The Darshanas represent the foundations of (1) The Physical, (2) The Natural, and (3) The Biological Sciences not only of India but of the whole world. They deal with the origin of the Universe and its evolution and involution. I am very happy to have had this great opportunity of studying these sciences for the purpose of understanding the basic foundations of Ayurveda.
Although this book may not satisfy the great scholars (the Pandits) of India, I hope it will be useful to the multitude who wish to study these ancient sciences which were responsible for India’s high civilization. I am sure that it will be of great value to the Ayurveda student to whom a knowledge of these preliminary sciences is absolutely necessary.
I am greatly indebted to many authors from whose articles the valuable information contained in this book has been obtained and to Sri Ramakrishna Centenary Committee for giving me permission to quote from their momentous work viz. ‘The Cultural Heritage of India.’
There are very few books in English on the Darsanas. A translation of Sarvadarsana Saara Sangraha by Maadhavaachaarya was published in Trubner's Oriental Series, London. It contains review of the following 16 philosophical systems by Maadhavaachaarya, the brother of Saayanachaarya, who ascended the Sringeri Peetha in the year 133'1 A. D. The original of this book was in Telugu character. The Darsanas reviewed are 1. The ChaarvaakaSystem 2. The Baudha System 3. The Arhata or Jaina System 4. The Raarnaanuja System 5. The Poorna-prajua (Madhva) System- 6. The Nakulisa-Paasupata System- 7. The Saiva System 8. The Pratyabhijna or Recognitive System 9. The Rasesvara or Mercurial System 10. The Vaiseshika or Aulukya System11, The Akshapaada or Nyaaya Sytem. 12. The Jaiminiya System or Meemaamsaa, 13. The Paanineeya System 14. Saankhya System. 15. The Paatanjala-or Yoga System. 16 The Vedaanta or System of Samkaraachaarya.
Saankhya aphorisms of Kapila translated by James R. Ballantyne LL. D. (1885) and Sankhya Kaarikas of Eeswarakrishna, translated by John Davis (I-894) were both published in the above series.
An English translation of the Sanskrit text of The Saankhya Tatva Koumudi of Vaachaspati Misra by Gangnath Jha M. A. F. T. S. was published for the Bombay Theosophical Publication Fund by Tukaaraam Taatya F.T.S. in 1896.
The Six Systems of Indian Philosophy by Max Muller is a well known publication. In Sanskrit and ill the provincial languages, there are numerous books to which references have been made in our Telugu edition of Darsanas.
Aayurveda and Darsanaas
The Science of Aayurveda is based upon the fundamental sciences called" Darsanas ". Darsanas include all sciences, physical, mental, intellectual and spiritual. These Darsanas were studied in India as part of general education of every student. One has to be well - up in the Sanskrit language and then only he can study these sciences from original sources. The-five compulsory subjects (Vidyaas) in all universities were 1. Sabda Vidyaa - grammar and literature, 2. Silpa Vidyaa - manual training in arts and crafts including mathematics, 3. Chikitsaa Vidyaa-The science of medicine, 4. Hetu Vidyaa - Logic and philosophy, 5; Aadhyaatma Vidyaa - Spiritual science. These formed the course of study of every student in Hindustan. Just as they should now have a certain proficiency of the English language and an elementary knowledge of natural sciences, before they can proceed to the medical study, so also a know ledge of Sanskrit and of these fundamental sciences (Darsanas) is necessary for the understanding of the principles of Aayurveda, In fact, this premedical course was compulsory for every Vaidya in Susruta's days.
Ekam saastramadhaeyaano na vidyaachchaastra nischayam tasmaat bahusruth assatram vijaaneeyaat, chikitsakah (S. SU. 4-7) i.e,
By a study of a single Saastra 9. mau can never catch the true import of this science of medicine.
Therefore a physician should study as many allied branches of science or philosophy as possible. For explanations, of truths and principles quoted from other branches of science and only incidentally discussed in the present work, the student is referred to the expositions made by the masters of those sciences, since it is impossible to deal with all branches of science in a single book and within so short a compass.
“Nahyekasmin saastre sakyahsarva saastraanaam avorodhah kartum”. (Sus. su. 4-5)
Darsanas are Saastras, where well reasoned attitude of the-human being towards the world is explained according to the Hindus. They are mainly six, consisting of 3 groups. They are partly sciences and partly philosophies according to our modern conception.
(1) NYAAYA - VAISESHIKA
These, deal mainly with physics, chemistry and other material sciences and include reasoning or logic. Metaphysical studies or search for knowledge of God, however, formed the ultimate aim of the study of these saastras also.
(2) SAANKHYA – YOGA
Saankhya- Yoga deals mainly with the mental sciences, as will be explained below. The material aspects of study were not neglected even here.
(3) POORVA AND UTTARAMEEMAAMSAA
There relate mainly to the exposition of the brahman ( universal spirit). The object of Purvameemaamsaa is right action (Karma kaanda) under the supreme authority of the Vedas, Uttarameemaamsaa or Vedaanta is more directly based upon the Upanishads. Its main object is to explain that there is in reality only one Existence- Non-Dualism.
THE OBJECT OF STUDYING DARSANAS
The object of all philosophical studies in Hindustan has been the acquisition of the knowledge of the eternal theme of Indian spiritual thought, namely, to seek, know and realise, "the One in the many".
The word Darsana is derived from the root Darsa which means" to see". Darsrna means seeing, looking or 'sight. It also means the eye, the mirror and knowledge- especially religious. Here, Darsana means a Saastra - science - knowledge or philosophy. The Darsanas are primarily divided into 2 classes- Aastika Darsanas, which accept the authority of the Vedas-and Naastika Darsanas, which do not accept their authority. The Aastika Darsanas are generally counted as six and are called the Shat- Darsanas. They are (1) Nyaaya (2) Vaiseshika (3) Saankhya (4) Yoga (5) Meemaamsaa (6) Vedaanta, The Nastika Darsanas are chiefly,  Chaarvaaka Darsana.  Bauddha Darsana  Jaina Darsana, There are other Darsanas like Raseswara Dersaua, Paasupata, Saiva and Saakta Darsanas which were also recognized system f philosophy in Hindustan.
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