A Concise Dictionary of Indian Philosophy (New and Revised Edition) Sanskrit Terms Defined in English | Exotic India Art (2022)

Back of the Book

This new and revised third edition presents a comprehensive dictionary of Indian philosophical terms, providing the terms in both devanagari and roman transliteration along with an English translation. It offers special meanings of words used as technical terms within particular philosophical systems. It contains etymological roots and the meanings of terms fundamental to epistemology, metaphysics, and practical teachings of the heterodox and orthodox schools of Indian philosophy. Cross-referencing has been provided and various charts are included that provide information regarding relationships, categories, and sourcebooks relevant to the individual schools.

Foreword to the Third Edition

In recent years we have witnessed an increasing awareness by seekers of the value of Indian philosophy, particularly its ability to provide clear guidelines with respect to our relationship to the world and the higher principles which govern our activity and sense of identity. The major barrier for those who wish to delve into the riches of this tradition is that the important texts are in Sanskrit. Though there are many competent translations a person who wants to search deeper into the relationship between the various concepts does require some understanding of the individual words and their inter-connectedness.

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John Grimes is a recognized academic authority of Advaita Vedanta. He studied at the prestigious Centre for Advanced Study in Philosophy at the University of Madras where he was awarded a masters and Phd. Degree in philosophy under the tutelage of such great scholars as T.M.P. Mahadevan, R. Balasubramanian and P. Sundaram. He is the author of numerous books on Advaita and related subjects. In particular, he has translated and comprehensively commented on Sankara's Vivekachudamani, one of the key texts in the Advaita canon. This publication has created a standard for any future study of this great Advaitic scripture.

In he course of his studies Grimes compiled a concise dictionary of Indian philosophy terms which, over time, was expanded into a comprehensive work suited both to the scholar and the layman. The dictionary was first published by the Radhakrishnan Institute for Advanced Study, Madras and then published by the State University of New York Press in the USA and became a standard text for college students and post-graduate students whose area of interest and expertise is Indian philosophy.

There are now a number of other dictionaries available for those interested in the exact meaning of important Sanskrit concepts and each has its own particular advantage. John Grimes' dictionary is designed specifically for those interested in Indian philosophy in general and Vedanta in particular and provides clear, succinct definitions which are readily accessible for both the student and a person further advanced in the study of Indian philosophy's intricate and subtle epistemological and metaphysical doctrines. It is a valuable tool for those who seek to broaden their understating with easily referenced and authoritative definitions.

About the Author

John A. Grimes received his B.A. in Religion from the University of California at Santa Barbara and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Indian Philosophy from the University of Madras. He has taught at Universities in India, Canada, Singapore, and the United States. His book publications include: the Vivekacudamani: Sankara's Crown Jewel of Discrimination; Ramana Maharshi: Darshan in Darshana; Ganapati: Song of the Self; Problems and Perspective in Religious Discourse: Advaita Vedanta Implications; Sapta Vidha Anupapatti: The Seven Great Untenables; Sankara and Heidegger: Being, Truth, Freedom; and The Naiskarmyasiddhi of Suresvara. He presently spends his time writing and traveling between California and Chennai.

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Preface to the Third Edition

A Concise Dictionary of Indian Philosophy (Sanskrit Terms Defined in English) is the outcome of a personal, experienced need in the field of Indian philosophy. The original work was compiled as an introduction to the basic terms found in the major schools of classical Indian philosophy. The terms fundamental to epistemology, metaphysics, and practical teachings were found therein. The schools dealt with include: Buddhism, Jainism, Carvaka, Nyaya, Vaisesika, Sankhya, Yoga, Mimamsa, Vedanta (mainly but not exclusively Advaita, Visistadvaita, Dvaita), Saiva Siddhanta, Vira Saivism, Kashmir Saivism, and Sivadvaita.

This new and revised third edition has come about due to a continued correspondence with many readers of the first two editions. Not only have I rearranged the placement of the devanagari script (to avoid the impression that it is not alphabetically correct), but I have added to "old" definitions as well as adding some five hundred new terms.

In the original work I strove to provide mainly philosophical terms since other dictionaries, encyclopaedias, and word books exist in regard to Indian religious or, as I would prefer to call them, popular Hinduism, terms. My correspondence has led me to include at least some of these terms in this new edition.

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Like its predecessors, this dictionary, I hope, will serve as an introductory sourcebook with cross-references wherever relevant. I have attempted to give the common or non-technical definition of a word first, and then, if this word has a special meaning or meanings within a particular philosophical system, I have listed such. For example, a word like jiva (individual soul) has fourteen different technical definitions listed since each school conceives of this concept differently.

