Dr. Usha A. Gadkari
Dr. Usha A. GadkariRetired professor of Philosophy Nagpur University. Author of 14 books on Philosophy


I have given a very brief account of Six Darśanas in the following article. Each Darśana is so deep that it was almost impossible to catch every detail of their teachings. It is only a cursory account of every Darśanaa in Indian Philosophy. The first two Darśanas namely Nyāya + Vaiśeṣika are realistic is in their approach towards life. Nyāya emphasizes on Pramāṇa Vicāra and Vaiśeṣika on Prameya Vicāra. Sāṁkhya and Yoga are very important Darśanaas. Sāṁkhya is theoretical while yoga is practical in its approach. Pūrva Mimāṇsā is interested in Veda-Vacanas which directs you to perform karma or ritual. It propagates Karma-Kāṇḍa while Vedānta emphasizes Jñānamārga. Both are idealistic in their outlook towards life. Each Darśanaa has its own ontological, epistemological and ethical approach.


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The unfortunate part of Indian philosophy is, there is a small body of Hindu scholars and ascetics living a retired life in solitude, who are well-acquainted with the subject, but they do not know English and are not used to modern ways of thinking, and idea that they ought to write books in vernaculars in order to popularize subject does not appeal to them. Through the activity of various learned bodies and private individuals, both in Europe and in India, large numbers of philosophical works in Sanskrit and Pali have been published. There are hundreds of Sanskrit works on most of the systems of Indian thought and scarcely a hundredth part of them has been translated.

It was almost universally believed by Hindus that the highest truths could only be found in the revelation of the Vedas. The fundamental idea which runs through early Upaniṣadas is that underlying the exterior world of change there is an unchangeable reality which is identical with the essence in man. There are in all 9 systems or Darśanas in Indian Philosophy. Three of them namely Cārvāka, Buddhism and Jainism are called atheistic Darśanas and 6 systems are known as theistic Darśanas namely Nyāya- Vaiśeṣika, Sāṁkhya-Yoga and Pūrva Mimāṇsā and Uttar Mimāṇsā. I.e. that is Vedānt, Āstika and Nāstika (theistic and Atheistic) is not called on the basis of whether you believe in the existence of God or you do not believe in the existence of God. Āstika means those who believe in the authority of Vedas and those who do not believe in the authority of Vedas are called Nāstika. Cārvāka, Bauddha and Jainas do believe scriptures just as Tri-pitakas and Jains Sūtras they do believe in Śābda-Pramanya or valid testimony. Cārvākas don’t believe in any Śābda or testimony uttered or written by any authority or any standard book, because they are of the opinion that even if any great person says something on some subject can be proved wrong after some time or in the changing circumstances. They think that those words should be examined under strict scrutiny and after they are verified by our experience then only they should be accepted as true.

Let us first start with Nyāya Darśana which is propounded by Muni Gautam, Nyāya Sūtras begin with an enumeration of the sixteen subjects (Padārthas). They are 1) the means of right knowledge (Pramāṇa) 2) Object of right knowledge (Prameya) 3) Doubt (saṁśaya) 4) Purpose (Proyojana) 5) Illustrative Instances (Dṛṣṭānta) 6) Accepted conclusions (Siddhānta) 7) Premises (Avayava) 8) Argumentation (Tarka) 9) Ascerainment (Nirṇaya) 10) Debates (Vāda) 11) Disputations (Jalpa) 12) Dis putations (Jāti) 13) Destructive criticism (vitaṇḍa) 14) Fallacy (Pramāda) 15) quilble (Hala) 16) Reputation (Jati).

The etymological meaning of Nyāya is one who takes us to the conclusion or judgment is called ‘Nyāya’. For this process ‘Pramāṇa Carcā’ is supposed to be very important. The word ‘Mā’ means to measure and this word is suffixed by the letter ‘iz’ (Pra) means by which the measurement is done. Unless Pramāṇas are right, ‘Prameya’ cannot be understood. Therefore ‘Pramāṇa’ discussion is supposed to be very important in Indian Philosophy. Nyāya Vaiśeṣika accept four Pramāṇas namely ‘Pratyakṣa’ Inference Analogy and ‘Śābda’ or valid testimony.

1) Perception :- When our five sense organs come in direct contact with external objects we get the vivid knowledge of that object, that is called Eye, Ear, Nose, Tongue and Skin when these five organs come in direct contact with their objects we get complete knowledge of that object. But these organs themselves are beyond our senses. Just as our eye can see everything outside it but the eye itself cannot be seen directly. According to Nyāya Philosophy Nonexistence and; (Universal). These two are also accessible to There is no elephant on my table (the non-existence of elephant is supposed to be Pratyakṣa knowledge.) Accordingly when 9 perceive cow in front of me the (Essence of Cow) is also perceived by Pratyakṣa Jñāna. There are three types of classifications of Pratyakṣa knowledge. 1) External Pratyakṣa and internal or Mānasa Pratyakṣa. There are five types of external perception namely cakṣuja, Ghrāṇaja and tvagendriya, Mana or is supposed to be Internal organ by which we get the knowledge of our emotions and sentiments such as pleasure or pain.

The second classification is Laukika Pratyakṣa and Alaukika Pratykaṣa are five in number as mentioned above. There are three types of Pratyakṣa. 1) General knowledge 2) Knowledge acquired by another sense organ and 3 extraordinary knowledge of past, present and future because of Yaugika Śakti. When we say A dies, B dies, C dies we say all human beings are mortal. So by observing one incident we can generalize the fact about all. When we uttered the word tamarind immediately our mouth becomes watery. We have only to utter the word but our another sense organ is stimulated. For example if we say ‘Candana’ immediately we start getting aroma of candana. By having practiced yoga discipline for a long time acquires extra-ordinary power of getting knowledge of past, present and future.

The third classification is Nirvikalpa and Savikalpa Pratyakṣa. In the initial stage when our sense organ gets contact with external object. We get very faint idea about that object but as our perception get clearer and clearer we get the knowledge of every detail of that object.

Anumāna Pramāṇa (Inference):-
Anumāna Pramāṇa is supposed to be the most important Pramāṇa of Nyāya

Darśana. There are certain terms which are often used in inference. They are very important in Nyāya Darśana. For example i) where ever there is smoke there is fire ii) there is smoke on the hill. 3) Therefore there is fire on the hill. Here smoke is the linga, or sādhana or middle term. Hill is the (the term on which the sadhya pada exists) or fire is the sadhya pada which is to be inferred. Besides we have to consider the exact meaning of Sapakṣa and Vipakṣa. When we know that the sadhya paksha must be on Hill then Hill becomes ‘Sapakṣa’ and when we definitely know that Sadhapaksha will not be on a pond of water then the pond becomes vipakṣa. Now the question arises how the inference becomes possible? What are the conditions for a fruitful Inference?

Classification of Inference
1) Svārthānumāna 2) Parāthānumānaa. When Inference is for onself then it is called svārthānumāna. When it is for others then it is called parāthānumaina. It is also called Panchāvayavi Anumāna. Because, it is dissected in five avayavas. When we see smoke on the hill immediately are say oh! There is fire because it is for ourselves or not required to we have to explain it explain it. But when it is for others say. 1) Pratijñā: There is fire on hill 2) Hetu -Because there is smoke on the hill 3) Illustration where ever there is smoke there is fire just as in Kitchen. 4) Upanaya:- It means to bring near. Here also there is smoke on the hill 5) Deduction there is fire on the hill. II Category of Inference:- 1) Kevalānvayī 2) Kevalvyatirekī 3) Anyāya Vyatirekī 1) In kevalānvayī Anumāna there is simple relation between smoke and fire i.e. between Hetu and Sadhypaksha. I.e. where there is smoke there is fire. In Vyatirekī Anumāna the relation between Hetu and Sadhyapada is supposed to be viparita. I.e. If there is no fire there is no smoke. In the third category comes both Anvay and Vyatireka. They both together strengthen the relation between hetu and sadhya. Nyāya Darśana also enumerated five types of Hetwabhasa. It means when it seem, that there is Hetu but actually it does not exist there then it is called Hetwabhasa just as sometimes in winter we find fog outside but we are mistaken and think that it is smoke. So here the fog is supposed be the example of Hetvābhāsa. Five Hetvābhāsa are as follows. 1) Savyabhicār 2) Viruddha 3) Satpratipakṣa 4) Asiddha 5) Bādhita.

