Indian philosophy

Indian philosophy

Overview
India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 has a rich and diverse philosophical tradition dating back to ancient times. According to Radhakrishnan, the earlier Upanisads constitute "...the earliest philosophical compositions of the world."

Traditionally, schools (Skt
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

: Darshanas) of Indian philosophy are identified as orthodox (Skt
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

: astika) or non-orthodox (Skt: nastika) depending on whether they regard the Veda as an infallible source of knowledge.
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India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 has a rich and diverse philosophical tradition dating back to ancient times. According to Radhakrishnan, the earlier Upanisads constitute "...the earliest philosophical compositions of the world."

Traditionally, schools (Skt
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

: Darshanas) of Indian philosophy are identified as orthodox (Skt
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

: astika) or non-orthodox (Skt: nastika) depending on whether they regard the Veda as an infallible source of knowledge. There are six schools of orthodox Hindu philosophy
Hindu philosophy
Hindu philosophy is divided into six schools of thought, or , which accept the Vedas as supreme revealed scriptures. Three other schools do not accept the Vedas as authoritative...

 and three heterodox schools. The orthodox are Nyaya
Nyaya
' is the name given to one of the six orthodox or astika schools of Hindu philosophy—specifically the school of logic...

, Vaisesika, Samkhya
Samkhya
Samkhya, also Sankhya, Sāṃkhya, or Sāṅkhya is one of the six schools of Hindu philosophy and classical Indian philosophy. Sage Kapila is traditionally considered as the founder of the Samkhya school, although no historical verification is possible...

, Yoga
Yoga
Yoga is a physical, mental, and spiritual discipline, originating in ancient India. The goal of yoga, or of the person practicing yoga, is the attainment of a state of perfect spiritual insight and tranquility while meditating on Supersoul...

, Purva mimamsa and Vedanta
Vedanta
Vedānta was originally a word used in Hindu philosophy as a synonym for that part of the Veda texts known also as the Upanishads. The name is a morphophonological form of Veda-anta = "Veda-end" = "the appendix to the Vedic hymns." It is also speculated that "Vedānta" means "the purpose or goal...

. The Heterodox are Jain
Jainism
Jainism is an Indian religion that prescribes a path of non-violence towards all living beings. Its philosophy and practice emphasize the necessity of self-effort to move the soul towards divine consciousness and liberation. Any soul that has conquered its own inner enemies and achieved the state...

, Buddhist
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

 and materialist (Cārvāka
Carvaka
' , also known as ', is a system of Indian philosophy that assumes various forms of philosophical skepticism and religious indifference. It seems named after , the probable author of the and probably a follower of Brihaspati, who founded the ' philosophy.In overviews of Indian philosophy, Cārvāka...

).

Despite their diversity of opinion all schools are united in their belief in a universal law and order (Dharma
Dharma
Dharma means Law or Natural Law and is a concept of central importance in Indian philosophy and religion. In the context of Hinduism, it refers to one's personal obligations, calling and duties, and a Hindu's dharma is affected by the person's age, caste, class, occupation, and gender...

 and Rta
Rta
In the Vedic religion, Ṛta is the principle of natural order which regulates and coordinates the operation of the universe and everything within it. In the hymns of the Vedas, Ṛta is described as that which is ultimately responsible for the proper functioning of the natural, moral and sacrificial...

) according to which human life must be lived for the well-being of the individual and society. Similarly, nearly all the schools are concerned with religious and metaphysical questions and express views on the precise nature of liberation
Moksha
Within Indian religions, moksha or mukti , literally "release" , is the liberation from samsara and the concomitant suffering involved in being subject to the cycle of repeated death and reincarnation or rebirth.-Origins:It is highly probable that the concept of moksha was first developed in...

 depending on the philosophical presuppositions of each school.

The main schools of Indian philosophy were formalized chiefly between 1000 BC to the early centuries AD. Subsequent centuries produced commentaries and reformulations continuing up to as late as the 20th century by Aurobindo and Prabhupada among others.

One of the characteristics of Indian philosophy is its plurality and inclusiveness. Philosophers from different schools can still have a rich and meaningful conversation agreeing on many points while differing on subtle points of difference.

