Common characteristics of Indian philosophy

1 rationality. All the schools insists that no account of reality which fails to do justice to reason and experience can be accepted . By ' reason ' is meant here the canons of formal reasoning as well as those of inductive inquiry . Similarly ,' experience ' is to be understood in its broadest sense , which includes everyday commonsensical experience , scientific experience , and extraordinary states of consciousness . 2 Philosophies of life . All the systems maintain that every acceptable philosophy should aid man in realizing the chief ends of human life . Briefly , all philosophies of India are philosophies of life . Any philosophy worthy of its title should not be a mere intellectual exercise but should have practical application in enabling man to live an enlightened life . A philosophy which makes no difference to the quality and style of our life is no philosophy , but an empty intellectual construction which may quench the thirst of curious but is otherwise irrelevant . To put it differently , philosophy should have soteriological power - the power to transform . Man ' s life from one of ignorance , darkness , and bondage to one of knowledge , wisdom , and freedom . 3 Spirituality . All the systems of philosophy acknowledge man's essential spirituality , regards freedom as his highest and ultimate goal , and demand that philosophy show him the way to attain freedom . 4 Original ignorance . All the schools teach that man's state of ignorance and suffering is not due to original sin but to original ignorance . 5 Liberation through knowledge . Accordingly , freedom and liberation can only be won by conquering ignorance through knowledge . 6 Infinity of perfection . All the systems hold that there is no limit to the perfectibility of man - he is infinitely perfectible . The reason for this view is that man contains within himself the secret of all existence , for , as the Upanisads teach , man 's inmost self is brahman , and , as Buddhism teaches , every man is Buddha , only he should know that to be the case . 7 Freedom in bodily life . All the schools argue that complete freedom is to be attained here and now in the bodily existence . 8 Yoga as a common factor . All the systems accept Yoga in some form or other as the spiritual discipline par excellence for the attainment of freedom . 9 Doctrine of karma . All the philosophies acknowledge through the doctrine of karma and rebirth an impersonal universal moral order , with the explicit understanding that this doctrine pertains not to ultimate reality but only to the empirical world . 10 Man not material entity only . All the schools emphatically reject as absurd any suggestion that man is nothing but a material entity . 11 Insight . All the systems hold that ultimate reality cannot be grasped through the senses and intellect , but can only be experienced in direct , non-perceptual , non - conceptual , intuitive , mystical insight . 12 Initially pessimistic . All the schools are initially pessimistic , in that they begin their philosophy by drawing attention to the fact of man's present state as one of ignorance , suffering , misery , and bondage . 13 Ultimately optimistic . Nevertheless , all the schools are ultimately optimistic , in that they unqualifiedly affirm that it is within the power of man to attain knowledge , wisdom , peace ,and freedom . In short , Indian schools of philosophy categorically reject nihilism as well as philosophies of the absurd , angst , and nothingness , and unequivocally proclaim the ultimate triumph of the human spirit . 14 Indian philosophy is based upon psychological facts . Therefore , Indian philosophers have minutely and vividly explained human psychology . From Buddha down to Patanjali , Shankara and Ramanuja all of them have considerably emphasised the psychological aspect of philosophy . Even now Yogic exercises are held as most efficacioous for curing physical and mental maladies and attaining concentration of mind . The Vedanta gives minute analysis of the different stages of human consciousness - Jagrta , Svapna , Susupti and Turiya . Based on the experiences of life , Indian philosophy seeks to X - ray these experiences . 15 Synthesisi of religion and philosophy . The most striking common feature of all Indian philosophies lies in the fact that problems of religion and those of philosophy have not been divided into waertight compartments . Dharma in India has been used in a wide and comprehensive sense . In fact , the transformation of life and emancipation from worldly misery constitute the common goal of both Darshan and Dharma . We

ancient wisdom . When one particular system of philosophy became very popular . the Vedas are the repositories of the intuitive knowledge of the seer Rishis . 17 Dynamism .vaishesika . they have yet kept universal welfare in view . As a matter of fact . Liberation frees a person from rebirth also . Liberation is nothing but emancipation from the bondage of karma . One can see the unbroken chain of action and reaction and the dynamic evolution of Indian philosophy as a spiral whole . accounts for a particular order . the results of actions are always with us in the form of ' Sanskaras ' and they direct the course of our life . Mahavir and Buddha were not only eminent philosophers . Intellectual and spiritual experiences were the criteria for ascertaining the soundness and worth of religious principles . the Indian philosophers were synthetic . spiritualism . This moral system is manifested through the theory of karma in the life of an individual . but also equally eminent social reformers . This transformation . Philosophical principles were tested on the touchstone of experience . it was countered by some other system . human soul has to assume different bodies . Dualims . Different philosophical systems have suggested different recipes for the attainment of liberation . They have never laid exclusive emphasis on any single aspect of human life . Gita and Upanisads . who regard themselves as no more than commentators . where everybody is preordained to perform his part according to his karma . 19 Faith in Rta. This universal moral system is termed ' Rta ' in Vedas . etc . Almost all the indian philosophers believe in the theory of karma . This faith . The Indian philosophical systems had as their aim not only individual salvation . ' Apoorva ' in Mimansa and Adrsta in Nyaya . All the other schools of indian philosophy . Due to the bondage of karma . which we find in all the indian philosophical systems . gods . Through the farrago of Materialism . Though recommending individual Sadhana . 21 Faith in rebirth . living beings and plants all move in accordance with one universal moral pattern . 18 Faith in the past . but also the spiritual transformation of society . So the common characteristics of indian philosophy . 20 Faith in karma . Thus the world is a stage . But it cannot be equated with blind faith . Indian philosophical systems are dynamic . mentioned here . non . According to it .favour the use of logic when faced with contradictions in Shruti . however .dualism and qualified monism . All Astika Darshans regard Shruti as Pramana .Pramana is based not on word but on word but on intuitive truth . . share these features in varying degrees . is not only spiritual but also physical and mental . 16 Synthetic approach . all the indian philosophical systems have common faith in the Vedas .find no yawning gap between man . According to it . Carvaka school does not believe in these theories . according to them . Shankara . The theory of karma and that of rebirth go hand in hand . though Shruti . do not apply to it . Notwithstanding their logical approach to problems . Indian philosophy sees a moral system in microcosm and macrocosm alike . matter and god in Indian philosophical systems . Though intellectuals . Even philosophers like Shankara .

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