Indian Philosophy and Psychology · Uncategorized

Adi Shankacharya.


Adi shankaracharya was one of the most influential philosophers of India. He founded the Advaita Vedanta, one of the sub schools of Vedanta. He believed in the concept of the Vedas completely however also supported being against the rituals and religious practices. He thought that it was over exaggerated. He also started monastic order which is called as Dashanami and the Shanmata way of worship.

Adi shankaracharaya was born in a simple Brahmin family in the early 8th century A.D in Kaladi, Kerela. It is said that Shankaracharya’s mother Arambya had a vision where Lord Shiva told her that he would be reincarnated into the world as her first born. Early in his childhood, he showed a proclivity toward spiritual knowledge. During his schooling, he memorized the Puranas and Epics and gained mastery over the Vedas.

It is said that one day while having a bath, he was attacked by a crocodile. Though his mother saw the crocodile and wished to rescue him, she couldn’t. Seeing this, Shankaracharaya asker his mother’s permission to renounce the world and she agreed. However as soon as he recited the mantra, the crocodile left him alone. From that day onward, he began his life as an ascetic. Soon he met a man named Govinda Bhagvatpada, an accomplished spiritual man himself. Due to Shankaracharya’s strong knowledge of spirituality, Govinda agreed to be his spiritual teacher. Under his guidance, Shankaracharaya became an expert in different types of Yoga including Hatha,Raja and Jhana Yoga.

Adi Shankaracharya belaived in the philosophy of “non-dualism”. He stated that every individual has a divine existence and identity, which can be connacted to the absolute cosmic power. So, even if the bodies are numerous and diverse, the soul is one. When someone believes that the concept of life is finite, they are abandoning an entirely greater power and complex dimension of life and understanding. Thus, self-realization is the way to attain Moksha and be one with this absolute power.

Though he died young, he left an invaluable treasure of spiritual knowledge for future generations.


Indian Philosophy and Psychology

A Psychological Analysis of the Ramayana: The Effect of the Epic on Ancient Indian Society


Rama with his wife Sita. The epic of Ramayana revolves around Rama’s conquest to free his wife from Ravana’s captivity and Rama’s rule as the king of Ayodhya


Ramayana is an epic every Indian has heard or read. It is the first mythological story an Indian child comes across. What appeals most is the simplistic story-line and the characters which are relatable to the mass. While common people perceive the characters as either black or white, digging deeper in the epic reveals more of the characters’ personalities.


A Psychological Analysis of Rama


The eldest son of King Dasaratha, the heir to the throne of Ayodhya, Rama is the protagonist of Ramayana. An ideal son, he went into exile for 14 years with his brother and wife in order to fulfill his step-mother Kaikeyi’s wish, thus establishing himself as the ideal son. As an ideal husband, he waged war against the Rakshasa king Ravana who had abducted his wife. As an ideal warrior, he fought the battlerespecting all the codes of war. As an ideal king, he put his kingdom before everything else. No wonder, he is hailed as ‘Maryada Purushottam’ by the Hindus- “the ideal man who upholds all the virtues in every sphere of life.”

However, the character is not free from share fair of criticism or controversy. During his early life, Rama slayed a Shudra character for observing Brahamanical traditions. During his exile he killed the monkey king of Kishkindha kingdom, Bali, in order to help his brother Sugriva become the king, who had been banished by Bali for betraying him.

The major criticism of Rama is aimed at his treatment of Sita. After killing Ravana and rescuing Sita, he made his wife go through Agnipariksha– the test of fire- so as to test her chastity, an act which made his brother Laxman furious. After returning to Ayodhya and becoming the king, he ushered in a rule where the kingdom was prosperous and subjects were happy. However things took a bad turn when Sita became pregnant. Rumours spread about the paternal identity of the unborn child. When a washer-man expressed his view that a virtuous king would never accept a woman who had spent so much time at another man’s place, Rama, resolved not to let any slander disturb the stability of his kingdom, exiled his pregnant wife.

Maybe the author Valmiki wanted to portray that a man cannot be ideal or flawless, even though his an avatar of god. For becoming an ideal person upholding Dharma, he had to slay an innocent person, an obvious immoral act. For becoming an ideal warrior, he had to kill Bali. Becoming an ideal king, he ceased o become an ideal husband, who exiled his pregnant wife to keep his subjects happy.

The character can be interpreted as someone we all thrive to be. We all want to become ideal in every field of life. But, how much we may struggle to become ideal, we all have flaws within ourselves which don’t let us become so. “Maryada Purushottam” is a near-unattainable concept, which can only be acquired when we renounce all the longings of this physical realm. The maya of this world will let us attain our ideal selves, just like it didn’t let Rama do.


