About the Book:
The volumes of the PROJECT ON THE HISTORY OF SCIENCE, PHILOSOSPHY AND CULTURE IN INDIAN CIVILIZATION aim at discovering the main aspects of India’s heritage and present them in an interrelated way. In spite of their unitary look, these volumes recognize the difference between the areas of material civilization and those of ideational culture. The project is not being executed by a single group of thinkers and writers who are methodologically uniform or ideologically identical in their commitments. The Project is marked by what may be called ‘methodological pluralism’. Inspite of its primarily historical character, this project, both in its conceptualization and execution, has been shaped by scholars drawn from different disciplines. It is for the first time that an endeavour of such a unique and comprehensive character has been undertaken to study critically a major world civilization.
Buddhism can truly be called a universal religion. Like a kaleidoscope one can glean different spiritual structures in it. For some the rationalist and agnostic aspects of the early Pali Buddhism is important, others are inspired by the Mahayana texts and the Japanese tradition. Buddhism is to be valued for its idealistic, transcendental even non-dual tendencies. Still for some others the existential tendency and phenomenology seem significant in Buddhism. The study of Buddhist logic as preserved in Tibet and Mongolia also led to the appreciation of Buddhist philosophy as logic and epistemology with a strong ‘Kantian’ bias.
The contribution of Buddhism went a long way in creating the essence of Indian culture, universal in its teachings. The catholic and rational message of Buddhism made it a dynamic and expansive world religion. What seems an anti-essentialist philosophy to the modern man actually shows different levels of spiritual experiences culminating in nirvana.
The study of Buddhism has attracted a host of scholars in India and abroad in all disciplines, e.g. History, Philosophy, Religion, Language, Literature and the Arts since ancient times.
The present volume covers all the aspects of Buddhism by distinguished scholars. The topics range from archaeology and the date of the Buddha to contemporary Buddhism. The intricacies of the original Gospel, Hinayana, Mahayana, Buddhist monasticism and art, and Buddhism in relation to contemporary issues have been dealt with thoroughly.
About the Author:
D.P. CHATTOPADHYAYA, M.A., LL.B., Ph.D. (University of Calcutta and London School of Economics), D. Litt. (Honoris Causa), studied and researched law, philosophy and history and taught at various universities in India, Asia, Europe and USA from 1954 to 1994. Founder-Chairman of the Indian Council of Philosophical Research (1981-1990) and President-cum-Chairman of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla (1984-1991), Chattopadhyaya is currently the Project Director of the multidisciplinary ninety-six volume Project of History of Indian Science, Philosophy and Culture (PHISPC) and Chairman of the Centre for Studies in Civilizations (CSC). Among his 37 publications, he has authored 19 and edited and co-edited 18. These are Individuals and Societies (1967); Individuals and Worlds (1976); Sri Aurobindo and Karl Marx (1988); Anthropology and Historiography of Science (1990); Induction, Probability and Skepticism (1991); Sociology, Ideology and Utopia (1997); Societies, Cultures and Ideologies (2000); Interdisciplinary Studies in Science, Society, Value and Civilizational Dialogue (2002); Philosophy of Science, Phenomenology and Other Essays (2003); Philosophical Consciousness and Scientific Knowledge: Conceptual Linkages and Civilizational Background (2004); Self, Society and Science: Theoretical and Historical Perspectives (2004); Religion, Philosophy and Science (2006); Aesthetic Theories and Forms in Indian Tradition (2008) and Love, Life and Death (2010). He has also held high public offices, namely, Union Cabinet Minister and State Governor. He is a Life Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and a Member of the International Institute of Philosophy, Paris. He was awarded Padma Bhushan in 1998 and Padma Vibhushan in 2009 by the Government of India.
GOVIND CHANDRA PANDE (1923-2011) thinker, scholar, historian, writer, regarded internationally as an authority on Buddhism and ancient Indian culture, joined the University of Allahabad, his alma mater, as Lecturer in the Department of History after receiving his D.Phil in 1947. Later he became Professor and Head of the Department of History at three universities?Gorakhpur, Rajasthan and Allahabad. He held the office of Vice-Chancellor of the University of Allahabad from 1978 to 1984. During 1984-88 he was Visiting Gaekwad Professor at Banaras Hindu University. He was the first National Fellow of Indian Council of Historical Research from 1985-86, and was also President cum Chairman, Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla. As Member of the Governing Board of the Center for Studies in Civilizations (CSC), he edited several volumes of ancient history culture in the Project of History of Indian Science, Philosophy and Culture (PHISPC). He was also Chairman of Allahabad Museum Society, Allahabad, and the Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies, Sarnath. The prestigious Fellowship of the Sahitya Akademi was conferred on him in 2002, in recognition of his contributions to the areas of ancient history and philosophy, as for his creative work as poet. Recipient of many honorary degrees, he authored and edited over sixty books and contributed over a hundred articles to encyclopedias, anthologies and journals.