How Do India’s Philosophies Help Us Understand Reality?

Demanding That Reality is Knowable Only by Perception & Inference is Too Restricting

If something “beyond” exists, there should be an approximate means of knowledge for it. This is the function of words as knowledge as postulated by many of the Indian philosophical systems.

The very statement that common experience exhausts reality implies, by placing a limit on it, that the mind has traveled beyond that limit.
…..Essentials of Indian Philosophy — M. Hiriyanna

India’s Philosophical Systems and Their Metaphysical Relation to Reality

  • Nyaya and Vaisesika schools posit a total correspondence between language and reality. Whatever is real, is knowable, and as well, describable in words.
  • Early Buddhists say that language distorts reality.
  • Grammarians hold that not only does language reveal reality but it is reality.
  • Carvaka goes to the extreme of saying that religious discourse is mere prattle, invented by deceptive priests to hoodwink and subjugate the masses.
  • Advaita Vedanta calls language a “methodological device” by which a seeker after truth will be assisted in unveiling the ever-present, immediate reality.

From Realism to Idealism, from Pluralism to Absolutism, and from Empiricism to Transcendentalism, most of the possible philosophic positions have been presented by the various Indian philosophic systems.

Problems and Perspectives in Religious Discourse
Problems and Perspectives in Religious Discourse: Advaita Vedanta Implications

John Grimes


John Grimes
John Grimes

. Amazon’s John Grimes Page
Spirituality makes him Indian (article from The Hindu)

John Grimes received his BA in Religious Studies from UC Santa Barbara, and his MA and PhD in Indian Philosophy from the University of Madras.

Grimes has taught at Universities in the United States, Canada, Singapore and India. He spends his time writing and traveling between California and Chennai.

Books written by John Grimes include:

Essentials of Indian Philosphy
Essentials of Indian Philosophy
M. Hiriyanna

M. Nariyanna
M. Hiriyanna

Indian Memory Project

Mysore Hiriyanna was one of the foremost writers of the 20th century on Indian philosophy. He was a professor of Sanskrit and Philosophy at Mysore University. His writings are known for their clarity, precision, and brevity.

Books written by M. Hiriyanna include:

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