Both comparative and critical meant to be an intensive philosophical study of Indian philosophies for post graduate students in India and outside. Almost half the number of pages are devoted to comparative and critical comments. It Will be an indispensable companion volume to standard works of S. Radhakrishnan and S.N Dasgupta .It is intended to be a counterpart in Indian thought to W. Windelband’s History of Philosophy in the west. Raju’s work makes it clearer than ever before that Indian philosophy is merely not Salvation doctrine, but also has a vigorous academic side, which makes it easy for western philosophers to comprehend Indian thought. The reader will see important and profound explanations of Time, Space, Causality, Being, Becoming, the Logos and its forms Transcendence, Immanence, Witness ( Husserl), the Ontology of the Spirit and so on. He Will see how important the idea of god as only the I-Am (Exodus, Bible) is to the Upanisads and many Indian thinkers, although it has not attracted the attention of western philosophers and theologians, who should have worked it out into a profound system of philosophy. Here lies the way to a spiritual rapprochement of the Biblical and Indian ontologies, which is implied by the Cartesian tradition, but overlooked. Lastly, this work will be extremely useful for east – west studies in depth. It Should Prove valuable for western philosophers to understand Indian Philosophy and for Indian Philosophers to understand western Philosophy.
P.T Raju was born in India in 1904, took his ph.D. from Calcutta University in 1935. He is the Author of hundreds of articles and numerous books and is best known for his Thought and Reality: Hegelianism and Advaita (Foreword by J.H. Muirhead); Idealistic Thought of India; Comparative Studies in Philosophy (editor with Dean Inge, etc.); The Concept of man (editor with S. Radhakrishnan); Introduction to Comparative Philosophy The Philosophical Traditions of India; and Spirit Being, and self (foreword by Eugene Freeman). Professor A.J Bahm calls Raju the leading thinker in comparative philosophy at least in the English- speaking countries. Raju’s works have been translated into many languages including german, Spanish and Japanese. He was University Professor of Philosophy and Psychology from 1949 to 1962 at the University of rajasthan, Jaipur, and then Professor of Philosophy and Indian Studies at the College of Wooster, Wooster, Ohio. He was awarned the “ Padma Bhusan” by the president of India in 1958 for his contributions to east-west understanding.
Professor Arthur W.Munk regards Raju as the most outstanding living Philosopher of India.
Special Feature of the Work
The present work is of a new type. It is said that history is the science of the Germans and economics that of the British. Whatever truth lies or does not lie in this generalization, the German historians of philosophy, particularly J. E. Erdmann and W. Windelband, impressed me so much that I began thinking that to teach Indian philosophy as philosophy-not merely as an accidental, intellectual, incidental addition to some religious practices and dogmas-one had to write it as the Germans had done, i.e., as a critical and constructive exposition of thought struggling to be systematic and comprehensive. Indeed, no writer on Indian philosophy ought justifiably to ignore its major aim to be a philosophy of life and of the spirit. I But it should not be meant that he should treat the intellectual content as trivial and indifferent.
During my college days (and even now) professors used to advise the students to adopt the idealistic point of view to examine a realistic doctrine and vice versa; or criticize Plato from Aristotle's point of view and vice versa; and so on. We were not asked ourselves particularly to develop an approach of our own. The result was that students, although often taking sides on philosophical problems, were indifferent to the problems as problems of life and thought which concerned them also. Such an examination of the schools in the various chapters does not philosophically lead to highly fruitful results. There have been a few estimates of the schools from the Advaita point of view; but they do not seem to be systematic, developmental, and comprehensive. To follow fully the plan of Windelband, whom I admire the most, is not possible in the case of Indian philosophy, as it has not been rewritten as a history of thought developing chronologically. All schools and systems grew together. Besides, the element of comparison has also to be added to make Indian thought assimilable to the western philosophical mind. I have, therefore, adapted the method of the Germans to the Indian scene in giving a comparative, critical, and constructive estimate of the schools to the extent to which the boundaries of each school are fairly not lost sight of in the general estimates. These estimates and commentaries arepresented in such a way that the estimate of each preceding school in a way leads often to that of the succeeding one; and the critical discussion of the topics such as space, time, cause, existence, nothingness, etc., can be found to be fairly continuous and coordinated. The peculiarity of this work lies in the. many comparative and constructive criticisms often being nearly as long as the main expositions. It is also hoped that both the Indian and western readers will find pathways to new insights into philosophical problems, concepts, and aspects of existence. But few of the insights are mine; nor are they new to Indian thinkers. Most of the insights have been culled by me from general and philosophical encyclopedias in Sanskrit and from other original sources.
