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Plato was the great philosopher and traveler. In "The Story of Philosophy" William Durant has written that:

He found his way to the banks of the Ganges, and learned the mystic meditations of the Hindus.

But he also mentioned that historians had many debates on this. I personally think Its very far distance from Greece to India and it was very difficult to travel if we consider their timespan ( BC 400 ).

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4 Answers 4

up vote 9 down vote accepted

You are taking the quote out of context. Here is the complete text from the Story of Civilization:

Twelve years he wandered, imbibing wisdom from every source, sitting at every shrine, tasting every creed. Some would have it that he went to Judea and was moulded for a while by the tradition of the almost socialistic prophets; and even that he found his way to the banks of the Ganges, and learned the mystic meditations of the Hindus. We do not know.

The Durants are just repeating what it says in many articles and encyclopedias such as the 1885 article from "The Disciples of Christ" by JW Lowber, where it says: "Plato sojourned for a time in Egypt; and some think that he also visited Palestine, Babylon, Persia and India."

These legends are based on dark age Arab accounts of Plato which make these claims and were later repeated by medieval scholars.

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There is no mention in any Greek source of Plato travelling to India, or to any place in Asia. He did however sail to Sicily.

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I actually read that book in my mother tongue ( non english translation ); However in english version it is mentioned " he found his way to the banks of the Ganges, and learned the mystic meditations of the Hindus. " –  pramod.nikam.dev Jun 10 at 11:52

I don't know yet, but there is some indirect evidence that an Indian Yogi met Socrates.

Travelling far and wide was not uncommon. Shankaracharya travelled all over India on foot. So did Ramanuja. Fa hien and Hiuen Tsang travelled to India, crossing the Himalayas.

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In earlier greek texts we find the river Ganges being described as Phison. So it is natural that they knew about this river. If they knew about this river then it is sure that the river was then also famous for some reasons. May be because of mystic and Sanatana Dharma religion " Hinduism". So if Alexander can travel to India in B.C 326 . Plato may have too came in search of Spiritual Knowledge.

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"may have" does not mean "did". –  fdb Jun 12 at 18:17

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