Inclinations And Reality: The Search For The Absolute

Maharaj Kaul was born in Srinagar, Kashmir, where he spent his childhood and boyhood. He studied at State High School and Amar Singh College. He went to Banaras Hindu University to pursue a career in electrical engineering. Later he joined Polytechnic Institute of New York for a Masters degree. Ever since, he has lived and worked in the US, never having worked in India. He worked for 40 years in the field of engineering, of which 30 years were spent at Wyeth (now called Pfizer). He presently lives as a retired person in the village of Suffern, in the state of New York. Besides the profession of engineering, he has all his life pursued the study of science, art, and religion. He is also an active poet. He has written five books which include Meditation On Time, Destruction And Injustice—The Tribulations Of Kashmiri Pandits, and Life With Father.

The book Inclinations and Reality, The Search for the Absolute is about the search of a human being to find how his worldview developed. The author traces the influence of the experiences, culture, science, religion, and politics on his mind since his childhood. Now at the vantage point of being in the later years of his life, he looks back to see what has created his universe and why. He looks back to his lonely childhood and boyhood in the ethereal beauty of his birthplace Kashmir, which was studded with his wonder and inquiries about the miracle of human life, the intricacies of family relationships, the complex web of the Hindu- Muslim divide—that evolved over 700 years and cast a strong shadow on the present life in Kashmir—the awe-inspiring mystery of nature, and the dark power of religion’s grip on human psyche. He paints the drama of Kashmiri Pandits’ life in the Valley in the 1950s, their frustrations and hopes, and traces it to its historical and psychological roots. It is the story of a life trying to understand itself and to live it.

He carried these inquiries to Banaras, India, one of the most religious places in the world, where he studied engineering. While trying to gain answers to some of his questions, his passion to find the absolute reality of human nature made him carry his search to America, where he spent almost half a century. In the New World, he was challenged to understand a culture which is very different than the one in India. The stunning success of America in political, scientific, and economic arenas compelled his mind to find the potentials of the human mind to achieve a higher level life for the entire mankind.

Maharaj Kaul explores the nature of Kashmiri Shaivism, Hinduism, and Buddhism, and discusses if they can be beneficial to the modern man. He ends the book with a searing analysis of religion and juxtaposes it with science, whose powerful shadow we are now living under. A penetrating search for the meaning of human life made with effort, intellect, and personal pain.

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