I have endeavored to cover, at the least, the basic concepts fundamental to each individual system. Further, if there is a technical definition given by one school which coincides with that given by another school (e.g. Nyaya and Sankhya or Bhatta Mimamsa and Advaita Vedanta), I have only listed the most common reference. I have also endeavored to give cross-references wherever appropriate. For instance, consider the close interaction of the term avidya with the related terms: maya, anirvacaniya, sadasadvilaksana, anadi, bhavarupa, jnananivartya, avarana, and viksepa.

This books aims at being both basic and, in some areas, comprehensive. It is basic in that it (1) includes virtually all the words basic to the various Indian philosophical systems, and (2) defines these terms in their dictionary or common and literal meanings. The book is comprehensive in that it defines many of its terms with the specific meanings that a word has for a specific school.

The purpose of this book is to provide not only the academic community but also the interested lay individual with a dictionary of most Indian philosophical terms. The terms are listed both in roman transliteration and devanagari script along with definitions in English.

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At the end of the book are given fourteen charts that provide, at a glance, information regarding relationships, categories, and sourcebooks relevant to the individual schools. These charts are referred to in the main body of the text and the reader can consult them wherever appropriate. Also, there has been added a fifteenth chart providing a list of the most frequently quoted Indian philosophy authors and their major philosophical works.

Since this book is intended primarily for individuals who are not specialists in Sanskrit, I have compiled the Sanskrit terms in the order of the English alphabet. Wherever relevant, I have illustrated the definitions with the traditional examples used in Endian philosophical texts; for example, for savyabhicara-fire and smoke –or, for asraya-asiddha – a sky-lotus. One will also find a "scheme of transliteration" and a "scheme of pronunciation" to assist the reader.

John A. Grimes received his B.A. in Religion from the University of California at Santa Barbara and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Indian Philosophy from the University of Madras. He has taught at Universities in India, Canada, Singapore, and the United States. His book publications include: The Vivekacudamani: Sankara's Crown Jewel of Discrimination; Ramana Maharshi: Darshan in Darshana; Ganapati: Song of the Self; Problems and Perspectives in Religious Discourse: Advaita Vedanta Implications; Sapta Vidha Anupapatti: The Seven Great Untenables; Sankara and Heidegger: Being, Truth, Freedom; and The Naiskarmyasiddhi of Suresvara. He presently spends his time writing and traveling between California and Chennai.

Contents
A Pantheon of Words7
Foreword to the Third Edition9
Preface to the Third Edition11
Scheme of Transliteration14
Scheme of Pronunciation15
A Concise Dictionary of Indian Philosophy17
Charts
The Vedas429
Sourcebooks of the Nastika Systems432
Sourcebooks of the Astika Systems433
Source books of the Saiva Schools437
Padarthas (Categories)439
Vaisesika Padarthas (Categories)441
Jainism Categories442
Saiva Siddhanta Tattva (s)443
Kashmir Saivism Tattva (s)443
Scheme of Visistadvaita444
Jaina Epistemology446
Evolution of Prakrti According to Sankhya448
Cakras449
Angasthala450
Authors and Their Philosophical Works451
Sample Pages

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FAQs

What is the Indian term for philosophy? ›

Over centuries, India's intellectual exploration of truth has come to be represented by six systems of philosophy. These are known as Vaishesika, Nyaya, Samkhya, Yoga, Purva Mimansa and Vedanta or Uttara Mimansa.

What are the 6 system of Indian philosophy? ›

These include six systems (shad-darśana) – Sankhya, Yoga, Nyaya, Vaisheshika, Mimamsa and Vedanta.

Who is the father of Indian philosophy? ›

Shankara, also called Shankaracharya, (born 700?, Kaladi village?, India—died 750?, Kedarnath), philosopher and theologian, most renowned exponent of the Advaita Vedanta school of philosophy, from whose doctrines the main currents of modern Indian thought are derived.

What are the main ideas of Indian philosophy? ›

Three basic concepts form the cornerstone of Indian philosophical thought: the self or soul (atman), works (karma), and liberation (moksha).

Who is the first Indian philosophy? ›

Vyasa was the writer of Mahabharat. one of the first philosophers in recorded history. He was the founder of Pippalada School of thought, which taught the Atharvaveda.

Who wrote Indian philosophy? ›

Indian Philosophy, Volume 1 by Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan.

Who is the founder of Sankhya philosophy? ›

Sage Kapila is traditionally credited as a founder of the Samkhya school.

What are the roots of Indian philosophy? ›

These six branches of Indian philosophy are enumerated mainly in Isa, Kathak, Mundaka, Mandukya, Taittiriya, Aitareya and Chhandogya Upanishads. Samkhya is the oldest of all six systems of philosophy.

What are the two main division of Indian philosophy answer? ›

Ans : According to traditional principle of classification, the schools of Indian philosophy are divided into two broad classes-orthodox and heterodox.

