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  • Tên sách : Early Indian Religious Thought
  • Tác giả : P. D. Mehta
  • Dịch giả :
  • Ngôn ngữ : Anh
  • Số trang : 494
  • Nhà xuất bản : Luzac & Co. Lt. LONDON
  • Năm xuất bản : 1956
  • Phân loại : Sách tiếng Anh-English
  • MCB : 1210000004969
  • OPAC :
  • Tóm tắt :


        Whilst the main bulk of the book deals with Early Indian Religious Thought, I have occasionally drawn upon other religious teachings, especially upon those in the Old and New Testaments.

       In the presentation of the subject matter of the first part of this book, I have availed myself of the work done by a number of distinguished scholars, both non-Indian and Indian, in the field of Indian^ Religious Thought. Those points on which I am not in sympathy with the evaluations or judgments of some scholars, are included among the questions treated in the second part of the book. The reader will understand, therefore, why certain statements in this second part, or the implications of these statements, are either inconsistent with or directly contradict those in the first part.

         Through long years spent in the West, I have had the good fortune to come to know the heart of Christian civilization. To know means to love and to respect. Only he who loves may enjoy the privilege of being outspoken. I have exercised this privilege in a few pages of this book.

         My grateful thanks are due to Dr. William Stede for help in the translation of the Bhagavad-Gĩtã.VIII. 1-4; to Dr. and Mrs. R. W. Haines for critically reading the script of part two of the book, and for corrections and suggestions ; and to Mr. M. C. Pitts for remarks and suggestions in connection with pages 451 to 468.

         I am most deeply indebted to Miss I. B. Honner. She read the entire script, and made valuable suggestions and corrections. She carefully revised all the translations of the Pali Texts quoted. She has given most generously of her time and her ripe scholarship. Her encouragement and help have been invaluable. It I would have been my sorrowful loss not to owe, and always to owe, so great a debt of gratitude to Miss Homer, one of the very true and quiet friends and servers of India and of the Buddhist world.

         My thanks are also due to those who have taught me deep lessons in life. For eight and a half years I studied the piano under Solomon, whose kindness and generosity it is impossible to forget. From him I learned, as from no other, the meaning of self-dedication to an ideal of perfection. Our friendship since we first met in 1924 has been one of unclouded sunshine—a unique experience for me.

Dr. H. J. Fleure, F.R.S., is one of those rare personalities possessed of deep, critical and appreciative insight into the culture of other lands. I am happily in his debt. For twenty years I searched for my vocation in life. Then Dr. Fleure introduced me to it as easily as giving me a cup of tea.

I am deeply and thankfully indebted to all who brought me joy and sorrow and all that the round of life can hold for a man, without which it is not possible to realize and to fulfill.


London, May 1953.


Chapter I. Pre-Vedic Religious Thought

Earliest ideas and fertility cults

Proto-australoid beliefs

The “Mediterraneans” and the Indus Valley Culture

The Mother-Goddess figurine

The Siva seal amulet

Tree worship, phallic worship and animal worship

What was the religious sysfem of the Mediterraneans?

Chapter II. The Vedas

The Aryan entry

brahma “mana” and “linga”

The four Vedas, the Brahmahas, Aranyakas and upanishads

Demons and evil spirits

The celestial family






Brihaspati and Soma


The Supreme Being, Visvakarman and Hiranyagarbha


Life after death


The Creation Hymn, Rig Veda X. 129

The Atharva Veda

The Brãhmanas

Karma and Rebirth

Chapter III. The Upanishads

Background of the Upanishads

Character of the Upanishads thinkers

Principal and minor Upanishads

Atman and Brahman

The Inner Controller

The Imperishable

Exposition of Yajnavalkya’s teaching

Meaning of the phrase, “knowing Brahman”

Meaning of the Silence  

Ãtman and the “neti, neti” doctrine

Brahman in the Chãnđogya ưpanishad Nãrada and Sanatkumãra

Pratyagãtman and Paramãtman

The Upanishads and religion

Brahman and Ãtman in various Upanishads

Knowing Brahman

SELF-awareness and self-consciousness


Yajnavalkya on immortality and love


Man is made of everything


The greater austerity

Beyond good and evil

The liberated5 man

Monotheistic trends      

Chapter IV. The Buddha and His Teachings

The probable early life of Siddhattha

Enlightenment, or realization of Truth

Nirvãnic consciousness

Interpretation of the struggle with Mãra

The Buddha’ạ scientific approach

The truth is for all

Denunciation of priests and priestly wisdom

The Buddha’s attitude to appreciators and deprecators

His manners

His opinion on pride of birth

His opinion on rituals and metaphysical speculations

The Ten Indeterminates

The story of the blind men and the elephant

A statement concerning the end of Ill

The Eight Deliverances

Some results of the practice of meditation

The Turĩya state

The four Jhanas

The Buddha’s assurance of Joy through living the good life

His “unborn, unoriginated, uncreated, unformed”

Correspondences with the teachings of Yoga


Samãdi, and union of Paramãtman and Pratyagãtman

End of samsãra

Meaning of saihsãra and rebirth

Meaning of Mãra, Satan, the Prince of Darkness, The Evil One, The Lord of Death

Meaning of ” the serpent

The Buddha’s concern for Religion

His unconcern for respect to himself

Nature of the Buddha’s religion

The beginning of the Ministry and the First Sermon

Meaning of the meditations under the Goatherd’s banyan-tree, the Mucalinda tree and Rajayatana tree

The Buddha’s teaching is for all

Anattã and anicca

“Whatever is liable to uprising, all that is liable to stopping”

