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Philosophical Thought
Reference:

The Ethical Thought of the Bengal Renaissance:
The Neo-Hindu Conceptions (18801910)

Skorokhodova Tatiana G.

ORCID: 0000-0001-6481-2567

Professor, Penza State University

440046, Russia, g. Penza, ul. Krasnaya, 40, kab. 12-218

skorokhod71@mail.ru
Other publications by this author
 

 

DOI:

10.25136/2409-8728.2023.9.41051

EDN:

VGYEKE

Received:

20-06-2023


Published:

05-09-2023


Abstract: A development of ethical thought by Neo-Hindu philosophers in Nineteenth early Twentieth century Bengal is depicted in the article based on hermeneutic readings of the texts by Bankimchandra Chattopaddhyay, Swami Vivekananda, Aurobindo Ghosh. From the one hand, Neo-Hindu philosophers continue Rammohun Roys line of criticism of Indian societys moral condition, consciousness and conduct. From the other hand, they formed their own ethical conceptions to present Hindu normative ethics. The research demonstrated for the first time the becoming of Modern Indian ethics in the conceptions of Bengal Neo-Hindu thinkers who are the real founders of ethics as philosophical discipline in India. Growing up from indigenous ancient tradition of exegesis of scriptures, Neo-Hindu conceptions of ethics are the new adogmatic interpretation of the native religious ethics in broad context of Modernity. The Bengal Renaissance thinkers had made an intellectual breakthrough in Indian philosophy. The result of intellectual works are following: 1) bringing morality to the fore in dharma to differentiate ethical issue-area as meaningful in thought and practice; 2) definition of universality of Hinduism s moral consciousness in the core; 3) normative ethics along with its imperatives and rules had presented as established and fixed in ancient Hindu scriptures; 4) the ethical ideal was found in images of sages and epic heroes as well as in their teachings; 5) ethical norms and ideal are practically oriented for the criticism of societys morals and future development.


Keywords:

Modern Indian philosophy, the Bengal Renaissance, Neo-Hinduism, Bankimchandra Chattopaddhyay, Swami Vivekananda, Aurobindo Ghosh, dharma, sacred scriptures, normative ethics, morality

This article is automatically translated. You can find original text of the article here.

In modern Indian philosophy, among the various fields of research, ethics is recognized as one of the most significant disciplines, which the Indian Council of Philosophical Research has assigned to priority [1, p. 25]. However, as an independent philosophical discipline, with the object of morality, and the subject ideas of both good and evil, moral principles and norms, ideals of proper behavior, real moral behavior, ethics is a fairly young field of knowledge in India, especially against the background of the history of Indian philosophy as such. Ethical thought in the full sense of the word is formed here only in the period of Modern Times. "The firm conviction that ethics is an integral and most important part of Indian philosophy, that, according to the principles of the latter, the comprehension of reality is in organic connection with the process of moral improvement of man" by T. M. P.Mahadevan [2, p. 296], as well as similar ideas from other philosophers of India of the twentieth century. became quite familiar after the works of thinkers of the Indian Renaissance of the XIX early XX centuries. different regions of British India and their successor figures of science and culture of the period before independence in 1947.

The intellectuals of Bengal became pioneers in the creation and development of ethical thought: through their efforts, the sacred texts of Hinduism were read and interpreted and ideas were created about high ethics originating from the strict and sublime monotheism of the Upanishads, and about the moral content of the Indian socio-cultural tradition. By pointing out the high standards of proper moral behavior, the thinkers of the first period of the Bengali Renaissance (1815-1857) created the ground for justifying the necessary social reforms and, more broadly, for the moral improvement of society. At the first stage of the development of ethical thought (1815-1870), a method of discovering morality and normative ethics in the tradition was created through the adogmatic interpretation of authoritative texts (Rammohan Rai) and a model of the movement of thought from speeches about morality and prescriptions to the creation of an ethical ideal that clearly does not correspond to reality, but opens the prospect of moral revival (Debendronath Tagore). The intellectuals of the Brahmo Samaj applied an ethical perspective to analyze the social problems of everyday life and thus actualized the need to educate the moral consciousness of compatriots.

The ethical thought of Bengal and in many respects the whole of India owes its development to the representatives of neo-Hinduism, which has been forming as a trend in religious philosophy and a complex of spiritual movements since the end of the XIX century [3-5]. "Brahmoism and the new Hinduism have brought into our lives a previously unrecognized value an ethical value," emphasizes Nirad Chowdhury, analyzing the complexities of moral consciousness and behavior of fellow neoHindus. Hindu society, or, I would not like to judge so indiscriminately, that part of it in which moral behavior is regulated solely by tradition, had no consciousness of moral problems. Indeed, it was so superstitious in everything and everything that, based on this, it did not erect an altar to morality even as an Unknown God" [6, p. 523]. 1880-1910 the stage of the formation of ethical concepts, thanks to which both the philosophical discipline ethics and the idea of its original presence in the history of Indian philosophy became a fait accompli in India.

On the one hand, the neoHindu thinkers of Bengal turn out to be the continuators of the impartial criticism of the moral state, consciousness and behavior that they observe in everyday and social life, which goes back to Rammohan Rai, especially since the phenomenon called moral decline by the Brahmoists did not disappear in the last third of the XIX century, despite the efforts of educators and reformers to educate public consciousness. On the other hand, they form their own ethical concepts, where they represent ethics, which in their understanding is the normative ethics of Hinduism. In this, they continue to solve the super-task of acquiring normative ethics in authoritative texts of the Hindu tradition and therefore constantly seek and find in them not only moral imperatives, but also ethical ideas, teachings and concrete examples of moral behavior. The method of interpretation is preserved, as is the correlation with the ethics of other non-religious traditions.

NeoHindu thinkers expand the range of texts to which they refer when justifying ethics - this is not only the Vedic complex, but also the texts of the Mahabharata (in addition to the Bhagavad Gita), philosophical treatises, dharmashastras, etc. The interpretation of the texts of the tradition also varies from a rational-critical attitude to an intuitive "reading" of the meaning into the text. The first is expressed in Bonkimchondro Chottopaddhaya (1836-1894), who in his essay "Polygamy" noticed that in the sastras one can find a variety of statements that logically contradict each other and are suitable for the subjects who are disputing. In addition, the Hindus mostly follow the customs, not the prescriptions of the texts: "In this society, the folk custom is stronger than the dharmashastras. A custom that corresponds to folk practice is ubiquitous, although it may contradict the sastras ..." [7, p. 73]. The opposite position is found in Aurobindo Ghosh (1872-1950) in his early works; he is convinced that the Vedas and Upanishads contain an inexhaustible meaning "the deepest eternal Knowledge that has neither beginning nor end and underlies the eternal dharma" [8, p. 52], and it is impossible to get to it by logical thinking alone direct vision is required, obtained "as a result of yogic practice" [8, p. 53].

