Contents: 1. The essentials of Hinduism. 2. The meaning and scope of Indian philosophy. 3. A brief sketch of the philosophical systems. 4. The six systems of thought: general remarks. 5. The Carvaka philosophy. 6. The Nyaya philosophy. 7. Nyaya Vaisesika. 8. Sankhya Yoga. 9. The Yoga system of Patanjali. 10. The Summit of Indian thought. 11. The Vedanta philosophy. 12. Purva Mimamsa. 13. The Uttara Mimamsa of the Vedanta sutras. 14. Advaita philosophy. 15. Visistadvaita. 16. The Vedas: general aspects. 17. Samhitas, Brahmanas, Aranyakas. 18. The Smrtis, the Puranas, the Tantras. 19. The Upanisads. 20. Bhagavadgita. 21. Vedanta and its great exponents. 22. The Hindu trinity. 23. Man and Universe. 24. Metaphysics of Hinduism. 25. Psychology and Cosmology of Vedanta.
"There is innate in the human heart a metaphysical hunger to know and understand what lies beyond the mysterious and illusive veil of nature. This is true from savage to savant. Each in his own way, according to his own capacity, tries to fathom the eternal mystery of life. From the beginning of time, teachers have endeavoured to bridge the gap between the seen and the unseen and to show cause for the inescapable experiences of sorrow and suffering that engulf mankind. But the questions still remain: What is the nature of reality? What is the nature of human existence? What is the cause of pleasure and pain? How can liberation be attained?
In the Orient, it has been accepted that man can know metaphysical truths by direct experience. He need not depend upon speculation, inference, or faith. The literature is replete with the writings of men who are said to know the whole truth of Nature and human existence, and the teachings of these men have been set forth in the philosophical systems of ancient India.
All systems of Hindu Philosophy are in complete agreement that the purpose of philosophy is the extinction of sorrow and suffering and that the method is by the acquisition of knowledge of the true nature of things which aims to free man from the bondage of ignorance which all teachers agree is the cause of human suffering.
Hindu Philosophy does not attempt to train one to discern metaphysical truths; it offers a way of thinking which enables one rationally to understand the reality experienced by self-fulfilled personalities, and thereby to lead one to the realization of truth. In this light, philosophy is seen as an art of life and not a theory about the universe, for it is the means of attaining the highest aspirations of man. It is not for the discovery, but for the understanding of truth.
This book aims at giving a compact and faithful account of the complexity of Hindu philosophical systems. Original in approach the Companion Encyclopaedia of Hindu Philosophy focuses on the rational principles of the philosophical concepts rather than the mysticism more usually associated with it. All those who are interested in knowing the Indian solution of philosophical problems will find the book useful." (jacket)