The work appears in five volumes. Each volume is devoted to the study of the particular school of thought of Indian Philosophy. Vol. I comprises Buddhist and. Books shelved as indian-philosophy: The Bhagavad Gita by Krishna- Dwaipayana Vyasa, The Principal Upanishads by Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, The. I wish to reply to your question in detail as it pains me to find many foreigners and educated Indians of falling into the trap of several monks.
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In this special reading list, an expert panel of philosophers and academics assemble a list of the most important Indian philosophy books. This book provides an introduction to the main schools of Indian philosophy within both the Hindu and Buddhist traditions. Richard King analyzes the schools' . This classic work is a general introduction to Indian philosophy that covers Discover rare, signed and first edition books on AbeBooks, an site Company .
Only by removing its desires can a soul free itself from the bondage of matter and achieve happiness. What can free a soul from its desires?
Three things: faith in the teachings of Jaina saints, right understanding of these teachings, and right conduct. Right conduct consisted of abstinence from injury to life, from lying, from stealing, from sensual indulgence, and from attachment to earthly objects.
When liberated from its desires, the soul may attain infinite knowledge, power, and bliss. This is the state achieved by the Jaina saints of the past, who led the way for others.
Though all Indian darshana stressed non-violence ahimsa , this doctrine was most important to the Jains. Thus, the most radical Jaina might wear a mask to avoid inhaling gnats — not to avoid tasting a gnat but to avoid harming one.
It was from the Jains that Gandhi inherited his insistence on non-violence, and from the Jains that many Hindu systems inherited vegetarianism. Jains believed that Jainism had always existed, but the earliest historical figures to whom we can ascribe a Jaina philosophy are Mahavira 6th century B. Jainism was an atheistic view, like Lokayata and Buddhism. As with Buddhism and the Hindu philosophies below, Jainism branched into an immense variety of religious worldviews, but in this short book we are only concerned with its ancient philosophical thought.
Along with Muhammad, Jesus and Confucius, the Buddha became one of the most influential thinkers of all time without writing any texts. Instead, his sayings and doctrines were compiled later by his disciples, who unfortunately disagreed with each other on some points, and thus it is difficult to reconstruct the views of the historical Buddha.
According to legend, Siddhartha was a prince who became dissatisfied with his life of luxury when he realized that every life eventually succumbs to sickness and death.
A Source Book in Indian philosophy
After observing the joy of a compassionate monk, he renounced his princely life to seek a higher purpose. Finally, he achieved enlightenment under a bodhi-tree, and set out to teach what he had learned. Siddhartha criticized the Brahmin priests who accepted the Vedas out of faith and tradition. He said they were blind men leading the blind, one after another.
He was also skeptical of doctrines that emotionally appealed to people, and knowledge that came from metaphysical speculation and theorizing. Such methods do not lead to anything near certainty, he said, and not even his own teachings should remain unquestioned. He said the best way to know something was through personal experience.
And where that is unavailable, one could consider what the wisest men say. But this may not be the only methods Siddhartha advocated, for early Buddhists often used inferential reasoning and philosophical meditation to attain knowledge, too. Because our experiences are conditioned by emotion and limited by human ways of thinking, the Buddha was ultimately critical of all methods of knowing.
All sources of knowledge were to be analyzed carefully. If these doctrines are false, little is lost by ignorantly following them. So even though we cannot know whether karma and rebirth are real, it may be best to live in accordance with them anyway.
He agreed with Heraclitus that everything changes. But there is some continuity from life to life, following the law of karma, just as a tree spawns another tree through its seed.
According to him, there was some suffering even in what appeared to be joy. But everything has a cause, and the cause of suffering is desire for worldly things, which causes us to be born into suffering again and again. If we understood that worldly desires cause suffering, we would not hold on to these desires. But we are ignorant. Liberation from suffering, the Buddha taught, comes through awareness of these truths and abstinence from worldly desire. Right view was to accept the four noble truths.
Right intention was to aim toward ridding oneself of wrong belief and action. Right speech was to avoid lies, divisive speech, abusive speech, and idle gossip.
Right action was abstinence from killing, stealing, and sexual misconduct. Right livelihood was to avoid making a career of harm, such as business in weapons or meat or slave trading. Right effort was persistent striving to abandon wrong thought, speech, and action.