Chronologically, the first ethical concept of neo-Hindu thought was formed from the ideas and reflections of the writer, sociologist and public figure Bonkimchondro Chottopaddhaya. If in social and historical novels he raised moral problems, the solution of which he gave to his heroes according to the plot [9; 10, pp. 89-93], then in journalism and religious and philosophical works he developed thoughts about the content of Hindu ethics, often relying on traditional texts and their own interpretation.

Since the Bengali neo-Hindu thought is distinguished by a special intention of presenting the native religion in an ethical way, a comprehensive complex of spiritual practices with high moral aspirations, it is not difficult to see in it a semantic continuity with the efforts of the Brahmoists who promoted ethical monotheism as the true content of Hinduism. Bonkimchondro, defining God as the "Moral Ruler of the universe" who constantly judges us by our deeds [11, p. 184], in this regard continues the line of Rammohan Rai, although he accepts all the variety of cults and doctrinal traditions as historically formed branches of the "tree of Hinduism".

In his reflections on morality, Bonkimchondro wonders about the truly virtuous behavior that distinguishes the "true Hindu" is it in strict observance of rules and customs, or is virtue something completely different? Answering the problem he asked, he gives the example of a familiar brahmin-zamindar, scrupulously correcting the rituals of ablution and worship, a vegetarian who spends all his life energy to ruin a neighbor farmer, deprive a widow of her meager means, evade paying debts, fabricate perjury for trial, put an innocent in prison, etc.: "... It is known that he sings praises to God even when forging documents, because he believes that this will help make the forgery perfect. And is this person an ideal Hindu?" [11, p. 135]. The other behaves completely differently: neglects the rules of nutrition and communicates with everyone regardless of caste, does not follow rituals, but never utters false words, works for the good of society, does good to people, curbs passions and honors God deep in his heart, is capable of forgiveness, loves his loved ones ... If religion is not identical to rituals, and if he stays outside of them, then "what objections can there be to recognizing a second person as a true Hindu?" [11, pp. 135-136]. A typical objection for devout Hindus is that he refused to "follow the rules or principles known from Hindu sacred books or legislative collections," and therefore cannot be an "ideal believer." And here Bonkimchondro declares the vulnerability of the very idea of the rootedness of Hinduism in its sacred texts they are very different both in content and in accessibility for knowledge by believers. In particular, although Manusmriti are recognized as authoritative, in fact they are not talking about religion at all, but about the prescriptions of the worldly order, which in fact turn out to be barbaric and have nothing to do with Hinduism [11, p. 137]. In reality, believers are so called. "people's Hinduism" follow the same Manu selectively, or do not follow at all. Therefore, the thinker chooses truth as a criterion for understanding the essence and content of religion, as well as any texts. He is convinced that "true religion is that which contributes to the physical, spiritual and social development of a person. This is the essence of all religions, and this is quite clearly seen in the case of Hinduism" [11, p. 139]. And since there is no place for lies in religion, the thinker suggests carefully studying the scriptures and finding the truth in them together and independently: "Regardless of whether untruth appeared in Manu, in the Mahabharata or even in the Vedas, it remains untrue even now and should be discarded as the opposite of religion and religious life" [11, pp. 139-140].

Bonkimchondro himself follows this decision, especially in analyzing the ethical dimension of Hinduism. The latter is understood as a comprehensive religion of natural origin: "Knowledge of the essence of the Absolute [Brahman] and pious devotion to a personal God, taken together, form Hinduism," he writes and sees its decline in modern times as a consequence of the fact that the Hindus themselves "gave the status of Hinduism to daily rituals and worship of gods" [11, pp. 71-72]. But the reasons for the decline are also in the "untruth" that is present in the texts of the Puranas and itihas, so revered by orthodox Hindus. They describe numerous gods, "remarkable in character" they are vain, selfish, greedy, weak and sinful, behave no better than "pathetic human beings". To honor such gods is a sure way to sinfulness and humiliation of man. "If Hinduism accommodates the veneration of such gods, its revival and giving it a new life is now completely undesirable" [11, pp. 54-55], this is the main leitmotif of Bonkimchondro's reasoning. Hinduism is ethical, and it is not difficult to see the highest meaning and the highest morality in it if "Hinduism is freed from such irrational fabrications" as bad deeds attributed to the gods, susceptibility to evil and passions [11, p. 59].

Bonkimchondro's ethical concept is the result of his hermeneutics of Hinduism the search for the highest meaning in his texts. The basis of the preunderstanding is the interpretation of the semantics of the term dharma with all the ambiguity in the foreground, it identifies it with religion, morality, virtue and "actions consistent with established religious and moral principles" [11, p. 147], - the remaining meanings ("folk customs and everyday practices" and "essential qualities of the object") rather create confusion, lead to misconceptions. But this problem is not new: "Our sacred texts have always been replete with such contradictions" [11, p. 148], as, for example, the Laws of Manu, where all these meanings are present in different slokas of the same chapter (I. 29 and 118) [12, p. 21, 36]. Hence there was confusion and substitution of meanings, as well as the transformation of true religion into special religious practices. "Moral life becomes misdirected, customs become tedious, and virtues become burdensome," Bonkimchondro concludes. The real degeneration of religious and moral life among Hindus and their waning faith in these circumstances can be fairly explained by this" [11, p. 148].

Since dharma is primarily religion and morality, the dharmashastras, with their multiple contradictions and inconsistency with the public benefit, can hardly serve as an authoritative source of normative ethics, especially in the interests of improving moral life. "The recommendations made by our shastras are outdated and impractical for our time" [11, p. 142], Bonkimchondro notes in a letter to Binoykrishno Debu (July 27, 1892); besides, in fact, the life of society and man is not governed by dharmashastras, and even more so they are not identical to all Hinduism. "Genuine Hinduism is exceptionally tolerant and open. And it is sad that his openness and generosity (liberality) was so significantly weakened by the hands of our legislators These legislators did not create Hinduism Hinduism is eternal (sanatan) and existed long before their time. It is not surprising that the conflict between sanatana dharma and dharmashastras is now completely obvious. Wherever such a conflict arises, everyone should be guided by sanatana dharma," the thinker concludes [11. p. 144].