A Psychological Analysis of Sita


Sita’s Bhumi Pravesh: Sita’s final retirement to her mother Earth

Daughter of King Janaka and the wife of Rama, Sita never had a life which she enjoyed. She left her life as a princess to accompany her husband in exile, was kidnapped by Ravana, had to prove her chastity after being rescued by the person she loved the most, and was later exiled by the righteous king of Ayodhya, her own husband, Rama. She later found her solace in the abode of her mother Bhumidevi, the impersonation of Earth.

Sita had been portrayed as an abala nari, a damsel-in-distress. However, she had shown strong character at times, when deciding to accompany Rama in his exile despite being advised not to do so by the latter or not letting Ravana get near her. She has also been portrayed as someone who observes the tradition of giving of alms to Brahmins, which in her case didn’t turn out to be good since the Brahmin was Ravana in disguise.

Like Rama, Sita is considered as an ideal person- an ideal daughter, an ideal wife, an ideal mother.


The Effect of Ramayana on Society

The epic did have a significant effect which shaped the society at that time and still continues to do so.

Rama is considered to be the one every man should thrive to be. His character, defined by upholding and fulfilling Dharma, bravery and valour, caring for his family, and keeping his subjects happy, is considered to be the ideal masculine character.

Sita is considered the ideal female. Just like Rama, her character, defined by constant providing of constant companionship for her husband, being submissive to will of husband, and fostering and bringing up good children, is considered to be the ideal feminine characters.

The epic of Ramayana had built a society which put emphasis on the values of Dharma, chastity and piety. The epic also influenced the psyche of the two sexes in the society, making the individuals struggle to become like Rama or Sita.

There is no doubt that the Ramayana will continue to influence the society in one way or other. It is an epic which is timeless, and will survive the tests of time as it had done over the previous thousands of years.



Indian Philosophy and Psychology · Uncategorized

Adavaita: The Indian Approach to mind-body Dualism.

Advaita Vedanta is a school of Hindu theory and religious practice, and one of the exemplary Indian ways to profound realization. The term Advaita alludes to its thought that the spirit (genuine Self, Atman) is the same as the supernatural Reality (Brahman). As indicated by the conviction, the devotees look for otherworldly freedom through obtaining vidyā (knowledge) of one’s actual way of life as Atman, and the identity of Atman and Brahman.

Advaita Vedanta is the oldest surviving sub-school of Vedanta,which is one of the six Hindu philosophy of insight. Despite the fact that its underlying foundations follow back to the first thousand years BCE, the most noticeable type of the Advaita Vedanta is considered to be eighth century researcher Adi Shankara.

Advaita Vedanta gives importance to Jivanmukti, the possibility that moksha (flexibility, freedom) is achievable in this life as opposed to Indian philosophies that underline Videhamukti, or moksha after death.The school utilizes terms, for example, Brahman, Atman, Maya, Avidya, contemplation and others that are found in real Indian religious traditions, yet translates them in its own specific manner for its hypotheses of moksha. Advaita Vedanta is one of the most studied classical Indian thoughts.

Consciousness in Advaita Vedanta.

According to this theory, the different categories of consciousness are classified as:

  • absolute consciousness (brahmacaitanya)
  • cosmic consciousness (īśvara-caitanya)
  • individual consciousness (jīva-caitanya)
  • indwelling consciousness (sāksi-caitanya).

However,the true nature of consciousness is by singular and non-dual. Advaita Vedanta says that other than than energy (prāna), there is another stratum of the universe called brahma-caitanya, which is even finer than energy. The strtum is further composed of satcitānanda:

  • absolute existence (sat)
  • pure consciousness (cit)
  • bliss (ānanda).

The question that arises in our mind is that just how did absolute consciousness (unchanging and stationary) become this world of multiplicity and change?

Shankaracharya introduced an answer for this mystery with his hypothesis of superimposition. From the definitive point of view, absolute consciousness did not turn into this world; it just seems to have done as such. Shankara gave the great case of the snake and the rope:

We see a snake on the road at night, but as we approach the snake and flash a torch on it, we realize that it is actually a rope.


In the previously mentioned illustration, the snake is our universe and it is a superimposition on the rope which is Brahmin(absolute consciousness).

There is no more causal relationship between this world-appearance and Brahman than there is between the snake and the rope. However, the universe has no existence apart from Brahman, just as the snake has no existence apart from the rope. Since it is possible for a rope to be mistaken for a snake, it is also possible for something to apparently exist without being real.

Advaita Vedanta states that the world both exists and does not exist. By the ‘does not exist’, it is not supposed that the world is an illusion without a basis or a shadow without substance.It means that the world as it appears to us is unreal because this world-appearance has no absolute existence. This superimposition is due to Maya. Maya is often compared to a veil, a cloud, or a screen.

Comparison between Mind and Consciousness in Western Psychology and Advaita Vedanta.

The most significant difference between western and eastern psychology is that the eastern psychology differentiates the mind from consciousness and western psychology does not.