Right mindfulness was constant awareness of that which affects the body and the mind, including desire and emotion and thought itself.
Right concentration was the practice of concentrating or meditating on something, which cuts off distractions and leads to self-awakening. By these methods, the Buddha taught, one may reach a liberation from suffering into nirvana: a perfect peace of mind, free from desire — the end of identity due to a realized oneness with the world, perfect bliss and highest spiritual attainment.
Sankhya Of the astika Vedic views, Sankhya appears to be the oldest.
It was a dualist view based on two fundamentally different types of being: purusha soul and prakriti matter, energy, and agency. Prakriti was the cause of the material world, but purusha had no cause. The soul did not change, but observed and enjoyed the ever-changing objects of prakriti. Like a rope woven from three cords, the material world was woven of three gunas. They were inferred from the three ways we may react to things: with pleasure, displeasure, or indifference.
Thus, the three constituents of prakriti were sattva illumination, joy , rajas excitation, pain , and tamas roughness, obstruction, sloth. According to Sankhya, a soul often confuses itself with its body.
We feel pain upon the body as if it was pain upon the self, but this is a confusion. Once we realize the separateness of the soul, we cannot be affected by the joys and sorrows of the material world.
But liberation does not result from propositional knowledge alone, but through spiritual training and deep meditation upon the truth that the soul is beyond the causes and effects of spacetime. Sankhya had no need of God, for the material universe was sufficient to explain itself. Sankhya is often credited to a Vedic sage named Kapila, whose dates are unknown. His philosophy had a major influence on other Indian darshanas, but disappeared as it was subsumed into Vedanta and Yoga.
Yoga The Yoga darshana, founded by Patanjali in the 2nd century B. God was a perfect, eternal, omniscient being, and the highest object of meditation. The Yoga argument for God was as follows: Whatever comes in degrees must have a maximum.
Knowledge comes in degrees, thus there must be a maximum of knowledge; omniscience must exist. The being with omniscience is called God. But the more important addition to Sankhya was the practice of yoga: the cessation of all mental function.
The correct practice of yoga included eight things: Yama: restraint from violence, lying, theft, or avarice. Niyama: building good habits like contentment, purity, Vedic study, and meditation on God.
Asana: good posture. Dharana: focused attention on an object. Dhyana: meditation. Samadhi: concentration so deep that self-awareness is lost. According to Yoga, success in the practice of yoga led to a full realization of the gulf between purusha and prakriti, and therefore liberation from suffering. Mimamsa Mimamsa was the darshana tied most closely to the Vedas. The purpose of the philosophy was to provide a method of interpretation that could harmonize and make sense of all the complicated rituals that were added to the Vedas during the many centuries of its composition, and also to provide a philosophical justification for these rituals.
The chief doctrines Mimamsa tried to justify were: The personal soul survives death and enjoys the consequences of the rituals performed on Earth. A certain force carries the effects of these rituals on Earth and into the afterlife. The Vedas are infallible. Earth is real and not a mere illusion. Mimamsa apologetics began with epistemology, the method of knowing.
Mimamsa acknowledged two kinds of knowledge: direct and indirect. Direct knowledge is had when one of the senses perceives something, and the sense organ is functioning correctly. But this tells us only that the object is, not what it is.
To know what the object is, we must interpret this direct knowledge. For this, we draw on past experience and logical inference to determine what classes the object belongs to, what qualities it has, and so on. Thus in the first stage we have knowledge of, say, redness with a particular shape. And in the second stage we process this perception through past experience and logical inference and, if our senses are working correctly and our inferences are sound, we correctly interpret the red shape as an apple.
For Mimamsa, written or spoken claims gave us knowledge except when made by a known liar. And since, Mimamsa claimed, the Vedas are not known to lie, they may be taken as knowledge. But Mimamsa usually revered the Vedas only for their commands about how to perform rituals, and thus they tried to ignore Vedic sentences that spoke of other things, such as what exists.
Or, they tried to relate all such sentences to the commands about ritual. All knowledge in the Vedas was for the purpose of performing rituals correctly. The Vedas were not held to be reliable because they were the words of God or of reliable prophets. According to Mimamsa, the Vedas were never written at all.
