Indian philosophy

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Indian philosophy (Sanskrit: दर्शन or darśana) comprises the ancient philosophical traditions of the Indian subcontinent.

After the conversations about Indian philosophy, some of the ideas of Quantum Physics that had seemed so crazy suddenly made much more sense. ~ Werner Heisenberg

Quotes[edit]

  • The logic of the Greeks prevents them having the idea at all and it is to the Indian cultures that we must look to find thinkers who are comfortable with the idea that Nothing might be something.
    • John D. Barrow, The Book of Nothing (2009) chapter nought, "Nothingology—Flying to Nowhere"
  • The Indian religious traditions... accepted the concept of non-being on an equal footing with that of being. Like many other Eastern religions, the Indian culture regarded Nothing as a state from which one might have come and to which one might return.. Where Western religious traditions sought to flee from nothingness... a state of non-being was something to be actively sought by Buddhist and Hindus in order to achieve Nirvana: oneness with the Cosmos.
    • John D. Barrow, The Book of Nothing (2009) chapter one "Zero—The Whole Story"
  • The two foundations of twentieth-century physics—quantum theory and relativity theory—both force us to see the world very much in the way a Hindu, Buddhist … sees it. [...] The scale of this ancient myth is indeed staggering; it has taken the human mind more than two thousand years to come up again with a similar concept.
    • Fritjof Capra. source: The Tao of Physics, Fritjof Capra.Quoted from Gewali, Salil (2013). Great Minds on India. New Delhi: Penguin Random House.
  • With a rigor unknown elsewhere, India has applied itself to analyzing the various conditionings of the human spirit.
    • M. Eliade, source: Yoga: Immortality and Freedom, Mircea Eliade.Quoted from Gewali, Salil (2013). Great Minds on India. New Delhi: Penguin Random House.
  • After these conversations with Tagore some of the ideas that had seemed so crazy suddenly made much more sense. That was a great help for me.
    • Werner Heisenberg, on conversations with Rabindranath Tagore, as quoted in Uncommon Wisdom: Conversations With Remarkable People (1988) by Fritjof Capra, who states of Heisenberg, that after these "He began to see that the recognition of relativity, interconnectedness, and impermanence as fundamental aspects of physical reality, which had been so difficult for himself and his fellow physicists, was the very basis of the Indian spiritual traditions."
    • Variant: After the conversations about Indian philosophy, some of the ideas of Quantum Physics that had seemed so crazy suddenly made much more sense.
  • The writers of the Indian philosophies will survive, when the British dominion in India shall long have ceased to exist, and when the sources which it yielded of wealth and power are lost to remembrances.
    • Lord Warren Hastings (1732–1818) source: Universal Message of the Bhagavad Gita, Swami Ranganathananda. Quoted from Gewali, Salil (2013). Great Minds on India. New Delhi: Penguin Random House.
  • I can venture to affirm, without meaning to pluck a leaf from the never-fading laurels of our immortal Newton, that the whole of his theology, and part of his philosophy, may be found in the Vedas, and even in the works of the Sufis. The most subtle spirit, which he suspected to pervade natural bodies, and, lying concealed in them, to cause attraction and repulsion; the emission, reflection, and refraction of light; electricity, calefaction, sensation, and muscular motion, is described by the Hindus as a fifth element, endued with those very powers; and the Vedas abound with allusions to a force universally attractive, which they chiefly ascribe to the Sun, thence called Aditya, or the Attractor
    • Sir William Jones, in his Discourse before the Asiatic Society, delivered at Calcutta, February 20th; 1794
  • The six Philosophical Schools, whose principles are explained in the Dersana Sàstra, comprise all the metaphysics of the old Academy, the Stoa, the Lyceum; nor is it possible to read the Vedanta, or the many fine compositions in illustration of it, without believing, that Pythagoras and Plato derived their sublime theories from the same fountain with the sages of India.
    • William Jones, source: The Philomathic Journal, The Philomathic institution.Quoted from Gewali, Salil (2013). Great Minds on India. New Delhi: Penguin Random House.
  • In the west, our understanding of Indian philosophical schools ... has been colored by our own history. The default model for the relationship between these schools is often unwittingly based on models derived from Western religious history: the hostilities between the three religions of the Book, the modern relationship of the various Christian denominations, or even the relation between orthodox and heterodox sects in early Christianity.
    • Andrew Nicholson, quoted in: Rajiv Malhotra: Indra's Net, p 169, 1st ed.
  • The link between this new physics and dharma has been noted since the discovery of quantum mechnics by Heisenberg and Schrodinger (both Nobel Laureates in physics). Each of these pioneers cited the Upanishads as the only source of philosophy known to them that was consistent with the paradoxical nature of reality according to quantum mechanics.
    • Rajiv Malhotra, Indra's Net, p. 252, 1st ed.
  • The study of Japanese thought is the study of Indian thought.
    • D.T. Suzuki, quoted in "Western Admirers of Ramakrishna and His Disciples" by Gopal Stavig, p. 834
  • When I was a student, the term "Indian philosophy: was usually regarded as self-contradictory, a contradictio in adjecto, comparable to such an absurdity as "wooden steel." "Indian philosophy" was something that simply did not exist.
  • Indian philosophers’ subtleties make most of the great European philosophers look like schoolboys. Two years spent in the study of Sanskrit under Charles Lanman, and a year in the mazes of Patanjali’s metaphysics under the guidance of James Woods, left me in a state of enlightened mystification.
    • T.S. Eliot. source: After Strange Gods, T.S. Eliot. Quoted from Gewali, Salil (2013). Great Minds on India. New Delhi: Penguin Random House.
  • I like to think that someone will trace how the deepest thinking of India made its way to Greece and from there to the philosophy of our times.
    • John Wheeler. source: Indian Conquests of the Mind, Saibal Gupta. Quoted from Gewali, Salil (2013). Great Minds on India. New Delhi: Penguin Random House.
  • It was my first meeting with [Indian] philosophy that confirmed my vague speculations and seemed at once logical and boundless.
    • William Butler Yeats, source: India and World Civilization, D.P. Singhal Quoted from Gewali, Salil (2013). Great Minds on India. New Delhi: Penguin Random House.
  • What distinguishes the Vedanta philosophy from all other philosophies is that it is at the same time a religion and a philosophy.
    • Max Müller . source: Three Lectures on the Vedanta Philosophy, Max Müller Quoted from Gewali, Salil (2013). Great Minds on India. New Delhi: Penguin Random House.
  • Even Plato seems to me to be in all main points only a Brahmin’s good pupil.
    • Friedrich Nietzsche, Letter to Peter Gast, May 31, 1888. KSA 14.420. Quoted from Elst, Koenraad. Manu as a weapon against egalitarianism: Nietzsche and Hindu political philosophy in : Siemens & Vasti Roodt, eds.: Nietzsche, Power and Politics (Walter de Gruyter, Berlin 2008).

External links[edit]

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