After rejecting the dharmashastras, Bonkimchondro identifies Krishna's statements about ethics and morality in the Mahabharata Bhagavad Gita and other books as an authoritative source of normative ethics and confirmation of the essence of sanatan dharma. The highest kind of knowledge, and therefore the true dharma, ascending to God (Brahman), are stated in the Vedas, but its true development, including moral teachings (commandments utterances), it received in the Bhagavad Gita; whoever was its author Krishna or anyone else - he saw and explained the essence of dharma better than the outstanding founders of other religions, including Buddha, Christ and Muhammad, managed to do it [11, p. 153]. "Wherever we find this dharma, whether in the Gita or other parts of the Mahabharata, or the Bhagavata Purana, we find Lord Krishna explaining it. For this reason, I feel that the most exalted form of Hinduism was the creation of Krishna and was transmitted by him alone" [11, p. 151].

Bonkimchondro considers the fragment of chapter 49 of Karna-parva (49:50-51; Mahabharata) to be the fundamental basis of morality: "Dharma refers to the creation and preservation of all forms of life," in the work "True Dharma" ("Dhormototo", 1884), the writer, in the best traditions of his era, adds a sense-interpretation, retelling the following slokas: "Nonviolent action is dharmic action. The Dharma was created with the aim of reducing violence among those who are inclined to use it. And because dharma essentially protects life, it is given this name (from dh?rana to cherish, keep, keep, maintain)" [11, p. 152]. (Compare in translation from Sanskrit Y. V. Vasilkov and S. L. Neveleva: "The Dharma is called so because it is a support, the dharma supports the living. Everything connected with the maintenance (of existence) is, without a doubt, dharma. In those cases when greedy people want to gain something contrary to justice and salvation is not to utter a word, one should never give a voice," etc. [13, pp. 168-169]). Careful attitude to life, "God's creation", preference for nonviolence in the Bonkimchondro concept plays a role comparable to the "categorical imperative" of I. Kant and it is significant that he quotes his works below along with I. G. Fichte, J. S. Mill, O. Comte and other European philosophers [11, pp. 143-144; 167]. But in other books of the Mahabharata Bonkimchondro finds the criteria of morality as dharma in the correlation of any actions with the truth in the pursuit of human goals: "What is truly useful to people is the truth," he conveys one of the slokas of the Vana-parva. Truth is the best method of acquiring what a person aspires to (shreya). This Truth generates knowledge and public good" [11, p. 152].

The choice of the 49th chapter of Karna-parva for the interpretation of morality is indicative, since Bonkimchondro raised the problem of moral choice, and the content of Krishna's teachings to Arjuna are the principles of choice and examples of decent and unworthy behavior when following the norm (for example, an honest answer that turned into the death of the persecuted) or its violation (killing a beast that was going to destroy everything) [13, p. 160]. In The Life of Krishna (Krishna-Charitra, 1886), the thinker describes the solution of the conflict between Arjuna and Yudhishthira (the eldest of the five Pandava brothers), who insulted his brother's weapon in the heat of an argument. Krishna restrains Arjuna from fratricide by explaining in detail the subtleties of moral choice: it depends, in fact, on the hierarchy of virtues some are higher than others. Bonkimchondro's intention is also important: to show that Krishna's decision "was based entirely on moral principles known in the local (Indian T. S.) tradition" [11, p. 163], and not the "Western moral principles" studied by readers. In Bonkimchondro's explanation, the latter look tough and uncompromising, not allowing violations ("inadmissibility of lies"), and then it is possible to equalize violators of the norm for example, a liar and a murderer. Against this background, Krishna's decision is remarkably flexible, leaving a person the freedom to choose the true and follow the moral order of the dharma. Thus, in his teaching, "Nonviolence is the greatest virtue (ahimsa paramadharma)", and it is higher than the virtue of truthfulness" [11, pp. 164, 165]. However, in reality there are many situations when non-infliction of harm or death is impossible, or it is necessary to respond with violence to the unfair violence of the enemy, which always destroys the righteousness of the subject. And even more so in a situation of choosing between lying and murder, it is better to tell a lie than to take a life and so violate the highest principle of dharma. According to Bonkimchondro, Krishna has revealed the wisdom that his compatriots who seek to understand the dharma should resort to in situations of moral choice. As a result, he comes to the four ethical ideas commanded by Krishna: "1)What is consistent with the dharma is true, what is not is untrue. 2) What contributes to the wellbeing of people is dharma. 3) Hence follows: what is in the interests of human wellbeing is the truth, what opposes it is untrue. 4) The truth defined in this way can be applied to all cases" [11, p. 167].

The ethics of Krishna, derived from the text, is declared by the writer as the essence of Hinduism in general, Bonkimchondro connects with it the progress of the people and overcoming decline. Appealing to the texts of smriti, he develops the same ethics of duty, moral obligation, as the Brahmoist thinkers, and makes the tradition interpreted in this way a pledge and condition for the moral revival of compatriots. Hence, dharma is interpreted as an imperative duty, with the fulfillment of which the whole life of a person is connected from everyday life to striving for higher goals.

In one of the essays Bonkimchondro analyzes the content of dharma (in the sense of duty) as a relationship to oneself and others. Rejecting the extremes of its understanding only as related to others or only to individual salvation (as "Christians would like to make us believe"), Bonkimchondro emphasizes "inseparability and unity", although he likens the attitude to himself and others to "its two faces", but this does not exhaust its content. "Rather, it means the disciplined and progressive development of all our spiritual and physical abilities and qualities," concludes Bonkimchondro. The dharma should be performed neither for the sake of one alone, nor for the sake of another, but as a duty that an individual is obliged to perform in society" [11, pp. 155-156]. In the end, the comprehensive dharma turns out to be an individual, or one's own (svadharma), personal imperative duty, although correlated with the public good and the moral order of society. At the same time, both moral self-development and fulfillment of duty rest on the authority of the Bhagavad Gita [11, pp. 237-238], which preaches disinterested action (nishkam karma) carried out in different ways (jnana, karma, bhakti).