Competition and integration between the various schools was intense during their formative years, especially between 800 BC to 200 AD. Some like the Jain, Buddhist, Shaiva and Advaita schools survived, while others like Samkhya
Samkhya
Samkhya, also Sankhya, Sāṃkhya, or Sāṅkhya is one of the six schools of Hindu philosophy and classical Indian philosophy. Sage Kapila is traditionally considered as the founder of the Samkhya school, although no historical verification is possible...

 and Ajivika
Ajivika
Ājīvika was an ancient philosophical and ascetic movement of the Mahajanapada period of the Indian subcontinent....

 did not, either being assimilated or going extinct. The Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

 term for "philosopher" is , one who is familiar with the systems of philosophy, or .

Common themes


The Indian thinkers of antiquity (very much like those of the post-Socratic Greek philosophical schools
Hellenistic philosophy
Hellenistic philosophy is the period of Western philosophy that was developed in the Hellenistic civilization following Aristotle and ending with the beginning of Neoplatonism.-Pythagoreanism:...

) viewed philosophy as a practical necessity that needed to be cultivated in order to understand how life can best be led. It became a custom for Indian writers to explain at the beginning of philosophical works how it serves human ends .

Brahmin thinkers centered philosophy on an assumption that there is a unitary underlying order (rta
Rta
In the Vedic religion, Ṛta is the principle of natural order which regulates and coordinates the operation of the universe and everything within it. In the hymns of the Vedas, Ṛta is described as that which is ultimately responsible for the proper functioning of the natural, moral and sacrificial...

) in the universe which is all pervasive and omniscient. The efforts by various schools were concentrated on explaining this order and the metaphysical entity at its source (Brahman
Brahman
In Hinduism, Brahman is the one supreme, universal Spirit that is the origin and support of the phenomenal universe. Brahman is sometimes referred to as the Absolute or Godhead which is the Divine Ground of all being...

). The concept of natural law (Dharma
Dharma
Dharma means Law or Natural Law and is a concept of central importance in Indian philosophy and religion. In the context of Hinduism, it refers to one's personal obligations, calling and duties, and a Hindu's dharma is affected by the person's age, caste, class, occupation, and gender...

) provided a basis for understanding questions of how life on earth should be lived. The sages urged humans to discern this order and to live their lives in accordance with it.

In modern times, the most important school of Hindu philosophy is vedanta, which is further divided into three ways of understanding the same truth as dvaita, visisthadvaita and advaita. While these concepts might seem different and sometimes contradictory, they represent the three stages of the development of the human consciousness.

Hindu philosophy


Many Hindu
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

 intellectual traditions were classified during the medieval period of Brahmanic-Sanskritic scholasticism into a standard list of six orthodox (astika
Nastika
Āstika exists") and Nāstika are technical terms in Hinduism used to classify philosophical schools and persons, according to whether they accept the authority of the Vedas as supreme revealed scriptures, or not, respectively...

) schools (darshanas), the "Six Philosophies" (), all of which cite Vedic
Vedas
The Vedas are a large body of texts originating in ancient India. Composed in Vedic Sanskrit, the texts constitute the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature and the oldest scriptures of Hinduism....

 authority as their source:
  • Nyaya
    Nyaya
    ' is the name given to one of the six orthodox or astika schools of Hindu philosophy—specifically the school of logic...

    , the school of logic
  • Vaisheshika
    Vaisheshika
    Vaisheshika or ' is one of the six Hindu schools of philosophy of India. Historically, it has been closely associated with the Hindu school of logic, Nyaya....

    , the atomist school
  • Samkhya
    Samkhya
    Samkhya, also Sankhya, Sāṃkhya, or Sāṅkhya is one of the six schools of Hindu philosophy and classical Indian philosophy. Sage Kapila is traditionally considered as the founder of the Samkhya school, although no historical verification is possible...

    , the enumeration school
  • Yoga
    Raja Yoga
    Rāja Yoga is concerned principally with the cultivation of the mind using meditation to further one's acquaintance with reality and finally achieve liberation.Raja yoga was first described in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, and is part of the Samkhya tradition.In the context of Hindu...

