Nyaya-Vaisesika, Sankhya, and Charvaka: The Fundamental Similarity

Rashmun
Rashmun / 7 yrs ago /
  0

The Charvaka, Nyaya-Vaisesika and Sankhya philosophies (the three philosophies placed under the category of 'Anviksiki' or Logic based, rational philosophies by Kautilya in his Arthasastra) represent the hard core of the antithesis of Indian idealism. These three philosophies--in their original form--are characterised by secularism, rationalism and science orientation. Secondly, these philosophies not only defend the reality of the material world or nature, but work moreover for an essentially materialist interpretation of its constitution, based on their respective theories of matter, nameley the bhutas (physical elements), pradhana or prakriti (primieval matter) and paramanu-s (atoms).
 
In all of these three philosophies, the ontological status of consciousness--compared to matter--is distinctly secondary. In the case of the Charvakas, this is quite obvious. In the case of the Sankhyas, we can see this after certain clarifications. Lastly, according to the Nyaya-Vaisesikas, though matter, in the form of atoms, is eternal and immutable, consciousness is essentially a transient phenomenon, somehow or other temporarily produced by the peculiar collocation of a number of intrinsically unconscious (jada) entities, most of which are material.
 
Of course,the Nyaya-Vaisesika themselves have no clear answer to to the question of how the essentially unconscious entities can produce consciousness, but their philosophical position demands that this has to be so. In the Sankhya philosophy, we have a hazy view of an attempt at a theoretical understanding of the origin of consciousness from matter. But the boldest explaination of this possibility is to be found in the view of Lokayata/Charvaka which, though the most neglected of all Indian philosophies, has from this point of view a unique interest in the history of Indian thought.
 
Let us turn to the Nyaya-Vaisesika first.
 
It is especially significant to note that the view of the 'soul' and consciousness, as found in the earliest available Nyaya-Vaisesika texts, appear somewhat bewildering to modern orthodoxy oriented scholars. It is evidently a view of the soul with a peculiarly materialist nuance. In other words, the Nyaya-Vaisesika view of the soul--and therefore also of the phenomenon of consciousness related to it---seems to have a materialist basis.
 
A convenient starting point for understanding the Nyaya-Vaisesika view of soul and consciousness is to compare it to the view of the same held in the Advaita Vedanta.
 
[To be continued]





Contest Entries (24)

Premlatha Maruthavanan
Paradise on my Roof top
 I am premlatha from chennai . One of my passion in life is gardening . My garden is a place where I find myself , when I need to lose myself .Gardening has been my hobby ever since I learnt my
4 days ago
namitasachan
An overview of my terrace.
 These are the blooms of Wild Shatavari. The thorny creeper snakes upward from my first floor terrace to roof top. It''s a hardy plant and these were the first blossoms after many years. But after
4 days ago
Madhur Dharmadhikari
Slice of nature
 The Balcony. I collect chimes and bells and for me, they add to the balcony experience. The lovely sounds they make is heavenly. Got those ceramic pots from roadside vendors for real cheap. But
4 days ago
Hima
Harvest notes: September
 Asparagus : As temperatures warm up, check asparagus plants daily to see what is ready to harvest. Early morning is when asparagus is at its best. Choose young shoots around 20cm long, snapping
4 days ago
Mary Sonia
My Happy Garden
 Surrounding yourself with green trees and beautiful garden not only makes you cheerful but improves your health too. Getting outdoors and working a couple of hours on the garden will refresh your
5 days ago
Sonali
Pieces of Art At My Home
 These are few images from my home that I had taken. Each and every piece was handpicked by my grand father. His love of collecting pieces of art is very evident is the images below. The
5 days ago
prakash Rajasekaran
praggi's terrace garden - a garden with a limited space but with limitless passion :)
 hi , I am Prakash Rajasekaran and i am proud to introduce myself as an organic terrace gardener . A garden which started with just one rose plant has now become the most lovable place at my home
6 days ago
Taste Buds
Fresh From My Garden
 Dear all, This is my garden flourishing with beautiful flowers & healthy - organic veggies. Gardening is a wonderful way to fruitfully use your time...& its also a great STRESS BUSTER. My
7 days ago
namitasachan
Bulbous beauties of my terrace
 I have a very small terrace and that too is a passage to our first floor. I keep pots in two rows on either side leaving the space in the middle to walk. But I have tried to maximize the use of
2 weeks ago
Encourage The Contestants
by commenting on their post

My Happy Garden  by Mary Sonia

My Happy Garden

Inside Outside Contest! ×