Shad Darshana - The Six Elements Of Indian Philosophy

Hinduism encompasses the philosophies, worldviews and teaching of Hinduism itself since Ancient India. Shad Darshan is one such system of philosophy that gives the details of the real world and how there is a distinctive approach towards obtaining the exposition of sacred scripture as well as authoritative knowledge.

What Are The Six Darshanas?

Darshana in Indian Philosophy and religion means the beholding of a deity and the knowledge regarding it, revered a person or sacred objects in Hinduism.  The experience includes receiving blessings. The rath yatras, in which images of gods are taken through the streets, enable others to enter the temple to have a darshan of the deity. Darshana is also imparted by sages and gurus to their followers.

However, When it comes to Indian Philosophy the term Shad Darshana plays a distinct role where the system looks at things, including its exposition of sacred scriptures and authoritative knowledge. The Six Principles of Hindu darshanas are the following: Samkhya, Yoga, Nyaya, Vaisheshika, Mimamsa and Vedanta. Non-Hindu Darshana includes Buddhism and Jainism. Each of these systems of philosophy was formulated in sutras through ancient times and elaborated extensively by its writers. They are dedicated to providing various attempts at describing truth and the path to finding it. Each of these elements forms a core part of the Hindu Scriptures and the religion itself.

Samkhya Darshana

Samkhya received its form and expression of the verses by the philosopher Ishvarakrishna. The study of Samkhya assumes the existence of two bodies, a temporal one and the other with the subtle matter that persists after death. When the temporal body is perished, the subtle one migrates to the panther temporal body. The body of subtle matter consists of consciousness, I-consciousness, mind as a coordinator of impressions and breath. They are namely Buddhi, Ahamkara, Manas and Prana simultaneously in Sanskrit.

Samkhya showcases the existence of an infinite number of purushas who are similar but separate and are not really superior to one another. Purusha and Prakriti are enough to explain the universe, however, the existence of God is not hypnotized. The chain of revolution begins when Purusha lays his impact on Prakriti. Purusha with pure consciousness without any object becomes focused on the Prakriti and here comes buddhi in action. Next comes the ahamkara, the individualized ego which imposes the understanding of the Purusha.

The ahamkara is further divided into five gross elements: space, air, fire, water and earth. The five fine elements are Sound, touch, sight, taste and smell. The universe is the result of the combination and permutation and thereby the various principles related to its existence.

Yoga Darshana

The aspect of practising Yoga Darshana plays a more important role than it does in an intellectual way. It is largely based on the philosophy of the above-mentioned Samkhya. The only exception it brings to the table is, Yoga Darshana assumes the existence of God who is the role model for the humans who seek spiritual wellness. The Samkhya view of evolution is in identifiable stages which lead yoga to attempt to reverse the bondage, ignorance and illusion. An aspirant who looks forward to controlling and suppressing the desired objects and obscuring activities of the mind will succeed in ending the attachments of materialistic life and thus, enter the samadhi.

When it comes to the theoretical approach, Yoga Darshana is a process described in eight different stages. At the beginning of the 20th century, the philosophical practice of yoga became increasingly popular all over the world.

Nyay Darshana

Nyaya Darshana is one of the six darshanas of Indian philosophy. It is an important part as it includes the analysis of logic and epistemology. Nyaya Darshana contributes mainly to the working out of profound details of the means of knowledge known as inference.

Like the other shad darshanas, Nyaya Darshana is both philosophical and religious. It concerns bringing an end to human suffering, which occurs because of ignorance of reality. Through the right knowledge, liberation can be brought to the human soul. Nyay is concerned with the source and knowledge of the right things and processes.

Nyay Darshana beholds that valid means of knowledge is perception, inference, compassion and sound or testimony. Whereas it believes that an invalid source of knowledge may include doubts, errors, and arguments.

Vaisheshika Darshana

It plays an important role in the presence of six Darshana for its naturalism. The Vaisheshika Darshana attempts to identify and classify the entities and their relations to the present. It leads to human perceptions of the same. There is a list of six padarth of being. They are: Dravya, Guna, Karma, Samanya, Vishesha, Samavaya.

The Vaisheshika Darshana system includes the smallest indestructible and indivisible parts of the world. It includes the concept of atoms. All physical things are actually a combination of atoms in different forms and quantities. It also states that the atoms are put in motion according to God’s will and there are unseen forces that hold their moral merit and demerit.

Mimasa Darshana

Mimasa Darshana provides the rules of interpretation of the Veda. They provide the philosophical justification to the observance following spiritual tradition and rituals. Mimasa is related to the earlier part of the Hindu scripture, it is also known as Purva-Mimasa.

The ultimate goal of Mimasa Darshana is to provide deep knowledge of the dharma, which is understood as the set of ritual obligations that is properly performed and maintains the harmony of the world. It also personifies the goals of the performer. Dharma can not be known through reasoning or reading, it only depends on the revelation of the spiritual texts. Thus, one must follow the Vedas thoroughly. They are indeed considered as the eternal source of ultimate knowledge.

Vedanta Darshana

Vedanta Darshana is one of the six darshanas which means the conclusion of the Vedas. It applies to the Upanishads, which are actually the elaborations of the Vedas.

The three fundamentals of Vedanta texts are The Upanishads, The Brahma sutras and The Bhagavad Gita. Several schools of Vedanta Darshana developed and differentiated the conceptions of the nature of relationships between the core of the individual and the absolute self. Namely atman and Brahman. The influence of Vedanta Darshana has been profound and this, given an erroneous impression that Vedanta Darshana is a non-dualistic Advaita.

Darshana Of The Non-Hindu: Buddhism and Jainism

On the other hand when it came to the Darshana of the Non-Hindu. Buddhism and Jainism played an important role. Buddhism is a religion and philosophy developed on the teachings of Lord Buddha. He was a teacher who lived in northern India between the mid 6the century BCE and mid 4th Century BCE. Buddhism has played a central role in the spiritual, cultural and social life of Asia, namely Southeast Asia, China, Korea and Japan.

Jainism refers to the aesthetic battle. Jains renouncers fight against the passions, pleasure and bodily senses to gain enlightenment. This is their purity of soul. The most illustrious are those who achieve this enlightenment.

These Shad Darshana are the six instruments of true preachings and teachings of Truth. Each of this study of philosophies differs from one another, namely concept, phenomena and beliefs. Each philosophy has systematically developed itself to correlate itself with the Vedas and its various parts. Each system of philosophy study is called Darshana and thus, the Sanskrit term Shad Darshan is referred to as the Six Systems of philosophy.

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