Indian Philosophy


India has a rich and diverse philosophical tradition dating back to the composition of the Upanisads in the later Vedic period. According toRadhakrishnan, the oldest of these constitute "...the earliest philosophical compositions of the world." Traditionally, schools (Skt: Darshanas) of Indian philosophy are identified as orthodox (Skt: 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 and three heterodox schools. The orthodox are Nyaya, Vaisesika, Samkhya, Yoga, Purva mimamsa and Vedanta. The Heterodox are Jain, Buddhist and materialist (Cārvāka). However, Vidyāraṇya classifies Indian philosophy into sixteen schools where he includes schools belonging to Saiva and Raseśvarathought with others. 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. 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 and Ajivika did not, either being assimilated or going extinct. The Sanskritterm for "philosopher" is dārśanika, one who is familiar with the systems of philosophy, or darśanas. Common themesThe Indian thinkers of antiquity (very much like those of the post-Socratic Greek philosophical schools) 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 (puruṣārtha).  Recent scholarship has shown that there was a great deal of intercourse between Greek and Indian philosophy during the era of Hellenistic expansion. Indian philosophy is distinctive in its application of analytical rigour to metaphysical problems and goes into very precise detail about the nature of reality, the structure and function of the human psyche and how the relationship between the two have important implications for human salvation (moksha). Rishis centered philosophy on an assumption that there is a unitary underlying order (rta) 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). The concept of natural law (Dharma) 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.Common themesThe Indian thinkers of antiquity (very much like those of the post-Socratic Greek philosophical schools) 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 (puruṣārtha).  Recent scholarship has shown that there was a great deal of intercourse between Greek and Indian philosophy during the era of Hellenistic expansion. Indian philosophy is distinctive in its application of analytical rigour to metaphysical problems and goes into very precise detail about the nature of reality, the structure and function of the human psyche and how the relationship between the two have important implications for human salvation (moksha). Rishis centered philosophy on an assumption that there is a unitary underlying order (rta) 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). The concept of natural law (Dharma) 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.Schools


Hindu philosophy
 Many Hindu intellectual traditions were classified during the medieval period of Brahmanic-Sanskritic scholasticism into a standard list of six orthodox (astika) schools (darshanas), the "Six Philosophies" (ṣad-darśana), all of which accept the testimony of the Vedas: Nyaya, the school of logicVaisheshika, the atomist schoolSamkhya, the enumeration schoolYoga, 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, andVedanta (also called Uttara Mimamsa), the Upanishadic 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/nondualism), also includes the concept of Ajativada, Visishtadvaita (monism of the qualified whole), Dvaita (dualism), Dvaitadvaita (dualism-nondualism), Suddhadvaita, and Achintya Bheda Abheda schools.Besides these schools Mādhava Vidyāraṇya also includes the following: Pasupata, school of Shaivism by NakulisaSaiva, the theistic Sankhya schoolPratyabhijña, the recognitive schoolRaseśvara, the mercurial schoolPāṇini Darśana, the grammarian school (which clarifies the theory of Sphoṭa) The systems mentioned here are not the only orthodox systems, they are the chief ones, and there are other orthodox schools. These systems, accept the authority of Vedas and are regarded as "orthodox" (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 Cārvāka.