In fact western psychology understands mind in terms of consciousness, i.e. the consciousness is a component of the mind. In this case, consciousness and mind are equal in our ordinary experience but not in the absolute consciousness. When we talk about ‘mind’ in Vedanta, we refer to what is later explained as the ‘inner instrument’ (Antahkarana) as different from the ‘outer instruments’ (Bahyakarana).

The term Mind bears a narrower as well as a wider meaning in the sāstras. Thus in the saying ‘from where speech together with mind (Manas) withdraws failing to reach’ (referring to Brahman) the word Manas (mind) is evidently used for the whole ‘Inner Instrument’. In strictly philosophical literature however, the term Manas is almost always used in a defined sense so that it cannot be translated into ‘Mind’ as understood by Western psychologists. It is only then one function of the inner instrument. Indian ‘Mind’ is distinguished from Western Mind in this that the former as such is not Consciousness but a material force enveloping Consciousness, the two in association producing the Consciousness-unconsciousness of Western Mind. Pure Consciousness (Cit) is not an attribute of Mind. It is beyond Mind being independent of it. It is immanent in Mind and is the source of its illumination and apparent Consciousness.

According to the Vedanta … Cit is pure consciousness Itself. Mind is a real or apparent negation or limitation or determination of that. Mind in fact, in itself, that is considered as apart from Cit (from which in fact it is never separate) is an unconscious force which in varying degree obscures and limits consciousness, such limitation being the condition of all finite experience. Cit is thus Consciousness.


Indian Philosophy and Psychology

A Journey of the Atman and the Nature of Man: Katha Upanishad, An Abstract of the conversation between Nachiketa and the God of Death- Yama


Young Nachiketa in conversation with Yama


The story

Katha Upanishad, The story of the conversation between Nachiketa a young boy and the god of death, Yama starts of on a journey away from home in search for the truth and what comes beyond it. Nachiketa, as a young boy still innocent in his thoughts couldn’t withstand the deception his father was performing during a Yagnya( Giving  unhealthy cows to brahmins) and questioned him in open court embarrassing his treacherous father. The father on getting offended by the honesty and brutality of his own kin asks him to “go to hell”. Nachiketa leaves his home and goes in search for the god of death, Yama. After spending three nights at the doorstep of Yama, with no food, water or shelter, Lord Yama is impressed at the same time embarrassed that he couldn’t welcome a guest to his house with a certain ritual. Pleased by Nachiketa’s action , Lord Yama grants him three boons for the time he spent waiting for him.

Nachiketa pitied over his father’s state and the person he was and asks Yama to grant him the  peace he requires to forgive himself for sending his child to hell.

Observing so many discrepancies in the state of life of the people around him, Nachiketa asks for the holy symbolism behind the fire ritual which would later be used to bring profound improvement in the community.

The third boon was encashed to ask a spiritual question.

What is beyond death? If there is any soul, does it survive the disintegration of the body?

Yama startled by this question immediately asks Nachiketa to revert back his boon and ask for something else. Yama offers extended life, kingdoms, women and a life full of instant gratifications. He was not interested in revealing the secret to death so easily. But, Finally pleased by the determination and finding resolve in the innocent kid, Lord Yama yielded and started instructing him.

Yama first said that there are two tempting paths to living life as one of that the material pleasures. Yama considers the ones that give in to this path as fools . All worldly treasures that are attainable through the various accomplishments of life will soon perish after death. The mortal self never gets satisfied by the wealth and riches he has living only in the body of the flesh. Hypnotized by the world of sense, man usually ends up living in the ignorant life and not pursing what’s permanent the Atman.

Next he tells Nachiketa about the other walk of life- the path of eternal bliss. The path that leads to immortality (Lord Yama refers to the immortality of the soul and not the physical realm we live in). By keeping your mind detached only will you be able to choose the path of immortality. The wise man recognizes both the perennial joy and the passing pleasure and chooses the perennial joy. The wise man arises, awake and doesn’t stop until the goal is accomplished. To the all-knowing self the pains and gain of life seem the same. Whereas for the separate ego pains in the journey of life bring sorrow and the gain bring joy. The person who was relinquished himself from the strings of life, The string of pain and joy has made himself a path of self realization.


Contribution to psychology

The Conversational Upanishad puts forward the concept of Mind-Body complexes, But untouched by the limitation set by our senses. It also talks about the various channels showing symbolism from the tree through the energy flows. The theme of the Upanishads is laying a spiritual base for the material universe we live in and the consciousness. The ultimate state of being is the pure consciousness the final destination. The place where everything is eternally blissful. Therefore the pure heart takes adobe in the higher self of being.



Indian Philosophy and Psychology

The Astika and Nastika Schools of Thought: A Brief Introduction to various Hindu Philosophies


Hindu philosophies are various philosophies and schools of thought which have their origin in the different interpretation of the Vedas, the holy book of the Hindus. These philosophies are vast and originated and evolved over quite a long period of time.

What makes the Hindu philosophies unique from other religious philosophies, mainly the philosophies surrounding the Abrahamic religions, is the inclusion and acceptance of atheistic thoughts in its fold.

