The Systems of Indian Philosophy By V. R. Gandhi, B. A., M. R. A. S


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The Systems


Indian Philosophy

V. R. Gandhi, B.A., M.R.A.S.


Edited By

Dr. K. K. Dixit

Research Officer

L. D. Institute of Indology


Shri Mahavira Jaina Vidyalaya

Bombay 400 036

It was really a happy coincidence that a manuscript of a hitherto unpublished wok of Shri Virchand Raghavji Gandhi was discovered in his birth  place, Mahuva (Saurashtra), and that too in his centenary year. In his centenary your 1964, Shri Chandulal Vardhman Shah, one of us and Shri Kantilal Dahyabhai Kora, Registrar of Shri Mahavir Jaina Vidyalaya along with a past student Shri Pannalal R. Shah visited Mahuva. Their intention behind the visit was to collect from his birth  place the available material that can evoke the sacred memory of that eminent scholar and effective speaker. And we should say that the visit proved to be a pilgrimage. There they discovered and obtained certificates, writing, a silver casket and a gold medal along with two note books containing the present lectures in his own hand writing. It is really fortunate for us that these two note  books have been saved from destruction during a rather long period of 63 years even after the death of that scholar.

We handed over the note  books for perusal to Pt. Shri Dalsukhbhai Malavania, Director of Shri Lalbhai Dalpatbhai Bharatiya Sanskriti Vidyamandir and one of General Editors of Jains Agama Series along with Pujya Shri Punyavijayji Maharaj. While reading them, he found that they contained Shri V. R. Gandhi's illuminating lectures on the systems of Indian Philosophy. It is these lectures which Shri V. R. Gandhi delivered before American audience in attractive and popular style. Fearless and frank presentation of the subject  matter is the special feature of these lectures. Thus the present work containing them is really invaluable and the first of its kind. Hence we are very happy that it is published by our Institution.

It was very difficult to edit them critically on the basis of a handwritten manuscript and to print them in their pristine form. But the cooperation extended by Shri Lalbhai Dalpatbhai Bharatiya Sanskriti Vidyamandir, Ahmedabad, made our task very easy. Vidyamandir allotted the work of editing the lectures to Dr. K. K. Dixit, a scholar of many subjects and especially of philosophy. Dr. Dixit has taken great pains in carrying out the work successfully. We express our gratitude to the management of Vidyamandir for extending active cooperation. And we heartily thank Dr. Dixit for critically editing these lectures and for writing an elaborate thought provoking introduction to the present work.
The evaluation of the present work, and its author has been made by Dr. Dixit in his impartial and scholarly introduction as also by Dr. Pt. Sukhlaji in his `Something About Late Shri V. R. Gandhi.' We know that one of the Factors that inspired him to write it, is his admiration for Shri V. R. Gandhi's academic activities. The original Gujarati of this English note is included in this work in order that the reader can have the benefit of reading Panditji's thoughts in his own words.

The late Shri Umedchand Dolatchand Barodia, a close associate of Shri Mahavira Jaina Vidyalaya for over 40 years, had assigned to the Institution his endowment paid up insurance policy of Rs. 2,000/  in 1963 with a request to utilize the amount when realized for publications activities, as may be suggested by his two sons, Shri Shantibhai and Shri Kantibhai. On his death three years later, the two devoted sons who are past students of this Institution suggested that the insurance money may be utilized in the publication of the present book, whose author, Shri V. R. Gandhi was held in high esteem by their father as an outstanding representative of India at the Congress of World Religions in America and for his learned lectures in America and Europe. This suggestion coincided well with the devotion in which he held knowledge and religion.

