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A History of Indian Philosophy, Volume 1

Of the Ka@tha school the Ka@thaka


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style="text-align: justify;">[Footnote 1: This is what is called the difference of fitness (_adhikaribheda_). Those who perform the sacrifices are not fit to hear the Upani@sads and those who are fit to hear the Upani@sads have no longer any necessity to perform the sacrificial duties.]

[Footnote 2: When the Sa@mhita texts had become substantially fixed, they were committed to memory in different parts of the country and transmitted from teacher to pupil along with directions for the practical performance of sacrificial duties. The latter formed the matter of prose compositions, the Brahma@nas. These however were gradually liable to diverse kinds of modifications according to the special tendencies and needs of the people among which they were recited. Thus after a time there occurred a great divergence in the readings of the texts of the Brahma@nas even of the same Veda among different people. These different schools were known by the name of particular S'akhas (e.g. Aitareya, Kau@sitaki) with which the Brahma@nas were associated or named. According to the divergence of the Brahma@nas of the different S'akhas there occurred the divergences of content and the length of the Upani@sads associated with them.]

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form the Taittiriya and Mahanaraya@na, of the Ka@tha school the Ka@thaka, of the Maitraya@ni school the Maitraya@ni. The B@rhadara@nyaka Upani@sad forms part of the S'atapatha

Brahma@na of the Vajasaneyi schools. The Is'a Upani@sad also belongs to the latter school. But the school to which the S'vetas'vatara belongs cannot be traced, and has probably been lost. The presumption with regard to these Upani@sads is that they represent the enlightened views of the particular schools among which they flourished, and under whose names they passed. A large number of Upani@sads of a comparatively later age were attached to the Atharva-Veda, most of which were named not according to the Vedic schools but according to the subject-matter with which they dealt [Footnote ref 1].

It may not be out of place here to mention that from the frequent episodes in the Upani@sads in which the Brahmins are described as having gone to the K@sattriyas for the highest knowledge of philosophy, as well as from the disparateness of the Upani@sad teachings from that of the general doctrines of the Brahma@nas and from the allusions to the existence of philosophical speculations amongst the people in Pali works, it may be inferred that among the K@sattriyas in general there existed earnest philosophic enquiries which must be regarded as having exerted an important influence in the formation of the Upani@sad doctrines. There is thus some probability in the supposition that though the Upani@sads are found directly incorporated with the Brahma@nas it was not the production of the growth of Brahmanic dogmas alone, but that non-Brahmanic thought as well must have either set the Upani@sad doctrines afoot, or have rendered fruitful assistance to their formulation and cultivation, though they achieved their culmination in the hands of the Brahmins.

Brahma@nas and the Early Upani@sads.

The passage of the Indian mind from the Brahmanic to the Upani@sad thought is probably the most remarkable event in the history of philosophic thought. We know that in the later Vedic hymns some monotheistic conceptions of great excellence were developed, but these differ in their nature from the absolutism of the Upani@sads as much as the Ptolemaic and the Copernican


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