Advertisement

The Heterodox Insider K. Satchidananda Murty: A Critique of His The Indian Spirit

  • C. D. SebastianEmail author
Article
  • 43 Downloads

Abstract

Purpose

The intent of this study is to make a vigilant reading of Kotta Satchidananda Murty with special reference to his The Indian Spirit that has much relevance in today’s philosophical discourse in India. This study also aims at showing how the works of contemporary Indian thinkers excite one to search for new philosophical avenues by basing oneself on the tradition, yet creating ideas anew.

Methodology

The first part of the paper is an epigrammatic unearthing of the central ideas in K. Satchidananda Murty’s The Indian Spirit, while the second part is my analysis of the strengths and limitations of Murty, the heterodox insider of The Indian Spirit. In the third part, by taking cue from Murty’s The Indian Spirit, I conclude with submission that Indian philosophical tradition is like a ‘salad bowl’ with its unique diversity and plurality.

Result and Conclusion

A thorough reading of Murty would make one consider him as a ‘heterodox insider’ in Indian philosophy in general, and Hindu tradition in particular. One of the major points that he brings home is a counteractive to the uninformed generalization about Indian thought that the philosophical tradition of India was one of an unbroken idealism or spiritualism. According to Murty, Philosophy in India has been like a ‘salad bowl’ where different convictions and ideologies find their place and significance without getting merged into a ‘melting pot’ of uniformity. A vigilant reading of Murty makes it clear that he had a critical, not a conventional-conformist, view with regard to Indian philosophy, and this stands out to be the philosophical ingenuity in him. However, the ‘heterodox insider’ one finds in Murty is context-sensitive and sounds like an apologetic occasionally.

Keywords

Diversity K. Satchidananda Murty The Indian Spirit Spiritual and non-spiritual 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The author would like to thank the two unknown reviewers for their comments and suggestions on the first draft of the paper. The present version is the revised and modified one in the light of their comments and observations.

