The Spiritual Heritage Of India
By Swami Prabhavananda, 374 Pages, Paperback.
An excellent overview of Indian religion and philosophy from ancient times up to the present. Covers all the main scriptures and acharyas, as well as Jainism and Buddhism.
The word 'darshana', which is usually translated 'philosophy', means in Sanskrit seeing or experience. From this we may gather that Indian philosophy is not merely metaphysical speculation, but has its foundation in immediate perception. God and the soul are regarded by the Hindu mind, not as concepts, speculative and problematical, as is the case in Western philosophy, but as things directly known. They can be experienced not merely by a chosen few, but, under right conditions, by all humanity.
This insistence upon immediate perception rather than on abstract reasoning is what distinguishes the Indian philosophy of Religion from philosophy as Western nations know it. Immediate perception is the source from which springs all Indian thought.