Sãriputta and Moggallãna

“There being this, that comes to be”


Faith and action


Ignorance and craving, the root causes of Ill

Jati (rebirth)        

The Paịicca-samuppãda

Meaning of avijja and vijja

Critical point in Indian religious thought

Extinction of ignorance and craving

Minor details of mere morality

Meaning of, The Middle Way

Soul-theories and the analysis of man


Difficulty of understanding jati

The Paricca-samuppada continued

The Buddha’s attitude to womankind

The dhammã

The Bhikkhu’s self-control, meditation and the Fourfold



The Brahma-vihãras

The Buddha

Chapter V. The Bhagavad-Gĩtã

Arj una’s despondency anố problem

The Divine Form

The Lord

God in the Gĩtã

Shri Krishna’s exhortation

“Thy business is with the action only, never with its fruits”

Yoga teachings

Action extolled

Desire is the source of sin

Krishna an Avatãra

How to be free, though performing action

Nature of the mind of a sage

Yoga and the Yogi

The righteous are never destroyed

What is Brahman?

Arjuna’s delusion taken away

The Gĩtã mainly a scripture of devotion

Characteristics of those dear to the Lord

Sãmkhyan views upheld


The Gunas



Qualities distinguishing the good and the bad

The nature of renunciation

“My doubts have fled, I will do according to thy word”


Section a. Hinduism and the Buddha

Cultural background


Emergent religions and impacts


The Hindu order

Nature of the Way of Deliverance

Gotama’s way

States of consciousness

Essential elements of the Buddha’s enlightenment

The Eighth Deliverance

Meaning of welfare and well-being

The Noble Eightfold Path

Section B. The Word: MAVÃ: Reality

Divine authority claimed for all world-scriptures

The Word

Narrowness of bigot and zealot

Limitations of some scholars

Realizations by the Great Teachers, and expositions by their disciples

The Word


Waking, dreaming and deep sleep states


Pure Consciousness as Reality

Atman said, “I am”

“What is one’s thought, that he becomes”


“This” world and “that” world

Several valid approaches to Reality

Section c. Reason : Buddhi: Interpretations of some Teachings

Reason and Buddhi

Contrast between realization or revelation and systematic knowledge

Symbols and meditation

Necessity for psychological and allegorical interpretations of eligious teachings

If We have drunk Soma and become immortal”

The Buddha looks at a “tree-root”

God “speaks”

Turning water into wine

The Immaculate Conception and the Virgin Birth

Section D. God-conception

The word “God”

What it means to the primitive, the developed and the liberated


Significance of the discovery of the Giva seal of the Indus Valley civilization

Poet-seers of the Rig Veda

God-realization and God-conceptions

God-realization is only in terms of oneself

God-conceptions of the ancients

Purusha as Living God, Supreme Being

Kind of men who realized God

The Buddha’s “Him I call a brahman…”

A brahman is really one who has become Brahman

Paramãtman or Transcendent God

Doctrine of the Person in the Upanishads and Gĩtã

The gods

God made man in His own image

All gods are true gods

God as presented m the great religions

Culminating point in search of God

All terms of description of God partially misleading

God-realization is indescribable

Adam, Yima Kshaeta, and Yama

Meaning of the “first man”

Science and religion

Correspondences of Branman in Greek and Western Thought

Desire for God as a warm living Person, and the truth of God

Full understanding of Personal God needs understanding of Transcendent God an4*Brahman

Section E. Karma: Justice I Redemption

The world process is continuous action Karma

Natural law, human law and divine law

Obstacles to understanding karma

“One becomes good by good action, bad by bad action”

Is karma an ethical law or process?

The law wholly fulfils itself

The” ripening of the deed”


The karmic process concretely illustrated in terms of human relations between A and B

The “fear of the Lord”




The end of karma

Section F. Sin: Good and Evil:          Ethic And Transcendental Ethic      

Forgiveness at various levels


Praying for forgiveness

Forgiving God

Forgiving the Great Teachers

The heart of ethical striving

Man’s goal

“Thy Will, not mine”

A moral problem

Eradicating evil

How one becomes the Virtuous One

Poverty and celibacy

Desirelessness and Transcendental Ethic

Order: Nirvana: Love


Inapplicability of worldly criteria for evaluating


Undesirability of militant evangelism

Crucifixion and resurrection

“God intervened, once and for all, to save mankind”, an unacceptable doctrine

India’s tolerance towards all religious thought

Salvation from rampant egoism

Closer unity between the religion not through syncretism or eclecticism

The religions and RELIGION

Forces for world disorder, and state of modem world

No panacea for world’s ills

Importance of individual, and of freedom

Guidance of religion sets problems

Welfare, and worldly and spiritual values


The optimum required, not maximum or minimum

War an outmoded technique of action today

Religion speaks directly to individuals, not to nations

Ethic of physical action must correspond to ethic of inner mental life

The individual’s responsibility for world order

World situations are the consequence of what we are ourselves and of what we think and do

The virtuous main is the true foundation of world order

Each man must make himself a worthy citizen of the City of God

The descent into hell before finding heaven

How man misses true happiness

Changing the level of consciousness

Whole acceptance

Indian religious thought shows the way to permanent happiness

Nature of true happiness

A practical experience of Nirvana

Nirvana, here-now, is man’s birthright and goal

The Personal God concept and man’s divine destiny

Love, the supreme value

Woman and man, and celibacy

Sex and marriage

The Immortal Beloved, and the Holy Family

In finality, Brahman is the Immortal Beloved

What chance is there of the supreme fulfilment?

The ground for faith and hope

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