Hindu philosophy refers to a group of darśanas (philosophies, world views, teachings) that emerged in ancient India. These include six systems (ṣaḍdarśana) – Sankhya, Yoga, Nyaya, Vaisheshika, Mimamsa and Vedanta. These are also called the Astika (orthodox) philosophical traditions and are those that accept the Vedas as an authoritative, important source of knowledge.[note 1][note 2] Ancient and medieval India was also the source of philosophies that share philosophical concepts but rejected the Vedas, and these have been called nāstika (heterodox or non-orthodox) Indian philosophies. Nāstika Indian philosophies include Buddhism, Jainism, Cārvāka, Ājīvika, and others.
Scholars have debated the relationship and differences within āstika philosophies and with nāstika philosophies, starting with the writings of Indologists and Orientalists of the 18th and 19th centuries, which were themselves derived from limited availability of Indian literature and medieval doxographies. The various sibling traditions included in Hindu philosophies are diverse, and they are united by shared history and concepts, same textual resources, similar ontological and soteriological focus, and cosmology. While Buddhism and Jainism are considered distinct philosophies and religions, some heterodox traditions such as Cārvāka are often considered as distinct schools within Hindu philosophy.
Hindu philosophy also includes several sub-schools of theistic philosophies that integrate ideas from two or more of the six orthodox philosophies, such as the realism of the Nyāya, the naturalism of the Vaiśeṣika, the dualism of the Sāṅkhya, the monism and knowledge of Self as essential to liberation of Advaita, the self-discipline of yoga and the asceticism and elements of theistic ideas. Examples of such schools include Pāśupata Śaiva, Śaiva siddhānta, Pratyabhijña, Raseśvara and Vaiṣṇava. Some sub-schools share Tantric ideas with those found in some Buddhist traditions. The ideas of these sub-schools are found in the Puranas and Āgamas.
In the history of Hinduism, the six orthodox schools had emerged before the start of the Common Era. Some scholars have questioned whether the orthodox and heterodox schools classification is sufficient or accurate, given the diversity and evolution of views within each major school of Hindu philosophy, with some sub-schools combining heterodox and orthodox views.
Since ancient times Indian philosophy has been categorized into āstika and nāstika schools of thought. The orthodox schools of Hindu philosophy have been called ṣaḍdarśana ("six systems"). This schema was created between the 12th and 16th centuries by Vedantins.:2–3 It was then adopted by the early Western Indologists, and pervades modern understandings of Hindu philosophy.:4–5
There are six āstika (orthodox) schools of thought.[note 3] Each is called a darśana, and each darśana accepts the Vedas as authoritative and the premise that ātman (soul, eternal self) exists. The āstika schools are:
Schools that do not accept the authority of the Vedas are nāstika philosophies, of which four nāstika (heterodox) schools are prominent:
Besides the major orthodox and non-orthodox schools, there have existed syncretic sub-schools that have combined ideas and introduced new ones of their own. The medieval scholar Madhva Acharya (CE 1238–1317) includes the following, along with Buddhism and Jainism, as sub-schools of Hindu philosophy:
The above sub-schools introduced their own ideas while adopting concepts from orthodox schools of Hindu philosophy such as realism of the Nyāya, naturalism of Vaiśeṣika, monism and knowledge of Self (Atman) as essential to liberation of Advaita, self-discipline of Yoga, asceticism and elements of theistic ideas. Some sub-schools share Tantric ideas with those found in some Buddhist traditions.
|School||Samkhya||Yoga||Nyāya||Vaiśeṣika||Mīmāṃsā||Advaita[N 1]||Vishishtadvaita[N 1]||Dvaita[N 1]||Achintya Bheda Abheda||Pashupata||Shaiva Siddhanta||Kashmir Shaivism||Raseśvara||Pāṇini Darśana||Akshar-Purushottam Darśana|
|Classification||rationalism, dualism, atheism||dualism, spiritual practice||realism, logic, analytic philosophy||naturalism, atomism||exegesis, philology, ritualism||monism, non-dualism||qualified monism, panentheism||dualism, theology||simultaneous monism and dualism||theism, spiritual practice||Monotheism||theistic monism, idealism||alchemy||linguistics, philosophy of language||qualified monism, panentheism|
|Philosophers||Kapila, Iśvarakṛṣṇa, Vācaspati Miśra, Guṇaratna more..||Patañjali, Yajnavalkya, Vyasa[N 2]||Aksapada Gautama, Vātsyāyana, Udayana, Jayanta Bhatta more..||Kanada, Praśastapāda, Śridhara's Nyāyakandalī more..||Jaimini, Kumārila Bhaṭṭa, Prabhākara more..||Gaudapada, Adi Shankara, Madhusudana Saraswati, Vidyaranya more..||Yamunacharya, Ramanuja more..||Madhvacharya, Jayatirtha, Vyasatirtha, Raghavendra Swami||Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Six Goswamis of Vrindavana, Visvanatha Chakravarti, Krishnadasa Kaviraja, Baladeva Vidyabhushana, Rupa Goswami, more..||Haradattacharya, Lakulish||Tirumular, Meikandadevar, Appayya Dikshita, Sadyojyoti, Aghorasiva||Vasugupta, Abhinavagupta, Jayaratha||Govinda Bhagavat, Sarvajña Rāmeśvara||Pāṇini, Bhartṛhari, Kātyāyana||Bhagwan Swaminarayan, Shastriji Maharaj, Bhadreshdas Swami|
|Texts||Samkhyapravachana Sutra, Samkhyakarika, Sāṁkhya tattvakaumudī more..||Yoga Sutras, Yoga Yajnavalkya, Samkhya pravacana bhasya||Nyāya Sūtras, Nyāya Bhāṣya, Nyāya Vārttika more..||Vaiśeṣika Sūtra, Padārtha dharma saṁgraha, Daśapadārtha śāstra more..||Purva Mimamsa Sutras, Mimamsasutra bhāshyam more..||Brahma Sutras, Prasthanatrayi, Avadhuta Gita, Ashtavakra Gita, Pañcadaśī more..||Siddhitrayam, Sri Bhasya, Vedartha Sangraha||AnuVyakhana, Brahma Sutra Bahshya, Sarva Shāstrārtha Sangraha, Tattva prakashika, Nyaya Sudha, Nyayamruta, Tarka Tandava, DwaitaDyumani||Bhagavata Purana, Bhagavad Gita, Sat Sandarbhas, Govinda Bhashya, Chaitanya Charitamrita,||Gaṇakārikā, Pañchārtha bhāshyadipikā, Rāśikara bhāshya||Sivagamas, Tirumurais, Meikanda Sastras||Shiva Sutras of Vasugupta, Tantraloka||Rasārṇava, Rasahṛidaya, Raseśvara siddhānta||Vākyapadīya, Mahabhashya, Vārttikakāra||Swaminarayan Bhashyam, Swaminarayan-Siddhanta-Sudha|
