A Journey into the Pathways of Philosophy

By Dr. N C Ramanujachary

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(including the radical and reformatory systems)

Though we say ‘Orient’ we shall confine to the Indian system of thinking at the present.

In India a term ‘Brahman’ is coined to indicate the final or ultimate status of being. Sometimes, when the term Brahman is considered pale or inadequate a superlative “Parabrahman” is employed and this term means the ‘ultimate’ or transcendental Brahman or being. The philosophical; system weaved around this Brahman  has come to be called the ‘brahmanical’ system, and in the process of time the follower/propagator of the system came to be termed the ‘brahman.’ or ‘brahmin.’ Much water has flown under the bridges over ages, the usage of these terms has come to be not regarded in their pristine purity, but in various corrupt/distorted forms. We shall not go into the reasons of al that. Suffice to know that these have contributed to the gradual (spiritual) degeneration of India . Contemplation, meditative reflection and similar processes always collect wisdom. When men forgot these canons and did not give attention sufficient to this discipline, the awareness of wisdom slowly got shadowed or eclipsed to the extent that it appeared to be not available at all at any time.

Brahman is the Ultimate and the Original source of everything to start with. Then came theories of Trimurtis, their consorts, Prajapatis, Indra, Brahma manasa putras etc.  when Krishna came on the scene he reinterpreted everything very differently and radically.

The Brahmanical thought had frequent influences of the Jain and Buddhist texts too, and ultimately it appears a new system of thought emerged. This is clearly visible when we examine the chronological developments and compilation of texts.  Though the dates of events are all the time debatable and full of controversies, we must remember that the Brahmanical texts have   appeared, not all at one time, but were recollected, constructed by sages from their Akashic hearing, that too by different agencies.

Gautama Buddha taught what we may call the “ultimate mystical knowledge”, including knowledge of Divine Source, but was obliged to adapt his teaching to the receptivity and the needs of his followers (most of whom came from the relatively uneducated cases). And he understood their first need to be for the instilling, not of ‘’facts’’ or theories, but of a moral way of life and fruitful practices of self-discipline, without dependence on rituals or other conventional expressions of  devotion. (Whiteman)

The history of creation  and of this  world’ is a grand panorama of the ‘ever periodically recurring law.’ This law  is impressed on the plastic minds of the first races endowed with consciousness. They reflected the same Law from the Universal Mind. This history of the creation of the world is not taught in any of the 6 Indian schools of philosophy, for it pertains to their synthesis, the seventh, which is the Occult Doctrine.

Vedanta( the last word of human knowledge), also the Inner core of Wisdom or the concealed arena of Wisdom, gives out only the metaphysical aspect of this world, Cosmogony. Upanishads now require the additional possession of a master-key, to enable the student to get at the full meanings.

Upanishad technically means the conquest of ignorance by the revelation of secret, spiritual knowledge or ‘the esoteric doctrine.’

The Vedas is technically the Wisdom per se and they have a dual meaning: 1. the literal meaning of the words, 2. that sense indicated by the svara (Intonation) and the meter (Chandas). According to Swami T Subba Row, the mysterious connection between swara and light (Swara and Tejas) is one of its most profound secrets.

Upanishads treat of and expound the secret and mystic meaning of the Vedic texts. The speak of 1. the origin of the Universe. 2. the nature of Diety and 3. the metaphysical connection of Mind and Matter. They contain the beginning and the end of al human knowledge, they ceased to reveal it, since the days of Buddha. 

‘Last word of the mystery of Being’ is detached from the manuscripts. The key to the Brahmanical secret code remained henceforth with the Initiates alone

Esoteric philosophy impresses upon our thoughts the three distinct aspects such as:

1.      the pre-existing

2.      the evolving from the Ever-existing   and

3.      the phenomenal

( In other words, the worlds of Illusion, reflection and the shadow.)

during the great mystery and the drama of life, known as Manvantara) real Kosmos is like the objects placed behind the white screen upon which shadows are shown. The actual figures and things remain invisible, while unseen hands pull the wires of evolution. 

Esoteric philosophy passes over the necessity of this purely metaphysical conception, and calls the first one, only the Ever-Existing. This is the view of every one of the six great schools of Indian philosophy – the six principles of that unit body of Wisdom of which the Gnosis, the hidden knowledge is the Seventh

The six systems of Indian Philosophy clearly exhibit a sequential and derivative development of human thought. A single orthodox tradition is built on these six systems.

They are complementary projections of the One Truth on various planes of Nature and Consciousness.  Ekam Sat: Viprah Bahudha Vadanti (Truth is one, learned speak of it in many terms) is the Ancient saying. Perceptions of various persons as to the meaning and purpose of the existence of a Tree or the viewing of several blind men of an Elephant could be a modern illustration of the saying.  





Purusha & Prakriti




Nature and forms of yoga; God is named and a process to reach him indicated.



Nyaya sutras of Gautama

Theories of knowledge, physical world, individual and his liberation, God



Vaiseshika sutras of Kanada

Liberation of the Individual self; seven categories of reality: dravya, Guna,karma, samanya,visesha,samavaya and abhava



Jaimini sastra

Meanings of rituals/ceremonies. Substantiation of rituals by philosophic thought.


Badarayana Vyasa

Brahma sutras

Creative stage, Systemization stage,Commentorial stage. Ultimate stage is Self-realization.


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