Saturday, April 26, 2008

Indian Philosophers

Writing about Indian Philosophers is certainly not the idea of this post. However , the inspiration for this post comes from a discussion i had yesterday , with two of my colleagues. Coming back from the Knopfler concert (which of course we thoroughly enjoyed) , we got into a discussion on philosophy. At this moment one of my colleagues, who had obviously read a lot about this subject started speaking about kant , Aristotle etc . One my Indian friends suddenly made a comment that we from India do not have a chance to get to know about subjects like this as we do not have many philosophers. In response to which the foreigner who was with us made a very generic statement "the only philosopher you guys have is buddha .... " of course he didnt intend any offence. I wasnt really feeling sad at the foreigner's statement coz i can understand if a non indian says he doesnot know of any one other than Budhha , but coming from a country where great thinkers like swami Vivekananda , Rama Krishna ParamaHamsa , Raja Ram Mohan Roy , Shankaracharya are revered i was surprised with my Indian friend's comments.

This atleast was a shock to me that an Indian does not remember Swami Vivekananda as one of the greatest philosophers this country has ever produced. I personally know of people who have been really impressed by this man's speeches. May be i am a bit exaggerating but i feel this incident though small in nature throws light on how we in India are loosing track of our great history. Dont get me wrong , i am a great admirer of modernization and surely not of the league who keeps speaking about blindly following traditions , and sneer at modernization. However , we should not certainly let our culture and history take a back seat to embrace the development of the world. Making a general statement like the one my friend made , in front of a foreigner certainly shows the country in a poor light. I would have been happier if my friend had at least thought are there really no great philosopher's from India ? . Given that culture and civilization have existed here since time infinity, didn't we ever have people who really thought about the human way of life in general (at least to me that is what philosophy is all about).

Just to answer these questions , i had searched wiki to find some great people a few of whom i had studied about before like Yagnavalkya , swami vivekananda , raja ram mohan roy etc ... and of course the others are new to me as well. Hopefully , any one who reads this post would find them useful as well.

Moder Indian Philosophers :

Indian Philosophers a compilation