Ankur BaruaJul 13, 2023
Exploring Hindu Philosophy
Equinox Publishing 2023
Ankur Barua's book Exploring Hindu Philosophy (Equinox Publishing, 2023) points to some of the diverse tapestries of Hindu worldviews where scriptural revelation, logical argumentation, embodied affectivity, moral reasoning, and aesthetic cultivation constitute densely interwoven conceptual threads. It begins with an exploration of some classical iterations of the quest for a fundamental ontology amidst the diversities of the everyday world. This quest is often embedded in both a diagnosis of the human condition as structured by suffering and a therapy for recovery from worldly fragmentation.
A crucial aspect of this therapeutic structure is the analysis of the means of knowledge and the categories of reality, since in order to know the nature of the world one must proceed along truth-tracking routes. Such dynamic mind-world encounters are mediated through language, and Hindu philosophical texts extensively discuss the motif of whether or not deep reality can be comprehended through linguistic structures. These philosophical exercises also shape reflections on themes such as aesthetics, social organization, the meaning of life, and so on. As Hinduism increasingly migrates to western locations through practices of yoga, meditation, and mindfulness, and along with sensibilities relating to vegetarianism, ecology, and pacifism, we encounter multiple translations of these classical motifs relating to the self, language, and consciousness.
Raj Balkaran is a scholar of Sanskrit narrative texts. He teaches at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies and at his own virtual School of Indian Wisdom. For information see rajbalkaran.com.