During an arithmetic session, a primary school teacher asked a question, "If 5 goats took 28 days to finish eating the grass in a meadow, then how many goats would finish it in 20 days?" Even before he could complete, he received the answer '7 goats' from one of the students. Surprised, the teacher looked at the young boy and asked if he solved it mentally or with the help of a notebook. The student directed his index finger towards his head, and the teacher smiled. The student was Bal Gangadhar Tilak, the one who is known for saying 'Swaraj is my birthright and I shall have it' and the one who is the pioneer of the Indian freedom struggle.
Bal Gangadhar Tilak was a freedom activist and an Indian social reformer. One of the strongest advocates of Swaraj (Self Rule) and the prime architects of modern India. Termed as the 'Father of Indian Unrest' by the British Government, he was bequeathed upon with the title 'Lokmanya' -- he who is revered by the people, by his followers.
A profound scholar and a brilliant politician, Tilak believed that independence is the foremost right and necessity for a nation's well being. Born on July 23, 1856, after 161 years of his birth, we would like to enlighten you with some of his quotes and teachings which he brought by way of his books.
Tilak did not live long to see the consequences of his policies. D.Keer, Tilak's biographer, honoured him by saying that he was the creator of the Indian National Congress. However, a mathematician turned historian, philosopher, astronomer journalist and political leader of India left the world with some great teachings which are still remembered.
So, let's have an overview of the books written by him.
This book by Bal Gangadhar Tilak is a History book based on the origin of Aryanic People. The book propounded the theory about the North Pole that it was the original home of the Aryans. They had to leave the area due to the ice deluge around 8000 B.C. and migrate to the Northern parts of Asia and Europe in search of lands for settlements.
With context to his theory, Tilak presented certain Avestan passages, Vedic hymns, Vedic calendars, Vedic chronology having the interpretations of the contents in detail.
The book which was written at the end of 1898 but was published in the month of March 1903.
Popularly known as Karmayog Shashtra or Gita Rahasya, Srimad Bhagavad Gita Rahasya was authored by Bal Gangadhar Tilak in the Marathi language. The independence activist and social reformer wrote the book in the year 1915 during his imprisonment at Mandalay, Burma (now Myanmar). The analysis of Karma yoga is sourced from the Bhagavad Gita -- the sacred book for Hindus. According to Tilak, the real message of the Gita from Mahabharata is to perform or act. He covered the concept of 'perform' in the initial parts of the book and the idea of 'renounce' in the later parts. His thesis was build up on the Mimamsa rule of interpretation. The book consists of two parts -- philosophical exposition in the first part and translation and the commentary of Gita in the second.
The book which was written by him in pencil was completed in less than four months. The handwritten book is considered as a 'remarkable achievement' in itself. About Gita Rahasya, Tilak said, "Various commentators have put as many interpretations on the book, and surely the writer or composer could not have written or composed the book for so many interpretations being put on it. He must have but one meaning and one purpose running through the book, and that I have tried to find out."
It is a book on sociology which is based on astronomy in the ancient texts of Aryans.
Not to forget some of his famous and renowned quotes...
Gangadhar Tilak was among the first Indian generation who was BA in Maths, earned matriculation in 1872 and received LL.B. degree from a Governmental college in 1879.
Tilak's funeral was attended by more than 2 lakh people (the largest in Indian history) which was organised in Mumbai at Chowpatty.
He was a Maths and English teacher in a school which he co-founded in 1880.
He was also one of the first leaders to come up with the idea of 'Swaraj'.
It was Tilak who encouraged people to display public unity by celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi as a public festival in 1893.
Known for his sacrifices and renunciation, Tilak sacrificed his comforts, wealth, family, health and happiness for his mother India.