General Introduction of Eastern Philosophy


In the Eastern world, a variety of philosophies keep on developing throughout the passage of history. A number of philosophers and a variety of philosophies arise and come to existence in the eastern part of the world concerning philosophical views on education.

Eastern philosophy remains very subtle and extended. Veda is regarded as the source of all branches of philosophy. Eastern philosophy can be classified into two parts for convenience to study it;

  • Theism
  • Atheism


The philosophies that believe in Veda are called theism. They are six in numbers. That is why they are named as ‘Shad Darsana’ e. six philosophies (Shad means six, ‘Darsana’ means philosophy in the Sanskrit language). They are as follows;

  1. Nyaye Darsana
  2. Vaisesika Darsana
  3. Vadant Darsana
  4. Mimamsa Darsana ( metaphysics)
  5. Sankhya Darsana
  6. Yoga Darsana

1. Nyaye Darsana

The investigation of meaning or truth through the use of evidence is known as Nyaye. Mahirshi Gautam propogated Nyaye Darsana. It regards the sources of knowledge as perception, inference, comparison and verbal testing.

This philosophy believes that human being learns through aural i.e. listening or by using ears, through tactile; touching or by using skin, through visual seeing or by using eyes, through olfactory; smelling or by using nose, through gustatory; tasting or by using tongue, and by realizing or experiencing i.e. by using heart and mind. Nyaye Darsana believes in only one god.

2. Vaisesika Darsana

Mahisri Kandana was the propogator of Vaisesika Darsana. This philosophy regards the sources of knowledge as particularly, substance, quality, action, generality, inherence, and non-existence.

Since this philosophy strongly supports the view of particularity (Bisesha in Nepali and Sanskrit), it is named as Vaisesika (particularity). For example, a cat begets only a kitten, because of its particular nature and so does happen in other things of nature.

3. Vedant Darsana

The source of Vedanta Darsana is Upanisad. Upanisad is the ending part of Veda. That is why it is called the end of Veda i.e. Vedant.

It focuses on salvation (the state of being safe from sin) and nirvana (enlightenment). It prescribes two ways viz. knowledge and action for achieving nirvana.

4. Mimamsa Darsana

It is based on logic. It is said that this philosophy is a by-product against the criticism of Veda by Buddhists. Rishi Jaimini propagated Mimamsa Darsana.

5. Shankhya Darsana

Maharshi Kapilmuni was the propagator of Sankhya Darsana which is assumed as the oldest philosophy among six philosophies. It believes in cause and reason.

6. Yoga Darsana

Yoga aims at actualizing the real soul i.e. Samadhi. Having different bodily postures (yoga), controlling breath and sense organs, being desireless, non-violence, and being truthful are strongly advocated by this philosophy and it prescribes all of those to apply in life for the welfare of human beings.


The philosophies that do not lay their belief in Veda are called Atheism. They are three in numbers. The philosophies that do not lay their foundation on Veda are as follows;

  1. Charwak Darsana
  2. Jaina Darsana
  3. Buddha Darsana

1. Charwak Darsana

Acharya Brihaspati is the propagator of Charwak Darsana. This philosophy regards material entities as real and highly emphasizes physical pleasure. It does not believe in life beyond the physical. It is a hedonistic ( devoted to pleasure) philosophy that believes in material pleasure.

2. Jaina philosophy

Jaina philosophy also does not lay its foundation on Veda. The word ‘Jainism’ has been derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Ji’ which means ‘to conquer’ or ‘to have victory.’ That is why this philosophy emphatically teaches to control the passions and  to have victory over senses.

Jain philosophy believes in the existence of immortal souls and negates (denies). Jainism strictly believes in non-injury to beings.

3. Buddha Darsana

Buddhism is a system of religious beliefs based on the teachings of Siddartha Gautam. Buddhism is a non-theistic religion, one whose tenets (principles) are not especially concerned with the existence or non-existence of a god or gods.

The Buddha himself expressly disavowed (to state publicly that you have no knowledge of something) any special divine status or inspiration, and said that anyone anywhere could achieve all the insight that he had.

Most Buddhist sects (a group of people who believe in Buddhism) believe on Karma, a cause and effect relationship between all that has been done and all that will be done. Events that occur are held to be the direct result of previous events.

The Buddhist education system emphasizes creating good conduct in the learners through education.

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