The book present a comprehensive idea of the Samkhya-Yoga epistemology by examining in detail specific representative works including the Samkhyakarika of Isvarakrsna, Yogasutra of Patanjali, and Yuktidipika, Matharavrtti and other schools of Indian Philosophy.
Beginning with some fundamentals like origin of the words 'Samkhya' and ' Yoga' it discusses important tenets of each system, their reference in the Upanisads, the definition of epistemology and its relation with ontology and logic. It delves into the two kinds of knowledge, direct ( Prama) and indirect (Pramana) as understood by the Samkhya-Yoga system and examines these concepts from the viewpoints of other philosophical school as will. It defines perception (Pratyaksa Pramana ) and inference (anumana) and critically assesses the understanding of these in defferent philosophical systems focusing on the Sankhya-Yoga interpretation. It also deals with the components of perception and inference along with the types and fallacies associated with them. Verbal testimony or Sabda is again treated in a detailed manner. The work examines aspects like the nature of word and logical structure of a sentence as well.
The book will be useful for students and scholars of Indian philosophy who are keen to grasp the fundamentals of the Indian Philosophical systems even while gaining in- depth understanding of each school of ancient Indian Philosophy Particularly their interpretation of concepts of knowledge.
Dr. (Mrs) Mukta Biswas is a reader in the Department of Sanskrit, Gauhati University, Assam. She has authored a number of research papers on ancient Indian culture, Philosophy, literature and language. She has participated in numerous national seminars and conferences and has been honoured with gold medals for her scholarship. She is the winner of awards including Dr. V. Raghavan awards for best paper at the 42nd session of all India Oriental Conference held in Varanasi, 2004.
In the present work I have made an endeavour to give a comprehensive and critical ideal of the Samkhya-Yoga epistemology. Epistemology of the Samkhya-Yoga school is a wide subject. However, a systematic approach on the subject has remained so for elusive. Tough early works explicitly declare that Knowledge of the objects depends upon the extant texts Samkhya - Yoga leaves behind an impression that this aspect has not been dealt with extensively and such an observation prompts us to take a view that the philosophers of both the schools were interested in metaphysical doctrines rather than being involved in the logical explanation of epistemology. It therefore becomes imperative to study the status of epistemology in Samkhya-Yoga philosophy. Thus the present work encompasses the studies of epistemology as evidenced in the works like Samkhyakarikaof Isvarakrsna, Yogasutra of Patanjali, Yuktidipika, Matharavrtti, and other schools of Indian philosophy. Efforts have been made to include the various judgements of the critics of Samkhya- Yoga system in order to bring out a critical analysis of the subject. However, I am aware of the possibility that the entire existing relevant documents on the subject might not have been incorporated in the present discussion despite best attempt. I am hopeful that this book will be of immense help for students and researchers to comprehend the idea of epistemology of Samkhya- Yoga thought in the proper perspective.
I have no words to express my deep sense of gratitude to my teacher, professor Dr. Rajendra Nath Sarma, M.A., Ph. D., D. Lit, Mimamsa- Vyakarana Sastri, formerly Head of the deptt. of Sanskrit, Gauhati University for his ungrudging guidance and untiring help offered to me during the preparation of the work. Without his help, advice and supervision the work would have never come to completion.
My acknowledgment would remain incomplete if I do not express my deep sense of indebtedness to my husband Dr. Ranjan Kumar Biswas who has been instrumental and chief inspirator in my taking up this course of study and has made possible to see it the light of the day.
I am greatly thankful to Mr. Susheel K. Mittal of D. K. Printworld for kindly accepting the work for publication and evincing keen interest towards the completion of the work.
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