Shri Umedchandbhai was born in Chuda, Saurashtra, in 1883 A.D. and was brought up in a atmosphere of education and culture. His father Shri Dolatchandbhai was one of the first Arts Graduates of the Bombay University and was the author of a number of books. Having such a laudable legacy of culture and knowledge, Shri Umedchandbhai had a distinguished career both at school and college. He won a University prize, besides being a Dakshina Fellow at Gujarat College, Ahmedabad. He started his early career as a school- teacher, which he continued with zeal and admiration for nearly twenty years. After leaving the sphere of education, he became the Assistant Secretary of the Bombay Stock Exchange, which he continued till 1940, when he felt an urge to retire and have a spiritual solace. Later, he spent some years in religious studies and meditation at Shrimad Rajchandra Ashram, Agas along with his wife, who was a source of great inspiration in all his activities. After the death of his wife, he left Agas and returned to Bombay at the persuasion of his sons, a proposition, which he never cherished. He died at Bombay at the age of 83 on 11th February 1969.
During his stay in Bombay, Shri Umedchandbhai held in high esteem Acharya Shri Vijiyavallabhsuri, Whose Services to the cause of education, social welfare and Jainism has but few parallels in our history. This ideal brought him closer to Shri Mahavira Jaina Vidyalaya. Besides being a religious teacher and examiner of the students of Vidyalaya, he was member of managing Committee for many years. Vidyalaya remained his life long interest and the progress of Vidyalaya was always near and dear to his heart.

The outstanding feature of his life was that he was a deeply religious man and was a devoted student of Jaina history, philosophy and literature. Education, devotion to duty, social service and spiritual practice were the strong attachments sustaining his life. He was the author of some books including the History and Literature of Jainism, besides contributing various articles to various journals. He edited also `Tarun Jain' and `Jain Herald' for some time.

The spontaneous help received from such a religious person in the publication of the present valuable work on philosophy is specially noteworthy and commendable.
Dr. N. J. Shah has corrected the proofs. And again it is he who has prepared the three useful indices. We express our sincere thanks to him. At last, our thanks are due to the Mouj Printing Bureau for the excellent printing.



14 1 1970. Hon. Secretaries.



`The Systems of Indian Philosophy' is published here for the first time. It contains lectures which late V. R. Gandhi delivered before American audience of the common people, while he was on his journey to attend the World Congress of Religions held for the first time in the United States of America in 1893 A.D.
The manuscript of the work, written in the author's own handwriting, remained unknown for very long. And fortunately it was discovered just in his centenary year. It is really a matter of happy co incidence that Dr. K. K. Dixit, who himself is a sincere student of Indian and Western philosophy as well as a proficient scholar of ancient Indian language Sanskrit, Prakrit, Pali, etc., has carefully edited the present work. It is an outstanding characteristic of Dr. Dixit that whatever he writes, he writes after mature consideration, without any partiality or exaggeration.

Dr. Dixit has written an elaborate introduction to this work. Any sensible Enquirer, who sincerely tries to understand it, will find no difficulty in properly evaluating these lectures. When I think on this line I feel that there remains nothing particular for me to write. But because I hold Gandhi in high esteem and because I have good faith in Shri Mahavira Jaina Vidyalaya, the Institute that publishes the present work, I am inspired to say few words.

For the last so many years, I have been hearing one harping note. It is this that the Jaina tradition should engage scholars to produce works on the cultural subjects like Religion, Philosophy, Literature, Art, etc. This note has originated from our special contact with the Western culture. But the Jaina tradition has formed the tendency that whatever the scholars write by themselves or whatever they write at the instance of others should all be published or got published in English. All the cultured Jainas who have got Western education uniformly, it has been noticed, desire that all the material pertaining to all the cultural aspects of the Jaina tradition should be made available in English. The desire is no doubt noble. But it has arisen mainly from the blind imitation of others and mental temperament devoid of deep understanding regarding publications in English language.
On the one hand, everywhere is evinced this noble desire for publishing or getting published the works in English, while on the had indifference is noticed towards the reading and study of the published English works which are capable of satisfying the thirst for knowledge, not only of the common people but also of the eminent scholars: if this contradiction is found among the business minded Jaina laymen, there is no special cause of our getting disheartened; but if this defect is seen even among Jains ascetics who have pledged to devote themselves to the acquisition of knowledge, then we cannot but say that there is something wrong with the order of Jaina monks.

There are four sects of Jaina tradition. We may take consolation in thinking that there is no cause for complaining much against the three sects other than the idol worshipping Svetambara one. But it is this idol worshipping Svetambara sect that sent Shri Gandhi to America as a representative of the entire Jaina tradition. And about 75 years before, he successfully fulfilled this mission there. Moreover, he wrote such works in English relating to Jaina tradition as is written by no other Indian   especially Jaina scholar even to this day. But alas! Rarely do we find the deserving English knowing persons who read and study these works.

Gandhi's works pertaining to the three subjects related to Jain tradition have been published before many years; and the standard of these works is so high that no author, as far as I understand, has reached that standard in producing works pertaining to those subjects. Jaina Yoga (mysticism), Jaina Philosophy and Jaina Karma doctrine are the three subjects, which Gandhi presented in English with depth and clarity. If at least some solitary ascetic or monk had studied these works, then he would have made a considerable contribution to the fund of knowledge in possession of the Jainas, would have translated or got translated them into Hindi, Gujarati and other Indian languages and thus would have finally helped us in giving a new mould to the curriculum of the Pathasalas (institutions conduction classes of Religion and Philosophy) conducted by Jaina tradition.
Were I to tell my own story, I should say that I heard the name of Shri V. R. Gandhi from no Pannyasa, no scholar and no Acarya except the late Vijayavallabhsuriji, who belonged to idol worshipping Svetambara tradition. When they knew not even the name of Shri V. R. Gandhi then what to talk of his works!
Today this narrow mindedness has almost disappeared. So first I suggest that the faithful translation of all the three works into Hindi, Gujarati and other Indian languages should be published without delay. And they should be included in the curriculum of the classes of Religion and Philosophy, conducted by the Jaina tradition. Only then the mind of the new generation would become broad based instead of becoming narrow, as also the student of the neglected Pathasalas will assume some luster resulting from this knowledge.

This publication embodying a collection of lectures on six systems of Indian Philosophy is really important not only for the Jaina scholars but also for other Indian and non-Indian scholars. It is important for three reasons: first, they were addressed to the educated common people of America, by a representative of Jaina tradition, who was above all sectarian spirit. Secondly they reveal the author's deep and extensive study of the subject; and their presentation is natural. Thirdly, English language in which they are written is pure and pristine to such extent that even the learned editor has found no scope for any correction.

These lectures on the systems of Indian philosophy should be translated into Hindi as early as possible so that the students of different levels can understand them. In short, then only the students can avail of the faithful presentation of the subject, which they need most. Moreover, the study of these lectures will prove fruitful to them for the further study of the voluminous works on the subject.
On the auspicious occasion of the birth day celebration of Venerable Vijayanandasurishvaraji (Venerable Atmaramji Maharaj), revered Vijayavallabhasuri often praised Gandhi in glowing terms spontaneously coming from his own personal experience. He used to say that wonderful were the grasping power and politeness of Gandhiji. And it is on that account that he learnt what was essential from Venerable Atmaramaji Maharaj within a short time. And he duly utilized in America the knowledge thus acquired. But from the talks of revered Vijayavallabhasuri about Gandhi, it emerges that he had no knowledge of these six lectures. He talked only about the above mentioned three works pertaining to Jaina tradition. Now that we are celebrating the centenaries of Gandhi and Acarya ji, Shri Mahavira Jaina Vidyalaya should carry out all this work remaining incomplete or untouched. This is what is desired.

Lastly, it is necessary to note some characteristics of Gandhi. First, he was a good scholar of Sanskrit. This is the reason, why he could properly understand all the systems of Indian philosophy, and this is again the reason why he rightly and fearlessly suggested the Christians of America, to ponder over the question as to, whether the missionaries or priests they sent to India conduct their proselytizing activities adopting any method and means or with proper understanding of Indian culture. Really speaking those missionaries sent to India, says Gandhi, should learn Sanskrit; otherwise they will not properly understand Indian culture and hence they will present the Indian culture in a distorted form. Here we are reminded of Mahatma Gandhi ji's fearless advice to the Christian missionaries about their proselytizing activities. His second characteristics is that he read, with full concentration, the writings of mature Indological scholars of different countries, Germany, etc. And in the preparation of his lectures he fully utilized their writings. This is the reason why his lectures are impartial and faithful. The third thing, which is noteworthy, is his association with Mahatma Gandhiji. On the one hand Mahatma ji started the study of Law and on the other he commenced his experiments on food. As is referred to by Mahatma ji in his autobiography ( Pt. II chapter 3, p.56) Shri V. R. Gandhi joined him in his experiments on food in those days. If Mahatma ji had not referred to this story, we would have remained in complete darkness about the personal relationship between the two Gandhis of Saurashtra. Lastly, I should refer to Shri V.R.Gandhi's courageous spirit as also in his vision of the future. At that time in one of his lectures addressed to the American public he declared: "You know, my brothers and sisters, that we are not an independent nation, we are subjects of her Gracious Majesty, Queen Victoria, the 'Defender of the Faith'. But if we were a nation in all that that name implies, with our government and our own rulers, with our laws and institutions controlled by us free and independent, I affirm that we should seek to establish and for ever maintain peaceful relations with all nations of the world. "The prophetic words are as if echoed in the thoughts of Mahatma ji.

Sarit Kunj,Ahmedabad 9 SUKHLAL 24- 12- 1969 SANGHAVI

Publisher's Note

Something About Late Shri V. R. Gandhi
Pt. Dr. Sukhalalji
The Sankhya Philosophy
1. Introductory
2. An end of the threefold miseries aimed at (Comparison with Spinoza).
3. How a philosophical tenet like this originates (the Indian situation contrasted with the Western)
4. The threefold misery result forms the properties of prakriti while prakriti is eternal and co existent with purusa.
5. Kapila's is theory of evolution (i.e. a denial of something coming out of nothing) incidental refutation of the theory that the world is an illusory appearance
6. How is Prakriti a `mere name
7. Prakriti defined and the 25 elements (including purusa) enumerated; the course of prakriti's evolution traced
8. Proofs for the existence of soul and delineation of the nature of soul; incidental refutation of the `one soul' doctrine of Vedanta
9. Not real but only apparent bondage and emancipation of purusa

10. Theism rejected

11. A critical remark on the Sankhya notion of the purpose of prakriti's evolution
12. Some further details concerning prakriti's evolution
13. The doctrine of a gross and a subtle body
14. The means of moksa
15. The nature of moksa
16. The advocacy of the idea of nature working under fixed laws

17. The advocacy of the idea of `liberation of all'

18. Three points of criticism by way of conclusion

II The Yoga Philosophy

1. Introductory; the mutual relationship between the physical, psychological, moral and spiritual planes (in Yoga and in the other systems of Indian philosophy)

2. The concept of mind (citta) introduced
3. Various views as to the nature of mind enumerated and the Sankhya concept of sattvapatti, Moksa or kaivalya explained
4. Yoga Posits God over and above the Sankhya philosophy's 25 elements
5. As contrasted to Sankhya yoga is highly practical in character
6. Yoga understood as citta  vrtti   nirodha
7. The five types of citta  vrtti  nirodha
8. Vairagya and abhyasa the means of citta
9. Incidental criticism of those denying the possibility of extra  sensory knowledge
10. As a result of yoga soul controls the mind rather than vice versa
11. The two types of samadhi and the eight stages that lead thereto
12. (a) Five yams

