Indian philosophy

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Indian philosophy (Sanskrit: दर्शन or darśana) comprises the ancient philosophical traditions of the Indian subcontinent. The schools of Indian philosophical thought is classified as either orthodox or heterodox – āstika or nāstika – depending on one of three alternate criteria: whether it believes the Vedas are a valid source of knowledge; whether the school believes in the premises of Brahman and Atman; and whether the school believes in afterlife and Devas.[1][2][3]

There are six major schools of orthodox Hindu philosophyNyaya, Vaisheshika, Samkhya, Yoga, Mīmāṃsā and Vedanta, and four major heterodox schools—Jain, Buddhist, Ajivika and Cārvāka. However, there are other methods of classification; Vidyaranya for instance identifies sixteen schools of Indian philosophy by including those that belong to the Śaiva and Raseśvara traditions.[4][5]

The main schools of Indian philosophy were formalised chiefly between 1000 BCE to the early centuries of the Common Era. According to philosopher Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, the earliest of these, which date back to the composition of the Upanishads in the later Vedic period (1000–500 BCE), constitute "the earliest philosophical compositions of the world."[6] Competition and integration between the various schools was intense during their formative years, especially between 800 BCE and 200 CE. Some schools like Jainism, Buddhism, Yoga, Śaiva and Advaita Vedanta survived, but others, like Charvaka and Ājīvika did not.

Ancient and medieval era texts of Indian philosophies include extensive discussions on Ontology (metaphysics, Brahman-Atman, Sunyata-Anatta), reliable means of knowledge (epistemology, Pramanas), value system (axiology) and other topics.[7][8][9]

Common themes[edit]

Indian philosophies share many concepts such as dharma, karma, samsara, reincarnation, dukkha, renunciation, meditation, with almost all of them focussing on the ultimate goal of liberation of the individual through diverse range of spiritual practices (moksha, nirvana).[10] They differ in their assumptions about the nature of existence as well as the specifics of the path to the ultimate liberation, resulting in numerous schools that disagreed with each other. Their ancient doctrines span the diverse range of philosophies found in other ancient cultures.[11]

Orthodox schools[edit]

Many Hindu intellectual traditions were classified during the medieval period of Brahmanic-Sanskritic scholasticism into a standard list of six orthodox (Astika) schools (darshanas), the "Six Philosophies" (ṣaḍ-darśana), all of which accept the testimony of the Vedas.[12][13][14]

  • Samkhya, the rationalism school with dualism and atheistic themes[15][16]
  • Yoga, a school similar to Samkhya but accepts personally defined theistic themes[17]
  • Nyaya, the realism school emphasizing analytics and logic[18][19]
  • Vaisheshika, the naturalism school with atomistic themes and related to the Nyaya school[20][21]
  • Purva Mimamsa (or simply Mimamsa), the ritualism school with Vedic exegesis and philology emphasis,[22][23] and
  • Vedanta (also called Uttara Mimamsa), the Upanishadic tradition, with many sub-schools ranging from dualism to nondualism.[24][25]

These are often coupled into three groups for both historical and conceptual reasons: Nyaya-Vaishesika, Samkhya-Yoga, and Mimamsa-Vedanta. The Vedanta school is further divided into six sub-schools: Advaita (monism/nondualism), also includes the concept of Ajativada, Visishtadvaita (monism of the qualified whole), Dvaita (dualism), Dvaitadvaita (dualism-nondualism), Suddhadvaita, and Achintya Bheda Abheda schools.

Besides these schools Mādhava Vidyāraṇya also includes the following of the aforementioned theistic philosophies based on the Agamas and Tantras:[4]

The systems mentioned here are not the only orthodox systems, they are the chief ones, and there are other orthodox schools. These systems, accept the authority of Vedas and are regarded as orthodox (astika) schools of Hindu philosophy; besides these, schools that do not accept the authority of the Vedas are heterodox (nastika) systems such as Buddhism, Jainism, Ajivika and Cārvāka.[26][27][28] This orthodox-heterodox terminology is a construct of Western languages, and lacks scholarly roots in Sanskrit. According to Andrew Nicholson, there have been various heresiological translations of Āstika and Nāstika in 20th century literature on Indian philosophies, but quite many are unsophisticated and flawed.[3]

Heterodox (Śramaṇic schools)[edit]