    , the school of Patanjali (which provisionally asserts the metaphysics of Samkhya)
  • Purva Mimamsa (or simply Mimamsa), the tradition of Vedic exegesis, with emphasis on Vedic ritual, and
  • Vedanta
    Vedanta
    Vedānta was originally a word used in Hindu philosophy as a synonym for that part of the Veda texts known also as the Upanishads. The name is a morphophonological form of Veda-anta = "Veda-end" = "the appendix to the Vedic hymns." It is also speculated that "Vedānta" means "the purpose or goal...

     (also called Uttara Mimamsa), the Upanishad
    Upanishad
    The Upanishads are philosophical texts considered to be an early source of Hindu religion. More than 200 are known, of which the first dozen or so, the oldest and most important, are variously referred to as the principal, main or old Upanishads...

    ic tradition, with emphasis on Vedic philosophy.


These are often coupled into three groups for both historical and conceptual reasons: Nyaya-Vaishesika, Samkhya-Yoga, and Mimamsa-Vedanta. The Vedanta school is further divided into six sub-schools: Advaita (monism
Monism
Monism is any philosophical view which holds that there is unity in a given field of inquiry. Accordingly, some philosophers may hold that the universe is one rather than dualistic or pluralistic...

/nondualism
Nondualism
Nondualism is a term used to denote affinity, or unity, rather than duality or separateness or multiplicity. In reference to the universe it may be used to denote the idea that things appear distinct while not being separate. The term "nondual" can refer to a belief, condition, theory, practice,...

), also includes the concept of Ajativada
Ajativada
The Sanskrit term Ajativada can be translated as "non-creation". Ajativada is one of several alternately-held creation theories in Advaita Vedanta philosophy. According to Advaita Vedanta, the world of appearances is considered an illusion, and not to "exist". The idea that the illusory world was...

, Visishtadvaita (monism of the qualified whole), Dvaita
Dvaita
Dvaita is a school of Vedanta founded by Shri Madhvacharya....

 (dualism
Dualism
Dualism denotes a state of two parts. The term 'dualism' was originally coined to denote co-eternal binary opposition, a meaning that is preserved in metaphysical and philosophical duality discourse but has been diluted in general or common usages. Dualism can refer to moral dualism, Dualism (from...

), Dvaitadvaita
Dvaitadvaita
Dvaitadvaita was proposed by Nimbarka, a Vaishnava Philosopher who hailed from Andhra Region. Nimbarka’s philosophical position is known as Dvaitadvaita . The categories of existence, according to him, are three, i.e., Chit, acit, and Isvara...

 (dualism-nondualism), Suddhadvaita, and Achintya Bheda Abheda
Achintya Bheda Abheda
Achintya-Bheda-Abheda is a school of Vedanta representing the philosophy of inconceivable one-ness and difference, in relation to the power creation and creator, , svayam bhagavan. and also between God and his energies within the Gaudiya Vaishnava religious tradition...

 schools.

The six systems mentioned here are not the only orthodox systems, they are the chief ones, and there are other orthodox schools such as the "Grammarian" school. These six systems, accept the authority of Vedas
Vedas
The Vedas are a large body of texts originating in ancient India. Composed in Vedic Sanskrit, the texts constitute the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature and the oldest scriptures of Hinduism....

 and are regarded as "orthodox
Orthodoxy
The word orthodox, from Greek orthos + doxa , is generally used to mean the adherence to accepted norms, more specifically to creeds, especially in religion...

" (astika) schools of Hindu philosophy; besides these, schools that do not accept the authority of the Vedas are categorized by Brahmins as unorthodox (nastika) systems. Chief among the latter category are Buddhism, Jainism and Carvakas.

Jain philosophy



Jainism came into formal being after Mahavira
Mahavira
Mahāvīra is the name most commonly used to refer to the Indian sage Vardhamāna who established what are today considered to be the central tenets of Jainism. According to Jain tradition, he was the 24th and the last Tirthankara. In Tamil, he is referred to as Arukaṉ or Arukadevan...

 synthesized philosophies and promulgations of the ancient Sramana philosophy, during the period around 550 BC, in the region that is present day Bihar
Bihar
Bihar is a state in eastern India. It is the 12th largest state in terms of geographical size at and 3rd largest by population. Almost 58% of Biharis are below the age of 25, which is the highest proportion in India....

 in northern India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

. This period marked an ideological renaissance, in which the patriarchal Vedic dominance was challenged by various groups. Buddhism also arose during this period.

