Other Religion Books

THE GENERAL BACKGROUND:- Before we can consider Shankara’s apecial contribution to Indian philosophy, we look briefly at the general framework in which his work was accomplished. The basic scriptures of the Hindus are called the Vedas. They are in Sanskrti, which bears somewhat the same relation to modern Indian & bears recognisable affinities to Greek & Latin. It is the parent of the main spoken languages of most of Indian & Ceylon, & with its vast litertureof lyrical, dramatic, & other works—as well as philosophy—it it continues the spoken languages. Thus the Vedas are by no means as dead, foreign, or artificial to a Hindu as are Latin & Greek scriptures to a European. Sources of Knowledge :- It is, in the nature of the subject, impossible to set out in a neat little list of points a philosophy which embraces a complete system of thought & way of life. It may help, however, if we tre to summarise the main features of Shankara’s system at the outset; aftre which the various problems will be dealt with one by one. It is not enough to but the best method available to us seems to be to look at the philosophy from the standpoint of each of its main tenets in turn. There will inevitably be a good deal of repetition, but in the end the student may be able to see the philosophy as a whole. If his interest is already aroused, his best pest plan is to read straight ahead; many of the questions which arise in his mind will be answered later on, & some of the other may be answered at a second reading. EPISTEMOLOGY:- How can we come to know the self? The answer is that if we truly know anything at all, it is the Self; & everything else we seem to know is a product of avidya oe nescience, which splits up the pure or integral knowledge into subject & object. For if the Self is universal & is the only reality, then, it is not the real that calls for explanation, but the false, the erroneous & the unreal.