Home Pages for Dead Systems

Vidyasankar Sundaresan vsundaresan at HOTMAIL.COM
Wed May 19 22:00:51 UTC 1999

>Would  anyone  with  expertise  start  home  pages  for  dead  systems
>of  Hindu  thought,  i.e.  NyAya-VaisheShika,  SAmkhya-Yoga,  PrabhAkara
>and  KumArila  schools  of  MImAmsA.  Just  because  they  are  dead,
>we  cannot  and  should  not  ignore  them!

Before erecting online graveyards, shouldn't we first ask ourselves if these
systems are really dead? vaiSeshika may be dead, or outdated, with its
archaic notions of aNus and dvyaNukas, but nyAya seems quite alive, at least
among the traditional pundits. This is not a totally extinct population, and
it seems to me that nyAya can benefit from an exposure to modern science.
After all, at some point in the distant pas, nyAya adopted concepts from
vaiSeshika and vice versa. navya-nyAya can easily find a place for
mathematics, and develop into an Indian form of formal axiomatic logic.

We can't say that sAMkhya and yoga are dead either. They have simply
reincarnated in the forms of various schools of vedAnta and tantra. It may
not be well known, but many traditional daSanAmI monks specialize in sAMkhya
study, notwithstanding their affiliation with Sankaran vedAnta. It is
fashionable to call anything and everything vedAnta nowadays, but this is a
different matter altogether. The mImAMsA schools may be the only major
casualties, as they have been converted into prerequisites for vedAnta study
in the traditional institutions. But so long as people behave
ritualistically, there is always scope for a revival of the darSana.

So, these schools may be dying, but let us not bury them alive.


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