This book sheds new light on the fascinating – at times dark and at times hopeful – reception of classical Yoga philosophies in Germany during the nineteenth century. -/- When debates over God, religion, and morality were at a boiling point in Europe, Sanskrit translations of classical Indian thought became available for the first time. Almost overnight India became the centre of a major controversy concerning the origins of western religious and intellectual culture. Working forward from this controversy, this book (...) examines how early translations of works such as the Bhagavad Gītā and the Yoga Sūtras were caught in the crossfire of another debate concerning the rise of pantheism, as a doctrine that identifies God and nature. It shows how these theological concerns shaped the image of Indian thought in the work of Schlegel, Günderrode, Humboldt, Hegel, Schelling, and others, lasting into the nineteenth century and beyond. Furthermore, this book explores how worries about the perceived nihilism of Yoga were addressed by key voices in the early twentieth century Indian Renaissance – notably Dasgupta, Radhakrishnan, and Bhattacharyya – who defended sophisticated counter-readings of their intellectual heritage during the colonial era. -/- Written for non-specialists, _Indian Philosophy and Yoga in Germany_ will be of interest to students and scholars working on nineteenth-century philosophy, Indian philosophy, comparative philosophy, Hindu studies, intellectual history, and religious history. -/- The Gold Open Access version of this book has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND) 4.0 license. (shrink)
ABSTRACT One of the lively polemics between Buddhists and Naiyāyikas is devoted to the question of whether each pramāṇa—means of knowledge—has an independent scope of validity, which does not overlap the scopes of other pramāṇas, or whether more than one pramāṇa can be applied to the same object. Dignāga and continuators of his thought defend pramāṇa-vyavasthā, ‘autonomy of [the object spheres of] pramāṇas,’ while Naiyāyikas defend the opposing conception, called pramāṇa-samplava, ‘coalescence of [the object spheres of] pramāṇas.’ Scholars usually ascribe (...) pramāṇa-vyavasthā to Sāṃkhya. This paper explores the classical and postclassical Sāṃkhya view of the scope of the pramāṇas and shows that Sāṃkhya did not follow pramāṇa-vyavasthā. In Sāṃkhya, the scopes of perception and inference for knowing perceptible objects overlap, while inference for knowing supersensible objects and reliable verbal testimony have autonomous object spheres. However, there is also a tendency toward pramāṇa-vyavasthā in Sāṃkhya, which is in conflict with the Sāṃkhya theory of pramāṇas. (shrink)
Indian psychology scholars have primarily focused on developing triguṇa-based personality models. However, triguṇa-based personality models are not epistemologically consistent with Sāṁkhya. This article offers a bhāva-based conception of personality that is epistemologically consistent with Sāṁkhya. It proposes svabhāva as a personality-like construct that refers to individual-specific arrangements of prākṛtika and vaikṛtika bhava. This article contributes to both Indian psychology and Sāṁkhya scholarship.
The article examines the definitions of time in Sāṃkhya from the first commentaries on the Sāṃkhyakārikās up to Vijñānabhikṣu’s works. These texts all deny the existence of time as an entity existing over and above the three constitutive elements of reality acknowledged in the tradition (i.e. the Person, Nature, and its manifest evolutes); but they have strikingly different ways of justifying this denial. The Yuktidīpikā offers by far the most elaborate definition; it argues that time cannot be an eternal, omnipresent (...) and static substance as the Vaiśeṣikas contend, and is but a relative concept that results from our comparing various actions – an idea probably inspired by grammatical and astronomical sources. The article outlines the reception of the argument by its Vaiśeṣika adversaries and its fate within Sāṃkhya. It seeks to explain how the commentaries on the late Sāṃkhyasūtras, while still defending the principle that time is no distinct entity, ended up presenting time as being exactly what the Yuktidīpikā’s author had staunchly refused to admit: an eternal, static and omnipresent substance. It shows how this new understanding of time in Sāṃkhya was projected by late exegetes onto a twelfth-century Vaiśeṣika manual by Śivāditya, which has led modern historians to misunderstand Śivāditya’s definition of time. It also highlights differences between the Sāṃkhya and Pātañjalayoga views on time – notably the assertion in the Yogabhāṣya that contrary to succession, the moment (kṣaṇa) is real – and the ways in which commentators reacted to these apparent discrepancies, by ignoring them (as Vācaspatimiśra), by attempting to conciliate the Yogabhāṣya with the Yuktidīpikā’s argument (as the Yogavivaraṇa’s author) or by underscoring the incompatibility of the Sāṃkhya and Yoga views on time (as Vijñānabhikṣu). (shrink)
This book has been considered by academicians and scholars of great significance and value to literature. This forms a part of the knowledge base for future generations. So that the book is never forgotten we have represented this book in a print format as the same form as it was originally first published. Hence any marks or annotations seen are left intentionally to preserve its true nature.
