In this opening series of episodes on philosophy in India, Peter Adamson and Jonardon Ganeri first provide an orientation concerning the nature of philosophy in India and the historical context in which it emerged. They go on to discuss the Vedic literature, focusing especially on the Upanisads with their proposal of the unity of self and world, and the notion of karma. These ideas, and the knowledge claims of the brahmins who feature in the Upanisads, were criticized by the emerging traditions of Buddhism and Jainism. In addition to charting this conflict, these podcasts deal with philosophical ideas in ancient Indian literature, especially the epic Mahabharata. Also featured are interviews with guests Brian Black, Rupert Gethin, and Jessica Frazier.
F. Edgerton, The Beginnings of Indian Philosophy: Selections from the Rg Veda, Atharva Veda, Upanisads, and Mahabharata(London: 1965).
R. Gethin, The Foundations of Buddhism (Oxford: 1998).
K.N. Jayatilleke, Early Buddhist Theory of Knowledge (London: 1963).
B.K. Matilal, Epics and Ethics (Oxford: 2002).
W.D. O’Flaherty (ed.), Karma and Rebirth in Classical Indian Traditions (Berkeley: 1980).
W.D. O’Flaherty (ed.), The Rig Veda: an Anthology (Harmondworth: 1981).
P. Olivelle (trans.), Upanisads (Oxford: 1996).
R. Thapar, The Penguin History of Early India from the Origins to AD 1300 (London: 2002).
R.S. Sharma, India’s Ancient Past (Oxford: 2006).
Posted on 19 September 2015
In this introduction to the series, Peter Adamson and Jonardon Ganeri propose that Indian philosophy was primarily a way of life and search for the highest good.65 comments
Posted on 14 November 2015
The god Indra seeks to learn the nature of his own self from another god, Prajāpati, and receives an answer worth waiting for.12 comments
Posted on 7 February 2016
Two figures from the Mauryan dynasty, Kauṭilya and the king Aśoka, set out contrasting ideas about the ideal political rule.4 comments
Posted on 21 February 2016
Peter speaks to Rupert Gethin about the no-self theory, and its implications for Buddhist ethics and meditation practices.5 comments
Posted on 6 March 2016
The great Hindu epic Mahābhārata explores moral dilemmas and the permissibilty of lying, against the background of the ethical concept of dharma.4 comments
Posted on 20 March 2016
The Bhagavad-Gītā or “Song of the Lord” from the Mahābhārata ties its theory of detached action to an innovative conception of the divine.13 comments