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An Introduction to Hindu Philosophy

Hindu Philosophy

Hinduism is one of the world’s oldest religions and today it has close to 1 billion followers. While indigenous to the Indian subcontinent, it is practised all over the world. Hinduism can be described as a compilation of many philosophies and traditions, rather than single religion.

Hindus believe in the doctrines of samsara, which refer to the cycle of life, death, reincarnation, and karma. Hindu philosophy can be difficult to define within a definite doctrine.

In this blog post, we will provide an introduction for those wishing to learn more about Hindu philosophy.

Effectively, there are different schools of thought within Hindu philosophy that lead to the same goal. Let's look a closer look at each of these six schools and what they teach.

1. Nyaya

This school was founded in the 2nd Century BCE by Akshapada Gautama. It deals with epistemology and logic, and the primary objective is to eliminate the ignorance of knowledge. It is linked with the school of Vaisheshika, which we will see below.

2. Vaisheshika

While Vaisheshika developed separately from Nyaya, they are often studied together due to their similarities. Vaisheshika accepts two reliable means of knowledge, inference, and perception, compared to the four accepted by Nyaya.

3. Samkhya

Founded by Sage Kapila, this school adopts a consistent dualism of matter and the eternal spirit. These are prakriti and purusha. While seen in similar ways to the Nyaya school, it differs in metaphysics and epistemology.

4. Ashtanga Yoga

The school of Ashtanga Yoga includes eight limbs. They are moral conduct, disciple, right posture, effective breathing, withdrawing the senses, (to concentrate on one object, meditation, and supreme bliss/ salvation.

5. Purva Mimamsa

The word Mimamsa translates to critical investigation or reflection. It is one of the earliest schools of Hindu philosophies. The aim of Mimamsa is to provide rules that allow for the interpretation of the Vedas, which are the earliest scriptures of Hinduism.

6. Vedanta

Also known as Uttara Mimamsa, there are a number of different schools within Vedanta. These include Bhedabheda, Dvaitādvaita, and Achintya Bheda Abheda. These schools focus on epistemology, soteriology, and ontology.

For those interested in learning more about Hinduism and Hindu philosophy, we recommend that you next check out these interesting facts about Shiva, the third god in the Hindu triumvirate.

A Basic Introduction to Hindu Philosophy

Hindu philosophy has been studied for thousands of years and can be incredibly rewarding. The above information can help you to study Hinduism in more depth and to focus on topics that are of most interest to you.

Anyone can learn Hinduism and reap the benefits of its unique outlook on life and existence. We're sure that you will enjoy the journey of learning more about Hindu philosophy.

Like this blog post about Hindu philosophy and religious studies? Be sure to check out our other informative articles on a wide range of interesting topics.


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