Indian philosophy

Indian philosophy
Any of the numerous philosophical systems developed on the Indian subcontinent, including both orthodox (astika) systems, namely, the Nyaya, Vaisheshika, Samkhya, Yoga, Mimamsa, and Vedanta schools of philosophy, and unorthodox (nastika) systems, such as Buddhism and Jainism.

The history of Indian philosophy may be divided into three periods: the prelogical (to the beginning of the Christian era), the logical (1st–11th century), and the ultralogical (11th–18th century). What Dasgupta calls the prelogical stage covers the pre-Mauryan and the Mauryan periods (с 321–185 BC) in Indian history. The logical period begins roughly with the Kusanas (1st–2nd century AD) and was developed most fully in the Gupta era (3rd–5th century) and in the age of imperial Kanauj (7th century). In the 19th century, newly founded universities introduced Indian intellectuals to Western thought, particularly British empiricism and utilitarianism. Indian philosophy in the early 20th century was influenced by German idealism. Later Indian philosophers made significant contributions to analytic philosophy.

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 the systems of thought and reflection that were developed by the civilizations of the Indian subcontinent. They include both orthodox ( āstika) systems, namely, the Nyāya, Vaiśeṣika, Sāṃkhya, Yoga, Pūrva-mīmāṃsā, and Vedānta schools of philosophy, and unorthodox (nāstika) systems, such as Buddhism and Jainism. Indian thought has been concerned with various philosophical problems, significant among them the nature of the world ( cosmology), the nature of reality ( metaphysics), logic, the nature of knowledge ( epistemology), ethics, and religion.

General considerations

Significance of Indian philosophies in the history of philosophy
      In relation to Western philosophical thought, Indian philosophy offers both surprising points of affinity and illuminating differences. The differences highlight certain fundamentally new questions that the Indian philosophers asked. The similarities reveal that, even when philosophers in India and the West were grappling with the same problems and sometimes even suggesting similar theories, Indian thinkers were advancing novel formulations and argumentations. Problems that the Indian philosophers raised for consideration, but that their Western counterparts never did, include such matters as the origin (utpatti) and apprehension (jñapti) of truth (prāmāṇya). Problems that the Indian philosophers for the most part ignored but that helped shape Western philosophy include the question of whether knowledge arises from experience or from reason and distinctions such as that between analytic and synthetic judgments or between contingent and necessary truths. Indian thought, therefore, provides the historian of Western philosophy with a point of view that may supplement that gained from Western thought. A study of Indian thought, then, reveals certain inadequacies of Western philosophical thought and makes clear that some concepts and distinctions may not be as inevitable as they may otherwise seem. In a similar manner, knowledge of Western thought gained by Indian philosophers has also been advantageous to them.

      Vedic (Veda) hymns, Hindu (Hinduism) scriptures dating from the 2nd millennium BC, are the oldest extant record from India of the process by which the human mind makes its gods and of the deep psychological processes of mythmaking leading to profound cosmological concepts. The Upaniṣad (Upanishad)s (Hindu philosophical treatises) contain one of the first conceptions of a universal, all-pervading, spiritual reality leading to a radical monism (absolute nondualism, or the essential unity of matter and spirit). The Upaniṣads also contain early speculations by Indian philosophers about nature, life, mind, and the human body, not to speak of ethics and social philosophy. The classical, or orthodox, systems (darśana (darshan)s) debate, sometimes with penetrating insight and often with a degree of repetition that can become tiresome to some, such matters as the status of the finite individual; the distinction as well as the relation between the body, mind, and the self; the nature of knowledge and the types of valid knowledge; the nature and origin of truth; the types of entities that may be said to exist; the relation of realism to idealism; the problem of whether universals or relations are basic; and the very important problem of mokṣa (moksha), or salvation—its nature and the paths leading up to it.

General characteristics of Indian philosophy
Common concerns
      The various Indian philosophies contain such a diversity of views, theories, and systems that it is almost impossible to single out characteristics that are common to all of them. Acceptance of the authority of the Vedas characterizes all the orthodox (āstika) systems, but not the unorthodox (nāstika) systems, such as Cārvāka (radical materialism), Buddhism, and Jainism. Moreover, even when philosophers professed allegiance to the Vedas, their allegiance did little to fetter the freedom of their speculative ventures. On the contrary, the acceptance of the authority of the Vedas was a convenient way for a philosopher's views to become acceptable to the orthodox, even if a thinker introduced a wholly new idea. Thus, the Vedas could be cited to corroborate a wide diversity of views; they were used by the Vaiśeṣika thinkers (i.e., those who believe in ultimate particulars, both individual souls and atoms) as much as by the Advaita (monist) philosophers.

      In most Indian philosophical systems, the acceptance of the ideal of mokṣa, like allegiance to the authority of the scriptures, was only remotely connected with the systematic doctrines that were being propounded. Many epistemological, logical, and even metaphysical doctrines were debated and decided on purely rational grounds that did not directly bear upon the ideal of mokṣa. Only the Vedānta (“end of the Vedas”) philosophy and the Sāṃkhya (a system that accepts a real matter and a plurality of the individual souls) philosophy may be said to have a close relationship to the ideal of mokṣa. The logical systems— Nyāya, Vaiśeṣika, and Pūrva-mīmāṃsā—are only very remotely related. Also, both the philosophies and other scientific treatises, including even the Kāma-sūtra (“Aphorisms on Love”) and the Arthaśāstra (“Treatise on Material Gain”), recognized the same ideal and professed their efficacy for achieving it.

      When Indian philosophers speak of intuitive knowledge, they are concerned with making room for it and demonstrating its possibility, with the help of logic—and there, as far as they are concerned, the task of philosophy ends. Indian philosophers do not seek to justify religious faith; philosophic wisdom itself is accorded the dignity of religious truth. Theory is not subordinated to practice, but theory itself, as theory, is regarded as being supremely worthy and efficacious.

      Three basic concepts form the cornerstone of Indian philosophical thought: the self, or soul (ātman (atman)), works ( karma, or karman), and salvation (mokṣa). Leaving the Cārvākas aside, all Indian philosophies concern themselves with these three concepts and their interrelations, though this is not to say that they accept the objective validity of these concepts in precisely the same manner. Of these, the concept of karma, signifying moral efficacy of human actions, seems to be the most typically Indian. The concept of ātman, not altogether absent in Western thought, corresponds, in a certain sense, to the Western concept of a transcendental or absolute spirit self—important differences notwithstanding. The concept of mokṣa as the concept of the highest ideal has likewise been one of the concerns of Western thought, especially during the Christian Era, though it probably has never been as important as for the Hindu mind. Most Indian philosophies assume that mokṣa is possible, and the “impossibility of mokṣa” (anirmokṣa) is regarded as a material fallacy likely to vitiate a philosophical theory.

      In addition to karma, the lack of two other concerns further differentiates Indian philosophical thought from Western thought in general. Since the time of the Greeks, Western thought has been concerned with mathematics (mathematics, philosophy of), and, in the Christian Era, with history. Neither mathematics nor history has ever raised philosophical problems for the Indian. In the lists of pramāṇas, or ways of knowing accepted by the different schools, there is none that includes mathematical knowledge or historical knowledge. Possibly connected with their indifference toward mathematics is the significant fact that Indian philosophers have not developed formal logic (logic, history of). The theory of the syllogism (a valid deductive argument having two premises and a conclusion) is, however, developed, and much sophistication has been achieved in logical theory. Indian logic offers an instructive example of a logic of cognitions (jñānāni) rather than of abstract propositions—a logic not sundered and kept isolated from psychology and epistemology, because it is meant to be the logic of man's actual striving to know what is true of the world.

Forms of argument and presentation
      There is, in relation to Western thought, a striking difference in the manner in which Indian philosophical thinking is presented as well as in the mode in which it historically develops. Out of the presystematic age of the Vedic hymns and the Upaniṣads and many diverse philosophical ideas current in the pre-Buddhistic era, there emerged with the rise of the age of the sūtras (aphoristic summaries of the main points of a system) a neat classification of systems (darśanas), a classification that was never to be contradicted and to which no further systems are added. No new school was founded, no new darśana came into existence. But this conformism, like conformism to the Vedas, did not check the rise of independent thinking, new innovations, or original insights. There is, apparently, an underlying assumption in the Indian tradition that no individual can claim to have seen the truth for the first time and, therefore, that an individual can only explicate, state, and defend in a new form a truth that had been seen, stated, and defended by countless others before him: hence the tradition of expounding one's thoughts by affiliating oneself to one of the darśanas.

      If one is to be counted as a great master (ācārya), one has to write a commentary ( bhāṣya) on the sūtras of the darśana concerned, or one must comment on one of the bhāṣyas and write a ṭīkā (subcommentary). The usual order is sūtra–bhāṣya–vārttika (collection of critical notes)–ṭīkā. At any stage, a person may introduce a new and original point of view, but at no stage can he claim originality for himself. Not even an author of the sūtras could do that, for he was only systematizing the thoughts and insights of countless predecessors. The development of Indian philosophical thought has thus been able to combine, in an almost unique manner, conformity to tradition and adventure in thinking.

Roles of sacred texts, mythology, and theism
      The role of the sacred texts in the growth of Indian philosophy is different in each of the different systems. In those systems that may be called adhyātmavidyā, or sciences of spirituality, the sacred texts play a much greater role than they do in the logical systems (ānvīkṣikīvidyā). In the case of the former, Śaṅkara, a leading Advaita Vedānta philosopher (c. 788–820), perhaps best laid down the principles: reasoning should be allowed freedom only as long as it does not conflict with the scriptures. In matters regarding supersensible reality, reasoning left to itself cannot deliver certainty, for, according to Śaṅkara, every thesis established by reasoning may be countered by an opposite thesis supported by equally strong, if not stronger, reasoning. The sacred scriptures, embodying as they do the results of intuitive experiences of seers, therefore, should be accepted as authoritative, and reasoning should be made subordinate to them.

      Whereas the sacred texts thus continued to exercise some influence on philosophical thinking, the influence of mythology declined considerably with the rise of the systems. The myths of creation and dissolution of the universe persisted in the theistic systems but were transformed into metaphors and models. With the Nyāya (problem of knowledge)–Vaiśeṣika (Vaisheshika) (analysis of nature) systems, for example, the model of a potter making pots determined much philosophical thinking, as did that of a magician conjuring up tricks in the Advaita (nondualist) Vedānta. The nirukta (etymology) of Yāska, a 5th-century- BC Sanskrit scholar, tells of various attempts to interpret difficult Vedic mythologies: the adhidaivata (pertaining to the deities), the aitihāsika (pertaining to the tradition), the adhiyajña (pertaining to the sacrifices), and the ādhyātmika (pertaining to the spirit). Such interpretations apparently prevailed in the Upaniṣads; the myths were turned into symbols, though some of them persisted as models and metaphors.

      The issue of theism vis-à-vis atheism, in the ordinary senses of the English words, played an important role in Indian thought. The ancient Indian tradition, however, classified the classical systems (darśanas) into orthodox (āstika) and unorthodox (nāstika). Āstika does not mean “theistic,” nor does nāstika mean “atheistic.” Pāṇini, a 5th-century-BC grammarian, stated that the former is one who believes in a transcendent world (asti paralokah) and the latter is one who does not believe in it (nasti paralokah). Āstika may also mean one who accepts the authority of the Vedas; nāstika then means one who does not accept that authority. Not all among the āstika philosophers, however, were theists, and even if they were, they did not all accord the same importance to the concept of God in their systems. The Sāṃkhya (Saṃkhyā) system did not involve belief in the existence of God, without ceasing to be āstika, and Yoga (a mental–psychological–physical meditation system) made room for God not on theoretical grounds but only on practical considerations. The Pūrva-Mīmāṃsā of Jaimini, the greatest philosopher of the Mīmāṃsā school, posits various deities to account for the significance of Vedic rituals but ignores, without denying, the question of the existence of God. The Advaita Vedānta of Śaṅkara rejects atheism in order to prove that the world had its origin in a conscious, spiritual being called Īśvara (Ishvara), or God, but in the long run regards the concept of Īśvara as a concept of lower order that becomes negated by a metaphysical knowledge of Brahman, the absolute, nondual reality. Only the non-Advaita schools of Vedānta and the Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika remain zealous theists, and of these schools, the god of the Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika school does not create the eternal atoms, universals, or individual souls. For a truly theistic conception of God, one has to look to the non-Advaita schools of Vedānta, the Vaiṣṇava, and the Śaiva philosophical systems. Whereas Hindu religious life continues to be dominated by these last-mentioned theistic systems, the philosophies went their own ways, far removed from that religious demand.

A general history of development and cultural background
      S.N. Dasgupta, a 20th-century Indian philosopher, has divided the history of Indian philosophy into three periods: the prelogical (up to the beginning of the Christian Era), the logical (from the beginning of the Christian Era up to the 11th century AD), and the ultralogical (from the 11th century to the 18th century). What Dasgupta calls the prelogical stage covers the pre-Mauryan and the Mauryan periods (c. 321–185 BC) in Indian history. The logical period begins roughly with the Kuṣāṇas (1st–2nd centuries AD) and finds its highest development during the Gupta era (3rd–5th centuries AD) and the age of imperial Kanauj (7th century AD).

The prelogical period
      In its early prelogical phase, Indian thought, freshly developing in the Indian subcontinent, actively confronted and assimilated the diverse currents of pre- Aryan and non-Aryan elements in the native culture that the Aryans sought to conquer and appropriate. The marks of this confrontation are to be noted in every facet of Indian religion and thought: in the Vedic hymns in the form of conflicts, with varying fortunes, between the Aryans and the non-Aryans; in the conflict between a positive attitude toward life that is interested in making life fuller and richer and a negative attitude emphasizing asceticism and renunciation; in the great variety of skeptics, naturalists, determinists, indeterminists, accidentalists, and no-soul theorists that filled the Ganges Plain; in the rise of the heretical, unorthodox schools of Jainism and Buddhism protesting against the Vedic religion and the Upaniṣadic theory of ātman; and in the continuing confrontation, mutually enriching and nourishing, that occurred between the Brahmanic (Brahmanism) (Hindu priestly) and Buddhist logicians, epistemologists, and dialecticians. The Aryans, however, were soon followed by a host of foreign invaders, Greeks, Śakas and Hūṇas from Central Asia, Pushtans (Pathans), Mongols, and Mughals (Muslims). Both religious thought and philosophical discussion received continuous challenges and confrontations. The resulting responses have a dialectical character: sometimes new ideas have been absorbed and orthodoxy has been modified; sometimes orthodoxy has been strengthened and codified in order to be preserved in the face of the dangers of such confrontation; sometimes, as in the religious life of the Christian Middle Ages, bold attempts at synthesis of ideas have been made. Nevertheless, through all the vicissitudes of social and cultural life, Brahmanical thought has been able to maintain a fairly strong current of continuity.

      In the chaotic intellectual climate of the pre-Mauryan era, there were skeptics (ajñānikah) who questioned the possibility of knowledge. There were also materialists, the chief of which were the Ājīvikas (deterministic ascetics) and the Lokāyatas (the name by which Cārvāka (Carvaka) doctrines—denying the authority of the Vedas and the soul—are generally known). Furthermore, there existed the two unorthodox schools of yadṛchhāvāda (accidentalists) and svabhāvavāẖa (naturalists), who rejected the supernatural. Kapila, the legendary founder of the Sāṃkhya school, supposedly flourished during the 7th century BC. Pre-Mahāvīra (Mahavira) Jaina ideas were already in existence when Mahāvīra (flourished 6th century BC), the founder of Jainism, initiated his reform. Gautama the Buddha (flourished 6th–5th centuries BC) apparently was familiar with all of these intellectual ideas and was as dissatisfied with them as with the Vedic orthodoxy. He sought to forge a new path—though not new in all respects—that was to assure blessedness to man. Orthodoxy, however, sought to preserve itself in a vast Kalpa (Kalpa-sūtra)- (ritual) sūtra literature—with three parts: the Śrauta (Śrauta-sūtra)-, based on śruti (revelation); the Gṛhya (Gṛhya-sūtra)-, based on smṛti (tradition); and the Dharma (dharmasutra)-, or rules of religious law, sūtras—whereas the philosophers tried to codify their doctrines in systematic form, leading to the rise of the philosophical sūtras. Though the writing of the sūtras continued over a long period, the sūtras of most of the various darśanas probably were completed between the 6th and 3rd centuries BC. Two of the sūtras appear to have been composed in the pre-Maurya period, but after the rise of Buddhism; these works are the Mīmāṃsāsūtras of Jaimini (c. 400 BC) and the Vedānta-sūtras of Bādarāyaṇa (c. 500–200 BC).

      The Maurya (Mauryan empire) period brought, for the first time, a strong centralized state. The Greeks had been ousted, and a new self-confidence characterized the beginning of the period. This seems to have been the period in which the epics Mahābhārata and Rāmāyaṇa were initiated, though their composition went on through several centuries before they took the forms they now have. Manu, a legendary lawgiver, codified the Dharma-śāstra; Kauṭilya (Kautilya), a minister of King Candragupta Maurya, systematized the science of political economy (Arthaśāstra); and Patañjali, an ancient author or authors, composed the Yoga-sūtras. Brahmanism tried to adjust itself to the new communities and cultures that were admitted into its fold: new gods—or rather, old Vedic gods that had been rejuvenated—were worshipped; the Hindu trinity of Brahmā (Brahma) (the creator), Vishnu (the preserver), and Śiva (Shiva) (the destroyer) came into being; and the Pāśupata (Śaivite), Bhāgavata (Vaiṣṇavite (Vajrayāna)), and the Tantra (esoteric meditative) systems were initiated. The Bhagavadgītā (Bhagavadgita)—the most famous work of this period—symbolized the spirit of the creative synthesis of the age. A new ideal of karma as opposed to the more ancient one of renunciation was emphasized. Orthodox notions were reinterpreted and given a new symbolic meaning, as, for example, the Gītā does with the notion of yajña (“sacrifice”). Already in the pre-Christian era, Buddhism had split up into several major sects, and the foundations for the rise of Mahāyāna (“Greater Vehicle”) Buddhism had been laid.

The logical period
      The logical period of Indian thought began with the Kusanas (1st–2nd centuries). Gautama (author of the Nyāya-sūtras; probably flourished at the beginning of the Christian Era) and his 5th-century commentator Vātsyāyana established the foundations of the Nyāya as a school almost exclusively preoccupied with logical and epistemological issues. The Mādhyamika (“Middle Way”), or Śūnyavāda (“Voidist”) school of Buddhism, arose and the thought of Nāgārjuna (Nagarjuna) (c. 200), the great propounder of Śūnyavāda (dialectical thinking), reached great heights. Though Buddhist logic in the strict sense of the term had not yet come into being, a logical style of philosophizing was in existence in such schools of thought.

      During the reign of the Guptas (Gupta dynasty), there was a revival of Brahmanism of a gentler and more refined form. Vaiṣṇavism of the Vāsudeva cult, centring on the prince-god Krishna and advocating renunciation by action, and Śaivism (Shaivism) prospered, along with Buddhism and Jainism. Both the Mahāyāna and the Hinayāna (“Lesser Vehicle”), or Theravāda (“Way of the Elders”), schools flourished. The most notable feature, however, was the rise of the Buddhist Yogācāra school, of which Asaṅga (4th century AD) and his brother Vasubandhu were the great pioneers. Toward the end of the 5th century, Dignāga, a Buddhist logician, wrote the Pramāṇasamuccaya (“Compendium of the Means of True Knowledge”), a work that laid the foundations of Buddhist logic.

      The greatest names of Indian philosophy belong to the post-Gupta period from the 7th to the 10th century. At that time Buddhism was on the decline and the Tantric cults were rising, a situation that led to the development of the tantric forms of Buddhism. Śaivism was thriving in Kashmir, and Vaiṣṇavism (Vaishnavism) in the southern part of India. The great philosophers Mīmāmṣākas Kumārila (7th century), Prabhākara (7th–8th centuries), Maṇḍana Miśra (8th century), Śālikanātha (9th century), and Pārthasārathi Miśra (10th century) belong to this age. The greatest Indian philosopher of the period, however, was Śaṅkara. All of these men defended Brahmanism against the “unorthodox” schools, especially against the criticisms of Buddhism. The debate between Brahmanism and Buddhism was continued, on a logical level, by philosophers of the Nyāya school—Uddyotakara, Vācaspati Miśra, and Udayana ( Udayanācārya).

The ultralogical period
      Muslim rule in India had consolidated itself by the 11th century, by which time Buddhism, for all practical purposes, had disappeared from the country. Hinduism had absorbed Buddhist ideas and practices and reasserted itself, with the Buddha appearing in Hindu writings as an incarnation of Vishnu. The Muslim conquest created a need for orthodoxy to readjust itself to a new situation. In this period the great works on Hindu law were written. Jainism, of all the “unorthodox” schools, retained its purity, and great Jaina works, such as Devasūri's Pramāṇanayatattvālokālaṃkāra (“The Ornament of the Light of Truth of the Different Points of View Regarding the Means of True Knowledge,” 12th century AD) and Prabhāchandra's Prameyakamalamārtaṇḍa (“The Sun of the Lotus of the Objects of True Knowledge,” 11th century AD), were written during this period. Under the Cōla (Chola (Chola dynasty)) kings (c. 850–1279) and later in the Vijayanagara (Vijayanagar) kingdom (which, along with Mithilā in the north, remained strongholds of Hinduism until the middle of the 16th century), Vaiṣṇavism flourished. The philosopher Yamunācārya (flourished AD 1050) taught the path of prapatti, or complete surrender to God. The philosophers Rāmānuja (11th century), Madhva, and Nimbārka (c. 12th century) developed theistic systems of Vedānta and severely criticized Śaṅkara's Advaita Vedānta.

      Toward the end of the 12th century, creative work of the highest order began to take place in the fields of logic and epistemology in Mithilā and Bengal. The 12th–13th-century philosopher Gaṅgesa's Tattvacintāmaṇi (“The Jewel of Thought on the Nature of Things”) laid the foundations of the school of Navya-Nyāya (“New-Nyāya”). Four great members of this school were Pakṣadhara Miśra of Mithilā, Vāsudeva Sārvabhauma (16th century), his disciple Raghunātha Śiromaṇi (both of Bengal), and Gadādhara Bhaṭṭācāryya.

      Religious life was marked by the rise of great mystic saints, chief of which are Rāmānanda, Kabīr, Caitanya, and Gurū Nānak, who emphasized the path of bhakti, or devotion, a wide sense of humanity, freedom of thought, and a sense of unity of all religions. Somewhat earlier than these were the great Muslim Ṣūfī (mystic) saints, including Khwāja Muʾin-ud-Din Ḥasan, who emphasized asceticism and taught a philosophy that included both love of God and love of humanity.

      The British period in Indian history was primarily a period of discovery of the ancient tradition (e.g., the two histories by Radhakrishnan (Radhakrishnan, Sarvepalli), scholar and president of India from 1962 to 1967, and S.N. Dasgupta) and of comparison and synthesis of Indian philosophy with the philosophical ideas from the West. Among modern creative thinkers have been Mahatma Gandhi (Gandhi, Mohandas Karamchand), who espoused new ideas in the fields of social, political, and educational philosophy; Sri Aurobindo (Aurobindo, Śrī), an exponent of a new school of Vedānta that he calls Integral Advaita; and K.C. Bhattacharyya, who developed a phenomenologically oriented philosophy of subjectivity that is conceived as freedom from object.

Historical development of Indian philosophy

Presystematic philosophy
Śruti and the nature of authority
 All “orthodox” philosophies can trace their basic principles back to some statement or other in the Vedas. The Vedānta schools, especially, had an affiliation with the authority of śruti, and the school of Mīmāṃsā concerned itself chiefly with the questions of interpreting the sacred texts. The Hindu tradition regards the Vedas as being apauruṣeyai.e., as not composed by any person. Sāyana, a famous Vedic commentator, said that this means an absence of a human author. For Sāyana, the eternality of the Vedas is like that of space and time; man does not experience their beginning or end. But they are, in fact, created by Brahmā, the supreme creator. For the Advaita Vedānta, because no author of the Vedas is mentioned, an unbroken chain of Vedic teachers is quite conceivable, so that the scriptures bear testimony to their own eternality. The authoritative character of śruti may then be deduced from the fact that it is free from any fault (doṣa), or limitation, which characterizes human words. Furthermore, the Vedas give knowledge about things—whether dharma (what ought to be done) or Brahman (brahma) (the absolute reality)—which cannot be known by any other empirical means of knowledge. The authority of the Vedas cannot, therefore, be contradicted by any empirical evidence. Later logicians of the “orthodox” schools sought to give these arguments precision and logical rigour.

      The Vedic hymns ( mantras) seem to be addressed to gods and goddesses (deva, one who gives knowledge or light), who are personifications of natural forces and phenomena (Agni, the fire god; Indra, the rain god; Vāyu, the wind god). But there are gods not identifiable with such phenomena (e.g., Aditi, the infinite mother of all gods; Mitra, the friend; Varuṇa, the guardian of truth and righteousness; Viśvakarman, the all-maker; śraddhā, faith). Also, the hymns show an awareness of the unity of these deities, of the fact that it is one God who is called by different names. The famed conception of ṛta—meaning at once natural law, cosmic order, moral law, and the law of truth—made the transition to a monistic view of the universe as being but a manifestation of one reality about which the later hymns continue to raise fundamental questions in a poignant manner, without, however, suggesting any dogmatic answer.

Development of the notion of transmigration (reincarnation)
      The hymns may, in general, be said to express a positive attitude toward human life and to show interest in the full enjoyment of life here and hereafter rather than an anxiety to escape from it. The idea of transmigration and the conception of the different paths and worlds traversed by good men and those who are not good—i.e., the world of Vishnu and the realm of Yama—are found in the Vedas. The chain of rebirth as a product of ignorance and the conception of release from this chain as the greatest good of the spiritual life are markedly absent in the hymns.

Origin of the concept of Brahman and ātman (atman)
      The Upaniṣads answer the question “Who is that one Being?” by establishing the equation Brahman = ātman. Brahman—meaning now that which is the greatest, than which there is nothing greater, and also that which bursts forth into the manifested world, the one Being of which the hymn of creation spoke—is viewed as nothing but ātman, identifiable as the innermost self in man but also, in reality, the innermost self in all beings. Both the words gain a new, extended, and spiritual significance through this identification. Ātman was originally used to mean breath, the vital essence, and even the body. Later etymologizing brought out several strands in its meaning: that which pervades (yad āpnoti), that which gives (yadādatte), that which eats (yad atti), and that which constantly accompanies (yacca asya santato bhavam). Distinctions were made between the bodily self, the vital self, the thinking self, and the innermost self, whose nature is bliss (ānanda), the earlier ones being sheaths (kośas) covering the innermost being. Distinctions were sometimes drawn between the waking ( jāgrat), dreaming (svapna), and dreamless-sleep (suṣupti) states of the self, and these three are contrasted with the fourth, or transcendent (turīya), state that both transcends and includes them all. The identification of the absolute reality underlying the universe with the innermost being within the human person resulted in a spiritualization of the former concept and a universalization of the latter. This final conception of Brahman or ātman received many different explications from different teachers in the Upaniṣads, some of which were negative in character (neti neti, “not this, not this”) while others positively affirmed the all-pervasiveness of Brahman. But there were still others who insisted on both the transcendence and immanence of Brahman in the universe. Brahman is also characterized as infinite, truth, and knowledge and as existence, consciousness, and bliss.

The principles underlying macrocosm and microcosm
      Though the objective and the subjective, the macrocosm (universal) and the microcosm (individual), came to be identified according to their true essences, attempts were made to correlate different macrocosmic principles with corresponding microcosmic principles. The manifested cosmos was correlated with the bodily self; the soul of the world, or Hiraṇyagarbha, with the vital self; and Īśvara, or God as a self-conscious being, with the thinking self. The transcendent self and the Brahman as bliss are not correlates but rather are identical.

Early Buddhist developments
  Buddhism was not a completely new phenomenon in the religious history of India; it was built upon the basis of ideas that were already current, both Brahmanic and non-Aryan. Protests against the Brahmanic doctrines of ātman, karma, and mokṣa were being voiced in the 6th century BC, prior to the Buddha, by various schools of thought: by naturalists, such as Pūraṇa (“The Old One”) Kassapa, who denied both virtue and vice (dharma and adharma) and thus all moral efficacy of human deeds; by determinists, such as the Ājīvika Makkhali Gosāla, who denied sin and freedom of will; and by materialists, such as Ajita Keśakambalin, who, besides denying virtue, vice, and afterlife, resolved man's being into material elements, Nigantha Nātaputta, who believed in salvation by an ascetic life of self-discipline and hence in the efficacy of deeds and the possibility of omniscience, and, finally, Sanjaya Belathiputta, the skeptic, who, in reply to the question “Is there an afterlife?” would not say “It is so” or “It is otherwise,” nor would he say “It is not so” or “It is not not so.”

      Of these six, the Jaina tradition identifies Nigantha with Mahāvīra; the designation “Ājīvika” is applied, in a narrow sense, to the followers of Makkhali and in a loose sense to all nonorthodox sects other than the Jainas—the skeptics and the Lokāyatas.

      Buddhism, Jainism, and the Ājīvikas rejected, in common, the sacrificial polytheism of the Brāhmaṇas and the monistic mysticism of the Upaniṣads. All three of them recognized the rule of natural law in the universe. Buddhism, however, retained the Vedic notions of karma and mokṣa, though rejecting the other fundamental concept of ātman.

The Four Noble Truths and the nature of suffering
      In such an intellectual climate Gautama the Buddha taught his four noble truths: (1) duḥkha (dukkha) (generally but misleadingly translated as “suffering”); (2) the origination of duḥkha (duḥkhasamudāya); (3) the cessation of duḥkha; and finally (4) the way leading to the cessation.

      Although the word duḥkha in common parlance means suffering, its use by Gautama was meant to include both pleasure and pain, both happiness and suffering. There are three aspects of this conception: duḥkha as suffering in the ordinary sense; duḥkha arising out of the impermanence of things, even of a state of pleasure; and duḥkha in the sense of five aggregates meaning that the “I” constituted by any individual is nothing but a totality of five aggregates—i.e., form, feeling, conception, disposition, and consciousness. In brief, whatever is noneternal—i.e., whatever is subject to the law of causality—is characterized by duḥkha; for Gautama, this is the human situation. One who recognizes the nature of duḥkha also knows its causes. Duḥkha arises out of craving (tṛṣṇā), craving arises out of sensation (vedanā), and sensation arises out of contact (sparśa), so that man is faced with a series of conditions leading back to ignorance (avidyā)—a series in which the rise of each succeeding member depends upon the preceding one (pratītyasamutpāda).

The path of liberation: methods of Eightfold Path
      The four noble truths follow the golden mean between the two extremes of sensual indulgence and ascetic self-torture, both of which Gautama rejected as spiritually useless. Only the middle path consisting in the eight steps—called the eightfold path—leads to enlightenment and to Nirvāṇa. The eight steps are (1) right views, (2) right intention, (3) right speech, (4) right action, (5) right livelihood, (6) right effort, (7) right mindfulness, and (8) right concentration. Of these eight, steps 3, 4, and 5 are grouped under right morality (śīla); steps 6, 7, and 8 under right concentration (samādhi); and steps 1 and 2 under right wisdom (prajñā).

The concepts of selflessness and Nirvāṇa (nirvana)
      Two key notions, even in early Buddhism, are those of anātman (anatta) (Sanskrit: “no-self”; Palī anattā) and Nirvāṇa. The Buddha apparently wanted his famed doctrine of anātman to be a phenomenological account of how things are rather than a theory. In his discourse to the wandering monk Vacchagotta, he rejected the theories of both eternalism (śāśvatavāẖa) and annihilationism (ucchedavāda). The former, he stated, would be incompatible with his thesis that all laws (dharmas; Palī dhammas) are selfless (sabbe dhammā anattā); the latter would be significant only if one had a self that is no more in existence. Thus, by not taking sides with the metaphysicians, the Buddha described how the consciousness “I am” comes to constitute itself in the stream of consciousness out of the five aggregates of form, feeling, conception, disposition, and consciousness. The doctrine of “no-self” actually has two aspects: as applied to pudgala, or the individual person, and as applied to the dhamma (dharma)s, or the elements of being. In its former aspect, it asserts the fact that an individual is constituted out of five aggregates; in its latter aspect it means the utter insubstantiality of all elements. Intuitive realization of the former truth leads to the disappearance of passions and desires, realization of the latter removes all misconceptions about the nature of things in general. The former removes the “covering of the passions” (kleśāvaraṇa); the latter removes “the concealment of things” ( jñeyāvaraṇa). Together, they result in Nirvāṇa.

      Both negative and positive accounts of Nirvāṇa are to be found in the Buddha's teachings and in early Buddhist writings. Nirvāṇa is a state of utter extinction, not of existence, but of passions and suffering; it is a state beyond the chain of causation, a state of freedom and spontaneity. It is in addition a state of bliss. Nirvāṇa is not the result of a process; were it so, it would be but another perishing state. It is the truth—not, however, an eternal, everlasting substance like the ātman of the Upaniṣads, but the truth of utter selflessness and insubstantiality of things, of the emptiness of the ego, and of the impermanence of all things. With the realization of this truth, ignorance is destroyed, and, consequently, all craving, suffering, and hatred is destroyed with it (see also the article Buddhism).

The philosophical portions of the “mahābhārata”
      The great epic Mahābhārata (Mahabharata) represents the attempt of Vedic Brahmanism to adjust itself to the new circumstances reflected in the process of the aryanization (integration of Aryan beliefs, practices, and institutions) of the various non-Aryan communities. Many diverse trends of religious and philosophical thought have thus been synthesized in this work (see also Hinduism).


Proto-Sāṃkhyan texts
      In its philosophical views, the epic contains an early version of Sāṃkhya (a belief in real matter and the plurality of individual souls), which is prior to the classical Sāṃkhya of Īśvarakṛṣṇa, a 3rd-century philosopher. The chapter on “Mokṣadharma” in Book 12 of the Mahābhāratais full of such proto-Sāṃkhya (Saṃkhyā) texts. Mention is made of four main philosophical schools: Sāṃkhya-Yoga, taught by Kapila (a sage living before the 6th century BC); Pāñcarātra, taught by Vishnu; the Vedas; and Pāśupata (“Lord of Creatures”), taught by Śiva. Belonging to the Pāñcarātra school, the epic basically attempts to accommodate certain presystematic Sāṃkhya ideas into the Bhāgavata faith. Sāṃkhya and Yoga are sometimes put together, sometimes distinguished. Several different schemata of the 25 principles (tattvas) of the Sāṃkhya are recorded. One common arrangement is that of eight productive forms of prakṛti (the unmanifest, intellect, egoism, and five fine elements: sound, smell, form or colour, taste, and touch) and 16 modifications (five organs of perception, five organs of action, mind, and five gross elements: ether, earth, fire, water, and air), and puruṣa (man). An un-Sāṃkhyan element is the 26th principle: Īśvara, or the supreme Lord. One notable result is the identification of the four living forms (vyūhas) of the Pāñcarātra school with four Sāṃkhya principles: Vāsudeva with spirit, Saṃkarṣaṇa with individual soul, Pradyumna with mind, and Aniruddha with the ego-sense.

Non-Sāṃkhyan texts
      Besides the Sāṃkhya-Yoga, which is in the foreground of the epic's philosophical portions, there are Vedānta texts emphasizing the unity of spirits and theistic texts emphasizing not only a personal deity but also the doctrine of avatar (avatāra), or incarnation. The Vāsudeva-Krishna cult characterizes the theistic part of the epic.

Early theories of kingship (king) and state
      In the Śānti Parvan (“Book of Consolation,” 12th book) of the Mahābhārata, there is also a notable account of the origin of kingship and of rājadharma, or the dharma (law) of the king as king. Bhīṣma, who is discoursing, refers with approval to two different theories of the origin of kingship, both of which speak of a prior period in which there were no kings. According to one account, this age was a time characterized by insecurity for the weak and unlimited power for the strong; the other regards it as an age of peace and tranquillity. The latter account contains a theory of the fall of mankind from this ideal state, which led to a need for institutionalized power, or kingship; the former account leads directly from the insecurity of the prekingship era to the installation of king by the divine ruler for the protection and the security of mankind. Kingship is thus recognized as having a historical origin. The primary function of the king is that of protection, and daṇḍanīti, or the art of punishment, is subordinated to rājadharma, or dharma of the king. Though it recognizes a quasi-divinity of the king, the Mahābhārata makes the dharma, the moral law, superior to the king.

The “Bhagavadgītā”
      The Bhagavadgītā (Bhagavadgita) (“Divine Song” or “Song of the Lord”) forms a part of Mahābhārata and deserves separate consideration by virtue of its great importance in the religious life and thought of the Hindus. Not itself a śruti, it has, however, been accorded the status of an authoritative text and is regarded as one of the sources of the Vedānta philosophy. At a theoretical level, it brings together Sāṃkhya metaphysics, Upaniṣadic monism, and a devotional theism of the Krishna-Vāsudeva cult. In its practical teaching, it steers a middle course between the “path of action” of the Vedic ritualism and the “path of renunciation” of the Upaniṣadic mysticism, and it accommodates all the three major “paths” to mokṣa: the paths of action (karma), devotion (bhakti), and knowledge (jñāna (jnana)). This synthetic character of the work accounts for its great hold on the Hindu mind. The Hindu tradition treats it as one homogenous work, with the status of an Upaniṣad.

      Neither performance of the duties prescribed in the scriptures nor renunciation of all action is conducive to the attainment of mokṣa. If the goal is freedom, then the best path to the goal is to perform one's duties with a spirit of nonattachment without caring for the fruits of one's actions and without the thought of pleasure or pain, profit or loss, or victory or failure, with a sense of equanimity and equality. The Kantian ethic of “duty for duty's sake” seems to be the nearest Western parallel to Krishna's (Krishna) (Kṛṣṇa's) teaching at this stage. But Krishna soon went beyond it, by pointing out that performance of action with complete nonattachment requires knowledge ( jñāna) of the true nature of the self, its distinction from prakṛti (prakriti), or Matter (the primeval stuff, not the world of matter perceived by the senses), with its three component elements (sattva—i.e., tension or harmony; rajas—i.e., activity; and tamas—i.e., inertia), and of the highest self (puruṣottama), whose higher and lower aspects are Matter and finite individuals, respectively. This knowledge of the highest self or the supreme lord, however, would only require a devotional attitude of complete self-surrender and performance of one's duties in the spirit of offering to him. Thus, karma-yoga (yoga of works) is made to depend on jñāna-yoga (yoga of knowledge), and the latter is shown to lead to bhakti-yoga (yoga of devotion). Instead of looking upon Krishna's teaching as laying down alternative ways for different persons in accordance with their aptitudes, it would seem more logical to suppose that he taught the essential unity and interdependence of these ways. How one should begin is left to one's aptitude and spiritual makeup.

Doctrines and ideas of the Buddhist “tipiṭaka”
      In the Tipiṭaka (Palī: “The Three Baskets”; Sanskrit Tripiṭaka), collected and compiled 300 years after the Buddha's mahāparinirvāṇa (attainment of Buddhahood), at the council at Pāṭaliputra (3rd century BC), both the canonical and philosophical doctrines of early Buddhism were codified. Abhidamma piṭaka (Abhidhamma Pitaka), the last of the piṭakas, has seven parts: Dhammasaṅgaṇi, which gives an enumeration of dhammas, or elements of existence; Vibhaṅga, which gives further analysis of the dhammas; Dhatukathā, which is a detailed classification, following many different principles, of the elements; Puggalapaññatti, which gives descriptions of individual persons according to stages of their development; Kathāvatthu, which contains discussions and refutation of other schools (of Buddhism); Yamaka, which derives its name from the fact that it deals with pairs of questions; and Paṭṭhāna, which gives an analysis of relations among the elements.

