Astika and Nastika

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Tue Oct 26 19:08:28 CDT 1999

On Tue, 26 Oct 1999, nanda chandran wrote:


> But because they rely on logic, doesn't mean that the SAmkhya rejects
> the shruti. They accept it, but just interpret it as per their worldview.
> Our AchArya's objection with these schools is that they give more preference
> to logic than to the shruti itself.

>From the Mimamsaka/Vedantin perspective they have it completely backwards.
Instead of the Rshis being important because they saw the Shruti, in
Samkhya the Shruti is important because it was seen by the Rshis.

> But one significant point is that the SAmkhyas don't have a creator
> God in their scheme of things. But so doesn't the PUrva MImAmsa and
> even early Vaiseshika. And it's *my opinion* that in their early
> phases, except probably for the VedAnta, none of the schools accepted
> a creator God - that's the reason salvation is due to *knowledge*
> and not due to the will of God. For VedAnta the world itself is God
> and the knowledge that you're "that" is the liberator. So rejecting
> a creator God also doesn't make one a nAstika. The schools just
> preferred to interpret the shruti without a creator God.

The Mimamsakas based much of their philosophy on the theory of karma.
Thus they objected in the main to the idea of a God who could interfere
and "tip the balance" towards His favorites or enemies.  But they didn't
object to the idea of a God who impartially metes out papa and punya based
on the each jivas fitness to receive it.  And this is in fact the position
that Advaita Vedanta takes.

Similiarly Samkhya was uncomfortable with the idea of a God who involved
himself with creation etc.  But it was ok if He was defined as the
external Observer of creation.  And in fact Yoga is just Samkhya +

> Actually even
> the LOkAyatikas (ChAravAkas) were infact a brahmanical school and were
> tolerated aslong as they didn't reject the shruti. Their rejection of the
> shruti was the cause of their being branded a nAstika.

Well if the accounts in works like sarvadarshansamgraha are to be believed
they rejected everything including the very idea of Astika and Nastika.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at>

bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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