Community forms a crux of human living. In the wake of pandemic like Covid-19 to avoid community transmission what is most required of a responsible community member is to follow physical distancing to curb the spread of the infectious disease and this may lead to a feeling of isolation and loneliness. But this essay speaks of isolation with a positive connotation. It talks of isolation as solitude as the Indian philosophy also speaks extensively about this sense of self-contemplation and reflection (...) to understand others as we need to know our own selves. The say speaks of isolation as understood in Sāṃkhya philosophy. This essay talks of isolated consciousness and the three gunas particularly of the sattvic predicaments that enables positive mental development in human beings which is much needed in these tested times as the present pandemic. (shrink)
As Richard Davis notes in his recent The Bhagavad Gītā: A Biography, this important text has by now been translated over three hundred times in English alone.1 Given this embarrassment of riches, and the relative poverty for other crucial works of South Asian philosophy, why would anyone translate the Gītā yet again? In the introduction to her new translation, Philosophy of the Bhagavad Gītā: A Contemporary Introduction, Keya Maitra gives an important, primarily pedagogical rationale: she hopes that her book will (...) introduce new readers to the text, philosophically. She aims to facilitate philosophical engagement without too many cognitively-taxing Sanskrit terms or too much religio-historical context, whle also... (shrink)
Sāṃkhya, or the philosophy of Yoga, is considered to be one of the most influential traditional philosophies in India. A close reading of it can lead to the conclusion that Sāṃkhya's and Deleuze's philosophy share similar ontological assumptions, especially regarding the material field of immanence that manifests itself through every mode of being. Both philosophies assume modes or degrees of material coexistence that extend from the virtual, potential field of immanence, as something conditional and causal, to actual manifestation that is (...) more or less structured, graspable and shaped. Additionally, they both consider the human psyche to be material that, as materiality itself, manifests itself through different modes of conscious existence. On the other hand, they also share the assumption about the transcendental field of impersonal consciousness immersed in the material field of immanence. This paper identifies and explains the causal relationship among these different modes of being from the point of view of a particular understanding of time, and offers insight into how the comprehension of causality could be implied in ethical theory. (shrink)
The author of this paper discusses the source experience defined in terms of the ancient Indian philosophy. She focuses on two out of six mainstream Hindu philosophical schools, Sāṃkhya and Yoga. While doing so the author refers to the oldest preserved texts of this classical tradition, namely Yogasūtra c. 3rd CE and Sāṃkhyakārikā 5th CE, together with their most authoritative commentaries. First, three major connotations of darśana, the Sanskrit equivalent of φιλοσοφια, are introduced and contextualised appropriately for the comparative study (...) of source experience. Then, three means of knowledge (pramāṇa-s) as well as the purpose of search for source experience are explained. Next, a specific understanding of source experience in the context of Sāṃkhya-Yoga is discussed to reveal both its contents and the reasons for apophatic formulation of the liberating insight. The self-knowledge and true knowledge both result from source experience based on distinguished discernment (vivekakhyāti) between “I”/ego and the self, gained during the multistage meditative absorption (samādhi). The analysis of discriminative cognition is followed by reconstruction of the arguments offered by the author of Sāṃkhyakārikā in favour of the existence of the self (puruṣa), immutable, inactive, and opposed to the domain of nature (prakṛti) characterised as spontaneously active and creative, which includes empirical consciousness, or “I”. The last section is devoted to the issue of the possible communication of achieved knowledge and its application in the everyday life practice. In conclusion, it is claimed that in Indian philosophy there has been no clear distinction between the practical value of subjective cognitive insight and theoretical ambitions of philosophy, which is why many authors of classical treatises are also recognised as eminent sapiential mentors. Often, especially in the texts of Yoga, Nyāyā and Buddhism philosophy is associated with therapy and philosophical exposition of the “cognitive ailments” is compared to medical treatment. -/- . (shrink)
