[Advaita-l] shaDdarhana and other unorthodox schools

Ram Garib garib_ram at yahoo.co.in
Mon Jan 22 13:20:01 CST 2007

Sri Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian wrote:

> Just wondering. Why do we need to justify - to
> ourselves or anyone
> else - the value of "indian philosophy"?

Let me make it clear that my intention was never to
question the value of Indian philosophy. The point of
contention was whether a differentiation is justified
between sectarian ideologies and philosophical schools
in the context of hinduism. Surely someone yearning
for a spiritual experience can hardly be bothered by
the classification. Unfortunately, discussion veered
to a completely unintended direction (and I accept
full responsibility for that).

In the meanwhile the original question posed by Sri
Sylvain got lost. I think there are three more names
worth mentioning in the context of unorthodox indian
schools. yaddr^chhA-vAda, svabhAva-vAda and AjIvakas. 

As per yaddr^chha-vAda, things are completely random
and hence it is futile to look for any natural or
supernatural causes of events. All causes whether
natural or supernatural are meaningless. Therefore,
God as a supernatural cause is denied. 

As per svabhAva-vAda, natural causes are meaningful
and only supernatural causes are meaningless. Thus God
as a first cause, out of the scheme of natural causes
is denied. svabhAva-vada is essentially what a modern
scientist believes in his professional pursuits. I
have read , but not verified, that both these theories
are mentioned in upanishads as pUrva-paxa.

The third one, AjIvakas are some times classified as
buddhists but they are as different from buddhism as
from hinduism. bhagavAn makkhali gosAla is said to be
the main proponent of this school, which advocates
complete determinism. His theory is however not a
naive fatalism, but a sophisticated world view that
merits a serious look in its own right. We can find
some respectable takers of his school till medieval
period (malUka-dAsa). In recent times, Ramesh
Balsekar's words echo makkhali gosAla's teachings with
a nominal allegiance to advaita.

With regards,
Ram Garib

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