Indian Philosophy encompasses the philosophies, world views, and teachings of Hinduism and other religious sects that emerged in Ancient India. These include six systems – Sankhya, Yoga, Nyaya, Vaisheshika, Mimamsa and Vedanta. These are also called the Astika (theistic) philosophical traditions and are those that accept the Vedas as an authoritative, important source of knowledge.
Ancient and medieval India was also the source of philosophies that share philosophical concepts but rejected the Vedas, and these have been called nāstika (heterodox or non-orthodox) Indian philosophies. Nāstika Indian philosophies include Buddhism, Jainism, Cārvāka, Ājīvika, and others.
Pramāṇa is called Epistemology. It has been a key, much debated field of study in Hinduism since ancient times. Pramāṇa is a hindu theory of knowledge and discusses the valid means by which human beings can gain accurate knowledge. The focus of pramāṇa is how correct knowledge can be acquired, how one knows, how one doesn’t, and to what extent knowledge pertinent about someone or something can be acquired.Ancient and medieval Hindu texts identify six pramāṇas as correct means of accurate knowledge and truths:
- Pratyakṣa – Direct perception
- Anumāṇa – Inference or indirect perception
- Upamāṇa – Comparison and analogy
- Arthāpatti – Postulation, derivation from circumstances
- Anupalabdi – Non-perception, absence of proof
- Shabda – Word, testimony of past or present reliable experts
The schools of philosophy vary on how many of these six are valid paths of knowledge.
The following blog posts cover all the Schools of Indian Philosophy in detail: