This book strives to give a clear, comprehensive and critical account of the various systems of Indian philosophy. It is useful to all those who want a clear and accurate exposition of the development of Indian philosophical thought in one volume. The work is based on the study of the original sources and the author's lectures to the post-graduate classes in the Banaras Hindu University for a number of years. On almost all fundamental points the author has either quoted from the original texts or referred to them to enable the interested reader to compare the interpretations with the texts. Throughout the exposition of the different systems which involves criticism and evaluation. He has tried to be fair and impartial to them and to present many difficult and obscure points in as clear and correct a manner as he could. Ignorance of Indian philosophy, specially of Buddhism and Vedanta, is still profound and has given rise to un-informed or ill-informed accounts and misleading criticisms. It has been the aim of the book to remove such misconceptions. Honest difference of opinion in interpretation is legitimate in philosophy, but it does not entitle us to impose our own preconceived notions on a system which are repelled by its original texts. The work is only an outline of a vast subject and has no pretensions to completeness.
The book opens with the survey of Indian philosophical thought as found in the Vedas, the Upanisads and Bhagavadgita. It proceeds to the study of Materialism, Jainism and Early Buddhism, Sunyavada, Vijnanavada and Svatantra Vijnanavada. It expounds the tenets of the six systems of Indian Philosophy with special reference to Sankara, the pre-Sankara and the post-Sankara Vedanta, and the essentials of Buddhism and Vedanta in comparison and contrast. It discusses the doctrines of Vedanta as interpreted by Ramanuja, Madhva, Nimbarka, Vallabha, Caitanya and Aurobindo. It also contains a clear exposition of Saiva Siddhanta, Kashmir Saivism and Sakta Schools.