A History of Indian Philosophy V 1

  • Item #: 0575
A History of Indian Philosophy Surendranath Dasgupta The work appears in five volumes. Vol. I comprises Buddhist and Jaina Philosophy and the six systems of Hindu thought, viz., Samkhya, Yoga, Nyaya, Vaisesika, Mimamsa and Vedanta. Vol. II completes studies in the Samkara School of Vedanta. It also contains the philosophy of the Yogavasistha, the Bhagavadgita and speculations in the medical schools. Vol. III contains an elaborate account of the Principal Dualistic and Pluralistic Systems such as the philosophy of the Pacaratra, Bhaskara, Yamuna, Ramnuja, Nimbarka,Purana, Madhva and his School, Vallabha, Caitanya, jiva Gosvami and Baladeva Vidyabhusana. Vol. V treats the Southern Schools of Saivism, vis., Saiva Siddhanta, Vira Saivism, philosophy of Srikantha, Saiva philosophy in the Puranas and in some important texts. In the words of the Oxford Journal ‘the collection of data, editing and the interpretation of every school of thought is a feat unparalleled in the field of history of philosophy.’ Volume I Chapter I Introductory The achievements of the ancient Indians in the field of philosophy are but very imperfectly known to the world at large, and it is unfortunate that the coalition is no better even in India. There is a small body of Hindu scholars and ascetics living a retired life in solitude, who are well acquainted with the subject, but they do not know English and are not used to modern ways of thinking, and the idea that they ought to write books in vernaculars in order to popularize the subject does not appeal to them. Through the activity of various learned bodies and private individuals both in Europe and in India large numbers of philosophical works in Sanskrit and Pali have been published, as well as translations of a few of them, but there has been as yet little systematic attempt on the part of scholars to study them and judge their value. There are hundreds of Sanskrit works on most of the systems of Indian thought and scarcely a hundredth part of them has been translated. Indian modes of expression, entailing difficult technical philosophical terms are so different from those of European thought, that they can hardly ever be accurately translated. It is therefore very difficult for a person unacquainted with Sanskrit, but acknowledge of Pali is helpful in understanding only the earliest school of Buddhism, when it was in its semi-philosophical stage. Sanskrit is generally regarded as a difficult language. But no one from an acquaintance with Vedic or ordinary literary Sanskrit can have any idea of the difficulty of the logical and abstruse parts of Sanskrit philosophical literature. A man who can easily understand the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Puranas, the Law Books and the literary works, and is also well acquainted with Europeans philosophical thought, may find it literally impossible to understand even small portions of a work of advance Indian logic, or the dialectical Vedanta. This is due to two reason, the use of technical terms and of great condensation in expression, and the hidden allusions to doctrines of other systems. The tendency to conceiving philosophical problems in a clear and unambiguous manner is an important feature of Sanskrit thought, but from ninth century onwards, the habit of using clear, definite, and precise expressions, began to develop in a very striking manner, and as a result of that a large number of technical terms began to be invented.
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