Who is the mother of philosophy? ›

Thomas Hobbes - Leisure is the Mother of Philosophy.

Who is famous for Hindu philosophy? ›

The Nyāya school of Hindu philosophy has had a long and illustrious history. The founder of this school is the sage Gautama (2nd cent. C.E.)—not to be confused with the Buddha, who on many accounts had the name “Gautama” as well.

Who is the original father of philosophy? ›

Socrates is considered by many to be the founding father of Western philosophy—as well as one of the most enigmatic figures of ancient history.

What are the 4 main ideas of philosophy? ›

There are four pillars of philosophy: theoretical philosophy (metaphysics and epistemology), practical philosophy (ethics, social and political philosophy, aesthetics), logic, and history of philosophy.

What is the aim of Indian philosophy of education? ›

Indian philosophy of edcucation is the guiding principle to fulfill the different aim of an individual and the social life.It is generally said that Indian philosophy of education is completely idealistic and religious. So Indian philosophy of education is established based on Indian culture, beliefs and norms.

What are the 4 concepts of philosophy? ›

This includes such philosophically interesting concepts as TRUTH, GOODNESS, FREEDOM, and JUSTICE.

Who is first philosopher? ›

The first philosopher is usually said to have been Thales.

Who wrote philosophy? ›

The term philosopher comes from the Ancient Greek: φιλόσοφος, romanized: philosophos, meaning 'lover of wisdom'. The coining of the term has been attributed to the Greek thinker Pythagoras (6th century BCE).

Who wrote Sankhya? ›

Although many references to the system are given in earlier texts, Samkhya received its classical form and expression in the Samkhya-karikas (“Stanzas of Samkhya”) by the philosopher Ishvarakrishna (c. 3rd century ce).

Why is it called Sankhya Yoga? ›

It is also the theory of creation recognized by both Yoga and Ayurveda. Sankhya means “empirical” or “number.” It explains creation in a manner where the implicit becomes explicit and where there exists neither production nor destruction. All of creation stems from the two facets of Sankhya: Purusha and Prakriti.

What are the 24 elements of Sankhya? ›

The five elements, namely, space, air, fire, water and earth, as well as their rudimentary essences called tanmatras also belong to the group of 24 tattvas. Thus Prakriti, mahat, ahamkara, mind, the five karmendriyas, the five jnanendriyas, the five tanmatras, the five elements — all these constitute the 24 tattvas.

What are the 3 divisions of philosophy? ›

Explain and differentiate three main areas of philosophy: ethics, epistemology and metaphysics.

Who are the four fathers of philosophy? ›

Did you know that to this day, much of the Western way of thinking is derived from the philosophical explorations of three men of Ancient Greece? Socrates, Plato and Aristotle.

Who is the oldest philosophy? ›

Thales. The earliest person who is cited by ancient sources as a philosopher is Thales, who lived in the city of Miletus in Asia Minor around the late 7th or early 6th century BCE.

What are the 2 main branches of philosophy? ›

The main branches of Philosophy are: Axiology: Study of the nature of value and valuation. Metaphysics: Study of the fundamental nature of reality.

Who is the famous Indian philosopher? ›

Gautama Buddha

Based on his insights on suffering, nirvana, and the birth and rebirth cycle, he is said to have taught for roughly 45 years. Many individuals were impacted by his teachings and began to follow in his footsteps. He attained enlightenment in India's Bodh Gaya.

What is Hindu Philosophy of life? ›

The purpose of life for Hindus is to achieve four aims, called Purusharthas . These are dharma, kama, artha and moksha. These provide Hindus with opportunities to act morally and ethically and lead a good life.

What is God in Hindu Philosophy? ›

Many Hindus understand God to be Brahman or the Infinite. Brahman is believed to be ever-present, all-powerful, and beyond comprehension. Some Hindus believe that Brahman is formless and without attributes, but manifests in form.

Who were the 3 main philosophers? ›

And if we're going to talk about philosophy in ancient Greece, the most famous three philosophers are Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle.

Who is the history of philosophy? ›

The history of philosophy as history, then, is a discipline in which the philosophical positions, principles, and arguments of philosophers are presented, analyzed, and explained in the historical contexts of their times.

Who is the mother or father of philosophy? ›

It is impossible to identify one person who is supposed to be the “father” or “mother” of philosophy, but Thales, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Confucius and Lao Zi might be considered influential figures within their respective traditions.

What is a main philosophy? ›

The four main branches of philosophy are metaphysics, epistemology, axiology, and logic. Metaphysics. Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that considers the physical universe and the nature of ultimate reality. It asks questions like, What is real? What is the origin of the world?