      The key notion in all this is that of the dhammas. Because Buddhist philosophers denied any permanence, whether in outer nature or in inner life, they felt compelled to undertake a detailed, systematic, and complete listing and classification of the different elements that constitute both the external world and the mental, inner life. Each of these elements, except for the three elements that are not composed of parts (i.e., space, or ākāśa, and the two cessations, Nirvāṇa and a temporary stoppage, in states of meditation, of the flow of passions, or apratisamkhyānivodha), is momentary. The primary object of this exhaustive analysis was an understanding not so much of outer nature as of the human (human being) person (pudgala). The human person, however, consists in material (rūpa) and mental (nāma) factors, which led to an account of the various elements of matter. The primary interest, nevertheless, is in man, who is regarded as an aggregate of various elements. The analysis of these components, together with the underlying denial of an eternal self, was supposed to provide the theoretical basis for the possibility of a good life conducive to the attainment of Nirvāṇa.

      The individual person was analyzed into five aggregates ( skandhas): material form (rūpa); feeling (vedanā); conception (saṃjñā); disposition (saṃskāra); and consciousness (vijñāna). Of these, the last four constitute the mental; the first alone is the material factor. The material is further analyzed into 28 states, the saṃskāra into 50 (falling into three groups: intellectual, affectional, and volitional), and the vijñāna into 89 kinds of states of consciousness. Another principle of classification leads to a list of 18 elements (dhātus): five sense organs, five objects of those senses, mind, the specific object of mind, and six kinds of consciousness (visual, auditory, olfactory, gustatory, tactual, and purely mental). A third classification is into 12 bases (āyatanas), which is a list of six cognitive faculties and their objects. The Buddhist analysis of matter was in terms of sensations and sense data, to which the sense organs were also added. The analysis of mind was also in terms of corresponding modes of consciousness and their objects.

Early system building
The history of the sūtra style
      A unique feature of the development of Indian thought was the systematization of each school of thought in the form of sūtras, or extremely concise expressions, intended to reduce the doctrines of a science or of a philosophy into a number of memorizable aphorisms, formulas, or rules. The word sūtra, originally meaning “thread,” came to mean such concise expressions. A larger work containing such sūtras also came to be called a sūtra. The aid of commentaries becomes indispensable for the understanding of the sūtras, and it is not surprising that philosophical composition took the form of commentaries and subcommentaries. The earliest sūtras, the Kalpa-sūtras, however, are not philosophical but ritualistic. These Kalpa-sūtras fell into three major parts: the Śrauta-sūtras, dealing with Vedic sacrifices; the Gṛhya-sūtras, dealing with the ideal life of a householder; and the Dharma-sūtra (dharmasutra)s, dealing with moral injunctions and prohibitions.

      In the works of Pāṇini, a Hindu grammarian, the sūtra style reached a perfection never attained before and only imperfectly approximated by the later practitioners. The sūtra literature began before the rise of Buddhism, though the philosophical sūtras all seem to have been composed afterward. The Buddhist sutta (Palī form of the Sanskrit word sūtra) differs markedly in style and content from the Hindu sūtra. The suttas are rather didactic texts, discourses, or sermons, possibly deriving their name from the sense in which they carry the thread of the tradition of the Buddha's teachings.

The “Pūrva-mīmāṃsā-sūtras” and Śabara's commentary
      The Pūrva-mīmāṃsā (Mimamsa) (“First Reflection”), or Karmamīmāṃsā (“Study of [Ritual] Action”), is the system that investigates the nature of Vedic injunctions. Though this is the primary purpose of the system, this task also led to the development of principles of scriptural interpretation and, therefore, to theories of meaning and hermeneutics (critical interpretations). Jaimini, who composed sūtras about the 4th century BC, was critical of earlier Mīmāṃsā authors, particularly of one Bādari, to whom is attributed the view that the Vedic injunctions are meant to be obeyed without the expectation of benefits for oneself. According to Jaimini, Vedic injunctions do not merely prescribe actions but also recommend these actions as means to the attainment of desirable goals. For both Jaimini and Śabara (3rd century), his chief commentator, performance of the Vedic sacrifices is conducive to the attainment of heaven; both emphasize that nothing is a duty unless it is instrumental to happiness in the long run.

      Jaimini's central concern is dharma, which is defined as the desired object (artha), whose desirability is testified only by the injunctive statements of the scriptures (codanā-lakṣaṇo). In order to substantiate the implied thesis that what ought to be done—i.e., dharma—cannot be decided by either perception or reasoning, Jaimini proceeds to a discussion of the nature of ways of knowing. Because perceptual knowledge arises from contact of the sense organs with reality that is present, dharma that is not an existent reality but a future course of action cannot possibly be known by sense-experience. Reasoning based on such sense-experience is for the same reason useless. Only injunctive statements can state what ought to be done. Commands made by finite individuals are not reliable, because the validity of what they say depends upon the presumption that the persons concerned are free from those defects that render one's words dependable. Therefore, only the injunctions contained in the scriptures—which, according to Mīmāṃsā and the Hindu tradition, are not composed by any finite individual (apauruṣeya)—are the sources of all valid knowledge of dharma. The Mīmāṃsā rejects the belief that the scriptures are utterances of God. The words themselves are authoritative. In accordance with this thesis, Jaimini developed the theory that the relation between words and their meanings is natural (autpattikastu śabdasyārthena sambandhah, or “the relation of word to its meaning is eternal”) and not conventional, that the primary meaning of a word is a universal (which is also eternal), that in a sentence the principal element is the verb, and that the principal force of the verb is that which specifically belongs to the verb with an optative ending and which instigates a person to take a certain course of action in order to effect the desired end.

      Though this theory provided the Mīmāṃsā with a psychological and semantic technique for interpreting the sentences of the scriptures that are clearly in the injunctive form, there are also other kinds of sentences: prayers, glorifications, those referring to a thing by a name, and prohibitions. Attempts were therefore made to show how each one of these types of sentences bears, directly or indirectly, on the central, injunctive texts. Furthermore, a systematic classification of the various forms of injunctions is undertaken: those that indicate the general nature of an action, those that show the connection of a subsidiary rite to the main course of action, those that suggest promptness in performance of the action, and those that indicate the right to enjoy the results to be produced by the course of action enjoined.

      The commentary of Śabara elaborated on the epistemological themes of the sūtras; in particular, Śabara sought to establish the intrinsic validity of experiences and traced the possibility of error to the presence of defects in the ways of knowing. He also critically examined Buddhist subjective idealism and the theory of utter emptiness of things and proved the existence of soul as a separate entity that enjoys the results of one's actions in this or the next life.

The “Vedānta-sūtras”

Relation to the “Mīmāṃsā-sūtras”
      Along with Bādari and Jaimini, Bādarāyaṇa, a contemporary of Jaimini, was the other major interpreter of Vedic thought. Just as the Mīmāṃsā-sūtra traditions of Bādari's tradition were revived by Prabhākara, a 7th–8th-century scholar, and Jaimini's defended by Śabara and Kumārila, a 7th–8th-century scholar, Bāẖarāyaṇa's sūtras laid the basis for the development of Vedānta philosophy. The relation of the Vedānta-sūtras to the Mīmāṃsā-sūtras, however, is difficult to ascertain. Bādarāyaṇa approves of the Mīmāṃsā view that the relation between words and their significations is eternal. There are, however, clear statements of difference: according to Jaimini, for example, the dispenser of the “fruits” of one's actions is dharma, the law of righteousness itself, but for Bādarāyaṇa it is the supreme lord, Īśvara. Often, Jaimini's interpretation is contrasted with that of Bādari; in such cases, Bādarāyaṇa sometimes supports Bādari's view and sometimes regards both as defensible.

      The overall difference that emerges is that whereas Jaimini lays stress on the ritualistic parts of the Vedas, Bādarāyaṇa lays stress on the philosophical portions—i.e., the Upaniṣads. The former recommends the path of Vedic injunctions, hence the ideal of karma; the latter recommends the path of knowledge. The central concept of Jaimini's investigation is dharma—i.e., what ought to be done; the central theme of Bādarāyaṇa's investigations is Brahman—i.e., the absolute reality. The relationship between these two treatises remains a matter of controversy between later commentators—Rāmānuja, a great South Indian philosopher of the 11th–12th centuries, defending the thesis that they jointly constitute a single work with Jaimini's coming first and Bādarāyaṇa's coming after it in logical order, and Śaṅkara, an earlier great South Indian philosopher of the 8th–9th centuries, in favour of the view that the two are independent of each other and possibly also inconsistent in their central theses.

Contents and organization of the four books
      Bādarāyaṇa's sūtras have four books (adhyāyas), each book having four chapters (pādas). The first book is concerned with the theme of samanvaya (“reconciliation”). The many conflicting statements of the scriptures are all said to agree in converging on one central theme: the concept of Brahman, the one absolute being from whom all beings arise, in whom they are maintained, and into whom they return. The second book establishes avirodha (“consistency”) by showing the following: (1) that dualism and Vaiśeṣika atomism are neither sustainable interpretations of the scriptures nor defensible rationally; (2) that though consciousness cannot conceivably arise out of a nonconscious nature, the material world could arise out of spirit; (3) that the effect in its essence is not different from the cause; and (4) that though Brahman is all-perfect and has no want, creation is an entirely unmotivated free act of delight (līlā). The Buddhist (Vijñānavāda) view that there are no external objects but only minds and their conceptions is refuted, as also the Buddhist doctrine of the momentariness of all that is. The Jaina pluralism and the theism of the Pāśupatas and the Bhāgavatas are also rejected. Because, according to Vedānta, only Brahman is external, the third and the fourth chapters of the second book undertake to show that nothing else is eternal. The third book concerns the spiritual discipline and the various stages by which the finite individual ( jīva) may realize his essential identity with Brahman. The fourth and last book deals with the final result of the modes of discipline outlined in the preceding book and distinguishes between the results achieved by worshipping a personal Godhead and those achieved by knowing the one Brahman. Included is some discussion of the possible “worlds” through which the spirits travel after death, but all this discussion is subordinate to the one dominant goal of liberation and consequent escape from the chain of rebirth.

Variations in views
      Bādarāyaṇa's sūtras refer to interpreters of Vedānta before him who were concerned with such central issues as the relation between the finite individual ( jīva) and the absolute spirit (Brahman) and the possible bodily existence of a liberated individual. To Āśmarthya, an early Vedānta interpreter, is ascribed the view that the finite individual and the absolute are both identical and different (as causes and their effects are different—a view that seems to have been the ancestor of the later theory of Bhedābheda). Auḍulomi, another pre-Bādarāyaṇa Vḥẖānta philosopher, is said to have held the view that the finite individual becomes identical with Brahman after going through a process of purification. Another interpreter, Kāśakṛtsna, holds that the two are identical—a view that anticipates the later “unqualified monism” of Śaṅkara. Bādarāyaṇa's own views on this issue are difficult to ascertain: the sūtras are so concise that they are capable of various interpretations, though there are reasons to believe that Rāmānuja's is closer to their intentions than Śaṅkara's.

The “Sāṃkhya-kārikās”

Relation to orthodoxy
      Īśvarakṛṣṇa's Sāṃkhya-kārikā (or “Verses on Sāmkhya,” c. 2nd century AD) is the oldest available Sāṃkhya work. Īśvarakṛṣṇa describes himself as laying down the essential teachings of Kapila as taught to Āsuri and by Āsuri to Pañcaśikha. He refers also to Ṣaṣṭitantra (“Doctrine of 60 Conceptions”), the main doctrines of which he claims to have expounded in the kārikās. The Sāṃkhya of Caraka, which is substantially the same as is attributed to Pañcaśikha in the Mahābhārata, is theistic and regards the unmanifested (avyakta) as being the same as the puruṣa (the self). The Mahābhārata refers to three kinds of Sāṃkhya doctrines: those that accept 24, 25, or 26 principles, the last of which are theistic. The later Sāṃkhya-sūtra is more sympathetic toward theism, but the kārikās are atheistic, and the traditional expositions of the Sāṃkhya are based on this work.

The nature of the self (puruṣa (purusha))
      According to the kārikās, there are many selves, each being of the nature of pure consciousness. The self is neither the original matter (prakṛti) nor an evolute of it. Though matter is composed of the three guṇas (qualities), the self is not; though matter, being nonintelligent, cannot discriminate, the self is discriminating; though matter is object (viṣaya), the self is not; though matter is common, the self is an individual (asāmānya); unlike matter, the self is not creative (aprasavadharmin). The existence of selves is proved on the ground that nature exhibits an ordered arrangement the like of which is known to be meant for another (parārthatva). This other must be a conscious spirit. That there are many such selves is proved on the grounds that different persons are born and die at different times, that they do not always act simultaneously, and that they show different qualities, aptitudes, and propensities. All selves are, however, passive witnesses (sākṣin), essentially alone (kevala), neutral (madhyastha), and not agents (akartā).

The nature, origin, and structure of the world (prakṛti (prakriti))
      Phenomenal nature, with its distinctions of things and persons (taken as psychophysical organisms), is regarded as an evolution out of a primitive state of matter. This conception is based on a theory of causality known as the satkāryavāda, according to which an effect is implicitly pre-existent in its cause prior to its production. This latter doctrine is established on the ground that if the effect were not already existent in its cause, then something would have to come out of nothing. The original prakṛti (primeval stuff) is the primary matrix out of which all differentiations arose and within which they all were contained in an undistinguished manner. Original Matter is uncaused, eternal, all-pervading, one, independent, self-complete, and has no distinguishable parts; the things that emerge out of this primitive matrix are, on the other hand, caused, noneternal, limited, many, dependent, wholes composed of parts, and manifested. But Matter, whether in its original unmanifested state or in its manifested forms, is composed of three guṇas, nondiscriminating (avivekin), object (viṣaya), general, nonconscious, and yet creative.

      The order in which Matter evolves is laid down as follows: prakṛtimahat or buddhi (Intelligence) → ahaṃkāra (ego-sense) → manas (mind) → five tanmātras (the sense data: colour, sound, smell, touch, and taste) → five sense organs → five organs of action (tongue, hands, feet, organs of evacuation and of reproduction) → five gross elements (ether, air, light, water, and earth). This emanation schema may be understood either as an account of cosmic evolution or as a logical–transcendental analysis of the various factors involved in experience or as an analysis of the concrete human personality.

The concept of the three qualities (guṇas)
      A striking feature of this account is the conception of guṇa: nature is said to consist of three guṇas—originally in a state of equilibrium and subsequently in varying states of mutual preponderance. The kārikās do not say much about whether the guṇas are to be regarded as qualities or as component elements. Of the three, harmony or tension (sattva) is light (laghu), is pleasing, and is capable of manifesting others. Activity (rajas) is dynamic, exciting, and capable of hurting. Inertia (tamas) is characterized by heaviness, conceals, is static, and causes sadness. Man's varying psychological responses are thus hypostatized and made into component properties or elements of nature—an argument whose fallacy was exposed, among others, by Śaṅkara.

      The Sāṃkhya-kārikā delineates three ways of knowing (pramāṇa): perception, inference, and verbal testimony. Perception is defined as the application of the sense organs to their respective objects (prativiṣayādhyavasāya). Inference, which is not defined, is divided first into three kinds, and then into two. According to the former classification, an inference is called pūrvavat if it is based on past experience (such as when one, on seeing a dark cloud, infers that it will rain); it is called śeṣavat when from the presence of a certain property in one part of a thing the presence of the same property is inferred in the rest (such as when, on finding a drop of sea water to be saline, one infers the rest to be so); it is called sāmānyato-dṛṣṭa when it is used to infer what is not perceivable (such as when one infers the movement of a star on seeing it occupy two different positions in the firmament at different times). According to the other classification, an inference may be either from the mark to that of which it is the mark or in the reverse direction. Verbal testimony, in order to be valid, must be the word of one who has authoritative knowledge.

      There is, in addition to the three ways of knowing, consideration of the modes of functioning of the sense organs. The outer senses apprehend only the present objects, the inner senses (manas, antaḥkaraṇa, and buddhi) have the ability to apprehend all objects—past, present, and future. The sense organs, on apprehending their objects, are said to offer them to buddhi, or intelligence, which both makes judgments and enjoys the objects of the senses. Buddhi is also credited with the ability to perceive the distinction between the self and the natural components of the person.

      In its ethics, the kārikās manifest an intellectualism that is characteristic of the Sāṃkhya system. Suffering is due to ignorance of the true nature of the self, and freedom, the highest good, can be reached through knowledge of the distinction between the self and nature. In this state of freedom, the self becomes indifferent to nature; it ceases to be an agent and an enjoyer. It becomes what it in fact is, a pure witness consciousness.

The “Yoga-sūtras”

Relation to Sāṃkhya
      The Yoga-sūtras of Patañjali (2nd century BC) are the earliest extant textbook on Yoga. Scholars now generally agree that the author of the Yoga-sūtras is not the grammarian Patañjali. In any case, the Yoga-sūtras (Yoga) stand in close relation to the Sāṃkhya system, so much so that tradition regards the two systems as one. Yoga adds a 26th principle to the Sāṃkhya list of 25—i.e., the supreme lord, or Īśvara—and has thus earned the name of Seśvara-Sāṃkhya, or theistic Sāṃkhya. Furthermore, there is a difference in their attitudes: Sāṃkhya is intellectualistic and emphasizes metaphysical knowledge as the means to liberation; Yoga is voluntaristic and emphasizes the need of going through severe self-control as the means of realizing intuitively the same principles.

God, self, and body
      In the Yoga-sūtras, God is defined as a distinct self (puruṣa), untouched by sufferings, actions, and their effects; his existence is proved on the ground that the degrees of knowledge found in finite beings, in an ascending order, has an upper limit—i.e., omniscience, which is what characterizes God. He is said to be the source of all secular and scriptural traditions; he both revealed the Vedas and taught the first fathers of mankind. Surrender of the effects of action to God is regarded as a recommended observance.

      As in Sāṃkhya, the self is distinguished from the mind (citta): the mind is viewed as an object, an aggregate. This argument is used to prove the existence of a self other than the mind. The mental state is not self-intimating; it is known in introspection. It cannot know both itself and its object. It rather is known by the self, whose essence is pure, undefiled consciousness. That the self is not changeable is proved by the fact that were it changeable the mental states would be sometimes known and sometimes unknown—which, however, is not the case, because a mental state is always known. To say that the self knows means that the self is reflected in the mental state and makes the latter manifested. The aim of Yoga is to arrest mental modifications (citta-vṛtti) so that the self remains in its true, undefiled essence and is, thus, not subject to suffering.

      The attitude of the Yoga-sūtras to the human body is ambivalent. The body is said to be filthy and unclean. Thus, the ascetic cultivates a disgust for it. Yet, much of the discipline laid down in the Yoga-sūtras concerns perfection of the body, with the intent to make it a fit instrument for spiritual perfection. Steadiness in bodily posture and control of the breathing process are accorded a high place. The perfection of body is said to consist in “beauty, grace, strength and adamantine hardness.”

Theories and techniques of self-control and meditation
      Patañjali lays down an eightfold path consisting of aids to Yoga: restraint (yama), observance (niyama), posture (āsana), regulation of breathing (prāṇāyama), abstraction of the senses (pratyāhāra), concentration (dhāranā), meditation (dhyānā), and trance (samādhi (samadhi)). The first two constitute the ethical core of the discipline: the restraints are abstinence from injury, veracity, abstinence from stealing, continence, and abstinence from greed. The observances are cleanliness, contentment, purificatory actions, study, and surrender of the fruits of one's actions to God. Ahiṃsā (nonviolence) also is glorified, as an ethics of detachment.

      Various stages of samādhi are distinguished: the conscious and the superconscious, which are subdivided into achievements with different shades of perfection. In the final stage, all mental modifications cease to be and the self is left in its pure, undefiled state of utter isolation. This is freedom (kaivalya), or absolute independence.

