Neoplatonism and Indian Philosophy

Edited by Paulos Mar Gregorios

Subjects: Comparative Philosophy
Series: Studies in Neoplatonism: Ancient and Modern, Volume 9
Paperback : 9780791452745, 278 pages, November 2001
Hardcover : 9780791452738, 278 pages, December 2001

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Table of contents

R. Baine Harris

A Word of Thanks
Paulos Mar Gregorios

Does Geography Condition Philosophy? On Going Beyond the Occidental-Oriental Distinction
Paulos Mar Gregorios

Plato, Neoplatonism and Their Parallel Indian Ideas
D. P. Chattopadhyaya

The Omnipresence of Being, The Intellect-Intelligible Identity and the Undescending Part of the Soul
Atsushi Sumi

The Oriental Influences Upon Plotinus' Thought: An Assessment of the Controversy Between Bréhier and Rist on the Soul's Relation to the One
Roman T. Ciapalo

Plotinus and Interior Space
Frederic M. Schroeder

Unity and Multiplicity: Reflections on Emanationism as a Philosophical Theme in the Context of Neoplatonism
P. K. Mukhopadhyaya

Being and Knowing in Plotinus
Lloyd P. Gerson

Platonism in Late Classical Antiquity and Some Indian Parallels
Henry J. Blumenthal

The Sadhana of Plotinus and Sri Aurobindo
Arabinda Basu

Plotinus' Neoplatonism and the Thought of Sri Aurobindo
John R. A. Mayer

The Theoria of Nature in Plotinus and the Yoga of the Earth Consciousness in Aurobindo
Daniel Kealey

The Four Dimensional Philosophy of Indian Thought and Plotinus
I. C. Sharma

Plotinus' Criticism of Materialism
Christos Evangeliou

Plotinus and Vedanta
S. R. Bhatt

Plotinus and Sankara: Some Significant Affinities and Divergences
G. C. Nayak

Man's Predicament—The Unique Indian Experience and the Neoplatonic Tradition
Gopal Chandra Khan

Rationality and Ritual in Neoplatonism
Robert M. Berchman



Explores connections between Neoplatonism and Indian philosophy.


During the last two centuries a remarkable similarity between the philosophical system of Plotinus (205–270 A. D.) and those of various Hindu philosophers in various centuries, including some that lived prior to the Third Century A. D. has been discovered. This book addresses the possibility of any direct influence of Indian thought upon Plotinus and his teacher Ammonius Saccas (185–250 A. D.) or even upon their major source, Plato. Are Platonism and Plotinism, and the thought patterns in Western religion, literature, and art derived from them, to be considered as mere variations on themes found in ancient Hindu philosophy or are they pure evolutionary products of Greek philosophy?

The essays in this book show the actual similarities in themes or philosophical systems that exist between certain Western Neoplatonic writers and some major Hindu philosophers and deals with the arguments, pro and con, of the case for an Indian source for the thought of Plotinus. Some of the essays are critical studies involving the comparison of technical terms and linguistic considerations, whereas others are only general comparisons. An exercise in comparative philosophy, this book constitutes a de facto East-West philosophical dialogue. It concludes with an extensive critical essay on the role of ritual, myth, and magic in Neoplatonism, an ancillary topic relevant to a comparison of Eastern and Western religious thought.

Paulos Mar Gregorios (1922–1996) was Mar Thoma (Syrian) Orthodox Bishop of New Delhi and North India and taught at the Orthodox Theological College in New Delhi.