A research and publishing mission, Integral Books is dedicated to present the rationale of India’s spiritual heritage with an updated perspective, contributing to evolve a harmonizing worldview for a superior human civilization.
Humanity is today facing the most challenging period in history, with the possibility even of self-annihilation looming like the Damocles’ sword. Globally the attention of sensible minds is focussed on seeking a philosophy that satisfies the demands of the intellect and provides a meaningful orientation to the evolutionary destiny of human life.
The material-based Science and the wealth-based social theories are taking humanity to a blind end. This calls for a life-transforming reassessment of India’s ancient spiritual treasures with a modern perspective. The very future of humankind depends on imbibing a scientific vision about the higher possibilities of life, as revealed by the Rishis of yore.
Sir Arnold Toynbee, the eminent historian, emphasizes its relevance in the modern world: “Today, we are still living in a traditional chapter of the world’s history, but it is already becoming clear that, a chapter which had a Western beginning will have to have an Indian ending if it is not to end in the self-destruction of the human race.”
For example, the Bhagavad-Gita, aeons ago, showed the line of evolution to the liberating dimensions of consciousness. The theme of the epic Mahabharata, in which this unique philosophy of human freedom is expounded, is based on a conflict among the kit and kin over land and wealth - the same conflict that grips the nations today with the possibility of inviting a nuclear holocaust, overlooking the potential to evolve to a superior civilization.
Dramatically, the Gita is placed at the verge of a bifurcation point, one path leading to destruction in war and the other, to evolution to the higher dimensions of existence. India’s spiritual vision is a super-biological science based on this evolutionary theme. The insight is ever modern, offering scope for reassessment for an updated understanding of human possibilities, harmoniously guided by a reassuring philosophy.
The Modern Dilemma
The crux of the impasse world is facing is pinpointed by Bertrand Russell thus: “Unless there is increase in wisdom as much as in knowledge, increase of knowledge will be an increase of sorrow.” Although largely materialistic in his worldview, Russell says in his book, ‘Impact of Science on Society’: “Whatever else may be mechanical, values are not, and this is something which no political philosopher must forget.”
Today’s Science needs to acquire a ‘heart’ by shedding its mechanical stance by heeding to the perennial d advice in the in the Shvetaashvatara Upanishad, “Humanity through technical skill may even roll up the sky like a piece of cloth; still there will be no end of sorrow without realizing the luminous Source within.”
This research mission contributes for a positive transformation in attitudes by highlighting the rationale of the ancient spiritual insights in the light of the modern scientific perspective to help the emergence of a new science of human possibilities, as anticipated by the thoughtful modern biologists like Sir Julian Huxley and others.
Sir Arnold Toynbee’s observation about the role of India’s ancient seekers of Truth for realizing this paradigm shift is emphasized by Professor Alexander Spirkin, an eminent scholar of dialectical materialism, who was the head of a section of the erstwhile USSR Academy of Sciences. About their discoveries he writes in his book, Dialectical Materialism (Progress Publishers Moscow -1983):
“The sages of ancient India discovered astonishingly subtle and profound psycho-biophysical connections between the human organism and cosmic and subterranean processes. They knew much that even today is beyond the ken of European scientific thought, or that it ignores, often trying to conceal its helplessness by asserting that oriental wisdom is mere mysticism and thus showing its inability to distinguish the rational but not yet fully understandable essence from various figments of imagination....” He concludes his two-page study thus: “Does this not go to show an astonishingly high level of culture that should arouse our admiration, gratitude and desire to study!”
The reassessment of the ancient wisdom can reform and enrich the modern scientific mind. As the renowned neuro-scientist V.S. Ramachandran points out that at the very inception of the human brain it seems to be structurally equipped for fundamental existential discoveries, a possibility which cannot be explained in the light of natural selection alone.
The Need for In-depth Research
Possibly that is why Sir John C. Eccles, the Nobel laureate for Medicine and Physiology reminds the modern scientists: : “If the value of research is to be measured in relation to the intrinsic value to man, the brain research must rank as incomparably more important than space research, which commands a very much greater financial support.”
Evidently, the scientist means by ‘brain research’ an in-depth study of the strategically structured nature of the human brain to realize the higher faculties of consciousness for evolution to greater stages of existence and a superior human civilization.
Integral Books’ mission is to function as a major research forum coordinating the like-minded efforts to integrate spirituality and Science to complement each other. The emergence of a Science of Culture will enable modern science to shed its mechanistic stance and neutralize religious extremism. It will help Science eschew its destructive character and be a pathfinder for evolutionary progress by getting access to the higher dimensions of consciousness to gain answers to the problems of existence humanity is seeking.
Promoting Scientific Awareness of Dharma
The basis of all the truth-seeking systems evolved in India is the highest concept of a value-programming in Nature - Dharma - as the very foundation of the cosmos, which is in expression in living beings according to their evolutionary stages. In the human context, having gained the freedom of choice, human being has the potential to evolve to a superior status by imbibing the in-built value system or degenerate by neglecting it.
