Volume 29, 2008
Philosophy in Asia and the Pacific
Ali Naqi Baqershahi
Ultimate Reality in Indian Philosophical Systems
The thrust of this article is to give a brief account of the ultimate reality as viewed by Indian philosophical system namely, Vedic philosophy, Upanisads, Buddhism, Jainism and Charvaka. Though the root of this issue is traceable to the Vedic hymns, there are various interpretations of these hymns concerning the nature of ultimate reality, for instance some of the orientalists introduces henotheism as a transitional stage from polytheism to monotheism in Indian philosophy but according to some of the Indian thinkers neither polytheism nor henotheism nor even monotheism can be taken as the keynote of the early vedic philosophy. This article has not covered the views of six Indian well-known schools of philosophy, i.e., Nimansa, Vedanta, Shankhya, Yoga, Nyaya and Vaisheshika particularly those of Shankara and Ramanuja concerning the nature of Brahma which are very interesting and thought-provoking.