References

  1. Azad, M., & Abdul, K. (1952). Introduction. In Radhakrishnan (Ed.), History of philosophy eastern and western (Vol. 1, pp. 13–28). London: George Allen & Unwin.Google Scholar
  2. Balasubramanian, R., & Bhattacharyya, S. (1986). Introduction. In R. Balasubramanian & B. Sibjiban (Eds.), Freedom, progress and society: Essays in honour of professor K. Satchidananda Murty (pp. xvii–xxiv). Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers.Google Scholar
  3. Banerji, S. C. (1962). Dharmasutras. Calcutta: Punthi Pustak.Google Scholar
  4. Barua, B. M. (1921). A history of pre-Buddhistic Indian philosophy. Calcutta: University of Calcutta. Reprint 2008, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers.Google Scholar
  5. Basham, A. L. (1997). In K. G. Zysk (Ed.), The origins and development of classical hinduism. Delhi: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Bharati, A. (1966). Review on The Indian Spirit. The Journal of Asian Studies, 25(4), 786–787.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bhattacharyya, S., & Ashok, V. (Eds.). (1995). The philosophy of K. Satchidananda Murty. New Delhi: Indian Council of Philosophical Research.Google Scholar
  8. Bilimoria, P. (2008). Introduction to part A: Early Indian Ethics—Vedas to the Gita, rites to ‘Right’. In P. Bilimoria, J. Prabhu, & R. Sharma (Eds.), Indian ethics: Classical traditions and contemporary challenges (pp. 33–55). New Delhi: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Boaz, P. (2013). Philosophical perspectives of K.Satchidananda Murty. New Delhi: D. K. Printworld.Google Scholar
  10. Brill, S. B. (1995). Wittgenstein and critical theory: Beyond postmodern criticism and toward descriptive investigations. Ohio: Ohio University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Bronkhorst, J., & Deshpande, M. M. (Eds.). (2012). Aryan and Non-Aryan in South Asia: Evidences, interpretation and ideology. New Delhi: Manohar Publishers.Google Scholar
  12. Chatterji, S. K. (2008). Culture: A fusion of four races. In M. Kulsrestha (Ed.), Culture India: A compendium of Indian philosophy, religion, arts, literature, and society (pp. 20–33). New Delhi: Lotus Press.Google Scholar
  13. Chattopadhyaya, D. (2013). Science and Philosophy in Ancient India. New Delhi: Aakar Books.Google Scholar
  14. Datta, D. M. (2008). Epistemological methods in Indian philosophy. In C. A. Moore (Ed.), The Indian mind: Essentials of Indian philosophy and culture (pp. 118–135). Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers.Google Scholar
  15. Deo, S. B., & Kamath, S. (Eds.). (1993). The Aryan Problem. Pune: Bharatiya Itihasa Sankalana Samiti.Google Scholar
  16. Deussen, P. (1979). The philosophy of the Upanishads. New Delhi: Oriental Books Reprint Corporation.Google Scholar
  17. Dumont, L. (1970). Homo hierarchicus: An essay on the caste system. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  18. Fernandez, F. (1967). Review on The Indian Spirit. American Anthropologist, 69(2), 266.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Feuerstein, G., Kak, S., & Frawley, D. (1995). In search of the cradle of civilization. Wheaton, IL: Quest Books.Google Scholar
  20. Frawley, D. (1994). The myth of Aryan invasion of India. New Delhi: Voice of India.Google Scholar
  21. Ganeri, J. (2009). Philosophy in classical India. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers.Google Scholar
  22. Gokhale, P. P. (2015). Lokayata/Carvaka: A philosophical inquiry. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Guru, G. (2012). Archeology of untouchability. In G. Guru & S. Sarukkai (Eds.), The cracked mirror: An Indian debate on experience and theory (pp. 200–222). New Delhi: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  24. Hiriyanna, M. (1994). Outlines of Indian philosophy. New Delhi: Motilal Banarsidas Publishers.Google Scholar
  25. Hock, H. H. (2012). Out of India? The linguistic evidence. In J. Bronkhorst & M. M. Deshpande (Eds.), Aryan and non- Aryan in South Asia: evidences, interpretation and ideology (pp. 1–18). New Delhi: Monohar Publishers.Google Scholar
  26. Kane, P. V. (1941). History of Dharmasastra (Vol. 5). Poona: Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute.Google Scholar
  27. Krishna, D. (2006). Three Myths about Indian Philosophy. In D. Krishna (Ed.), Indian Philosophy: A counter perspective (pp. 18–37). Delhi: Sri Satguru Publications.Google Scholar
  28. Lingat, R. (1973). The classical law of India. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  29. Mitchell, B. M., & Salsbury, R. E. (1999). Encyclopedia of multicultural education. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.Google Scholar
  30. Mohanty, J. N. (2002). Reason and tradition in Indian thought. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  31. Murty, K. S. (1965). The Indian Spirit. Andhra University Series No. 76, Waltair: Andhra University Press, distributed by Scientific Book Agency, Calcutta.Google Scholar
  32. Murty, K. S. (1973). The realm of between: Lectures on philosophy of religion. Simla: Indian Institute of Advanced Study.Google Scholar
  33. Murty, K. S. (1985). Philosophy in India: Traditions, teaching and research. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers.Google Scholar
  34. Murty, K. S. (2007). Evolution of Indian Philosophy, Andhra University Philosophical Studies no. 8, 2nd revised edition. New Delhi: D. K. Printworld.Google Scholar
  35. Prasad, R. (1999). Varnadharma, Niskama Karma and practical morality: A critical essay on applied ethics. Utkal Studies in Philosophy—VII. New Delhi: D. K. Printworld.Google Scholar
  36. Radhakrishnan, S. (1997). Indian Philosophy (Vol. 1). London: George Allen and Unwin.Google Scholar
  37. Raghuramaraju, A. (2006). Debates in Indian Philosophy: Classical, colonial and contemporary. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  38. Raghuramaraju, A. (2013). Philosophy and India: Ancestors, outsiders and predecessors. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Rajaram, N. (1995). The politics of history: Aryan invasion theory and the subversion of scholarship. New Delhi: Voice of India.Google Scholar
  40. Rao, V. R. (1986). The Upanishads and modern thought. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers.Google Scholar
  41. Roy, M. N. (2007). Introduction. In K. S. Murty’s (Ed.), Evolution of Indian philosophy. Andhra University Philosophical Studies no. 8, 2nd revised edition (pp. 1–11). New Delhi: D. K. Printworld.Google Scholar
  42. Saksena, S. K. (1944). Nature of consciousness in Hindu philosophy. Benares: Nand Kishore and Brothers.Google Scholar
  43. Saksena, S. K. (2008). Relation of philosophical theories to the practical affairs of men. In C. A. Moore (Ed.), The Indian mind: Essentials of Indian philosophy and culture (pp. 19–40). Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers.Google Scholar
  44. Sarkar, B. K. (1985). The positive background of Hindu sociology. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers.Google Scholar
  45. Sarukkai, S. (2012). Phenomenology of untouchability. In G. Guru & S. Sarukkai (Eds.), The cracked mirror: An Indian debate on experience and theory (pp. 157–199). New Delhi: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  46. Sen, A. (2005). The argumentative Indian: Writings on Indian history, culture and identity. London: Allen Lane.Google Scholar
  47. Sharma, S. (1985). Life in the Upanishads. New Delhi: Abhinav Publications.Google Scholar
  48. Singh, Y. (1973). Modernization of Indian tradition: A systematic study of social change. Delhi: Thompson Press Indian Limited.Google Scholar
  49. Smart, N. (1964). Doctrine and argument in Indian philosophy. London: George Allen and Unwin.Google Scholar
  50. Thapar, R. (2006). Cultural pasts: Essays in early Indian history. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  51. Thapar, R. (2010). Ancient Indian social history: Some interpretations (2nd ed.). New Delhi: Orient Blackswan.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© ICPR 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Humanities and Social SciencesIndian Institute of Technology BombayMumbaiIndia

Personalised recommendations