The Cultural Heritage of India - Vol. 3

The Cultural Heritage of India - Vol. 3

The Cultural Heritage of India - Vol. 3

The Cultural Heritage of India - Vol. 3

Excerpt

The preparation of the second edition of The Cultural Heritage of India was taken in hand in June, 1947, after the first edition had long been out of print. According to the new scheme of publication, the different volumes were not only to be revised, but also to be improved by the addition of new articles to make them more comprehensive. It was also decided to attempt a presentation of the contents in a logical order, and to arrange the articles in such a manner that they might form a homogeneous group from some angle of vision and at the same time not make the volumes unwieldy in size. The third volume devoted to the philosophies of India was the first to be completed and is being released for publication first.

Of the thirty-nine articles contained in the present volume thirteen are old. Most of these have been revised by the authors themselves for the present edition; the one on 'Pūrva-Mīmāḿsā' has been revised and enlarged by Mm. Chinnaswami Sastri; and a few only are reproduced without any noticeable change. A welcome innovation is the inclusion of the contributions of two distinguished scholars, Mm. Anantakrishna Sastri and Mm. Yogendranath Bagchi, whose original articles in Sanskrit and Bengali respectively are appearing in translation.

According to the plan of arrangement of subjects in different volumes, Buddhist and Jaina cultures, including their philosophies, have been assigned to Volume I. In Volume II will be presented the ethical and philosophical speculations to be found in the epics (including the Bhagavad-Gītā), the Purāṇas, and the legal literature. The present volume has thus been practically confined to the Brāhmanical systems of Indian philosophy, including the Lokāyata or Cārvāka philosophy, which is a rather anti-Vedic mode of thought.

The need to orient philosophical thinking to spiritual requirements has been constantly kept in view. It is hoped that the multiplicity of approaches by different authors to the Vedāntic thought will serve to bring out the personal character of philosophical appreciation in India. And this conviction will be strengthened by a perusal of the succeeding articles that show how the same basic Vedāntic text was used to elaborate philosophical views in consonance with the sectarian attitude towards the ultimate principle and the origin, nature, function, and destiny of the world of dependent beings. The importance of the Vedānta as the highest . . .

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