The third Pramāṇa of Nyāya is called Upamāna (Analogy):- If you are going for a jungle safari and you have been told that if you come across an animal which looks like a cow but in fact not cow because she is much bigger and robust than cow then you call it Gavaya (Gawa). When you enter the jungle you really come across that type of animal and you immediately name it as Gavay. So analogy is relating between name and object to name. It is not Pratyakṣa Jñāna because you didn’t know the name of that animal. Nor it is Anumāna because robust, bigger these objectives do not necessarily related with Gavay so Nyāya has given the status of independent Pramāṇa.

4) Śābda Pramāṇa (Valid Testimony):- Nyāya gives utmost importance to śābda Pramāṇa. It expounds that when śābda comes from proper authority whether by speech or by writing it gets the weight because it gives us knowledge of that particular things. Nyāya differentiates between Laukika and Alaukika Śābda. When the peasant gives expert comment on the crop. It should be taken as valid knowledge because peasant may not have formal education but by his long experience in farming gives him authority to have an authentic knowledge about farming. While Alaukika śābda gives us the knowledge of Alaukika matters. A Rishi, Muni or the one who has done the Sadhana in spiritual field gives us athletic knowledge of that field.

Nyāya / Vaiśeṣika both are realistic in their approach towards philosophy. Nyāya is theistic and gives proofs for the existence of God mostly similar to that of western philosophers. Ontological, causal, cosmological proofs for the existence of God are mostly similar to that of western philosophers.

Vaiśeṣika Darśana

While Nyāya Philosophy is famous for its Pramāṇa Vicāra Vaiśeṣika is known for its Padārtha’ Vicāra or Prameya Vicāra.

Vaiśeṣika Darśana is propounded by Kanada Rishi. He wrote a very systematic book namely ‘Kaṇāda Sūtra’ on Vaiśeṣika system of thought.
It is said that the name Kanada came in use because the Rishi who propounded this Darśana was so complacent that that by eating the small particles of crape he used to be satisfied in his life.

Vaiśeṣika accepted seven padārthas. 1) Dravya (substance) 2) Guṇa (Attributes) 3) Karma (Action) 4) Sāmānya (Universal) 5) Viśeṣa (Particular) 6) Samvāya (Relation of Inheritance) 7) Ābhāva (Nonexistence). Initially Vaiśeṣika has not included Ābhāva as 7th Padārtha in their scheme. But Ābhāva being a very significant entity was included in the list of Padārthas.
1) Dravya :- We always talk about something. But it has to be based on something. Therefore, the base of anything or any karana is called Dravya. They are in all Nine in number. 1) Pṛthvi (Earth) 2) Āpa (water) 3) Teja (Fire 4) Vāyu (Air) 5) Ākāśa (space) 6) Dik or Diśā (Direction) 7) Kāla (Time) 8) Ātmā (Self) 9) Mana –( Mind). The function of each and every substance is essential in our experience of the world.

