“This human is the essence of all beings and conversely all beings are the essence of the human,” observes the Brhadaranyaka Upanisad. The reason the Upanisad advances for such a mind- boggling statement is that “the luminous and immortal Person who is there in the human represents the essence of the whole of the reality.” By virtue of having embodied in him that luminous and immortal essence of all, man occupies a unique position in the universe. That person lying in the inmost being a man forms the core of his personality, as per the Vedic ethos. Any theory of personality sought to be constructed or reconstructed, cannot afford eventually to ignore that Person lying inside and determining our behaviour to the extent we are aware of Him.
Dr. S.N. Sharma’s effort in this laudable work has been to explore the ways by means of which one can have access to that root of the personality. With this end in view, he has looked into diverse systems of ideas formulated both in India and the West, has tried to represent them in their essentials, making out their merits and demerits, correcting their deviations and showing them the proper course of their future development.
Indian material on personality is immense. This is particularly due to the tapas or yogic sadhana the Vedic seers went through for perhaps thousands of years looking within, envisioning the core and analysing the processes by which the core grows into the person creating thus the sense of personality. Their objectivity in analysing the human psychology stands confirmed by a large number of them engaged in the task for generations and reaching conclusions fairly well confirmatory of one another’s. Theirs approach, in this respect, is quite distinct from the Western psychologist’s who instead of looking within looks around for the data concerning practically himself as a human being.