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Yoga, Vedanta and the Six Schools of Indian Philosophy

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  • Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati
    From: http://www.swamij.com/six-schools-indian-philosophy.htm SIX SCHOOLS OF INDIAN PHILOSOPHY Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati YOGA IS A CLASSICAL SCHOOL OF INDIAN
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      From:
      http://www.swamij.com/six-schools-indian-philosophy.htm

      SIX SCHOOLS OF INDIAN PHILOSOPHY
      Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati

      YOGA IS A CLASSICAL SCHOOL OF INDIAN PHILOSOPHY

      To understand the true nature of Yoga as a path of spiritual
      realization, it is necessary to have some small understanding of the
      six classical schools or systems of Indian philosophy, of which Yoga
      is one. By understanding Yoga in that context, it is easier to more
      fully delve into Yoga as the enlightenment practice that it actually
      is, rather than the mere physical fitness program it has come to be
      known as. The sincere seeker can then discriminate between authentic
      teachings and modern adaptations.

      See also Modern Yoga Versus Traditional Yoga:
      http://www.swamij.com/six-schools-indian-philosophy.htm

      YOGA CONTAINS, OR IS BUILT ON OTHER PHILOSOPHIES

      It is important to note that the Yoga system contains, or is built on
      four of the other systems or schools of Indian philosophy (Nyaya,
      Vaisheshika, Mimasa, and Sankhya). In other words, it is not
      necessary to go into great depth into those as separate studies and
      practices. They are adequately incorporated into the Yoga system,
      from the standpoint of doing the practices. In addition, the Vedanta
      system is a practical companion to the Yoga system. It is also
      important to note that while there is not universal agreement, many
      consider the teachings of Buddha to be a seventh system or school of
      Indian philosophy, rather than a separate system, in that his methods
      come from the same root. Not surprisingly, it is mostly those who
      self identify as Buddhists who think of Buddha's teachings as a
      totally separate system and not a seventh school of Indian philosophy.

      See also Yoga, Vedanta, and Tantra:
      http://www.swamij.com/yoga-vedanta-tantra.htm

      DATES OF THESE SYSTEMS

      The exact dates of formalizing the six systems are not known, as the
      studies were originally purely oral, since writing had not yet been
      created. However, estimates generally range from about 2,000-3,000 or
      more years ago. Some say the roots of these are as much as 5,000-
      10,000 years ago. The absence of clear dates is also explained as
      coming from the fact that the practitioners were so focused on the
      timeless quality of higher truths that they simply didn't care to
      record dates.

      YOGA
      Practical methods for direct experience:

      Yoga systematically deals with all of the levels of ones being,
      striving to experience the eternal center of consciousness. Yoga is
      best described in the Yoga Sutras and involves systematic witnessing
      of your inner states, so as to experientially go beyond all of them
      to the center of consciousness. Yoga is often called Sankhya-Yoga, as
      Yoga contains the practical methods to realize in direct experience
      the truths of Sankhya philosophy.

      See also Yoga Sutras:
      http://www.swamij.com/yoga-sutras.htm

      SANHYA
      Framework of manifestation:

      Sankhya philosophy offers a framework for all the levels of
      manifestation, from the subtlest to the grossest. Sankhya comes from
      samyag akhyate, which literally means that which explains the whole.
      Sankhya deals with prakriti (matter), purusha (consciousness), buddhi
      or mahat (intelligence), ahamkara (I-am-ness), three gunas (elements
      of stability, activity, and lightness), mind (manas), cognitive and
      active senses (indriyas), and the five subtle and gross elements
      (earth, water, fire, air, and space). In light of its breadth, it
      contains all of the domains of Vaisheshika, Nyaya, and Mimasa, which
      are described below.

      See also Sankhya philosophy:
      http://www.swamij.com/prakriti-purusha-sankhya.htm

      VEDANTA
      Contemplative self-inquiry:

      Vedanta philosophy and practice provides contemplative methods of
      self-inquiry leading to the realization of one's true nature, that
      which is not subject to death, decay, or decomposition. A major key
      of these practices is contemplation on the Mahavakyas. The teachings
      of Vedanta are best captured in the books of the Upanishads. The
      text, Vivekachudamini (Crest Jewel of Discrimination) by Adi
      Shankaracharya is an excellent source, and is available in English
      translation.

      See also Mahavakyas:
      http://www.swamij.com/mahavakyas.htm

      VAISHESHIKA
      Physical sciences:

      The Vaisheshika system was developed by Prashastapada and emphasizes
      the physical sciences such as chemistry. It includes exploring the
      elements of earth, water, fire, air and space, as well as time, mind
      and soul.

      NYAYA
      Reasoning:

      The Nyaya system was founded by the ancient sage Gautama, and deals
      with logic, the process of reasoning. Doubt is considered a
      prerequisite for philosophical inquiry. Other systems of Indian
      philosophy draw on this process.

      MIMASA
      Freedom through action:

      The Mimasa system was founded by Jaimini and pursues freedom through
      action. It has a detailed philosophy related to ritual, worship and
      ethical conduct, which developed into the philosophy of karma.
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