Need for Philosophy
It always happens that once the basic necessities of life are satisfied and the normal struggles of living are won over the human being starts wondering what the purpose and meaning of life is? The result of such an enquiry is philosophy.
The Indian mystics found the answers to all such questions by undertaking their search within oneself rather than outside. They went to the extent of experiencing such results of their enquiry which gave them an intuitive capability to acquire a clearer and deeper understanding of the meaning and goal of human life. It is because of this special perception their thoughts are called darshana which actually means vision or realization of the Self. These illuminating thoughts of the seers came to be popularly known as systems of Indian philosophy.
All the darshanas or systems of philosophy discovered that in spite of all the best efforts put in by man; his life is full more of misery than bliss. Hence finding out the means to escape from the clutches of grief and despair of human existence, once and for all, became the main goal of their endeavors.
Darshanas and Upanishads
In relation to the systems of Indian philosophy, the Upanishads played a vital role. It is from the Upanishads that the founders of the systems drew their inspiration. Their experiences represented a large store house of philosophic thought in India from which each thinker propounded certain principles as revealed to him.
Though philosophy in India developed from the common reservoir of Upanishadic ideas, it neither stifled any freedom of thought nor did it stunt its growth. Each philosopher tried to develop his own conclusions and offered his own reasons in support of them.
SHAD-DARSHANAS OR SIX SYSTEMS
According to the traditional principles of classification, these enlightened philosophic thought flows of the sages are classified into two broad categories viz. orthodox (astika) and heterodox (nastika). These words normally convey a division of thinkers into ‘theist’ and ‘atheist’.
Orthodox systems are those which accept the authority of the Vedas, while the heterodox systems are those which reject it. To the latter group belong the three systems of Charvaka, Buddhism and Jainism.
The ‘Shaddarshanas’, or the six systems of Indian philosophy belong to the former group. These systems are called
5. Purva Mimamsa
6. Uttara Mimamsa or Vedanta.
They generally deal with four topics:
1. Existence and nature of Brahman
2. Nature of the jiva or the individual soul
3. Creation of the jagat or the world.
4. Moksha or liberation and the disciplines that lead to it.