The decline of the dharma concept in the mechanistic impact of materialism and the religious fundamentalism is the cause of the severest existential crisis humanity is facing today. As pointed out by the insightful historian, updated presentation of the rationale of India’s spiritual vision will inspire Science to shed its mechanistic stance and equip it with a ‘heart’ to utilize its liberating influence to help evolve a superior humanity. The effort of this mission is to contribute to the vital need of the emergence of a new Science of human possibilities that will help realize the perennial Vedic vision, Vasudhaiva kudumbakam – the world is One Family.
Team Behind Integral Books
K.B Nair (Srikant)
Founder (Managing Director)
Sri Srikant (K. Balachandran Nayar), the founder of Integral Books was one who dedicated his whole life for studies and propagation of India's spiritual wisdom. He passed away on 28th July, 2022. With a background in science and a strong spiritual awareness, his meditative and research explorations were intended to promote universal awareness of India's spirituality essentially as a value- based science of human evolution. His publications were an investigation into the philosophical perspective emerging from the fields of modern science which comes closer to the ancient spiritual insights of India.
He was born in Varkala in Kerala. His father as well as his two brothers were Allopathy doctors. Though he took his degree in BSc. (Biology) from Calcutta University, he was not interested in medical profession. After his graduation he took a diploma in Journalism and later got a job in the Directorate of Advertising &Visual Publicity(DAVP), Govt. of India. He worked as an editor in the Printed Publicity wing of the DAVP in New Delhi.
Some events like the unexpected death of an intimate friend and other uncanny experiences of his youth led him to choose a life of experiential yogic inquiry which he continued in comparative solitude till his last breath. Certain unexpected turn of events in his life led him to take voluntary retirement from his job. After leaving his job he got totally involved in spiritual quest and creative writing by launching the magazine Accent. Its first volume was published from New Delhi in March, 1969.
During the period between his retirement from service and the launching of Accent, for some period of time he travelled extensively all over India.The origin of Integral Books can be traced to the publication of Accent.Many of the peculiarities of his writing which later became the hallmark of the publications of Integral Books can be traced back to the articles written by him and others in Accent.The full title of the magazine was, "Accent: Magazine of Indian Life Thought and Culture".
Another train of events later resulted in the cessation of the publication of Accent altogeher. The second phase of his wanderings begins here. This time his wanderings were directed by the mercy of nature or rather Divine Providence. He wandered like a "parivrajaka" as a prelude to Sanyas. The wanderings eventually led him to Anandashram, Kanhangad in North Kerala. Anandashram provided him food and shelter and a conducive atmosphere for his spiritual pursuits.The loving attention and the kind words of Mataji Krishnabai of Anandashram pacified his inner turbulence and provided answers to many of the questions which haunted him for years.
His meditative quests continued for about two years in the serene and spiritually vibrant atmosphere of Anandashram. From there he went to Vivekananda Kendra, Madras and offered his services to the Organization in the editing of its publications. During his stay there when free from work, he spent his time on studies from the Theosophical Society Library, Adayar. Subsequently Integral Books was set up in Madras in 1979-80 with the publication of the first book "Sri Mookambika: the Radiant Grace,"a book on the powerful shrine of the Divine Mother in Kollur, Karnataka.From Madras he later reached Payyanur in the early years of the 1980s and from there to Kanhangad, the present location of Integral Books in 2003.
It was during the 18 years of his stay in Payyannur that some of the important publications of Integral Books came out. Titles like Surya, the Sun God, Sri Ganesha, Akapporul (Malayalam) Power in Temples, the first slender volume of the "Biological Introduction to Bhagavat Gita" etc.came out initially from Payyannur. Sitting in a congested room which was an office, library, kitchen and bed room all rolled in one, he served the visitors from all walks of life who came there for various purposes like satsang(spiritual discussions), for clearing doubts, to get his help in filling forms and writing applications and letters in English and also in order to get notices, pamphlets and brochures prepared in English. Often he stopped his own work for obliging those who sought his help.His life was, in a way, a saga of service.
Though the publications of Integral Books attained wide readership in India and abroad and got glowing reviews from readers, organizations and newspapers; he continued serving the public through his enlightening articles and books in the same unassuming way when he began his writing career.
He was so humble and self- effacing in his nature that he shunned all forms of recognition and fame and always made it a point to keep away from public glare. Never for once did he appear in public platforms. He distanced himself from all family relationships. In the two decades of his stay near Anandashram in Kanhangad he stepped out of the precincts of his office-cum-residence at the most twice a year. Integral Books was, in fact, his hermitage.
He considered it his life mission to interpret the spiritual vision of India in the light of the latest developments in science; and prove that science and spirituality are complementary and not contradictory.As he was a votary of the perennial wisdom of India and a visionary far ahead of his times, we are sure that his words that enshrine the wisdom of India will continue to live transforming the lives of the readers.
The Director Board
|Dr. Denny Thomas Chempazha|
|Adv. T M Raman Kartha|
|Dr. Manoj C V
Technical & Administrative Support