The second Prameya or Padārtha is called Guṇa :- Guṇa is always dependent on some substance. It must be Guṇa of some Dravya. For example ‘Kamal is red’. Here the Guṇa ‘red’ is dependent and connected with ‘Kamal Dravya’. But it is not vice-versa. Kamal is not logically dependent on anything. Logically dependent words are very important. Because, physically Kamal is dependent on ‘Jala’ Draya but not logically. Guṇa are not static they are always changing. The number of Guṇas are enumerated 24 only. They consist of Rupa, Rasa, Gandha, Sparśa, Samabhāva, Buddhi, Sukha, Dakha and so on

The third Padārtha called ‘Karma’ :- Karma is also dependent on Draya but different from substance. Guṇas are static but Karma is mobile, moving, dynamic. There are in all five types of Karma. 1) Utkṣepaṇa 2) Avakṣepaṇa 3) Ankuñcana 4) Prasaraṇa 5) and Gamana.

The fourth Prameya is called sāmānya (Universal):- There are many objects of same type in the world. For example: many cows in the world, but to every one we call by one name – cow. There are many chairs. To each one we call chair only even if they are of different makes, shapes and materials. It is because there is something common amongst all the chairs and cows, such as ‘Gotva’. We can’t separate ‘gotva’ from ‘govyakti’ but ‘gotva’ and ‘govyaktri’ is different. Therefore the ‘gotva’ or’chairtva’ is supposed to be universal. In Sanskrit the definition of Sāmānyais .

The fifth substance is named as ‘Viśeṣa’ :- If we take two identical objects we call them two because they have their own vishesh. If we go one dissecting these two things welcome to the stage of Parmanu which we can’t dissect anymore, but each parmanu has its own vishesh.

The sixth Padārtha is called Samavāya: the relation. This is the unique entity which Vaiśeṣika accept in their scheme. We cannot separate Govyakti from ‘Gotva’, object and its actions, Vyakti and Jāti, Vyakti and its Viśeṣa. But still we act and behave as if they are separate entities. Samavāya is a kind of relation between two different entities. There are five such relations we can endorse, they are as follows.

  1. Substance and substance
  2. Substance and and its Guṇas (Attributes)
  3. Substance and its action.
  4. Substance and its Jāti
  5. Atom (substance) and its ViśeṣaThe seventh Padārtha (substance) namely Non-existence which is added in

the list afterwards is the last padārtha vaiśeṣika has enumerated. There are two kinds of Ābhāva Padārtha i) Sansargābhāva and ii) Anyonyābhāva. The second one means one object is not the other object just as cow is not horse. The second one is sansargābhāva means no relation with existence is called. There are three kinds of this sansorgābhāva i) Prāgābhava ii) Dhvansābhāva iii) Atyantābhāva, means non-existence. For example the non-existence of a table in a log of wood before the carpenter manufactures it. This Abhav was Anadi and Santa because the moment carpenter makes it the Ābhāva ends. Ii) Dhvansābhāva comes into existence when the table is broken. Therefore Dhvansābhāva is sādi and Ananta even if you manufacture another table having 100% similarity to the broken one, it will not be the ‘same’ table. Iii) Atyantābhāva:- Whichever object exists, we can always imagine that it is not there. For example the jar is on the table but at the same time we can always imagine that jar is not on the table.

Vaiśeṣika also propounded Atomism which is always compared with Greek Atomism. The only difference between the two is in Vaiśeṣika Atomism God is supposed to be instrumental in moving parmana in specific direction. Whereas God has no function to discharge in Greek Atomism.

Sāṁkhya Darśana

The propounder of Sāṁkhya Darśana is supposed to be kapil Ṛṣi. In the year 150 A.D. Ishwar Krishna wrote Sāṁkhya Kārikā. They are 70 in number. From those Kārikās only we try to understand Sāṁkhya Darśana.

There are four important assumtions of Sāṁkhya Darśana. 1) Puruṣa means what we call Ātmā and Prakṛti (means our body and other external world are basically different) 2) The root cause of external world is Prakṛti which is composed of Satva, Rajas and Tamas. They are called Tri-Guṇas. 3) Puruṣa is cetana, devoid of Guṇas, and non-functional and they are many. 4) The only way to get Moksha or Mukti is to understand and acknowledge the separateness of Puruṣa from Prakṛti. This discriminatory power of Puruṣa can emancipate Puruṣa from shackles of Prakṛti and achieve Kaivalya. Puruṣa is neither experience pleasure nor pain. Because, he is totally non-attached to the external world or other Puruṣas.

The sole foundation Sāṁkhya Philosophy is its epistemological position called Satkāryavāda which is in straight opposition to Ārambhavāda propounded by Nyāya. The main contention of Satkāryavāda is the effect of any operation always exists already in its cause. Unless it is not existent in the cause it will not be possible to be present in its effect. For example table / chair is already existent in the piece of wood. The carpenter only manifests it in actual. The oil is already existent in oil seeds. That means whatever is existent in unmanifest form comes in the / oil in manifest form oil is not at all existent in the sand. You may try your level best to extract it from the sand but it will not be possible for you. Because, it was not present in the particles of sand. Curd is already in the milk but we can’t bring about curds from water. On the same line whatever is found in the external world must be present in its cause that is Avyakta Prakṛti.

Another important theory of Sāṁkhya is its Triguṇa Siddhānta. They are of the opinion that avyakta Prakṛti consists of three Guṇas i.e. Satvika, Rajas and Tamas.

In Avyakta Prakṛti these three Guṇas are in equilibrium. There is no doubt there is movement in it but each Guṇa moves in its own orbit. It does not cross its limit and enters into another’s orbit. But once the Puruṣa or cetana tatva comes near to Avyakta Prakṛti it equilibrium gets disturbed and then starts the evolution of this world. There we find the existence of these three Guṇas in each of its evolutes. The first evolute is called ‘Mahat’ where we find the preponderance of Sattava Guṇa then comes ‘Ahaṁkāra’. It is of three kinds. From Satvika Ahaṁkāra are produced 5 sense organs (Ear, Nose, Eye, tongue and tvagendriya). From Tāmasika Ahaṁkāra we get five tanmātrās namely śābda, sparśa, Rūpa Rasa, Gandha. From these five tanmātrās we get 5 gross elements. From śābda we get Ākaśa, From sparśa, we get vāyu, from Rūpa we get Agni, From Rasa we get water, From Gandha we get Pṛthvi. Every Guṇa has its properties. For example Satva Guṇa is supposed to be Laghu means light in weight. Therefore it has ascending movement. It has got its aabha. It is because of that quality it has the capacity to acquire Jñāna. Tamas is supposed to quite opposite to it. It is guru means heavy in weight. It has the tendency to go down wards. Its colour is dark. It has got the lazy tendency and prone to sleep more Rajans has the tendency to move here and there. It is very chanchal. It is because of this Guṇa movement is possible. It is not static. It helps both Satvika and Tamasika in carrying out their functions. The colour of Satva is white, that of Rajas is red and that of Tamas is dark black.

Prakṛti is Jaḍa. It cannot do anything by its own efforts. But because of Puruṣa she gets momentum. That’s why she becomes kriyāvān, Pre svdharmī (productive activities) Puruṣa does not do anything. He is static, having Sakṣi Bhāva. He is always there. There he is called Nitya, Śuddha, Buddha Mukta. These two are diametrically opposite to each other. Then how could they help each other, that is the problem. But they held each other. Just as Blind as Lame Person. Here Prakṛti is blind and Puruṣa is lame. But lame one sits on the shoulders of blind person and both with the help of another cross the difficult rode. There are certain difficulties in this simile but they manage it somehow. When cetana Puruṣa realizes its discriminatory power then only he can differentiate himself from Prakṛti and gets liberated. Sāṁkhya is closely associated with yoga system. Sāṁkhya accepted 24 tatvas but they did not accept ‘Ishavara’ or God Principle. Yoga has accepted Ishvara. So they accepted 25 principles yoga system is nothing but the application of Sāṁkhya principle in actual practice. Therefore it is called Seśvara Sāṁkhya.

