s.y.b.a. philosophy paper - iii social & political philosophy (eng
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1 Introduction and Beginnings: Pre- Upanishadic Philosophy
1.2 Nature of philosophy & General outline Of Indian philosophy
1.2.1 The schools of Indian philosophy
1.2.2 Classification of Indian philosophy Schools
1.2.3 Methods of Indian philosophy
1.3 Introduction of Vedas
1.4 Teachings of Vedas-Vedic Religion
1.5 Important gods from Vedas
1.6 conception of the Universe
1.7 The Theory of Rta
1.9 Unit End Questions
After going through this unit one can understand the
meaning and nature of philosophy, the general nature of Indian philosophy. It is possible to learn about the Vedic literature and philosophy of Vedas.
Philosophy is the root of all knowledge. It is considered as
the mother of all sciences. Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems concerning matters such as the nature of knowledge, truth, justice, mind, language etc. Man is a rational animal. He/she wants to bring co-ordination among the various experiences that he/she comes across throughout his/her life. Philosophy helps in understanding the significance of all experiences. A person does not want to live in chaos man wants to know oneself. Similarly he/she also wants to know the world in which one is living: what is the true world in which one is living? what is the true nature of the world? What is relation of a man and society? How is the world originated? What are the aims and objectives of ones life? What is knowledge? Or what is the world? These are some of the fundamental problems with which
philosophy deals? Philosophy tries to understand the universe in which one lives as well as to know ones relation to others or ones relation with the world. Philosophy tries to answer the deepest questions of life. Philosophy is a guide to life because it addresses the basic issues of living. According to Ayn Rand philosophy studies the fundamental nature of existence of man and of mans relationship to existence in the realm of cognition. The special sciences are the trees, but philosophy is the soil which makes the forest possible. (philosophy who needs it page 2)
The word philosophy comes from the ancient Greek word
philosophia, which literally means love of wisdom or love of knowledge. There are many branches of philosophy such as metaphysics, epistemology, Ethics, logic, philosophy of religion philosophy of mind, social and political philosophy etc. philosophy deals with critical evaluation of general concepts such as knowledge, justice, truth, God, values, Liberation etc.
In this section we are dealing with the nature of Indian
philosophy. Dr.S. R. Radhakrishnan writes in Indian philosophy vol. 1 (page 23) In India philosophy stood on its own legs, and all other studies looked to it for inspiration and support. It is the master science guiding other sciences without which they tend to become empty and foolish.
1.2 NATURE OF PHILOSOPHY AND A GENERAL OUTLINE OF INDIAN PHILOSOPHY
The beginnings of Indian philosophy takes us back to
Rgvedic period, probably about the middle of second millennium before Christ The speculative activity began very early in India In ancient India the natural conditions like huge forests, the security of life, the wealth of natural resources, the freedom from worry encourages to ponder over the fundamental problems of mankind. It stimulated the higher life of India. Philosophy in India became the guiding star for all the other branches of knowledge. Philosophy, says Kautilya, is the lamp of all the sciences, the means of performing all the works, and the support of all the duties. Philosophical knowledge does not aim at merely satisfying our theoretical and speculative interest but also at realizing the highest truth in life, it is the search for higher knowledge. In Indian tradition for higher knowledge the word pradnya/prajna, (e%ee) is used.
Traditionally for philosophy in India the following three words are used viz Darshana (oMe&ve) paravidya (HejeefJeee) and Anvikshiki
The word Darshana is derived from the Sanskrit root Dris
which means to see. So Darshana means that through the instrumentality of which something is to be seen. The term Darshana is used in the temporal and the spiritual senses. The word Darshana means vision and also the instrument of vision. It stands for direct immediate and intuitive vision of reality, the actual perception of truth and also includes the means which lead to this realization. The word Darshana is associated with schools of Indian philosophy like Charvaka Darshana, Sankhya Darshana, Nyaya Darshana etc.
According to Dr. Radhakrishnan philosophically darshana
is putting the intuition to proof and propagating it logically. Even in other systems it applies to the logical Exposition of the truth that could be had in conceptual terms with or without the aid of any vivifying intuition.