Several Śramaṇic movements have existed before the 6th century BCE, and these influenced both the āstika and nāstika traditions of Indian philosophy.[30] The Śramaṇa movement gave rise to diverse range of heterodox beliefs, ranging from accepting or denying the concept of soul, atomism, antinomian ethics, materialism, atheism, agnosticism, fatalism to free will, idealization of extreme asceticism to that of family life, strict ahimsa (non-violence) and vegetarianism to permissibility of violence and meat-eating.[31] Notable philosophies that arose from Śramaṇic movement were Jainism, early Buddhism, Cārvāka, Ajñana and Ājīvika.[32]

Jain philosophy[edit]

Jainism came into formal being after Mahavira synthesised philosophies and promulgations of the ancient Śramaṇic traditions, during the period around 550 BC, in the region that is present day Bihar in northern India.[citation needed]

Jainism, like Buddhism, is a Śramaṇic religion and rejected the authority of the Vedas. However, like all Indian religions, it shares the core concepts such as karma, ethical living, rebirth, samsara and moksha. Jainism places strong emphasis on asceticism and ahimsa (non-violence) as a means of spiritual liberation, ideas that influenced other Indian traditions.[33]

Buddhist philosophy[edit]

Buddhist philosophy is a system of thought which started with the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, or "awakened one". Buddhism is founded on elements of the Śramaṇa movement, which flowered in the first half of the 1st millennium BCE, but its foundations contain novel ideas not found or accepted by other Sramana movements. Buddhism and Hinduism mutually influenced each other and shared many concepts, states Paul Williams, however it is now difficult to identify and describe these influences.[34] The influence of 3rd-century CE[35] Buddhist Tathagatagarbha Sutras on the Advaita Vedanta Hindu scholar Gaudapada – a major school of thought within Hinduism, is clear.[36] Buddhism rejected the Vedic concepts of Brahman (ultimate reality) and Atman (soul, self) at the foundation of Hindu philosophies.[37][38][39]

Buddhism shares many philosophical views with other Indian systems, such as belief in karma – a cause-and-effect relationship, samsara – ideas about cyclic afterlife and rebirth, dharma – ideas about ethics, duties and values, impermanence of all material things and of body, and possibility of spiritual liberation (nirvana or moksha).[40][41] A major departure from Hindu and Jain philosophy is the Buddhist rejection of an eternal soul (atman) in favour of anatta (non-Self).[42]

File:Sudama and Lomas Rishi Caves at Barabar, Bihar, 1870.jpg
An aloof meditative life has been an ancient Indian tradition, and a source of the philosophical doctrines its schools developed. Above is the 3rd century BCE mendicant caves of the Ājīvikas (Barabar, near Gaya, Bihar).[43]

Ājīvika philosophy[edit]

The philosophy of Ājīvika was founded by Makkhali Gosala, it was a Śramaṇa movement and a major rival of early Buddhism and Jainism.[44] Ājīvikas were organised renunciates who formed discrete monastic communities prone to an ascetic and simple lifestyle.[45]

Original scriptures of the Ājīvika school of philosophy may once have existed, but these are currently unavailable and probably lost. Their theories are extracted from mentions of Ajivikas in the secondary sources of ancient Indian literature, particularly those of Jainism and Buddhism which polemically criticized the Ajivikas.[46] The Ājīvika school is known for its Niyati doctrine of absolute determinism (fate), the premise that there is no free will, that everything that has happened, is happening and will happen is entirely preordained and a function of cosmic principles.[46][47] Ājīvika considered the karma doctrine as a fallacy.[48] Ājīvikas were atheists[49] and rejected the authority of the Vedas, but they believed that in every living being is an ātman – a central premise of Hinduism and Jainism.[50][51]

Cārvāka philosophy[edit]

Cārvāka or Lokāyata was a philosophy of scepticism and materialism, founded in the Mauryan period. They were extremely critical of other schools of philosophy of the time. Cārvāka deemed Vedas to be tainted by the three faults of untruth, self-contradiction, and tautology.[52] Likewise they faulted Buddhists and Jains, mocking the concept of liberation, reincarnation and accumulation of merit or demerit through karma.[53] They believed that, the viewpoint of relinquishing pleasure to avoid pain was the "reasoning of fools".[52]

Comparison of Indian philosophies[edit]

The Indian traditions subscribed to diverse philosophies, significantly disagreeing with each other as well as orthodox Hinduism and its six schools of Hindu philosophy. The differences ranged from a belief that every individual has a soul (self, atman) to asserting that there is no soul,[54] from axiological merit in a frugal ascetic life to that of a hedonistic life, from a belief in rebirth to asserting that there is no rebirth.[55]

