in Mens Sana Monographs, Vol III, No 4-5, November 2005- February 2006, p56-57.
Dr. S. G. Mudgal
(11 Nov 1923-15 Aug 2005).
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)
The same year he published Seven
Upanishads With Sri Madhwabhasya (Ubhaya Vedanta Research Centre, Pgs 320), another
important work in Indian Philosophy. Even this year, as late as April 2005, he published Brahmasutras ( Archish Pub., Pgs 32 4), one more important work in the field.
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.