Jain philosophy is traditionally believed to have been revived by Mahavira
Mahavira
Mahāvīra is the name most commonly used to refer to the Indian sage Vardhamāna who established what are today considered to be the central tenets of Jainism. According to Jain tradition, he was the 24th and the last Tirthankara. In Tamil, he is referred to as Arukaṉ or Arukadevan...

, whom the Jains see as the 24th and final Jain Tirthankar
Tirthankar
In Jainism, a ' |ford]]-Maker", ) is a human being who achieves moksa through asceticism and who then becomes a role-model and teacher for those seeking spiritual guidance....

 (enlightened seers), a line that stretches to time immemorial. The 23rd seer, Parsva is traditionally dated to around 900 BC.

Jainism is not considered as a part of the Vedic Religion (Hinduism
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

), even as there is constitutional ambiguity over its status. Jain tirthankars find exclusive mention in the Vedas and the Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

 epics
EPICS
The Experimental Physics and Industrial Control System is a software environment used to develop and implement distributed control systems to operate devices such as particle accelerators, telescopes and other large experiments. EPICS also provides SCADA capabilities...

. During the Vedantic
Vedanta
Vedānta was originally a word used in Hindu philosophy as a synonym for that part of the Veda texts known also as the Upanishads. The name is a morphophonological form of Veda-anta = "Veda-end" = "the appendix to the Vedic hymns." It is also speculated that "Vedānta" means "the purpose or goal...

 age, India had two broad philosophical streams of thought: The Shramana
Shramana
A shramana is a wandering monk in certain ascetic traditions of ancient India including Jainism, Buddhism, and Ājīvikism. Famous śramaṇas include Mahavira and Gautama Buddha....

 philosophical schools, represented by Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

, Jainism
Jainism
Jainism is an Indian religion that prescribes a path of non-violence towards all living beings. Its philosophy and practice emphasize the necessity of self-effort to move the soul towards divine consciousness and liberation. Any soul that has conquered its own inner enemies and achieved the state...

, and the long defunct and Ajivika
Ajivika
Ājīvika was an ancient philosophical and ascetic movement of the Mahajanapada period of the Indian subcontinent....

 on one hand, and the Brahmana
Brahmana
The Brāhmaṇas are part of the Hindu śruti literature. They are commentaries on the four Vedas, detailing the proper performance of rituals....

/Vedantic/Puranic schools represented by Vedanta
Vedanta
Vedānta was originally a word used in Hindu philosophy as a synonym for that part of the Veda texts known also as the Upanishads. The name is a morphophonological form of Veda-anta = "Veda-end" = "the appendix to the Vedic hymns." It is also speculated that "Vedānta" means "the purpose or goal...

, Vaishnava and other movements on the other. Both streams are known to have mutually influenced each other.

The Hindu scholar Lokmanya Tilak credited Jainism with influencing Hinduism in the area of the cessation of animal sacrifice in Vedic rituals. Bal Gangadhar Tilak
Bal Gangadhar Tilak
Lokmanya Tilak –, was an Indian nationalist, teacher, social reformer and independence fighter who was the first popular leader of the Indian Independence Movement. The British colonial authorities derogatorily called the great leader "Father of the Indian unrest"...

 has described Jainism as the originator of Ahimsa
Ahimsa in Jainism
Ahiṃsā in Jainism is a fundamental principle forming the cornerstone of its ethics and doctrine. The term "ahimsa" means “non-violence”, “non-injury” or absence of desire to harm any life forms. Vegetarianism and other non-violent practices and rituals of Jains flow from the principle of Ahiṃsā...

 and wrote in a letter printed in Bombay Samachar
Bombay Samachar
The Mumbai Samachar is the oldest continuously published newspaper in India. It is published in Gujarati and is one of the most trusted newspapers of Mumbai-History:...

