Indian Philosophy And Indian Philosophy Values

Topics Covered

  • Difference Between Astik Schools And Nastik Schools
  • Six Orthodox Schools (Classical Schools) Of Indian Philosophy
  • Sankhya Philosophy
  • Yoga Philosophy
  • Nyaya Philosophy
  • Vaisheshik Philosophy
  • Purva Mimansa (Mimansa)
  • Uttara Mimamsa (Vedanda)
  • Three Heterodox Schools Of Indian Philosophy
  • Charvaka School
  • Buddhist Philosophy
  • Jain Philosophy
  • Ajivika Philosophy
  • Philosophy In Medieval India


Difference Between Astik Schools And Nastik Schools

  • The basic difference between the two branches of Hindu Philosophy schools is said to be based on the recognition of Vedas.
  • Orthodox schools recognize the authority of Vedas while heterodox schools don’t believe in the authority of Vedas.
  • Out of these nine systems, eight are atheistic as there is no place for God in them.
  • Only Uttara Mimansa, which is also called Vedanta, has a place for God in it.

Six Orthodox Schools (Classical Schools) of Indian Philosophy

  • The 6 classical schools (shatdarshan) are Sankhya, Yoga, Nyaya, Vaisheshik, Purva Mimansa and Uttar Mimansa (Vedanta).
  • Almost all Indian schools of thought accepted the theory of karma and rebirth, and the ideal of moksha is conceived as liberation from the cycle of births and deaths.
  • Moksha/liberation is considered as the highest goal of human struggle.

Nyaya Philosophy

  • Nyaya school follows a scientific and a rational approach.
  • Sage Gautama is the founder of this school.
  • Nyaya school banks upon various pramanas (mechanism of attaining knowledge).
  • It believes that gaining knowledge through the five senses is the sole way of attaining liberation from the cycle of birth and death.

Sankhya Philosophy

  • Sankhya is the oldest of all philosophies put forth by the sage Kapila.
  • It is a dualistic philosophy with Purusha (soul) and Prakriti (nature) in it.
  • Advaita Vedanta derives its base from Sankhya School.
  • Sankhya also devolves philosophical basis for Yoga.
  • It emphasizes the attainment of knowledge of self through meditation and concentration.

Yoga Philosophy

  • Yoga school introduces the methods of the discipline of body and mind.
  • Sage Patanjali is the founder of Yoga.
  • Emancipation of Purusha from Prakriti by self-awareness through the discipline of body and mind is conceptualized by Yoga.
  • It is believed that practising Ashtanga Yoga is the way to relieve oneself from past sins in order to make way for liberation.


  • Vaisheshika school deals with metaphysics.
  • It was founded by the sage Kanada.
  • It is an objective and realistic philosophy of the Universe.
  • According to the Vaisheshika school of philosophy, the universe is reducible to a finite number of atoms, Brahman being the fundamental force causing consciousness in these atoms.

Purva Mimamsa

  • Purva Mimamsa school believes in the complete authority of Vedas .
  • It is based on sage Jaimini’s Mimamsa Sutras.
  • It emphasizes the power of yajnas and mantras in sustaining the activities of the universe.
  • It states that a human being can attain salvation only by acting in conformity with the principles of Vedas.

Uttara Mimamsa (Vedanta)

  • Vedanta school is a monoistic school of philosophy that believes that the world is unreal and the only reality is Brahman.
  • The three sub branches of Vedanta are Advaita of Shankaracharya, Vishishta Advaita of Ramanujacharya and Dvaita of Madhwacharya.
  • Uttara Mimamsa is based on Upanishads (the end portions of Vedas).


Three Heterodox Schools of Indian Philosophy

Schools that do not accept the authority of vedas are by definition unorthodox (nastika) systems. The following schools belong to heterodox schools of Indian Philosophy.

Charvaka School

  • It finds mention in the Vedas and Brihad-aranyka Upanishad, Thus, it is supposed to be the earliest in the growth of the philosophical knowledge.
  • Knowledge is the product of the combination of four elements which leaves no trace after death.
  • Out of the five elements earth, water, fire, air and ether, the Charvakas do not recognize ether as it is not known through perception
  • Charvaka philosophy deals with the materialistic philosophy + also known as the Lokayata Philosophy – the philosophy of the masses.
  • According to Charvaka there is no other world. Hence, death is the end of humans & pleasures the ultimate object in life. Charvaka recognizes no existence other than this material world.
  • Charvaka denied the presence of any divinity or supernatural agency (God, soul, & heaven) & accepted only reality of existence as things exist & which can be experienced by human senses. According to him Brahamanas manufactured rituals to acquire gifts (Dakshina)
  • Samkhya & vaisheshika system also propagated materialistic view of life
  • Materialistic views of life also appears in doctrines of Ajivikas ( a heterodox sect of Buddhism)

Buddhist Philosophy

  • It is a system of beliefs based on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautma. Buddhism is a non-theistic philosophy whose tenets are not especially concerned with the existence or non-existence of God.
  • Four Noble Truths in Buddhism are the following.
    • There is suffering
    • There is a cause of suffering
    • There is a cessation of suffering
    • There is a way to the cessation of suffering
  • Buddhists philosophy of life to get ‘Nirvana’ from suffering is based on the following eight principles:
    • Right Faith (Samyak Dristi)
    • Right Resolve (Samyak Sankalpa)
    • Right Speech (Samyak Vakya)
    • Right Action (Samyak Karmanta)
    • Right Living ( Samyak Ajiva)
    • Right Thought (Samyak Smriti)
    • Right concentration (Samyak Samadhi)
    • Right Effort (Samyak Vyayama)

Jain Philosophy

  • Already in existence by 6th century B.C, it was revived by Mahavira, the 24th Jain Tirthankara.
  • According to Jainism, Nirvana or liberation is obtained through three jewels: Right Philosophy, Right Knowledge and Right Conduct (Tri-ratna).
  • Right conduct implies 5 absinences: not to lie, not to steal, not to strive for luxury and not to strive for possessions, not to be unchaste and not to injure (Ahimsa).

Ajivika Philosophy

  • A related philosophy which some classify under the heterodox sytem is Ajivika Philosophy.
  • The Ājīvikas may simply have been a more loosely-organized group of wandering ascetics (shramanas or sannyasins).
  • Some of its prominent figures were Makkhali Gosala and Sanjaya Belatthaputta.
  • This was an ascetic movement of the Mahajanapada period in the Indian subcontinent.

Philosophy in Medieval India


  • Propagated Advaita (non-dualism or belief in one reality)
  • Ultimate reality is one, it being the Brahman : existent, unchanging, the highest truth & the ultimate knowledge
  • World is false and self and Brahman are not different – All is Brahman and Brahman is all


  • Propagated Vishistadvaita means modified monism
  • Ultimate reality is Brahman (God) & matter and soul are his qualities


  • Propagated Sivadvaita
  • Ultimate Brahman is Shiva, endowed with Shakti
  • Shiva exists in this world as well as beyond it


  • Propagated Dvaita (Dualism)
  • world is not an illusion but a reality full of differences


  • Propagated Dvaitadvaita (Dualistic monism)
  • God transformed himself into world and soul
  • world and soul are different from God (Brahman) & survive with the support of God only, hence, they are separate but dependent


  • Propagated Suddhadvaita (Pure non-dualism)
  • Brahman (God) is Sri Krishna who manifested himself as souls & matter
  • God and soul are not distinct, but one
  • His philosophy came to be known as Pushtimarga (the path of grace) & school was called Rudrasampradaya