Book review of Surya Siddanta: Emergence of empirical reality by Ancient Philosophy

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Emergence of Empirical Reality is an intriguing book on philosophy. It explores the ancient philosophical idea of Surya Siddanta by delving deep into its definition and features which pertain to our understanding of the cosmos we live in. Since the name is too long to repeat it throughout the review, I will call it Surya Siddanta instead.

The first aspect of the book which piqued my interest was the Introduction itself. Surya Siddanta begins with a statutory alert — that it does not question nor validate established scientific ideas which are already part of the grand narrative. Instead, this book concentrates on how Ancient Indian Philosophy has perceived the ideas of soul, matter, time, space, mind, and so on. Next up, the language. The writing style of the author is persuasive, for the author is explaining the importance of the idea of Surya Siddanta in context to the Cosmos, while also maintaining the discourse on the philosophical aspects of human life. The book itself questions and deliberates on various topics that we ourselves have questioned once in our life — who we are, what is our purpose, what is our mind and soul, and the list goes on. As the book describes, these questions do not have any scientific nor any theological explanations to satisfy our curiosity. Instead, the concept of Surya Siddanta allows us to look at things from a different perspective. Then, the structure of the book. Surya Siddanta has a very well-organised structure of writing. Since it is a nonfiction read, the technical aspects of such books matter a lot, and the author has done a great job with this book. Surya Siddanta begins with a detailed introduction of the topic by starting with how science has allowed us humans to look and understand the “observable world”. This nomenclature is indeed significant to the book, because Surya Siddanta focuses solely on looking beyond the “observable world”. The author goes on to talk about the scientific limitations of comprehension as far as the intangible is concerned; and this is where Philosophy comes into play. Ancient Indian Philosophy is considered as one of the fundamentals of our understanding of the world. Thus, it is indeed important for us to go back to our scriptures and ancient texts, to see through the tangible and witness the marvels of the universe which has a balanced share of the abstract too.

We are afraid of learning the truth because it is bitter to swallow. We would rather resort to sugar-coated lies that are poles apart from the real itself. Yet, you can neither deny it nor rule it out. As Keats had said, “Beauty is truth, truth beauty”. Surya Siddanta : Emergence of Empirical Reality by Ancient Philosophy is an enriching and enlightening book on philosophy and life. I definitely recommend it as a must-have for students of Philosophy. All the best to the author for his upcoming world on Indian Philosophy.

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