|Concepts Originated||Purusha, Prakṛti, Guṇa, Satkāryavāda||Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dhāraṇā, Dhyana, Samadhi||Pratyakṣa, Anumāna, Upamāna, Anyathakyati vada, Niḥśreyasa more..||Padārtha, Dravya, Sāmānya, Viśeṣa, Samavāya, Paramāṇu||Apauruṣeyātva, Arthāpatti, Anuapalabdhi, Satahprāmāṇya vāda||Jivanmukta, Mahāvākyas, Sādhana Chatuṣṭaya, three orders of reality, Vivartavada||Hita, Antarvyāpi, Bahuvyāpi more..||Prapacha, Mukti-yogyas, Nitya-samsarins, Tamo-yogyas||Sambandha, Abhidheya, Prayojana (Relationship, Process, Ultimate Goal)||Pashupati, eight pentads||Charya, Mantramārga, Rodha Śakti||Citi, Mala, Upaya, Anuttara, Aham, Svatantrya||Pārada, three modes of mercury||Sphoṭa, Ashtadhyayi||Akshar Purushottam Upasana|
Epistemology is called pramāṇa. It has been a key, much debated field of study in Hinduism since ancient times. Pramāṇa is a Hindu theory of knowledge and discusses means by which human beings gain accurate knowledge. The focus of pramāṇa is how correct knowledge can be acquired, how one knows, how one doesn't, and to what extent knowledge pertinent about someone or something can be acquired.
Ancient and medieval Hindu texts identify six pramāṇas as correct means of accurate knowledge and truths: pratyakṣa (perception), anumāṇa (inference), upamāṇa (comparison and analogy), arthāpatti (postulation, derivation from circumstances), anupalabdi (non-perception, negative/cognitive proof) and śabda (word, testimony of past or present reliable experts) Each of these are further categorized in terms of conditionality, completeness, confidence and possibility of error, by the different schools. The schools vary on how many of these six are valid paths of knowledge. For example, the Cārvāka nāstika philosophy holds that only one (perception) is an epistemically reliable means of knowledge, the Samkhya school holds that three are (perception, inference and testimony), while the Mīmāṃsā and Advaita schools hold that all six are epistemically useful and reliable means to knowledge.
Samkhya is the oldest of the orthodox philosophical systems in Hinduism, with origins in the 1st millennium BCE. It is a rationalist school of Indian philosophy, and had a strong influence on other schools of Indian philosophies. Sāmkhya is an enumerationist philosophy whose epistemology accepted three of six pramāṇas as the only reliable means of gaining knowledge. These were pratyakṣa (perception), anumāṇa (inference) and sabda (Āptavacana, word/testimony of reliable sources).
Samkhya school espouses dualism between consciousness and matter. It regards the universe as consisting of two realities: Puruṣa (consciousness) and prakriti (matter). Jiva (a living being) is that state in which puruṣa is bonded to prakriti in some form. This fusion, state the Samkhya scholars, led to the emergence of buddhi (awareness, intellect) and ahankara (individualized ego consciousness, “I-maker”). The universe is described by this school as one created by Purusa-Prakriti entities infused with various permutations and combinations of variously enumerated elements, senses, feelings, activity and mind.
Samkhya philosophy includes a theory of gunas (qualities, innate tendencies, psyche). Guna, it states, are of three types: Sattva being good, compassionate, illuminating, positive, and constructive; Rajas guna is one of activity, chaotic, passion, impulsive, potentially good or bad; and Tamas being the quality of darkness, ignorance, destructive, lethargic, negative. Everything, all life forms and human beings, state Samkhya scholars, have these three gunas, but in different proportions. The interplay of these gunas defines the character of someone or something, of nature and determines the progress of life. Samkhya theorises a pluralism of souls (Jeevatmas) who possess consciousness, but denies the existence of Ishvara (God). Classical Samkhya is considered an atheist or non-theistic Hindu philosophy.
The Samkhya karika, one of the key texts of this school of Hindu philosophy, opens by stating its goal to be "three kinds of human suffering" and means to prevent them. The text then presents a distillation of its theories on epistemology, metaphysics, axiology and soteriology. For example, it states,
From the triad of suffering, arises this inquiry into the means of preventing it.
That is useless - if you say so, I say: No, because suffering is not absolute and final. – Verse 1
The Guṇas (qualities) respectively consist in pleasure, pain and dullness, are adapted to manifestation, activity and restraint; mutually domineer, rest on each other, produce each other, consort together, and are reciprocally present. – Verse 12
Goodness is considered to be alleviating and enlightening; foulness, urgent and persisting; darkness, heavy and enveloping. Like a lamp, they cooperate for a purpose by union of contraries. – Verse 13
There is a general cause, which is diffuse. It operates by means of the three qualities, by mixture, by modification; for different objects are diversified by influence of the several qualities respectively. – Verse 16
Since the assemblage of perceivable objects is for use (by man); Since the converse of that which has the three qualities with other properties must exist (in man); Since there must be superintendence (within man); Since there must be some entity that enjoys (within man); Since there is a tendency to abstraction (in man), therefore soul is. – Verse 17
In Indian philosophy, Yoga is, among other things, the name of one of the six āstika philosophical schools. The Yoga philosophical system aligns closely with the dualist premises of the Samkhya school. The Yoga school accepts Samkhya psychology and metaphysics, but is considered theistic because it accepts the concept of personal god (Ishvara), unlike Samkhya. The epistemology of the Yoga school, like the Sāmkhya school, relies on three of six prāmaṇas as the means of gaining reliable knowledge: pratyakṣa (perception), anumāṇa (inference) and śabda (āptavacana, word/testimony of reliable sources).
The universe is conceptualized as a duality in Yoga school: puruṣa (consciousness) and prakṛti (matter); however, the Yoga school discusses this concept more generically as "seer, experiencer" and "seen, experienced" than the Samkhya school.
A key text of the Yoga school is the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Patanjali may have been, as Max Müller explains, "the author or representative of the Yoga-philosophy without being necessarily the author of the Sutras." Hindu philosophy recognizes many types of Yoga, such as rāja yoga, jñāna yoga, karma yoga, bhakti yoga, tantra yoga, mantra yoga, laya yoga, and hatha yoga.
The Yoga school builds on the Samkhya school theory that jñāna (knowledge) is a sufficient means to moksha. It suggests that systematic techniques/practice (personal experimentation) combined with Samkhya's approach to knowledge is the path to moksha. Yoga shares several central ideas with Advaita Vedanta, with the difference that Yoga is a form of experimental mysticism while Advaita Vedanta is a form of monistic personalism. Like Advaita Vedanta, the Yoga school of Hindu philosophy holds that liberation/freedom in this life is achievable, and that this occurs when an individual fully understands and realizes the equivalence of Atman (soul, self) and Brahman.
The Vaiśeṣika philosophy is a naturalist school. It is a form of atomism in natural philosophy. It postulates that all objects in the physical universe are reducible to paramāṇu (atoms), and that one's experiences are derived from the interplay of substance (a function of atoms, their number and their spatial arrangements), quality, activity, commonness, particularity and inherence. Knowledge and liberation are achievable by complete understanding of the world of experience, according to Vaiśeṣika school. The Vaiśeṣika darśana is credited to Kaṇāda Kaśyapa from the second half of the first millennium BCE. The foundational text, the Vaiśeṣika Sūtra, opens as follows:
Dharma is that from which results the accomplishment of Exaltation and of the Supreme Good. The authoritativeness of the Veda arises from its being an exposition of dharma. The Supreme Good results from knowledge, produced from a particular dharma, of the essence of the Predicables, Substance, Attribute, Action, Genus, Species and Combination, by means of their resemblances and differences.— Vaiśeṣika Sūtra 1.1.1-1.1.4, 
The Vaiśeṣika school is related to the Nyāya school but features differences in its epistemology, metaphysics and ontology. The epistemology of the Vaiśeṣika school, like Buddhism, accepted only two means to knowledge as reliable – perception and inference. The Vaiśeṣika school and Buddhism both consider their respective scriptures as indisputable and valid means to knowledge, the difference being that the scriptures held to be a valid and reliable source by Vaiśeṣikas were the Vedas.
Vaiśeṣika metaphysical premises are founded on a form of atomism, that reality is composed of four substances (earth, water, air, and fire). Each of these four are of two types: atomic (paramāṇu) and composite. An atom is, according to Vaiśeṣika scholars, that which is indestructible (anitya), indivisible, and has a special kind of dimension, called “small” (aṇu). A composite, in this philosophy, is defined to be anything which is divisible into atoms. Whatever human beings perceive is composite, while atoms are invisible. The Vaiśeṣikas stated that size, form, truths and everything that human beings experience as a whole is a function of atoms, their number and their spatial arrangements, their guṇa (quality), karma (activity), sāmānya (commonness), viśeṣa (particularity) and amavāya (inherence, inseparable connectedness of everything).
The Nyāya school is a realist āstika philosophy. The school's most significant contributions to Indian philosophy were its systematic development of the theory of logic, methodology, and its treatises on epistemology. The foundational text of the Nyāya school is the Nyāya Sūtras of the first millennium BCE. The text is credited to Aksapada Gautama and its composition is variously dated between the sixth and second centuries BCE.
Nyāya epistemology accepts four out of six prāmaṇas as reliable means of gaining knowledge – pratyakṣa (perception), anumāṇa (inference), upamāṇa (comparison and analogy) and śabda (word, testimony of past or present reliable experts).
In its metaphysics, the Nyāya school is closer to the Vaiśeṣika school than the others. It holds that human suffering results from mistakes/defects produced by activity under wrong knowledge (notions and ignorance). Moksha (liberation), it states, is gained through right knowledge. This premise led Nyāya to concern itself with epistemology, that is, the reliable means to gain correct knowledge and to remove wrong notions. False knowledge is not merely ignorance to Naiyayikas; it includes delusion. Correct knowledge is discovering and overcoming one's delusions, and understanding the true nature of the soul, self and reality. The Nyāya Sūtras begin:
Perception, Inference, Comparison and Word – these are the means of right knowledge.
Perception is that knowledge which arises from the contact of a sense with its object and which is determinate, unnameable and non-erratic.
Inference is knowledge which is preceded by perception, and is of three kinds: a priori, a posteriori, and commonly seen.
Comparison is the knowledge of a thing through its similarity to another thing previously well known.
Word is the instructive assertion of a reliable person.
It [knowledge] is of two kinds: that which is seen, and that which is not seen.
Soul, body, senses, objects of senses, intellect, mind, activity, fault, transmigration, fruit, suffering and release – are the objects of right knowledge.— Nyāya Sūtras 1.1.3-1.1.9, 
The Mīmāṃsā school emphasized hermeneutics and exegesis. It is a form of philosophical realism. Key texts of the Mīmāṃsā school are the Purva Mimamsa Sutras of Jaimini. The classical Mīmāṃsā school is sometimes referred to as pūrvamīmāṃsā or Karmamīmāṃsā in reference to the first part of the Vedas.
The Mīmāṃsā school has several sub-schools defined by epistemology. The Prābhākara subschool of Mīmāṃsā accepted five means to gaining knowledge as epistimetically reliable: pratyakṣa (perception), anumāṇa (inference), upamāṇa (comparison and analogy), arthāpatti (postulation, derivation from circumstances), and śabda (word, testimony of past or present reliable experts). The Kumārila Bhaṭṭa sub-school of Mīmāṃsā added a sixth way of knowing to its canon of reliable epistemology: anupalabdi (non-perception, negative/cognitive proof).
The metaphysics of the Mīmāṃsā school consists of both atheistic and theistic doctrines, and the school showed little interest in systematic examination of the existence of God. Rather, it held that the soul is an eternal, omnipresent, inherently active spiritual essence, then focussed on the epistemology and metaphysics of dharma. To them, dharma meant rituals and duties, not devas (gods), because devas existed only in name. The Mīmāṃsākas held that the Vedas are "eternal authorless infallible", that Vedic vidhi (injunctions) and mantras in rituals are prescriptive karya (actions), and that the rituals are of primary importance and merit. They considered the Upanishads and other texts related to self-knowledge and spirituality to be of secondary importance, a philosophical view that the Vedanta school disagreed with.
Mīmāṃsā gave rise to the study of philology and the philosophy of language. While their deep analysis of language and linguistics influenced other schools, their views were not shared by others. Mīmāṃsākas considered the purpose and power of language was to clearly prescribe the proper, correct and right. In contrast, Vedantins extended the scope and value of language as a tool to also describe, develop and derive. Mīmāṃsākas considered orderly, law-driven, procedural life as the central purpose and noblest necessity of dharma and society, and divine (theistic) sustenance means to that end. The Mimamsa school was influential and foundational to the Vedanta school, with the difference that Mīmāṃsā developed and emphasized karmakāṇḍa (the portion of the śruti which relates to ceremonial acts and sacrificial rites, the early parts of the Vedas), while the Vedanta school developed and emphasized jñānakāṇḍa (the portion of the Vedas which relates to knowledge of monism, the latter parts of the Vedas).
The Vedānta school built upon the teachings of the Upanishads and Brahma Sutras from the first millennium BCE and is the most developed and best-known of the Hindu schools. The epistemology of the Vedantins included, depending on the sub-school, five or six methods as proper and reliable means of gaining any form of knowledge: pratyakṣa (perception), anumāṇa (inference), upamāṇa (comparison and analogy), arthāpatti (postulation, derivation from circumstances), anupalabdi (non-perception, negative/cognitive proof) and śabda (word, testimony of past or present reliable experts). All of these have been further categorized by each sub-school of Vedanta in terms of conditionality, completeness, confidence and possibility of error.
The emergence of Vedanta school represented a period when a more knowledge-centered understanding began to emerge. These focussed on jnana (knowledge) driven aspects of the Vedic religion and the Upanishads. This included metaphysical concepts such as ātman and Brahman, and an emphasis on meditation, self-discipline, self-knowledge and abstract spirituality, rather than ritualism. The Upanishads were variously interpreted by ancient- and medieval-era Vedanta scholars. Consequently, the Vedanta separated into many sub-schools, ranging from theistic dualism to non-theistic monism, each interpreting the texts in its own way and producing its own series of sub-commentaries.
Advaita literally means "not two, sole, unity". It is a sub-school of Vedanta, and asserts spiritual and universal non-dualism. Its metaphysics is a form of absolute monism, that is all ultimate reality is interconnected oneness. This is the oldest and most widely acknowledged Vedantic school. The foundational texts of this school are the Brahma Sutras and the early Upanishads from the 1st millennium BCE. Its first great consolidator was the 8th century scholar Adi Shankara, who continued the line of thought of the Upanishadic teachers, and that of his teacher's teacher Gaudapada. He wrote extensive commentaries on the major Vedantic scriptures and is celebrated as one of the major Hindu philosophers from whose doctrines the main currents of modern Indian thought are derived.
According to this school of Vedanta, all reality is Brahman, and there exists nothing whatsoever which is not Brahman. Its metaphysics includes the concept of māyā and ātman. Māyā connotes "that which exists, but is constantly changing and thus is spiritually unreal". The empirical reality is considered as always changing and therefore "transitory, incomplete, misleading and not what it appears to be". The concept of ātman is of soul, self within each person, each living being. Advaita Vedantins assert that ātman is same as Brahman, and this Brahman is within each human being and all life, all living beings are spiritually interconnected, and there is oneness in all of existence. They hold that dualities and misunderstanding of māyā as the spiritual reality that matters is caused by ignorance, and are the cause of sorrow, suffering. Jīvanmukti (liberation during life) can be achieved through Self-knowledge, the understanding that ātman within is same as ātman in another person and all of Brahman – the eternal, unchanging, entirety of cosmic principles and true reality.
Ramanuja (c. 1037–1137) was the foremost proponent of the philosophy of Viśiṣṭādvaita or qualified non-dualism. Viśiṣṭādvaita advocated the concept of a Supreme Being with essential qualities or attributes. Viśiṣṭādvaitins argued against the Advaitin conception of Brahman as an impersonal empty oneness. They saw Brahman as an eternal oneness, but also as the source of all creation, which was omnipresent and actively involved in existence. To them the sense of subject-object perception was illusory and a sign of ignorance. However, the individual's sense of self was not a complete illusion since it was derived from the universal beingness that is Brahman. Ramanuja saw Vishnu as a personification of Brahman.
Dvaita refers to a theistic sub-school in Vedanta tradition of Hindu philosophy. Also called as Tattvavāda and Bimbapratibimbavāda, the Dvaita sub-school was founded by the 13th-century scholar Madhvacharya. The Dvaita Vedanta school believes that God (Vishnu, supreme soul) and the individual souls (jīvātman) exist as independent realities, and these are distinct.
Dvaita Vedanta is a dualistic interpretation of the Vedas, espouses dualism by theorizing the existence of two separate realities. The first and the only independent reality, states the Dvaita school, is that of Vishnu or Brahman. Vishnu is the supreme Self, in a manner similar to monotheistic God in other major religions. The distinguishing factor of Dvaita philosophy, as opposed to monistic Advaita Vedanta, is that God takes on a personal role and is seen as a real eternal entity that governs and controls the universe. Like Vishishtadvaita Vedanta subschool, Dvaita philosophy also embraced Vaishnavism, with the metaphysical concept of Brahman in the Vedas identified with Vishnu and the one and only Supreme Being. However, unlike Vishishtadvaita which envisions ultimate qualified nondualism, the dualism of Dvaita was permanent.
Dvaitādvaita was proposed by Nimbarka, a 13th-century Vaishnava Philosopher from the Andhra region. According to this philosophy there are three categories of existence: Brahman, soul, and matter. Soul and matter are different from Brahman in that they have attributes and capacities different from Brahman. Brahman exists independently, while soul and matter are dependent. Thus soul and matter have an existence that is separate yet dependent. Further, Brahman is a controller, the soul is the enjoyer, and matter the thing enjoyed. Also, the highest object of worship is Krishna and his consort Radha, attended by thousands of gopis; of the Vrindavan; and devotion consists in self-surrender.
Śuddhādvaita is the "purely non-dual" philosophy propounded by Vallabha Acharya (1479–1531). The founding philosopher was also the guru of the Vallabhā sampradāya ("tradition of Vallabh") or Puṣṭimārga, a Vaishnava tradition focused on the worship of Krishna. Vallabhacharya enunciates that Brahman has created the world without connection with any external agency such as Māyā (which itself is His power) and manifests Himself through the world. That is why Shuddhadvaita is known as ‘Unmodified transformation’ or ‘Avikṛta Pariṇāmavāda’. Brahman or Ishvara desired to become many, and he became the multitude of individual souls and the world. The Jagat or Maya is not false or illusionary, the physical material world is. Vallabha recognises Brahman as the whole and the individual as a ‘part’ (but devoid of bliss) like sparks and fire.
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (1486–1534), stated that the soul or energy of God is both distinct and non-distinct from God, whom he identified as Krishna, Govinda, and that this, although unthinkable, may be experienced through a process of loving devotion (bhakti). He followed the Dvaita concept of Madhvacharya. This philosophy of "inconceivable oneness and difference".
The Cārvāka school is one of the nāstika or "heterodox" philosophies . It rejects supernaturalism, emphasizes materialism and philosophical skepticism, holding empiricism, perception and conditional inference as the proper source of knowledge Cārvāka is an atheistic school of thought. It holds that there is neither afterlife nor rebirth, all existence is mere combination of atoms and substances, feelings and mind are an epiphenomenon, and free will exists.
Bṛhaspati is sometimes referred to as the founder of Cārvāka (also called Lokayata) philosophy. Much of the primary literature of Carvaka, the Barhaspatya sutras (ca. 600 BCE), however, are missing or lost. Its theories and development has been compiled from historic secondary literature such as those found in the shastras, sutras and the Indian epic poetry as well as from the texts of Buddhism and from Jain literature.
One of the widely studied principles of Cārvāka philosophy was its rejection of inference as a means to establish valid, universal knowledge, and metaphysical truths. In other words, the Cārvāka epistemology states that whenever one infers a truth from a set of observations or truths, one must acknowledge doubt; inferred knowledge is conditional.
Early history of Shaivism is difficult to determine. However, the Śvetāśvatara Upanishad (400 – 200 BCE) is considered to be the earliest textual exposition of a systematic philosophy of Shaivism. Shaivism is represented by various philosophical schools, including non-dualist (abheda), dualist (bheda), and non-dualist-with-dualist (bhedābheda) perspectives. Vidyaranya in his works mentions three major schools of Shaiva thought—Pashupata Shaivism, Shaiva Siddhanta and Pratyabhijña (Kashmir Shaivism).
Pāśupata Shaivism (Pāśupata, "of Paśupati") is the oldest of the major Shaiva schools. The philosophy of Pashupata sect was systematized by Lakulish in the 2nd century CE. Paśu in Paśupati refers to the effect (or created world), the word designates that which is dependent on something ulterior. Whereas, Pati means the cause (or principium), the word designates the Lord, who is the cause of the universe, the pati, or the ruler. Pashupatas disapproved of Vaishnava theology, known for its doctrine servitude of souls to the Supreme Being, on the grounds that dependence upon anything could not be the means of cessation of pain and other desired ends. They recognised that those depending upon another and longing for independence will not be emancipated because they still depend upon something other than themselves. According to Pāśupatas, soul possesses the attributes of the Supreme Deity when it becomes liberated from the 'germ of every pain'.
Pāśupatas divided the created world into the insentient and the sentient. The insentient was the unconscious and thus dependent on the sentient or conscious. The insentient was further divided into effects and causes. The effects were of ten kinds, the earth, four elements and their qualities, colour etc. The causes were of thirteen kinds, the five organs of cognition, the five organs of action, the three internal organs, intellect, the ego principle and the cognising principle. These insentient causes were held responsible for the illusive identification of Self with non-Self. Salvation in Pāśupata involved the union of the soul with God through the intellect.
Considered normative Tantric Shaivism, Shaiva Siddhanta provides the normative rites, cosmology and theological categories of Tantric Shaivism. Being a dualistic philosophy, the goal of Shaiva Siddhanta is to become an ontologically distinct Shiva (through Shiva's grace). This tradition later merged with the Tamil Saiva movement and expression of concepts of Shaiva Siddhanta can be seen in the bhakti poetry of the Nayanars.
Kashmir Shaivism arose during the eighth or ninth century CE in Kashmir and made significant strides, both philosophical and theological, until the end of the twelfth century CE. It is categorised by various scholars as monistic idealism (absolute idealism, theistic monism, realistic idealism, transcendental physicalism or concrete monism). It is a school of Śaivism consisting of Trika and its philosophical articulation Pratyabhijña.
Even though, both Kashmir Shaivism and Advaita Vedanta are non-dual philosophies which give primacy to Universal Consciousness (Chit or Brahman), in Kashmir Shavisim, as opposed to Advaita, all things are a manifestation of this Consciousness. This implies that from the point of view of Kashmir Shavisim, the phenomenal world (Śakti) is real, and it exists and has its being in Consciousness (Chit). Whereas, Advaita holds that Brahman is inactive (niṣkriya) and the phenomenal world is an illusion (māyā). The objective of human life, according to Kashmir Shaivism, is to merge in Shiva or Universal Consciousness, or to realize one's already existing identity with Shiva, by means of wisdom, yoga and grace.
Ahaṃkāra (अहंकार) is a Sanskrit term that is related to the ego and egoism - that is, the identification or attachment of one's ego. The term "ahamkara" comes from an approximately 3,000-year-old Vedic philosophy, where Ahaṃ is the Self or "I" and kāra is "any created thing" or "to do". The term originated in Vedic philosophy over 3,000 years ago, and was later incorporated into Hindu philosophy, particularly Saṃkhyā philosophy.Ahamkara is one of the four parts of the antahkarana (inner organ) described in Hindu philosophy. The other three parts are Buddhi, Citta and Manas. In the Uttara Mimamsa or vedanta branch of Hindu philosophy, even though it is not discussed in great detail in the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna says to Arjun that ahamkara must be removed - in other words, it should be subordinated to the lord. The reason for this is that the Self is not (cannot be) present when one is in a state of ahamkara.
In Bhagavad Gita Lord Krishna says “ Air, water, earth, fire, sky, mind, intelligence and ahankaar (ego) together constitute the nature created by me.”Antahkarana
In Hindu philosophy, the antahkarana (Sanskrit: "the inner cause") refers to the totality of two levels of mind, namely the buddhi, the intellect or higher mind, and the manas, the middle levels of mind which (according to theosophy) exist as or include the mental body. Antahkarana has also been called the link between the middle and higher mind, the reincarnating part of the mind.
In Vedāntic literature, this antahkaraṇa (internal organ) is organised into four parts:
Ahamkāra (ego) – identifies the Atman (self) with the body as 'I'
Buddhi (intellect) – controls decision making
Manas (mind) – controls sankalpa (will or resolution)
Chitta (memory) – deals with remembering and forgettingAnother description says that "antahkarana" refers to the entire psychological process, including mind and emotions, are composing the mind levels, as described above, which are mentioned as a unit that functions with all parts working together as a whole. Furthermore, when considering that mind levels are bodies, they are: manomayakosha - related to manas - the part of mind related to five senses, and also craving for new and pleasant sensations and emotions, while buddhi (intellect, intelligence, capacity to reason), is related to vijnanamayakosha - the body of consciousness, knowledge, intuition and experience.
Antahkarana also refers to a symbol used in the Reiki healing method.Apauruṣeyā
Apaurusheya (Sanskrit: अपौरुषेय, apauruṣeya, lit. means "not of a man"), meaning "superhuman"., or "impersonal, authorless", is a context used to describe the Vedas, the earliest scripture in Hinduism.Apaurusheya shabda ("impersonal words, authorless") is an extension of apaurusheya which refers to the Vedas and numerous other texts in Hinduism.Apaurusheya is a central concept in the Vedanta and Mimamsa schools of Hindu philosophy. These schools accept the Vedas as svatah pramana ("self-evident means of knowledge"). The Mimamsa school asserts that since the Vedas are composed of words (shabda) and the words are composed of phonemes, the phonemes being eternal, the Vedas are also eternal. To this, if asked whether all words and sentences are eternal, the Mimamsa philosophers reply that the rules behind combination of phonemes are fixed and pre-determined for the Vedas, unlike other words and sentences. The Vedanta school also accepts this line of argument.Bhedabheda
Bhedābheda Vedānta is a subschool of Vedānta, which teaches that the individual self (jīvātman) is both different and not different from the ultimate reality known as Brahman.Hitā
Hitā (Sanskrit: हिता) means 'causeway' or 'dike'. In the Upanishads this word is used to mean 'subtle connections' or 'canals of subtle energies', or particular 'nerves' or 'veins'. The journey to the heart is said to be through seventy-two thousand subtle channels called Hitā; they are the beneficent active veins (filled with different types of serums).Kanada (philosopher)
Kanada (Sanskrit: कणाद, IAST: 'Kaṇāda), also known as Kashyapa, Uluka, Kananda and Kanabhuk, was an ancient Indian natural scientist and philosopher who founded the Vaisheshika school of Indian philosophy that also represents the earliest Indian physics.Estimated to have lived sometime between 6th century to 2nd century BCE, little is known about his life. His traditional name "Kanada" means "atom eater", and he is known for developing the foundations of an atomistic approach to physics and philosophy in the Sanskrit text Vaiśeṣika Sūtra. His text is also known as Kanada Sutras, or Aphorisms of Kanada.The school founded by Kanada attempted to explain the creation and existence of the universe by proposing an atomistic theory, applying logic and realism, and is among one of the earliest known systematic realist ontology in human history. Kanada suggested that everything can be subdivided, but this subdivision cannot go on forever, and there must be smallest entities (parmanu) that cannot be divided, that are eternal, that aggregate in different ways to yield complex substances and bodies with unique identity, a process that involves heat, and this is the basis for all material existence. He used these ideas with the concept of Atman (soul, Self) to develop a non-theistic means to moksha. If viewed from the prism of physics, his ideas imply a clear role for the observer as independent of the system being studied.
Kanada's ideas were influential on other schools of Hinduism, and over its history became closely associated with the Nyaya school of Hindu philosophy.Kanada's system speaks of six properties (padārthas) that are nameable and knowable. He claims that these are sufficient to describe everything in the universe, including observers. These six categories are dravya (substance), guna (quality), karman (motion), samanya (universal), visesa (particular), and samavaya (inherence). There are nine classes of substances (dravya), some of which are atomic, some non-atomic, and others that are all-pervasive.
The ideas of Kanada span a wide range of fields, and they influenced not only philosophy, but possibly scholars in other fields such as Charaka who wrote a medical text that has survived as Charaka Samhita.Kshama (Forgiveness)
Kshama (Sanskrit: क्षमा, kṣamā) is a Sanskrit word that relates to the acts of patience, releasing time and functioning in the now. Macdonell defines it as: "patience, forbearance, indulgence (towards...)". kshama word has a rich in meaning. It simply means forgiveness or forbearance. Kshama also indicates extreme patience and an more capacity to forget as also forgive.The concept of Kshama forms one of the Ten Traditional Yamas, or restraints, that are codified in numerous scriptures including the Shandilya and Varaha Upanishads and the Hatha Yoga Pradipika by Gorakshanatha.
It is sometimes used as a female given name.Pashupata Shaivism
Pashupata Shaivism (Pāśupata, Sanskrit: पाशुपत) is the oldest of the major Shaivite Hindu schools. There is a debate about pioneership of this school and Goan school of Nakulish darshan believes that Nakulish was pioneer and Lakulish and Patanjalinath were his disciples while Gujrat school believes that Nakulish and Lakulish are one. Sarwdarshansangrah written by Madhavachary mentiones it as "Nakulish Darshan" not as "Lakulish Darshan". Both sub schools are still active in their own areas. The philosophy of the Pashupata sect was systematized by Lakulīśa also called Nakulīśa) in the 2nd century A.D. The main texts of the school are Pāśupatasūtra with Kauṇḍinya's Pañcārthabhāṣya, and Gaṇakārikā with Bhāsarvajña's Ratnaṭīkā. Both texts were discovered only in the twentieth century. Prior to that, the major source of information on this sect was a chapter devoted to it in Vidyāraṇya's Sarvadarśanasaṅgraha.Sadananda (of Vedantasara)
Sadananda Yogendra Saraswati, the exponent of the Advaita Vedanta as taught by Adi Shankara and the renowned author of Vedantasara which is one of the best known Prakarana Granthas (text-books) of the philosophy of the Upanishads, was the son of Anantadeva, and probably lived in mid-15th century A.D. He is also reputed to have written - Vedantasiddhanta-sarasangraha, Bhavaprakasa on Bhagavad Gita and Brahmasutra-tatpryaprakasa – which are works of equal repute and importance. Not much is known about the life of this acharya. Hiriyanna states that Sadananda of Vedantasara is different from the Sadananda of Advaitbrahmansiddhi the text that was published by the Asiatic Society of Bengal.In his works Sadananda stresses the liberated being’s freedom from bondage, detachment from the body, and constant goodness, although being beyond virtue. The liberated being after having lived out his prarabdha karma merges with Brahman.Advayananda was the Guru of Sadananda.Samatva (Equanimity)
Samatva (Sanskrit: समत्व, also rendered samatvam or samata) is the Hindu concept of equanimity. Its root is sama (सम) meaning – equal or even.Sāmya - meaning equal consideration towards all human beings - is a variant of the word.Samkhya Pravachana Sutra
The Samkhya Pravachana Sutra (Sanskrit: सांख्यप्रवचन सूत्र Sāṁkhyapravacanasūtra) is a collection of major Sanskrit texts of the Samkhya school of Hindu philosophy. It includes the ancient Samkhya Sutra of Kapila, Samkhya karika of Ishvarakrishna, Samkhya Sutra Vritti of Aniruddha, the Bhasya (commentary) of Vijnana Bhikshu, the Vrittisara of Vedantin Mahadeva, Tattva Samasa and commentary of Narendra, and works of Gaudapada, Vachaspati Mishra, and Panchashikha.The text provides foundational doctrines of one of the influential schools of Hindu philosophy, such as "nothing can come out of nothing, and nothing can altogether vanish out of existence" in its doctrine of Sat-Karya-Siddhanta, a debate on the two theories for the origin of the world - the creationists (Abhava Utpatti) and the evolutionists (Vivarta, changing from one state to another), the doctrine of Parinama (transformation), among others.
Samkhya Pravachana Sutra is also known as Samkhya Sutra.Shiva Advaita
Shiva Advaita (Devanagari:शिवाद्वैत, Kannada: ಶಿವಾದ್ವೈತ, Śivādvaita), also called as Śiva Viśiṣṭādvaita or Shaivite qualified nondualism is a Shaivite school of philosophy from Southern India, follow mostly by VeerashaivasSiddha Siddhanta
Siddha Siddhanta is one of the six main Shaivite philosophical traditions. It is also known as Gorakshanatha Saivism after its founding Guru Gorakhnath.Titiksha (Forbearance)
Titiksha or titikșā (Sanskrit: तितिक्षा 'forbearance') is defined by the Uddhava Gita as the "patient endurance of suffering." In Vedanta philosophy it is the bearing with indifference all opposites such as pleasure and pain, heat and cold, expectation of reward and punishment, accruement or gain and loss, vanity and envy, resentment and deprecation, fame and obscurity, lavishness and obeisance, pride and egotism, virtue-respect and vice-respect, birth and death, happiness, safety, comfort, restlessness and boredom, affection and bereavement or infatuation, attachment and desire etc. Being entirely responsible for encouragement and/or reproach for ones own personal behavior, past behavior, frame of mind and esteem. It is one of the six qualities, devotions, jewels or divine bounties beginning with Sama, the repression, alleviating or release of the inward sense called Manas. Another quality is Dama, the renunciation of behaviors or utilizing self-control with moderation, with correct discrimination and without aversion.Shankara defines Titiksha in the following words:
सहनं सर्वदुःखानामऽप्रतिकारपूर्वकम् |
चिन्ताविलापरहितं सा तितिक्षा निगद्यते ||"Endurance of all afflictions without countering aids, and without anxiety or lament is said to be titiksha." (Vivekachudamani 25)By speaking of titiksha as endurance without anxiety or lament and without external aids, Shankara refers to such titiksha as the means to inquiry into Brahman, for a mind which is subject to anxiety and lament is unfit for conducting this kind of inquiry. Vivekananda explains that forbearance of all misery, without even a thought of resisting or driving it out, without even any painful feeling in the mind, or any remorse is titiksha.The practice of Yoga makes a person inwardly even-minded and cheerful. The very act of calming emotional reactions develops a better ability to influence outer circumstances, therefore, titiksha does not make one apathetic or dull; it is the first step to interiorizing the mind, and to bringing its reactions under control. The important way of practicing titiksha is to watch the breath (parahara) which practice leads to the practice of meditation proper. Prakrti (matter or nature) shows the way to titiksha, the creative principle of life – just as inertia is a property of matter.Uparati (Cessation)
