Gurudev Ranade's Philosophy - The Constructive Aspects

Gurudev Ranade reduces all Pramanas to one, namely, Pratyaksa and by it he means Atindriya (super-sensuous) Pratyaksa, intuitive experience or Anubhava of Ultimate Reality. Pramana in Indian Philosophy means 'a source of valid knowledge'. Pratyaksa is an immediate apprehension of reality. This intuitive experience is super-sensuous; it is not caused by external object but originates from inside, i.e., it is centrally initiated. It also shows continuity and growth.

Correspondence, happiness or coherence are suggested by various schools to determine the validity of knowledge. All these elements are present in mystical experience. There is necessity, universality and objectivity. There are also elements of correspondence, happiness and coherence. It is possible for the knower to know himself. Self-consciousness alone is real.It is not human self-consciousness but divine self-consciousness that constitutes the ultimate category of existence.

Presence power and lustre constitute the essence of God's being. He houses in Himself contradictory attributes. God is beyond form, i.e., transpersonal and is the protecting centre of the universe. There is an element of divinity in all cases of infinitude as seen in philosophers both Western and Indian. The finite itself leads to the infinite according to Carlyle, Plato, James, Descartes, Kant or Caird. The soul does not have any spatial characteristic; we need recognize only four psychological states and not admit a state beyond Turya.

The Triputilaya in Vedanta where instead of Jnata-jneya-jnana, only Jnana remains, as a counterpart in mysticism, where instead of Saint-God-Rasa, only Rasa remains. Realisation itself is liberation. Gurudev Ranade gives a five-runged ladder of spiritual experience. A Jivanmukta's spirit merges with the absolute spirit when he passes away. The doctrines of Sarvamukti and Ekamukti are reconciled by Prof. Ranade in the conception of Pariwara-mukti, i.e., the spiritual teacher liberates not only himself but also his associates.

Reason as Hegel taught, works in the fashion of thesis, antithesis and synthesis. Five important problems of metaphysics are discussed by Prof. Ranade in terms of such antinomies which he finds in the Bhagavad-Gita. The solutions of the antinomies are given in two different ways. Sometimes both the thesis and the anti-thesis are affirmed in the synthesis; sometimes both are denied.

The antinomies and their solutions are as follows:

i) The first antinomy poses the question as to whether God is personal or impersonal. The solutionis that he is super-personal.

ii) The second antinomy puts forth the question whether God is 'Actor'(Karta) or 'Spectator'(Akarta). The reconciles is found in the doctrine of emanation.

iii) The third antinomy points out the contradiction between the immanence and transcendence of God. The solution is that God is All-Pervasive(Transceudo-Immanence).

iv) In the solution of the fourth antinomy regarding the reality or unreality of the world, it is maintained that the world is ephemeral.

v) The fifth antinomy between whether there is Krama-mukti or Ante-mukti(Videha-mukti) is reconciled in Jivan-mukti.