The concept of Hindu ethics, built up in Bonkimchondro's religious and philosophical works, has become a rather successful representation of normative ethics as an integral and significant component of the native religion, with a serious potential for reviving the morality and spiritual life of compatriots - thanks, on the one hand, to its eternity, antiquity and authority, and on the other, to its modern sound against the background of foreign cultural versions ethics, primarily conditional Western (Christian). Bringing the texts of the Mahabharata to the fore, Bonkimchondro made the ethical ideas revealed in it more accessible to Hindus, and Krishna was a preacher of high religious ethics, explaining the difficulties of real moral choice and instructing in the eternal and modern dharma. It is impossible not to notice that the ethical concept of Bonkimchondro is built (consciously or intuitively) largely under the undoubted influence of Christian ethics, where Jesus Christ offers and explains the commandments coming from God. Considering Krishna to be a figure superior to all other religious teachers and gods in human form, the thinker seeks to affirm the equivalence and dignity of Hindu morality in its highest manifestation the utterances of Krishna in the epic. Anyway, Bonkimchondro's interpretations of religion and morality are focused on the domestic audience Bengali and English-speaking Indian, mostly without reference to foreign, and are motivated by the desire to promote the moral revival of compatriots.

The appeal to both audiences Indian and world is evident in all the philosophical reflections of Swami Vivekananda (secular name Norendronath Dotto, 1863-1902), a public figure and religious thinker, a spiritual disciple of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa (1836-1886). Unlike B. Chottopaddhay, Vivekananda performed a lot in the countries of America and Europe, explaining to the Western audience the peculiarities of Indian civilization, religions, thought and culture, but also addressed his compatriots, seeking to involve them in the work of spiritual and social revival in the modern world. And neo-Hindu ethical thought receives a special impetus for development thanks to Vivekananda's appeal to questions of morality and values starting with his first speeches at meetings of the World Parliament of Religions (September 1893) and lectures ("Four Yogis", 1893-1896). The peculiarities of his ethical concept created in speeches and articles are due, on the one hand, to the belief in the universal basis of human nature and the unity of being, which its diversity does not contradict in any way [14, vol. I, 41], and on the other hand, to the understanding of Hinduism as a comprehensive religion, the essence of which is Vedanta at the same time the "essence knowledge of the Vedas", their peak (Upanishads), and religion, penetrating all directions and traditions, and philosophy (darshana) [14, vol. III, pp. 119-120, 324, 326]. In this light, the ethics and moral institutions of Hinduism are considered by Vivekananda to be connected with the eternal spiritual laws that are revealed in the Vedas, which are "a concentrated treasury of spiritual laws discovered by different people at different times. ... Moral and ethical and spiritual relations between souls, individual phenomena and the Father of all souls were before they were discovered, and will remain even if we forget them" [14, vol. I, 6-7]. These laws were discovered by the Vedic sages and constitute the essence of Hinduism.

There are two levels in Vivekananda's ethical concept: a general idea of ethics as a universal phenomenon and a special interpretation of the ethics of Hinduism based on the texts of tradition and the Vedantist approach.

In the lectures "Jnana Yoga" Vivekananda describes ethics as the result of man's refusal to express the Infinite (God, Being, Moral Law, etc.) through the finite. In all religions, there is a human desire to rise to an ideal, which each of them in its own way erects as a form and goal, but it is impossible to achieve it with sensual and bodily efforts; the foundation of ethics is built on renunciation of such attempts: "There has never been an ethical code that would not declare renunciation as its basis" [14, vol. II, 62]. Arguing with Western utilitarianism, Vivekananda rejected attempts to deduce the laws of ethics from the idea of utility, believing that "without the "supernatural", as it is called, sanction, or without the perception of the superconscious, as I prefer to call it, there can be no ethics. There can be no ideal without the struggle for the infinite" [14, vol. II, 63]. It should be noted that in this he seriously differed from his older contemporary B. Chottopaddhay, not only in the first periods of creativity [15-16], but also later concerned with the issues of ensuring happiness and well-being in earthly life with the help of the ethics of Hinduism. Bonkimchondro did not speak about renunciation (vairagya) either. The reduction of ethical relationships to benefit, like any other attempts, according to Vivekananda, is only an unsuccessful explanation of the ethical laws of humanity from the standpoint of the laws of a particular society, which tends to devalue ethical behavior and work for the benefit of society and people. The philosopher's general approach to understanding the ethics of humanity is rooted in a metaphysical foundation: man is interpreted in the close connection of his individual being with the Infinite (God, Being), i.e. as a spiritual being, and therefore the meaning of ethics lies in the expression of the Infinite through elevation above material interests and access to other, higher spheres of being. The meaning of ethical laws and any ethics, according to the philosopher, lies in the renunciation of the Self, of individualism, in the denial of the self for the sake of Other people in the world and "for the sake of a deep expression of the Infinite." "Not me, but you," ethics always says. Her principle is "Not Me, but not Me"," Vivekananda emphasizes and continues: "... You should put yourself after, and others before you. Feelings say, My self is the first. Ethics says, I have to hold on and be the last. So, all ethical codes are based on renunciation; destruction, and not the construction of the individual in the material plane" [14, vol. II, pp. 62-63]. Hence ethics is not a goal, but a means to achieve the infinite. And in it, as in morality, Vivekananda sees two dimensions individual and social; thanks to religious ethics and morality, the "infinite man" is manifested the individual in his relationship with the Infinite, the beginning of the world, but society as a community of individuals establishes a connection with Infinity [14, vol. II, p. 64].

So, in its metaphysical foundations, ethics can be understood as an absolute and universal phenomenon of humanity, manifested in spiritual and social life and impossible without religion. Against the background of such ethics, Vivekananda understands morality more as a set of rules and regulations of behavior developed within the framework of specific religions and cultures. Therefore, the philosopher emphasizes the variability of moral manifestations in the form of diversity and dissimilarity of norms in different societies and countries, in the presence of universal moral standards, for example, the commandments of non-resistance to evil, which are taught by all great teachers and religions) [14, vol. I, pp. 36-37]. The complexity of social organization and the variety of manifestations of human qualities determine the diversity of behavior and aspirations of people. And Vivekananda believes it is quite right for every person to "choose their own ideal and follow it in life", putting all their strength into it, and so a real movement along the path of progress in all communities is possible. However, following the ideals chosen by others does more harm than good. Vivekananda repeatedly holds the idea that moral norms are nothing but a means to achieve higher goals freedom, unity with God, etc. [14, vol. V, pp. 282, 309-310]. Against this background, the category of morality is relative, since it is applied to different people, communities, groups in different circumstances and different historical epochs. Therefore, absolute and unchangeable morality hardly exists; only God is absolute and unchangeable, and people and societies change. At the same time, in different moral codes, there is still a similarity of moral values that goes back to religious ethics. Thus, the value and moral ideal of selflessness (and overcoming selfishness) Vivekananda sees in the moral systems of different religions, and raises him to the foundation of ethics renunciation. It is taught not only by the Vedas and the Bhagavad Gita; it is one of the great lessons of Jesus Christ to give everything for the sake of other people and God and, forgetting about selfishness, follow the path of renunciation and work [14, vol. IV, pp. 149-150].

The discovery of the ethics of Hinduism and its interpretation comes from the recognition of the ancient origin of the "Hindu system of morality" indicated in the texts of the Shruti (Vedas) and Smriti. In Karma Yoga, Vivekananda notes that the special advantage of this ethics is precisely the recognition of the diversity of groups and individuals within one community, as well as the diversity of life circumstances; hence the traditional concept of ashramadharma (life stages) - learning (brahmachari), family life (grihastha), renunciation of worldly affairs (vanaprastha) and austerities (sannyas). "... In the sacred books on ethics (dharmashastras T. S.), different rules are established for different classes of people," taking into account the fact that, along with universal duties, each person performs special, according to social status and stages of the life cycle [14, vol. I, pp. 41-42]. At the same time, contrary to traditional ideas about the social hierarchy of Varnas and jatis living in the world and ascetics, Vivekananda resolutely changes the interpretation of the dignity of people with different statuses and roles. On the one hand, quite traditionally, the philosopher asserts the importance of fulfilling one's duty (svadharma) and avoiding someone else's, along with non-attachment to the result [14, vol. I, p. 64], as taught by the Bhagavad Gita (2: 47-49; 3: 35) [17, pp. 21, 28]. But on the other hand, in support of his thought that the duty of each person is important and significant ("everyone is great in his place"), and its fulfillment is difficult and difficult. Vivekananda cites large fragments from the Mahanirvana Tantra [14, vol. I, 42-46], a text created in 18th-century Bengal and remarkably unorthodox and humane in terms of prescriptions for believers. Hence the statement: "None of these stages (of life. T. S.) in meaning, it does not surpass others. The life of a householder is quite worthy, as is the life of a man who has given up marriage in order to devote himself to religious works. The street cleaner is as great and glorious as the king sitting on the throne. Deprive him of the throne and make him do the job of a cleaner and see how he copes. Take a cleaner and see how he will manage ..." [14, vol. I, p. 42]. Against this background of recognition of the equal dignity of everyone's activity, regardless of social status and any other qualities, Vivekananda continues the line of criticism of the Brahmo Samaj against the orthodox Hindu understanding of righteousness as scrupulous observance of rituals, customs, caste requirements and maintenance of ritual purity.

The most significant text interpreting the ethics of Hinduism for Vivekananda was the Bhagavad Gita, in which, along with such paths of the righteous life of a believer (marga, or in the terms of the philosopher, "yoga") jnana (knowledge) and bhakti (love), karma yoga is called the most common and ethically justified way of life (Bhg., Chapter 3). Sun. S.Sementsov defined the essence of the ethics of the Gita as follows: "A person should perform actions arising from his family, religious and social status and duty, absolutely unselfishly, i.e. without expecting any reward, benefit, "fruit" from them" [17, p. 109]. It is not surprising that the texts of the Upanishads in Vivekananda's interpretations play an auxiliary role.

Karma yoga versus karma-kanda this is how we can conditionally designate the content of the ethical problem that Vivekananda raised. Accepting renunciation (vairagya) as the beginning of ethics in all areas of the life of co-religionists, which gives spiritual content to any activity in any sphere and creates a moral consciousness of a person, the philosopher refers to the authority of the Upanishads (Brihadaranyaka-up. II. 4. 2-5) that "not through wealth, not through posterity, but only by renunciation, immortality is achieved" [14, vol. III, p. 343]. Renunciation sanctifies all kinds of actions, relationships and institutions, filling them with spiritual meaning; therefore, by fulfilling duty, freedom, good, and immortality are achieved this is the essence of the path of karma yoga. However, the philosopher's co-religionists preferred karma-kanda (ritual actions for purification or communion with the gods) to renunciation and truly spiritual doing good to others ("work against evil"). From this came all the social vices, poverty, hunger and suffering of people in India [14, vol. III, pp. 133-134, 343]. The philosopher addresses his contemporaries to the Bhagavad Gita, which gives lessons in rejection of rituals and attachment to external results (Bhg 2:41-45), unshakable devotion to duty and work without attachment: "The idea is to be natural; no asceticism. Go, work, and only your mind should not be tied" [14, vol. I, p. 465]. Karma yoga in the philosopher's concept is not only a spiritual path, but also "a system of ethics and religion designed to achieve freedom through unselfishness and good deeds" [14, vol. I, p. 111]. The great advantage of this path lies in its accessibility to everyone, including an atheist and an agnostic, since every person strives for freedom: "Freedom ... is the goal of all human nature. Every egoistic act, therefore, slows down our achievement of the goal, and every disinterested act brings us closer to it; and this is the only definition that can be given to morality "That which is selfish is immoral, that which is disinterested is moral" [14, vol. I, p. 110]. Moreover, one who follows the path of karma yoga is well aware that in the world, as in activity, good and evil are closely intertwined, and therefore follows the imperative of non-attachment [14, vol. I, pp. 53-54].

Since Vivekananda's general approach to building the ethics of Hinduism is Vedanta as both the "completion of the Vedas" and the philosophical essence of Hinduism, he connects it with the ideal of Advaita the understanding of the unity of God and the world, God and the soul. "By harming anyone, I am harming myself. Loving anyone, I love myself. <...> We should not harm others," the ethics of Hinduism follows from the eternal spiritual solidarity of people [14, vol. I, pp. 129-130, 251]. Interpreting the plots of the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (II. 5) about the connection of the macrocosm and microcosm in the Atman (Absolute), Vivekananda speaks about its ethical nature it is good, and good as an essence permeates the whole world as love and happiness. Good and evil exist in the world only because people do not know its true essence; the good manifests itself in the world and in society in stages: "When It is less manifested, it is called darkness, evil, and when It is more manifested, it is called light. And that's it. Good and evil are only a matter of degree, more or less manifested" [14, vol. II, p. 420]. In fact, these are concepts created by people, they are more superstitions than reality, which Vivekananda often talks about when talking about metaphysical dimensions of ethics; knowing their relativity in the world will almost automatically bring people happiness and love, relieve them of fears, etc. [14, vol. II, p. 422]. But Vivekananda never remembers this idea about the illusory nature of good and evil, if he talks about social evil and vices, about the suffering of people in the world and in Indian society, if he criticizes compatriots for their cruelty and indifference, adherence to prejudices and formal customs, etc.

The normative ethics of Hinduism in the writings of Vivekananda is presented as set by the vision of God and love for Him in each person. The Hindu religion determines the development of the human spirit as opposed to its animal and "material" origin, and for this it seeks to "prevent a person from falling into the captivity of feelings and help him assert his freedom" and for the first purpose, morality is intended: "to prevent a fall and break the bonds." "All morality can be divided into positive and negative elements; they say either 'Do this' or 'Don't do that,'" Vivekananda says. In the second case, there is a restriction of some desires that turn a person into a slave, and in the first case an indication of the path to freedom and the destruction of the degradation that always threatens the human heart" [14, vol. VIII, p. 147]. Accordingly, the positive imperatives include truthfulness, doing good to other people, serving the poor, helping the suffering and needy, etc.; and the negative ones include the rejection of lies, bad deeds, vice, prevention of evil and oppression of people, etc. [14, vol. III, p. 363; vol. IV, p. 488].

Thanks to the appeal to the texts of the tradition, of which the "fifth Veda" of the Bhagavad Gita was dominant, Vivekananda managed to substantiate the ethical content of Hinduism, to bring it to the forefront among the traditionally accepted ways of salvation and liberation. His version of the ethics of Hinduism, on the one hand, preserves the traditional attitude towards individual human efforts for moral and spiritual improvement and liberation, and in this karma yoga appears as primarily a work for the person himself, "helping himself, not the world." But on the other hand, ethics acquires a clearly expressed social meaning and sound: the ethically oriented activity of each and all forms the ethical image of the Hindu community and Indian society as a whole. In this sense, Vivekananda has the same imperative of moral revival and improvement of the society of co-religionists as his predecessors and older contemporaries. This imperative is reinforced by extensive criticism of customs, social vices and problems of Indian society, addressed to Vivekananda's Indian audience.

The line of ethical thought formed by his predecessors was continued by the politician and religious philosopher Aurobindo Ghosh (1872-1950). His reflections on the ethics and morality of Hinduism are deployed in different contexts. At the stage of active participation in the political life of 1900-1909 among the "extreme" in the national liberation movement in Bengal, A. Ghosh touched on ethical issues in the journalism of "Bande Mataram" - for example, stating that only Eastern religions (including Christianity) bring light and knowledge of truth to the world and open the way to the improvement of all people and societies [18, vol. VIVII, p. 978]; that the ethics of Hinduism is immeasurably superior to European ethical teachings [18, vol. VIVII, p. 93]; or about the impossibility of reforms, the development of education and moral improvement "without achieving first and foremost political freedom" [18, vol. VIVII, p. 266], etc. At the same time, he is busy understanding the connection between ethics and politics and substantiating the moral qualities of the fighters for the freedom of the country [19, p. 78-97]. In ethical ideas, he usually relies on the interpretation of traditional texts from the Vedas to the Bhagavad Gita.

In the best traditions of Rammohan Rai, A. Ghosh became an exegete of the Isha Upanishad; his translation, commentaries, works and notes make up a whole volume of collected works; its significance in the development of ethical thought is evidenced by the constant reference to it during the period of political activity, and after leaving for Chandernagore (1910) and then Pondicherry, where he fully devoted self to philosophical works and spiritual practices. The thinker interprets and translates other early Upanishads, but as a source of philosophical inspiration and inexhaustible meaning in his work, only the Bhagavad Gita is comparable to the Isha Upanishad.

Considering it a revelation about the universal nature of Brahman (God) with inexhaustibly infinite content [18, vol. XVII, p. 101], A. Ghosh created a detailed commentary in the form of a dialogue between a guru and a disciple. Like his predecessors, he emphasizes the moral nature of Brahman "the most exalted moral principle that we find in any religion" [18, vol. XVII, p. 134]. Since the whole universe resides in God, then all things and all living beings are manifestations of His consciousness and will, which, however, are not obvious to a person in a state of ignorance of God and the nature of the human self identical to him. Comprehension of all that exists in oneself and the unity of all souls (jivatma) in consciousness is not only the first step to the knowledge of truth, but also the beginning of morality. A. Ghosh sees two sides in morality: the negative side is expressed in the impossibility of disgust and hatred towards others and the "created world" ("you cannot hate yourself"), since "disgust and hatred are the products of illusion, ignorance"; the positive side forms the basis of morality in shruti. The thinker explains: "You must, in the name of ridding yourself of the unreal, see all beings in your Self. <...> The nature of the self in the state of vidya (knowledge T. S.) is bliss; then the state of vidya is a state of selfconsciousness, awareness of unity and universality" [18, vol. XVII, p. 137]. From this understanding, he deduces the imperative of love for Another: "If you see yourself in all creatures, you can't help but love them all. Universal love is an inevitable consequence of the awareness of the One in many ways, and Universal love can hardly coexist with the slightest traces of hatred, disgust and dislike. They dissolve in it, like the night disappearing with the first rays of the rising sun" [18, vol. XVII, pp. 137-138]. From this great principle, according to A. Ghosh, "the indestructible foundation of all religion, humanity and all that has risen above egoism (selfishness) and gross profit (utility) arises" [18, vol. XVII, p. 140]. Thus, the utterance of the Isha-Upanishad (6) turns into an expanded ethics of love for one's neighbor and mercy, into a condemnation of egoism as a consequence of ignorance, because of which sin, evil, sadness, suffering and hatred cannot cease - both in the relations of individuals and in the interactions of communities and entire societies with each other. On this basis, A. Ghosh also criticizes contemporary European rationalistic concepts of ethics, considering impossible moral attitudes that are derived from "material" needs and aspirations, and not from a higher divine source.

In the same years, Karmayogin: Commentary on the Isha Upanishad (1905-1906) was written, where A. Ghosh interpreted the first seven of the 18 slokas. Like other cases of reading sacred Hindu texts, the thinker "inscribed" many of his own ideas and meanings into his hermeneutics and among them a number of ethical constructions. In the first sloka, he saw the moral ideal of Hinduism a disinterested person, an altruist, filled with love for the whole world; this is "a perfect sage whose joy and occupation in life is the welfare of all creatures" [18, vol. XVII, p. 187]. Of the various philosophical interpretations, the closest to the thinker is the understanding of Vedanta-darshana, in the light of which altruism "becomes natural, correct and inevitable." Natural because it is not the preference of another for oneself, but the preference of one's own higher and true Self the false and low Self. Correct because the joy of another person is added to one's own joy and knowledge about Brahman comes in experience. And altruism is inevitable, because it is the path of human evolution: "The true goal and peak of evolution is an everwider awareness of the universal Brahman. We are moving towards this goal despite delays and omissions on this path, but inevitably from the falsity of matter to the truth of spirit. We leave behind the low animal stages of idleness, rudeness, ignorance, anger, lust, greed and bestial violence, or, as we call it in our philosophy, the tamasic state, and ascend to the diverse human activity and energy, the state of rajas, from which again we must ascend to the state of sattva divine balance, clarity of mind, purity of soul, high selflessness, compassion, love for all creatures, truth, kindness and tranquility" [18, vol. XVII, pp. 187-188].

Aurobindo Ghosh in ethical thought continues the line of dominance of karma yoga outlined by Vivekananda as the most important version of Hindu ethics for his contemporaries. From the shlok Isha Upanishad, the norms and ideal of Karmayogin are derived a person who is aware of God in himself and His energy in all actions performed, and Isha herself is "the holy scripture of Karmayogin, which teaches him the way of action" [18, vol. XVII, pp. 173, 174]. Action/work without attachment to the result is "[the path on which] an act is not attached to a person" [20, p. 171], therefore its core is renunciation (vairagya); A. Ghosh accepts it as a way of salvation, embracing all the paths known to Hinduism knowledge, love and faith, actions.

Moreover, the thinker is convinced that the ethical values existing in the world and the norms supporting them in other civilizations, first of all ancient Greek and then Christian, were discovered and developed thanks to "Aryan rishis, sages who were able to discover the truth of the Eternal and give the people a sense of the Eternal in all things and a sense of Its presence in people and around them." And it was they who "discovered the truth that morality exists not for its own sake, not for the sake of society, but as a preparation for the purification of the soul, through which the limited human Self should be able to rise from the darkness of bodily, mental and emotional egoism into the clear sky of universal love and benevolence, and grow to conscious contact, entering into unity with The Supreme and Eternal Self" [18, vol. XVII, pp. 221-222]. And all Hindu ethics comes from this supreme idea, as well as all values courage, generosity, purity, justice, mercy, compassion, kindness, forgiveness, tolerance projections of the divine presence in the world [18, vol. XVII, p. 279].

The interpretation of the 6-7 slokas as the ethical ideal of Karmayogin leads Aurobindo Ghosh to the problems of public morality, which he also sees as a process of evolution. Just as a person can develop by curbing animals and immoral impulses to a state of highly moral behavior, so society is capable of improvement provided that its ethics is based on sound and correct knowledge of human nature [18, vol. XVII, p. 285]. Considering the evolution of the ethics of societies from the stage of tribal development (based on customs) to the ethics of civilized communities, A. Ghosh notes that along with the "eternal and universal morality" of Vedic ethics, which has always been in effect, a special morality has developed in society for each caste from brahmins to sudras; so it adapted to the changing circumstances of life. Fixed in the ethical and legal codes (the Laws of Manu, etc.), over time, caste morality prevailed as mandatory and rigid and eventually slowed down progress. Similar processes occur in the evolution of other peoples, but they are all quite capable of overcoming the inertia of limitation and returning to their highest values. This applies not only to other Asian peoples, but also to Indians in the first place after many years of decline and foreign rule, they need to return to their high values and, moreover, share them with the whole world [18, vol. XVII, pp. 298-299].

Aurobindo Ghosh's interpretation of the ethics of Hinduism based on sacred texts demonstrates two dimensions characteristic of neo-Hindu thought in general: 1) theoretical defense of the foundations of morality coming from a higher source, and 2) practice-oriented construction of the ideal of ethical behavior for the individual and society. The higher origin of the morality of Hinduism puts its ethics on the level of world religions with their developed moral systems; the content of morality is derived from the imperative of altruism, which considers the interests of Another identical to its own due to the unified nature of all things. All good feelings, intentions and deeds are motivated by love for the world and all living beings, while every manifestation of vice and evil is understood as a product of ignorance and a low state of a person who has not undergone the necessary evolution. A. Ghosh continues the line of theoretical defense in his writings after 1909, including in the general cultural context ("In Defense of Indian Culture", 1919). The philosopher creates the ideal of karmayogin's moral behavior with a practical purpose that repeats one of the crosscutting ideas of the Bengali Renaissance - the moral revival of society, the way out of a state of spiritual and moral decline. A. Ghosh described this ideal as archetypal for India, although it requires actualization during the deployment of the movement for its freedom. All the high imperatives of proper behavior, befitting co-religionists, are synthesized in Karmayogin's ideal: knowledge of his true nature, which unites him with all people and living beings; love for the whole world; humanity in all manifestations, in relationships with neighbors and distant; altruism based on renunciation of base needs and aspirations, and from interest in the results of the act. The assimilation of this ideal and its persistent implementation in the life practice of each and all Aurobindo Ghosh offers as a key strategy of moral behavior.

The neo-Hindu concepts of the Bengali Renaissance thinkers, growing out of the indigenous tradition of interpreting authoritative texts, represent a new adogmatic interpretation of the ethics of native religion in the context of the Modernity era. If we also take into account the absence of ethics as a theoretical science in India from antiquity to Modern times, then the intellectual breakthrough made by Bengali thinkers in this field of philosophy will become obvious. In general, following the methods and achievements of the intellectuals of the first period of the epoch the Brahmo and Young Bengalis, as well as comparing the moral position of the Hindu tradition with the postulates of other religions and the concepts of Western thought of modern times, neo-Hindu philosophers have achieved impressive results. In Hinduism in its polysemous concept of dharma they highlighted and emphasized the moral content, which made it possible to differentiate ethical issues as significant since ancient times. Thanks to the emphasis on the moral nature of God (Brahman, the Absolute), neo-Hindu thinkers managed to determine the universality of the moral consciousness of Hinduism, regardless of its derivative (and in fact, later) variants for different varnas; this content is called the knowledge of the common spiritual essence (atman) in all creatures and the love and altruistic behavior directed by them. Against this background, following the Varna duty is secondary and derived from the universal content of Hindu morality, and therefore is quite open to criticism. Normative ethics with its imperatives and rules (including for situations of moral choice) is presented by neo-Hindus as established and fixed already in the ancient texts of smriti and shruti, and then in the dharmashastras. The ethical ideal is also extracted from the texts of Hinduism embodied in the images of sages or epic heroes (B. Chottopaddhai), and created during the interpretation of texts (karmayogin by Vivekananda and Aurobindo Ghosh). Moreover, both normative ethics and the ethical ideal are practically oriented: by setting examples of moral behavior to contemporaries, they create a solid basis for criticizing public morality, social vices and the state of society as such from moral and ethical positions, moreover derived from their own "eastern" basis, regardless of other ethical systems. NeoHindu thinkers of Bengal of the XIX-XX centuries can rightfully be considered the founders of ethics as a philosophical discipline in India.

