Q&A: Do you believe that the famous western philosophers have read about eastern philosophy and were influenced by it?


Some direct and others indirect, I think. 

There are interesting parallels between some ancient Greek philosophical positions and the Hindu: like the theses of the soul (Plato)  and reincarnation (Pythagoras).

In literature Goethe admired Kalidasa’s Shakuntala and took inspiration from it.

In philosophy Arthur Schopenhauer was influenced by the Upanishads and he influenced  the great opera composer Richard Wagner.

Poets like  Thoreau and Emerson, writers like Aldous Huxley and Somerset Maugham were definitely influenced by Hindu philosophy.

I have sometimes felt that some key ideas of nineteenth century physics (like fields and unification of E & M) bear remarkable resemblance to the unified concepts of classical Indic thinkers.

The acknowledgment of some 20th century physicists like Edwin Schrodinger that there are  interesting parallel insights in quantum physics and Vedanta is well known.

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Varadaraja V. Raman

Physicist, philosopher, explorer of ideas, bridge-builder, devotee of Modern Science and Enlightenment, respecter of whatever is good and noble in religious traditions as well as in secular humanism,versifier and humorist, public speaker, dreamer of inter-cultural,international,inter-religious peace.

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