Yoga – Darśana

Yoga is supposed to complementary Darśana of Sāṁkhya Darśana. The word yoga word is derived from the original word which means to relate or to employ. Therefore, yoga means to relate oneself to the absolute truth. One has to employ all his faculties and capabilities to attain that absolute truth. Yoga has accepted five chittavritties. 1) Pramāṇa 2) Viparyaya 3) Vikalpa 4) Nidrā 5) Smṛti yoga accepts five types of Chittabhūmi :- 1) Kṣipta 2) Moda 3) Vikṣipta 4) Aekagra 5) Niruddha, yoga has accepted 5 kleśas also 1) Avidyā 2) Asmitā 3) Rāga 4) Dveṣa 5) Abhiniveṣa. Here Avidya is supposed to be the origin of all the other kleśas.

Cittavṛtti Nirodha is the main aim of yoga śastra. Because of these various Chittavṛtti an individual is not able to concentrate on anything and is unable to control his mind. Yoga has prescribed eight fold path to liberate himself from the clutches of mind. If the person is disciplined properly he is able to purify his body as well as mind and then he can achieve the final goal of getting ‘Asam, prajnata Samadhi’ Eight fold path is as follows.

  1. Yama :- ‘Yama’ means control or restrains. They are i) Ahiṁsā (Non-violence) ii) Satya (Truth) iii) Asteya (Non-stealing) iv) Aparigraha – (Non-hoarding) v) Brahmacarya
  2. Niyama :- They are also five in Number yama restricts us from doing something while Niyam asks us to do something regularly. I) Śauca, purity (physical and mental) ii) santoṣa, Samādhāna or satisfaction. iii) Tapas means the capacity to bear contradictory things at the same time just as cold and heat. iv) Svādhyāya means to read and contemplate valid books again and again. v) Iśvara Praṇidhāna . One should have complete faith in the existence of God. Tapas, Svādhyāya and Iśvara-praṇidhāna these three are called kriyā- yoga which is very important in yoga-sādhanā.
  3. The third aspect of Ashtanga Path is called Āsana. Sthiraṁ Sukhaṁ Āsanaṁ. This is the directive principle of Āsanaṁ. If we are disciplined to have good and correct posture of our body then automatically it helps to have good physical health as well as mental health also.
  4. Prāṇāyāma: It means to regulate śvāsa and Praśvāsa i.e. to control the movement of inhaling and exhaling. It is very closely connected with our mental state. If we are disturbed mentally it affects our movement of inhaling and exhaling. So to discipline our śvāsa and Uchhavāsa, Praṇāyāma is supremely important.
  5. Fifth aspect is Pratyāhara- Our sense organs are very cañcala. They have the tendency to run to their favourite objects. These objects (Viṣaya) always delude them. In order to regulate this tendency pratyahar is necessary. All senses are taken inward by the sādhaka.
  6. Sixth Aspect is called Dhāraṇā: It means to concentrate on one and only one object. It may be ‘Bhṛkuṭi Madhya’ (The middle place between two eyes), ‘Nāsikāgra’. The latter most end of the nose.’ Or ‘Nābhī’ (The middle part of the stomach. Because of this kriyā by Sādhaka, his attention does not go anywhere else.
  7. The seventh aspect of ‘Aṣṭāṅga-yoga’ Yoga is ‘Dhyāna’. It is also always about one object only the difference between ‘Dhyāna’ and Dhāraṇā is in Dhyāna Sādhaka gets the same experience (Anubhava) every moment while in Dhāraṇā it may change.
  8. The eighth aspect is called ‘Samādhi’ It is also of two types. I) Asaṁprajñāt Samādhi ii) Saṁprajñāt Samādhi, Citta is supposed to be constantly attentive in Samādhi. In Saṁprajñāt Samādhi chittavṛtti is supposed to be ‘Sthīra’ ‘and the difference between knower and the known comes to an end. In Asamprajnata Samathi’ it props up every now and then. While the sadhaka is in Samadhi Awastha many hurdles come in his way. The main hurdles are as follows. i) ‘Laya – it means get disturbed and goes to its original state. All of a sudden citta gets attracted to something else. ii) ‘Nidrā’ during Samādhi the Sadhaka goes to sleep. Iv)Rasāsvāda, Sādhaka gets so complacent that he starts getting typical ananda and then forgets his own mission. When Sādhaka achieves his final goal he is blessed by ‘Aṣṭasiddhi’ like Animā, Garimā, Mahimā etc. But sādhaka should always remember that he has to go beyond these and has to get ‘Kaivalya’.