Paravidya - (HejeefJeee):
Upanishads mention two types of knowledge, higher
knowledge and Lower Knowledge i.e paravidya and aparavidya. Paravidya is higher knowledge and aparavidya is lower knowledge. Paravidya is about the highest reality. It is about the philosophical knowledge. Aparavidya or lower knowledge is about this physical or material world. This world is constantly changing and hence the knowledge about this world is also changing; whereas paravidya is knowledge about that principle which is not changing.
For philosophy in Indian tradition the term Anvikshiki is
used The definition of Anvikshiki is given in Nyayasutra. It means that principle which takes to the knowledge. Knowledge is derived through means of knowledge like perception, inference etc. The work of philosophy is to analyse and critically evaluate the object of knowledge through the means of knowledge. 1.2.1 The schools of Indian philosophy: The following are the major philosophical schools or systems (darshanas)
1 Nyaya system of Aksapada Gautama
2 The Vaisesika system of Maharshi Kanada
3 The Sankhya system of Kapila muni
4 The yoga system of Patanjali
5 The Mimamsa system of Jaimini
6 The Vedanta system of Badrayana Vyas
7 The Bauddha System of Gantama Buddha
8 The Jaina system of Mahavira
9 The charvaka system of Carvaka 1.2.2 Classification of the Indian Philosophical Schools; Orthodox and Heterodor:
The Vedas occupy very important place in the Indian philosophy. The Vedas are the earliest available records of Indian literature. The origin of most of the Indian philosophy can be traced to the Vedas. On the basis of the respect for the Vedas or otherwise, Indian philosophical systems have been classified into two classes viz Orthodox (astika, Vedic) and heterodox (nastika Non-vedic). Here the word Astika or Nastika does not mean the (astika) theist or one who believes in God or Nastika-means non-believes in God. But Astika are those systems of Indian philosophy which believe in the testimony of the Vedas i:e they accept the authority of Vedas This class includes six systems of Indian philosophy which are collectively known as shad darshana (
different methods of philosophy. Different systems of philosophy accept different means of knowledge. The nine major systems of Indian philosophy may be classified on the basis of sources of knowledge (i.e. epislemology) into three major groups Empiricism, Rationalism and Authoritarianism i) Empiricism :
Empiricism is the view which accepts that perception is the only source of knowledge. strong Empiricist accepts only sense experience as the only source of knowledge. Empiricists deny the existence of God, soul, rebirth, hell and heaven. Charvakas are the empiricists. ii) Rationalism :
Those who hold that we are entitled to believe in what is not directly perceived but which can be inferred from what is perceived are rationalists. Rationalism is the view which accepts inferences as the primary source of knowledge e.g. from the perception of smoke we are entitled to infer the existence of fire though we do not see fire on the ground that wherever there is smoke there is fire. The Nyaya Vaisheshika, The Samkhya-yoga and Buddhism are rationalist schools. They accept perception and inference as the valid source of knowledge. iii) Authoritarianism :-
Authortarianism is the view which accepts verbal testimony as the source of knowledge. According to some schools of Indian philosophy perception and inference may not be adequate to explain the transcendent realities, it can be known only through supra-sensuous experience of the mystics, prophets, saints, etc Scriptures are the records of such experience or revelations Authoritarianism also accepts other pramanas. Purva Mimamsa, Vedanta and Jainism belong to Authoritarianism. Chek your progress
1.Explain the meaning of philosophy
2.Explain the various branches of philosophy
3.Explain the classification of Indian philosophical systems.
1.3 INTRODUCTION TO VEDAS
The Vedas are the oldest authority on Indian philosophy.
Most of the philosophical systems in India can be traced to Vedas. vedic seers expressed their divine experiences in the vedic hymns. It contains the knowledge which is realized and experienced by Vedic seers Vedas are considered as a pauruseya as it is believed that the ultimate Being had manifested Himself in the form of the vedic hymns. Vedic knowledge ha