, Mumbai:10 Dec, 1904: "In ancient times, innumerable animals were butchered in sacrifices. Evidence in support of this is found in various poetic compositions such as the Meghaduta. But the credit for the disappearance of this terrible massacre from the Brahminical religion goes to Jainism."

Swami Vivekananda
Swami Vivekananda
Swami Vivekananda , born Narendranath Dutta , was the chief disciple of the 19th century mystic Ramakrishna Paramahansa and the founder of the Ramakrishna Math and the Ramakrishna Mission...

  also credited Jainsim as one of the influencing forces behind the Indian culture.

A Jain is a follower of Jinas, spiritual 'victors' (Jina is Sanskrit for 'victor'), human beings who have rediscovered the dharma
Dharma
Dharma means Law or Natural Law and is a concept of central importance in Indian philosophy and religion. In the context of Hinduism, it refers to one's personal obligations, calling and duties, and a Hindu's dharma is affected by the person's age, caste, class, occupation, and gender...

,
become fully liberated
Moksha
Within Indian religions, moksha or mukti , literally "release" , is the liberation from samsara and the concomitant suffering involved in being subject to the cycle of repeated death and reincarnation or rebirth.-Origins:It is highly probable that the concept of moksha was first developed in...

 and taught the spiritual path for the benefit of beings. Jains follow the teachings of 24 special Jinas who are known as Tirthankar
Tirthankar
In Jainism, a ' |ford]]-Maker", ) is a human being who achieves moksa through asceticism and who then becomes a role-model and teacher for those seeking spiritual guidance....

s
('ford
Ford (crossing)
A ford is a shallow place with good footing where a river or stream may be crossed by wading or in a vehicle. A ford is mostly a natural phenomenon, in contrast to a low water crossing, which is an artificial bridge that allows crossing a river or stream when water is low.The names of many towns...

-builders'). The 24th and most recent Tirthankar, Lord Mahavira
Mahavira
Mahāvīra is the name most commonly used to refer to the Indian sage Vardhamāna who established what are today considered to be the central tenets of Jainism. According to Jain tradition, he was the 24th and the last Tirthankara. In Tamil, he is referred to as Arukaṉ or Arukadevan...

, lived in c
Circa
Circa , usually abbreviated c. or ca. , means "approximately" in the English language, usually referring to a date...

.6th century BC, which was a period of cultural revolution all over the world. Socrates
Socrates
Socrates was a classical Greek Athenian philosopher. Credited as one of the founders of Western philosophy, he is an enigmatic figure known chiefly through the accounts of later classical writers, especially the writings of his students Plato and Xenophon, and the plays of his contemporary ...

 was born in Greece, Zoroaster
Zoroaster
Zoroaster , also known as Zarathustra , was a prophet and the founder of Zoroastrianism who was either born in North Western or Eastern Iran. He is credited with the authorship of the Yasna Haptanghaiti as well as the Gathas, hymns which are at the liturgical core of Zoroastrianism...

 in Iran, Lao‑Tse and Confucious in China and Mahavira
Mahavira
Mahāvīra is the name most commonly used to refer to the Indian sage Vardhamāna who established what are today considered to be the central tenets of Jainism. According to Jain tradition, he was the 24th and the last Tirthankara. In Tamil, he is referred to as Arukaṉ or Arukadevan...

 and Buddha
Gautama Buddha
Siddhārtha Gautama was a spiritual teacher from the Indian subcontinent, on whose teachings Buddhism was founded. In most Buddhist traditions, he is regarded as the Supreme Buddha Siddhārtha Gautama (Sanskrit: सिद्धार्थ गौतम; Pali: Siddhattha Gotama) was a spiritual teacher from the Indian...

 in India. The 23rd Thirthankar of Jains, Lord Parsvanatha is recognised now as a historical person, lived during 872 to 772 BC... Jaina tradition is unanimous in making Rishabha
Rishabha (Jain tirthankar)
In Jainism, R̥ṣabha or Ādinātha , also known as the "Lord of Kesariya") was the first of the 24 Tīrthaṅkaras. According to Jain beliefs, R̥ṣabha founded the Ikshvaku dynasty and was the first Tīrthaṅkara of the present age...