They were an eternal part of the universe, and carry their own impersonal authority. How did Mimamsa argue that the Vedas had never been written?
First, they pointed out that its authors were not known. But more important was an argument of a Platonic nature. A common view in some schools was that the sound of a spoken word was merely an instance of the real word shabda , which is eternal. Because if it were not so, then five different pronunciations of a word would mean that five different words had been spoken. But of course we know these pronunciations are merely imperfect copies of one word.
So a word is not produced by its being spoken. And if it is not produced, then the real word must be eternal. Mimamsa then claimed that the Vedas consist of these eternal words, and the written or spoken Vedas are only pronouncements of the eternal Vedas. Thus the Vedas were not composed but are merely pronounced by humans.
This also explained why the Vedas are infallible. Since they were not composed by any person, they are not touched by any of the defects of fallible humans.
Concerning testimony in general, some schools replied that knowledge by testimony is really knowledge by inference, for the validity of testimony is determined by inference from the general reliability of such testimony.
Mimamsa responded by saying that all knowledge is warranted by the conditions that generate that knowledge, and so testimony is no different: it provides knowledge when it is given in the right context. As mentioned earlier, another source of knowledge for the Mimamsa was postulation. Here it was meant that we gain knowledge when some phenomenon can only be explained by postulating a certain explanatory hypothesis arthapatti.
This explained how we know that something does not exist before us. When I know that there is no cat sitting before me, it is not because of perception. Thus non-perception is an independent source of knowledge. But here again, the conditions must be suitable for non-perception to work properly.
Ancient Indian Philosophy: A Painless Introduction
We do not see a table in the dark, but that does not mean a table is not there. For non-perception to show us that a table is not there, we must have enough light to see that a table is not there. According to Mimamsa, truth was self-evident, for it carried with it assurance about its own truth. Only when we are alerted to certain defective conditions for truth, or to contrary knowledge, can we infer the falsity of what at first seemed true.
Belief should be default; doubt is unusual. Against a Nyaya view that all knowledge ultimately comes by inference, Mimamsa replied that this leads to an infinite regress. If a perception provides knowledge only by inference, then that inference itself must be verified by another inference, and so on. To end this regress we must see that truth comes with its own warrant, given the proper conditions.
Mimamsa then argued that because perception and other methods give knowledge of things in the world, we can reject those views which say the world is an illusion. Moreover, the Vedas give knowledge of other things, such as souls, heaven, hell, karma, and gods who demand sacrifice and ritual.
What of ethics? Moral duties came from the Vedic commands. A good life was one obedient to the Vedas. And though the rituals and sacrifices commanded by the Vedas would bring blessing by the law of karma, obligatory actions were to be performed not from selfish motivation but because we had a duty to perform them, as in Kant.
Nyaya The Nyaya school was founded by a man named Gotama with his Nyaya-sutra, but evolved greatly after that. Thus it is hard to take a snapshot of what Nyaya philosophy was at any one time, and this overview bleeds together elements of ancient and later Nyaya philosophy. What is correct thinking, and how can we come to know reality? Only when we know the answers to these questions can we achieve liberation.
The Nyaya, Vaisheshika, Jaina, and Buddhist schools said that true knowledge led to success in practical activity, while false knowledge led to failure and disappointment.
The standard illustration of this was a story about putting sugar in tea. Suppose you think the white powder in a jar is sugar, so you put a spoonful of it in your tea to sweeten it. Your tea tastes sweeter than before, so your belief that the white powder was sugar has been confirmed. But let us say you put some of the powder in your tea and now it tastes bitter! Your belief that the white powder was sugar has been disproven — it was salt all along!
Perception was an unerring belief produced by contact between an object and the senses. When I have clear and certain sight of a table, this is perception, and valid knowledge. If I see a shape in the distance that could be a man or a post but I cannot tell which, this is doubt, and not valid knowledge. If I am certain that I see a snake in a coil of rope, but there is no snake, this is error. But Nyaya, perhaps even more-so than the other schools, was a system open to vicious internal debates.
Some Nyaya adherents said that perception does not require contact between an object and the senses. God, for example, perceives all things but has no senses. So perception really is just an immediate awareness of something in the mind that does not call upon previous experiences or any reasoning process, such as inference.
