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Six Ancient Schools of Hindu Philosophy That You Need To Know About

Ancient India was a hub of spiritual activities of which intelligent inquiry and debate formed the major preoccupations of their daily routine. Various theological schools emerged as a result of this inquiry and discussions.

Universal doubts about the existence of God, among others, were deftly answered by the philosophical schools of thought or darshanas. Darshana literally means "to see." Darshana explains the different methods that help you to see the divine and attain liberation from the cycle of birth and death.

These schools ultimately prove one and the same thing, using different modes of logic and intellectual arguments and conclusions. Six darshanas that are recognized as authorities on the knowledge of Brahman include Sankhya, Vaisheshika, Nyaya, Mimamsa, Yoga and Vedanta.

Each school of thought comprises of a highly developed set of refined theories that are briefly summarized below.

1. Vaisheshika

considered one of the most ancient atomic theories founded by Sage Kanada. . The Vaisheshika system was propounded by Rishi Kanaada who proved that the smallest, indivisible, indestructible part of the world is an anu or atom. All physical entities combine the atoms of earth, water, fire and air in themselves. These atoms are activated due to the divine handiwork of God. Vaisheshika and Nyaya merged finally.

2. Nyaya

Nyaya or the logic studies prove the existence of God and Karma and other concepts using their razor-sharp logic. Nyaya says that everything should be amenable to reason and experience. This preciseness of the Nyaya logic greatly influenced the orthodox and the modern schools of thought much later.

3. Sankhya

Sankhya being the oldest school of philosophical thought, divides the entire creation into two categories. The purusha and prakriti which roughly translates to divine consciousness and matter. It is very much extinct today and has courted controversies because it Very little Sankhya literature survives today, and it is not yet proved whether it is dualistic or not as it propounds the existence of these two categories.

4. Mimamsa or Purva Mimamsa

It insists that rituals are a royal path towards moksha and hence interprets the rules of rituals in an elaborate manner.

5. Yoga

Raja Yoga, as it is commonly called, it focuses on silencing the thought processes through the practice of Ashtanga yoga according to Patanjali's Yoga Sutras to achieve a balance in life and finally the liberation or moksha.

6. Vedanta

This is the most influential philosophical school that has left its giant imprints on modern Hinduism. It relies on stretching your consciousness beyond the worldly limits and transcending one's personally recognizable identity to reach the state of liberation. This can be done through right knowledge, meditation, devotion, selfless service, good works amongst other religious and spiritual disciplines. There are three major schools of philosophy namely, Advaita, Dvaita, and Visishtaadvaita that were propounded by Adi Shankaracharya, Madhvacharya, and Ramanujacharya. respectively.

Disclaimer: The information is based on assumptions and information available on the internet and the accuracy or reliability is not guaranteed. Boldsky does not confirm any inputs or information related to the article and our only purpose is to deliver information. Kindly consult the concerned expert before practising or implementing any information and assumption.

Story first published: Tuesday, November 29, 2022, 18:16 [IST]
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