, as the First Tirthankar.

One of the main characteristics of Jain belief is the emphasis on the immediate consequences of one's physical and mental behavior. Because Jains believe that everything is in some sense alive with many living beings possessing a soul, great care and awareness is required in going about one's business in the world. Jainism is a religious tradition in which all life is considered to be worthy of respect and Jain teaching emphasises this equality
Egalitarianism
Egalitarianism is a trend of thought that favors equality of some sort among moral agents, whether persons or animals. Emphasis is placed upon the fact that equality contains the idea of equity of quality...

 of all life advocating the non-harming of even the smallest creatures.

Non-violence ( Ahimsa
Ahimsa
Ahimsa is a term meaning to do no harm . The word is derived from the Sanskrit root hims – to strike; himsa is injury or harm, a-himsa is the opposite of this, i.e. non harming or nonviolence. It is an important tenet of the Indian religions...

) is the basis of right View, the condition of right Knowledge and the kernel of right Conduct in Jainism.

Jainism encourages spiritual
Spirituality
Spirituality can refer to an ultimate or an alleged immaterial reality; an inner path enabling a person to discover the essence of his/her being; or the “deepest values and meanings by which people live.” Spiritual practices, including meditation, prayer and contemplation, are intended to develop...

 independence (in the sense of relying on and cultivating one's own personal wisdom) and self-control (व्रत, vratae) which is considered vital for one's spiritual development. The goal, as with other Indian religions, is moksha
Moksha
Within Indian religions, moksha or mukti , literally "release" , is the liberation from samsara and the concomitant suffering involved in being subject to the cycle of repeated death and reincarnation or rebirth.-Origins:It is highly probable that the concept of moksha was first developed in...

which in Jainism is realization of the soul's true nature, a condition of omniscience (Kevala Jnana
Kevala Jnana
In Jainism, ' or ' , "Perfect or Absolute Knowledge", is the highest form of knowledge that a soul can attain. A person who has attained is called a Kevalin, which is synonymous with Jina "victor" and Arihant "the worthy one"...

). Anekantavada
Anekantavada
' is one of the most important and fundamental doctrines of Jainism. It refers to the principles of pluralism and multiplicity of viewpoints, the notion that truth and reality are perceived differently from diverse points of view, and that no single point of view is the complete truth.Jains...

 is one of the principles of Jainism
Jainism
Jainism is an Indian religion that prescribes a path of non-violence towards all living beings. Its philosophy and practice emphasize the necessity of self-effort to move the soul towards divine consciousness and liberation. Any soul that has conquered its own inner enemies and achieved the state...

 positing that reality is perceived differently from different points of view, and that no single point of view is completely true. Jain doctrine states that only Kevalis, those who have infinite knowledge, can know the true answer, and that all others would only know a part of the answer. Anekantavada is related to the Western philosophical doctrine of Subjectivism
Subjectivism
Subjectivism is a philosophical tenet that accords primacy to subjective experience as fundamental of all measure and law. In extreme forms like Solipsism, it may hold that the nature and existence of every object depends solely on someone's subjective awareness of it...

.

Buddhist philosophy



Buddhist philosophy is a system of beliefs based on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama
Gautama Buddha
Siddhārtha Gautama was a spiritual teacher from the Indian subcontinent, on whose teachings Buddhism was founded. In most Buddhist traditions, he is regarded as the Supreme Buddha Siddhārtha Gautama (Sanskrit: सिद्धार्थ गौतम; Pali: Siddhattha Gotama) was a spiritual teacher from the Indian...

, an India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

n prince later known as the Buddha (Pali
Páli
- External links :* *...

 for "awakened one").

From its inception, Buddhism has had a strong philosophical component. Buddhism is founded on the rejection of certain orthodox Hindu philosophical concepts. The Buddha criticized all concepts of metaphysical being
Being
Being , is an English word used for conceptualizing subjective and objective aspects of reality, including those fundamental to the self —related to and somewhat interchangeable with terms like "existence" and "living".In its objective usage —as in "a being," or "[a] human being" —it...

 and non-being as misleading views
View (Buddhism)
View or position is a central idea in Buddhism. In Buddhist thought, in contrast with the commonsense understanding, a view is not a simple, abstract collection of propositions, but a charged interpretation of experience which intensely shapes and affects thought, sensation, and action...

 caused by reification
Reification (fallacy)
Reification is a fallacy of ambiguity, when an abstraction is treated as if it were a concrete, real event, or physical entity. In other words, it is the error of treating as a "real thing" something which is not a real thing, but merely an idea...