(b) Five Niyam

13. (a) The results of five yams

(b) The results of five Niyam

14. Asanas
15. Pranayam
16. Pratyahara
17. Dhahran
18. Dhyana
19. Samadhi
20. The mutual relationship between Dhahran, Dhyana and Samadhi (collectively called Samyama)
21. The mutual relationship between the five yoga  bahirangas, the three yoga  Antaranga and the final samadhi
22. The precise nature of the citta prename occurring during the stage of final samadhi
23. The general concepts of Dharma  Parinaama, laksana  Parinaama and avastha  Parinaama
24. The result of the Samyama with the three fold Parinaama for its object
25. The result of the Samyama with word etc. for its object

26. The result of the Samyama with mental impressions for its object

27. The result of the Samyama with sign etc. for its object
28. The result of the Samyama with the form of one's body for its object
29. The result of the Samyama with Karma for its object
30. The result of the Samyama with maitri, karana, upeksa for its object
31. The result of the Samyama with the elephant, the Satva  parkas, the sun, the moon, the polar star for its object
32. The result of the Samyama with the bodily parts (i.e. Nabhi  cakra etc.) for its object
33. The result of the Samyama with purusa for its object
34. The result of the Samyama with pranas (i.e. udana etc.) for its object
35. The result of the Samyama with the ether ear relationship and the ether body relationship for its object
36. Non attachment to the above miraculous powers is the ideal

37. How the yogin assumes different bodies (incidentally, how a being's act yield result)

38. How the yogin attains kaivalya

III The Naya philosophy
1. Introductory; the precise relationship between the Naya and Vaisesika
2. The Naya notion of uddesa, laksana and pariksa

3. The sixteen Naya topics explained

4. Transition to the Vaisesika
5. The seven Vaisesika Categories enumerated
6. The seven Vaisesika Categories further elaborated:
7. The Vaisesika Categories further elaborated:

(a) The Dravyas that are both eternal and non eternal

(b) The Dravyas that are eternal

IV Mimamsa

1.To be neglected inasmuch as it is not system of philosophy but rather a system of ritualism

V Vedanta Philosophy
1. The Upanisadic basis of the Vedanta philosophy laid bare with the help of the Uddalaka  Svetaketu dialogue of the Chhandogya Upanisad
2. The mutual relationship between Mimamsa and Vedanta
3. A summary account of Sankara's version of Vedanta:

(a) The nature of Brahma, Maya and Jagat (both Jan. and Chaitan) (b) The nature of bondage

(c) The nature of moksa
4. A summary account of Ramanuj's version of Vedanta:

(a) The nature of Brahma and Jagat (both Jan. and Chaitana)

(b) The nature of bondage and moksa
5. Sankara and Ramanuja compared and contrasted

6. Further elaboration of Sankara's view:

(a) Sankar on Brahma's causality of the world

(b) The gradual development of Sankara's philosophy out of the old Upanisads

(c) Brahma and Brahma

(d) For Sankara the jiva is Brahma (not Brahma) and it is Brahma (not becomes Brahma)

(e) Sankara's view contrasted with that of Yoga

(f) Sankara explains away and with ease the Upanisadic passage where they speak as if the jiva and Jagat too are independent realities (like Brahma)

(g) Vedanta lie all idealism goes against commonsense

(h) Vedanta accepts the idea of God and of His worship from a practical stand  point

(i) The knowledge had from the practical standpoint is supplanted by that had from the ultimate standpoint.

(j) Only Sata, Chaitan and Ananda can be attributed to the highest Brahma (that can be known only as subject but never as an object)

(k) But the creation of the world on the part of Brahma, an individual's individuality, the worship of Brahma on the part of individual are all `practical truths not falsehoods

(l) Various analogies to explain Brahma's causality of the world ultimately replaced by Sankara's doctrine of vivarta

(m) Brahma's causality of the world is case of Avidya (i.e. a case of appearance caused by ignorance)

(n) Bharatitratha on the mechanism of removing Avidya

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