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Books on All Schools of Indian Philosophy

Indian philosophy is comprised of six traditional systems of thought which believe in the eternity and divinity of the Vedas. These six systems are: Nyaya, Vaisesika, Samkhya, Yoga, Mimamsa, and Vedanta – and three so-called heterodox systems: Carvaka, Jainism, and Buddhism. The traditional schools accept the authority of the Vedas, whereas the heterodox do not.

Nyaya and Vaisesika address epistemological questions, the first from the point of view of the subject or knower and the other from the point of view of the object of knowledge. Samkhya and Yoga are cosmological schools, the first addressing the question of the macrocosm and plurality, and the second, unity, the microcosm, and humankind as witness. Mimamsa and Vedanta are primarily metaphysical systems, the former focusing on praxis or means and the latter on the nature of the end.

The focal point of Jainism’s critique is the recognition that the Truth is always relative to a point of view, even if it seems absolute from a particular perspective. The hegemony of a single tradition as custodian of the Truth is thus broken. Buddhism characterizes reality as suffering, and thus finds it essential to demonstrate the impermanence or momentariness (ksanabhangavada) of this reality, as the condition for the possibility of liberation (nirvana) from it.

The Carvakas are materialists representing the lay point of view. Knowledge of their perspective is mainly derived from representations made by philosophers who opposed them.

Here is a comprehensive selection of books covering all schools of Indian Philosophy.


Q1. What are the must-read books for Indian Philosophy?


Studies have shown that those who read philosophical books every day for at least half an hour develop a higher sense of self and become aware of their inner self. So take full advantage of books and dive deep into philosophy. Some must-read books for you are “भारतीय दर्शन में सम्बन्ध विमर्श- Relationship Discussion in Indian Philosophy” by Navalta, “भारतीय धर्म और दर्शन - Indian Religion and Philosophy (An Authoritative Treatise on the Fundamentals of Indian Religion, Philosophy and Culture)” by Acharya Baldev Upadhyaya, “भारतीय नीति दर्शन - The Standards of Moral Value in Indian Philosophy” by Shukdev Shastri, “सर्वदर्शन सार: Essence of Various Indian Philosophies” by Shanti Dharmanand Saraswati.

Q2. What are the novels which are based on Indian philosophy?


The knowledge of Indian philosophy can be gained either by studying the Vedic system of education or the education during or after the period of British rule. The best source of knowledge of the Vedic system is the Vedic scriptures such as Vedas, Puranas, and Upanishads. There are many books written by different authors that describe modern Indian philosophy such as “भारतीय दर्शनसार - Indian philosophy” by Sarvagya Bhushan, “भारतीय दर्शन में भौतिकवादी तत्व- Materialistic Elements in Indian Philosophy” by Raj Nandan Yadav, “भारतीय नीति दर्शन - The Standards of Moral Value in Indian Philosophy” by Shukdev Shastri, “भारतीय दर्शन में पर्यावरण चेतना: Environmental Consciousness in Indian Philosophy” by Dr. A.K. Pandey.


Q3. What are the best philosophy books?


Exotic India is the best online store where you will be able to find and buy all genres of books easily at the best prices. If you are looking for books on Indian philosophy, you can check out these books: “दर्शन शास्त्र संग्रह (भारतीय दर्शन शास्त्र का अपूर्व संग्रह) - Darshan Shastra Samagraha (A Collection of Indian Philosophies)” by Swami Ji Maharaj, “भारतीय दर्शन में योगवासिष्ठ का स्थान : The Position of Yoga Vasistha in Indian Philosophy” by Dr. Radha Gupta, “भारतीय दर्शन: Indian Philosophy” by Devi Prasad Chattopadhya.


Q4. Who wrote the most popular book on Indian philosophy?


Indian philosophy is concerned with the philosophical traditions and culture of India. There are two perspectives on this subject matter: the Vedic perspective and the modern perspective.  The beliefs of Indians, however, are heavily inclined towards the teachings of the Vedic scriptures; the Vedas, Puranas, Upanishads, etc. The best source of knowledge of Indian philosophy is believed to be the Vedas (Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda, and Atharva Veda) which were compiled by Shri Vyasadev, the literary incarnation of Lord Shri Krishna.