The compound “Hindu philosophy” is ambiguous. Minimally it stands for a tradition of Indian philosophical thinking. However, it could be interpreted as designating one comprehensive philosophical doctrine, shared by all Hindu thinkers. The term “Hindu philosophy” is often used loosely in this philosophical or doctrinal sense, but this usage is misleading. There is no single, comprehensive philosophical doctrine shared by all Hindus that distinguishes their view from contrary philosophical views associated with other Indian religious movements such as (...) Buddhism or Jainism on issues of epistemology, metaphysics, logic, ethics or cosmology. Hence, historians of Indian philosophy typically understand the term “Hindu philosophy” as standing for the collection of philosophical views that share a textual connection to certain core Hindu religious texts (such as the Vedas), and they do not identify “Hindu philosophy” with a particular comprehensive philosophical doctrine. -/- Hindu philosophy, thus understood, not only includes the philosophical doctrines present in Hindu texts of primary and secondary religious importance, but also the systematic philosophies of the Hindu schools: Nyāya, Vaiśeṣika, Sāṅkhya, Yoga, Pūrvamīmāṃsā and Vedānta. In total, Hindu philosophy has made a sizable contribution to the history of Indian philosophy and its role has been far from static: Hindu philosophy was influenced by Buddhist and Jain philosophies, and in turn Hindu philosophy influenced Buddhist philosophy in India in its later stages. In recent times, Hindu philosophy evolved into what some scholars call “Neo-Hinduism,” which can be understood as an Indian response to the perceived sectarianism and scientism of the West. Hindu philosophy thus has a long history, stretching back from the second millennia B.C.E. to the present. (shrink)
Comparative philosophy of religions -- Disciplinary challenges -- A grammar for comparison -- Comparative philosophy of religions -- Content, structure, and arguments -- Epistemology -- Religious epistemology in classical India: in defense of a Hindu god -- Interpreting Nyāya epistemology -- The Nyāya argument for the existence of Īśvara -- Defending the Nyāya argument -- Shifting the burden of proof -- Against Īśvara: Ratnakīrti's Buddhist critique -- The section on pervasion: the trouble with natural relations -- Two arguments -- (...) The section on the reason property -- The section on the target property -- Is Īśvara the maker of the world? -- Language, mind, and ontology -- The theory of exclusion, conceptual content, and Buddhist -- Epistemology -- The theory of exclusion -- What exclusion is not -- Semantic value -- Ratnakīrti's inferential argument -- Jñānaśrīmitra's three questions -- Ratnakīrti's world: toward a Buddhist philosophy of everything -- An inventory of mental objects/images -- The contents of perception -- The contents of inferential/verbal awareness -- Nonexistence, existence, and ultimate existence -- The Īśvara-inference, revisited -- Who created the world? -- The values of Buddhist epistemology -- Foundational figures and foundational texts -- The soteriological significance of epistemology -- Jñānaśrīmitra on epistemology as pedagogy -- Ratnakīrti's framework of value -- Religious reasoning as religious practice. (shrink)
The dramatic title Against a Hindu God: Buddhist Philosophy of Religion in India, while accurate enough in some respects, does not do justice to this subtle, densely argued, technically demanding, and often astonishingly wide-ranging book by Parimal Patil. The traces of the doctoral thesis that it was in a previous life are still there, evident in the concern to explain methodology to inquisitorial examiners and the reluctance to let any footnote go by if it can possibly be included. That (...) said, it is a powerfully realized book. Against a Hindu God is structured in such a way as to gradually focus in on the subject of the core third chapter that gives the book its name, Ratnakīrti’s argument in the .. (shrink)
Gandhi, M. K. [Answers to three questions]--Tagore, R. The religion of an artist.--Abhedānanda, Swāmi. Hindu philosophy in India.--Bhattacharyya, H. The principle of activism.--Bhattacharyya, K. C. The concept of philosophy.--Chatterji, G. C. Common-sense empiricism.--Coomaraswamy, A. K. On the pertinence of philosophy.--Damle, N. G. The faith of an idealist.--Das, B. Ătma-vidyā, or The science of self.--Das, R. Pursuit of truth through doubt and belief.--Dasgupta, S. Philosophy of dependent emergence.--Datta, D. M. Knowledge, reality and the unknown.--Haldar, H. Realistic idealism.--.
Rāmānuja (ācārya), the eleventh century South Indian philosopher, is the chief proponent of Vishishtādvaita, which is one of the three main forms of the Orthodox Hindu philosophical school, Vedānta. As the prime philosopher of the Vishishtādvaita tradition, Rāmānuja is one of the Indian philosophical tradition’s most important and influential figures. He was the first Indian philosopher to provide a systematic theistic interpretation of the philosophy of the Vedas, and is famous for arguing for the epistemic and soteriological significance of (...) bhakti, or devotion to a personal God. Unlike many of his contemporaries, Rāmānuja defended the reality of a plurality of individual persons, qualities, values and objects while affirming the substantial unity of all. On some accounts, Rāmānuja’s influence on popular Hindu practice is so vast that his system forms the basis for popular Hindu philosophy. His two main philosophical writings (the Shrī Bhāshya and Vedārthasangraha) are amongst the best examples of rigorous and energetic argumentation in any philosophical tradition, and they are masterpieces of Indian scholastic philosophy. (shrink)
Samkara (c. 700 CE), the great Indian Advaitin thinker, was a commentator on sacred text and an Advaitin teacher. This book provides an introduction to the thought of Samkara, who is the most well-known and most perhaps the most authoritative Hindu thinker of all time. The author develops an innovative approach using Samkara's method of interpreting sacred texts and creatively examines the profound interrelationship between sacred text, content and method in Samkara's thought. In particular Samkara's teaching method is the (...) main focus of this book; it is a method that is based on Upanisadic truth and expects teachers to skillfully draw pupils towards it. This book will be of interest to students and scholars of Indian philosophy. (shrink)
Yoga has come to be an icon of Indian culture and civilization, and it is widely regarded as being timeless and unchanging. Based on extensive ethnographic research and an analysis of both ancient and modern texts, Yoga in Modern India challenges this popular view by examining the history of yoga, focusing on its emergence in modern India and its dramatically changing form and significance in the twentieth century. Joseph Alter argues that yoga's transformation into a popular activity idolized for its (...) health value is based on modern ideas about science and medicine. Alter centers his analysis on an interpretation of the seminal work of Swami Kuvalayananda, one of the chief architects of the Yoga Renaissance in the early twentieth century. From this point of orientation he explores current interpretations of yoga and considers how practitioners of yogic medicine and fitness combine the ideas of biology, physiology, and anatomy with those of metaphysics, transcendence, and magical power. The first serious ethnographic history of modern yoga in India, this fluently written book is must reading not only for students and scholars but also practitioners who seek a deeper understanding of how yoga developed over time into the exceedingly popular phenomenon it is today. (shrink)
This practical guide by an experienced teacher defines yoga as a route to the kind of mental steadiness that leads to self-realization. It promotes Rajayoga (as distinguished from Hathayoga and Mantrayoga ), explaining the foundation of yoga practices--their philosophical, psychological, cosmological, ethical, and religious doctrines--and compares the essential features of Rajayoga with other yoga systems. The first of its two parts deals with yoga metaphysics, delineating the characteristics and functions of Prakrti and Purusa, the reality of the external world, and (...) the process of evolution. The second part expounds yoga ethics and practice, with emphasis on yoga method, stages of samadhi, and related topics. This classic study provides both beginners and experienced yoga practitioners with a useful and inspiring reference. Unabridged republication of the edition published by Kegan, Paul, London, 1924. (shrink)