DR RAMESH C. GUPTA 2017-08-02

Darshan Literature: An Introduction
 दृश्यते अनेन इति दर्शनम्
 Dṛśyate Anena Iti darśanam

The 6 texts of the school of Philosophy. The root of all the knowledge contained in these texts are the Vedas and Vedic literature including Brahamanas, Aranyakas and Upanishadas


Sole aim of teachings of all the Darshan Shaastras or the Indian School of Philosophy is to resolve all human physical, intellectual, mental and spiritual problems and lead us to the lasting peace and happiness (Aanand) which may result in Moksha or salvation.

Subject Covered in Darshan Literature

दुःख त्रयाभिघाताज्जिज्ञासा

Duḥkha trayābhighātājjijñāsā

Desire to know the reasons for all misery, find solutions to the problems in life and try to achieve everlasting happiness

Darshans-6 texts-The 3 groups

  1. Nyaaya, Vaisheshik,

  2. Saankhya and Yoga

  3. Meemaansa and Vedaanta

  4. Nyaaya Darshan

Features of Nyaaya Darshan

  1. Written by Maharshi Gautam.

  2. It has 5 chapters.

  3. Main topic of consideration is the Science of Logic.

  4. Word nyaaya literally means a source or means by the help of which one can reach to a definite principle or a conclusion.

  5. Goal of this darshan is to relieve suffering by dispelling of ignorance through the attainment of true knowledge.

  6. Two types of knowledge have been described:

 These are: Pramaa or the true knowledge and the Apramaa or false knowledge               (illusion). Pramaan or proof is what is to be used to achieve the Pramaa.

Nyaaya Darshan-its Ultimate Goal

The real goal of this darshan is to prove beyond doubt that there is God by looking at the creation since there is a perfect order and purpose in this universe. Eeshvar is the efficient cause(nimitta) and the Prakriti is the material cause(upaadaan) of this creation and the soul in the end user and efficient cause as well in a limited way.

Nyaaya Darshan; The 16 elements for proving

  1. Pramaan (proof),

  2. Prameya (those objects which have been proven by evidence or pramaan as above),

  3. Sanshaya (doubts),

  4. Prayojan (aim)

  5. Drishtanta (example)

  6. Siddhaanta (principle)

  7. Avayava(the sentences which are used to prove something through anumman pramaan.

  8. Tarka (argument)

  9. Nirnaya (decision)

  10. Vaada (discussion)

  11. Jalpa (dialogue or discussion where the sole aim is to win the discussion and not necessarily to gain proper knowledge)

  12. Vitandaa (discussion in which one is just trying to negate the opponent’s points)

  13. Hetvabhasa (even though it may not be real, it appears to be the reason),

  14. Chhala (deception),

  15. Jaati (improper meaning),

  16. Nigraha-sthaan (acceptance of defeat).

The Pramaans or proofs

  1. Pratyaksha or which is obvious and visible either by our 5 senses or our mind. Certain statements such as death is certain, ice is cold, stone is hard or the grass is soft come under this category. Statements made by true yogis because of what they have perceived can also come under this category.

  2. Anumaan. Example of this would be where there is smoke; there is fire and not vice versa. Also to judge that there may be a rain coming when clouds are there or to ascertain that there has been a heavy rain when a swollen river is seen.

3.Upaman. This is when we try to explain certain thing by comparing it with something else. Shabd. This is word of wisdom.

  1. Vaisheshika Darshan

  2. Written by Maharshi Kanaad.

  3. Consists of 10 chapters with total of 370 sutras.

  4. This Darshan deals with what is special or Vishesh. This is the reason for its name.

  5. In this Darshan, there is emphasis on the science of indivisible particle called atom. Actually this may be the first scripture, which emphasizes the importance of atomic science.

why are the objects different from each other?

The question arose, that if all that exists is made from the same indestructible atom, why are the objects different from each other. Maharshi Kanaad’s explanation of this mystery was that there are “Vishesh” elements inherent in the atomic particles. The examples of these are, that what becomes earth has vishesh earth elements and what becomes water has vishesh water elements etc. So the origin of a particular element can be only from the atomic particle, which have that particular or vishesh properties.

The 7 elements

According to Maharshi Kanaad, there are seven padaarthas (all that can be named are padaarthas or elements). These are:

  1. Dravya द्रव्य (thing)

  2. Guna गुण (quality)

  3. Karma कर्म (action)

  4. Saamaanya सामान्य (ordinary)

  5. Vishesh विशेष (special)

  6. Samavaaya समवाय (relationship between cause and action)

  7. Abhaava अभाव (deficiency).

  8. Saankhya Darshan

  9. Maharshi Kapil wrote this Darshan.

  10. It has 6 chapters.

  11. This Darshan emphasizes on knowledge.

  12. Word Saankhya itself means true knowledge.

  13. According to this Darshan, the God, Soul and Matter are all eternal.


Aim of Saankhya Darshan : Beyond of Unhappiness

Trividha-duḥkhātyanta-nivṛttiratyantapuruṣārthaḥ (1.1).