Pūrva – Mimāṇsā

Mimāṇsā means critical analysis, Vedas have two sections. There are some Veda Ṛcās or Sūtras which propagate rituals and another section of Sūtras propagate Jñāna. The first one is called karmakāṇḍa and the other is called Jñāna-Kāṇḍa. Pūrva Mimāṇsā propagates karma-kāṇḍa and another is called Uttar-Mimāṇsā which propagates Jñāna-Kāṇḍa. Vedas are constructed at different times and by different people therefore they go sometimes contradictory to each other in order to connect them meaningfully to each other is main job of Mimāṇsā (Dharmajijñāsā) this is the slogan of Pūrva Mimāṇsā. They are of the opinion that ‘Vedvacanas’ are; (Apauruṣeya) that means they are not written by any Puruṣa or even by Iśvara. Therefore they are always there. If anything is said in Vedas about Dharma, Śruti is supposed to explain transparently. After that Smriti and lastly Puranas are supposed to be most trustworthy.

Śruti Vacana becomes meaningful only when they prescribe any Dharma. Dharma is reflected in Karma. That means Dharma always tells what to do and what not to do Ved-Vacana are supposed to be predominantly Vidhi-Vacana’ ‘Do this according to this way’ The form of these vachanas are basically directional. These are called ‘VidhiVacana’. Vachans’ which superficially look like descriptive they are also directional. For example ‘Rama Yajati’ means actually ‘Yajeta’ means you should also do yagya.

According to Mimāṇsākas Jñāna is supposed to be an aspect or effect of Ātmā. Jñāna is Anitya but the Ātmā is Nitya. Yesterday I was in pain but today I am experiencing pleasure. So the Jñāna is different but the knower or the Ātmā is the same. Vedas are called Apauruṣeya by the mimamsakas because they are studied and taught by one generation to another generation. By performing ‘Jyotiṣṭoma’ yāga the yajamāna gets ‘Svarga’. This particular Jñāna cannot be obtained by any Pramāṇas (Like, Pratyakṣa, Anumāna, Upamāna, or Śābda). So this Jñāna is obtained not through anybody. Therefore Vedas are apauruṣeya.

Mimāṇsākas have accepted Anuplabdhi as the fifth Pramāṇa. For example, We say there is no ‘ghaṭa’ in this room. This knowledge is not Pratyakṣa because it has not come from eye contact with ghata. Neither this Jñāna came through inference because there is no Vyapti between the two. So it has come only because of its non-existence. Ṛṣi Jaiminī propounded Mimāṇsā Darśana in order to relate Veda Sūtras in order. It is the other directive to motivate others to act according to Ved-Vacanas was another aim of Mimāṇsākas. Mimāṇsākas like Jaiminī, Śabarsvāmī, Kumārila Bhaṭṭa were of the opinion that ‘Svarga’ is the only aspiration of everybody. But some of them were of the opinion that performing ‘yāga’ was to obtain or the param kalyāṇa (Highest Good).