The various Hindu philosophies can be classified into two schools

  1. The Astika school.
  2. The Nastika school.


The Astika schools

The term “Astika” is derived from the Sanskrit word “Asti” which literally means “knowing that which exists”. The word could alternatively mean “pious”. These schools are also called orthodox schools.

The Astika schools consider the Vedas as the authoritative and reliable source of knowledge. The following are the school which come under the Astika school

  1. Nyaya- Nyaya literally means “rules” or “judgement”. The major contribution of the nyaya school was systematic development of the theory of logic, methodology, and its treatises on epistemology. The origin of Nyaya school might had its root in the Nasadiya hymns of Book 10 Chapter 129 of the Rigveda, which recites its spiritual consequences in logical propositions.
  2. Vaisheshika- The epistemology of this school accepted only two reliable means of knowledge: perception and inference and consider the authority of the Vedas to be indisputable. The Vaisheshika school was founded by Kanada Kashyapa around 2nd century BC and its most significant contribution was the postulation that all physical matters are formed of small, irreducible forms called paramanus”
  3. Sankhya- This school had been the most influential and had influenced all the other schools. The Sankhya epimestology accepts three of six pramanas- pratyakṣa(perception), anumana (inference) and shabda (word)- as the only reliable means of gaining knowledge. The Sankhya school was also highly dualist, dividing the universe into two realities- purusha (consciousness) and prakriti (matter). This school is also considered to be atheistic by some scholars.
  4. Yoga- The Yoga school had been highly influenced by the Sankhya school and has the share the same epimestology. Founded by Patanjali, this school is concerned with systematic studies to better oneself physically, mentally, and spiritually.
  5. Mimansha- The Mimansha school is known for its philosophical theories on the nature of Dharma and acted as a precursor to the Vedanta school. The Mimansha school has several sub-schools with each having different epimestologies.
  6. Vedanta- Literally meaning “the end of Vedas”, the Vedanta is the broadest and most vast school among all the Hindu philosophies. The term Vedanta is an umbrella term for many sub-traditions, ranging from dualism to non-dualism, all of which developed on the basis of a common textual connection called the Prasthanatrayi. The Prasthanatrayi is a collective term for the Principal Upanishads, the Brahma Sutras and the Bhagavad Gita.


The Nastika schools

The term “Nastika” is the negative of “Astika”. The Nastika schools reject the Vedas as authoritative texts or sources of knowledge. They are regarded as the heterodox schools.

The following are the Nastika schools

  1. Buddhism- Founded by Gautama Buddha, Buddhism is a religion, a way of Dharma, and a way of life. Buddha rejected the Vedas as authoritative texts and was completely against the discriminatory caste system prevalent in the society. He was a critic of the Brahmanical traditions. Though Buddhism doesn’t recognise the existence of god or a soul, it does believe in the cycle of reincarnation and Nirvana. Buddha preached a life of piety, honesty, equality, and non-violence. At its peak, Buddhism was the most influential religion in the Indian subcontinent and neighbouring areas.
  2. Jainism- The foundation of Jainism is usually attributed to Vardhaman Mahavira, though the Jains believe their religion to be eternal, being guided by a Tirthankara in every age, the first of whom was Rishabhanatha and the last being Mahavira. The main religious premises of Jainism are ahimsa (“non-violence”), anekantavada (“many-sidedness”), aparigraha (“non-attachment”) and asceticism.
  3. Charvaka- One of the earliest materialist schools,  Charvaka holds direct perception, empiricism, and conditional inference as proper sources of knowledge, embraces philosophical skepticism and rejects Vedas, Vedic ritualism, and supernaturalism. The founder of this school was Brihaspati.
  4. Ajivika- The Ajivika school is known for its Niyati (“Fate”) doctrine of absolute determinismthe premise that there is no free will, that everything that has happened, is happening and will happen is entirely preordained and a function of cosmic principles. Ajivikas considered the karma doctrine as a fallacy.
  5. Agyana- It was an ancient school of radical skepticism. The Agyana school held that it was impossible to obtain knowledge of metaphysical nature or ascertain the truth value of philosophical propositions; and even if knowledge was possible, it was useless and disadvantageous for final salvation.


Theistic or Atheistic?

While “astika” and “nastika” in current Indian languages mean “theism” and “atheism” respectively, it is not so in ancient and medieval Sanskrit literature.

The Manusmriti defines “nastika” as someone who revile the Vedas. The 9th century scholar Medhatithi described “nastika” as someone who considers the Vedas as immoral, the one who believes that there is no other world, there is no purpose in giving charity, there is no purpose in rituals and the teachings in the Vedic literature.

Haribhadra, along with other fellow Jain scholars, gave a definition of “astika” without referring to the Vedas. They defied “astika” as someone who affirms there exists another world, transmigration exists, virtue (punya) exists, vice (paap) exists.

