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The six Indian of Philosophies


Darshana texts are also called Veda Upangas.  There are six schools of philosophy based on the Vedas.  They are in the form of short aphorisms and a Rishi is credited with having written each philosophy. 


1.      Nyaya by Gautama (Aksapada Gautama)

2.      Vaisheshika by Kanada (Uluka Kanada)

3.      Sankhya  by Kapila

4.      Yoga by Patanjali

5.      Purva Mimamsa by Jaimini

6.     Vedanta-Sutra or Brahma Sutra or Uttara Mimamsa by Badarayana



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Styles of Sun salutation

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Yoga is translated as spiritual discipline.  It emphasizes psychic training to attain salvation.  The basic text of yoga is the yoga sutra of Patanjali (5th or 2nd century B.C.E.).  It differs from school of Sankhya in that it brings a deity, namely Ishvara to the picture, which gave sublime purity of the soul and thus aided in meditation. 


Sankhya (count) was founded by the ancient sage Kapila and is the oldest of all the six systems.  It also exhibits rigid dualism and fundamental atheism.  Purusha (soul) and Prakrti (matter, nature) are not interdependent.  It teaches existence of twenty-five basic principles (tattva), the first of which is Prakrti and the last is the Purusa.  From Prakrti develops intelligence (buddhi) and self-consciousness (ahankara).  Other senses like touch, hearing, taste, smell and sight are derived from self-consciousness.  It discounts the theory of creation by a supreme God.  Creation produced by Prakriti will occur independently and there is no need for a Creator with a Superintending Power.  Sankhya system supports the theory of evolution and involution.  Nothing can be entirely destroyed and there cannot be production of something out of nothing.  Another important feature of Sankhya is the doctrine of three qualities or forces (guna), namely virtue (sattva), passion (rajas) and inertia (tamas).  When there is equilibrium of the three gunas, the cosmic matter is said to be still undeveloped.  When the universe matures, any one of these three qualities may show preponderance.  The goal of the human being is to separate himself from matter and release from this bondage to attain salvation. Sri Krishna makes several references to the gunas and the Sankhya literature in his sermon to Arjuna in the rendition of Bhagavad-Gita.According to the Bhagavad-Gita, the Purusha enters the Prakriti and manifests the entire creation (Srishti). At the human level, the purusha is compared symbolically with a man and the Prakriti with a woman. At the microcosmic level a union between the two indeed leads to the creation of a new being, which can be compared to the Hiranyagarbha (the golden embryo) at the microcosmic level. 



This practice of sun salutation performed rapidly in 12 steps helps to balance the energy in the body.


Initial/ beginning pose

Stand with the legs together; bring the palms together to join them

Step 1

Take the hands above the head while inhaling and bend the trunk backwards

Step 2

Bend forward while exhaling and touch the forehead to the knees.

Keep the palms on the floor on either side of the knees

Step 3

Inhale and kick the right leg back and rest on the toes

Push the buttocks forwards and downwards so that the left leg is perpendicular to the ground

Look up

Step 4

Exhale and take the left leg back, resting only on palms and toes

Keep the body straight from head to toes inclined to the ground at about 30 degrees

Take care to maintain the position of the neck in line with the back

Step 5

Inhale and place the knees on the ground without changing the position of the toes and palms and move backward

Exhale and bend forward at the waist to place the forehead on the ground

Step 6

Without shifting the position of the toes and the palms, inhale and glide the body forwards

While exhaling rest the forehead, chest, palms, knees and toes on the ground

Raise the buttocks off the ground

Note that 8 points of the body are in contact with the ground

Step 7

Inhale and raise the trunk making the spine concave upwards without shifting the position of the hands and feet

Arch the back as far as you can until the elbows are straight

Keep the knees off the ground

Step 8

While exhaling without shifting the position of the hands and feet raise the buttocks, push the head down until the heels touch the ground

Step 9

Inhale and bring the right leg in between the two hands. Arch the back concave upwards as in step 3 until the right leg is perpendicular to the ground

Step 10

Exhale and bring the left foot forward next to the right foot and touch the knees by the forehead as in step 2

Step 11

Inhale and raise the arms above the head, slightly bend backwards as in step 1

Step 12

While exhaling drop the arms down to join the palms.

Come back to the initial/ beginning pose