The “Vaiśeṣika-sūtras”
      The Vaiśeṣika-sūtras (Vaisheshika) were written by Kaṇāda, a philosopher who flourished c. 2nd–4th centuries. The system owes its name to the fact that it admits ultimate particularities (viśeṣa). The metaphysics is, therefore, pluralistic.

Organization and contents
      The Vaiśḥṣika-sūtras are divided into ten chapters, each with two sections. Chapter 1 states the purpose of the work: to explain dharma, defined as that which confers prosperity and ultimate good on man. This is followed by an enumeration of the categories (category) of being recognized in the system: substance, quality (guṇa), action, universality, particularity, and inherence (samavāya). Later authors add a seventh category: negation (abhāva). This enumeration is followed by an account of the common features as well as dissimilarities among these categories: the categories of “universal” and “particularity” and the concepts of being and existence. Chapter 2 classifies substances into nine kinds: earth, water, fire, air, ether, space, time, self, and mind. There next follows a discussion of the question of whether sound is eternal or noneternal. Chapter 3 is an attempt to prove the existence of self by an inference. Chapter 4 explains the words “eternal” and “noneternal,” the noneternal being identified with avidyā, and distinguishes between three different forms of the substances earth, water, fire, and air—each of these is either a body, a sense organ, or an object. Chapter 5 deals with the notion of action and the connected concept of effort, and the next traces various special phenomena of nature to the supersensible force, called adṛṣṭa. Chapter 6 argues that performance of Vedic injunctions generates this supersensible force and that the merits and demerits accumulated lead to mokṣa. Chapter 7 argues that qualities of eternal things are eternal and those of noneternal things are noneternal. Chapter 8 argues that the self and mind are not perceptible. Chapter 9 argues that neither action nor qualities may be ascribed to what is nonexistent and, further, that negation may be directly perceived. Chapter 9 also deals with the nature of hetu, or the “middle term” in syllogism, and argues that the knowledge derived from hearing words is not inferential. Chapter 10 argues that pleasure and pain are not cognitions because they do not leave room for either doubt or certainty.

Structure of the world
      This account of the contents of the sūtras shows that the Vaiśḥṣika advocates an atomistic (atomism) cosmology (theory of order) and a pluralistic ontology (theory of being). The material universe arises out of the conjunction of four kinds of atoms: the earth atom, water atom, fire atom, and air atom. There also are the eternal substances: ether, in which sound inheres as a quality; space, which accounts for man's sense of direction and distinctions between far and near; and time, which accounts for the notions of simultaneity and nonsimultaneity and which, like space, is eternal and is the general cause of all that has origin.

      The overall naturalism of the Vaiśeṣika, its great interest in physics, and its atomism are all counterbalanced by the appeal to adṛṣṭa (a supersensible force), to account for whatever the other recognized entities cannot explain. Among things ascribed to this supersensible force are movements of needles toward a magnet, circulation of water in plant bodies, upward motion of fire, movement of mind, and movements of soul after death. These limit the naturalism of the system.

      Knowledge belongs to the self; it appears or disappears with the contact of the self with the senses and of the senses with the objects. Perception of the self results from the conjunction of the self with the mind. Perception of objects results from proximity of the self, the senses, and the objects. Error exists because of defects of the senses. Inference is of three kinds: inference of the nonexistence of something from the existence of some other things, inference of the existence of something from nonexistence of some other, and inference of existence of something from the existence of some other thing.

      Mokṣa is a state in which there is no body and no rebirth. It is achieved by knowledge. Works in accordance with the Vedic injunction may help in its attainment.

The “Nyāya-sūtras”
      The Nyāya-sūtras (Nyāya) probably were composed by Gautama or Akṣapāda about the 2nd century BC, though there is ample evidence that many sūtras were subsequently interpolated.

Content and organization
      The sūtras are divided into five chapters, each with two sections. The work begins with a statement of the subject matter, purpose, and relation of the subject matter to the attainment of that purpose. The ultimate purpose is salvation—i.e., complete freedom from pain—and salvation is attained by knowledge of the 16 categories: hence the concern with these categories, which are means of valid knowledge (pramāṇa); objects of valid knowledge (prameya); doubt (saṃśaya); purpose (prayojana); example (dṛṣṭānta); conclusion (siddhānta); the constituents of a syllogism (avayava); argumentation (tarka); ascertainment (nirṇaya); debate (vāda); disputations ( jalpa); destructive criticism (vitaṇḍā); fallacy (hetvābhāsa); quibble (chala); refutations ( jāti); and points of the opponent's defeat (nigrahasthāna).

      The words “knowledge,” buddhi, and “consciousness” are used synonymously. Four means of valid knowledge are admitted: perception, inference, comparison, and verbal testimony. Perception is defined as the knowledge that arises from the contact of the senses with the object, which is nonjudgmental, or unerring or judgmental. Inference is defined as the knowledge that is preceded by perception (of the mark) and classified into three kinds: that from the perception of a cause to its effect; that from perception of the effect to its cause; and that in which knowledge of one thing is derived from the perception of another with which it is commonly seen together. Comparison is defined as the knowledge of a thing through its similarity to another thing previously well-known.

      The validity of the means of knowing is established as against Buddhist skepticism, the main argument being that if no means of knowledge is valid then the demonstration of their invalidity cannot itself claim validity. Perception is shown to be irreducible to inference, inference is shown to yield certain knowledge, and errors in inference are viewed as being faults in the person, not in the method itself. Knowledge derived from verbal testimony is viewed as noninferential.

Theory of causation and metaphysics
      Although the sūtras do not explicitly develop a detailed theory of causation, the later Nyāya theory is sufficiently delineated in Chapter 4. No event is uncaused. No positive entity could arise out of mere absence—a thesis that is pressed against what seems to be a Buddhist view that in a series of momentary events every member is caused by the destruction of the preceding member. Cause and effect should be homogeneous in nature, and yet the effect is a new beginning and was not already contained in the cause. The Buddhist thesis that all things are negative in nature (inasmuch as a thing's nature is constituted by its differences from others) is rejected, as is the view that all things are eternal or that all things are noneternal. Both these latter views are untrue to experience. Thus, the resulting metaphysics admits two kinds of entities: eternal and noneternal. The whole is a new entity over and above the parts that constitute it. Also, the idea that God is the material cause of the universe is rejected. God is viewed as the efficient cause, and human deeds produce their results under the control and cooperation of God.

The syllogism and its predecessors
      Of the four main topics of the Nyāya-sūtras (art of debate, means of valid knowledge, syllogism, and examination of opposed views) there is a long history. There is no direct evidence for the theory that though inference (anumāna) is of Indian origin, the syllogism (avayava) is of Greek origin. Vātsāyana, the commentator on the sūtras, referred to some logicians who held a theory of a ten-membered syllogism (the Greeks had three). The Vaiśeṣika-sūtras give five propositions as constituting a syllogism but give them different names. Gautama also supports a five-membered syllogism with the following structure:

1. This hill is fiery (pratijñā: a statement of that which is to be proved).
2. Because it is smoky (hetu: statement of reason).
3. Whatever is smoky is fiery, as is a kitchen (udāharaṇa: statement of a general rule supported by an example).
4. So is this hill (upanaya: application of the rule of this case).
5. Therefore this hill is fiery (nigamana: drawing the conclusion).

      The characteristic feature of the Nyāya syllogism is its insistence on the example—which suggests that the Nyāya logician wanted to be assured not only of formal validity but also of material truth. Five kinds of fallacious “middle” (hetu) are distinguished: the inconclusive (savyabhicāra), which leads to more conclusions than one; the contradictory (viruddha), which opposes that which is to be established; the controversial (prakaraṇasama), which provokes the very question that it is meant to settle; the counterquestioned (sādhyasama), which itself is unproved; and the mistimed (kālātīta), which is adduced “when the time in which it might hold good does not apply.”

Other characteristic philosophic matters
      Other philosophical theses stated in the sūtras are as follows: the relation of words to their meanings is not natural but conventional; a word means neither the bare individual nor the universal by itself but all three—the individual, the universal, and structure (ākṛti); desire, aversion, volition, pleasure, pain, and cognition are the marks of the self; body is defined as the locus of gestures, senses, and sentiments; and the existence and atomicity of mind are inferred from the fact that there do not arise in the self more acts of knowledge than one at a time.

The beginnings of Mahāyāna (Mahayana) Buddhist philosophy

Contributions of the Mahāsaṅgikas (Mahāsaṅghika)
      When the Mahāsaṅgikas (“School of the Great Assembly”) seceded from the Elders (Theravādins) about 400 BC, the germs were laid for the rise of the Mahāyāna Buddhism. The Mahāsaṅgikas admitted non-arhat monks and worshippers (i.e., those who had not attained perfection), defied the Buddha, taught the doctrine of the emptiness of the elements of being, distinguished between the mundane and the supramundane reality, and considered consciousness (vijñāna) to be intrinsically free from all impurities. These ideas found varied expression among the various groups into which the Mahāsaṅgikas later divided (see also Buddhism).

Contributions of the Sarvāstivādins (Sarvāstivāda)
      The Sarvāstivādins (“realists” who believe that all things, mental and material, exist or also that all dharmas—past, present, and future—exist) seceded from the Elders about the middle of the 3rd century BC. They rejected, in common with all other sects, pudgalātmā, or a self of the individual, but admitted dharmātmani.e., self-existence of the dharmas (categories), or the elements of being. Each dharmais a self-being; the law of causality applies to the formation of aggregates, not to the elements themselves. Dharmas, whether they are past or are in future, exist all the same. Of these, three are said to be unconditioned: space (ākāśa) and the two cessations (nirodha)—the cessation that arises from knowledge and the cessation that arises prior to the attainment of knowledge, the former being Nirvāṇa, the latter being an arrest of the flow of passions through meditation prior to the achievement of Nirvāṇa. By śūnyatā (sunyata) the Sarvāstivādins mean only the truth that there is no eternal substance called “I.” Because all elements—past, present, or future—exist, the Sarvāstivādins are obliged to account for these temporal predicates, and several different theories are advanced. Of these, the theory advanced by Vasumitra, a 1st–2nd-century-AD Sarvāstivādin, viz., that temporal predicates are determined by the function of a dharma, is accepted by the Vaibhāṣikas—i.e., those among the Sarvāstivādins who follow the authority of the texts known as the Vibhāṣā.

Contributions of the Sautrāntikas (Sautrāntika)
      The Vaibhāṣika doctrine of eternal elements is believed to be inconsistent with the fundamental teachings of the Buddha. The Sautrāntikas (so-called because they rest their case on the sūtras) insist on the noneternality of the dharma as well. The past and the future dharmas do not exist, and only the present ones do. The so-called unconditioned dharmas are mere absences, not positive entities. Thus, the Sautrāntikas seem to be the only major school of Buddhist philosophy that comes near to regarding Nirvāṇa as entirely negative. In their epistemology, whereas the Vaibhāṣikas are direct realists, the Sautrāntikas hold a sort of representationism, according to which the external world is only inferred from the mental conceptions that alone are directly apprehended.

The worldview of the “Arthaśāstra (Artha-śāstra)”
      Kauṭilya's (Kautilya) Arthaśāstra (c. 321–296 BC) is the science of artha, or material prosperity, which is one of the four goals of human life. By artha, Kauṭilya meant “the means of subsistence of man,” which is, primarily, wealth and, secondarily, earth. The work is concerned with the means of fruitfully maintaining and using the latter—i.e., land. It is a work on politics and diplomacy.

Theories of kingship and statecraft
      Though Kauṭilya recognized that sovereignty may belong to a clan (kula), he was himself concerned with monarchies. He advocated the idea of the king's (king) divine nature, or divine sanction of the king's office, but he also attempted to reconcile it with a theory of the elective origin of the king. He referred to a state of nature, without king, as an anarchy in which the stronger devours the weaker. The four functions of the king are to acquire what is not gained, to protect what is gained, to increase what is protected, and to bestow the surplus upon the deserving. The political organization is held to have seven elements: the king, the minister, the territory, the fort, the treasury, the army, and the ally. These are viewed as being organically related. The three “powers” of the king are power of good counsel, the majesty of the king himself, and the power to inspire. The priest is not made an element of the state organization. The king, however, is not exempt from the laws of dharma. Being the “promulgator of dharma,” the king should himself be free from the six passions of sex, anger, greed, vanity, haughtiness, and overjoy. What Kauṭilya advocated was an enlightened monarchical paternalism.

Concepts of the public good
      In the happiness of the subjects lies the king's happiness. The main task of the king is to offer protection. Monarchy is viewed as the only guarantee against anarchy. Thus, the king's duty is to avert providential visitations such as famine, flood, and pestilence; he ought also to protect agriculture, industry, and mining, the orphan, the aged, the sick, and the poor, to control crime with the help of spies, and to settle legal disputes.

Relations between states
      Regarding relations with other states, Kauṭilya's thoughts were based not so much on high moral idealism as on the needs of self-interest. He wrote of six types of foreign policy: treaty (sandhi), war (vigraha), marching against the enemy (yāna), neutrality (āsana), seeking protection from a powerful king (saṃśraya), and dual policy (dvaidhībhāva). The rules concerning these are: he who is losing strength in comparison to the other shall make peace; he who is gaining strength shall make war; he who thinks neither he nor the enemy can win shall be neutral; he who has an excess of advantage shall march; he who is wanting in strength shall seek protection; he who undertakes work requiring assistance shall adopt a dual policy.

The formation and implementation of policy
      Kauṭilya's views about the formation and implementation of policy were as follows: a treaty based on truth and oath is binding for temporal and spiritual consequences; a treaty based on security is binding only as long as the party is strong. He who inflicts severe punishments becomes oppressive; he who inflicts mild punishments is overpowered; and he who inflicts just punishments is respected. Kauṭilya advocated an elaborate system of espionage for domestic as well as foreign affairs.

Fragments from the Ajīvikas and the Cārvākas

The Ājīvikas (Ajivika)
      About the time of the rise of Buddhism, there was a sect of religious mendicants, the Ājīvikas, who held unorthodox views. In the strict sense, this name is applied to the followers of one Makkhali Gosāla, but in a wide sense it is also applied to those who taught many different shades of heretical teachings. Primary sources of knowledge about these are the Dīgha Nikāya, Aṅguttara Nikāya, Saṃyutta Nikāya, the Sūtrakṛtanga-sūtra, Śilāṅka's commentary on the Sutrakṛtanga-sūtra, the Bhagavatī-sūtra, the Nandī-sūtra, and Abhayadeva's commentary on Samavayaṅga-sūtra.

      Makkhali's views may be thus summarized. There is no cause of the depravity of things; they become depraved without any reason or cause. There is also no cause of the purity of beings; they become pure without any reason or cause. Nothing depends either on one's own efforts or on the efforts of others. All things are destitute of power, force, or energy. Their changing states are due to destiny, environment, and their own nature. Thus, Makkhali denies sin, or dharma, and denies freedom (free will) of man in shaping his own future. He is thus a determinist, although scholars have held the view that he might leave room for chance, if not for freedom of will. He is supposed to have held an atomistic cosmology and that all beings, in the course of time, are destined to culminate in a state of final salvation. He believes not only in rebirth but also in a special doctrine of reanimation according to which it is possible for one person's soul to be reanimated in the dead bodies of others. Thus, the Ājīvikas are far from being materialists.

The Cārvākas (Carvaka)
      Another pre-Buddhistic system of philosophy, the Cārvāka (Carvaka), or the Lokāyata, is one of the earliest materialistic schools of philosophy.The name Cārvāka is traced back to one Cārvāka, supposed to have been one of the great teachers of the school. The other name, Lokāyata, means “the view held by the common people,” “the system which has its base in the common, profane world,” “the art of sophistry,” and also “the philosophy that denies that there is any world other than this one.” Bṛhaspati probably was the founder of this school. Much knowledge of the Cārvākas, however, is derived from the expositions of the later Hindu writings, particularly from Mādhava's Sarva-darśana-saṃgraha (“Compendium of All Philosophies,” 14th century). Haribhadra in his Ṣaḍẖarśanasamuccaya (“Compendium of the Six Philosophies,” 5th century AD) attributes to the Cāİvākas the view that this world extends only to the limits of possible sense experience.

      The Cārvākas apparently sought to establish their Materialism on an epistemological basis. In their epistemology, they viewed sense perception alone as a means of valid knowledge. The validity of inferential knowledge was challenged on the ground that all inference requires a universal major premise (“All that possesses smoke possesses fire”) whereas there is no means of arriving at a certainty about such a proposition. No amount of finite observations could possibly yield the required universal premise. The supposed “invariable connection” may be vitiated by some unknown “condition,” and there is no means of knowing that such a vitiating factor does not exist. Since inference is not a means of valid knowledge, all such supersensible objects as “afterlife,” “destiny,” or “soul” do not exist. To say that such entities exist though there is no means of knowing them is regarded as absurd, for no unverifiable assertion of existence is meaningful.

      The authority of the scriptures also is denied. First, knowledge based on verbal testimony is inferential and therefore vitiated by all the defects of inference. The Cārvākas regard the scriptures as characterized by the three faults: falsity, self-contradiction, and tautology. On the basis of such a theory of knowledge, the Cārvākas defended a complete reductive materialism according to which the four elements of earth, water, fire, and air are the only original components of being and all other forms are products of their composition. Consciousness thus is viewed as a product of the material structure of the body and characterizes the body itself—rather than a soul—and perishes with the body. In their ethics, the Cārvākas upheld a hedonistic theory according to which enjoyment of the maximum amount of sensual pleasure here in this life and avoidance of pain that is likely to accompany such enjoyment are the only two goals that men ought to pursue.

Further developments of the system
Developments in Mahāyāna

Nāgārjuna (Nagarjuna) and Śūnyavāda (Mādhyamika)
 Though the beginnings of Mahāyāna are to be found in the Mahāsaṅgikas and many of their early sects, Nāgārjuna gave it a philosophical basis. Not only is the individual person empty and lacking an eternal self, according to Nāgārjuna, but the dharmas also are empty. He extended the concept of śūnyatā (sunyata) to cover all concepts and all entities. “ emptiness” thus means subjection to the law of causality or “dependent origination” and lack of an immutable essence and an invariant mark (niḥsvabhāvatā). It also entails a repudiation of dualities between the conditioned and the unconditioned, between subject and object, relative and absolute, and between saṃsāra and Nirvāṇa. Thus, Nāgārjuna arrived at an ontological monism; but he carried through an epistemological dualism (i.e., a theory of knowledge based on two sets of criteria) between two orders of truth: the conventional (samvṛtti) and the transcendental (paramārtha). The one reality is ineffable. Nāgārjuna undertook a critical examination of all the major categories with which philosophers had sought to understand reality and showed them all to involve self-contradictions. The world is viewed as a network of relations, but relations are unintelligible. If two terms, A and B, are related by the relation R, then either A and B are different or they are identical. If they are identical, they cannot be related; if they are altogether different then they cannot also be related, for they would have no common ground. The notion of “partial identity and partial difference” is also rejected as unintelligible. The notion of causality is rejected on the basis of similar reasonings. The concepts of change, substance, self, knowledge, and universals do not fare any better. Nāgārjuna also directed criticism against the concept of pramāṇa, or the means of valid knowledge.

      Nāgārjuna's philosophy is also called Mādhyamika, because it claims to tread the middle path, which consists not in synthesizing opposed views such as “The real is permanent” and “The real is changing” but in showing the hollowness of both the claims. To say that reality is both permanent and changing is to make another metaphysical assertion, another viewpoint, whose opposite is “Reality is neither permanent nor changing.” In relation to the former, the latter is a higher truth, but the latter is still a point of view, a dṛṣṭi, expressed in a metaphysical statement, though Nāgārjuna condemned all metaphysical statements as false.

      Nāgārjuna used reason to condemn reason. Those of his disciples who continued to limit the use of logic to this negative and indirect method, known as prasaṅga, are called the prāsaṅgikas: of these, Āryadeva, Buddhapālita, and Candrakīrti are the most important. Bhāvaviveka, however, followed the method of direct reasoning and thus founded what is called the svatantra (independent) school of Māẖhyamika philosophy. With him Buddhist logic comes to its own, and during his time the Yogācāras (Yogācāra) split away from the Śūnyavādins.