, and this critique is inextricable from the founding of Buddhism.

Buddhism shares many philosophical views with other Indian systems, such as belief in karma, a cause-and-effect relationship between all that has been done and all that will be done. Events that occur are held to be the direct result of previous events. However, a major difference is the Buddhist rejection of a permanent, self-existent soul (atman
Ātman (Hinduism)
Ātman is a Sanskrit word that means 'self'. In Hindu philosophy, especially in the Vedanta school of Hinduism it refers to one's true self beyond identification with phenomena...

). This view is a central one in Hindu thought but is rejected by all Buddhists.

Modern philosophy


Modern Indian philosophy was developed during British occupation(1750–1947). The philosophers in this era gave contemporary meaning to traditional philosophy. Swami Vivekananda
Swami Vivekananda
Swami Vivekananda , born Narendranath Dutta , was the chief disciple of the 19th century mystic Ramakrishna Paramahansa and the founder of the Ramakrishna Math and the Ramakrishna Mission...

, Rabindranath Tagore
Rabindranath Tagore
Rabindranath Tagore , sobriquet Gurudev, was a Bengali polymath who reshaped his region's literature and music. Author of Gitanjali and its "profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse", he became the first non-European Nobel laureate by earning the 1913 Prize in Literature...

, Sri Aurobindo
Sri Aurobindo
Sri Aurobindo , born Aurobindo Ghosh or Ghose , was an Indian nationalist, freedom fighter, philosopher, yogi, guru, and poet. He joined the Indian movement for freedom from British rule and for a duration became one of its most important leaders, before developing his own vision of human progress...

, Mahapandit Rahul Sankrityayan, Swami Sahajanand Saraswati
Swami Sahajanand Saraswati
Swami Sahajanand Saraswati , born in a Jijhoutia Brahminfamily of Ghazipur of Uttar Pradesh state of India, was an ascetic of Dashnami Order of Adi Shankara Sampradaya as well as a nationalist and peasant leader of India...

, Ananda Coomaraswamy
Ananda Coomaraswamy
Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy was a Ceylonese philosopher and metaphysician, as well as a pioneering historian and philosopher of Indian art, particularly art history and symbolism, and an early interpreter of Indian culture to the West...

, Ramana Maharshi
Ramana Maharshi
Sri Ramana Maharshi , born Venkataraman Iyer, was a Hindu spiritual master . He was born to a Tamil-speaking Brahmin family in Tiruchuzhi, Tamil Nadu. After experiencing at age 16 what he later described as liberation , he left home for Arunachala, a mountain considered sacred by Hindus...

 and Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
Sir Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan , OM, FBA was an Indian philosopher and statesman. He was the first Vice President of India and subsequently the second President of India ....

 interpreted traditional Indian philosophy in terms of contemporary significance. Osho
Osho (Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh)
Osho , born Chandra Mohan Jain , and also known as Acharya Rajneesh from the 1960s onwards, as Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh during the 1970s and 1980s and as Osho from 1989, was an Indian mystic, guru, and spiritual teacher who garnered an international following.A professor of philosophy, he travelled...

 and J. Krishnamurti developed their own schools of thought.

Political philosophy


The Arthashastra
Arthashastra
The Arthashastra is an ancient Indian treatise on statecraft, economic policy and military strategy which identifies its author by the names Kautilya and , who are traditionally identified with The Arthashastra (IAST: Arthaśāstra) is an ancient Indian treatise on statecraft, economic policy and...

, attributed to the Mauryan minister Chanakya
Chanakya
Chānakya was a teacher to the first Maurya Emperor Chandragupta , and the first Indian emperor generally considered to be the architect of his rise to power. Traditionally, Chanakya is also identified by the names Kautilya and VishnuGupta, who authored the ancient Indian political treatise...

