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Early Indian Religious Thought

By Phiroz Mehta

Cover of Early Indian Religious Thought

About this book

Format Hardback
Pages 532
Publisher Luzac & Co.
Published 1956

One of the principal aims of this important book is to seek a ground for mutual religious understanding, based on a fundamental spiritual unity, whilst recognising the outstanding differences between the world’s great religions, and between their distinctive messages.

Phiroz Mehta’s central theme is that “Brahman the transcendent and immanent real is the world, is man the existent.” Without condoning the defects of India’s religious situation, he presents an integrated, balanced picture of its social and ethical life, its religious genius and vision. Indian religious thought is raised out of the sphere of mere abstraction, and practical means of transcending human limitations are demonstrated in a way that will give the serious student much food for thought.

The opening chapters deal with Pre-Vedic religious thought, the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Buddha and his teachings and the Bhagavad-Gita. The deeper philosophical and moral-ethical implications of these doctrines are taken up in the second part of the book. The author’s approach is critical, highly original and stimulating, and lucidly presented.


No other work quite covers the field so ably explored here.

Christmas Humphreys, President of the Buddhist Society, London

There is no doubt that Mr. Mehta has written an original work, a work of true understanding and mature scholarship. Mr. Mehta is at once a scholar, a mystic, an idealist and a realist.

Doctor D. Friedman, Reader in Sanskrit, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London

I regard this book as of the greatest importance. Mr. Mehta understands the West, and he possesses not only a profound knowledge of the sacred literature of his own country but also the ability to convey its grandeur and its subtleties to Western readers.

Kenneth Walker, Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons