Theories of Evolution East & West

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Item Code: UAE256
Author: Manoj Kumar Jha
Language: English
Edition: 2010
ISBN: 9789380467597
Pages: 168
Other Details 9.00 X 6.00 inch
Weight 320 gm
Book Description
About The Book

This book is an attempt to examine the views of some Indian as well as Western thinkers regarding the Philosophy of evolution which has been considered as one of the common factor not in the field of Philosophy only but also in present day, for research of human beings. The evolutionary theory right from Vedic period till date (in our hand) and the representative thinkers of western Philosophy like Hegal, Herbert Spancer, Alexander and the views of other intellectual giant like Henri Bergson, who is called the champion amongst the evolutionist (on the other hand) have been fully discussed. This book deals with the attack of mechanistic, teleological and finalistic view of evolution in Bergson's theory of creative evolution in his negative aspect. In contrast with Darwinian mechanical theory of evolution Henri Bergson has advocated the creative theory of evolution in which he has conceived that the evolutionary process is fundamentally but ceaselessly creating novel beings and it included some of the most baffling problems of Philosophy e.g. those of instinct, intellect, intuition man's destiny etc. have been highlighted deeply and very minutely. The similarities and differences between the Darwinian theories of Biological evolution and other theories of evolution have been presented thoroughly. Not only the views of these thinkers but also the views of representative thinkers of the contemporary period are given due importance. Though, there are so many books on the theory of evolution, but the comparative study of the Indian thinkers in course of writings the theory of evolution as well as critical and comparative study of western attitude of the theory of evolution, this book is destined to lead to a great advance in human knowledge and it is my firm belief that Bergson's theory of creative evolution is bound to give place to a higher form of evolution, and which is seen rare. Lastly, in brief the book represents the inquisitive human mind and life and their successive search till the day.

About the Author

Professor Manoj Kumar Jha, born in August 1955, at village & Post-Shivipatty of Madhubani, Dist. Secured Honours in first class in 1973 from L.N.M.U., Darbhanga and M.A. Degree in Philosophy in 1975 from B.R.A. Bihar University Muzaffarpur.

Prof. Jha possesses a very good academic career. He is closely associated with research work and other academic activities in the department. His many articles have been published in national journals and other standard magazines. He has participated in many National seminars and refresher courses as a resource person. He has actively participated in National confrences held at Jammu Tawi and Jabalpur. Now this book is in your hand to judge to what extent he has succeeded in his endevour.


I have an earnest desire to write about the reorientation in the field of comparative outlook of the evolutionary thought. Therefore the plan of the present work is different from that of the numerous titles on evolution written both by the eastern as well as the western scholars. I propose to deal first the Indian theories of evolution in order to find out a way in our approach to the western theories of evolution. Throughout the whole work the problems of evolution have been touched in a systematic way.

Generally the modern scholars of East and West believe that the Indian Philosophy stands only for some notions i.e. Karma and Rebirth, Maya, Tyaga or the ascetic desire to get rid of the flesh. But I feel that this is far from the truth.

This work is mainly comparative but at times it reflects critical comments. But they have been made with the sole intention of clarifying some of the complex concepts.

In India today there are two distinct currents of Philosophical activities flowing almost side by side. One is the kind of philosophy in which both the intellectuals as well as the laymen take interest and the other attracts only the academicians and professionals. Now a day it is possible to develop a comprehensive view of the philosophical activities that are being perused in the Universities of India by the teachers and students of philosophy. That of course will be a valuable and major work in itself and hence will deserve a separate treatment.

I, in the present work tried to study the theory of evolution according to Indian Philosophy first and the attempt has been made to explain briefly the meaning, characteristics and a brief history of evolution.

The view of evolution is essentially rooted in Indian thought in general and its earliest expression is found in the hymns of the Rg. Veda. I plan here to deal with the various theories of evolution right from the Vedic period till today. (I uphold the monistic doctrine of the Vedas).

Some doctrines are seen in others writings of orthodox schools in a unique way. Indian scholar's writings of India, such as Sankhya and other orthodox schools and various theories of evolution of Indian philosophy conjoining it into the contemporary philosopher like Sri Aurobindo also in the end of the 1st chapter in view to collecting more materials for the students regarding the theory of evolution.

The second chapter explains and expounds critical exposition of important aspects of the evolutionary philosophy of Hegel, Weismman, De Vries. I have also discussed Alexander's theory of emergent evolution.

The third chapter I have concerned on the concept of creative evolution of Henri Bergson.

The fourth chapter deals with a comparative study of evolution of the philosophy of Darwin and Bergson.

The last chapter contains concluding reflections where it has been tried to see as to how this approach is significant to its integral value. The theory tells us that through the evolutionary process it is within the reach of everybody to free himself from the finitude and limitation.

This work proposes to present a general outline of evolutionary theories of Indian philosophers as well as of the western thinkers. I realize that much of the fact have been left untouched in the book.

It is my pious duty to acknowledge the gratitude of my parents, whose blessings gave me strength for overcoming all the abstacles, which occurred in the way of doing this research work. I am grateful to my teacher Dr. K.P. Verma, Rtd. Professor and Head of the Post-Graduate Deptt. of Philosophy, L.N. Mithila university, Darbhanga, whose suggestions in course of writing this work are quite valuable.

It is a matter of great pleasure to acknowledge the help and guidance of all my colleagues. I have no words to express my feelings arid love to my wife Smt. Rita Jha, M.A., whose sacrifices and encouragements have brought me at the place, where I do stand.