The aim of this article is to reconstruct the classical Sāṁkhya view on the relationship between a word and its meaning. The study embraces all the extant texts of classical Sāṁkhya, but it is based mainly on the Yuktidīpikā, since this commentary contains most of the fragments which are directly related to the topic of our research. The textual analysis has led me to the following conclusion. It is possible to reconstruct two different and conflicting views on the relationship between (...) a word and its meaning from the classical Sāṁkhya texts. The first view, the source of which is the Yuktidīpikā, is that all words are conventional in their origin. It resembles the Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika theory of the primary linguistic convention and the conventional origin of all words. The second view, which is the implication of the Sāṁkhya idea of the authorless Vedas we can reconstruct on the basis of the majority of the classical Sāṁkhya commentaries, is that the relationship between a word and its meaning is natural. This view is probably influenced by Mīmāṁsā. Both of these views are hardly compatible with the Sāṁkhya teaching. It seems like classical Sāṁkhya, not having created its own detailed theory, oscillated between different conceptions. (shrink)
The paper discusses the issue of psychophysical agency in the context of Indian philosophy, focusing on the oldest preserved texts of the classical tradition of Sāṃkhya–Yoga. The author raises three major questions: What is action in terms of Sāṃkhyakārikā (ca. fifth century CE) and Yogasūtra (ca. third century CE)? Whose action is it, or what makes one an agent? What is a right and morally good action? The first part of the paper reconsiders a general idea of action – including (...) actions that are deliberately done and those that ‘merely’ happen – identified by Patañjali and Ῑśvarakṛṣṇa as a permanent change or transformation (pariṇāma) determined by the universal principle of causation (satkārya). Then, a threefold categorization of actions according to their causes is presented, i.e. internal agency (ādhyātmika), external agency (ādhibhautika) and ‘divine’ agency (ādhidaivika). The second part of the paper undertakes the problem of the agent’s autonomy and the doer’s psychophysical integrity. The main issues that are exposed in this context include the relationship between an agent and the agent’s capacity for perception and cognition, as well as the crucial Sāṃkhya–Yoga distinction between ‘a doer’ and ‘the self’. The agent’s self-awareness and his or her moral self-esteem are also briefly examined. Moreover, the efficiency of action in present and future is discussed (i.e. karman, karmāśaya, saṃskāra, vāsanā), along with the criteria of a right act accomplished through meditative insight (samādhi) and moral discipline (yama). (shrink)
Śāntarakṣita was an important 8th century CE Indian Buddhist philosopher who introduced Indian Buddhism to Tibet and is believed to have created what the Tibetans call the Yogācāra-Svātantrika School of Madhyamaka Indian Buddhism. He composed the "Compendium of Reality" (Tattva¬saṃgraha), which is a comprehensive critical examination of the major Indian philosophical theories of his time. Kamalaśīla was Śāntarakṣita’s eminent disciple who wrote a commentary on the "Compendium of Reality", entitled "Commentary on the Difficult Points of the Compendium of Reality" (Tattva¬saṃgraha¬pañjikā), (...) which we shall call the Commentary. Here we translate and briefly comment upon the Commentary discussion of Śāntarakṣita’s examination in verses 285–310 of the classical Sāṃkhyas’ theory of a self (ātman). Śāntarakṣita, Kamalaśīla, and the Sāṃkhyas all believed that a self is consciousness, but according to Śāntarakṣita and Kamalaśīla, consciousness is a causal continuum of momentary consciousnesses of objects and exists merely by convention; according to the Sāṃkhyas, it is a permanent and partless witness of objects that has independent existence. We give a brief explanation of the Sāṃkhya philosophy, and a brief explanation of the Buddhism of Śāntarakṣita and Kamalaśīla. Then we translate one or more of Śāntarakṣita’s verses on the Sāṃkhya theory of a self, along with Kamalaśīla’s commentary, follow the translation with our own comments upon what is translated, and repeat this sequence until the examination of the Sāṃkhya theory is completed. We expand our comments when dealing with a few basic philosophical issues that arise from the arguments presented in the Commentary. We briefly evaluate the effectiveness of the arguments by Śāntarakṣita and Kamalaśīla and the Sāṃkhya replies as they are represented. The basic philosophical questions upon which we shall comment concern the Sāṃkhya theories that a self is one (eka) in the sense that it has no parts, permanent (nityam) in the sense that it continues to exist without changing in any way, a witness of objects presented to it, and the experiencer of the objects presented to it without being an agent that produces them. (shrink)
The paper starts with some textual distinctions concerning the concept of God in the metaphysical framework of two classical schools of Hindu philosophy, Sāṃkhya and Yoga. Then the author focuses on the functional and pedagogical aspects of prayer as well as practical justification of “religious meditation” in both philosophical schools. A special attention is put on the practice called īśvarapraṇidhāna, recommended in Yoga school, which is interpreted by the author as a form of non-theistic devotion. The meaning of the central (...) object of this concentration, that is puruṣa-viśeṣa, is reconsidered in detail. The subject matter is discussed in the wider context of yogic self-discipline that enables a practitioner to overcome ignorance ( avidyā) and the narrowness of egotic perspective (asmitā), recognized in the Hindu darśanas as the root-cause of all suffering or never-fulfilled-satisfaction ( duḥkha). The non-theistic devotion and spiritual pragmatism assumed by the adherents of Sāṃkhya-Yoga redefines the concept of “God” ( īśvara) as primarily an object of meditative practice and a special tool convenient for spiritual pedagogy. (shrink)
The Sense of I: Conceptualizing Subjectivity: In Indian Philosophy (Sāṃkhya-Yoga) This book discusses the sense of I as it is captured in the Sāṃkhya-Yoga tradition – one of the oldest currents of Indian philosophy, dating back to as early as the 7th c. BCE. The author offers her reinterpretation of the Yogasūtra and Sāṃkhyakārikā complemented with several commentaries, including the writings of Hariharānanda Ᾱraṇya – a charismatic scholar-monk believed to have re-established the Sāṃkhya-Yoga lineage in the early 20th century. The (...) textual analysis of the classical Sanskrit sources and their constructive interpretation is enhanced by some crucial questions and points of dispute commonly picked up in the contemporary philosophy of mind, such as the challenge of ontological and categorical reductionism, the criteria of personal identity, the limits of agency and free will, the ineluctability of self-deception, etc. However, defining the sense of ego (ahaṃkāra) and ‘I-am-ness’ (asmitā) is the main focus of this research. Four chapters composing the study are subsequently devoted to: (1) the methodological assumptions of the present author and the basic historical distinctions relevant to the subject matter, (2) linguistic preconditioning of I-consciousness as well as metaphysical coherency and ambiguity of the concept of subjectivity presented by Sāṃkhya-Yoga philosophers, (3) cognitive and ontological issues concerning the embodied ego being opposed to inactive and contentless consciousness, or the pure self (puruṣa), (4) axiological evaluation of self-discipline and significance of liberation from ego. 1. The method, scope, and problem. In the first chapter, the method of comparative philosophy adopted in this book is introduced by a phenomenological analysis of ‘otherness’ and ‘alienness’ inspired by the considerations of Bernhard Waldenfels and his understanding of xenology. This section is followed by a critical reflection on the incommensurability of the alternative conceptual frameworks, supported by some arguments provided by Ludwik Fleck and Richard E. Nisbett. When explaining the term ‘comparative philosophy’, the author pays special attention to those proponents of the aforementioned current who contributed to the rapprochement of Western and Indian philosophical traditions by tracing both their similarities and divergences. The author makes references to numerous prominent researchers, such as Paul Masson-Oursel, Paul Deussen, Stanisław Schayer, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, Bimal K. Matilal, Raimundo Panikkar, Daya Krishna, Wilhelm Halbfass, and many others representing a younger generation. The historical introduction presents a concise survey of the evolution of the Sāṃkhya-Yoga textual tradition, and distinguishes five phases of its development: proto-Sāṃkhya (7th c. BCA – 1st c. CE), pre-classical phase (1st – 5th c. CE), classical Sāṃkhya (3rd – 9th c. CE), post-classical phase (till 14th c.), and neo-classical phase (since 1927). Here, the author also evaluates the primary sources, including Sanskrit commentaries, and the secondary sources in the light of their relevance and usefulness to the constructive interpretation of Yogasūtra and Sāṃkhyakārikā. Then, she makes some methodological remarks concerning the specificity of their reading. This section is concluded with highlighting three main strategies usually applied when interpreting Patañjali’s sūtras: (1) anti-philosophical approach – treating the text as a merely mystical report or the yogic vademecum, (2) anti-mystical perspective – which reads the text as a highly speculative divagation of no much use to a practitioner, (3) mystic-and- philosophical approach – emphasizing the fact that the theory of consciousness presented in Yogasūtra is both philosophically coherent and empirically (or mystically) verified. The author argues for the third, heuristic, perspective mentioned above. The last section of the first chapter aims to problematize the I-concept (aham) and the paradoxical situation of the ego searching for self-knowledge. This part starts with the acknowledgement of the deliberation on non-self (anātman) by Śāntideva, a Buddhist philosopher claiming that one’s own ego ought to be identified with the ego of any other. Then, the author unfolds the fundamental assumptions and scope of the constructive interpretation she wants to develop following K.C. Bhattacharyya’s clues. When explaining her reasons, she stresses both the need to reveal the philosophical meaning of the source materials and, at the same time, the need to make them meaningful on the ground of our contemporary philosophical enquiry. Thus, among the main purposes there is a reliable, scrupulous and careful reconstruction of the historical conception of the self as elaborated on in the classical period of Sāṃkhya-Yoga tradition, as well as reinterpretation of the sense of I as it was grasped by the Sāṃkhya-Yoga thinkers in terms of modern comparative and ‘polylogical’ discourse. 