Contributions of Vasubandhu and Asaṅga
      Converted by his brother Asaṅga to the Yogācāra, Vasubandhu wrote the Vijñapti-mātratā-siddhi (“Establishment of the Thesis of Cognitions—Only”), in which he defended the thesis that the supposedly external objects are merely mental conceptions. Yogācāra Idealism is a logical development of Sautrāntika representationism: the conception of a merely inferred external world is not satisfying. If consciousness is self-intimating (svaprakāśa) and if consciousness can assume forms (sākāİavĭıñāna), it seems more logical to hold that the forms ascribed to alleged external objects are really forms of consciousness. One only needs another conception: a beginningless power that would account for this tendency of consciousness to take up forms and to externalize them. This is the power of kalpanā, or imagination. Yogācāra added two other modes of consciousness to the traditional six: ego consciousness (manovijñāna) and storehouse consciousness ( ālaya-vijñāna). The ālaya-vijñāna contains stored traces of past experiences, both pure and defiled seeds. Early anticipations of the notions of the subconscious or the unconscious, they are theoretical constructs to account for the order of individual experience. It still remained, however, to account for a common world—which in fact remains the main difficulty of Yogācāra. The state of Nirvāṇa becomes a state in which the ālaya with its stored “seeds” would wither away (ālayaparāvṛtti). Though the individual ideas are in the last resort mere imaginations, in its essential nature consciousness is without distinctions of subject and object. This ineffable consciousness is the “suchness” (tathatā) underlying all things. Neither the ālaya nor the tathatā, however, is to be construed as being substantial.

      Vasubandhu and Asaṅga are also responsible for the growth of Buddhist logic. Vasubandhu defined “perception” as the knowledge that is caused by the object, but this was rejected by Dignāga, a 5th-century logician, as a definition belonging to his earlier realistic phase. Vasubandhu defined “inference” as a knowledge of an object through its mark, but Dharmottara, an 8th-century commentator pointed out that this is not a definition of the essence of inference but only of its origin.

Contributions of Dignāga and Dharmakīrti
      Dignāga's Pramāṇasamuccaya (“Compendium of the Means of True Knowledge”) is one of the greatest works on Buddhist logic. Dignāga gave a new definition of “perception”: a knowledge that is free from all conceptual constructions, including name and class concepts. In effect, he regarded only the pure sensation as perception. In his theory of inference, he distinguished between inference for oneself and inference for the other and laid down three criteria of a valid middle term (hetu), viz., that it should “cover” the minor premise (pakṣa), be present in the similar instances (sapakṣa), and be absent in dissimilar instances (vipakṣa). In his Hetucakra (“The Wheel of ‘Reason”'), Dignāga set up a matrix of nine types of middle terms, of which two yield valid conclusions, two contradictory, and the rest uncertain conclusions. Dignāga's tradition is further developed in the 7th century by Dharmakīrti, who modified his definition of perception to include the condition “unerring” and distinguished, in his Nyāyabindu, between four kinds of perception: that by the five senses, that by the mind, self-consciousness, and perception of the yogins. He also introduced a threefold distinction of valid middle terms: the middle must be related to the major either by identity (“This is a tree, because this is an oak”) or as cause and effect (“This is fiery, because it is smoky”), or the hetu is a nonperception from which the absence of the major could be inferred. Dharmakīrti consolidated the central epistemological thesis of the Buddhists that perception and inference have their own exclusive objects. The object of the former is the pure particular (svalakṣaṇa), and the object of the latter (he regarded judgments as containing elements of inference) is the universal (sāmānyalakṣaṇa). In their metaphysical positions, Dignāga and Dharmakīrti represent a moderate form of idealism.

Pūrva-mīmāṃsā: (Mimamsa) the Bhāṭṭa and Prābhākara schools

Principal texts and relation to Śabara
       Kumārila commented on Jaimini's sūtraas well as on Śabara's bhāṣya. The Vārttika (critical gloss) that he wrote was commented upon by Sucarita Miśra in his Kāśikā (“The Shining”), by Someśvara Bhaṭṭa in his Nyāyasudhā (“The Nectar of Logic”), and Pārthasārathi Miśra in Nyāyaratnākara (“The Abode of Jewels of Logic”). Pārthasārathi's Śāstradīpikā (“Light on the Scripture”) is a famous independent Mīmāṃsā treatise belonging to Kumārila's school.

      Prabhākara, who most likely lived after Kumārila, was the author of the commentary Bṛhatī (“The Large Commentary”), on Śabara's bhāṣya. On many essential matters, Prabhākara differs radically from the views of Kumārila. Prabhākara's Bṛhatī has been commented upon by Śālikanātha in his Ṛjuvimalā (“The Straight and Free from Blemishes”), whereas the same author's Prakaraṇapañcikā (“Commentary of Five Topics”) is a very useful exposition of the Prābhākara system. Other works belonging to this school are Mādhava's Jaiminīyā-nyāyamāīā-vistara (“Expansion of the String of Reasonings by Jaimini”). Appaya Dīkṣita's Vidhirasāyana(“The Elixir of Duty”), Āpadeva's Mīmāmṣā-nyāya-prakāśa (Illumination of the Reasonings of Mīmāṃsā) and Laugākṣĭ Çhāskara's Artha-saṃgraha (“Collection of Treasures”).

      Where Kumārila and Prabhākara differed, Kumārila remained closer to both Jaimini and Śabara. Kumārila, like Jaimini and Śabara, restricted Mīmāṃsā to an investigation into dharma, whereas Prabhākara assigned to it the wider task of enquiring into the meaning of the Vedic texts. Kumārila understood the Vedic injunction to include a statement of the results to be attained; Prabhākara—following Bāẖari—excluded all consideration of the result from the injunction itself and suggested that the sense of duty alone should instigate a person to act.

Metaphysics and epistemology
      Both the Bhāṭṭa (the name for Kumārila's school) and the Prabhākara schools, in their metaphysics, were realists (realism); both undertook to refute Buddhist idealism and nihilism. The Bhāṭṭa ontology recognized five types (category) of entities: substance (dravya), quality (guṇa), action (karma), universals (sāmānya), and negation (abhāva). Of these, substance was held to be of ten kinds: the nine substances recognized by the Vaiśeṣikas and the additional substance “darkness.” The Prābhākara ontology recognized eight types of entities; from the Bhāṭṭa list, negation was rejected, and four more were added: power (śakti), resemblance (sadṛsa), inherence-relation (samavāya), and number (sāṃkhyā). Under the type “substance,” the claim of “darkness” was rejected on the ground that it is nothing but absence of perception of colour; the resulting list of nine substances is the same as that of the Vaiśeṣikas. Though both the schools admitted the reality of the universals, their views on this point differed considerably. The Prābhākaras admitted only such universals as inhere in perceptible instances and insisted that true universals themselves must be perceivable. Thus, they rejected abstract universals, such as “existence,” and merely postulated universals, such as “Brahminhood” (which cannot be perceptually recognized in a person).

      The epistemologies of the two schools differ as much as their ontologies. As ways of valid knowing, the Bhāṭṭas recognized perception, inference, verbal testimony (śabda), comparison (upamāna), postulation (arthāpatti), and nonperception (anupalabdhi). The last is regarded as the way men validly, and directly, apprehend an absence: this was in conformity with Śabara's statement that abhāva (nonexistence) itself is a pramāṇa (way of true knowledge). Postulation is viewed as the sort of process by which one may come to know for certain the truth of a certain proposition, and yet the Bhāṭṭas refused to include such cases under inference on the grounds that in such cases one does not say to himself “I am inferring” but rather says “I am postulating.” “Comparison” is the name given to the perception of resemblance with a perceived thing of another thing that is not present at that moment. It is supposed that because the latter thing is not itself being perceived, the resemblance belonging to it could not have been perceived; thus, it is not a case of perception when one says “My cow at home is similar to this animal.”

      The Prābhākaras rejected nonperception as a way of knowing and were left with a list of five concerning definitions of perception. The Bhāṭṭas, following the sūtra, define perception in terms of sensory contact with the object, whereas the Prābhākaras define it in terms of immediacy of the apprehension.

      As pointed out earlier, Kumārila supported the thesis that all moral injunctions are meant to bring about a desired benefit and that knowledge of such benefit and of the efficacy of the recommended course of action to bring it about is necessary for instigating a person to act. Prābhākara defended the ethical theory of duty for its own sake, the sense of duty alone being the proper incentive. The Bhāṭṭas recognize apūrva (supersensible efficacy of actions to produce remote effects) as a supersensible link connecting the moral action performed in this life and the supersensible effect (such as going to heaven) to be realized afterward. Prābhākara understood by apūrva only the action that ought to be done.

Hermeneutics and semantics
      In their principles of interpretation of the scriptures, and consequently in their theories of meaning (of words and of sentences), the two schools differ radically. Prābhākara defended the thesis that words primarily mean either some course of action (kārya) or things connected with action. Connected with this is the further Prābhākara thesis that the sentence forms the unit of meaningful discourse, that a word is never used by itself to express a single unrelated idea, and that a sentence signifies a relational complex that is not a mere juxtaposition of word meanings. Prābhākara's theory of language learning follows these contentions: the child learns the meanings of sentences by observing the elders issuing orders like “Bring the cow” and the juniors obeying them, and he learns the meaning of words subsequently by a close observation of the insertion (āvāpa) and extraction (uddhāra) of words in sentences and the resulting variations in the meaning of those sentences. From this semantic approach follows Prābhākara's principle of Vedic interpretation: all Vedic texts are to be interpreted as bearing on courses of action prescribed, and there are no merely descriptive statements in the scriptures. Furthermore, only the Vedic injunctions yield the authoritative verbal testimony that may be regarded as a unique way of knowing, whereas all other verbal knowledge is really inferential in character. In matters concerning what ought to be done, Prābhākara therefore regarded only the Vedas as authoritative.

      Kumārila's theory is very different. In his view, words convey their own meanings, not relatedness to something else. He therefore was more willing to accommodate purely descriptive sentences as significant. Furthermore, he regarded sentence meaning as composed of separate word meanings held together in a relational structure; the word meaning formed,for him, the simplest unit of sense. Persons thus learn the meaning of words by seeing others talking as well as from advice of the elders.

Religious consequences
      The Mīmāṃsā views the universe as being eternal and does not admit the need of tracing it back to a creator. It also does not admit the need of admitting a being who is to distribute moral rewards and inflict punishments—this function being taken over by the notion of apūrva, or supersensible power generated by each action. Theoretically not requiring a God, the system, however, posits a number of deities as entailed by various ritualistic procedures, with no ontological status assigned to the gods.

The linguistic philosophies: Bhartṛhari and Maṇḍana-Miśra
      The linguistic philosophers considered here are the grammarians led by Bhartṛhari (7th century AD) and Maṇḍana-Miśra (8th century AD); the latter, reputed to be a disciple of Kumārila, held views widely different from the Mīmāṃsākas. The grammarians share with the Mīmāṃsākas their interest in the problems of language and meaning. But their own theories are so different that they cut at the roots of the Mīmāṃsā realism. The chief text of this school is Bhartṛhari's Vākyapadīya. Maṇḍana's chief works are Brahma-siddhi (“Establishment of Brahman”), Sphoṭa-siddhi (“Establishment of Word Essence”), and Vidhiviveka (“Inquiry into the Nature of Injunctions”).

      As his first principle, Bhartṛhari rejects a doctrine on which the realism of Mīmāṃsā and Nyāya had been built—the view that there is a kind of perception that is nonconceptualized and that places persons in direct contract with things as they are. For Bhartṛhari this is not possible, for all knowledge is “penetrated” by words and “illuminated” by words. Thus, all knowledge is linguistic, and the distinctions of objects are traceable to distinctions among words. The metaphysical monism of word (śabdādvaita) is not far from this—i.e., the view that the one word essence appears as this world of “names and forms” because of man's imaginative construction (kalpanā). Metaphysically, Bhartṛhari comes close both to Śaṅkara's Advaita and the Buddhist philosophers, such as Dharmakīrti. This metaphysical theory also uses the doctrine of sphoṭa (“that from which the meaning bursts forth”). Most Indian philosophical schools were concerned with the problem of what precisely is the bearer of the meaning of a word or a sentence. If the letters are evanescent and if, as one hears the sounds produced by the letters of a word, each sound is replaced by another, one never comes to perceive the word as a whole, and the question is how one grasps the meaning of the word. The same problem could be stated with regard to a sentence. The Mīmāṃsākas postulated an eternity of sounds and distinguished between the eternal sounds and sound complexes (words, sentences) from their manifestations. The grammarians, instead, distinguished between the word and sound and made the word itself the bearer of meaning. As bearer of meaning, the word is the sphoṭa.

      Sounds have spatial and temporal relations; they are produced differently by different speakers. But the word as meaning bearer has to be regarded as having no size or temporal dimension. It is indivisible and eternal. Distinguished from the sphoṭa are the abstract sound pattern (prākṛtadhvani) and the utterances (vikṛtadhvani). Furthermore, Bhartṛhari held that the sentence is not a collection of words or an ordered series of them. A word is rather an abstraction from a sentence; thus, the sentence-sphoṭa is the primary unit of meaning. A word is also grasped as a unity by an instantaneous flash of insight (pratibhā). This theory of sphoṭa, which is itself a linguistic theory required by the problems arising from the theory of meaning, was employed by the grammarians to support their theory of word monism.

      Maṇḍana-Miśra, in his Vidhiviveka, referred to three varieties of this monism: śabdapratyāsavāda (the doctrine of superimposition on the word; also called śabdāẖhyāsavāda), śabda-parināmavāda (the doctrine of transformation of the word), and śabdavivartavāda (the doctrine of unreal appearance of the word). According to the first two, the phenomenal world is still real, though either falsely superimposed on words or a genuine transformation of the word essence. The last, and perhaps most consistent, doctrine holds that the phenomenal distinctions are unreal appearances of an immutable word essence.

      Maṇḍana attempted to integrate this linguistic philosophy into his own form of advaitavāda, though later followers of Saṅkara did not accept the doctrine of sphoṭa. Even Vācaspati, who accepted many of Maṇḍana's theories, rejected the theory of sphoṭa and in general conformed to the Śaṅkarite's acceptance of the Bhāṭṭa epistemology.

Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika (Vaisheshika)

The old school
      Although as early as the commentators Praśastapāẖa (5th century AD) and Uddyotakara (7th century AD) the authors of the Nyāya-Vaisesika schools used each other's doctrines and the fusion of the two schools was well on its way, the two schools continued to have different authors and lines of commentators. About the 10th century AD, however, there arose a number of texts that sought to combine the two philosophies more successfully. Well known among these syncretist texts are the following: Bhāsarvajña's Nyāyasāra(“The Essence of Nyāya”; written c. 950), Varadarāja's Tārkikarakṣā (“In Defense of the Logician”; c. 1150), Vallabha's (Vallabha) Nyāyalīlāvatī (“The Charm of Nyāya”; 12th century), Keśava Miśra's Tarkabhāṣā (“The Language of Reasoning”; c. 1275), Annam Bhāṭṭa's Tarkasaṃgraha (“Compendium of Logic”; c. 1623), and Viśvanātha's Bhāṣāpariccheda (“Determination of the Meaning of the Verses”; 1634).

      Both the Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika schools are realistic with regard to things, properties, relations, and universals. Both schools are pluralistic (also with regard to individual selves) and theistic. Both schools admit external relations (the relation of inherence being only partly internal), atomistic cosmology, new production, and the concept of existence (sattā) as the most comprehensive universal. Both schools regard knowledge as a quality of the self, and they subscribe to a correspondence theory regarding the nature of truth and a theory of pragmatism-cum-coherence regarding the test of truth. The points that divide the schools are rather unimportant: they concern, for example, their theories of number, and some doctrines in their physical and chemical theories.

      Gautama's sūtras were commented upon about AD 400 by Vātsāyana, who replied to the Buddhist doctrines, especially to some varieties of Śūnyavāda skepticism. Uddyotakara's Vārttika (c. 635) was written after a period during which major Buddhist works, but no major Hindu work, on logic were written. Uddyotakara undertook to refute Nāgārjuna and Dignāga. He criticized and refuted Dignāga's theory of perception, the Buddhist denial of soul, and the anyāpoha (exclusion of the other) theory of meaning. Positively, he introduced, for the first time, the doctrine of six modes of contact (saṃnikarsa) of the senses with their objects, which has remained a part of Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika epistemology. He divided inferences into those whose major premise (sādhya) is universally present, those in which one has to depend only upon the rule “Wherever there is absence of the major, there is absence of the middle (hetu),” and those in which both the positive and the negative rules are at one's disposal. He rejected the sphoṭa theory and argued that the meaning of a word is apprehended by hearing the last letter of the word together with recollection of the preceding ones. Vācaspati Miśra in the 9th century wrote his Tātparyaṭīkā (c. 840) on Uddyotakara's Vārttika and further strengthened the Nyāya viewpoint against the Buddhists. He divided perception into two kinds: the indeterminate, nonlinguistic, and nonjudgmental and the determinate and judgmental. In defining the invariable connection (vyāpti) between the middle and the major premises, he introduced the concept of a vitiating condition (upādhi) and stressed that the required sort of connection, if an inference is to be valid, should be unconditional. He also proposed a modified version of the theory of the extrinsic validity of knowledge by holding that inferences as well as knowledges that are the last verifiers (phalajñāna) are self-validating.

      Praśastapāda's Vaiśeṣika commentary (c. 5th century) does not closely follow the sūtras but is rather an independent explanation. Praśastapāda added seven more qualities to Kaṇāda's list: heaviness (gurutva), fluidity (dravatva), viscidity (sneha), traces (saṃskara), virtue ( dharma), vice (adharma), and sound. The last quality was regarded by Kaṇāda merely as a mark of ether, whereas Praśastapāda elevated it to a defining quality of the latter. He also made the Vaiśeṣika fully theistic by introducing doctrines of creation and dissolution.

      The Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika general metaphysical standpoint allows for both particulars and universals (universal), both change and permanence. There are ultimate differences as well as a hierarchy of universals, the highest universal being existence. Substance is defined as the substrate of qualities and in terms of what alone can be an inherent cause. A quality may be defined as what is neither substance nor action and yet is the substratum of universals (for universals are supposed to inhere only in substances, qualities, and actions). Universal is defined as that which is eternal and inheres in many. Ultimate particularities belong to eternal substances, such as atoms and souls, and these account for all differences among particulars that cannot be accounted for otherwise. Inherence (samavāya) is the relation that is maintained between a universal and its instances, a substance and its qualities or actions, a whole and its parts, and an eternal substance and its particularity. This relation is such that one of the relations cannot exist without the other (e.g., a whole cannot exist without the parts). Negation (abhāva), the seventh category, is initially classified into difference (“A is not B”) and absence (“A is not in B”), absence being further divided into absence of a thing before its origin, its absence after its destruction, and its absence in places other than where it is present. For these schools, all that is is knowable and also nameable.

      Knowledge is regarded as a distinguishing but not essential property of a self. It arises when the appropriate conditions are present. Consciousness is defined as a manifestation of object but is not itself self-manifesting; it is known by an act of inner perception (anuvyavasāya). Knowledge either is memory or is not; knowledge other than memory is either true or false; and knowledge that is not true is either doubt or error. In its theory of error, these philosophers maintained an uncompromising realism by holding that the object of error is still real but is only not here and now. True knowledge (pramā) apprehends its object as it is; false knowledge apprehends the object as what it is not. True knowledge is either perception, inference, or knowledge derived from verbal testimony or comparison. Perception is defined as knowledge that arises from the contact of the senses with their objects, and is viewed as either indeterminate and nonlinguistic or as determinate and judgmental. Both aspects of the definition of perception are viewed as valid—a point that is made against both the Buddhists and the grammarians. Furthermore, perception is either ordinary (laukika) or extraordinary (alaukika). The former takes place through any of the six modes of sense-object contact recognized in the system. The latter takes place when one perceives the proper object of one sense through another sense (“The cushion looks soft”) or when, on recognizing universal in a particular, one perceives all instances of the universal as its instances. Also extraordinary are the perceptions of the yogins, who are supposed to be free from the ordinary spatiotemporal limitations.

      Four conditions must be satisfied in order that a combination of words may form a meaningful sentence: a word should generate an intention or expectancy for the words to follow (“Bring”—“What?”—“A jar”); there should be mutual fitness (“Sprinkle”—“With what?”—“Water, not fire”); there should be proximity in space and time; and the proper intention of the speaker must be ascertained, otherwise there would be equivocation.

      Among theistic proofs offered in the system, the most important are the causal argument (“The world is produced by an agent, since it is an effect, as is a jar”); the argument from a world order to a lawgiver; and the moral argument from the law of karma to a moral governor. Besides adducing these and other arguments, Udayana (Udayanācārya) in his Nyāya-kusumāŃjali stressed the point that the nonexistence of God could not be proved by means of valid knowledge.

The new school
      The founder of the school of Navya-(New) Nyāya, with an exclusive emphasis on the pramaṇas, was Gaṅgeśa Upādhyāya (13th century), whose Tattvacintāmaṇi (“The Jewel of Thought on the Nature of Things”) is the basic text for all later developments. The logicians of this school were primarily interested in defining their terms and concepts and for this purpose developed an elaborate technical vocabulary and logical apparatus that came to be used by, other than philosophers, writers on law, poetics, aesthetics, and ritualistic liturgy. The school may broadly be divided into two subschools: the Mithilā school represented by Vardhamāna (Gaṅgeśa's son), Pakṣadhara or Jayadeva (author of Āloka gloss), and Śaṅkara Miśra (author of Upaskāra); and the Navadvīpa school, whose chief representatives were Vāsudeva Sārvabhauma (1450–1525), Raghunātha Śiromaṇi (c. 1475–c. 1550), Mathurānātha Tarkavāgīśa (fl. c. 1570), Jagadīśa Tarkāīaṅkāra (fl. c. 1625), and Gadādhara Bhaṭṭacārya (fl. c. 1650).

      By means of a new technique of analyzing knowledge, judgmental knowledge can be analyzed into three kinds of epistemological entities in their interrelations: “qualifiers” (prakāra); “qualificandum,” or that which must be qualified (viśeṣya); and “relatedness” (saṃsarga). There also are corresponding abstract entities: qualifierness, qualificandumness, and relatedness. The knowledge expressed by the judgment “This is a blue pot” may then be analyzed into the following form: “The knowledge that has a qualificandumness in what is denoted by ‘this' is conditioned by a qualifierness in blue and also conditioned by another qualifierness in potness.”

      A central concept in the Navya-Nyāya logical apparatus is that of “limiterness” (avacchedakatā), which has many different uses. If a mountain possesses fire in one region and not in another, it can be said, in the Navya-Nyāya language, “The mountain, as limited by the region r, possesses fire, but as limited by the region r′ possesses the absence of fire.” The same mode of speech may be extended to limitations of time, property, and relation, particularly when one is in need of constructing a description that is intended to suit exactly some specific situation and none other.

      Inference is defined by Vātsāyana as the “posterior” knowledge of an object (e.g., fire) with the help of knowledge of its mark (e.g., smoke). For Navya-Nyāya, inference is definable as the knowledge caused by the knowledge that the minor term (pakṣa, “the hill”) “possesses” the middle term (hetu, “smoke”), which is recognized as “pervaded by” the major (sādhya, “fire”). The relation of invariable connection, or “pervasion,” between the middle (smoke) and the major (fire)—“Wherever there is smoke, there is fire”—is called vyāpti.

      The logicians developed the notion of negation to a great degree of sophistication. Apart from the efforts to specify a negation with references to its limiting counterpositive (pratiyogi), limiting relation, and limiting locus, they were constrained to discuss and debate such typical issues as the following: Is one to recognize, as a significant negation, the absence of a thing x so that the limiter of the counterpositive x is not x-ness but y-ness? In other words, can one say that a jar is absent as a cloth even in a locus in which it is present as a jar? Also, is the absence of an absence itself a new absence or something positive? Furthermore, is the absence of colour in general nothing but the sum total of the absences of the particular colours, or is it a new kind of absence, a generic absence? Gaṅgeśa argued for the latter alternative, though he answers the first of the above three questions in the negative.

      Though the philosophers of this school did not directly write on metaphysics, they nevertheless did tend to introduce many new kinds of abstract entities into their discourse. These entities are generally epistemological, though sometimes they are relational. Chief of these are entities called “qualifierness,” “qualificandumness,” and “limiterness.” Various relations were introduced, such as direct and indirect temporal relations, paryāpti relation (in which a number reside, in sets rather than in individual members of those sets), svarūpa relation (which holds, for example, between an absence and its locus), and relation between a knowledge and its object.

      Among the Navya-Nyāya philosophers, Raghunātha Śiromaṇi in Padārthatattvanirūpaṇa undertook a bold revision of the traditional categorial scheme by (1) identifying “time,” “space,” and “ether” with God; (2) eliminating the category of mind by reducing it to matter; (3) denying atoms (paramāṇu) and dyadic (paired) combinations of them (dvyaṇuka), (4) eliminating “number,” “separateness,” “remoteness,” and “proximity” from the list of qualities; and (5) rejecting ultimate particularities (viśeṣa) on the grounds that it is more rational to suppose that the eternal substances are by nature distinct. He added some new categories, however, such as causal power (śakti) and the moment (kṣaṇa), and recognized that there are as many instances of the relation of inherence as there are cases of it (as contrasted with the older view that there is only one inherence that is itself present in all cases of inherence).

Sāṃkhya (Saṃkhyā) and Yoga

Texts and commentaries until Vācaspati and the “Sāṃkhya-sūtras”
      There are three commentaries on the Sāṃkhya-kārikā: that by Raja, much referred to but not extant; that by Gauḍapāda (7th century), on which there is a subcommentary Candrikā by Nārāyaṇatīrtha; and the Tattva-kaumudī by Vācaspati (9th century). The Sāṃkhya-sūtras are a much later work (c. 14th century) on which Aniruddha (15th century) wrote a

      vṛtti and Vijñānabhikýu (16th century) wrote the Sāṃkhya-pravacana-bhāṣya (“Commentary on the Sāṃkhya Doctrine”). Among independent works, mention may be made of Tattvasamāsa (“Collection of Truths”; c. 11th century).

      The Yoga-sūtras were commented upon by Vyāsa (Vyasa) in his Vyāsa-bhāṣya (5th century), which again has two excellent subcommentaries: Vācaspati's Tattvavaiśāradī and Vijñānabhikṣu's Yogavārttika, besides the vṛtti by Bhoja (c. 1000).

Metaphysics and epistemology
      For Vācaspati, creation was viewed in terms of the mere presence of the selves and the mere presentation to them of Matter (the undifferentiated primeval stuff). Such a view has obvious difficulties, for it would make creation eternal, because the selves and Matter are eternally copresent. Vijñānabhikṣu considered the relation between the selves and Matter to be a real relation that affects Matter but leaves the selves unaffected. Creation, in accordance with Bhĭkṣu's theism, is due to the influence of the chief self—i.e., God. Furthermore, whereas the earlier Sāṃkhya authors, including Vācaspati, did not consider the question about the ontological status of the guṇas, Bhikṣu regards them as real, as extremely subtle substances—so that each guṇa is held to be infinite in number. In general, the Sāṃkhya-sūtras show a greater Brahmanical influence, and there is a clear tendency to explain away the points of difference between the Sāṃkhya and the Vedānta. The author of the sūtras tried to show that the Sāṃkhya doctrines are consistent with theism or even with the Upaniṣadic conception of Brahman. Vijñānabhikṣu made use of such contexts to emphasize that the atheism of Sāṃkhya is taught only to discourage men to try to be God, that originally the Sāṃkhya was theistic, and that the original Vedānta also was theistic. The Upaniṣadic doctrine of the unity of selves is interpreted by him to mean an absence of difference of kind among selves, which is consistent with the Sāṃkhya. Māyā (illusion) for Bhikṣu means nothing but the prakṛti (Matter) of the Sāṃkhya. The sūtras also give cosmic significance to mahat, the first aspect to evolve from Matter, which then means cosmic Intelligence; a sense not found in the kārikās.

      In epistemology the idea of reflection of the spirit in the organs of knowing, particularly in the buddhi, or intelligence, comes to the forefront. Every cognition ( jñāna) is a modification of the buddhi, with consciousness reflected in it. Though this is Vācaspati's account, it does not suffice according to Bhikṣu. If there is the mere reflection of the self in the state of the buddhi, this can only account for the fact that the state of cognition seems to be a conscious state; it cannot account for the fact that the self considers itself to be the owner and experiencer of that state. Accounting for this latter fact, Bhikṣu postulated a real contact between the self and buddhi as a reflection of the buddhi state back in the self.

      Vācaspati, taking over a notion emphasized in Indian epistemology for the first time by Kumārila, introduced into the Sāṃkhya theory of knowledge a distinction between two stages of perceptual knowledge. In the first, a stage of nonconceptualized (nirvikalpaka) perception, the object of perception is apprehended vaguely and in a most general manner. In the second stage, this vague knowledge (ālocanamātram) is then interpreted and conceptualized by the mind. The interpretation is not so much synthesis as analysis of the vaguely presented totality into its parts. Bhikṣu, however, ascribed to the senses the ability to apprehend determinate properties, even independently of the aid of manas. For Sāṃkhya, in general, error is partial truth; there is no negation of error, only supplementation, though later Sāṃkhya authors tended to ascribe error to wrong interpretation.

      An important contribution to epistemology was made by the writers on the Yoga: this concerns the key notion of vikalpa, which stands for mental states referring to pseudo-objects posited only by words. Such mental states are neither “valid” nor “invalid” and are said to be unavoidable accompaniments of one's use of language.

      Because the self is not truly an agent acting in the world, neither merit nor demerit, arising from one's actions, attaches to the self. Morality has empirical significance. In the long run, what really matters is knowledge. Nonattached performance of one's duties is an aid toward purifying intelligence so that it may be conducive to the attainment of knowledge: hence the importance of the restraints and observances laid down in the Yoga-sūtras. The greatest good is freedom—i.e., aloofness (kaivalya) from matter.

Rāja Yoga and Haṭha Yoga (Hatha Yoga)
      Though Patañjali's (Patañjali) yoga is known as Rāja Yoga (that in which one attains to self-rule), Haṭha Yoga (haṭha = “violence,” “violent effort”: ha = “sun,” ṭha = “moon,” haṭha = “sun and moon,” breaths, or breaths travelling through the right and left nostrils) emphasizes bodily postures, regulation of breathing, and cleansing processes as means to spiritual perfection. A basic text on Haṭha Yoga is the Haṭha-yoga-pradīpikā (“Light on the Haṭha Yoga”; c. 15th century). As to the relation between the two yogas, a well-known maxim lays down that “No rāja without haṭha, and no haṭha without rāja.

Religious consequences
      The one religious consequence of the Sāṃkhya-Yoga is an emphasis on austere asceticism and a turning away from the ritualistic elements of Hinduism deriving from the Brahmanical sources. Though they continue to remain as an integral part of the Hindu faith, no major religious order thrived on the basis of these philosophies.


Fragments from the Māṇḍukya-kārikā until Śaṅkara
      No commentary on the Vedānta-sūtras survives from the period before Śaṅkara, though both Śaṅkara and Rāmānuja referred to the vṛttis by Bodhāyana and Upavarṣa (the two may indeed be the same person). There are, however, pre-Śaṅkara monistic interpreters of the scriptures, three of whom are important: Bhartṛhari, Maṇḍana (both mentioned earlier), and Gauḍapāda. Śaṅkara referred to Gauḍapāda as the teacher of his own teacher Govinda, complimented him for having recovered the Advaita (nondualism) doctrine from the Vedas, and also wrote a bhāṣya on Gauḍapāda's main work: the kārikās on Māṇḍukya Upaniṣad.

      Gauḍapāẖa's kārikās are divided into four parts: the first part is an explanation of the Upaniṣad itself, the second part establishes the unreality of the world, the third part defends the oneness of reality, and the fourth part, called Alātaṣānti (“Extinction of the Burning Coal”), deals with the state of release from suffering. It is not accidental that Gauḍapāda used as the title of the fourth part of his work a phrase in common usage among Buddhist authors. His philosophical views show a considerable influence of Mādhyamika Buddhism, particularly of the Yogācāra school, and one of his main purposes probably was to demonstrate that the teachings of the Upaniṣads are compatible with the main doctrines of the Buddhist idealists. Among his principal philosophical theses were the following: All things are as unreal as those seen in a dream, for waking experience and dream are on a par in this regard. In reality, there is no production and no destruction. His criticisms of the categories of change and causality are reminiscent of Nāgārjuna's. Duality is imposed on this one reality by māyā (maya), or the power of illusion-producing ignorance. Because there is no real coming into being, Gauḍapāda's philosophy is often called ajātivāda (“discourse on the unborn”). Though thus far agreeing with the Buddhist Yogācārins, Gauḍapāẖa rejected their thesis that citta, or mind, is real and that there is a real flow of mental conception.

      Śaṅkara greatly moderated Gauḍapāda's extreme illusionistic theory. Though he regarded the phenomenal world as a false appearance, he never made use of the analogy of dream. Rather, he contrasted the objectivity of the world with the subjectivity of dreams and hallucinations. The distinction between the empirical and the illusory—both being opposed to the transcendental—is central to his way of thinking.

Varieties of Vedānta schools
      Though Vedānta is frequently referred to as one darśana (viewpoint), there are, in fact, radically different schools of Vedānta; what binds them together is common adherence to a common set of texts. These texts are the Upaniṣads, the Vedānta-sūtras, and the Bhagavadgītā (Bhagavadgita)—known as the three prasthānas (the basic scriptures, or texts) of the Vedānta. The founders of the various schools of Vedānta have all substantiated their positions by commenting on these three source books. The problems and issues around which their differences centre are the nature of Brahman; the status of the phenomenal world; the relation of finite individuals to the Brahman; and the nature and the means to mokṣa, or liberation. The main schools are: Śaṅkara's unqualified nondualism (śuddhādvaita); Rāmānuja's qualified nondualism (viśiṣṭādvaita), Madhva's dualism (dvaita); Bhāskara's doctrine of identity and difference (bhedābheda); and the schools of Nimbārka and Vallabha, which assert both identity and difference though with different emphasis on either of the two aspects. From the religious point of view, Śaṅkara extolled metaphysical knowledge as the sole means to liberation and regarded even the concept of God as false; Rāmānuja recommended the path of bhakti combined with knowledge and showed a more tolerant attitude toward the tradition of Vedic ritualism; and Madhva, Nimbārka, and Vallabha all propounded a personalistic theism in which love and devotion to a personal God are rated highest. Although Śaṅkara's influence on Indian philosophy could not be matched by these other schools of Vedānta, in actual religious life the theistic Vedānta schools have exercised a much greater influence than the abstract metaphysics of Śaṅkara.

The concepts of nondualism
      Śaṅkara's philosophy is one among a number of other nondualistic philosophies: Bhartṛhari's śabẖādvaita, the Buddhist's vijñānadvaita, and Gauḍapāẖa's ajātivada. Śaṅkara's system may then be called ātmāẖvaita—the thesis that the one, universal, eternal, and self-illuminating self whose essence is pure consciousness without a subject (āśraya) and without an object (viṣaya) from a transcendental point of view alone is real. The phenomenal world and finite individuals, though empirically real, are—from the higher point of view—merely false appearances. In substantiating this thesis Śaṅkara relied as much on the interpretation of scriptural texts as on reasoning. He set down a methodological principle that reason should be used only to justify truths revealed in the scriptures. His own use of reasoning was primarily negative; he showed great logical skill in refuting his opponents' theories. Śaṅkara's followers, however, supplied what is missed in his works—i.e., a positive rational support for his thesis.

      Śaṅkara's metaphysics is based on a criterion of reality, which may be briefly formulated as follows: the real is that whose negation is not possible. It is then argued that the only thing that satisfies this criterion is consciousness, because denial of consciousness presupposes the consciousness that denies. It is conceivable that any object is not existent, but the absence of consciousness is not conceivable. Negation may be either mutual negation (of difference) or absence. The latter is either absence of a thing prior to its origination or after its destruction or absence of a thing in a place other than where it is present. If the negation of consciousness is not conceivable, then none of these various kinds of negations can be predicated of consciousness. If difference cannot be predicated of it, then consciousness is the only reality and anything different from it would be unreal. If the other three kinds of absence are not predicable of it, then consciousness should be beginningless, without end, and ubiquitous. Consequently, it would be without change. Furthermore, consciousness is self-intimating; all objects depend upon consciousness for their manifestation. Difference may be either among members of the same class or of one individual from another of a different class or among parts of one entity. None of these is true of consciousness. In other words, there are not many consciousnesses; the plurality of many centres of consciousness should be viewed as an appearance. There is no reality other than consciousness—i.e., no real prakṛti; such a thing would only be an unreal other. Also, consciousness does not have internal parts; there are not many conscious states. The distinction between consciousness of blue and consciousness of yellow is not a distinction within consciousness but one superimposed on it by a distinction among its objects, blue and yellow. With this, the Sāṃkhya, Vijñānavādin Buddhist, and Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika pluralism are refuted. Reality is one, infinite, eternal, and self-shining spirit; it is without any determination, for all determination is negation.

Śaṅkara's theory of error and religious and ethical concerns
      The basic problem of Śaṅkara's philosophy is how such pure consciousness appears, in ordinary experience, to be individualized (“my consciousness”) and to be of an object (“consciousness of blue”). As he stated it, subject and object are as opposed to each other as light and darkness, yet the properties of one are superimposed on the other. If something is a fact of experience and yet ought not to be so—i.e., is rationally unintelligible—then this must be false. According to Śaṅkara's theory of error, the false appearance is a positive, presented entity that is characterized neither as existent (because it is sublated when the illusion is corrected) nor as nonexistent (because it is presented, given as much as the real is). The false, therefore, is indescribable either as being or as nonbeing, it is not a fiction, such as a round square. Śaṅkara thus introduced a new category of the “false” apart from the usual categories of the existent and the nonexistent. The world and finite individuals are false in this sense: they are rationally unintelligible, their reality is not logically deducible from Brahman, and their experience is cancelled with the knowledge of Brahman. The world and finite selves are not creations of Brahman; they are not real emanations or transformations of it. Brahman is not capable of such transformation or emanation. They are appearances that are superimposed on Brahman because of man's ignorance. This superimposition was sometimes called adhyāsa by Śaṅkara and was often identified with avidyā. Later writers referred to avidyā as the cause of the error. Thus, ignorance came to be regarded as a beginningless, positive something that conceals the nature of reality and projects the false appearances on it. Śaṅkara, however, did distinguish between three senses of being: the merely illusory (prātibhāsika), the empirical (vyāvahārika; which has unperceived existence and pragmatic efficacy), and transcendental being of one, indeterminate Brahman.

      In his epistemology, Śaṅkara's followers in general accepted the point of view of the Mīmāṃsā of Kumārila's school. Like Kumārila, they accepted six ways of knowing: perception, inference, verbal testimony, comparison, nonperception, and postulation. In general, cognitions are regarded as modifications of the inner sense in which the pure spirit is reflected or as the pure spirit limited by respective mental modifications. The truth of cognitions is regarded as intrinsic to them, and a knowable fact is accepted as true so long as it is not rejected as false. In perception a sort of identity is achieved between the form of the object and the form of the inner sense; in fact, the inner sense is said to assume the form of the object. In their theory of inference, the Nyāya five-membered syllogism is rejected in favour of a three-membered one. Furthermore, the sort of inference admitted by the Nyāya, in which the major term is universally present, is rejected, because nothing save Brahman has this property according to the system.