, is one of the early Indian texts devoted to political philosophy
Political philosophy
Political philosophy is the study of such topics as liberty, justice, property, rights, law, and the enforcement of a legal code by authority: what they are, why they are needed, what, if anything, makes a government legitimate, what rights and freedoms it should protect and why, what form it...

. It is dated to 4th century BCE and discusses ideas of statecraft and economic policy.

The political philosophy
Political philosophy
Political philosophy is the study of such topics as liberty, justice, property, rights, law, and the enforcement of a legal code by authority: what they are, why they are needed, what, if anything, makes a government legitimate, what rights and freedoms it should protect and why, what form it...

 most closely associated with India is the one of ahimsa
Ahimsa
Ahimsa is a term meaning to do no harm . The word is derived from the Sanskrit root hims – to strike; himsa is injury or harm, a-himsa is the opposite of this, i.e. non harming or nonviolence. It is an important tenet of the Indian religions...

 (non-violence) and Satyagraha
Satyagraha
Satyagraha , loosely translated as "insistence on truth satya agraha soul force" or "truth force" is a particular philosophy and practice within the broader overall category generally known as nonviolent resistance or civil resistance. The term "satyagraha" was conceived and developed by Mahatma...

, popularized by Mahatma Gandhi
Mahatma Gandhi
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi , pronounced . 2 October 1869 – 30 January 1948) was the pre-eminent political and ideological leader of India during the Indian independence movement...

 during the Indian struggle for independence
Indian independence movement
The term Indian independence movement encompasses a wide area of political organisations, philosophies, and movements which had the common aim of ending first British East India Company rule, and then British imperial authority, in parts of South Asia...

. It was influenced by the Indian Dharmic
Dharma
Dharma means Law or Natural Law and is a concept of central importance in Indian philosophy and religion. In the context of Hinduism, it refers to one's personal obligations, calling and duties, and a Hindu's dharma is affected by the person's age, caste, class, occupation, and gender...

 philosophy, particularly the Bhagvata Gita, as well as secular writings of authors such as Leo Tolstoy
Leo Tolstoy
Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy was a Russian writer who primarily wrote novels and short stories. Later in life, he also wrote plays and essays. His two most famous works, the novels War and Peace and Anna Karenina, are acknowledged as two of the greatest novels of all time and a pinnacle of realist...

, Henry David Thoreau
Henry David Thoreau
Henry David Thoreau was an American author, poet, philosopher, abolitionist, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, historian, and leading transcendentalist...

 and John Ruskin
John Ruskin
John Ruskin was the leading English art critic of the Victorian era, also an art patron, draughtsman, watercolourist, a prominent social thinker and philanthropist. He wrote on subjects ranging from geology to architecture, myth to ornithology, literature to education, and botany to political...

. In turn it influenced the later movements for independence and civil rights
Civil rights
Civil and political rights are a class of rights that protect individuals' freedom from unwarranted infringement by governments and private organizations, and ensure one's ability to participate in the civil and political life of the state without discrimination or repression.Civil rights include...

, especially those led by Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, and was the first South African president to be elected in a fully representative democratic election. Before his presidency, Mandela was an anti-apartheid activist, and the leader of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing...

and Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was an American clergyman, activist, and prominent leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for being an iconic figure in the advancement of civil rights in the United States and around the world, using nonviolent methods following the...


See also


  • Advaita
  • Affectionism
    Affectionism
    Affectionism is a school of thought which considers affections of central importance. Although it is not found in mainstream Western philosophy, it does exist in Indian philosophy....

  • Indian logic
    Indian logic
    The development of Indian logic dates back to the anviksiki of Medhatithi Gautama the Sanskrit grammar rules of Pāṇini ; the Vaisheshika school's analysis of atomism ; the analysis of inference by Gotama , founder of the Nyaya school of Hindu philosophy; and the tetralemma of Nagarjuna...

  • Indian religions
  • M Hiriyanna
  • Svayam bhagavan
    Svayam Bhagavan
    Svayam Bhagavan , "The Lord" or Lord Himself, is a Sanskrit theological term. The term refers to the concept of absolute representation of the monotheistic God as Bhagavan within Hinduism....


External links