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|Science of Reasoning||
Nyaya is also called Tarka-sastra and its author is Gautama. Its main purpose is to establish by reasoning that the Karta or Creator of all this world is Parameswara. Indeed, it seeks to prove the existence of Isvara through inference. Reasoning thus has a major place in Nyaya. Logic or reasoning is of course indispensable to any study. The Vedas make a statement and Mimamsa determines its meaning. Though ...
Our religious system is such that if we go to the root of all padarthas (categories)and understand their source, the Truth will become illumined. We must make use of all pramanas (source or instruments of knowledge) for this purpose. (That by which we perceive objects is a pramana). Objects that are ...
The pramanas other than 'pratyaksa' and 'anumana' are 'upamana' and 'sabda'. What is 'upamana'? It is knowing what is not known by means of comparison with the known. There is an animal called 'gavaya'. We do not know what it looks like. It is like a wild buffalo: to look at it is like a cow, so it is said. We go to the neighbourhood of the forest and there we spy an animal resembling ...
|Rational Way to Know God||
Vaisesika takes up the thread of inquiry from where Nyaya leaves it with its pramanas. According to the great sage Kanada, the founder of Vaisesika, everything ultimately is made up of atoms. Isvara created the world by different combinations of atoms. In both Nyaya and Vaisesika, the cosmos and the individual self are entities separate from Isvara. As we inquire into the origin of conscious life and the ...
|We Need All Types of Knowledge||
We must make good use of our brain and mind. Indeed, we must make them sharp as if by frequent honing so that they will help us in finding the truth. Why did Sankara master all the sastras, all the arts, all the sciences, Sankara who thought the world was Maya? Why did he ascend the 'sarvajna-pita' (seat of omniscience)? I said Nyaya was also known as Tarka, 'Anviksiki'. We learn from ...
Gautama Maharsi who composed the Nyaya-sutra is called 'Aksapada'. He was always so wrapped up in thought that he was often oblivious of the outside world. We call scientists, professors and such people 'absent-minded' and retail jokes about them. Gautama too was absent-minded. One day as he was walking along, brooding over some philosophical problem, he fell into a well. Isvara then rescued him and fixed eyes to his feet. ...
|Cause of Creation||
'Causes' or 'karanas' are divided into two categories: 'nimitta' and 'upadana'. You need earth or clay as a material to make a pot. So earth is the upadana for the pot. But how does it become a pot? Does it become a pot by itself? It has to be shaped by a potter. So the potter is the cause- he is the nimitta. (The 'nimitta' we spoke about in jyotisa is different. ) ...
|Some Stories and Some Arguments||
Gangesa Misropadhyaya deals with 64 methods of logic in his Tattvacintamani. Since we were taxing our brains with philosophical questions, let me tell you a story, the story of Gangesa. Gangesa was dull-witted in his youth. He belonged to a 'kulina' Brahmin community of Bengal. 'Kulina' means one from a good 'kula' or clan. It was a custom in Bengal to give away a number of ...
For a general background, please see here