2. Naming I. In the second chapter, a variety of linguistic categories capturing different aspects of subjectivity is discussed in detail. A textual examination is preceded by clarification of the semantic distinctions made by Patañjali, such as a verbal convention (saṃketa) which stands for uniting or overlapping a word (śabda), its meaning (artha) and a mental state of comprehension (pratyaya) that ascribes the word to a particular object. Among the key concepts there is also explained a spontaneous mental activity referring to pseudo-objects posited only by words (vikalpa), which is unwittingly involved in every process of conceptualizing, designating, and naming objects. Such mental states can neither be ‘valid’ nor ‘invalid’, and are believed to unavoidably accompany one’s use of language. These presuppositions testify to Patañjali’s severe criticism towards all verbal conventions that not only affect the way we formulate and construct our views, but also determine the very process of perception. A major section of the chapter contains the analysis of the ambiguous sense of subjectivity and its basic aspects distinguished by the author in the result of a contextual and comparative study of the Sanskrit terms used in Yogasūtra and Sāṃkhyakārikā for naming I-consciousness. The six basic aspects of the self comprise: essentializing oneself, perceiving (something), getting conscious (of something), mastering or owning (something), and being capable of self-identifying as well as disidentifying oneself. A majority of the enumerated predicates ascribed to the self refer to different functions and activities of the empirical ego and the embodied mind. Yet, apart from this intentional, active, reactive, sensing, and objectifiable self Sāṃkhya-Yoga philosophers distinguish a sense of subjectivity going beyond all these psycho-physical characteristics: the self that remains unmanifest, non-active, free from experiencing any joy or pain, said to be the principle of consciousness. The plausibility of its existence as the final cause of the world is to be determined by the embodied ego by virtue of abductive reasoning based on the analysis of all material and psycho-physical phenomena preconditioned by three guṇas that compose the domain of nature (prakṛti). In the subsequent section, three Sanskrit notions – ahaṃkāra, asmitā, and puruṣa, most significant for the Sāṃkhya and Yoga understanding of subjectivity, are discussed closely one after another to expose their semantic, epistemic and metaphysical connotations. The chapter is completed by some pivotal remarks bringing out the problem of discrepancy between the metaphysical position implied by Patañjali and Īśvarakṛṣṇa, and the grammatical instruments applied by them to express it. 3. Cognizing I. The third chapter addresses two important issues in the phenomenology of self-perception, namely the question of psycho-physical dualism explained on the grounds of the considered darśanas, and the spiritual quest for the ideal embodiment of consciousness. While emphasizing the unity of human psycho-physical nature the author refers to several contemporary Western thinkers, such as Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Thomas Nagel, John R. Searle, David Chalmers and others, by making some comparative remarks on the idea of the embodied mind. Furthermore, three arguments for the plurality of selves (puruṣa-bahutva) are reconstructed and critically considered. The arguments given by Īśvarakṛṣṇa (SK 18) include the diversity of ways in which one experiences one’s life and death, the spatio-temporal distinctness of particular embodied egos, and the variations of features manifested by individual selves. The second section of this chapter presents a thorough inquiry into a non-theistic devotion and spiritual pragmatism defended by the adherents of Sāṃkhya- Yoga. God (īśvara) is defined here primarily as an object of meditative practice and a special tool convenient for yogic pedagogy. In the concluding part of this section four functions of devotional practice (īśvara-pranidhāna) are recognized and explained; they embrace: (1) prevention from mental scattering and dispersion, (2) therapy allowing to form some positive perceptual habits and the right cognitive approach, (3) enhancement of morally and spiritually required qualities, and (4) reinforcement of the sense of subjective identity being a complementary method of self-development. 