Religious and Philosophical Thought of Jīva Goswāmī in the Indological Literature of the 19th – the First Half of the 20th century (as an Example of the Orientalistic Stereotype)

Articles: The History of Philosophy



advaita, advaita-ved nta, J va Gosv m, monism, monistic, theism, theistic


The article deals with such influential Indological publications devoted to the history of Indian philosophy as: H. T. Colebrooke. “On the Philosophy of the Hindus” (1837),F.M.M ller.“TheSixSystemsofIndianPhilosophy”(1899),R.G.Bhandarkar. “Vai avism, aivism and Minor Religious Systems” (1913), S. Radhakrishnan. “Indian Philosophy” (Vol. 2, 1927), M. Hiriyanna “Outlines of Indian Philosophy” (1932), S. Chatterjee,Dh.Datta.“An Introduction to Indian Philosophy”(1939),S.Dasgupta.“A History of Indian Philosophy” (Vol. IV, 1949).

The analysis of those books shows that J va Gosw m ’s religious and philosophical thought, which was theistic, for a long time was either not reflected at all (e.g., Colebrooke, M ller, Hiriyanna, Chatterjee & Datta), or displayed very briefly (e.g., Bhandarkar, Rad- hakrishnan), or without proper assessment (e.g., Dasgupta). This particular case illustrates a general erroneous tendency in Indological studies of the 19th-the first half of the 20th century, according to which the Indian philosophy was considered, first of all, as monistic and impersonalized or advaitic. European Orientalists were at the root of this stereotype.

Author Biography

Yurii Zavhorodnii

Doctor of Sciences (Philosophy), senior research worker of the Sector of the History of Eastern Philosophy at the Department of the History of Foreign Philosophy of H.S. Skovoroda Institute of Philosophy, NAS of Ukraine. Sphere of scientific interests — the history of Indian religious-philosophic thought, sacred texts, reception of Indian philosophy, traditionalism, altered states of consciousness (synchronicity), sacred geography.


Anikeyeva, Е. N. (2013). Problems of Indian Theism: Philosophical-Comparative Analysis [in Russian], Moscow: Izdatelstvo PSTGU. [= Aникеева 2013]

Zavhorodnii, Yu. (2015). Orientalistic “Indian Philosophy” [in Ukrainian], S. Radhakrishnan, Skhidny svit, 2, 64-73. [= Завгородній 2015]

Shokhin, V.K. (2010). Madhusudana Sarasvati and His Advaita Science Study [in Russian]. Voprosy filosofii, 5, 139-154. [= Шохин 2010]

Bhandarkar, R. G. (2001). Vai avism, aivism and Minor Religious Systems. — New Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers. [= Bhandarkar 2001]

Chatterjee, S., Datta, Dh. (1948). An Introduction to Indian Philosophy. — Calcutta: University of Calcutta. [= Chatterjee, Datta 1948]

Colebrooke, H. T. (1837). On the Philosophy of the Hindus: Miscellaneous Essays. In Two Volumes. L.: Wm. H. Allen and Co., Vol. I. [= Colebrooke 1837]

Dasgupta, S. (1991). A History of Indian Philosophy. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, Vol. IV. Indian Pluralism. [= Dasgupta 1991]

De, S. K. (1942). Early History of the Vai ava Faith and Movement in Bengal (from Sanskrit and Bengal Sources). Calkutta. [= De 1942]

Gupta, R. M. (2007). The Chaitanya Vai ava Ved nta of J va Gosv m : When Knowledge Meets Devotion. London and New York: Routledge. [= Gupta 2007]

Hiriyanna, M. (1994). Outlines of Indian Philosophy. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. [= Hiriyanna 1994

Jones, C. A., Ryan, D. R. (2007). Encyclopedia of Hinduism. New York: Facts on File. [=Jones, Ryan 2007]

M dhav ch rya. The Sarva-dar ana-sa graha. Translated by E. B. Cowell and A. E. Gough. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. [=M dhav ch rya 2000]

Mahanamabrata, Brahmachari. Vai ava, Ved nta (1994). (The Philosophy of r J va Gosw m ). — Calcutta: Sri Mahanamabrata Cultural and Welfare Trust Sri Sri Mahanam Angan. [=Mahanamabrata Brahmachari. Vai ava Ved nta 1994]

M ller,F.M.(1899).TheSixSystemsofIndianPhilosophy.—N.Y.:LongmansGreen,andCo; L. and Bombay. [= M ller 1899]

Nicholson, А. J. (2010). Unifying Hinduism Philosophy and Identity in Indian Intellectual History. New York: Columbia University Press. [=Nicholson 2010]

Okita, K. (2010). Theism, Pantheism, and Panentheism: Three Medieval Vaishnava Views of Nature and their Possible Ecological Implications, Journal of Vaishnava Studies. Vol. 18, no. 2, 5-26.

Radhakrishnan, S. (1948). Indian Philosophy. London: George Allen & Unwin, Vol. I. [ = Radhakrishnan 1948]

Radhakrishnan, S. (1948). Indian Philosophy. London: George Allen & Unwin, Vol. II. [=Radhakrishnan 1948]

Vaishnavism // [URL]:

Wong, L. P. (2015). Gau ya Vai ava Studies: Mapping the Field. Religions of South Asia, Vol. 9,

no. 3, 305–331.


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How to Cite

Zavhorodnii, Y. (2020). Religious and Philosophical Thought of Jīva Goswāmī in the Indological Literature of the 19th – the First Half of the 20th century (as an Example of the Orientalistic Stereotype): Articles: The History of Philosophy. Filosofska Dumka, (4), 21–34. Retrieved from






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