Historical Question

Anand Hudli anandhudli at HOTMAIL.COM
Tue Mar 10 09:08:03 CST 1998

 Nanda Chandran wrote:

>This is a historical question :
>From what I see and hear, of the six astika schools of Hindu
>Vedanta reigns supreme in current India. Yoga seems to be quite a
>popular school with a considerable following of it's own. But are the
>other four schools - Samkhya, Nyaya, Vaiseshika and Purva Miimamsaa,
>practiced anywhere?
>Ironically with the globalisation et al, which India is currently
>undergoing, the Carvakas seem to be having the last laugh!

 Among the six schools, some affinities are discernible. Usually,
 Saankhya and Yoga are studied together, so are Nyaaya and
 VaisheShika, and so are puurva miimaamsaa and Vedaanta.
 In fact, there has been a syncretism of Nyaaya and VaisheShika a
 long time ago, with Nyaaya accepting the categories of VaisheShika.

 Since these six are considered to be orthodox schools in the sense
 that they accept the authority of the Vedas, it is not uncommon
 for one school to  borrow concepts from another. Advaita Vedaanta
 itself, for example, recognizes and utilizes the techniques of
 Nyaaya in argumentation and debate, as well as Saankhyan concepts,
 up to a point. Advaita also accepts that the nitya and naimittika
 karmas of puurva miimaamsaa are meant for purification of the mind
 and make it conducive for jnaana. And many advaitins, like
 His Holiness Shri Abhinava Vidya Teertha, former Svaamii of Sringeri,
 are adepts in Yogic practices.

 So there has been some assimilation of the other five schools into
 Vedaanta, although it is rare to find strict followers of those five
 schools nowadays.

 Regarding Chaarvaaka's, yes their number is formidable. Especially,
 one finds prachchhanna chaarvaaka's (Chaarvaaka's in disguise)
 who claim to be aastika's externally, but internally they are all
 chaarvaaka's. :-)


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