You can only be afraid of what you think you know.
South Asian philosophy was developed by the Indian subcontinent and is a system of reflection, which is concerned with the nature of the world of reality, of knowledge, ethics and religion.
Indian philosophers were advanced thinkers, which brought to question subjects such as the comprehension of truth and origin.
It was they who questioned whether knowledge is gained from the experience of the world, or from reason.
Indian philosophers helped in shaping the distinction between analytic (true by definition) and synthetic (may be true or false; it is correlated with how the world really is) propositions.
Also, they differentiated contingent (temporary; dependent on certain conditions) and necessary (will forever give the same answer) truths.
In India, the philosophical traditions change in every school of philosophy, and they are dependent on the classification of the philosophy: orthodox and heterodox.
The classification occurs depending on whether the school believes in Devas and afterlife, Vedas as knowledge, or the premises of Atman and Brahman.
Numerous South Asian thinkers have taken the path of philosophy or have attempted to make radical changes through the use of philosophical methods.
These Indian philosophers include Swami Vivekananda, Rabindranath Tagore and Jiddu Krishnamurti.
What they are leaving behind are inspirational ideas and beliefs, which still influence the South Asian subcontinent, but also any other person who reads and understands the beautiful meaning of these words.
The following are great, inspirational quotes from the most famous thinkers in India.
Swami Vivekananda (1863 – 1902)
Quotes from the key figure in the introduction of Indian philosophy, Swami Vivekananda (1863 – 1902), who brought Hinduism to become one of the major world religions in the 19th century.
- “You have to grow from the inside out. None can teach you, none can make you spiritual. There is no other teacher but your own soul.”
- “All the powers in the universe are already ours. It is we who have the put our hands before our eyes and cry that it is dark.”
- “We are what our thoughts have made us; so, take care of what you think. Words are secondary. Thoughts live; they travel far.”
- “Never say ‘no’, never say ‘I cannot’, for you are infinite. All the power is within you. You can do anything.”
- “The greatest sacrifice is when you sacrifice your own happiness for the sake of someone else.”
- “In a day when you don’t come across any problems, you can be sure that you are travelling on the wrong path.”
- “The greatest religion is to be true to your own nature. Have faith in yourselves.”
- “The greatest sin is to think yourself weak.”
- “Take risks in your life. If you win, you may lead; if you lose, you may guide.”
- “Experience is the only teacher we have. We may talk and reason all our lives, but we shall never understand a word of truth.”
Rabindranath Tagore (1861 – 1941)
Quotes from poet, writer, painter and composer Rabindranath Tagore (1861 – 1941), who remodelled Indian art with modernism in the early 20th century.
- “I have become my own vision of an optimist. If I can’t make it through one door, I’ll go through another door – or I’ll make a door. Something terrific will come no matter how dark the present.”
- “The highest education is that which does not merely give us information but makes our life in harmony with all existence.”
- “Death is not extinguishing the light; it is only putting out the lamp because the dawn has come.”
- “The butterfly counts not months but moments and has time enough.”
- “You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.”
- “Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark.”
- “The most important lesson that man can learn from life, is not that there is pain in this world, but that it is possible for him to transmute it into joy.”
- “The one who plants trees, knowing that he will never sit in their shade, has at least started to understand the meaning of life.”
- “Let your life lightly dance on the edges of time like dew on the tip of a leaf.”
- “If you cry because the sun has gone out of your life, your tears will prevent you from seeing the stars.”
Jiddu Krishnamurti (1895 – 1986)
Quotes from the speaker and writer Jiddu Krishnamurti (1895 – 1986), who firmly believed in the need of a revolution in the ‘psyche of every human being’, bringing a revolutionary change in his society.
- “In oneself lies the whole world and if you know how to look and learn, the door is there, and the key is in your hand. Nobody on earth can give you either the key or the door to open, except yourself.”
- “One is never afraid of the unknown; one is afraid of the known coming to an end.”
- “Only when your hearts are empty of the things of the mind, is their love. Then you will know what it is to love without separation, without distance, without time, without fear.”
- “It is necessary that one be a light to oneself in a world that is becoming utterly dark.”
- “Freedom from the desire for an answer is essential to the understanding of the problem.”
- “It is very easy to conform to what your society or your parents and teachers tell you. That is a safe and easy way of existing; but that is not living… to live is to find out for yourself the truth.”
- “I don’t mind what happens. That is the essence of inner freedom. It is a timeless spiritual truth.”
- “So when you are listening to somebody, completely, attentively, then you are listening not only to the words, but also the feeling of what is being conveyed, to the whole of it, not part of it.”
- “You see, love is, after all, a sense of total absence of the ‘me’.”
- “You can only be afraid of what you think you know.”
These quotes succeed in giving everyone an insight into the way these Indian philosophers thought.
They demonstrate the way life was before, including the reasons why they believed what they wrote, emanating their determination as heat.
The book ‘A Critical Survey of Indian Philosophy’ (1962) by Chandradhar Sharma is an important study based on the interpretation of Indian philosophical systems.
The book exposes the development of Indian philosophies, and involves unbiased and impartial criticism and evaluation, in order to remove misconceptions. A paragraph from this book entails:
“Western philosophy has remained more or less true to the etymological meaning of ‘philosophy’, in being essentially an intellectual quest for truth.
“Indian Philosophy has been, however, intensely spiritual and has always emphasised the need of practical realisation of truth.
“The word ‘darshana’ means ‘vision’ and also the ‘instrument of vision’. It stands for the direct, immediate and intuitive vision of Reality, the actual perception of Truth, and also includes the means which led to this realisation.
“’See the Self’ is the keynote of all schools of Indian Philosophy.”
Conclusively, the book is an interpretation of the Indian philosophical systems, which were used by the philosophers and writers mentioned.
The great quotes that were left behind, together with a large number of philosophical books such as Sharma’s, all tend to demonstrate the significance of Indian philosophy and the changes that came because of it.
It is thanks to these writers, thinkers, philosophers, and the insight given by books which studied their systems through, that the Indian culture has changed. Yet, it has not lost its beauty.