The doctrines developed in the general estimates are the ones I accept; they represent my philosophy. As they are given in the general estimates, they cannot be given en bloc in a coordinated and systematic form. Many doctrines may be found by the reader to have loose ends; but I hope to tie them together (God willing) in a future work on the philosophy of the I-am. Readers may do the same in their own way. The I-am has become nothing or nothingness not only for most existentialists but also to Wittgensteinians and analytic philosophers of the present But it is more positive to human existence and more valuable to it than nature which man faces. What then has to be revived and made primary in philosophical thinking is the I-amas a self-affirming being; if it is nothing, who is it that affirms its nothingness? The affirmer has to be self-conscious and cannot be himself nothing; he is the I -am. It is hoped that the reader himself of this book will be able, by the time he reaches the end, to relate the objective forms of the world such as time, space, cause, etc., to the I-am. He may await a more systematic presentation-not as an exposition of Indian thought-by the present author. Here the reader can see that structures of time, space, universals, etc., cannot be intelligible without the I-am. The I-am gives meaning to much in the history of philosophy, which has been recently relegated to the sphere of the meaningless.
The Need and Use for the Work
The above mentioned peculiarity of the work constitutes one of the main purposes of writing this book, which is still not fully comprehensive, but more detailed and critical than my Philosophical Traditions of India. It aims at being a philosophically and critically discussed presentation of Indian thought, covering epistemology, logic, and metaphysics, which are primary in all philosophy. (For want of space it has not been found possible to include the philosophy of language and grammar, its profound ontological insights, the metaphysics of esthetics of Bharata, Abhinavagupta, and Jagannatha Pandita, and some materialistic vulgarizations of the philosophy of the Supreme Spirit, etc.) The book presents the schemata of the Indian schools of thought prompted by life's urges and ideals. The serious reader, it is hoped, will not only correct the mistaken and one-sided opinions about Indian philosophy, but will also be able to fill in the details in their proper places, if in future more detailed works appear.
My experience of western philosophers and students has disclosed to me the difficulties they encounter in understanding and manipulating many basic concepts of Indian thought presented even by Indian writers, who often use dictionary meanings of Sanskrit terms. The requirement is, therefore, that Indian thought has to be made intelligible to western students and to the Indian students also who have been trying to re-understand their own concepts in terms of the western, which have come to stay in the East because of the long and strong cultural influence and because of the desire of the eastern thinker to be abreast with the world's philosophical thought. For this purpose it is necessary to avoid as many Sanskrit terms as possible, particularly long compounds, which for students not knowing Sanskrit become a great hindrance. I have avoided also Sanskrit quotations, even in the footnotes, which may. show the author's scholarship, but may appear pedantic in a work like the present one. The use of certain terms such as atman, Brahman, Jiva, manas, and dharma cannot be avoided, for they stand for definite concepts for which western languages do not have exactly corresponding terms: In my Philosophical Traditions, I gave reasons for not completely avoiding Sanskrit terms, for not using the asterisk on the English word in the text and referring the reader to the various synonyms which he may use. This practice is a greater hindrance and more puzzling to the reader than the traditional one. Besides, even the same word has different meanings for different schools and for the same school in different contexts-a feature of language not uncommon in the West-a fact often missed even by many Indian writers.
Another requirement is that Indian philosophies have to be presented as conceptual structures, made clear and intelligible as such, without resorting to scholastic interpretations, which may indeed be very scholarly, but confuse the student who finds it difficult to fix the general nature and central position of the philosophy he is studying. Experience only can tell an author how to meet this requirement, although no philosophy can be made easy for any reader and be understood by him without his making the proper effort of thinking.
The Meaning of Indian Philosophy
The term Indian philosophy means all philosophy developed at one time or another in the country called India by people who claimed Indian heritage. It includes the thought of men who belonged to areas lying outside what has been called India since 1947, i.e., Pakistan and even Afghanistan. But even much earlier between the 20th and 15th centuries B. C., the Aryans who entered India from outside, maybe from the Arctic regions;' brought with them the accumulated wisdom of their ancestors. The early Indian Aryans were perhaps the kith and kin and even ancestors of the Aryans who stayed back in Assyria, Iran, Afghanistan, and other places. Then some at least of the origins of Indian thought were non-Indian in the geographical sense. But whatever may be said of the remote origins, we may say that roughly all thought developed and funded between Persia on the West. and Burma on the East and China and Tibet on the North and Ceylon in the South may be called Indian philosophy.