Comparison of ancient Indian philosophies
Ājīvika Early Buddhism Cārvāka Jainism Orthodox schools of Hinduism
Karma Denies[56][57] Affirms[55] Denies[55] Affirms[55] Affirms
Samsara, Rebirth Affirms Affirms[58] Denies[59] Affirms[55] Some school affirm, some not[60]
Ascetic life Affirms Affirms Affirms[55] Affirms Affirms as Sannyasa[61]
Rituals, Bhakti Affirms Affirms, optional[62]
(Pali: Bhatti)
Denies Affirms, optional[63] Theistic school: Affirms, optional[64]
Others: Deny[65][66]
Ahimsa and Vegetarianism Affirms Affirms,
Unclear on meat as food[67]
Strongest proponent
of non-violence;
Vegetarianism to avoid
violence against animals[68]
Affirms as highest virtue,
but Just War affirmed
Vegetarianism encouraged, but
choice left to the Hindu[69][70]
Free will Denies[71] Affirms[72] Affirms Affirms Affirms[73]
Maya Affirms[74] Affirms
Denies Affirms Affirms[76][77]
Atman (Soul, Self) Affirms Denies[54] Denies[78] Affirms[79]:119 Affirms[80]
Creator God Denies Denies Denies Denies Theistic schools: Affirm[81]
Others: Deny[82][83]
Pratyakṣa[86] Pratyakṣa,
Various, Vaisheshika (two) to Vedanta (six):[84][87]
Pratyakṣa (perception),
Anumāṇa (inference),
Upamāṇa (comparison and analogy),
Arthāpatti (postulation, derivation),
Anupalabdi (non-perception, negative/cognitive proof),
Śabda (Reliable testimony)
Epistemic authority Denies: Vedas Affirms: Buddha text[88]
Denies: Vedas
Denies: Vedas Affirms: Jain Agamas
Denies: Vedas
Affirm: Vedas and Upanishads,[note 1]
Affirm: other texts[88][90]
Samsdrasuddhi[91] Nirvana
(realize Śūnyatā)[92]
Siddha[93] Moksha, Nirvana, Kaivalya
Advaita, Yoga, others: Jivanmukti[94]
Dvaita, theistic: Videhamukti
(Ultimate Reality)
Śūnyatā[95][96] Anekāntavāda[97] Brahman[98][99]

Political philosophy[edit]

The Arthashastra, attributed to the Mauryan minister Chanakya, is one of the early Indian texts devoted to political philosophy. It is dated to 4th century BCE and discusses ideas of statecraft and economic policy.

The political philosophy most closely associated with India is the one of ahimsa (non-violence) and Satyagraha, popularised by Mahatma Gandhi during the Indian struggle for independence. It was influenced by the Indian Dharmic philosophy, particularly the Buddha, Bhagvata Gita, as well as secular writings of authors such as Leo Tolstoy, Henry David Thoreau and John Ruskin.[100] In turn it influenced the later movements for independence and civil rights, especially those led by Martin Luther King, Jr. and to a lesser extent Nelson Mandela.[101]


In appreciation of complexity of the Indian philosophy, T S Eliot wrote that the great philosophers of India "make most of the great European philosophers look like schoolboys".[102][103] Arthur Schopenhauer used Indian philosophy to improve upon Kantian thought. In the preface to his book The World As Will And Representation, Schopenhauer writes that one who "has also received and assimilated the sacred primitive Indian wisdom, then he is the best of all prepared to hear what I have to say to him"[104] The 19th century American philosophical movement Transcendentalism was also influenced by Indian thought[105][106]

See also[edit]


  • In the west, our understanding of Indian philosophical schools ... has been colored by our own history. The default model for the relationship between these schools is often unwittingly based on models derived from Western religious history: the hostilities between the three religions of the Book, the modern relationship of the various Christian denominations, or even the relation between orthodox and heterodox sects in early Christianity.
    • Andrew Nicholson, quoted in Rajiv Malhotra: Indra's Net, p 169, 1st ed.