4. Liberating oneself from I. The final chapter consists of three sections. The first one introduces the concept of liberation through action (pravṛtti-dharma), commonly opposed in Indian tradition to the path of renunciation (nivṛtti- dharma). According to Hariharānanda Ᾱraṇya’s interpretation, both Sāṃkhya- Yoga and Buddhism follow the latter one, which in terms of spiritual practice dynamics makes them much closer to each other than it is usually believed. In the subsequent section the idea of liberating oneself from one’s attachment to ego is explained in detail, along with the significance of gradual self-negation. Then the author raises the interpretation of the Sāṃkhya-Yoga perspective on liberation as self-distinction-through-renunciation. The main focus in this section is placed on the sense of agency (kartṛ), the problem of free will, and the criteria of moral and soteriological evaluation of one’s deeds. Some crucial questions on karmic conditioning of self-knowledge in the form of kleśas are also the subject of careful analysis. The next section undertakes the issue of ownership (mamakāra) of one’s activity and self-esteem (abhimāna) involved in spiritual growth. Again, some comparative remarks are made by referring to the Buddhist philosophers’ positions, such as Nāgārjuna, Āryadeva and Candrakīrti. Among others, the Buddhist refutation of the Sāṃkhya-Yoga concept of eternal, inactive, indifferent, irresponsible, and exclusively conscious self (puruṣa) is quoted and partly rejected in favour of the classical Hindu darśanas. In summary, the author emphasized the significance-generating or sense-creating function of I, its engagement in the search for its own raison d’être, its role in self-identification as well as subverting it, and the expediency of liberation from ego. The philosophers of classical Sāṃkhya and Yoga indicate a twofold sense of the self; on the one hand, the only appropriate designation: ‘I’ is true self (puruṣa), a passive and unknowable principle of consciousness whose existence makes the empirical phenomena meaningful. On the other hand, the ‘I’ clearly designates the current sense of the self, expressed as “I think”, “I doubt”, “I suffer”, etc. This second meaning of ‘I’, the specific sense of ‘mineness’, is recognized as a secondary and relative one – thus illusive and troublesome. However, its delusiveness does not mean that the empirical ego is an unreal or non-existent entity. What it implies is that the empirical self-identity is fundamentally inadequate and – according to the Indian thinkers – ought to be unveiled and, ultimately, given up. (shrink)
Abstract The word Padaartha, used as a technical term by different Indian schools of thought with different senses will be brought out. The meaning and intonation of the word Padaartha as used in the Upanishads, Brahmajnaana, Advaitha Philosophy, Sabdabrahma Siddhanta (Vyaakarana), the Shaddarshanas will be discussed. A comprehensive gist of this discussion will be presented relating to human consciousness, mind and their functions. The supplementary and complementary nature of these apparently “different” definitions will be conformed from cognitive science point of (...) view in understanding and a modern scientific model of human cognition and communication, language acquisition and in terms of brain modulation and demodulation will be presented. (shrink)
The chapter is divided into five sections. Firstly, I shall briefly describe the phenomenon of Kāpil Maṭh, a Sāṃkhya-Yoga āśrama founded in the early twentieth century by a charismatic Bengali scholar-monk Swāmi Hariharānanda Ᾱraṇya (1869–1947); while referring to Hariharānanda’s writings I will also consider the idea of the re-establishment of an extinct philosophical school. Secondly, I shall specify the method of analysis I apply while addressing the question raised in the title of my chapter and discuss some relevant Sanskrit and (...) Pāli sources. Thirdly, I intend to focus on Aśvaghoṣa’s record in reconstructing the Buddha’s argument against the self. Then I shall offer a possible defence of the self reinterpreted in Buddhist terms and formulated, so to say, ‘on behalf’ of the revived Sāṃkhya-Yoga school. Finally, I will conclude by explaining why and on what assumptions Sāṃkhya can benefit from Buddhist critiques. (shrink)
The author of this paper discusses some major points vital for two classical Indian schools of philosophy: (1) a significant feature of linguistic analysis in the Yoga tradition; (2) the role of the religious practice (iśvara-pranidhana) in the search for true self-identity in Samkhya and Yoga darśanas with special reference to their gnoseological purposes; and (3) some possible readings of ‘ahamkara’ and ‘asmita’ displayed in the context of Samkhya-Yoga phenomenology and metaphysics. The collision of language and metaphysics refers to the (...) risk of paralogism caused by the common linguistic procedures making the subject define its identity within the semantic order (i.e. verbal conventions and grammatical rules) which does not reflect the actual metaphysical situation of the self, though it determines one’s self-understanding in the empirical sense. Whereas, Samkhya-Yoga aims at recognizing, reorganizing and, finally, going beyond these procedures regarded as the obstacles on the path towards self-knowledge and liberation form metaphysical ignorance. (shrink)
