Visual Space Perception'; 'Philosophical Implications of Ecology'; ' The Concept of Virtual in Literature'; 'Education and Culture for the Future', and the like. The volume, in fact, covers all the aspects of Philosophies such as Logic, Ethics, Aesthetics, Epistemology, Ontology, Philosophy of Science, Psychology and Religion.

I am quite sure that anybody who cares to turn the pages of Quest for Truth shall find something of interest to him or her.

Naturally, I am happy and proud of the fact that this labor of love -- a part-repayment of the Rsi Rna has been brought to a successful culmination. Apparently, it is a one-man show, but I must and do realize that even a one-man show is not possible without countless numbers of persons toiling behind the scenes. I am fully aware that my own role has been nothing been more than that of the zero, the value of which is only because of the numbers going along with it. It is to that effect, that I thankfully acknowledge the debt of gratitude that I owe to the scholars who have contributed papers; to my numerous friends and colleagues in the Delhi Ethical Circle, to all the members of Professor S. P. Kanal Abhinandan Samiti and others who have helped the project financially or in any other way. I do not want to diminish my gratitude by naming them.

My sincere is to an heart-felt thanks are due to Honorable Sri B. D. Jatti, the Vice President of India and Chancellor, University of Delhi, who has so graciously appreciated the work and condescended to release the Quest For Truth.

Delhi October 30, 1976.



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