A Journey into the
Pathways of Philosophy
Dr. N C Ramanujachary
AND BRAHMANICAL SYSTEMS
as ultimate of human development and progression)
The systems of philosophy
are available as ‘aphorisms’, they can be understood only with the
assistance of commentaries that are elaborate, confusing, sometimes
contradictory, combating with commonsense to that extent the main import
of the texts is lost sight of.
6 systems are again studied in twins of three sets. Samkhya&Yoga,
Nyaya & Vaiseshika and
Mimamsa& Vedanta. Kapila, Patanjali, Gautama, Kanada, Jaimini
and Badarayana Vyasa are indicated as the progenitors of these systems
and Yoga systems speak about the hierarchy of the Principles (Tattwas)
that proceed from the effects of Purusha on Prakriti and support the
experiences of dream and waking consciousness. Nyaya and Vaiseshika
systems speak of cosmology and Logic. They treat the data of waking
consciousness from the point of view of waking consciousness itself.
Mimamsa and Vedanta speak of the fourth state of consciousness (Turiya)
and the transcendental non-dual Principle, Brahman. Mimamsa indicates deep
thought, consideration, reflection and exposition. Poorva mimamsa is the
ritualistic part while the Uttara-later- Mimamsa is Contemplation upon
Brahman. The other and popular name for the second is Vedanta, normally
understood as the end of Wisdom but strictly analyzed means the inner core
or the esoteric wisdom as such.
of the systems is studied and elaborated in greater detail by the later
scholars. Vachaspati Mishra (841 AD) did a coordinated study of Samkhya,
Yoga, Mimamsa and Nyaya; while Udayana
in the 10th Century made similar studies upon Nyaya and
Siddhanta Samgraha and Sarvadarsana Samgraha are later presentations
epitomizing all the systems and teachers.
to far later periods of time, we have Gauranga who worked on the Bhakti
systems, Sri Ramakrishna who combined Bhakti-Jnana and Karma, Sri Ramana
who suggested the Inquiry as to ‘who am I?’, Sri Aurobindo who talked
of Integral yoga, H P Blavatsky’s thought on ‘Esoteric Philosophy and
the outer expressions in Universal brotherhood of humanity’, J
Krishnamurti on the mission of making man ‘absolutely and
unconditionally free.’ New Age has brought in many outpourings of
philosophic expressions. But we see the East-West divide in most of them
while Blavatskian thought and that of
J Krishnamurti have a common appeal to the Universality.
the context of Indian Philosophy, we have many names and concepts and yet
the central stress or focus of all of them happens to be the same. All
paths lead to the same goal, and each individual has to find out for
him/herself that which appeals to him/her most. Bhakti (Love and
Devotion), Jnana (Wisdom and Understanding), Karma (Service to humanity,
the sub-human groups included) are 3 distinct paths and yet all the three
are One. This approach has gained good ground.
are certain other prominent characteristics that are developing currently:
Concept of Divinity in relation to Humanity must be
There can be no Anthropomorphism or Deification.
Transfer of Person to Precept, Behavior to Belief and
Performance to Promise.
with the universal Soul in a Mystic manner.
Begin with understanding the Unseen, fuse it with the seen
which is invariably the projection of the Unseen.
Return to the Ritual. Search into the Sacredness.
Occultism and Mysticism getting fused for the ultimate
benefit of Humanity.
Philosophy is a subject of
disgust and vexation to some for the simple reason that it consists of
Khandana Mandana, too much argumentation, logic, deductions and
inductions. It does not provide ready made answers to the problems of life
but one has to labor to obtain them. Philosophy, in fact, wants each
person finds his/her own solutions for the problems, arrives at
conclusions however temporary they are. Data available is to be considered
as 'hypothesis' or 'postulate.'
schools take Vedas and Vedic knowledge as the basis/ starting point of
philosophic thought. There are also schools rejecting the Vedic standards.
(Pramaana)eg. Charvaka, Buddhism and Jainism. Schools not altogether
rejecting Veda Pramana are divided into 2 classes. 1. Schools directly
connected and correlated to Vedic theories. And 2. Schools based on
independent thinking e.g. Samkhya, Yoga, Nyaya and Vaiseshika.
system has no god in the beginning. It was a later introduction. Thus we
have 2 schools of samkhya, namely Sa-Ishwara and Nirishwara samkhya.
of God is a basic/preliminary topic of study in any system. We may now
look into how this topic had developed into different branches of
existence or otherwise of god has come to be a debatable point, no two
points converging into one. He is described as One without the Second (adwiteeya)
while some ignore his reference altogether. Philosophy did not need his
presence for its substantiation but the Religion is too often woven round
him. Indian system of philosophy, the principal thought of the Land,
Adwaita school, has no God in a name and form. Samkhya as we said had no
god, but it was Yoga sutras again that introduced the concept of god. they
named him and also indicated that he provides the medium for persons to
reach him back. The yoga texts contain and carry many Buddhist terms in
is a Principle (Tatwa) for some while he is an Entity (Person) for some.
He is Abstract and Concrete too. Para-brahman or Param-atma are terms
indicative of him but in the other thought he cannot be
'anthropomorphized.' He creates, designs, superintends, guides, oversees,
sustains and progresses/advances the manifestation, including the Man.
certain 'duties and responsibilities' are assigned to God by the human
thought, a sort of reciprocal attitude or Barter system has begun to
sprout. 'Commercialization' of spiritual factors/focus has begun.
Degradation and degeneration of human thought as such has begun with this.
idea of god is not an innate but an acquired notion.
-- The god of the theologians is simply an imaginary power, a power
which has never yet manifested itself. Our chief aim is to deliver
humanity of this nightmare, to teach man virtue for its own sake, and to
walk in life relying on himself instead of leaning on a theological
crutch, that for countless ages was the direct cause of nearly all human
misery.' Wrote a master of the wisdom.
desires to be prosperous, would like to continue in that state of
prosperity all the time and thus invented the idea of 'Immortality.' This
can be a section of thought. With this thought, his relationship with
everything around changes and the forts of selfishness and
self-centeredness get built. Evil makes a beginning this way. Again,
according to the same master of the wisdom, ' Evil has no existence per se
and is but the absence of good and exists for him who is made its victim.
It proceeds from two causes, and no more than good is it an independent
cause in nature. Nature is destitute of goodness or malice; she follows
only immutable laws when she either gives life and joy; or sends suffering
(and) death, and destroys what she has created. Nature has an antidote for
every poison and her laws a reward for every suffering. ---- The real evil
proceeds from human intelligence and its origin rests entirely with
reasoning man who dissociates himself with nature. Humanity, then, alone
is the true source of evil.' Ethics,
social conduct/contract and collective good are omnipotence, omniscience
and omnipresence. Psychological realms have way to the awakening faculty
"Buddhi" and ultimately make one a part of the whole, the
nature. One who is apart, comes to be 'a part.' Unity/ togetherness/
Oneness of everything in manifestation is the fundamental law in Nature.
In the Indian concepts and theories this is mentioned as
"Dharma", literally meaning 'holding all together.'
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