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Tales of life lessons learnt through the art of storytelling

Philosophical texts and fiction involves a form of fiction that deals with content that puts forth a particular philosophical view or ideology through a story. These tales may pose important questions regarding any sphere of philosophy such as human conditions, the role society plays in an individual’s life, the nature of human actions and the incentive behind these acts, life’s purpose, morality, the influence of art in one’s life, how experience or reason helps in the development of knowledge, and other philosophical questions. There is no demarcated definition of this genre of literature, but there is a lot of information that helps us understand the history behind these texts. 

While Indian philosophy and Hinduism are two separate subjects, they share many of the same concepts. Some philosophical ideas were assimilated into some of the myths and rituals of Hinduism. This brings us to a concept called Mysticism that plays an important role in philosophical texts. This method is commonly used by Westerners to analyse Hindu religious concepts and experience. The need for an individual to associate the self with a higher being, whether that is a religious principle or a personal spiritual association with God, gives Hinduism its mystical element. At two ends of the spectrum, Hindu mysticism speaks of the attainment of one’s identity with the impersonal principle known as Brahman (as reiterated by the Vedanta school of philosophy), while on the other hand, it also lays emphasis on devout faithfulness to a personal God, commonly found with bhakti (devotional) groups. Almost all Hindu mystical thought exhibits the same four features, they are 

  • The importance of experience in attaining a state a realisation

  • The liberation of the spirit-substance in an individual from matter, whether it is real or illusory

  • The significance of the control over mind and body, in order to aid the process of realisation. 

  • At the centre of Hindu mystical thought is the belief that knowing is being

Among the six schools of Hindu philosophy, Vedanta (End of the Vedas/Uttara-Mimamsa). The most eminent philosopher of this school of thought was Shankara. The Shankara philosophical system was behind the spread of Hindu monasticism. Determined by the bhakti movement, the great scholar and philosopher, Vishnu Ramanuja postulated two methods of liberation - the meditative method and the way of bhakti. The writers of the Shaiva Puranas formulated two insightful and interdependent theories to describe the nature and omnipotence of God, the world’s existence, and the identification of God’s relationship with the world. 


Q1. Is storytelling considered a form of philosophy? 

Storytelling could be considered a part of philosophy as it needs a plot, characters, a setback, probable loss, and probable victory. All of this requires a certain amount of imagination and thought, and here’s why philosophy comes into the picture. Without philosophical ideas and thoughts, there would be no imagination.

Q2. What is narrative philosophy? 

According to narrative philosophy, storytelling is an inherent trait in all of mankind and a good story is always more persuasive than a good argument.