What Is Indian Philosophy?

If you desire ease, forsake learning.
If you desire learning, forsake ease.
How can the man at his ease acquire knowledge,
And how can the earnest student enjoy ease?

- Nagarjuna, The Tree of Wisdom

Podcast of the Day

In this series of episodes, co-authored with Jonardon Ganeri (Professor of Philosophy at NYU, Visiting Professor at King's College London and Professorial Research Associate at SOAS - and author of numerous books and articles on Indian philosophy), Peter considers the rich philosophical tradition of India. The podcasts cover the first thousand years of the history of Indian philosophy, beginning with Vedic literature (including the Upanisads) and ending with the maturation of Buddhist and Jain thought. This timespan will be divided into three ages: the early period of the Vedas and classical Hindu epics, and the emergence of critique from the Buddhists and Jains; the Age of the Sutra, a period of increasing systematicity in which several schools of thought emerged from the brahminical tradition; and finally a look at the critiques of these schools from the Buddhist and Jain traditions.

Listen to the History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps episode: Begin at the End: Introduction to Indian Philosophy

Video of the Day

Short Article of the Day

Many Hindus believe in God, but not all in the same God: For some it is Vishnu, for others Shiva, for others again it is rather the Goddess. Some of the more important Hindu philosophers are atheists, arguing that no sacred religious text such as the Veda could be the word of God, since authorship, even divine authorship, implies the logical possibility of error. Whether believed in or not, a personal God does not figure prominently as the source of the idea of the divine, and instead non-theistic concepts of the divine prevail...

Continue reading Gary Gutting's article: What Would Krishna Do? Or Shiva? Or Vishnu?

Further Reading

Perhaps no other classical philosophical tradition, East or West, offers a more complex and counter-intuitive account of mind and mental phenomena than Buddhism. While Buddhists share with other Indian philosophers the view that the domain of the mental encompasses a set of interrelated faculties and processes, they do not associate mental phenomena with the activity of a substantial, independent, and enduring self or agent. Rather, Buddhist theories of mind center on the doctrine of not-self (Pāli anatta, Skt. anātma), which postulates that human beings are reducible to the physical and psychological constituents and processes which comprise them... - Continue reading the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article on Mind in Indian Buddhist Philosophy by Christian Coseru

Want to learn more? Check out: The Five Best Books on Indian Philosophy

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