[Advaita-l] shaDdarhana and other unorthodox schools

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Wed Jan 17 23:10:27 CST 2007

On Tue, 16 Jan 2007, Sylvain wrote:

> The orthodox schools (shaDdarshana) of hinduism are said to be : nyAya,
> vaisheshika, sAnkhya, yoga, mImAmsA, vedAnta.
> Is there a precise count of the unorthodox schools ?

There are often said to be six of these, a mirror image of the former six
They are:

* 4 varieties of Buddhism: madhyamika, yogachara, sautrantika and vaibhasika
* Jainism
* charvaka or skeptical materialism

> Is the  pratyabhijña one of them ?

No.  But this scheme though in wide currency is a bit fanciful.  of the

Nyaya and Vaisheshika are mostly similiar and since the Tattvachintamani
of Gangesh Upadhyaya (~14th century) have been replaced by Navya ("neo-")
Nyaya which still has adherents today.

Samkhya and Yoga are mostly similiar (Yoga adds God as a principal
category to the atheistic Samkhya) Both have more or less been totally
absorbed into Advaita Vedanta.

Purva Mimamsa has two schools Bhattamata and Gurumata which have distinct
philosophical doctrines which have continued to the present.

Vedanta has a great  deal of diversity.  Advaita and Dvaita can be
considered to be the most well developed as philosophies in the
non-theological sense.

Also Vyakarana (grammar) developed beyond its utilitarian origins and
became a significant analytic philosophy dealing with logic, language and
meaning.  Then there are all the other darshans like Pratyabhijna.

>From the Advaitin point of view, all these darshanas are unorthodox for
some reason or other.  For example Pratyabhijna is based on Shiva Agamas
not Vedas and God (Paramashiva) is said to posess the quality of kriya
(action) whereas Brahman in Advaita Vedanta is nirguna (without

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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