In some texts, an “astika” is defined as someone who believes in the existence of atman.  Asanga Tilakaratna translates Astika as “positivism” and Nastika as “negativism”, with Astika illustrated by Brahmanical traditions who accepted “soul and God exists”, while Nastika as those traditions, such as Buddhism, who denied “soul and God exists”

The schools could have been theistic or atheistic. Sankhya, despite belonging to the Astika category, is considered as atheistic as well as theistic by scholars. Same is the case with Vaisheshika. Buddhism and Jainism are philosophies sitting on the fence, and can be described as agnostic, while Charvaka, Ajivika, and Agyana were completely atheistic.


If you want to read further…

We believe that this space is too small to explain all the schools in detail, hence we tried to describe them in brief. Interested readers can refer to the following links for further readings

Indian Philosophy and Psychology

Psychology of The Vedanta

The Vedanta Philosophy is one of the most popularly known philosophies of the Ancient Indian philosophies. The word Vedanta literally means “end of the Vedas“. The Vedanta philosophy began with the concept of Dvaita (dualism) and ended with the concept of Advaita (non-dualism). The different schools of thought that exist in the Vedanta are the:

  • Advaita
  • Vishishtadvaita
  • Dvaita
  • Bhedabheda
  • Suddhadvaita

These schools of thought primarily emerged from three sources, the Prasthanatrayi, which includes the Upanishads, the Brahma Sutras, and the Bhagavad Gita.

The discourse between Arjuna and Krishna, that was compiled in the Bhagavad Gita.



A lot of modern science, including psychology, has already been found in a rudimentary, or sometimes even a more advanced form, in the ancient Indian texts. Since philosophy is known as the mother of psychology, hence, we can find many concepts of modern Western psychology that had already been discussed in the Indian Philosophies.

Let us take the concept of the Brahman and the Atman, which is the root concept which divides the Vedantic Philosophy into the different schools of thought. The Brahman is God, or the ultimate metaphysical reality, while Atman refers to the self or the soul. The Dvaita school of thought regards that the Brahman and the Atman are separate entities, and it is the purpose of the Atman to strive and surrender itself to the Brahman. This philosophy is similar to Plato’s mind-body dualism, Aristotle’s view, dualism by Rene Descartes, and the modern concept of duality.

The Advaita school of thought considers the Brahman and the Atman to be a single entity, which is a constant, and everything that is changing in this world is known as Maya. The purpose, here, is to realize that the Atman of every individual is the same, which is equivalent to the Brahman. This is somewhat similar to the Humanistic perspective propounded by Rogers and Maslow. The individual has the capability to attain its most perfect form, and it solely rests on their hands.

According to modern psychology, the emotions that we experience is the result of our perceptions, along with the activity of neurochemicals. Our imperfect understanding of the world is what causes emotions like joy, sadness, anger, excitement, etc. As we gradually start understanding the real meaning of this world, our tendency to experience different emotions starts to fade away. This perfection is rarely seen among normal, average human beings. If we ever come across such an individual, we may regard them as someone who is not human, something more than that. This is what the Vedanta philosophy speaks about. When we achieve the perfect balance between the Brahman and the Atman, regardless of the school of thought, we start to become fully-functioning individuals who are composed of knowledge and are not affected by mundane matters.

The concept of Viveka is also a part of psychology that we study nowadays. It is similar to the rational part of the cognitive mind, which forms a perception of the surroundings based on logic and imagination. Viveka is what helps us in discerning the facts of the world and form a conclusion, which forms our perception.

Thus, we see that a number of theories and concepts of modern psychology has emerged from the philosophies of the Vedanta. More can be known about psychology through the Indian texts when one reads and understands it in a detailed manner.


Indian Philosophy and Psychology

The Influence of Ayurveda on Psychology

Ayurveda or Ayurveda medicine is a system of medicine with historical roots in the Indian subcontinent. Globalized and modernized practices derived from Ayurveda traditions are a type of complementary or alternative medicine. In the Western world, Ayurveda therapies and practices have been integrated in general wellness applications and in some cases in medical use.

The main classical Ayurveda texts begin with accounts of the transmission of medical knowledge from the Gods to sages, and then to human physicians. In Sushruta Samhita (Sushruta’s Compendium), Sushruta wrote that Dhanvantari, Hindu god of Ayurveda, incarnated himself as a king of Varanasi and taught medicine to a group of physicians, including Sushruta. Ayurveda therapies have varied and evolved over more than two millennia. Therapies are typically based on complex herbal compounds, minerals and metal substances (perhaps under the influence of early Indian alchemy or rasa shastra). Ancient Ayurveda texts also taught surgical techniques, including rhinoplastykidney stone extractions, sutures, and the extraction of foreign objects.

Although laboratory experiments suggest it is possible that some substances used in Ayurveda might be developed into effective treatments, there is no evidence that any are effective as currently practiced. Ayurveda medicine is considered pseudoscientific. Other researchers consider it a protoscience, or trans-science system instead.

According to Ayurveda, emotions are closely linked to personality and its various traits. It uses the trait theory of personality, stating that traits are observable patterns of behaviour, thought and emotion that can be measured objectively.

. Ayurveda characterizes wellbeing as a condition of physical, mental, social and otherworldly prosperity and depends on the hypothesis of Panchamahabhoota (the five essential components – Space, Air, Fire, Water and Earth) and Tridoshas (three organic humors – Vata, Pitta and Kapha) which are available in every single cell of the body alongside psyche and soul. The harmony of doshas is called wellbeing and unevenness (Vikriti) is called sickness (Ashtanga Hridaya, Sutra Sthana 1). Together these three doshas decide the physiological adjust and constitution of the person which is called as Prakriti in Ayurveda. Each individual has every one of the three doshas (physical humors – vata, pitta, kapha) and trigunas (mental qualities – Satwa, Rajas, Tamas) in various extents. Be that as it may, contingent on the power of the five essential components, three doshas and mental qualities in sperm (Shukra) and ovum (Shonita) at the season of origination, the individual prakriti is chosen. Prakriti is additionally depicted to be impacted by maternal components including the intra-uterine condition, nourishment and regimen adjusted by the mother amid pregnancy (Matur Ahara Vihara). This essential constitution which is settled at the season of preparation for the most part stays steady for the duration of the life of that person. Ayurveda has additionally clarified the nourishment and way of life according to singular constitution including the elements which irritate and mollify doshas (Vimana Sthana 1/21-25, Charaka Samhita, 2003).


To outline, Prakriti, subsequently alludes to hereditarily decided physical and mental constitution of a person. Each individual has his/her own particular novel constitution which decides the natural capacities, reaction to ecological variables, drugs and furthermore weakness to ailments making it one of the most punctual known ideas of preventive and customized pharmaceutical. The information of prakriti and the capacity to subgroup people in light of their overwhelming prakriti, in Ayurveda arrangement of medicinal services, along these lines, is one of its imperative and exceptional strengths and basic instruments. This not just comprehends the mental and physical nature of a man in wellbeing yet in addition to know the weakness to illnesses which aid advancement of wellbeing, avoidance and cure of maladies. It might likewise be specified that Ayurveda framework fundamentally goes for treating the reason for the malady (and not only the indications) by distinguishing the lopsidedness of the Tridoshas (Vimana Sthana 8, Charaka Samhita, 2003).


This idea might be clarified by the methodology that an Ayurveda expert takes after taking the established case of Amavata (Rheumatoid joint pain) which outlines the principles of Ayurveda. It has been recorded in Ayurveda messages that moderately aged ladies are more inclined to RA than men. Quite, heartburn is accepted to be the essential driver of RA in Ayurveda arrangement of prescription. The point by point robotic clarification proposed for the aetiology of RA is as of now clarified in the principle content of the ms. People of vata prakriti are known to have sporadic hunger and unpredictable absorption and hence this prakriti aggregate are recorded to be more defenceless to RA and in addition more extreme type of sickness (after-effects of our investigation adequately bolster this tenet). Guidance to deal with processing and treating for heartburn is the principal treatment recommended to patients of Amavata/RA by the Ayurveda expert. Further, unique eating regimen and way of life are suggested for ladies particularly after conveyance as a measure for aversion of beginning of RA.


A moment illustration is that of Madhumeha or Diabetes. Twenty subtypes of Madhumeha are depicted in Ayurveda. Eating routine and way of life mind are recommended by the Ayurveda specialist for aversion of this regular sickness, particularly when there is family history. This for sure is not unique in relation to the present current pharmaceutical practice.


Ayurveda arrangement of prescription has a few similitudes with the conventional Chinese solution (Patwardhan et al., Ayurveda and customary Chinese pharmaceutical: a similar diagram. Confirmation based Complement. Altern. Med., 2005; 2, 465-473).


There are an extensive number of conspicuous phenotypic highlights portrayed for the prakriti sorts. Of these, the key highlights incorporate the accompanying:


Key recognizing highlights for prakriti assurance



  1. Thin body outline, does not put on weight
  2. Skin dry, unpleasant, dull composition, broke
  3. Hair dry and part
  4. Quick execution of exercises
  5. Variable and additionally poor hunger.
  6. Physical working limit less, imperviousness to illness typically poor
  7. Prefers warm or hot sustenance and atmosphere.
  8. Scanty sweat, variable thirst
  9. Tendency for stoppage
  10. Light lay down with many dreams
  11. Prone to nervousness, stress and misery, eccentric nature




  1. Medium body outline
  2. Skin sensitive, rosy appearance, warm to touch
  3. Good/unreasonable craving
  4. Feels warm/hot sensation
  5. Prefers frosty sustenance and atmosphere, narrow mindedness to hot nourishment and atmosphere
  6. Tendency for free movement
  7. Excessive thirst and sweat
  8. Bright eyes, rosy sclera, yellow iris, sharp entering vision
  9. Hair delicate, untimely turning gray, hair loss
  10. Intelligent, sharp memory, hot tempered, overcome, envious, forceful, charging nature



