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A Monograph Series Devoted To The Understanding Of Medicine, Mental Health, Man, Mind, Music And Their Matrix
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Year : 2005  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 56-57
Obituary-Dr. S. G. Mudgal (11 Nov 1923-15 Aug 2005)

The Editors, Mens Sana Monographs, Mumbai, India

Correspondence Address:
Ajai R Singh
14, Shiva Kripa, Trimurty Road, Nahur, Mulund (West), Mumbai 400080, Maharashtra
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In the loss of Prof (Dr.) S.G. Mudgal, the world of philosophy has lost an eminent torch -bearer of the classical Indian tradition. His benign presence, stately bearing, and benevolent guidance to all his students and peers in the field was something to be experienced. Words are inadequate to describe such an experience. His anguish towards the neglect of the Indian tradition, and dismay at finding bright minds trying to stilt and distort the Indian philosophical corpus by viewing it through western methodology and approach was palpable. He was one of the finest of the committed proponents of that which was the best in ancient Indian thought. And he had no regrets proclaiming it. His knowledge of the classical western tradition was adequate for him to find the greatness therein, and find many comparative features, which fortified his abiding interest in the Indian one.

Lately he appeared in a hurry, probably realizing the end was near. In 2003 he published his 310 page book The Bhagavad Gita (Himalaya Publishing), a seminal work on the great treatise. This book is his understanding of the Bhagavad Gita, which, according to him, is theistic and realistic:

The world, according to the BG is real and not illusory, nor an illusion. The jivas are real. Bondage and attainment of Moksa are also real. Jnana and Bhakti are inclusive; ultimately it is Bhakti which leads to Mukti. Grace of Guru and God are emphasized. Bhakti continues even in the state of Moksa.

The Gita does not advocate the doctrine of Karma Sanyasa; but advocates the performance of Karma as worship, as dedication and an offering to God. Work thus done with a sense of dedication or worship, is liberating and not binding. (Back cover of the book)

Dr Mudgal had been a well known academician, erudite scholar, and an able and efficient administrator. He had been Principal of the well known Ruparel College, Mumbai, and Nowrojee Wadia College, Pune. He made a mark as Professor of Indian Philosophy and Comparative Religion. He studied all the schools of Indian Philosophy, especially the three schools of Vedanta, namely, Advaita, Visistadvaita and Dvaita . He had a great grasp over Mahayana Buddhism too.

A life immersed in Philosophy, welfare of students and society at large, and dedicated to prayer and ethical conduct. Every student who visited him came away blessed and transformed, with a desire to do good and work for society in his own way. Never ever even a trace of conceit or greed, never a blemish in an exemplary life lived according to principles of the highest moral order. It was difficult for this goodness not to rub off on all those whose life he touched.

We had numerous discussions with him for hours on end over various aspects of Philosophy. And it was a treat to listen to him expound tirelessly over a certain topic for hours, without once stopping to search for words, or even to drink a glass of water. And every time we came away feeling blessed to have met him and to work with greater dedication and commitment, irrespective of the decay of values all around.

He was one of the foremost subscribers of the Mens Sana Monographs, and was always very solicitous of its welfare.

We shall miss his kindly enquiries and his encouraging words. Just to think of him fills the mind with a great zest to persist on the right path regardless of consequences and oblivious of distractions.

He departed from us on Indian Independence Day 2005. Here are a few lines I (AS) wrote on him the very next day:

Independence day 2005

Independence day

was special

this time

for another reason.

An individual soul

having shed its kindly light

over earthlings

also shed its chains

broke free

and soared

to prostrate


the feet of



On behalf of the entire Mensanamonographs family , we offer our deepest condolences to the bereaved family.

May his soul rest in peace.


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