What are the 5 main branches of philosophy? ›

Janice explains to Paula, who is not a philosophy student, that although it is not always broken down in this exact way, a common approach to the branches of philosophy is through five categories: ethics, epistemology, metaphysics, logic, and aesthetics.

What are the 7 philosophers? ›

Descartes, Leibniz, Spinoza, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant: these are the seven philosophers who stand out from the rest in what is known as the `modern' period in philosophy. Their thought defines the mainstream of classical or early modern philosophy, largely responsible for shaping philosophy as we now know it.

What is the most important philosophy of education? ›

Progressivism being the philosophy that says ideas should be tested to find their truths. This philosophy also says the value of questions from students are very important because it leads to learning. Progressivism involves both cross discipline learning and problem solving in its instruction.

What is the purpose of life in Indian philosophy? ›

According to the orthodox Indian philosophical view it is in achieving perfection through three goals of life: artha (prosperity), kāma (desire) and dharma (righteous living) that the fourth and the ultimate goal of life, moksha can be attained (Mohanty, 2001).

What are the aims and objectives of philosophy? ›

In studying philosophy, students develop the capacity to interpret, analyze, and understand challenging texts. They learn to formulate clear definitions, to work effectively with concepts, and to organize their ideas logically.

What are the 8 philosophies? ›

These include Essentialism, Perennialism, Progressivism, Social Reconstructionism, Existentialism, Behaviorism, Constructivism, Conservatism, and Humanism.

What are types of concepts? ›

Types of Concepts: Superordinate, Subordinate, and Basic.

What are the 3 characteristics of philosophy? ›

A few characteristics of philosophy are:

It is a search for truth and reality. It is based on inquiry about life and existence. It is logical in its approach.

What is the origin of Indian philosophy? ›

According to the Hindu tradition, the origin of the various philosophical ideas that were developed in the philosophical systems lies in the Vedas, a body of texts that seem to have been composed around two thousand years Before the Common Era (BCE).

What is the philosophy of Indian education? ›

Indian philosophy of edcucation is the guiding principle to fulfill the different aim of an individual and the social life.It is generally said that Indian philosophy of education is completely idealistic and religious. So Indian philosophy of education is established based on Indian culture, beliefs and norms.

Is Hinduism an Indian philosophy? ›

Introduction. “Hinduism” is a term used to designate a body of religious and philosophical beliefs indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. Hinduism is one of the world's oldest religious traditions, and it is founded upon what is often regarded as the oldest surviving text of humanity: the Vedas.

What is in Indian philosophy is also called as dharma? ›

In Hinduism, dharma is the religious and moral law governing individual conduct and is one of the four ends of life.

Who is the father of philosophy? ›

Socrates is considered by many to be the founding father of Western philosophy—as well as one of the most enigmatic figures of ancient history.

What are the 7 philosophy of education? ›

These include Essentialism, Perennialism, Progressivism, Social Reconstructionism, Existentialism, Behaviorism, Constructivism, Conservatism, and Humanism. Essentialism and Perennialism are the two types of teacher-centered philosophies of education.

What are the 4 philosophy of education? ›

They are Perennialism, Essentialism, Progressivism, and Reconstructionism. These educational philosophies focus heavily on WHAT we should teach, the curriculum aspect.

What are the 3 philosophy of education? ›

The major philosophies of education can be divided into three main types: teacher-centered philosophies, student-centered philosophies, and society-centered philosophies.

Is philosophy good in India? ›

Philosophy has off late gained prominence as a discipline with interesting job prospects. With more and more opportunities opening in this field in the country and abroad, Philosophy as a discipline will have many more takers in the future.

Which religion came first in India? ›

Hinduism is the world's oldest religion, according to many scholars, with roots and customs dating back more than 4,000 years. Today, with about 900 million followers, Hinduism is the third-largest religion behind Christianity and Islam. Roughly 95 percent of the world's Hindus live in India.

What are the two main divisions of Indian philosophy? ›

and Heterodox :- The schools or systems of Indian philosophy are divided into two broad classes, namely, orthodox (astika, Vedic) and heterodox (nastika, Non-Vedic).

What is philosophy called in Sanskrit? ›

In Indian tradition, the word used for philosophy is Darshana (Viewpoint or perspective), from the Sanskrit root drish ('to see, to experience'). These are also called the Astika (theistic) philosophical traditions and are those that accept the Vedas as an authoritative, important source of knowledge.

What are the 4 types of dharma? ›

Varnashrama dharma

The four main classes are Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras. This social class system appears in an ancient Hindu book of law called the Manusmriti.

Who Defined dharma? ›

Dharma is part of yoga, suggests Patanjali; the elements of Hindu dharma are the attributes, qualities and aspects of yoga. Patanjali explained dharma in two categories: yamas (restraints) and niyamas (observances).

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