Indian Philosophical schools

Jainism – https://youtu.be/MwI0Nu51W84?list=PLxJNbXGrHdcU7JE3YXkjXpgWrLdlqb2fc

Buddhism –  https://youtu.be/FA43TY347nc?list=PLxJNbXGrHdcU7JE3YXkjXpgWrLdlqb2fc

Introduction to Indian Philosophical schools

Indian Philosophy (or, in Sankrit, Darshanas), refers to any of several traditions of philosophical thought that originated in the Indian subcontinent. It is considered by Indian thinkers to be a practical discipline, and its goal should always be to improve human life.

 

Orthodox (Hindu) Schools

The main Hindu orthodox (astika) schools of Indian philosophy are those codified during the medieval period of Brahmanic-Sanskritic scholasticism, and they take the ancient Vedas (the oldest sacred texts of Hinduism) as their source and scriptural authority

Samkhya:

Sāmkhya philosophy regards the universe as consisting of two realities, puruṣa (consciousness) and prakṛti (matter). Jiva (a living being) is that state in which puruṣa is bonded to prakṛti in some form.

This fusion, state the Samkhya scholars, led to the emergence of buddhi (“intellect”) and ahaṅkāra (ego consciousness).

The universe is described by this school as one created by purusa-prakṛti entities infused with various permutations and combinations of variously enumerated elements, senses, feelings, activity and mind.

During the state of imbalance, one of more constituents overwhelm the others, creating a form of bondage, particularly of the mind.

The end of this imbalance, bondage is called liberation, or kaivalya, by the Samkhya school.

Yoga:

The Yoga Sutras were compiled prior to 400 CE by Sage Patanjali who synthesized and organized knowledge about yoga from older traditions.

The Yoga school, accepts the Samkhya psychology and metaphysics, but is more theistic, with the addition of a divine entity to Samkhya’s twenty-five elements of reality.

The relatively brief Yoga Sutras are divided into eight ashtanga (limbs), reminiscent of Buddhism’s Noble Eightfold Path, the goal being to quiet one’s mind and achieve kaivalya (solitariness or detachment).

Nyaya:

The Nyaya school is based on the Nyaya Sutras, written by Aksapada Gautama in the 2nd Century B.C.

Its methodology is based on a system of logic that has subsequently been adopted by the majority of the Indian schools, in much the same way as Aristotelian logic has influenced Western philosophy.

Its followers believe that obtaining valid knowledge (the four sources of which are perception, inference, comparison and testimony) is the only way to gain release from suffering.

Nyaya developed several criteria by which the knowledge thus obtained was to be considered valid or invalid (equivalent in some ways to Western analytic philosophy).

Vaisheshika:

The Vaisheshika school was founded by Kanada in the 6th Century B.C., and it is atomist and pluralist in nature.

The basis of the school’s philosophy is that all objects in the physical universe are reducible to a finite number of atoms, and Brahman is regarded as the fundamental force that causes consciousness in these atoms.

The Vaisheshika and Nyaya schools eventually merged because of their closely related metaphysical theories (although Vaisheshika only accepted perception and inference as sources of valid knowledge).

Purva Mimamsa:

The main objective of the Purva Mimamsa school is to interpret and establish the authority of the Vedas.

It requires unquestionable faith in the Vedas and the regular performance of the Vedic fire-sacrifices to sustain all the activity of the universe.

Although in general the Mimamsa accept the logical and philosophical teachings of the other schools, they insist that salvation can only be attained by acting in accordance with the prescriptions of the Vedas.

The school later shifted its views and began to teach the doctrines of Brahman and freedom, allowing for the release or escape of the soul from its constraints through enlightened activity.

Vedanta:

The Vedanta, or Uttara Mimamsa, school concentrates on the philosophical teachings of the Upanishads, rather than the Brahmanas (instructions for ritual and sacrifice).

The Vedanta focus on meditation, self-discipline and spiritual connectivity, more than traditional ritualism.

Due to the rather cryptic and poetic nature of the Vedanta sutras, the school separated into six sub-schools, each interpreting the texts in its own way and producing its own series of sub-commentaries:

Advaita (the best-known, which holds that the soul and Brahman are one and the same), Visishtadvaita (which teaches that the Supreme Being has a definite form, name – Vishnu – and attributes),

Dvaita (which espouses a belief in three separate realities: Vishnu, and eternal soul and matter),

Dvaitadvaita (which holds that Brahman exists independently, while soul and matter are dependent),

Shuddhadvaita (which believes that Krishna is the absolute form of Brahman) and

Acintya Bheda Abheda (which combines monism and dualism by stating that the soul is both distinct and non-distinct from Krishna, or God).

Heterodox (Non-Hindu) Schools

The main heterodox (nastika) schools, which do not accept the authority of the Vedas, include:

Carvaka:

Also known as Lokayata, Carvaka is a materialistic, sceptical and atheistic school of thought. Its founder was Carvaka, author of the Barhaspatya Sutras in the final centuries B.C., although the original texts have been lost and our understanding of them is based largely on criticism of the ideas by other schools

Buddhist philosophy:

Buddhism is a non-theistic system of beliefs based on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, an Indian prince later known as the Buddha, in the 5th Century B.C. The question of God is largely irrelevant in Buddhism, and it is mainly founded on the rejection of certain orthodox Hindu philosophical concepts (althought it does share some philosophical views with Hinduism, such as belief in karma). Buddhism advocates a Noble Eightfold Path to end suffering, and its philosophical principles are known as the Four Noble Truths.

Jain philosophy:

The central tenets of Jain philosophy were established by Mahavira in the 6th Century B.C., although Jainism as a religion is much older. A basic principle is anekantavada, the idea that reality is perceived differently from different points of view, and that no single point of view is completely true. According to Jainism, only Kevalis, those who have infinite knowledge, can know the true answer, and that all others would only know a part of the answer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *