Indian and western philosophy cross reference and why indian philosophy is an essential tool for understanding

Document Type:Thesis

Subject Area:Philosophy

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Furthermore, analyzing the distinction between Indian philosophy and Western philosophy gives an understanding of how self-liberation may be achieved and understanding that having a relaxed mental state is crucial for obtaining information and reasoning with inference. In support of this thinking, several sources such as the Vedas and Gita have tried to analyze and present the fundamental differences that exist between Western and Indian philosophies by significant margins. Primarily, a person’s actions are influenced by the environment and the people around him or her, and as karma says, a person’s past actions determine his or her happiness or unhappiness. Giving life its meaning requires that a person should operate in a free state of mind and where man leads a happy life free from suffering.

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Thus, for a person to live a happy life, he or she must adhere to the teachings of karma and practice what ethical philosophy deems vital to one another. On the contrary, Indian philosophy, which is focused on practical life issues, provides an essential tool for understanding the essence of life. Cooper refutes the belief that Indian Philosophy is the only necessary tool for understanding a person’s internal real by stating that early Greek philosophers asked ethical, political, cosmological, and psychological questions which also contributed towards improving the lives of early people (223). But, to which extent can this statement be justified? From a general perspective, disciplines such as psychology cannot be viewed as disciplines intended to understand the internal feelings and emotions of a person because psychology is outwardly studied.

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Moreover, Radhakrishnan and Charles contributed to this debate by stating that medieval philosophers were also interested in theological questions and that they too can be viewed as vital contributors towards the development of a person’s internal attachment to an external Super-being to whom they are answerable (379). Nonetheless, the fact remains that even Indian philosophers also asked ethical, cosmological, epistemological, theological, and logico-linguistics questions which were meant to understand a person’s internal emotions and feelings which contribute to suffering (The Vedas 193). Karma reminds man that there is a need for a person to understand his or her deeds if he or she has to live a happy life. In essence, karma warns people that all their action will one day be their barriers to happiness or sorrow and for this reason, it is essential for everybody to associate themselves to a particular being who controls their inner emotions and feelings in this world.

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Unlike Western philosophers who believe in modifying the universe for man’s betterment, Indian philosophers think that the world in which man lives is a dead matter; it cannot be changed, but the people a person interacts with may modify it or give it a new structure or appearance or another person could change it (Gita 368). In other words, according to Indian philosophy, the universe has many opportunities with which human beings may use for their benefit by choosing who to interact with and where to interact and for what reason. In this case, a person may decide to set ordinary goals and lead a meaningful life or set a spiritual purpose and live a fruitful life (The Vedas 121). Generally, it is hard to come across an Indian school of thought that divorces itself from the practical utility.

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Concerning religion, Western philosophy may argue that Indian philosophy is too old and that at the time of its development, it would not differentiate between religion and philosophy because, at the time of its construction, Indian mind had not developed to the level which would allow critical and abstract thinking and. If justifiable, this objection implies that ancient philosophers were incapable of making an informed judgment about philosophy without sorting religion from moral injunctions (Huxley). This argument may not be justified since Indian philosophers have demonstrated a great understanding of faith and the ways of God which guides and directs a person’s way of living. Gita has elaborated on several issues which should govern a person’s daily activities and how a man should relate with one another if they want to live of suffering in their later lives.

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Unlike Western philosophy, Indian philosophy is introversive since it is pre-eminently interested in acquiring knowledge of the self. For instance, man’s desire to understand the nature of God’s work is evident in Indian philosophy but lacks in Western philosophy. In seeking to follow God’s work, man Indian philosophy quotes, “works do not define me, nor do I have a yearning in their fruits. Works do not bind he who knows me thus. So, knowing was work done by old men who sought liberation” (The Vedas 37). For Indian philosophy, a person’s liberation from suffering mainly depends on an individual’s past deeds (The Vedas 48). According to the hymns of the Vedas, seeking to understand the internal self is vital for the determination of a person’s actions on earth and the afterlife.

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