Shad-darśana and brahma-sūtra

Post By: Published on: December 22, 2016 Reading time: 5 minutes

School of Yoga explains shad-darśana and brahma-sūtra



Shad-darśana are part of the sthika (orthodox philosophy), or orthodox school of philosophical tradition which accepts the Vedas as the root of all knowledge. Conversely, the opposing school is called nāsthika (that which does not accept āsthika).

School of Yoga explains shad darśana.

Āsthika school can also be called shad-darśana (six visions).

Shad-darśana comprises six schools – nyya (logic), vaiśeṣika (understanding the nature of elements), sānkhya (the understanding of tattvas, the union of prakriti and purusha along with the impact of the guṇas), yoga (yoking of one’s identity with his or her manifestation), mīmāṃsā (correct application of rituals) and vednta (understanding the brahman, the soul, liberation and the various ways to get there).

The key aspect of proof rests on 6 methods of hypotheses testing, these are called pramāṇa (means of knowledge), and comprise pratyakṣa (personal vision), anumāna (inference), upamāna (comparison and analogy), arthāpatti (postulation and derivation from evidence), anupalabdhi (non-apprehension or negative cognitive proof) and śabda (verbal testimony).

School of Yoga explains elements of shad-darśana.

  • Nyya (logical reasoning) – consists of 16 padhārtha (categories) – pramāṇa (valid means of knowledge or knowledge sources), prameya (objects of valid knowledge), saṁśaya (doubt), prayojana (aim), dṛṣṭānta (example), siddhānta (conclusion or accepted position), avayava (members of syllogism or inferential components), tarka (hypothetical/suppositional reasoning), nirṇaya (settlement or certainity), vāda (discussion or debate for truth), jalpa (wrangling or disputation), vitaṇḍā (cavilling or destructive debate), hetvābhāsa (fallacy or pseudo-provers), chala (quibbling or equivocation), jāti (sophisticated refutation or misleading/futile objections) and nigrahasthāna (point of defeat or clinchers).

Nyāya school requires four sources of valid thought for a concept to be acceptedpratyakṣa (perception), anumāna (inference), upamāna (comparison), śabda (testimony or valid source).

  • Vaiśeṣika (atomism) – this is the logic that all material is formed by atomic combination of four substances – earth, water, fire and air. Vaiśeṣika postulates that all experiences can be derived from dravya (substance – construct of atoms, their number and arrangement), guṇa (attribute – such as rūpa (form), rasā (taste), etc. totalling to 24 in all), karma (activities) – which like guṇa are dependent on dravya, but unlike guṇa where each material has a definite purpose, karma is transient in nature; sāmānya (common properties which join substances); viśeṣa (uniqueness) which defines each substance, samavāya (internal dynamics of a union) examines the cause and effect which affects the relationship between substances and their environment.

Vaiśeṣika requires two sources of valid thought for a concept to be acceptedpratyakṣa (perception) and anumāna (inference).

  • Sāṅkhya (rationalization) – Sāṅkhya is a rationalist school which delves into the relationship between the puruṣa and prakriti along with the dynamics of various guṇas (sattva – harmony or balance, rajas or passionate and tamas or obdurate or confused).

Sāṅkhya school requires three sources of valid thought for a theory to be accepted pratyakṣa (perception), anumāna (inference) and śabda (testimony or valid source).

  • Yogayoga can be any of the major yogasjñāna (knowledge), bhakti (devoution), karma (action), hatha and rāja yoga as propounded by Patanjali.

Yoga is a cognitive existentiality school which requires three sources of valid thought for a concept to be acceptedpratyakṣa (perception), anumāna (inference) and śabda (testimony or valid source).

  • Mīmāṁsā – also called pūrva-mīmāṁsā or karma-kāndha, this means reflection or critical investigation. This school is the study of the Vedas and then translate to everyday usage in the form of dharma, karma and rituals.

Mīmāṁsā requires five sources of valid thought for a concept to be acceptedpratyakṣa (perception), anumāna (inference), upamāna (comparison and analogy), arthāpatti (postulation and derivation from evidence) and śabda (testimony or valid source).

  • Vedntais also called uttara-mīmāṃsā (higher enquiry) or jñāna-kanda is a collection of divergent philosophies grouped together, drawing as inspiration from the upaniṣad, brahma-sūtra, bhagawat-geeta etc. There are many schools of vedānta, best known among them are advaita, dvaita, viśiṣṭādvaita. From here, the various schools of worship such as śaivam, śāktya, gaṇapatya, kaumāram, vaiṣṇavam, śauryam emerged.

School of Yoga explains brahma-sūtra.

Brahma-sūtra – is a text which summarizes and systemizes the spiritual and philosophical ideas of the upaniṣad. It consists of 555 verses in 4 chapters, each chapter being divided into 4 parts. Each part is further subdivided into sections or ādhikāraṇa of which there are 189, covering the following topics,

  1. Viṣaya– topic of the section,  
  2. Vismāyā – issue at hand/doubts/problem statement, 
  3. Pūrva-paksha – introduction to the solution/background, 
  4. Siddhānta – theory and arguments/solution and concept/doctrine,
  5. Samgati– threading of logic to form a cohesive and comprehensive argument/conclusion. 

This sūtra was likely to have been composed between 300 BC and 500 AD because, in addition to trying to give a metaphysical meaning to Brahman, it also rebuts the philosophical positions of Buddhist and Jain tenets.

What you should know after reading this blog;

  • What is āsthika as opposed to nāsthika?
  • Explain shad-darśana and its elements?
  • What are the various valid and acceptable sources of proof for a vision?
  • Explain brahma-sūtra? What is their significance?

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