      Śaṅkara regarded moral life as a necessary preliminary to metaphysical knowledge and thus laid down strict ethical conditions to be fulfilled by one who wants to study Vedānta. For him, however, the highest goal of life is to know the essential identity of his own self with Brahman, and though moral life may indirectly help in purifying the mind and intellect, over an extended period of time knowledge comes from following the long and arduous process whose three major stages are study of the scriptures under appropriate conditions, reflection aimed at removing all possible intellectual doubts about the nondualistic thesis, and meditation on the identity of ātman and Brahman. Mokṣa is not, according to Śaṅkara, a perfection to be achieved; it is rather the essential reality of one's own self to be realized through destruction of the ignorance that conceals it. God is how Brahman appears to an ignorant mind that regards the world as real and looks for its creator and ruler. Religious life is sustained by dualistic concepts: the dualism between man and God, between virtue and vice, and between this life and the next. In the state of mokṣa, these dualisms are transcended. An important part of Śaṅkara's faith was that mokṣa was possible in bodily existence. Because what brings this supreme state is the destruction of ignorance, nothing need happen to the body; it is merely seen for what it really is—an illusory limitation on the spirit.

      Śaṅkara's chief direct pupils were Sureśvara, the author of Vārttika (“Gloss”) on his bhāṣya and of Naiṣkarmya-siddhi (“Establishment of the State of Non-Action”), and Padmapāda, author of Pañcapādika, a commentary on the first five pādas, or sections, of the bhāṣya. These early pupils raised and settled issues that were not systematically discussed by Śaṅkara himself—issues that later divided his followers into two large groups: those who followed the Vivaraṇa (a work written on Padmapāda's Pañcapādika by one Prakāśātman in the 12th century) and those who followed Vācaspati's commentary (known as Bhāmatī) on Śaṅkara's bhāṣya. Among the chief issues that divided Śaṅkara's followers was the question about the locus and object of ignorance. The Bhāmatī school regarded the individual self as the locus of ignorance and sought to avoid the consequent circularity (arising from the fact that the individual self is itself a product of ignorance) by postulating a beginningless series of such selves and their ignorances. The Vivaraṇa school regarded both the locus and the object of ignorance to be Brahman and sought to avoid the contradiction (arising from the fact that Brahman is said to be of the nature of knowledge) by distinguishing between pure consciousness and valid knowledge (pramājñāna). The latter, a mental modification, destroys ignorance, and the former, far from being opposed to ignorance, manifests ignorance itself, as evidenced by the judgment “I am ignorant.” The two schools also differed in their explanations of the finite individual. The Bhāmatī school regarded the individual as a limitation of Brahman just as the space within the four walls of a room is a limitation of the big space. The Vivaraṇa school preferred to regard the finite individual as a reflection of Brahman in the inner sense. As the moon is one, but its reflections are many, so also Brahman is one, but its reflections are many. Later followers of Śaṅkara, such as Śrīharṣa in his Khaṇḍanakhaṇḍakhādyaand his commentator Citsukha, used a destructive, negative dialectic in the manner of Nāgārjuna to criticize man's basic concepts about the world.

Concepts of bhedābheda
      The philosophies of transcendence and immanence (bhedābheda) assert both identity and difference between the world and finite individuals, on the one hand, and Brahman, on the other. The world and finite individuals are real and yet both different and not different from the Brahman.

      Among pre-Śaṅkara commentators on the Vedānta-sūtras, Bhartṛprapañca defended the thesis of bhedābheda, and Bhāskara (c. 9th century) closely followed him. Bhartṛprapañca's commentary is not extant; the only known source of knowledge is Śaṅkara's reference to him in his commentary on the Bṛhāẖaraṇyaka Upaniṣad, in which Bhartṛprapañca is said to have held that though Brahman as cause is different from Brahman as effect, the two are identical inasmuch as the effect dissolves into the cause, as the waves return into the sea. Bhāskara viewed Brahman as both the material and the efficient cause of the world. The doctrine of māyā was totally rejected. Brahman undergoes the modifications by his own power. As waves are both different from and identical with the sea, so are the world and the finite individuals in relation to Brahman. The finite selves are parts of Brahman, as sparks of fire are parts of fire. But the finite soul exists, since beginningless time, under the influence of ignorance. It is atomic in extension and yet animates the whole body. Corresponding to the material world and the finite selves, Bhāskara ascribed to God two powers of self-modification. Bhāskara, in his theory of knowledge, distinguished between self-consciousness that is ever-present and objective knowledge that passively arises out of appropriate causal conditions but is not an activity. Mind, thus, is a sense organ. Bhāskara subscribed to the general Vedānta thesis that knowledge is intrinsically true, though falsity is extrinsic to it. In his ethical views, Bhāskara regarded religious duties as binding at all stages of life. He upheld a theory known as jñāna-karmasamuccaya-vāda: performance of duties together with knowledge of Brahman leads to liberation. In religious life, Bhāskara was an advocate of bhakti,but bhakti is not a mere feeling of love or affection for God, but rather is dhyāna, or meditation, directed toward the transcendent Brahman who is not exhausted in his manifestations. Bhāskara denied the possibility of liberation in bodily existence.

      The bhedābhedapoint of view had various other adherents: Vijñānabhikṣu, Nimbārka, Vallabha, and Caitanya.

      Rāmānuja (11th century) sought to synthesize a long tradition of theistic religion with the absolutistic monism of the Upaniṣads, a task in which he had been preceded by no less an authority than the Bhagavadgītā. In his general philosophical position, he followed the vṛttikāra Bodhāyana, the Vākyakāra (to whom he referred but whose identity is not established except that he advocated a theory of real modification of Brahman), Nāthamuni (c. 1000), and his own teachers' teacher Yāmunācārya (c. 1050).

      The main religious inspirations are from the theistic tradition of the Āḻvār (Āḷvār) poet-saints and their commentators known as the Ācāryas, who sought to combine knowledge with action (karma) as the right means to liberation. There is also, besides the Vedic tradition, the religious tradition of Āgama (Agama)s, particularly of the PāŃcarātra literature. It is within this old tradition that Rāmānuja's philosophical and religious thought developed.

      Rāmānuja rejected Śaṅkara's conception of Brahman as an indeterminate, qualityless, and differenceless reality on the ground that such a reality cannot be perceived, known, thought of, or even spoken about, in which case it is nothing short of a fiction. In substantiating this contention, Rāmānuja undertook, in his Śrī-bhāṣya on the Vedānta-sūtras, a detailed examination of the different ways of knowing. Perception, either nonconceptualized or conceptualized, always apprehends its object as being something, the only difference between the two modes of perception being that the former takes place when one perceives an individual of a certain class for the first time and thus does not subsume it under the same class as some other individuals. Nor can inference provide one with knowledge of an indeterminate reality, because in inference one always knows something as coming under a general rule. The same holds true of verbal testimony. This kind of knowledge arises from understanding sentences. For Rāmānuja there is nothing like a pure consciousness without subject and without object. All consciousness is of something and belongs to someone. He also held that it is not true that consciousness cannot be the object of another consciousness. In fact, one's own past consciousness becomes the object of present consciousness. Consciousness is self-shining only when it reveals an object to its own owner—i.e., the self.

      Rejecting Śaṅkara's conception of reality, Rāmānuja defended the thesis that Brahman is a being with infinitely perfect excellent virtues, a being whose perfection cannot be exceeded. The world and finite individuals are real, and together they constitute the body of Brahman. The category of body and soul is central to his way of thinking. Body is that which can be controlled and moved for the purpose of the spirit. The material world and the conscious spirits, though substantive realities, are yet inseparable from Brahman and thus qualify him in the same sense in which body qualifies the soul. Brahman is spiritual–material–qualified. Rāmānuja and his followers undertook criticisms of Śaṅkara's illusionism, particularly of his doctrine of avidyā (ignorance) and the falsity of the world. For Rāmānuja, such a beginningless, positive avidyā could not have any locus or any object, and if it does conceal the self-shining Brahman, then there would be no way of escaping from its clutches.

      A most striking feature of Rāmānuja's epistemology is his uncompromising realism. Whatever is known is real, and only the real can be known. This led him to advocate the thesis that even the object of error is real—error is really incomplete knowledge—and correction of error is really completion of incomplete knowledge.

      The state of mokṣa (moksha) is not a state in which the individuality is negated. In fact, the sense of “I” persists even after liberation, for the self is truly the object of the notion of “I.” What is destroyed is egoism, the false sense of independence. The means thereto is bhakti, leading to God's grace. But by bhakti Rāmānuja means dhyāna, or intense meditation with love. Obligation to perform one's scriptural duties is never transcended. Liberation is a state of blessedness in the company of God. A path emphasized by Rāmānuja for all persons is complete self-surrender (prapatti) to God's will and making oneself worthy of his grace. In his social outlook, Rāmānuja believed that bhakti does not recognize barriers of caste and classes.

      The doctrinal differences among the followers of Rāmānuja is not so great as among Śaṅkara's. Writers such as Sudarśana Sūri and Veṅkatanātha (Vedāntadeśika) continued to elaborate and defend the theses of the master, and much of their writing is polemical. Some differences are to be found regarding the nature of emancipation, the nature of devotion, and other ritual matters. The followers are divided into two schools: the Uttara-kalārya (Vaḍakalai), led by Veṅkatanātha, and the Dakṣiṇa-kalārya (Teṉkalai), led by Lokācārya. One of the points at issue is whether or not emancipation is destructible; another, whether there is a difference between liberation attained by mere self-knowledge and that attained by knowledge of God. There also were differences in interpreting the exact nature of self-surrender to God and the degree of passivity or activity required of the worshipper.

      Madhva (born 1199?) belonged to the tradition of Vaiṣṇava religious faith and showed a great polemical spirit in refuting Śaṅkara's philosophy and in converting people to his own fold. An uncompromising dualist (dualism), he traced back dualistic thought even to some of the Upaniṣads. His main works are his commentaries on the Upaniṣads, the Gītā, and the Vedānta-sūtras. He also wrote a commentary on the Mahābhārata and several logical and polemical treatises.

      He glorified difference. Five types of differences are central to Madhva's system: difference between soul and God, between soul and soul, between soul and matter, between God and matter, and that between matter and matter. Brahman is the fullness of qualities, and by his own intrinsic nature, Brahman produces the world. The individual, otherwise free, is dependent only upon God. The Advaita concepts of falsity and indescribability of the world were severely criticized and rejected. In his epistemology, Madhva admitted three ways of knowing: perception, inference, and verbal testimony. In Madhva's system the existence of God cannot be proved; it can be learned only from the scriptures.

      Bondage and release both are real and devotion is the only way to release, but ultimately it is God's grace that saves. Scriptural duties, when performed without any ulterior motive, purify the mind and help one to receive God's grace.

      Among the other theistic schools of Vedānta, brief mention may be made of the schools of Nimbārka (c.12th century), Vallabha (15th century), and Caitanya (16th century).

      Nimbārka's philosophy is known as Bhedābheda because he emphasized both identity and difference of the world and finite souls with Brahman. His religious sect is known as the Sanaka-sampradāya of Vaiṣṇavism. Nimbārka's commentary of the Vedānta-sūtras is known as Vedānta-pārijāta-saurabha and is commented on by Śİīnivāsa in his Vedānta-kaustubha. Of the three realities admitted—God, souls, and matter—God is the independent reality, self-conscious, controller of the other two, free from all defects, abode of all good qualities, and both the material and efficient cause of the world. The souls are dependent, self-conscious, capable of enjoyment, controlled, atomic in size, many in number, and eternal but seemingly subject to birth and death because of ignorance and karma. Matter is of three kinds: nonnatural matter, which constitutes divine body; natural matter constituted by the three guṇas; and time. Both souls and matter are pervaded by God. Their relation is one of difference-with-nondifference. Liberation is because of a knowledge that makes God's grace possible. There is no need for Vedic duties after knowledge is attained, nor is performance of such duties necessary for acquiring knowledge.

      Vallabha's commentary on the Vedānta-sūtras is known as Aṇubhāṣya (“The Brief Commentary”), which is commented upon by Puruṣottama in his Bhāṣya-prakāśa (“Lights on the Commentary”). His philosophy is called pure nondualism—“pure” meaning “undefiled by māyā.” His religious sect is known as the Rudra-sampradāya of Vaiṣṇavism (Vallabhācārya) and also Puṣṭimārga, or the path of grace. Brahman, or Śrī Krishna, is viewed as the only independent reality; in his essence he is existence, consciousness, and bliss, and souls and matter are his real manifestations. Māyā is but his power of self-manifestation. Vallabha admitted neither pariṇāma (of Sāṃkhya) nor vivarta (of Śaṅkara). According to him, the modifications are such that they leave Brahman unaffected. From his aspect of “existence” spring life, senses, and body. From “consciousness” spring the finite, atomic souls. From “bliss” spring the presiding deities, or antaryāmins, for whom Vallabha finds place on his ontology. This threefold nature of God pervades all beings. World is real; but saṃsāra, the cycle of birth and death, is unreal, and time is regarded as God's power of action. Like all other Vedāntins, Vallabha rejected the Vaiśeṣika relation of samavaya and replaced it by tādātmya, or identity. The means to liberation is bhakti, which is defined as firm affection for God and also loving service (sevā). Bhakti does not lead to knowledge, but knowledge is regarded as a part of bhakti. The notion of “grace” plays an important role in Vallabha's religious thought. He is also opposed to renunciation.

      Caitanya (1485–1533) was one of the most influential and remarkable of the medieval saints of India. His life is characterized by almost unique emotional fervour, hovering on the pathological, which was directed toward Śrī Krishna (the incarnation of Vishnu). He has not written anything, but the discourses recorded by contemporaries give an idea of his philosophical thought that was later developed by his followers, particularly by Rūpa Gosvāmin and Jīva Gosvāmin. Rūpa is the author of two great works: Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (“The Ocean of the Nectar of the Essence of Bhakti”) and Ujjvalanīīamani (“The Shining Blue Jewel”). Jīva's main work is the great and voluminous Ṣaṭsaṃdarbha. These are the main sources of the philosophy of Bengal Vaiṣṇavism. Caitanya rejected the conception of an intermediate Brahman. Brahman, according to him, has three powers: the transcendent power that is threefold (the power of bliss, the power of being, and the power of consciousness) and the two immanent powers, namely, the powers of creating souls and the material world. Jīva Gosvāmin regarded bliss to be the very substance of Brahman who, with the totality of all his powers, is called God. Jīva distinguished between God's essential power, his peripheral power that creates the souls, and the external power (called māyā) that creates cosmic forms. The relation between God and his powers is neither identity nor difference, nor identity-with-difference. This relation, unthinkable and suprarational, is central to Caitanya's philosophy. For Jīva, the relation between any whole and its parts is unthinkable. Bhakti is the means to emancipation. Bhakti is conceived as a reciprocal relation between man and God, a manifestation of God's power in man. The works of Jīva and Rūpa delineated a detailed and fairly exhaustive classification of the types and gradations of bhakti.

Vaiṣṇava schools
      The main philosophers of the medieval Vaiṣṇavism (Vaishnavism) have been noted above. Vaiṣṇavism, however, has a long history, traceable to the Vishnu worship of the Rigveda, the Bhakti conception of the epics, and the Vāsudeva cult of the pre-Christian era. Of the two main Vaiṣṇava scriptures, or āgamas, the Pāñcarātra (“Relating to the Period of Five Nights”) and the Vaikhānasa (“Relating to a Hermit or Ascetic”) are the most important. Though Vaiṣṇava philosophers trace the Pāñcarātra works to Vedic origin, absolutists such as Śaṅkara refused to acknowledge this claim. The main topics of the Pāñcarātra literature concern rituals and forms of image worship and religious practices of the Vaiṣṇavas. Of philosophical importance are the Ahirbudhnya-saṃhitā (“Collection of Verses for Śiva”) and Jayākhya-saṃhitā (“Collection of Verses Called Jayā”). The most well-known Pāñcarātra doctrine concerns the four spiritual forms of God: the absolute, transcendent state, known as Vāsudeva; the form in which knowledge and strength predominate (known as Saṃkarṣana); the form in which wealth and courage predominate (known as Pradyumna); and the form in which power and energy predominate (known as Aniruddha). Śaṅkara identified Saṃkarṣana with the individual soul, Pradyumna with mind, and Aniruddha with the ego sense. Furthermore, five powers of God are distinguished: creation, maintenance, destruction, favour, and disfavour. bhakti is regarded as affection for God and associated with a sense of his majesty. The doctrine of prapatti, or complete self-surrender, is emphasized.

Śaiva schools
      The Śaiva schools are the philosophical systems within the fold of Śaivism (Shaivism), a religious sect that worships Śiva (Shiva) as the highest deity. There is a long tradition of Śiva worship going back to the Rudra hymns of the Rigveda, the Śiva-Rudra of the Vājasaneyi-Saṃhitā, the Atharvaveda, and the Brāhmaṇas. Mādhava (Mādhavācārya) in his Sarva-darśana-saṃgraha referred to three Śaiva systems: the Nakuliśa-Pāśupata (Pashupata), the Śaiva, and the Pratyabhijñā systems. The Śaiva system of Mādhava's classification probably corresponds to Śaiva-siddhānta (Shaiva-siddhanta) of Tamil country, and the Pratyabhijñā is known as Kashmir Śaivism. The Śaiva-siddhānta is realistic and dualistic; the Kashmir system is idealistic and monistic.

      The source literature of the Śaiva-siddhānta school consists of the Āgamas, Tamil devotional hymns written by Śaiva saints but collected by Nambi (c. AD 1000) in a volume known as Tirumurai, Civa-ñāṉa-pōtam (“Understanding of the Knowledge of Śiva”) by Meykaṇṭatēvar (13th century), Śivācārya's Śiva-jñāna-siddhiyār (“Attainment of the Knowledge of Śiva”), Umāpati's Śivaprakāśam (“Lights on Śiva”) in the 14th century, Śrīkaṇṭha's commentary on the Vedānta-sūtras (14th century), and Appaya Dīkṣita's commentary thereon. This school admits three categories (padārthas): God (Śiva or Pati, Lord), soul (paśu), and the bonds (pāśa), and the 36 principles (tattvas). These 36 are divided into three groups: at the top, in order of manifestation from Śiva, are the five pure principles—śivatattva (the essence of Śiva), śakti (power), sadā-śiva (the eternal good), īśivara (lord), and śuddha-vidyā (true knowledge); seven mixed principles—pure māyā, five envelopes (destiny, time, interest, knowledge, and power), and puruṣa, or self; and 24 impure principles beginning with prakṛti (this list is broadly the same as that of Sāṃkhya). Śiva is the first cause: his śakti, or power, is the instrumental cause, māyā the material cause. This māyā-śakti is not God's essential power but is assumed by him; it is parigraha-śakti (“Assumed Power”). The relation of Śiva to his essential power is one of identity. Bonds are of three kinds: karma, māyā, and avidyā. The world and souls are real, and emancipation requires the grace of Śiva. The Śaiva-siddhānta always insisted on the preservation of the individuality of the finite soul, even in the state of emancipation, and rejected Śaṅkara's nondualism. Appaya Dīkṣita's commentary shows the tendency to attempt a reconciliation between the Āgama (Agama) tradition of realism and pluralism with the Advaita tradition. The soul is eternal and all-pervasive, but, owing to original ignorance, it is reduced to the condition of āṇava, which consists in regarding oneself as finite and atomic. Knowledge of its own nature as well as God's is possible only by God's grace.

Kashmir Śaivism
      The source literature of this school consists in the Śiva-sūtra, Vasugupta's Spanda-kārikā (“Verses on Creation”; 8th–9th centuries), Utpala's Pratyabhijñā-sūtra (“Aphorisms on Recognition”; c. 900), Abhinavagupta's (Abhinavagupta) Paramārthasāra (“The Essence of the Highest Truth”), Pratyabhijñā-vimarśini (“Reflections on Recognition”), and Tantrāloka (“Lights on the Doctrine”) in the 10th century, and Kṣemarāja's Śiva-sūtra-vimarśini (“Reflections on the Aphorisms on Śiva”). As contrasted with the Śaiva-siddhānta, this school is idealist and monist, and, although it accepts all the 36 tattvas and the three padārthas, it is Śiva, the Lord, who is the sole reality. God is viewed as both the material and efficient cause of the universe. Five aspects of God's power are distinguished: consciousness (cit), bliss (ānanda), desire (icchā), knowledge (jñāna), and action (kriyā). Śiva is one—without a second, infinite spirit. He has a transcendent aspect and an immanent aspect, and his power with its fivefold functions constitutes his immanent aspect. The individual soul of a person is identical with Śiva; recognition of this identity is essential to liberation.

