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Six School of Indian Philosophies UPSC

School Philosophy                                         Founder

Vaishesika                                                     Kanada

Nyaya                                                            Gotama

Samkhya                                                        Kapila

Yoga                                                               Patanjali

Purva Mimansa                                             Jaimini

Vedanta or Uttar Mimansa                         Badrayan/Vyasa

Vaishesika[Atomic theory]:

Founded by Kanada who give atomic theory. The universe is made up of a small particle called Kanad ( atom).  Brahman is a fundamental force that causing conscience in this atom. Our body is made up of five elements earth, water, air, fire, and space

Nyaya Philosophy[ Logic and analytics]:

  • Nyaya believes that gaining knowledge through the five senses is the way of attaining liberation from the cycle of birth and death.

Sankhya Philosophy[ Dualistic]:

  • It gave the dualistic philosophy with Purusha ( soul ) and Prakriti ( nature).
  • It accepts the theory of rebirth and soul transformation.
  • It is close to the Yoga Philosophy.
  • It also gives the logic against the god's existence. 
  • It accepts the three of six Pramana( proof) as the only reliable way of gaining knowledge. 
  • Self Knowledge help in the liberation; exterior force will not help in liberation.

There are three Gunas:

  • Satta: Gunas of compassion, positivity, and calmness.
  • Rajas: Gunas of potentiality good or bad.
  • Tamasa: Gunas of darkness, ignorance, dullness, 

Yoga Philosophy[ Mediation]:

  • Promote the discipline of body and mind. Ashtanga yoga is the way to Moksha. Yoga also heals the body without eating any medicines. It was an associate branch of Ayurveda.


  •  It presented the critical interpretation of Veda.

Uttar Mimansa or Vedanta:

  • The world is not real; the only real is Brahman. It emphasized the essence of veda. It believes complete authority of Veda. It promotes Yajnas and mantras for the sustainability of the universe.

For practice:

1. Which one of the following pairs does not form part of the six systems of Indian Philosophy?

(a) Mimamsa and Vedanta

(b) Nyaya and Vaisheshika

(c) Lokayata and Kapalika

(d) Sankhya and Yoga

Other Philosophical thoughts were:

  • Charvaka Or Lokayata: Materlism
  • Ajivikas: the doctrine of absolute: determinism. 

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