Notions of Nature in Traditional Hinduism

  • Axel Michaels
Part of the Wissenschaftsethik und Technikfolgenbeurteilung book series (ETHICSSCI, volume 19)


This article focusses on four features in the perception of nature which are specific to Hinduism. However, this does not imply that I summarize the concept of nature in Hinduism for there is no such single concept. Any attempt to put forward such a concept would be falsifying Hindu thought which is based on a variety of independent sources, social groups, languages and regions and which, therefore, cannot be reduced to a one, single, uniform world-view. In this context, it must not be forgotten that the term “Hinduism” itself, denoting a monolithic religion, was coined by Muslims to speak of the phenomenon of Indian religious life, whereas the so-called Hindus themselves have not tended to regard theselves as a unitary social group or community. Thus, in those cases where the Hindu conceptions of nature is spoken of it is usually either simplistic or reductive and even wrong, tending predominantly to focus on just one corpus of literature, the Sanskrit literature, and merely one social group, the Brahmin priests.


Individual Soul Categorization Ofthe Sanskrit Literature Pure Spirit Hindu Conception 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2003

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  • Axel Michaels

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