Hinduism Essay

4899 Words 20 Pages
Hinduism

In India there are six orthodox schools of philosophy which recognize the authority of the Vedas as divine revelation, and they generally function as pairs - Nyaya and Vaishesika, Mimamsa and Vedanta, and Samkhya and Yoga. Those who did not recognize this authority were the Jains, Buddhists, and materialists. Even in India where spiritual ideas dominate the culture there were some who were skeptical of those ideals and held to a materialist view of the world; they were called Carvaka, and their doctrine that this world is all that exists is called Lokayata.
The materialists did not believe in an afterlife and found sense perception to be the only source of knowledge, denying the validity of inference or general concepts. They
…show more content…
How can fasting, begging, penance, and exposure to the elements be compared to the ravishing embraces of women with large eyes and prominent breasts? The pleasures of life are no more to be avoided because they are mixed with pain than a prudent person would throw away unpeeled rice because it has a husk. Sacrifices, reciting the Vedas, and penance are merely ways that ignorant and weak men contrive to support themselves.
Yet upon analysis it was often found that the materialists' theory that no general inferences can be made contradicted their own views about the nature of the world. Nevertheless their hedonistic philosophy at times gave a humanistic criticism of the ethical contradictions of others. In the great epic Mahabharata a Carvaka is burned to death for preaching against the bloodshed of the great war and condemning Yudhishthira for killing thousands to regain his kingdom. They did criticize sacrifices and valued the arts as a means of pleasure. Hell they believed to be the pain experienced in this world, but all this ended in death. Like Epicureans they found that pleasure could be maximized and pain minimized by detachment (vairagya). Immortality was only found in the fame one leaves behind for noble deeds performed.
Nyaya and Vaishesika

The Nyaya and Vaishesika schools are primarily analytic and are therefore more concerned with logic and epistemology than ethics. The word nyaya means that by which the

More about Hinduism Essay