Monday, January 17, 2011

Scriptures of Sanatana Dharma - Darsanas

Darsana means, sight or vision. In the Vedanta philosophy, the first question is what is the source of everything? There are philosophers who saw different stages of the original source, and explained philosophy according to their vision. These are known as Darsanas. They are also known as Sad-darsanas (six systems of philosophy).
1. Nyaya Darsana
Nyaya means the science of logic and expediency. It is also known as Tarka Shastra. This was composed by Sage Gautama and contains passages, which establish by means of disputation that God is the creator of this universe. It establishes the existence of God by means of inference.
2. Vaiseshika Darsana
Vaisesika, philosophy of specialised logic, maintains that the combination of atoms is the cause of the cosmic manifestation. It was composed by Maharshi Kanada He was the first philosopher who formulated ideas about the atom in a systematic manner.
Nyaya and Vaiseshika deal mainly with physics, chemistry and other material sciences and include reasoning or logic. Metaphysical studies or search for knowledge of God, however, formed the ultimate aim of the study of these saastras also.
3. Sankhya Darsana
Sankhya, philosophy of analytical study, maintains that the material nature is the cause of the cosmic manifestation. Sage Kapila composed it.
4. Yoga Darsana
Yoga, philosophy of mystic perfections, maintains that universal consciousness is the cause of the cosmic manifestation. It was composed by Padanjali Maharshi. He is the first systematiser of the Yoga school.
5. Purva Meemamsa Darsana
Sage Jaimini composed the sutras for the Purvameemamsa, philosophy of actions and reactions, maintains that fruitive activities are the cause of the cosmic manifestation. This book consists of 12 chapters - 1000 Adhikaranas in all. In these Adhikaranas, selected Vedic verses are examined in details. In the 1000 Adhikaranas a thousand types of problems are taken up and various arguments against an apparent explanation are raised before coming to a conclusion.
6. Uththara Meemamsa Darsana
The Uttarameemamsa deals with Vedanta and is thus close to the philosophy of the Upanishads. Maharshi Veda Vyasa composed Uththara Meemamsa.

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