A cognitive science perspective of yoga system of thought will be developed in conjugation with the Samkhya Darsana. This development will be further advanced using Advaita Vedanta and will be translated into modern scientific terms to arrive at an idea about cognition process. The stalling of the cognitive process and stilling the mind will be critically discussed in the light of this perspective. This critical analysis and translation into cognitive science and modern scientific terms will be presented together with its (...) implications and applications to the disciplines of mind-machine modeling, natural language comprehension branch of artificial intelligence and physiological psychology. (shrink)
Some postcolonial theorists argue that the idea of a single system of belief known as "Hinduism" is a creation of nineteenth-century British imperialists. Andrew J. Nicholson introduces another perspective: although a unified Hindu identity is not as ancient as some Hindus claim, it has its roots in innovations within South Asian philosophy from the fourteenth to seventeenth centuries. During this time, thinkers treated the philosophies of Vedanta, Samkhya, and Yoga, along with the worshippers of Visnu, Siva, and Sakti, as belonging (...) to a single system of belief and practice. Instead of seeing such groups as separate and contradictory, they re-envisioned them as separate rivers leading to the ocean of Brahman, the ultimate reality. Drawing on the writings of philosophers from late medieval and early modern traditions, including Vijnanabhiksu, Madhava, and Madhusudana Sarasvati, Nicholson shows how influential thinkers portrayed Vedanta philosophy as the ultimate unifier of diverse belief systems. This project paved the way for the work of later Hindu reformers, such as Vivekananda, Radhakrishnan, and Gandhi, whose teachings promoted the notion that all world religions belong to a single spiritual unity. In his study, Nicholson also critiques the way in which Eurocentric conceptslike monism and dualism, idealism and realism, theism and atheism, and orthodoxy and heterodoxyhave come to dominate modern discourses on Indian philosophy. (shrink)
Swami Bawra is the inspiration for this compilation of uniquely penetrating and accessible insights into Samkhya and Yoga. Kapil's Samkhya is the foundation of thought underlying the methods of Yoga. This commentary revives the core philosophy of Samkhya in the ancient search for truth and freedom from suffering. Nature and spirit are distinct, eternally emanating from one source. Nature projects into life as a continuum from causal and subtle energy to gross matter. Spirit or consciousness is an inspiring and integral (...) existence. Suffering ends in one's present life by understanding the eternal relationship of the individual with the source of energy and consciousness. (shrink)
Illustrations: 24 B/w Illustrations Description: In the Hindu tradition Kapila is admired and worshipped as a philosopher, a divinity, an avatara of Visnu and as a powerful ascetic. This book is the first monographic study of this important figure. The book deals with Kapila in the Veda, the Sramana traditions, the Epics and the Puranas, in the Samkhya system of religious thought and in the ritual traditions of many contemporary Hindu traditions. Kapila is an important figure in the sacred geography (...) of India and the study of the rituals and narrative traditions of the tirthas of Kapila is an important contribution of this book. The book also contains a translation into English of the text Kapilasuri-samvada, Kapila's teaching of Asuri, found in a few manuscripts of the Southern recension of the Mahabharata. Kapila refers to a pluralistic phenomenon. The Kapilas in the Hindu tradition connot be reduced to a single figure. In general, pluralism characterises the religious traditions and religious life in South Asia, ancient, medieval, modern as well as contemporary. Openness for the greatest possible plurality is therefore often a good way to approach religion in South Asia. This is the case also with the study of Kapila. The approach of the book therefore is pluralistic. Contents Preface Chap. I : Kapila in the Hindu Tradition Chap. II : Kapila in the Veda, the Sramana-tradition, and the Mahabharata Chap. III : Kapila in Samkhya and Samkhya-Yoga Chap. IV : Kapila in the Puranas : The Visnu Avatara Chap. V : Kapilasurisamvada : Sanskrit Text and Translation Chap. VI : The Sacred Geography of Kapila Chap. VII : Worship of Kapila : Sanskrit Hymns Chap. VIII : Competing Interpretations of Kapila in the Hindu Tradition. (shrink)