त्रिविध-दुःखात्यन्त-निवृत्तिरत्यन्तपुरुषार्थः 1.1

To be free from all these dukhaas is termed as the moksha or salvation.The 3 dukhaas are aadhyaatmik, adhibhautik and adhidevik . Aadhyaatmik again could be from physical ailments or from our thoughts and desires. Adhibhautik is from other beings and adhidevik is from acts of nature.

Creation: Sequence

Sattvarajastamasāṁ sāmyāvasthā prakṛtiḥ prakṛtermahān ,

mahato'haṁkāro ahaṅkārāt pañca tanmātrāṇyubhayamindriyam

tanmātrebhyaḥ sthūlabhūtāni puruṣa iti pañcaviṁśatirgaṇaḥ (1.26)

सत्त्वरजस्तमसां साम्यावस्था प्रकृतिः प्रकृतेर्महान् ,

महतोऽहंकारो अहङ्कारात् पञ्च तन्मात्राण्युभयमिन्द्रियम्

तन्मात्रेभ्यः स्थूलभुतानि पुरुष इति पञ्चविंशतिर्गणः

  1. Nature in the state of unison of all the 3 qualities of nature( the Satva, Rajas and Tamas)

  2. First Mahat-tattva (Intellect/Buddhi)develops followed by

  3. Ahankaar ( ego or sense of me/mine). It is because of Ahankaar that the individual gets the desires to act, feels the ownership and really is the basis of all that an individual does in life.

  4. Ahankaar further leads to development of tanmaatras or the subtle elements, then the 5 sensory organs, 5 motor organs and the mind. The 5 physical elements also develop from the Ahankaar.

In addition to the above mentioned 24 elements, the purush or atma is needed for the functioning of Jeevaatmaa.  Swami Dayanand considers Parmaatmaa as the purush as well.

8 limbs of Yoga external limbs continued (2)

  1. Niyama, The rules for yourself or the personal code of conduct. These are:

     Shaucha (cleanliness of body and mind)

     Santosha (contentment)

     Tapa (hard work and non-deviation while facing difficulties)

      Swaadhyaaya (introspection and contemplation of scriptures)

      Eeshwar-Pranidhaana (surrender to God).


States of Mind

Five states of mind have been described. These are:

  1. Kshipt क्षिप्त or very disturbed

  2. Moodha मूढ where mid can not make wise decisions

  3. Vikshipt विक्षिप्त where one wavers between right and wrong

  4. Aikagra एकाग्र where mental concentration can be achieved

  5. Nirudha निरुद्ध leads to a real peace. This is the best state of mind.

The whole idea of practice of yoga to achieve this state of  mind and of course a better physical, mental and spiritual  well being and even Moksha.


  1. Meemansa Darshan

अथातो धर्मजिज्ञासा (1.1.1) Athāto dharmajijñāsā

1.This was written by Maharshi Jaimini.

2.The book has 12 chapters with 2745 sutras. 

3.The word meemansa means to resolve any problem or mental confusion about an issue through proper logic.

This Darshan deals with day-to-day code of conduct and rituals and is appropriately also called the Karma-meemansa.

 In this Darshan, there is a harmony between the knowledge, action, psychology, and the matter.

Interpretations of Vedanta Darshan

Different Aacharyaas have interpreted this scripture in their own way, at times quite different from each other.

Shankara-Achaarya considered Soul as part of God and the principle has been called the Advaitwad (Non-Dualism).

 Ramanujacharya believed that Soul and even the matter are special qualities of the Brahman. This concept was called “Vishishtaadvait”.

 Madhvaacharya on the other hand considered the Soul and God as two different entities and his concept was called the Dvaitwad (Dualism).

There was yet another concept by Nimbaarkaacharya who theorized that the Soul and God were same in certain ways and different in some other ways and his concept was called “Dvaitadvait” (Dualistic Non-Dualism).

Traitwad or Trinity

Maharshi Dayanand Saraswati (1824-’83), however firmly believed that there are three different eternal entities in this universe, the God, Soul and Matter. This concept is called “Traitwad” (Trinity).

 There are several mantras in the Vedas, Braahaman Granthas and Upanishads, which clearly prove this theory of Traitwad. This view seems to be most logical of all.

Dvā suparṇā sayujā sakhāyā samānaṁ vṛkṣaṁ pariṣasvajāte,

ayoranya: pippalaṁ svādvattyanaśnannanyo Abhicākaśīti.

द्वा सुपर्णा सयुजा सखाया समानं वृक्षं परिषस्वजाते।

तयोरन्य: पिप्पलं स्वाद्वत्त्यनश्नन्नन्यो अभिचाकशीति॥ 

(rigved 1:164:20)


Īśā vāsyamidaṁ sarvam yat kiñca jagatyāṁ jagat,

Tena tyaktena bhuñjīthāḥ mā gṛdhaḥ kasyasvit  dhanam.

ईशा वास्यमिदं सर्वम् यत् किञ्च जगत्यां जगत्।

तेन त्यक्तेन भुञ्जीथाः मा गृधः कस्यस्वित्  धनम्॥     

(yajurved 40.1)