The six systems (or Darsanas, visions, schools) of orthodox Vedic Philosophy are:

1. Nyaya expounded by Gautama (not the Buddha) ("Logic", similar to Aristoteles) 2. Vaiseshika expounded by Kanada (similar to Demokrit) 3. Sankhya expounded by Kapila 4. Yoga expounded by Patanjali 5. Purva Mimansa, expounded by Jaimini 6. Adwaita-Vedanta or Uttara Mimamsa expounded by Badarayana/ Vyasa/ Sankaracharya

The six heterodox systems of philosophy are: 1. The Materialistic School of Charvaka; 2. The System of the Jainas; 3. The School of Presentationists or Vaibhashikas (Buddhistic); 4. The School of Representationists or Sautrantikas (Buddhistic); 5. The School of Idealism or Yogacharas (Buddhistic); and 6. The School of Nihilism of the Madhyamikas (Buddhistic).

According to Richard Garbe, it was in Samkhya doctrine that complete independence and freedom of the human mind was exhibited for the first time in history.

In his Hindu Philosophy John Davies, speaks of Kapila's system as the first recorded system of philosophy in the world, and calls it "the earliest attempt on record to give an answer, from reason alone, to the mysterious questions which arise in every thoughtful mind about the origin of the world, the nature and relations of man and his future destiny." Furthermore, Mr. Davies says, in reference to the German philosophy of Schopenhauer and of Hartmann, that it is "a reproduction of the philosophic system of Kapila in its materialistic part, presented in a more elaborate form, but on the same fundamental lines. In this respect the human intellect has gone over the same ground that it occupied more than two thousand years ago; but on a more important question it has taken a step in retreat. Kapila recognized fully the existence of a soul in man, forming indeed his proper nature, - the absolute of Fichte, - distinct from matter and immortal; but our latest philosophy, both here and in Germany, can see in man only a highly developed organization."

Dr. Matheson wrote: "It is not too much to say that the mind of the West with all its undoubted impulses towards the progress of humanity has never exhibited such an intense amount of intellectual force as is to be found in the religious speculations of India.....These have been the cradle of all Western speculations, and wherever the European mind has risen into heights of philosophy, it has done so because the Brahmin was the pioneer. There is no intellectual problem in the West which had not its earlier discussion in the East, and there is no modern solution of that problem which will not be found anticipated in the East."

Victor Cousin (1792-1867) French Philosopher, says: "The history of Indian philosophy is the abridged history of the philosophy of the world."

He was the first to proclaim that, alongside Greece and Germany, India had produced the greatest and most profound philosophers. And the great Hegel himself, who understood India far more profoundly, was to remark in his work on The Philosophy of History: "It strikes everyone in beginning to form an acquaintance with the treasures of Indian literature, that a land so rich in intellectual products and those of the profoundest order of thought..." "India is the land of dreams. India had always dreamt - more of the Bliss that is man's final goal. And this has helped India to be more creative in history than any other nation. Hence the effervescence of myths and legends, religious and philosophies, music, and dances and the different styles of architecture." Hegel regarded the Indian peninsula as the ”starting point for the whole Western world.” Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1887--1961), Philosoph

" I can venture to affirm, without meaning to pluck a leaf from the never-fading laurels of our immortal Newton, that the whole of his theology, and part of his philosophy, may be found in the Vedas". "The six philosophical schools, whose principles are explained in the Darsana Sastra, comprise all the metaphysics of the old Academy, the Stoa, the Lyceum; nor is it possible to read the Vedanta, or the many fine compositions in illustration of it, without believing that Pythagoras and Plato derived their sublime theories from the same fountain with the Sages of India." "We are told by the Greek writers that the Indians were the wisest of nations, and in moral wisdom, they were certainly eminent." "The analogies between Greek and Pythagorean philosophy and the Sankhya school are very obvious." Sir William Jones (1746-1794)

It is the Platonic philosophy, the most elaborate compend of the abstruse systems of old India, that can alone afford us this middle ground. Although twenty-two and a quarter centuries have elapsed since the death of Plato, the great minds of the world are still occupied with his writings. He was, in the fullest sense of the word, the world's interpreter. And the greatest philosopher of the pre-Christian era mirrored faithfully in his works the spiritualism of the Vedic philosophers who lived thousands of years before himself, and its metaphysical expression. Vyasa, Djeminy, Kapila, Vrihaspati, Sumati, and so many others, will be found to have transmitted their indelible imprint through the intervening centuries upon Plato and his school. Thus is warranted the inference that to Plato and the ancient Hindu sages was alike revealed the same wisdom. So surviving the shock of time, what can this wisdom be but divine and eternal? (HPB, Isis Unveiled)

Ralph Waldo Emerson says: "Plato was synthesis of Europe and Asia, and a decidedly Oriental element pervades his philosophy, giving it a sunrise color."

John Bowle categorically declares that Plato was influenced by Indian ideas. (source: A New Outline of World History - By John Bowle p. 91).

Professor Edward Washburn Hopkins (1857-1932) Indologist, Chair of Sanskrit Studies of Yale, says: "Plato is full of Sankhyan thought, worked out by him, but taken from Pythagoras. Before the sixth century B.C. all the religious-philosophical idea of Pythagoras are current in India (L. Schroeder, Pythagoras). If there were but one or two of these cases, they might be set aside as accidental coincidences, but such coincidences are too numerous to be the result of change. "

And again he writes: "Neo-Platonism and Christian Gnosticism owe much to India. The Gnostic ideas in regard to a plurality of heavens and spiritual worlds go back directly to Hindu sources. Soul and light are one in the Sankhyan system, before they became so in Greece, and when they appear united in Greece it is by means of the thought which is borrowed from India. The famous three qualities of the Sankhyan reappear as the Gnostic 'three classes.' (source: Religions of India - By Edward Washburn Hopkins p. 559-560).

Professor H. G. Rawlinson writes: " It is more likely that Pythagoras was influenced by India than by Egypt. Almost all the theories, religions, philosophical and mathematical taught by the Pythagoreans, were known in India in the sixth century B.C., and the Pythagoreans, like the Jains and the Buddhists, refrained from the destruction of life and eating meat and regarded certain vegetables such as beans as taboo" "It seems that the so-called Pythagorean theorem of the quadrature of the hypotenuse was already known to the Indians in the older Vedic times, and thus before Pythagoras

Professor Maurice Winternitz is of the same opinion: "As regards Pythagoras, it seems to me very probable that he became acquainted with Indian doctrines in Persia." (Visvabharati Quarterly Feb. 1937, p. 8).

Ludwig von Schröder German philosopher, author of the book Pythagoras und die Inder (Pythagoras and the Indians), published in 1884, he argued that Pythagoras had been influenced by the Samkhya school of thought, the most prominent branch of the Indic philosophy next to Vedanta.

Sir William Temple, (1628-1699) English statesman and diplomat, in his Essay upon the Ancient and Modern Learning (1690) he wrote: "From these famous Indians, it seems most probable that Pythagoras learned, and transported into Greece and Italy, the greatest part of his natural and moral philosophy, rather than from the Aegyptians...Nor does it seem unlikely that the Aegyptians themselves might have drawn much of their learning from the Indians..long before..Lycurgus, who likewise traveled to India, brought from thence also the chief principles of his laws."

William Enfield (1741-1797) wrote: "We find that it (India) was visited for the purpose of acquiring knowledge by Pythagoras, Anaxarchus, Pyrrho, and others who afterwards became eminent philosophers in Greece." "Some of the doctrines of the Greeks concerning nature are said to have been derived from the Indians.

We must not forget the historical fact that there was a close intercourse between the Greeks and the Hindus from the time of Pythagoras, who, it is said, went to India to gather the wisdom of the Hindus.

Vivekananda said that Samhkya was the basis of the philosophy of the whole world. " There is no philosophy in the world that was not indebted to Kapila. (Kapila is the founder of the Sankhya philosophy). Krishna says in the Gita that, among the perfected sages, he is Kapila. Pythagoras came to India and studied his philosophy and that was the beginning of the philosophy of the Greeks. Later it formed the Alexandrian school, and still later the Gnostic."

Das Sutta-pitaka enthählt die Dialoge Buddhas, die Rhys Davids denen Platons gleichstellt. Die Lehrer der Philosophie waren in Indien so zahlreich wie die Kaufherren in Babylon. Kein anderes Land hat je so viele Schulen des Denkens besessen. Aus einem der Dialoge Buddhas erfahren wir, dass die Philosophen seiner Zeit 62 verschiedene Theorien der Seele aufstellten. "Nicht umsonst gibt es im Sanskrit vielleicht mehr Worte für philosophisch-religiöse Gedankeninhalte als im Griechischen, Lateinischen und Deutschen zusammengenommen", sagt Graf Keyserling. Die indische Philosophie beginnt da, wo die europäische Philosophie endet - mit einer Untersuchung über die Natur des Wissens und über die Grenzen der Vernunft; sie beginnt nicht mit der Physik des Thales oder des Demokrit, sondern mit der Erkenntnistheorie Lockes oder Kants. (Will Durant)



