Sources of Indian Tradition

Sources of Indian Tradition

Sources of Indian Tradition

Sources of Indian Tradition

Excerpt

This book, part of a three-volume series dealing with the civilizations of Japan and China, as well as India and Pakistan, contains source readings that tell us what the peoples of India have thought about the world they lived in and the problems they faced living together. It is meant to provide the general reader with an understanding of the intellectual and spiritual traditions which remain alive in India and Pakistan today. Thus, much attention is given to religious and philosophical developments in earlier times which still form part of the Indian heritage and have experienced a considerable revival in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.On the other hand, attention is also given to political, economic, and social thought, which other surveys, concentrating on classical Indian philosophy, have generally omitted.

Although our aim has been to combine variety with balance in the selection and presentation of materials, a few words are perhaps necessary concerning special points of emphasis. A glance at the contents will show that religion has furnished the general categories under which traditional Indian civilization is treated.This implies no judgment that religion was always the dominant factor in Indian life, but only that in the body of literature which provides us our texts, religious identities and continuities are more clearly distinguishable than are those based upon historical chronology or dynastic associations.Next, in this volume somewhat more attention is given to Theravada Buddhism than to Mahayana because the latter is given fuller treatment in the volumes in this series dealing with China and Japan.In the case of Hinduism the reader will find that relatively greater emphasis is placed upon the social and devotional aspects of the religion, which have affected great numbers of Hindus, than upon the philosophical speculations which have generally commanded the first attention of educated Indians and Westerners and . . .

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