  1. Large, board body outline, inclination to put on weight
  2. Skin thick, delicate, smooth, firm, shiny, reasonable composition
  3. Good stamina yet moderate in physical exercises
  4. Deep and lovely voice
  5. Moderate craving
  6. Moderate sweat, low thirst
  7. Deep and sound rest
  8. Large eyes, quiet, stable with whitish sclera
  9. Hair thick, slick, wavy dim shaded
  10. Calm, cool, happy, neighbourly positive outlook


Extra notes:


Mix of fundamental components principally Space and Air brings about the arrangement of Vata dosha, Fire and Water components frame Pitta dosha, Water and Earth components shape Kapha dosha in the living body.


There are particular properties of each dosha. The primary properties of Vata dosha are – dry, chilly, light, unpretentious, clear, harsh, astringent taste, in charge of developments and catabolic in nature. Pitta dosha has properties of hot, unctuous, sharp, fluid, spreading, harsh impactful biting taste, in charge of processing and digestion, Kapha dosha has the characteristics of icy, substantial, delicate, sleek, steady, vile, sweet taste and anabolic in nature (Vagbhata’s Ashtanga Hridayam, Sutra Sthana 1/10-12, 2003).


There are seven sorts of physical prakriti viz., Vata, pitta, kapha, vata-pitta, pitta-kapha, kapha-vata and tridosha prakriti – (blend of every one of the three doshas vata, pitta-kapha in measure up to extents), and three expansive sorts of mental constitution viz., satwa, rajas and tamas prakriti (Vimana Sthana 8/9,5, Charaka Samhita, 2003). Despite the fact that, Ayurvedic writings have clarified the trademark highlights of each of the seven sorts of physical and three sorts of mental constitution, just three principle sorts of Prakriti viz., Vata transcendent, Pitta prevalent and Kapha dominating constitution are generally taken for the examination of a man/quiet.

Indian Philosophy and Psychology · Uncategorized

Perception and Indian Psychology

There is an old saying which manages the diverse recognition that emerge from certifiable and freethinker ways to deal with reality. It says—and one can quickly perceive how close some old Indian scholars came to postmodern constructivism—that is not just the name we provide for an affair, however even the experience itself is dictated by our ‘set’.The Taittirīya Upaniṣad (2.6.1), for instance, says, asann eva sa bhavati, asad brahmeti veda cet, asti brahmeti ced veda, santam enaṁ tato viduḥ, meaning, ‘whoever envisages it as existence becomes (or realizes) it as existence, and whoever envisages it as non-being becomes (or realizes) that non-existence’. It might be noticed that in the Indian convention such contrasts are not ascribed just to the diverse social preparing; they are credited principally to the distinctive sort, level and nature of the interior condition of the eyewitness. The social structures and mental states of mind supporting profound interests in India are substantially nearer to those of European science than to those of European religion. Indeed, even Śaṅkara—who apparently comes nearest to what in the Christian convention would have been known as a congregation father, given his part in establishing focuses of religious specialist and power—at last puts individual experience (anubhava) above custom. In his Bhagavad Gītā Bhāṣya he says, (18, 66), ‘Even a hundred scriptural sections won’t wind up plainly legitimate when they, for example, report that fire is cool or dim’ (Rao, 1979, p. 65). The techniques for yoga and meditation are these days fundamentally took a gander at soteriologically, that is, as methods for salvation, as ways to touch base at samādhi or nirvāṇa—in any event on the off chance that they are not seen as a way to land at physical well being and the survival of a corporate way of life. In the way of life of birthplace, be that as it may, they are a piece of a lucid information framework and they are obviously taken a gander at as an approach to touch base at solid learning.This is most certain on account of jñānayoga (the yoga of information); however one can without much of a stretch perceive components of the quest for truth even in karma-and bhaktiyoga (the ways of works and dedication), which additionally, in their own particular manner, have strategies to diminish the twists of discernment and influence that are a piece of the normal human awareness.


Indian Philosophy and Psychology

The Evolutionary Undertones of the Mahabharata

As an ancient epic, the Mahabharata serves its purpose of being a major source of information about culture and heritage as well a huge amount of knowledge, in terms of spiritual, technological and philosophical aspects. Along with these contributions, another insight that the Mahabharata gives is the development of the human psyche and behaviour across timelines; from ancient times to the present era.

