Limitations and Alternatives: Understanding Indian Philosophy

Calicut University Research Journal, ISSN No. 09723348 (1):47-58 (2009)
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This paper attempts to articulate certain inadequacies that are involved in the traditional way of categorizing Indian philosophy and explores alternative approaches, some of which otherwise are not explicitly seen in the treatises of the history of Indian Philosophies. By categorization, I mean, classifying Indian philosophy into two streams, which are traditionally called as astica and nastica or orthodox and heterodox systems. Further, these different schools in the astica Darsanas and nastica Darsanas are usually numbered into six and three respectively. Nyaya - Vaisesika, Sankhya -Yoga and Purva & Uttara Mimamsa are identified as astica darsanas and Carvaka, Buddhism and Jainism are identified as nastica darsanas (6+3). It is my endeavor to critically analyze the usual astica-nastica distinction of 6+3 classification of Indian philosophy so as to find out the meaning of such a rationale in this categorization. This general consensus is contested in this paper. What I am intended to support and strengthen such a critical analysis and exploration is to discuss these systems of India’s philosophy within the general intellectual milieu of Indian cultural traditions, its orientations, presuppositions and preferences. In order to carry out such a task, I shall be taking recourse to the theories of different scholars, both traditional and modern, in approaching and appropriating Indian Philosophy from different perspectives and their critical-creative approaches shall be scrutinized.

Author's Profile

Balaganapathi Devarakonda
University of Delhi


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