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|by Dr. Neria H. Hebbar|
Darshana texts are also called Veda Upangas. There are six schools of philosophy based on the Vedas. They are in the form of short aphorisms and a Rishi is credited with having written each philosophy. Gautama's Nyaya, Kanada's Vaisheshika, Kapila's Sankhya, Patanjali's Yoga, Jaimini's Purva Mimamsa and Badarayana'sVedanta-Sutra, (also called as Brahma Sutra or Uttara Mimamsa) are the six doctrines. These are collectively called as Shad-darshana.
Nyaya and Vaisheshika
Nyaya: (analysis) is the system of reasoning and logic. The sutras (aphorisms) are attributed to Aksapada Gautama. It argues that logic and clear thinking are essential means to higher bliss. It encourages the science of debate and discussion be it logic, metaphysics, psychology or theology.
Sankhya and Yoga
Sankhya (count) was founded by the ancient sage Kapila and is the oldest of all the six systems. It also exhibits rigid dualism and fundamental atheism. Purusha (soul) and Prakrti (matter, nature) are not interdependent. It teaches existence of twenty-five basic principles (tattva), the first of which is Prakrti and the last is the Purusa. From Prakrti develops intelligence (buddhi) and self-consciousness (ahankara). Other senses like touch, hearing, taste, smell and sight are derived from self-consciousness. It discounts the theory of creation by a supreme God. Creation produced by Prakriti will occur independently and there is no need for a Creator with a Superintending Power. Sankhya system supports the theory of evolution and involution. Nothing can be entirely destroyed and there cannot be production of something out of nothing. Another important feature of Sankhya is the doctrine of three qualities or forces (guna), namely virtue (sattva), passion (rajas) and inertia (tamas). When there is equilibrium of the three gunas, the cosmic matter is said to be still undeveloped. When the universe matures, any one of these three qualities may show preponderance. The goal of the human being is to separate himself from matter and release from this bondage to attain salvation. Sri Krishna makes several references to the gunas and the Sankhya literature in his sermon to Arjuna in the rendition of Bhagavad-Gita.
In Rajayoga (Royal Yoga) the mind is trained to control itself from wandering by meditation and concentration on an object, mantra or concept. Other systems of yogas also developed like the yoga of spells (mantrayoga), yoga of force (hathayoga) and yoga of dissolution (layayoga). While raja yoga teaches the yoga of meditation, other forms of yoga can be practiced to realize the Absolute Truth.Bhakti yoga cultivates a devotional relationship with God through prayers and rituals.Jnana yoga is the approach to God through discrimination and reason. This is the path of wisdom. A Jnana yogi sees through the miseries and delusions of life and sees God everywhere. Karma yoga teaches self-realization through selfless service to others and by attaining this spirit; the God within every individual is worshipped.
Mimamsa and Vedanta
Mimamsa (enquiry), also known as Purva Mimamsa (earlier Mimamsa), the earliest works were the sutras of Jaimini. It sets out to show that the Vedas are eternal, authoritative and self-existent. Its original purpose was to explain the Vedas and to defend it. It later merged with Vedanta.
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12/15/2012 06:24 AM
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