Uparati, is a Sanskrit word and it literally means "cessation, quietism, stopping worldly action". It is an important concept in Advaita Vedanta pursuit of moksha and refers to the ability to achieve "dispassion", and "discontinuation of religious ceremonies".According to Adi Shankara Uparati or Uparama is the strict observance of one’s own Dharma. Sama is the restraining of the outgoing mental propensities i.e. the curbing of the mind from all objects other than hearing etc., and Dama is the restraining of the external sense-organs from all objects other than that. Uparati is Pratyahara, the withdrawing of the Self (Vedantasara Slokas 18-20). These essentials along with Titiksha i.e. endurance of pairs of opposites, Samadhana i.e. constant concentration of the mind, Śraddhā i.e. faith in the truths of Vedanta, and Mumukshutva i.e. yearning for spiritual freedom, which are the six-fold inner-wealth prepare one eager for liberation to gain the knowledge of Brahman. Effort is involved in inculcating Sama and Dama but the exercise of Uparati requires no efforts. In the state of Uparati, which is total renunciation of actions i.e. enjoined duties, one discovers an inner poise, silence or joy. The mind which is conditioned to fulfil duties is not free to pursue knowledge. It is through renunciation that a few seekers have attained immortality – not through rituals, progeny or wealth – "na karmana na prajya dhanena tyagenaike amrtatvamamasuh" – Kaivalya Upanishad, 3. Immortality is the state when becoming and being are one.Whereas the fruit of Vairagya is Bodha i.e. spiritual wisdom, the fruit of Bodha is Uparati. The best Uparati (self-withdrawal) is that condition of the thought waves in which they are free from influences of external objects (Vivekachudamani Slokas 23). Uparati is the abstaining on principle from engaging in any acts and ceremonies enjoined by the Shastras; otherwise, it is the state of the mind which is always engaged in Sravana and the rest, without ever diverging from them.Vairagya (Dispassion)
Vairāgya (वैराग्य) is a Sanskrit term used in Hindu philosophy that roughly translates as dispassion, detachment, or renunciation, in particular renunciation from the pains and pleasures in the temporary material world. The Hindu philosophers who advocated vairāgya told their followers that it is a means to achieve moksha.
True vairāgya refers to an internal state of mind rather than to external lifestyle and can be practiced equally well by one engaged in family life and career as it can be by a renunciate. Vairāgya does not mean suppression of or developing repulsion for material objects. By the application of vivek (spiritual discrimination or discernment) to life experience, the aspirant gradually develops a strong attraction for the inner spiritual source of fulfillment and happiness and limited attachments fall away naturally. Balance is maintained between the inner spiritual state and one's external life through the practice of seeing all limited entities as expressions of the one Cosmic Consciousness or Brahman.Vaisheshika
Vaisheshika or Vaiśeṣika (Sanskrit: वैशेषिक) is one of the six orthodox schools of Hindu philosophy (Vedic systems) from ancient India. In its early stages, the Vaiśeṣika was an independent philosophy with its own metaphysics, epistemology, logic, ethics, and soteriology. Over time, the Vaiśeṣika system became similar in its philosophical procedures, ethical conclusions and soteriology to the Nyāya school of Hinduism, but retained its difference in epistemology and metaphysics.
The epistemology of Vaiśeṣika school of Hinduism, like Buddhism, accepted only two reliable means to knowledge: perception and inference. Vaiśeṣika school and Buddhism both consider their respective scriptures as indisputable and valid means to knowledge, the difference being that the scriptures held to be a valid and reliable source by Vaiśeṣikas were the Vedas.
Vaisheshika school is known for its insights in naturalism. It is a form of atomism in natural philosophy. It postulated that all objects in the physical universe are reducible to paramāṇu (atoms), and one's experiences are derived from the interplay of substance (a function of atoms, their number and their spatial arrangements), quality, activity, commonness, particularity and inherence. Everything was composed of atoms, qualities emerged from aggregates of atoms, but the aggregation and nature of these atoms was predetermined by cosmic forces. Ajivika metaphysics included a theory of atoms which was later adapted in Vaiśeṣika school.According to Vaiśeṣika school, knowledge and liberation were achievable by a complete understanding of the world of experience..
Vaiśeṣika darshana was founded by Kaṇāda Kashyapa around the 6th to 2nd century BC.Viveka (Discrimination)
Viveka (Sanskrit: विवेक, translit. viveka) is a Sanskrit and Pali term translated into English as discernment or discrimination. According to Rao and Paranjpe, viveka can be explained more fully as:
Sense of discrimination; wisdom; discrimination between the real and the unreal, between the self and the non-self, between the permanent and the impermanent; discriminative inquiry; right intuitive discrimination; ever present discrimination between the transient and the permanent.
The Vivekachudamani is an eighth-century Sanskrit poem in dialogue form that addresses the development of viveka.
Viveka is the basis of the monastic name of Swami Vivekananda, the first Hindu spiritual teacher to journey to the west.Ānanda (Hindu philosophy)
Ānanda (Sanskrit: आनन्द) literally means bliss or happiness. In the Hindu Vedas, Upanishads and Bhagavad gita, ānanda signifies eternal bliss which accompanies the ending of the rebirth cycle. Those who renounce the fruits of their actions and submit themselves completely to the divine will, arrive at the final termination of the cyclical life process (saṃsāra) to enjoy eternal bliss (ānanda) in perfect union with the godhead. The tradition of seeking union with God through passionate commitment is referred to as bhakti, or devotion.
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