By Prof. A. K. Gupta
In my opinion, there is a difference between Philosophy and Darshan. Both are not the synonymous words, rather have different connotations.
Philosophy is the word coined by great Greek thinkers Plato, Socrates, Pythogoras, etc. For them, philosophy was the contemplation about the existence of world, life, etc. It was a pure mental exercise.
On the other hand, Darshan was the process of realisation of the ultimate truth, i. e. Soul and God. Ancient Indians believed that there is an existence of three imperishable entities– Nature( prakriti) or Maya, Soul ( Aatma) and the God( Parmatma, Brahma, Ishwar, Purush, Purushottam, etc.).
There are many theories about this. Some people believe that all the three exist simultaneously and independently.
Adi Shankracharya believed that Prakriti is a maya. God and Soul are the same, this theory is called Advait or Monism. There are many other theories about these three entities.
But ultimate aim of the Indians was the self realisation and salvation. In contrast, Greeks and modern European thinkers never crossed the boundaries of reasoning.
Ultimate aim of life is the progress– be it physical, intellectual, psychological, social, political or spiritual. Each civilization had been founded on a few pillars.
Indian civilization has been founded on four pillars– Dharma, Artha, Kaam and Moksha.
Basis of Indian society is the rules given in Vedas. Life was divided in Chatur ashrams. In Brahamcharya ashram man learnt knowledge and dharma. In grihashth ashram, he earned money with proper dharma and fulfilled desires. Vanprastha ashram is a transition stage. In sanyasa ashram, he strove to attain salvation or Moksha.
Gradually the scaffolding of Vedic system crumbled and spiritual inclination of people debased. Asceticism in last quarter of man’s life became less Vogue.
In mahabharat’s time, two foremost old persons — Bhishma and Dronacharya with very high intellectual awakening, spiritual exaltation and military perfection– clung to the Hastinapur’ s throne.
Knowledge can be attained by intellectual contemplation– that’s the western way. On the other hand, Indian knowledge is based on spiritual awakening. Foundation of Indian knowledge is said to be based on penance– the tapasya. Gradually this became less prevalent.
Lord Krishna provided an alternative to attain spiritual salvation– without adopting the sanyas.
Thought Lord Krishna didn’t disapprove sanyas, he offered karmyog marg. In this marg, man is not required to adopt sanyas but Lord Krishna encouraged mankind to live full life with full of karma, but without the desire of fruits.
Upnishads vividly proclaimed about existence of an all pervasive, immanent, eternal and imperishable soul — the Aatma. Eitreya Upnishad says that it is because of Aatma ear hears, nose smells, tongue tastes, skin senses and eye sees. Gita — the foremost scripture of Hindus– assures repeatedly about existence all pervasive, eternal and imperishable Aatma. It also reminds us of degradable body, which will die one day. It is because of Maya of prakriti, man can’t realise his soul but considers body as himself. So, Lord Krishna repeatedly reminded Arjun to adopt Karma Yoga for emancipation and liberation of eternal soul from the bondage of 24 element prakriti.
Lord Krishna speaks about sthith pragya, who withdraws from senses, that means indriyan, and by Aatma lives in Aatma.
He encouraged us to always contemplate about God, do karma and forget about fruits. He assured that this will lead to spiritual bliss or Moksha.
He preached to Arjun that “who lives in Aatma, satisfied in Aatma and happy in Aatma doesn’t have any duty to be performed”.
प्रजहाति यदा कामान् सर्वान् पार्थ मनोगतान्।
आत्मन्येवात्मना तुष्टः स्थितप्रज्ञस्तदोच्यते।।2.55
That who treats learned and modest Brahaman, cow, elephant, dog and chandal equally is impartial or samdarshi.
विद्याविनयसम्पन्ने ब्राह्मणे गवि हस्तिनि
शुनि चैव श्वपाके च पण्डिता: समदर्शिन: || 18
In Vedas name of one of the Gods is Mitra, the friend.
आत्मैव ह्यात्मनो बन्धुरात्मैव रिपुरात्मनः।।6.5।।
Krishna proclaimed that” the soul, who has been victorious over mind , body and senses– the indrias–, is his own friend and ” the soul, who is not victorious over mind, body and senses, is own enemy”.
In 18th chapter, he proclaimed that “
सर्वधर्मान्परित्यज्य मामेकं शरणं व्रज |
अहं त्वां सर्वपापेभ्यो मोक्षयिष्यामि मा शुच: || 66||
Leave all the dharmas aside and take refuge in me. I will give you the Moksha, don’t worry”.
Indian education system has been distorted by the McCauley by India education act 1835. Now -a – days, we are studying variety of Western subjects sans traditional Indian Scriptures –which have been the backbone of our society.We disregard our scriptures with utter contempt. Gita has a towering place among more than 70000 Sanskrit Scriptures. Preaching of Gita are not temporal but permanent , especially in the time when we are totally cutoff from our magnificent past.
Prof. Ashvini Kumar Gupta, is Professor and Head Department of Electrical Engineering, MJP ROHILKHAND University BAREILLY UP