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A History of Indian Philosophy, Volume 1

The astika mata or orthodox schools are six in number


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style="text-align: justify;">work of any particular system, as the deliberations of that particular system are expressed in such close interconnection with the views of other systems that these can hardly be understood without them. Each system of India has grown (at least in particular epochs) in relation to and in opposition to the growth of other systems of thought, and to be a thorough student of Indian philosophy one should study all the systems in their mutual opposition and relation from the earliest times to a period at which they ceased to grow and came to a stop--a purpose for which a work like the present one may only be regarded as forming a preliminary introduction.

Besides the sutras and their commentaries there are also independent treatises on the systems in verse called _karikas_, which try to summarize the important topics of any system in a succinct manner; the _Sa@mkhya karika_ may be mentioned as a work of this kind. In addition to these there were also long dissertations, commentaries, or general observations on any system written in verses called the varttikas; the _S'lokavarttika_, of Kumarila or the _Varttika_ of Sures'vara may be mentioned as examples. All these of course had their commentaries to explain them. In addition to these there were also advanced treatises on the systems in prose in which the writers either nominally followed some selected sutras or proceeded independently of them. Of the former class the _Nyayamanjari_

of Jayanta may be mentioned as an example and of the latter the _Pras'astapada bha@sya_, the _Advaitasiddhi_ of Madhusudana Sarasvati or the _Vedanta-paribha@sa_ of Dharmarajadhvarindra. The more remarkable of these treatises were of a masterly nature in which the writers represented the systems they adhered to in a highly forcible and logical manner by dint of their own great mental powers and genius. These also had their commentaries to explain and elaborate them. The period of the growth of the philosophic literatures of India begins from about 500 B.C. (about the time of the Buddha) and practically ends in the later half of the seventeenth century, though even now some minor publications are seen to come out.

The Indian Systems of Philosophy.

The Hindus classify the systems of philosophy into two classes, namely, the _nastika_ and the _astika_. The nastika (_na asti_ "it is not") views are those which neither regard the Vedas as infallible

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nor try to establish their own validity on their authority. These are principally three in number, the Buddhist, Jaina and the Carvaka. The astika-mata or orthodox schools are six in number, Sa@mkhya, Yoga, Vedanta, Mima@msa, Nyaya and Vais'e@sika, generally known as the six systems (_@sa@ddars'ana_ [Footnote ref 1]).

The Sa@mkhya is ascribed to a mythical Kapila, but the earliest works on the subject are probably now lost. The Yoga system is attributed to Patanjali and the original sutras are called the _Patanjala Yoga sutras_. The general metaphysical position of these two systems with regard to soul, nature, cosmology and the final goal is almost the same, and the difference lies in this that the Yoga system acknowledges a god (_Is'vara_) as distinct from Atman and lays much importance on certain mystical practices (commonly known as Yoga practices) for the achievement of liberation, whereas the Sa@mkhya denies the existence of Is'vara and thinks that sincere philosophic thought and culture are sufficient to produce the true conviction of the truth and thereby bring about liberation. It is probable that the system of Sa@mkhya associated with Kapila and the Yoga system associated with Patanjali are but two divergent modifications of an original Sa@mkhya school, of which we now get only references here and there. These systems therefore though generally counted as two should more properly be looked upon as two different schools of the same Sa@mkhya system--one may be called the Kapila Sa@mkhya and the other Patanjala Sa@mkhya.


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