  1. Elisa Freschi (2012): The Vedas are not deontic authorities and may be disobeyed, but still recognized as an epistemic authority by a Hindu;[89] (Note: This differentiation between epistemic and deontic authority is true for all Indian religions)


  1. John Bowker, Oxford Dictionary of World Religions, p. 259
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  3. 3.0 3.1 Andrew J. Nicholson (2013), Unifying Hinduism: Philosophy and Identity in Indian Intellectual History, Columbia University Press, ISBN 978-0231149877, Chapter 9
  4. 4.0 4.1 Cowell and Gough, p. xii.
  5. Nicholson, pp. 158-162.
  6. p 22, The Principal Upanisads, Harper Collins, 1994
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  9. Arvind Sharma (1982). The Puruṣārthas: a study in Hindu axiology. Asian Studies Center, Michigan State University. ;
    Purusottama Bilimoria; Joseph Prabhu; Renuka M. Sharma (2007). Indian Ethics: Classical traditions and contemporary challenges. Ashgate. ISBN 978-0-7546-3301-3. 
  10. Kathleen Kuiper (2010). The Culture of India. The Rosen Publishing Group. pp. 174–178. ISBN 978-1-61530-149-2. 
  11. Sue Hamilton (2001). Indian Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. pp. 1–17, 136–140. ISBN 978-0-19-157942-4. 
  12. Flood, op. cit., p. 231–232.
  13. Michaels, p. 264.
  14. Nicholson 2010.
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    R Prasad (2009), A Historical-developmental Study of Classical Indian Philosophy of Morals, Concept Publishing, ISBN 978-8180695957, pages 345-347
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  34. Paul Williams (2008). Mahayana Buddhism: The Doctrinal Foundations. Routledge. pp. 84–85. ISBN 978-1-134-25057-8. 
  35. Stephen C. Berkwitz (2012). South Asian Buddhism: A Survey. Routledge. p. 96. ISBN 978-1-135-68983-4. 
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  37. Robert Neville (2004). Jeremiah Hackett, ed. Philosophy of Religion for a New Century: Essays in Honor of Eugene Thomas Long. Jerald Wallulis. Springer. p. 257. ISBN 978-1-4020-2073-5. , Quote: "[Buddhism's ontological hypotheses] that nothing in reality has its own-being and that all phenomena reduce to the relativities of pratitya samutpada. The Buddhist ontological hypothesese deny that there is any ontologically ultimate object such a God, Brahman, the Dao, or any transcendent creative source or principle."
  38. Anatta Buddhism, Encyclopedia Britannica (2013)
  39. [a] Christmas Humphreys (2012). Exploring Buddhism. Routledge. pp. 42–43. ISBN 978-1-136-22877-3. 
    [b] Gombrich (2006), page 47, Quote: "(...) Buddha's teaching that beings have no soul, no abiding essence. This 'no-soul doctrine' (anatta-vada) he expounded in his second sermon."
  40. Brian K. Smith (1998). Reflections on Resemblance, Ritual, and Religion. Motilal Banarsidass. p. 14. ISBN 978-81-208-1532-2. 
  41. Peter J. Claus; Sarah Diamond; Margaret Ann Mills (2003). South Asian Folklore: An Encyclopedia : Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka. Routledge. pp. 322–323. ISBN 978-0-415-93919-5. 
  42. [a] Anatta, Encyclopedia Britannica (2013), Quote: "Anatta in Buddhism, the doctrine that there is in humans no permanent, underlying soul. The concept of anatta, or anatman, is a departure from the Hindu belief in atman ("the self").";
    [b] Steven Collins (1994), Religion and Practical Reason (Editors: Frank Reynolds, David Tracy), State Univ of New York Press, ISBN 978-0791422175, page 64; "Central to Buddhist soteriology is the doctrine of not-self (Pali: anattā, Sanskrit: anātman, the opposed doctrine of ātman is central to Brahmanical thought). Put very briefly, this is the [Buddhist] doctrine that human beings have no soul, no self, no unchanging essence.";
    [c] John C. Plott et al (2000), Global History of Philosophy: The Axial Age, Volume 1, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120801585, page 63, Quote: "The Buddhist schools reject any Ātman concept. As we have already observed, this is the basic and ineradicable distinction between Hinduism and Buddhism";
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Further reading[edit]

  • Jonardan Ganeri, Lost Age of Reason: Philosophy in Early Modern India 1450-1700 [1]

External links[edit]

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  1. Recommended in Malhotra:Indra's Net