Prabhākara was also another Mimāṇsāk who proclaimed that Ātmā is the basis of Jñāna. Kumārila accepts only five Padārthas just as Prabhākara accept 8 Padārthas in addition to first five he adds samāvaya, Śakti , Sādrṛṣya and Saṁkhyā. In short, the Sādhaka should perform regularly and enjoy the pleasure of Svarga is the opinion of Mimāṇsākas.

Uttar Mimāṇsā or Vedānta Darśana

The word ‘Vedānta’ has two meanings. The conclusion of Vedas is called Vedānta and the Ūpniṣads which come at the end of Vedas are included in the interpretation of Vedas, Upaniṣads, Brahmasūtras and Bhagavat-Gītā. These three together is called Prasthāna Trayi .

From these three only Vedānta Philosophy rises. There are many interpretations, ṭikās and commentaries available on ‘Prasthāna Trayi’ In the 8th century Śankarācārya propounded Kevalādvaita, then Rāmānujācārya in twelth century propounded Viśiṣṭādvaita and Madhwacharya in thirteenth century propounded Dvaitāvada, Vallabhācārya in 16th century propounded Śuddhādvaita vāda and Niṁbārkācārya in 14th century propounded Dvaitādvaita vāda. The most celbrated philosophy is given by Ādya Śankarācārya namely Advaita Tatvajñāna. Śankarācārya’s philosophy can be narrated in the half of a śloka i.e. ‘Brahma Satyaṁ, Jagat mithyā, jivo-Brahmiava Nāparaḥ’. The meaning is only Brahma is true. Jagat is untrue or false and viva and Brahma are one and the same.

What is Brahma ? Brahma is that principle which is the support of everything that we know. There are objects and objects in the world. But there is somebody who knows these objects. Unless knower is there how can anything be known. So the knower is true. He could know because he is (Cit) and no jaḍa. When we know something we get Ānanda.

Because, we get happiness just by being there. Brahma is not merely Vṛtti Caitanya but it is of the nature of Sākṣi Caitanya. Vṛttis are many and they keep on changing but Sākṣi Caitanya is Constant and unchanging. Brahma is Nirguṇa, Nirākāra. All other objects in the world are Saguṇa Sākāra. They are Nāma- Rūpātmaka . They have particular shape and color and they are called by particular name. But Brahma has no form, no color, no name. Because it is beyond all these categories.

Śankarācārya has given many arguments why he called external world mithya. 1) First Reason is because it is limited by Time, space and causal law. 2) External world is changing every moment. It is aśāśvat 3) It is Nāmasvarūpavtāt 4) The moment we look at a object it starts changing its form therefore whatever we see does not stay as it is for more than on moment. 5) external world is not cetana its is jaḍa whatever is jaḍa is not ultimately real. 6) The existence of external world is dependent on the knower (Jñāta). Unless the conscious knower is there its existence is not acknowledged therefore it does not exist on its own. Therefore it is Mithyā. In So many wordly things we don’t have interest. So we don’t get affected by that so we find it mithyā or untrue. Little girl when get involved in their make believe game. They are very much concerned with everything in it. But elders are not interested in it therefore they find it mithya or Asara. Some of us also experience sometime or the other that there is no meaning in this life. Everything illogical, Nissvabhāva, irrational and so they find it Asāra, without any substance.

Adwait Vedānta also propagates that jiva is actually Brahma .But due to Ajñāna or Avidyā. Jīva finds himself as different from Brahma. All the efforts of this philosophy is to awake jīva, remove his Avidyā and make him realize that he is constantly deluded by Māyā. When he comes out of this illusion or delusion then only he can realize or know his own true self. From illusory state he can move to Vyāvahārika state and then he goes to Pārmārthika State. But to have gone throughout this journey he has to follow certain path. There are four ways for the Sādhaka. That is called Sādhanā Catuṣṭaya. If Sādhaka follows this path honestly and sincerely then only he can transcend to that level and realize what Brahma.

1) Datta a Chatterjee
2) Hiryanna
3) Dr. Savapalli Radhadrishan 4) Surendranath Dasguptha