What is the basic Indian philosophy?
As far as I am concerned, I don’t see philosophy as Indian or non-Indian. It is not possible. Philosophy is one, universal. There can be no geographical division in the human mind. So these divisions, distinctions, are political. Indian, Japanese or German, or Eastern and Western – all these divisions are political. They have arisen out of the political mind. But we apply them unnecessarily, and not only unnecessarily, but meaninglessly too in the realm of philosophy.
There is no Indian philosophy as such; there cannot be. Philosophy is an attitude, a universal attitude.
You can see the world through three dimensions. One dimension is science, that is thinking empirically about reality. The second dimension is philosophy: thinking about reality speculatively. And the third dimension is religion: not thinking about reality, but experiencing it.
So science is based on empirical experimentation, observation and objective thinking. Philosophy is based on non-empirical, speculative thinking, subjectively based. Religion transcends both. Religion is neither objective nor subjective. Religion thinks of the whole in terms of the whole. That is why we use the term holy. Holy means “that which comprehends the whole.”
When we call a particular type of mind “the Indian mind,” when we designate it as such, when we make this distinction, it is not a geographical distinction. When we say Indian to me it means that the world, the reality, is being seen neither through science nor through philosophy but through religion. So if you like you can say that this land, this country and the mind that has evolved here, has peeped into reality through religion – not through philosophy, not through science. This third dimension, religion, has been the basis for us.
Reality – when you think about it, any type of thinking is bound to be nothing more than an acquaintance, because when I think about you, I am outside you. I can go around and around, but whatever comes to my knowledge will just be an acquaintance. I cannot penetrate you, I cannot know you from within. So this is just acquaintance.
Science is acquaintance; science is not knowledge. It has to change moment to moment. Every day something new comes; we become more acquainted and science has to change. So science can never be absolute in the sense that philosophy can be. Philosophy is absolute because we are not thinking about the outside but about the inside of humanity, the inside of the human being – the innermost, the subjective core of our minds. Philosophy can be absolute, but philosophy cannot be the whole. The outside has been left out of it.