Hinduism and Buddhism Philosophies

Life in India and Indian people are unique and can hardly be understood without knowing the notions of such philosophies as Hinduism and Buddhism. Therefore, the study of the Indian ideology is not only aimed at broadening the horizons, but also getting into the idiosyncratic world of the Indian truths, facts, errors, understandings, ridicules, admirations, and distortions. With its 450 million of people, the great democratic nation of the Eastern world that seems to sink in ignorance, diseases, and starvation is completely different from the Western countries. Consequently, only historical attempts of the selfish Westerners to use the Indian powers and riches became the evidence of how strong and indomitable the unique Indian spirit is.

"Open-mindedness, cordiality to alien ideas and ideals" are the essential components of the determined attempts to understand different people (Moor). Unbiased attitude without any conviction of superiority is the only key factor that can become helpful when one deals with an alien culture and world. Hence understanding of the Indian worldview and genuine comprehension of people's minds should be based on the fundamental philosophic aspects that have become an inherent part of each Indian's life. A stranger has to put all efforts to feel the worldview, beliefs and traditions of the country in order to perceive it. The last stage can probably be the denial and disapproval of some rules and traditions, but only the abovementioned steps can lead to genuine understanding.

It is important that philosophy is one of the aspects of India that is quite clear and has many common features with the Western ideas. However, in his "Introduction", Moor pointed out that the main tragedy is that these similarities are completely ignored, while different aspects are emphasized. The professor Mysore Hirfyanna stated that the bright Indian thought includes almost all shades of speculations. Therefore, practically every field of Indian civilization is a great complexity for any alien: the language, ideals, religion and the whole 4000-years-old culture. In order to trace its development, it is important to pay attention to several influential historical periods. The Vedic period that is usually dated 2500-6000 BC is marked as the one, when the fundamentals of Indian life and thought, the active and contemplative dharmas were established and developed in Vedas and Upanishads. Vedas tell how the multitudinous polytheism developed into monotheism and the philosophical monism has appeared. The Upanishads defined the method of reaching the ultimate truth as the one that needs minimal role of the reason, which is based on mystical experience and intuition. The Epic period that is dated from 600 BC to 200 AD was marked as semi-philosophical, and it is a period of Mahabharata and Ramayana. Religious convictions, customs and practices of Hindus created a basis for various political philosophies and theories. Six systems of Hindu philosophy (Nyaya, Vaishesika, Sankhya, Purva Mimansa, Vedanta and Yoga) originated in Satra period. All of these systems present different aspects of perspectives but agree about the belief in the soul. The last period of the commentators and commentaries lasts till today and is called a Scholastic period.

Regardless of the dark periods and the rich history of the Indian philosophy, it is the sphere of interest of many scholars because of its deep wisdom, significant concepts, and guidelines of life. Among such, one can point out the spiritual principles, the doctrine of karma, monism and absolutism principles, metaphysical perspectives, close relationship of life and philosophy, recognition of intuition, truth perspectives, synthetic attitude in religion, philosophy and its application to truth, introspective approach to truth, emphasis on the comprehensive sense and psychology, idealism traditions in various areas, ethics as spiritual realization, values of social life, morality, pleasure and material welfare, need for moral purification, search for knowledge, reasoning through meditation, initial pessimism principles, and yoga. These are the basic tendencies and guidelines that need to be understood by the one who wants to comprehend the Indian philosophy.


Moore, C.A. (year). Introduction: The comprehensive Indian mind. Publisher,1-18.