Samkhya and Yoga are two of the oldest and most influential systems of classical Indian philosophy. This book provides a thorough analysis of the systems in order to fully understand Indian philosophy. Placing particular emphasis on the metaphysical schema which underlies both concepts, the author aptly develops a new interpretation of the standard views on Samkhya and Yoga. Drawing upon existing sources and using insights from both eastern and western philosophy and religious practice, this comprehensive interpretation is respectful to the (...) underlying spiritual purpose of the Indian systems. It serves to illuminate the relation between the theoretical and practical dimensions of Samkhya and Yoga. The book fills a gap in current scholarship. It will be of interest to those concerned with Indology as well as philosophies in general and their similarities and differences with other traditions. (shrink)
In Sāṃkhya similes are an important means to communicate basic philosophical teachings. In the texts similes are frequently used, especially in the Sāṃkhya passages in the Mahābhārata, in the Sāṃkhyakārikā and in the Sāṃkhyasūtra. This paper compares the similes in these three texts and analyses changes in the philosophy as revealed in the similes. A comparison of the similes of Sāṃkhya texts produced over more than one thousand years reveals changes in the emphasis in this philosophical system. The purpose of (...) the similes in the Sāṃkhya passages of the Mahābhārata is to produce an intuitive understanding of the separateness of puruṣa and prakṛti. The similes are designed to lead the listener to understand this basic dualism. In the Sāṃkhyakārikā the most difficult issues are the relationship between prakṛti and puruṣa and the idea of prakṛti working for the salvation of puruṣa. One whole chapter of the Sāṃkhyasūtra is devoted to similes. (shrink)
Critical interpretation of Sankhya philosophy based on Sankhyasutra of Kapil, Sāṅkhyatattvāloka of Hariharananda Aranya and Sāṅkhyasūtra of Pancasikha; includes Sanskrit text with English translation.
Self-knowledge, at first glance, seems to be naturally and easily accessible to each of us. We commonly believe that we need much less effort to understand ourselves than to understand the world. The authoress of the paper uncovers the fallacy of this popular view referring to the fundamental conceptions and philosophical ideas of the classical Yoga. She tries to demystify our deceptive self-understanding explaining the definitions of ignorance (avidya), I-am-ness (asmita), desire (raga), aversion (dvesha) and fear of death (abhinivesha) given (...) by the author of the oldest Yoga treatise. Besides, the paper discusses briefly how we can make use of our limited, incorrect self-knowledge as far as we are aware that it needs to be transcended. In the final part of the paper, the issue of self-discipline consisting basically in cultivation of detachment and the practice of meditation is addressed. (shrink)
: Classical Sāmkhya, as represented by Īśvarakrsna's Sāmkhya-kārikā, is well known for its attempt to prove not only the reality but the plurality of selves (purusa-bahutva). The Sāmkhya argument, since it proceeds from the reality of the manyness of the bodies as its basic premise, approximates, even if not in every detail, the 'argument from analogy' in its traditional form (which the essay tries to explicate). One distinguished modern interpreter, K. C. Bhattacharyya, however, not satisfied with this account, attempts to (...) interpret and expound Sāmkhya pluralism in terms of a radically different strategy consisting of showing that the self is known in buddhi in its pure asmita function as an infinite I and so as necessarily involving all Is or selves. This solution, which in the process offers reflections on such issues as infinity, universals, the role of 'I', the individuality (of self ), et cetera, is examined and criticized at length with respect to some of its basic assumptions, with a brief focus on the idea of 'self-consciousness', which according to some (Western) philosophers presupposes 'other'-consciousness and which in certain respects seems to inform Bhattacharyya's thoughts on the main issue. (shrink)
Associated with the successful development of computer technology has been an increasing acceptance of computational theories of the mind. But such theories also seem to close the gap between ourselves and machines, threatening traditional notions of our special value as non-physical conscious minds. Prima facie, Sāmkhya-Yoga - the oldest school of classical Indian philosophy, with its dualism between purusa ('self', 'consciousness') and prakrti ('nature', 'matter') - seems a case in point. However, Sāmkhya-Yoga dualism is not straightforwardly a mind-body dualism and (...) in order to understand exactly where it stands on the mind-body problem we need a more nuanced characterisation of that problem than is usual. Once this is done, it seems that Sāmkhya-Yoga may well be able to accommodate the most plausible parts of the computational theory of mind. (shrink)
The Book Explains Samkhya Philosophy Through Expositions/ Interpretations Of Samkhya Works And Authors. Tracing Samkhya S Growth From Sage Kapila S Time To Fifth Century Ad, It Highlights Various Interesting Aspects Of Samkhya Tradition.