However, most Nyaya adherents preferred to state these categorical syllogisms in five propositions, like so: Gotama is mortal; Because he is a man; All men are mortal, for example Siddhartha, Brhaspati, and Kapila; Gotama is also a man; Therefore Gotama is mortal. First, the conclusion is asserted. Second, the reason for the conclusion. Third, the universal proposition is given, which connects the conclusion with the reason given, supported by known instances.
Fourth, we apply the universal proposition to the present case. Fifth, the conclusion is restated. The ground of inference involved a correlation between two things, for example mortality and manhood. Nyaya said that the one pervades the other, in that it always accompanies the other.
Mortality pervades manhood; manhood is pervaded by mortality. But manhood does not pervade mortality, for many things are mortal without exhibiting manhood. A fish is mortal but it is not a man. But how do we justify the universal proposition? How do we know that all men everywhere are mortal? This is the problem of induction. Vedanta defended induction by enumeration. When we discover there are black swans in southern Australia, well… we were wrong. Nyaya required more than this to justify induction.
But I make a mistake if I infer there is an invariable relation between flipping the switch and lighting the room, for I have ignored an important condition: electrical current. If there is no electrical current, flipping the switch and producing light will no longer be invariably related. In fact, said Nyaya adherents, there are degrees of certainty in induction.
We are more certain that all men are mortal than that all crows are black, for there does not seem to be anything in the nature of crows that compels them to be black, but there does seem to be something in the nature of manhood that compels men to be mortal. After perception and inference, the third form of valid knowledge for Nyaya was comparison upamana. This was the knowledge of what a word denotes.
A young girl who does not know what a jackdaw is may be told it is like a crow, but bigger and of grey and black color. But this required an analysis of what a sentence is, and how it can be understood. For Nyaya, a sentence was a group of words, carefully arranged. A word referred to an object.
This reference was called its potency sakti , and its potency was due to God. Self, No Self?: Buddhism as Philosophy: An Introduction Paperback by Mark Siderits.
The Disinterested Witness: Volume 2 Paperback by Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan. The Deeper Dimension of Yoga: Theory and Practice Paperback by Georg Feuerstein.
Selfless Persons: Immortality and Freedom Paperback by Mircea Eliade. Sprung M. Emptiness of Emptiness: Huntington Jr. Goodreads Author. The Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way: The Dispeller Of Disputes: Nagarjuna's Vigrahavyavartani Paperback by Jan Westerhoff.
The Language of the Gods in the World of Men: The Encyclopedia of Indian Philosophies, Volume 2: Indian Metaphysics and Epistemology: Potter Editor. The Encyclopedia of Indian Philosophies, Volume 3: They relied much more on their experiences during deep yogic states to guide them in understanding and clarifying age-old philosophical dilemmas. They discovered the Absolute within themselves and found that they were one with it. They studied the Self that lay beyond the mind and the ego, and found that It was divine, creative energy.
God was not some distant ruler or some inert entity. These sages realized and recognized that He was within everything, was the vitality of life itself, and was always the one transcendent Reality as well. In this way Kashmir Shaivites taught the principle of theistic absolutism.
For centuries Indian philosophers have been debating whether this world is real or an illusion. In the process of watching the unfolding of their own creative energy during meditation, the sages of Kashmir found the source of all creation, and witnessed how everything in this universe evolves from this one absolute Reality into manifestation which is also real.
Because all creation exists within the Absolute, they established the principle of spiritual realism.
Pandit, Specific Principles of Kashmir Shaivism 3rd ed.How did Mimamsa argue that the Vedas had never been written? They believed things moved and transformed because of their inherent natures, according to lawful necessity. Volume 2 Paperback by Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan. This is the problem of induction. Indians distinguish two classes of Indian philosophies: astika and nastika. We are more certain that all men are mortal than that all crows are black, for there does not seem to be anything in the nature of crows that compels them to be black, but there does seem to be something in the nature of manhood that compels men to be mortal.
They studied the Self that lay beyond the mind and the ego, and found that It was divine, creative energy. Since they were not composed by any person, they are not touched by any of the defects of fallible humans.