Short Book Review: Seven Systems of Indian Philosophy by Pt. Rajmani Tigunait
SBR: Why can’t we Indians write about ourselves dispassionately and objectively? Why can’t it be about studying our history or philosophy for the sake of understanding and not for glorification? Seven Systems of Indian Philosophy was good enough in explaining the seven systems it covers in simple words. But wherever the author ventured into his opinions, justifications and (shallow, offhand, but confident and patronizing) comparisons with western philosophy, I felt like tearing my hair out. Okay – I will try to forget those parts. At least I got to know that treating rituals as ultimate duty, the way of life I have grown up with, is the outcome of one specific system of Indian philosophy – Mimansa.
To read or not to read: This book is much shorter (and simpler and less comprehensive) than the much recommended two-volumes from Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan. I am yet to read that one, since I wanted something quicker before delving deeper. If you either like justifying and glorifying everything Indian, or can ignore it, then read this book for a quick and simple introduction to the seven (selected) systems of Indian philosophy. But If the glorification and justification bothers you too much, or you are prone to getting influenced by whatever is written, unable to ignore unfounded opinions, wait till I find something better on the subject.