Anumana in Indian Philosophy

by Sangita Chakravarty | 2016 | 48,195 words

This page relates ‘A Note on Indian Philosophy’ of the study on the concept of Anumana (inference) in the Vedic schools of Indian Philosophy. Anumana usually represents the most authentic means of valid knowledge. This paper discusses the traditional philosophical systems such as Nyaya, Vaisheshika, Samkhya, Yoga, Mimamsa and Vedanta.

(A). A Note on Indian Philosophy

The word ‘philosophy’ has its origin in two Greek words–‘philos’ and ‘sophia’. Here, ‘philos’ stands for love and ‘sophia’ for knowledge. Therefore, philosophy in its widest etymological sense implies love of knowledge or love of learning. It endeavours to know thing that immediately and remotely concerns man. In a sense, philosophy tries to discover the structure of the world. The main point is that philosophy is truly related to science. In India, philosophy has ever stood as an independent brance and all other studies have looked to it for inspiration and support. Indian philosophy is not merely speculative but it has both theoretical and practical perspectives.

Philosophy contains three parts, viz.,

  1. Epistemology, which means theory of knowledge,
  2. Ontology, which means theory of reality, and
  3. Axiology, which means theory of values.

In Indian literature, the idea of realization of Ātman is known to have stemmed from the use of the word darśana for a system of philosophy. Being vision or the instrument of vision darśana also encompasses the meaning which leads to this realization of truth (dṛśyate yathārthatattvam anena iti darśanam). ‘See the self’ is the keynote of Indian philosophy. The Upaniṣads by virtue of their teachings of spiritual monism and mysticism, are regarded the very basis of Indian philosophy.

Indian philosophy stands on the strength of logical reason subordinate to the authority of the Vedas.

Therefore, Indian philosophy truly believes in rational speculation in harmony with Vedas and consciously aims at achieving the highest perfection attainable in human life. The process of philosophical thinking began with the Ṛgveda itself and was prominently revealed in the hymns like the Devīsūkta, the Puruṣasūkta and the Sūktas ascribed to Dīrghatamas. Indian philosophy is spiritual and has emphasized the need for practical realization of truth which leads to a way of life with the ultimate end of attainment of release (mokṣa) from the mundane life bound by time and space, by chain of cause and effect and by the recurring cycles of birth and death.

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