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The Meaning of India
Raja Rao The Meaning of India : Raja Rao : Vision Books : Book (ISBN: 8170945542)
Pages: 204
Price: Rs. 235
Format: Paperback
ISBN13/10: / 8170945542
Availability: Yes
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"India is not a country," writes Raja Rao, "it is a perspective." And this book explores the perspective which he calls India — its metaphysic, the philosophical underpinning that sets India apart, uniquely distinguishes its civilisation.

Through fable and real-life encounters, descriptions of journeys and events, or in discussions with contemporaries, Raja Rao’s quest is unceasing and single-focused: how this perspective alone can give meaning to man’s daily action. He draws on a wide range of sources, including the Vedas, Upanishads, teachings of Sankara, the writings of Bhartrihari, and the poetry of Valéry and Mallarmé. There are essays that describe his meetings with Gandhi and Nehru, so too with Forster and Malraux, westerners who drew close to India.

This book grew over several decades during which Raja Rao created his unique body of fiction. His readers are familiar with the philosophical quest which runs through his novels and stories. The Meaning of India paints and details the essential metaphysical backdrop of his acclaimed writing. Written in rhythmic, sparkling style which Raja Rao has made his own since Kanthapura, both simple and eclectic, expansive and precise, this book holds that India’s civilisation and meaning can only be known by understanding the truth about one’s own existence — and that of the world.

The meaning, as Raja Rao puts it, "is not a question of success or defeat, but abolition of contradiction, of duality."


“A wonderfully engaging and stimulating book ... most important ... a portent for our age.”  —Indian Review of Books

Raja Rao

Raja Rao has long been recognised as "a major novelist of our age." His five earlier novels — Kanthapura (1932), The Serpent and the Rope (1960), The Cat and Shakespeare (1965), Comrade Kirillov (1976) and The Chessmaster and His Moves (1988) — and three collections of short stories — The Cow of the Barricades and Other Stories (1947), The Policeman and the Rose (1978) and On the Ganga Ghat (1989) — won wide and exceptional international acclaim.

Raja Rao was awarded the 1988 Neustadt International Prize for Literature which is given every two years to outstanding world writers. Earlier, The Serpent and the Rope won the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award, India's highest literary honour. More recently, Raja Rao was elected a Fellow of the Sahitya Akademi.

Born in Mysore in 1909, Raja Rao went to Europe at the age of nineteen, researching in literature at the University of Montpellier and at the Sorbonne. He wrote and published his first stories in French and English. After living in France for a number of years, Raja Rao moved to the US where he taught at the University of Austin, Texas.

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