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An Introduction to Indian Philosophy

An Introduction to Indian Philosophy


Item Code: NAB769

by Satischandra ChatterjeeDhirendramohan Datta

Paperback (Edition: 2008)

University of Calcutta

Size: 8.5 inch X 5.3 inch
Pages: 462
Weight of the Book:457 gms
Price: $25.00
Discounted: $18.75   Shipping Free
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Preface to the First Edition

The object of this book is to provide a simple introduction to the Indian systems of philosophy. Each one of these systems has had a vast and varied development and cannot be treated adequately in a brief work like this. Attempt has been made to introduce the reader to the spirit and outlook of Indian philosophy and help him to grasp thoroughly the central ideas rather than acquaint him with minute details. Modern students of philosophy feel many difficulties in understanding the Indian problems and theories. Their long experience with university students has helped the authors to realise these, and they have tried to remove them as far as possible. This accounts for most of the critical discussions which could otherwise have been dispensed with.

The book has been primarily written for beginners. The first chapter which contains the general principles and basic features of Indian philosophy, as well as a brief sketch of each system, gives the student a bird’s-eye view of the entire field and prepares him for a more intensive study of the systems which are contained in the following chapters. It is hoped, therefore, that the book will suit the needs of university students at different stages, as well as of general readers interested in Indian philosophy. It will serve the needs of B.A. Pass students who may be required to have a brief general acquaintance with Indian philosophy as a whole, as well as those of Honours students who may be expected to have a more detailed knowledge of one or more systems.

It is the firm conviction off the writers that Reality is many-sided and Truth is manifold; that each system approaches Reality from one point of view or level of experience, and embodies one aspect of Truth. They have tried to approach each system with sympathy and justify it, rather than dismiss it with a customary criticism. They believe that a sympathetic insight into the great systems will enable the student to grasp their truths more easily and give him a sound philosophical outlook.

While an attempt has been made to bring out the significance of Indian views in terms of modern Western thought, care has always been exercised to preserve their distinctive marks, such as their spiritual and practical outlook, their recognition of the different levels of experience.

The authors are grateful to Dr. Syamaprasad Mookerjee, M.A., D.Litt., B.L., M.L.A., Vidyavacaspati, Barrister-at- Law, ex—Vice-Chancellor, Calcutta University, at whose suggestion the work was undertaken, and to Sir S. Radhakrishnan, Kt., M.A., D.Litt., George V Professor of Philosophy, Calcutta University, Spalding Professor of Eastern Religions and Ethics, Oxford University, who has very kindly gone through the manuscript and made valuable suggestions. They are also indebted to Professor Krishnachandra Bhattacharyya, M.A., with whom they discussed some of the problems treated here and received »much light and guidance. They are grateful also to the authorities of the Calcutta University, and especially to the Registrar, the Superintendent of the Press and his energetic colleagues, for the publication of the work.

Preface to the Second Edition

The authors feel encouraged by the demand for a second edition of this book within such a short time. They are grateful to the many universities which have adopted this compendium as a text-book, and to the many lay readers who have intimated their appreciation of the book as a suitable introduction to Indian Philosophy. But at the same time the authors realize once more the great difficulty of compressing into such a volume all that is important in the arguments and theories of schools which have evolved through nearly two thousand years, and developed intricacies which defy easy exposition. They are, therefore, painfully aware of the many shortcomings of the book, and very eagerly avail themselves of this opportunity of a second edition to remove defects, as far as possible, by addition, alteration, omission and rearrangement of topics. In this work of improvement they have received great help from teachers and scholars who have favoured them with detailed t pinions and suggestion. The authors are thankful to all of them; but they are especially indebted, in this respect, to Professors Khagendranath Mitra, Haridas Bhattacharyya, Jadunath Sinha, Surendranath Goswami, Kalidas Bhattacharyya and Mr. Anilkumar Ray Chaudhury. If some of the suggestions could not be carried out, it was mainly because of the limitation of the original scope of the book, the necessity for economizing paper, and the desire for avoiding difficulties that might embarass the beginner.

