Philosophical issues such as reality and appearance, God and world, self and not-self, rebirth and immortality, free will and determination, mysticism, etc., have been examined by eastern and western philosophers as far back as the sages of Upanishads (700 BCE) in the East, and Plato (400 BCE) in the West. However, there was no significant communication among the philosophers of the East and West perhaps until the eighteenth century. Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860) was one of the first among the great western philosophers to recognize the value of Indian philosophies. Despite the lack of communication there are striking similarities of concepts and issues addressed by Indian and western philosophies. Also interesting is how similar are the mystical versions of different religions of the East and West. The author, Dr. Arun Chatterjee, has attempted to bring out the similarities and differences in various chapters of this book dealing with different topics. Among Indian philosophies the focus is on Vedanta philosophy and the views of Sri Aurobindo (1872-1950). The views of Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902) also are presented. Other Indian philosophies such as Sankhya and Buddhism are discussed briefly. Among western religions Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are discussed.
About the author
The author, Arun Chatterjee, is a Professor Emeritus of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN. He has been studying philosophy and religion for nearly 40 years. He has studied Sri Aurobindo’s philosophy extensively. He published several articles on philosophy and religion in different journals in India. Some of those articles were revised and included in this book. (A more detailed background of him is presented in Author’s Acknowledgement.)