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Classical Indian Ethical Thought - A Philosophical Study of Hindu, Jaina and Bauddha Morals

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Item Code: IDK360
Author: Kedar Nath Tiwari
Language: English
Edition: 2014
ISBN: 9788120816084
Pages: 184
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 8.5" X 5.5"
Weight 360 gm
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Book Description

About The Book

The book is a philosophical treatise on the Hindu, Buddhist and Jaina morals meant for the University students of Indian Ethics as well as for the general readers interested in the subject. Book on the subject are generally written in an historical perspective. On the contrary, the present work is philosophical and critical which takes full cognisance of the recent developments in Western ethical thought and its likely impact on the understanding of the traditional Indian ethics. Attempt has been made to understand the subject in the light of certain well-knit conceptual frames developed in the West in the field of ethics. In course of doing this, certain, reconstructions have also been made, but it has always been kept in mind that the reconstructions do the natural spirit of Indian thought.

About The Author

Born on 26th January 1936, the author did his M.A. in 1959and Ph.D. in 1967.He has a brilliant academic career. He was awarded gold medals at both the Bachelor Honours and Postgraduate levels. He has published eight books and a number of research papers in philosophical Journals during his teaching career. He has also lectured at several Indian Universities such as Allahabad, Sagar, Delhi Guwahati etc. He retied on 31st January 1996 as University Professor and Head of the Department of philosophy, and Dean of the faculty of Humanities, T. M. Bhagalpur University, Bhagalpur. He has been Visiting Fellow at R. D. University, Jabalpur and Visiting Professor at Manipur University, Imphal.

Back of The Book


Ethics And The History Of Indian Philosophy
Shyam Ranganathan

The work presents a compelling, systematic explication of the moral philosophical content of history of Indian philosophy in contrast to the received wisdom in Indology and comparative philosophy that Indian philosophers were scarcely interested in ethics.

Ranganathan's critical thesis is that the argument for this received wisdom are based upon an inadequate grasp of the history of moral philosophy in the West, against which the Indian tradition is compared. His novel, positive thesis is that "dharma" in all of its uses in the classical Indian tradition is a thin moral term, which is employed by authors to articulate their particular philosophies on morality or ethics.


The Centrality Of Ethics In Buddhism
Exploratory Essays
Hari Shankar Prasad

This book, though extensive textual study,. Explores the Buddha's and Buddhism's uncomprising and unflinching emphasis on the centrality of ethics as against any attempts to causally relate moral perfection to soteriological or eschatological goal. What is most admirable about Buddhism is that it integrates the vertical development of human consciousness, for which the other is the necessary condition, with the gradual development of morality. In brief, Buddhism is about overcoming of suffering, the greatest evil thought ethicization of Human consciousness and conduct, which also takes care of the ethicization of the society and the universe, Besides, some of the essays of this book explores many other themes like Buddhist epistemology, nature of self, time, and interculturality.



Writing a book traditional Indian ethics on which book are aplenty is by no means a novel enterprise. Yet, need for a book on the subject continues to be felt by students, research scholars and teachers of the universities to stimulate their thinking on newer interpretation. Books on the subject are often writing in a historical perspective dealing with the ethics of the Vedas, the Upanisads, the Smrtis and the Philosophical systems in more or less, a chronological manner. But that is hardly enough critical or philosophical to meet the need of the academic circle. The present work makes a sincere effort to fulfil that need.

Some books on the subject have been very ably written with a critical and philosophical insight. It is not therefore fair to complain that all books on the subject are of the same kind. Prof. S. K. Maitra's book Ethics of the Hindu may be cited as an example. The book is philosophical and critical, but it hardly takes any note of the magnificent development that ethical thought has made in the present century, especially in the West. At the time Maitra's book was published these development were perhaps not very well-know in our country. The present work takes full cognisance of the recant development in the Western ethical thought and its likely impact on the understanding of the traditional Indian ethics. That is the speciality of the present work. Moreover, Maitra's book, as the suggest, is a treatise specially on Hindu Ethics. Ethical ideas found in Buddhism and Jainism have been occasionally dealt with. On the contrary, the present work takes equal note of the ethical ideas contained in Hindu, Buddha and Jaina traditions, while dealing with the subject the subject in its special framework of presentation.

The distinctive development in Western ethics have given rise to certain well-knit conceptual moulds, which, if properly applied to any system of ethics, can help us to understand the subject better. That is what I have tried to do in my present book. In course of doing this, certain reconstructions were also made because materials suited to these conceptual moulds are not always readily or directly available in the Indian thought. But to the best of my capacity, these reconstruction, have been kept legitimate limits so that they do not become Jejune to the natural spirit of the Indian thought.

I have hope my present work will help scholars, teachers and student to understand the subject in a fresh light. If my hope in realised even partially, I will feel my labour to have to have been amply regarded.

In my work, I have got valuable help, in one form or the other; form some of my elders, colleagues and students. I am grateful to them. The first who comes to my mind is professor Nityanand Mishra, Ex-Head of the Department of philosophy, Bhagalpur University. It is he who actually initiated the idea of written such a book and also encouraged me from time to time in my endeavour. I express my heartfelt gratitude to him. I am also indebted to late professor R. K. Tripathi of Banaras Hindu University who enlightened me on my many intricate points. I am grateful to Dr. (Smt.) Pratima Ganguli, one of my best students and now my colleague for many valuable suggestions. To many others who helped me in several ways I am grateful. Last, but not the least, I must thank M/s Motilal Banarsidass for readily taking up the publication of the work.




  preface v
  Abbreviations xi
  Chapter I: Indian Concept of Morality 1-14
1. Morality as Distinguished from Non-morality 1
2. Morality as Distinguished from Immorality 8
  Chapter II: Sources of Moral Ideas and Beliefs 15-24
1. Scriptures 15
2. Path Trod by Great People 16
3. The Voice of Conscience 18
4. Reason 19
5. Conclusion 22
  Chapter III: Object of moral Evaluation 25-30
1. The Problem 25
2. The Vedic View 26
3. The View of the Smrtis 26
4. The Upanisadic View 27
5. The Nyaya-Vaisesika Views 27
6. The Mimamsa View 28
7. The Bauddha and Jaina View 28
  Chapter IV: Characteristics of Indian Moral System 31-40
1. Social and Individual Ethics 32
2. Spiritualistic Outlook 32
3. Metaphysical Basis 33
4. Authority as the primary Source 33
5. More perceptive than Speculative 34
6. Humanism 35
7. Moksa as the Ideal of Life 37
  Chapter V: Basic Presuppositions of Morality  
1. Freedom 41
2. The Law of Samara 42
3. Rebirth and Samara 43
4. Immortality of the soul 44
5. Avidya 44
  Chapter VI: Development of Moral Belies and Ideas in Indian Thought 47-72
1. The Vedas 47
2. The Upanisads 49
3. The Smrtis 51
4. The Epics (specially the Mahabharata including the Bhagavadgita) 54
5. The System: 57
(a) The Nyaya-Vaisesika  
(b) The Samkhya Yoga  
(c) The Mimamsa  
(d) The Samkara Vedanta  
(e) The Ramanuja Vedanta  
(f) Buddhism and Jainism  
(g) The Carvaka  
6. Modern Indian Thought 67
  Chapter VII: Teleological and Deontological Theories in Indian Ethics 73-83
1. Teleology and Deontological: General Introduction 73
2. The General Character of Indian Ethics System 74
3. The Nyaya-Vaisesika 77
4. The Mimamsa 78
5. The Ramanuja Vedanta 80
6. The Samkhya and the Advaita Vedanta 81
7. The Non-orthodox System (Carvaka, Buddhism and Jainism) 82
  Chapter VIII: The Content of Dharma: Virtues and Duties 85-99
1. The Content of Virtue and duty 85
2. Virtues and Duties in Indian Ethics 86
(a) The Vedas and the Upanisads  
(b) The Dharma- sutras and the Dharma- Sastras (Sadharana Dharmas)  
(c) The Nyaya-Vaisesika (Sadharana Dharmas)  
(d) The Yoga  
(e) The Ramanuja Vedanta  
3. Varnasrama Dharmas 93
4. Buddhism and Jainism 95
5. A General Estimate 96
  Chapter IX: Dharma and Moksa 101-117
1. The Concept of Moksa: 101
(a) The Vedas, as the Upanisads and the Bhagavadgita  
(b) The Nyaya-Vaisesika  
(c) The Samkhya  
(d) The Mimamsa  
(e) The Vedanta (Samkara and Ramanuja)  
(f) Buddhism  
(g) Jainism  
(h) General Remarks  
2. The Role of Dharma in Moksa 106
(a) The Vedas and the Upanisads  
(b) The Bhagavadgita  
(c) The Nyaya-Vaisesika  
(d) The Samkhya  
(e) The Mimamsa  
(f) The Samkara Vedanta  
(g) The Ramanuja Vedanta  
(h) Buddhism  
(i) Jainism  
3. General Estimate 116
  Chapter X: Ethical Other Related Concepts 119-163
1. Rta 119
2. Dharma 121
3. Karma 125
4. Niskama Karma 128
5. Purusartha 133
6. Freedom and Responsibility 139
7. Raga and Dvesa 147
8. Klesa 149
9. Aicchika and Anaicchika Karmas 150
10. Sreyah and Preyah (The Good and the Pleasant) 151
  Chapter XI: Justification of Morality in Indian Thought 155-163
1. Question of Justification 155
2. Two Senses of Justification 157
3. Justification in Indian Thought 159
  Selected Bibliography 165
  Index 169

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