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The subject of the research is not explicitly formulated by the author of the article, but it can be judged by the title of the article: "Ethical thought of the Bengali Renaissance: Neo-Hindu concepts (1880-1910)." The methodology of the study has not been disclosed. The relevance of the study is not indicated. The very beginning of the article gives the reader the feeling that it will be about something relevant, as it says: "In modern Indian philosophy, among the various fields of study, ethics is recognized as one of the most important disciplines, which the Indian Council of Philosophical Research has classified as a priority [1, p. 25]," but this idea does not develop further. In addition, the article is not about modern Indian philosophy, but about the philosophy of the late XIX early XX centuries. It is not clear why we should now turn to the consideration of this period and specifically to the ethical aspect of Indian philosophy. The scientific novelty in the article is not demonstrated at all. The author does not introduce us into the context of research on Indian philosophy in general and ethics in particular. It is not clear from the text of the article who the main specialists in this field are, what their research efforts are currently focused on, what research problems are relevant and promising, and what new things the author wants to bring to the treasury of scientific knowledge with his work. The style, structure and content of the article are generally familiar and standard for scientific articles, however, it should be noted that the structure of the article is not quite clear. The text is more like an abstract in which the author highlights all the material known to him on a given topic without proper analytical study of the latter. Some phrases are difficult to understand and stylistically unsuccessful. For example: "The firm belief that ethics is an integral and most important part of Indian philosophy, that, according to the principles of the latter, the comprehension of reality is organically connected with the process of moral improvement of man" in T. M. P. Mahadevan [2, p. 296], as well as similar ideas from other philosophers of India of the twentieth century. familiar after the works of thinkers of the Indian Renaissance of the XIX early XX centuries. different regions of British India and the figures of science and culture who succeeded them in the period before independence in 1947" (it is not clear whose quote this is, how reliable the formulated observation is, in addition, the quote is not finished and this incompleteness makes the coupling of the quote and the author's text unsuccessful). It is difficult to read the text, among other things, because the author does not consider it necessary to reveal the meaning of many specific terms related to Hinduism and Indian philosophy. But considering that this article is not directed to a narrowly specialized publication, but to a general philosophical journal, it would be appropriate to disclose their meaning at the first mention of such terms. The bibliography consists of 20 items. The literature used is quite diverse in nature there are scientific monographs, journal publications, historical sources (Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, laws of Manu) and encyclopedic articles. At the same time, the almost complete absence of recent literature is noteworthy. The most recent works in the bibliographic list are two publications by T. G. Skorokhodova 2018 and 2021. At the same time, her article "Moralizing as a phenomenon of thought and culture of the Bengali Renaissance", in the opinion of the reviewer, largely anticipates the article submitted for review and makes it superfluous. There is no recent literature in English, although there are many works on Indian culture and philosophy in English. As mentioned above, there is virtually no appeal to opponents. The text contains some quotations from the works presented in the bibliographic list, but the points of view of various scientists are not commented on in any way, they are not problematized. As a result, this article seems to grow out of thin air, without any dialogue or controversy with other scientific works. The conclusions in the article, in fact, are not formulated. Hardly the final phrase ("NeoHindu thinkers of Bengal of the XIX-XX centuries can rightfully be considered the founders of ethics as a philosophical discipline in India") it can be counted among the conclusions, since this is a truism. In general, it is difficult to understand what kind of readership the author was counting on when writing his work for narrow specialists in the field of Indian philosophy there is nothing new and original here, for a wider audience the text is complicated, and besides, the author does not formulate any interesting questions that the reader could find answers to in the text. As a result, the interest of the readership will be weak, and the reader who can read the text to the end is likely to be disappointed and annoyed by the wasted time. The publication of the presented text in this form in a scientific journal is impractical.

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The article under review is devoted to the analysis of one of the aspects of the formation of modern Indian philosophy, namely, the process of distinguishing a separate discipline in the syncretic Indian philosophical tradition ethics; according to the author, this event falls at the end of the XIX beginning of the XX centuries. The beginning of the article seems to be successful: the author presents as a paradox a situation when, it would seem, in philosophy, which has its roots in the deepest antiquity, there was no element so familiar to the European observer as ethics. In fact, of course, there is nothing strange in this situation, already because the philosophical tradition in question does not fully correspond to the disciplinarily structured European philosophy, for a long time it had, as noted above, a syncretic character, and perhaps if not for the intensification of contacts with Western European philosophy and culture, There would be no need for such a "transformation" of the nature of philosophical knowledge. And in the recent past, when ethics nevertheless stood out as a separate discipline, Indian philosophy did not break ties with its tradition, the author notes that the formation of ethical thought was influenced by neo-Hinduism, which was formed, again, as a "trend in religious philosophy and a complex of spiritual movements", that is, the Indian syncretic character philosophy has not lost in the XX century. In this regard, we note two circumstances that make the reviewed article interesting even for readers who are not interested in the details of the history of Indian philosophy. Firstly, it provides interesting material in connection with the discussions in Russian philosophy about the nature of philosophical knowledge and the place of philosophy in the culture of various regions of the world (especially after the famous publications of V.V. Sokolov, A.N. Chanyshev, G.G. Mayorov). Although the author, as far as can be judged from the article, is inclined to recognize a single world philosophy, which received only a different "arrangement" in different periods of history in different cultures, objectively the content of the article will be perceived by most readers as another argument in favor of the view that philosophical knowledge itself is the property of only European culture, "Oriental" ones The "philosophies" are rather attempts to teach direct communication with the Absolute, rather than substantiating the underlying tendency of the human mind to find a way to it. Secondly, if we talk specifically about ethics, then the European thought of the last two centuries has been characterized by a reverse movement from understanding the moral obligations of the individual to substantiating ethics as an element of a broad socio-philosophical theory, in which the connection of moral consciousness with social institutions and cultural tradition invariably comes to the fore. Therefore, although, at first glance, the article has a "chamber" character, it is interesting from the point of view of the discussions taking place in modern philosophical comparative studies, which gives it additional significance. As points that need to be finalized before publication, we will point out only two drawbacks. Firstly, the article is too large in volume (almost 1.3 a.l.), and it can be shortened, since in many cases the text is frankly descriptive. Secondly, such a large article needs to be structured, it is especially important to formulate a sufficiently detailed conclusion. However, these shortcomings can be eliminated in a working manner, I recommend that you accept the article for publication in a scientific journal.
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