The chapter on the Vedanta has been partly rewritten. Sankara and Ramanuja have been dealt with successively and not side by side, as before). The rational of argumentative side of the Vedanta has been substantially reinforced by the addition of many new paragraphs in small tint. The authors hope that this will be useful to the advanced reader, while the simplicity of the original treatment, and the interest of the beginner, will remain unaffected.

It is necessary to mention that instead of following the ordinary translation practice of rendering ‘lsvara’ into ‘God’ and “Brahman’ into ‘Absolute’, the authors have used the word ‘God’ also for Brahman,. Just as ‘Brahman’ (Without adjectives) is used, even by the Upanisads and Sankara, for both the immanent, personal aspect, and also for the transcendent, impersonal aspect, similarly ‘God’ also has been used in English in this wide sense, and, therefore, sometimes for the Absolute (e.g. of Hegel), the Indeterminate Substance (e.g. of Spinoza), the Primordial Principle (e.g. of Whitehead). The exact sense in which ‘G0d’ has been used in this book will be clear from the context. Confinement of ‘God’ only to the Deity of Religion, and of ‘Absolute’ to the ultimate philosophical principle, while convenient in one respect, suffers from the disadvantage of suggesting as though they stand for two distinct realities, and not for two aspects of the same reality, as is the casein the Vedanta.

Preface to the Sixth Edition

The authors feel highly gratified that the book is now being widely used in India, America, Great Britain and other countries, and that another edition has been called for so soon. This gives an opportunity for further revision and improvement. The authors are grateful to Professor Charles A. Moore of the University of Hawaii and all other teachers of Philosophy who favoured them with their opinions and suggestions for some improvements in the previous editions. They also express their thanks to Sri S. Kanjilal, Superintendent of the Calcutta University Press, and his colleagues for their help in bringing out this edition in time.

Preface to the Seventh Edition

This seventh edition offered further opportunities for revision. We are much obliged to Professor Pradyotkumar Mukhopadhyay of Visva-Bharati for some suggestions, and In Sri S. Kanjilal and his colleagues for bringing out the hook under very difficult circumstances.


II. A Brief Sketch of the Systems 25
Chapter II: The Carvaka Philosophy 51-68
I. Its Origin and Scope 53
II. The Carvaka Epistemology 54
III. Metaphysics 59
IV. Ethics 62
V. Conclusion 64
Chapter III: The Jaina Philosophy 69-109
I. Introduction 71
II. The Jaina Theory of Knowledge 73
III. The Jaina Metaphysics 85
IV. The Jaina Ethics and Religion 98
Chapter IV: The Bauddha Philosophy 111-158
I. Introduction 113
II. The Teachings of Buddha: The Four Noble Truths 115
III. The Schools of Bauddha Philosophy 137
IV. The Religious Schools of Buddhism: Hinayana and Mahayana 151
Chapter V: The Nyaya Philosophy 159-221
I. Introduction 161
II. The Nyaya Theory of Knowledge 167
III. The Nyaya Theory of the Physical World 201
IV. The Individual Self and Its Liberation202
V. The Nyaya Theology 207
VI. Conclusion 220
Chapter VI: The Vaisesika Philosophy 223-25
I. Introduction 225
II. The Categories 227
III. The Creation and Destruction of the World 244
IV. Conclusion 249
Chapter VII: The Sankhya Philosophy 251-287
I. Introduction 253
II. The Sankhya Metaphysics 254
III. The Sankhya Theory of Knowledge 273
IV. The Doctrine of Liberation 278
V. The Problem of God 284
VI. Conclusion 286
Chapter VIII: The Yoga Philosophy 289-310
I. Introduction 291
II. Yoga Psychology 294
III. Yoga Ethics 297
IV. The Place of God in the Yoga 306
V. Conclusion 308
Chapter IX: The Mimamsa Philosophy 311-340
I. Introduction 313
II. The Mimamsa Theory of Knowledge 314
III. Mimamsa Metaphysics 331
IV. Mimamsa Religion and Ethics 336
Chapter X: The Vedanta Philosophy 341-429
I. Introduction343
II. The Monism of Sankara (Advaita) 365
III. The Qualified Monism of Ramanuja (Visista Dvaita)413
Index 431
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