Jaina philosophy
  Jainism, founded in about the 6th century BC by Vardhamāna Mahāvīra, the 24th in a succession of religious leaders known as Jinas (Conquerors), rejects the idea of God as the creator of the world but teaches the perfectibility of man, to be accomplished through the strictly moral and ascetic life. Central to the moral code of Jainism is the doctrine of ahiṃsā (ahimsa), or noninjury to all living beings, an idea that may have arisen in reaction to Vedic sacrifice ritual. There is also a great emphasis on vows (vratas) of various orders.

      Although earlier scriptures, such as the Bhagavatī-sūtra, contained assorted ideas on logic and epistemology, Kundakunda of the 2nd century AD was the first to develop Jaina logic. The Tattvarthādhigama-sūtra of Umāsvatis, however, is the first systematic work, and Siddhasena (7th century AD) the first great logician. Other important figures are Akalanka (8th century), Mānikyanandi, Vādideva, Hemchandra (12th century), Prabhāchandra (11th century), and Yasovijaya (17th century).

      The principal ingredients of Jaina metaphysics are: an ultimate distinction between “living substance” or “soul” ( jīva) and “nonliving substance” (ajīva); the doctrine of anekāntavāẖa, or nonabsolutism (the thesis that things have infinite aspects that no determination can exhaust); the doctrine of naya (the thesis that there are many partial perspectives from which reality can be determined, none of which is, taken by itself, wholly true, but each of which is partially so); and the doctrine of karma, in Jainism a substance, rather than a process, that links all phenomena in a chain of cause and effect.

      As a consequence of their metaphysical liberalism, the Jaina logicians developed a unique theory of seven-valued logic, according to which the three primary truth values are “true,” “false,” and “indefinite,” and the other four values are “true and false,” “true and indefinite,” “false and indefinite,” and “true, false, and indefinite.” Every statement is regarded as having these seven values, considered from different standpoints.

      Knowledge is defined as that which reveals both itself and another (svaparabhāsi). It is eternal, as an essential quality of the self; it is noneternal, as the perishable empirical knowledge. Whereas most Hindu epistemologists regarded pramaṇā as the cause of knowledge, the Jainas identified pramaṇā with valid knowledge. Knowledge is either perceptual or nonperceptual. Perception is either empirical or nonempirical. Empirical perception is either sensuous or nonsensuous. The latter arises directly in the self, not through the sense organs, but only when the covering ignorance is removed. With the complete extinction of all karmas, a person attains omniscience (kevala-jñāna). (See also Jainism.)

Mughal (Mughal Dynasty) philosophy
      Reference has been made earlier to the Ṣūfī (Islāmic mystics), who found a resemblance between the ontological monism of Ibn al-ʿArabi and that of Vedānta. The Shaṭṭārī order among the Indian Ṣūfīs practiced Yogic austerities and even physical postures. Various minor syncretistic religious sects attempted to harmonize Hindu and Muslim religious traditions at different levels and with varying degrees of success. Of these, the most famous are Rāmānanda (Ramananda), Kabīr, and Gurū Nānak. Kabīr harmonized the two religions in such a manner that, to an enquiry about whether he was a Hindu or a Muslim, the answer given by a contemporary was “It is a secret difficult to comprehend. One should try to understand.” Gurū Nānak rejected the authority of both Hindu and Muslim scriptures alike and founded his religion (Sikhism) on a rigorously moralistic, monotheistic basis.

      Among the great Mughals, Akbar attempted, in 1581, to promulgate a new religion, Dīn-e Ilāhī (Dīn-i Ilāhī), which was to be based on reason and ethical teachings common to all religions and which was to be free from priestcraft. This effort, however, was short-lived, and a reaction of Muslim orthodoxy was led by Shaykh Aḥmed Sirhindī (Aḥmad Sirhindī, Shaykh), who rejected ontological monism in favour of orthodox unitarianism and sought to channel mystical enthusiasm along Qurʾānic (Islāmic scriptural) lines. By the middle of the 17th century, the tragic figure of Dārā Shikōh, the Mughal emperor Shāh Jahān's son and disciple of the Qādirī sufis, translated Hindu scriptures, such as the Bhagavadgītā and the Upaniṣads, into Persian and in his translation of the latter closely followed Śaṅkara's commentaries. In his Majmaʿ al-baḥrayn he worked out correlations between Ṣūfī and Upaniṣadic cosmologies, beliefs, and practices. During this time, the Muslim elite of India virtually identified Vedānta with Ṣūfīsm. Later, Shāh Walī Allāh's son, Shāh ʿAbd-ul-ʿAzīz, regarded Krishna among the awliyāʾ (saints).

19th- and 20th-century philosophy in India and Pakistan
      In the 19th century, India was not marked by any noteworthy philosophical achievements, but the period was one of great social and religious reform movements. The newly founded universities introduced Indian intellectuals to Western thought, particularly to the empiricistic, utilitarian, and agnostic philosophies in England, and John Stuart Mill, Jeremy Bentham, and Herbert Spencer had become the most influential thinkers in the Indian universities by the end of the century. These Western-oriented ideas served to generate a secular and rational point of view and stimulated social and religious movements, most noteworthy among them being the Brahmo (Brahma) Samaj movement founded by Rammohan Ray. Toward the later decades of the century, the great saint Ramakrishna Paramahamsa of Calcutta renewed interest in mysticism, and many young rationalists and skeptics were converted into the faith exemplified in his person. Ramakrishna taught, among other things, an essential diversity of religious paths leading to the same goal, and this teaching was given an intellectual form by Swami Vivekananda, his famed disciple.

      The first Indian graduate school in philosophy was founded in the University of Calcutta during the first decades of the 20th century, and the first incumbent of the chair of philosophy was Sir Brajendranath Seal, a versatile scholar in many branches of learning, both scientific and humanistic. Seal's major published work is The Positive Sciences of the Ancient Hindus, which, besides being a work on the history of science, shows interrelations among the ancient Hindu philosophical concepts and their scientific theories. Soon, however, the German philosophers Kant and Hegel came to be the most studied philosophers in the Indian universities. The ancient systems of philosophy came to be interpreted in the light of German Idealism. The Hegelian notion of Absolute Spirit found a resonance in the age-old Vedānta notion of Brahman. The most eminent Indian Hegelian scholar is Hiralal Haldar, who was concerned with the problem of the relation of the human personality with the Absolute, as is evidenced by his book Neo-Hegelianism. The most eminent Kantian scholar is K.C. Bhattacharyya.

      Among those who deserve mention for their original contributions to philosophical thinking are Sri Aurobindo (Aurobindo, Śrī) (died 1950), Mahatma Gandhi (Gandhi, Mohandas Karamchand) (died 1948), Rabindranath Tagore (Tagore, Rabindranath) (died 1941), Sir Muḥammed Iqbāl (Iqbāl, Sir Muḥammad) (died 1938), K.C. Bhattacharyya (died 1949), and Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (Radhakrishnan, Sarvepalli) (died 1975). Of these, Sri Aurobindo was first a political activist and then a yogin, Tagore and Iqbāl poets, Gandhi a political and social leader, and only Radhakrishnan and Bhattacharyya university professors. This fact throws some light on the state of Indian philosophy in this century.

      In his major work, The Life Divine, Sri Aurobindo starts from the fact of human aspiration for a kingdom of heaven on earth and proceeds to give a theoretical framework in which such an aspiration would be not a figment of imagination but a drive in nature, working through man toward a higher stage of perfection. Both the denial of the materialist and that of the ascetic are rejected as being one-sided. The gulf between unconscious matter and fully self-conscious spirit is sought to be bridged by exhibiting them as two poles of a series in which spirit continuously manifests itself. The Vedāntic concept of a transcendent and all-inclusive Brahman (brahma) is sought to be harmonized with a theory of emergent evolution. Illusionism is totally rejected. The purpose of man is to go beyond his present form of consciousness. Yoga is interpreted as a technique not for personal liberation but for cooperating with the cosmic evolutionary urge that is destined to take mankind ahead from the present mental stage to a higher, supramental stage of consciousness. A theory of history, in accordance with this point of view, is worked out in his The Human Cycle.

      Rabindranath Tagore's philosophical thinking is no less based on the Upaniṣads, but his interpretation of the Upaniṣad (Upanishad)s is closer to Vaiṣṇava theism and the Bhakti cults than to traditional monism. He characterized the absolute as supreme person and placed love higher than knowledge. In his Religion of Man, Tagore sought to give a philosophy of man in which human nature is characterized by a concept of surplus energy that finds expression in creative art. In his lectures on Nationalism, Tagore placed the concept of society above that of the modern nation-state.

      Mahatma Gandhi preferred to say that the truth is God rather than God is the truth, because the former proposition expresses a belief that even the atheists share. The belief in the presence of an all-pervading spirit in the universe led Gandhi to a strict formulation of the ethics of nonviolence (ahiṃsā (ahimsa)). But he gave this age-old ethical principle a wealth of meaning so that ahiṃsā for him became at once a potent means of collective struggle against social and economic injustice, the basis of a decentralized economy and decentralized power structure, and the guiding principle of one's individual life in relation both to nature and to other persons. The unity of existence, which he called the truth, can be realized through the practice of ahiṃsā, which requires reducing oneself to zero and reaching the furthest limit of humility.

      Influenced by the British philosopher J.M.E. McTaggart's form of Hegelian idealism and the French philosopher Henri Bergson's philosophy of change, Muḥammed Iqbāl conceived reality as creative and essentially spiritual, consisting of egos. “The truth, however, is that matter is spirit,” he wrote,

in space-time reference. The unity called man is body when we look at it as acting in regard to what we call external world; it is mind or soul when we look at it as acting in regard to the ultimate aim and ideal of such acting.

      Influenced by British Neo-Hegelianism in his interpretation of the Vedāntic tradition, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was primarily an interpreter of Indian thought to the Western world. He defended a realistic interpretation of the concept of māyā (maya)—thereby playing down its illusionistic connotation, a theory of intuition as the means of knowing reality, and a theory of emergent evolution of spirit (not unlike Sri Aurobindo, but without his doctrine of supermind) in nature and history. The most original among modern Indian thinkers, however, is K.C. Bhattacharyya, who rejected the conception of philosophy as a construction of a worldview and undertook a phenomenological description of the various grades of subjectivity: (1) the bodily, (2) the psychic, and (3) the spiritual. With regard to (1), he distinguished between the objective body and the felt body and regarded the latter as the most primitive level of the subjective sense of freedom from the objective world. The stage (2) includes the range of mental life from image to free thought. In introspection, the level (2) is transcended, but various levels of introspection are distinguished, all leading to greater freedom from objectivity. It would seem, however, that for Bhattacharyya absolute freedom from objectivity was a spiritual demand. According to his theory of value (axiology), value is not an adjective of the object but a feeling absolute, of which the object evaluated appears as an adjective, and his logic of alternation is a modern working out of the Jaina theories of anekānta (non-absolutism) and syādvāda (doctrine of “may be”).

      Among later philosophers, N.V. Banerjee (1901–81) and Kalidas Bhattacharyya (1911–84), the son of K.C. Bhattacharyya, have made important contributions. In Language, Meaning and Persons (1963), Banerjee examines the development of personhood from a stage of individualized bondage to liberation in a collective identity, a life-with-others. This liberation, according to Banerjee, also entails an awareness of time and freedom from spatialized objects.

      In his earlier writings such as Object, Content and Relation (1951) and Alternative Standpoints in Philosophy (1953), Bhattacharyya developed his father's idea of theoretically undecidable alternatives in philosophy. In the later works Philosophy, Logic and Language (1965) and Presuppositions of Science and Philosophy (1974), he developed the concept of metaphysics as a science of the nonempirical a priori essences that are initially discerned as the structure of the empirical but are subsequently recognized as autonomous entities. The method of metaphysics for him is reflection, phenomenological and transcendental. Kalidas Bhattacharyya was concerned with the nature and function of philosophical reflection and its relation of unreflective experience. What reflection brings to light, he held, is present in pre-reflective experience, but only as undistinguished and fused, in a state of objective implicitness. The essences as such are not real but demand realization in pure reflective consciousness. At the same time, he emphasized the limitations of any doctrine positing the constitution of nature in consciousness. Such a doctrine, he insisted, cannot be carried out in details.

      Among those who apply the phenomenological method and concepts to understanding the traditional Indian philosophies, D. Sinha, R.K. Sinari, and J.N. Mohanty are especially noteworthy. Others who interpret the Indian philosophies by means of the methods and concepts of analytical philosophy include B.K. Matilal and G. Misra. In the field of philosophy of logic, P.K. Sen has worked on the paradoxes of confirmation and the concept of quantification, and Sibajiban on the liar paradox and on epistemic logic. Sibajiban and Matilal have made important contributions toward rendering the concepts of Navya-Nyāya logic into the language of modern logic. In ethics and social philosophy, notable work has been done by Abu Sayyid Ayub, Daya Krishna, Rajendra Prasad, and D.P. Chattopadhyaya.

Additional Reading

S.N. Dasgupta, A History of Indian Philosophy, 5 vol. (1922–55, reprinted 1977), a comprehensive account, though its scholarship tends to outweigh philosophical insight; M. Hiriyanna, Outlines of Indian Philosophy (1932, reissued 1975), lucidly written, based on reliable acquaintance with original source material but leaving out many minor, though important, schools of thought; S. Radhakrishnan, Indian Philosophy, 2 vol. (1923–27), a very readable account written from an idealistic point of view—may often mislead; S.C. Vidyabhusan, A History of the Mediæval School of Indian Logic (1909), still indispensable, though outdated and containing many inaccuracies; U.N. Ghoshal, A History of Indian Political Ideas: The Ancient Period and the Period of Transition to the Middle Ages (1959); Donald H. Bishop (ed.), Indian Thought: An Introduction (1975), 15 historical essays by Indian scholars; Balbir Singh, The Conceptual Framework of Indian Philosophy (1976), a study of 12 fundamental concepts; Karl H. Potter (ed.), The Encyclopedia of Indian Philosophies (1970– ), a very valuable source. For current articles on Indian philosophy, see Philosophy East and West (quarterly) and The Journal of Indian Philosophy (quarterly).

Critical studies from the point of view of modern Western thought
Karl H. Potter, Presuppositions of India's Philosophies (1963, reprinted 1976); Ninian Smart, Doctrine and Argument in Indian Philosophy (1964); and B.K. Matilal, Epistemology, Logic and Grammar in Indian Philosophical Analysis (1971), three books that, together, form a good introduction to the logical, dialectical, and analytical aspects of Indian philosophy; Kewal Krishan Mittal, Materialism in Indian Thought (1974).

English translations of Sanskrit sources
S. Radhakrishnan and C.A. Moore (eds.), A Source Book in Indian Philosophy (1957), an excellent one-volume collection of source materials (does not include many medieval masterpieces on logic and epistemology); The Thirteen Principal Upanishads, 2nd ed., trans. by R.E. Hume (1931); The Bhagavadgita, trans. by S. Radhakrishnan (1948).

Selected readings on the systems and texts
(Upaniṣads): Arun Shourie, Hinduism, Essence and Consequence: A Study of the Upanishads, the Gita, and the Brahma-Sutras (1980), an analysis and assessment of Brahmanical Hinduism; R.D. Ranade, A Constructive Survey of Upanishadic Philosophy, 2nd ed. (1968). (Bhagavadgītā): Sri Aurobindo, Essays on the Gita (1916–20, reissued 1974). (Mahābhārata): Edward W. Hopkins, The Great Epic of India (1901, reprinted 1973). (Cārvākas and Ājīvikas): Dakshinaranjan Shastri, A Short History of Indian Materialism, Sensationalism and Hedonism (1930); Dale Riepe, Early Indian Philosophical Materialism (1954); A.L. Basham, The History and Doctrines of the Ājīvikas (1951, reprinted 1981). (Buddhism): Benimadhab Barua, Prolegomena to a History of Buddhist Philosophy, 2nd ed. (1974); David J. Kalupahana, Buddhist Philosophy: A Historical Analysis (1976); A.L. Herman, An Introduction to Buddhist Thought: A Philosophic History of Indian Buddhism (1983); Th. Stcherbatsky, Buddhist Logic, 2 vol. (Eng. trans. 1930–32, reissued 1970), a work of great scholarship, marred by too-hasty comparisons with 19th-century European philosophers, and containing an English translation of Dharmakīrti's Nyayavindu; T.R.V. Murty, The Central Philosophy of Buddhism (1955, reissued 1980); (Mīmāmsā): A. Berriedale Keith, Karma-mīmāmsā (1921, reprinted 1978); P. Shastri, Introduction to the Pūrva Mīmāmsā, 2nd ed. (1980). (Vedānta): Eric J. Lott, Vedantic Approaches to God (1980), a clear introduction to the religious philosophies of Vedānta; Jacob Kattackal, Religion and Ethics in Advaita (1980, reprinted 1982); T.M.P. Mahadevan, Gaudapāda: A Study in Early Advaita (1952; 4th ed., 1975); Eliot Deutsch, Advaita Vedānta: A Philosophical Reconstruction (1969, reissued 1973); P.N. Srinivasachari, The Philosophy of Viśiṣtādvaita (1943, reprinted 1973). (Vaiṣṇavism and Śaivism): R.G. Bhandarkar, Vaiṣṇavism, Śaivism and Minor Religious Systems (1913, reissued 1980). (Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika): H. Ui, The Vaiśeṣhika Philosophy, 2nd ed. (1962); N.S. Junankar, Gautama: The Nyāya Philosophy (1978); S.C. Chatterjee, Nyāya Theory of Knowledge (1939); D.H. Ingalls, Materials for the Study of Navya-Nyāya Logic (1951); J.N. Mohanty (trans.), Gangesa's Theory of Truth (1966); B.K. Matilal, The Navya-Nyāya Doctrine of Negation (1969). (Sāṃkhya-Yoga): S.N. Dasgupta, The Study of Patanjali (1920); Mircea Eliade, Yoga: Immortality and Freedom, 2nd ed. (1969; originally published in French, 1954); Karel Werner, Yoga and Indian Philosophy (1977), a wide-ranging introduction. (Mughal philosophy): Azlz Ahmad, Studies in Islamic Culture in the Indian Environment (1964).

Contemporary Indian philosophy
S. Radhakrishnan, The Reign of Religion in Contemporary Philosophy (1920); Rabindranath Tagore, Religion of Man (1931, reprinted 1981); S. Radhakrishnan, Eastern Religions and Western Thought (1939, reissued 1974); Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine (1949, reissued 1982); S. Radhakrishnan and J.H. Muirhead (eds.), Contemporary Indian Philosophy, 2nd ed. (1952); P.T. Raju, Idealistic Thought of India (1953, reprinted 1973); Kalidas Bhattacharyya, Studies in Philosophy, 2 vol. (1956–58), and (ed.), Recent Indian Philosophy (1962), and Philosophical Papers (1969); G. Misra, Analytical Studies in Indian Philosophical Problems (1970); K.S. Murty and K.R. Rao (eds.), Current Trends in Indian Philosophy (1972); Margaret Chatterjee (ed.), Contemporary Indian Philosophy (1974); J.N. Mohanty, “Philosophy in India: 1967–1973,” Review of Metaphysics, 28:54–84 (1974); N.K. Devaraja (ed.), Indian Philosophy Today (1975); Dale Riepe, Indian Philosophy Since Independence (1979), an assessment from the perspective of historical and dialectical materialism; T.M.P. Mahadevan and G.V. Saroja, Contemporary Indian Philosophy (1981), brief accounts of the lives and thought of eight philosophers of the first half of the 20th century.Jitendra N. Mohanty

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