She has helped me in preparing the outline of the book and also corrected the proof. I thank warmly to Sri. Sanjay Chaubey of Kala Prakashan who has taken great pains to publish the book in such a short span of time.


The present book entitled 'Theories of Evolution East and West written by Prof. Manoj Kumar Jha is a comparative study at the theories of evolution as expounded in the East as well as in the West. The author's explanations and analysis of the writings of Sri Aurobindo and Bergson are based on original texts. This book is a classic text for any student seeking to understand the theories of evolution in the frameworks of ancient and contemporary philosophy. The author demonstrates the internal coherence of different theories of evolution. He has taken a great pain to work out Indian concept of evolution right from Vedas to Sri Aurobindo. He attempts to explain Darwin's theory of biological evolution. The author has made a significant contribution in the field of comparative philosophy. The very opening sentence of the book is quite significant when Dr. ]ha observes, ‘The problem of evolution is one of the fundamental problems of Philosophy. Perhaps the starting point of all philosophical speculations in human history the problem, of creation and evolution, which seems to have been stirring the humanity till now' (Introduction). This work attempts to bring out clearly Bergson's theory of creative evolution and contrasts it with that of mechanistic theory of Darwin. The author has focused his attention on integral theory of evolution as propounded by Sri. Aurobindo. Dr. Jha has also dealt the problem of human destiny. He has not dismissed the world as illusion or myth. This text bridges the gap between Indian and Western theories of evolution. The author has very ably demonstrated the theory of evolution as conceived and explained by Indian schools of Philosophy as well as western thinkers.

I have chosen to write brief foreword of this book for two reasons. The first is that, for my knowledge 'The comparative account has been presented lucidly and authentically'. The second reason is more personal one. I am deeply interested in theories of evolution. Of late in Feb. 2010, I have an occasion to write a paper on creative world process and presented in the Seminar of Kashi Vidyapeeth. Dr. Jha has undertaken this in the right sprit and presented a very vivid comparision between East and West.


The problem of evolution is one of the fundamental problems of philosophy. Perhaps the starting point of all philosophical speculation in human history is the problem of creation and evolution, which seems to have been stirring the humanity till now. Philosophical thinking, whether in the minds of our ancient seers or in those of contemporary pioneers, must have given a major if not the entire pre-occupation to an adequate expanation of this Universe, properly speaking, multiverse, with its innumerable varities, unaccountable aspects and incalculable novelties. Here it seems imperative that while taking a comprehensive view of the theory of evolution a preliminary historical survey of its growth and development be traced out. In this work I propose to begin with the Indian theories of evolution in order to find out a way onward in my approach to the Western theories of evolution, particularly regarding the concept of creative evolution of Hanri Bergson. There has hardly been a complete study of Bergson on the problem of evolution, unless we take into consideration his entire writings. The present work, I hope, will bring forth a fuller and more complete exposition of Bergson's concept of creative Evolution than what is available at present.

It would be my sincere and honest endeavour throughout the book to present the problem of evolution in a systematic way. But the nature of the subject matter is such that it includes some of the most baffling problems of philosophy e.g., those of instinct, intellect, intuition, Man's destiny and so on. Even an introductory discussion on each of these problems might create discontinuity in thought. But since these discussions are unavoidable, I am compelled to incorporate them within the present work. There are repetitions, I admit; and some of them I have not consciously removed, for I feel that they cannot he removed without losing the essence of the discussions at hand.

For the sake of my convenience and better appreciation of the problem I would make an attempt to study Henri Bergson's notion of Creative Evolution under different heads. In fact the most salient feature of Henri Bergson's Creative Evolution is rooted in his immense and unflinching endeavour to map out the essence of creativity, the promise to an absolute new creation hitherto unknown at every step that it follows; as the guiding principle of evolutionary process. What has come to me as the hall mark of his imaginative intellectual exploration of the Creative Evolution is not only an achieved work of coherence and appeal but it also bears the undeniable mark of consistency and convincingness. Henri Bergson's interpretation of the Creative Evolution is irresistible in its appeal to all in general and to me in particular. Hence my quest in this study is to probe the uniqueness of Henri Bergson as the champion of the concept of Creative Evolution. A chapter-wise break up of this work is as follows :

In Chapter-I I have attempted to explain the theory of evolution according to Indian philosophy. The view of creation and evolution is essentially rooted in Indian thought in general and its earliest expression is found in the hymns of the Rgveda. I have, therefore, traced out the various theories of creation and evolution right from the Vedic period till today. The Vedas believe in the actual creation of the Universe by the transformation of some parts of the Absolute by force of Tapas. In fact the Vedas do not support the view that the world is illusory and unreal. For the sages the world is real, the evolution is real and all the created things of the universe are the real creation of the Absolute. Upholding the monistic doctrine of the Vedas the Upanishads admit Brahman as the source from which the world has evolved out. As the Taittiriya Upanishad says, 'That from which these beings are born, that in which when born they live, and that into which they enter at their death, that is Brahman." Like the Upanishads, Gita also advocates the theory of the creation of the world. According to Gita Purusottama is the Supreme Reality, having His higher and lower nature. The world is a creation of His lower nature. His higher nature is beyond this mundane by which this world is upheld. It is stated in Gita that Purusottama manifests, Himself in every object and those who can see the self in every object, see Him therein.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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