Indian philosophy should not be equated to the philosophy of Hindu religion. The atheistic and materialistic school of the Carvakas is part of Indian philosophy, but can hardly be called a religion, as it does not believe in the reality of the soul, God, or any existence beyond. Neither is the word Hindu found in any ancient sacred book of India. The Indian Aryans called their religion aryadharma or the Aryan Way of Life. The pre-Buddhist Aryans called it the Vedic Way' of Life (vaidikadharma) also, as the Veda was their sacred scripture. The word Hindu is a corrupted form of the word Sindhu, which is the name of the river now called the Indus. It is still called the Sindhu in Indian languages. The Iranians and the Greeks pronounced the letter s as h, called the river by the name Hindhu, and the people on its banks and far to the east the Hindus, and their religion by a word derived from the word Hindu. The word does not occur in ancient Sanskrit lexicons also. But later, after the Iranians and the Afghans became Muslims and came to settle down in India, all those who were not Muslims came to be called Hindus. The Buddhists and the Jainas considered their religions reform movements as the Aryan Way and rejected the Vedic Way, as they did not accept the Veda as their sacred scripture. But to the foreigners, the Buddhists and Jainas are still Hindus in a general sense. There is a vacillation between identifying Hinduism with every religion born in India and with a part of what is born in India but distinguished from Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism and a few minor Religions. The difficulty in fixing the meaning of Hinduism is due to its not having a well-defined fixed denominational content when it was first used; it meant to the early Iranians and Greeks 'something that is to be found on the banks of the river Indus and beyond, but we know not what.' For a critical appreciation of Indian thought, the above unsolved and insoluble difficulty has to be kept in mind. The word India itself is derived from the mispronounced word Hindu, but for some reason or other has come to stay. In any case, Indian philosophy includes all philosophies, born and developed in India, whatever be their remote and proximate seeds.
History of Indian Philosophy
Although India has several schools and systems of philosophy, they do not form a historical or chronological series. The history of western philosophy generally presents one school or system appearing after another in time, although there are several appearing simultaneously also. We find also that later western philosophies can be developments of the earlier ones. Respect for a school or tradition is far less in the West than in India. Every individual philosopher in the West tends to give a new name to his system and to distinguish it from that of his own teachers. Even if he has not done so, the historians of philosophy do so. The history of western philosophy can, therefore, be made to appear like a chronology of doctrines and schools, although they can be presented, if one likes, as detailed articulations of traditions started by the Greek philosophers.
The schools of Indian thought, like the schools of Chinese thought, appeared on the scene almost simultaneously. They developed through mutual criticisms by attempting to be self-consistent and comprehensive. Such developments took place during the course of centuries, each great thinker of the school contributing his own by bridging the lacunae of the argument and expanding it over areas not yet covered. But he would not claim the founding of a new school. On the contrary, he would attribute his own developments to the original founder himself, saying that they were meant by the founder. This way of philosophical development resulted in cancelling the distinction between school and system. Generally the word school means a number of systems built up by thinkers agreeing on some basic principles; such thinkers may live simultaneously or at different times) but differ from one another when the detailed structures of their systems are compared. But the followers of any school in India tend to claim that they only expand the System of .the founder, With (the result that the difference between school and system vanishes. However, we can discover the differences, the importance of which is generally minimized by the followers. The method of expanding the original system lies in writing commentaries on the original text and gives the impression that the commentary is only an exposition.
However, if a history of Indian philosophy is to be written, it will be a compilation of the histories of the schools, which do not form a chronological series, even if the systems of the commentators do. We may, indeed, do violence to the feelings of each of the system-builders, if we say that he differed significantly from his teacher or founder. But we find acknowledged differences, particularly in the Nyaya, the Mirnamsa, and the Vedanta, The different systems are generally called sub-schools. However, the common practice has been to present the schools without chronological significance.
When a history of Indian philosophy is written, it will not be right to follow the authors of histories of western philosophy and to show how changes in historical and socio-cultural factors led to the founding of this or that school of thought. Whatever be such factors that obtained in India, the fact that all the schools started simultaneously shows that the factors had very little to do with the differences among the schools.:' The same factors could not be the causes of all the schools, if they were to be causes at all. The motive of all the schools-theistic, atheistic, and materialistic-was the search for the ideal of life. This search implies that the seekers were not satisfied with the life-material, ethical, and spiritual-they were living day to day. The dissatisfaction was not due to historical and natural catastrophes that overtook the society of the time. The founders of the schools belonged to the Aryan race and the Aryans were at the zenith of their power in India at the time of the founding of the schools; and no more disastrous wars were fought in India then than anywhere else, the ethics of war in India preventing unnecessary bloodshed and destruction. Neither did the power and wealth enjoyed by the Aryans make them accept a self-sufficient humanism. We have, therefore, to attribute this search for a deeper meaning of life than could be found in day-to-day existence to a keen and critical sense" of happiness and pleasure somehow developed by the people. Psychologically, the desire for mental and spiritual peace may be the result of too many privations or too much satiation. It is difficult and may even be wrong to trace Indian thought to natural and historical evils. As a matter of fact, the greatest historical evil in the form of destruction of men and culture started with the Muslim invasions; for the destruction of the unbeliever was a sacred duty to the Muslim. The result of Muslim invasions was not the founding of pessimistic philosophies, but the gradual waning of all philosophical activity whatever.
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