Through different narrations in the Mahabharata about the various interactions between characters, aspects of evolution of human behaviour can be understood. For comparison, during the era of the Mahabharata, polygamy was considered normal and necessary , and satisfying one’s sexual and emotional needs was considered appropriate and equally important. Now, in the 21st century, monogamy is the norm, not just because of societal pressures, but because of the change in needs from one era to another. At the time of the Mahabharata, nations were warring against one another, and progeny was the deciding factor of a kingdom. Hence , it was considered normal to have children with  other spouses. Now, polygamy is considered morally wrong, and infidelity  is considered to be one of the worst things that can be done in a marriage.The evolution of human behaviour and thinking is synonymous with the evolution of the given time period. The needs and priorities of an individual changes with the circumstances around the individual, and as circumstances change, so does the needs of the individual. It was a matter of high priority to form an alliance through marriage so as to  strengthen one’s military and administrative institutions, but now the purpose of the institution of marriage largely is to have a safe and warm environment when one is respected and loved, or to start a family.

The Mahabharata has its far reaching influence in terms of aspects of behaviour, morality and ethics. The concept of what is right and wrong and the concept of dharma has played a very important role in shaping the moral consciousness of generations till now. Although, it has had a few negative implications as well. Draupadi, the wife of the five Pandavas, rejected Karna as a suitor on the grounds of caste, as she believed that she was not born in to a family of Kshatriyas, and instead chose Arjuna who was disguised as a priest , who shared her with his brothers. The caste system and the discrimination that arose from it still prevails today as an evil to society. The ideals that were held for finding a spouse finds similarity and dissimilarity as well compared to the ideals of now. Men desired women who were physically attractive and could give rise to competent progeny, and women desired men who were rich in resources; money, property as well as social status, social standing, ethics . This has been carried over in one form or the other , and can be found in the everyday scenario of finding spouses.  Patriarchy and the subjugation of women has been a constant part of both the eras; Draupadi was humiliated and disrobed in front of a huge crowd of people while everyone stood watching, and today the state of a woman is no less different and is far from being treated fairly and respectfully.


Through the conversation between Krishna and Arjun on the battlefield; otherwise known as the Bhagavad Gita, the spiritual and philosophical impact has shaped the human psyche and comes very close to the psychology of the human mind.Here, Arjuna represents the common individual whose mind is led astray , and Krishna represents the divine knowledge that helps him realise his sense of duty and regain his mental composure. The five horses of the chariot represent the five senses, the charioteer being the knowledge to help guide the senses, and finally, the mind being in control of the knowledge and the senses. By transcending the physical realm of senses and attaining a balanced, neutral state of mind, one can lead a healthy and balanced life.  The concept of Dharma, ethics and the steps towards being an ideal human being as said in the Gita have influenced the way individuals act and think , and has gone as far as to being the Holy book that is looked upon for spiritual and philosophical guidance, even now.  The concept of detachment from materialistic and worldly aspects and focusing on oneself and realising oneself through various practices is an important aspect of Indian psychology that has its influence even now. The most important aspect of the Gita is the emphasis on fulfilling one’s dharma in life regardless of the circumstances, the final goal being to attain moksha, or realisation with the Supreme Consciousness. Therefore , there are plenty of instances and examples that shed light on the evolutionary aspect of the Mahabharata and how it has shaped the way individuals  behave and think on an evolutionary perspective, and it is important to note that this ancient Indian epic still has its implications the the human psyche of now, and gives us an insight into how we have changed in terms of behaviour and thinking and what we have retained from the ancient eras.

Indian Philosophy and Psychology

The Parallel between Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and Purushartha in Indian Scriptures

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Abraham Maslow, a leading psychologist in the 20th century and a proponent of the humanistic approach, published a theory in 1943 depicting the needs of a person in his/her lifetime and the hierarchy of the said needs. This theory is commonly known as Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

Following is a detailed diagrammatic representation of Maslow’s theory in the most well-known pyramid form-



The needs are put in their respective order of necessity. Physiological needs are the most fundamental needs of any human being, hence they have been given the lower and the largest level. As one moves up the levels in the pyramid, the necessity of the needs decrease, and the needs become less fundamental and more difficult to achieve.

The most fundamental and basic four layers of the pyramid contain what Maslow called “deficiency needs” or “d-needs”: esteem, friendship and love, security, and physical needs. If these “deficiency needs” are not met – with the exception of the most fundamental (physiological) need – there may not be a physical indication, but the individual will feel anxious and tense.

Maslow’s theory suggests that the most basic level of needs must be met before the individual will strongly desire (or focus motivation upon) the secondary or higher level needs.

However it is possible for a person to achieve two needs simultaneously, or to skip one need onto the higher need. However, the latter case is very rare and is hardly achieved.

Maslow’s theory had come under scrutiny and criticism, but is now mostly accepted. It is studied by the students of psychology, sociology, and economics all over the world. Maslow’s theory is one of the most influential, acknowledged, and well-known works in the field of psychology.


Purushartha in Indian scriptures

It is interesting to note that a concept nearly similar to the Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is found in ancient Indian scriptures.

Derived from the Vedas and first encountered in Dharmashastras, Purushartha translates to purpose of man (Purush=Man+Artha=Purpose). The concept signifies the objective or purpose of man.

The concept consists of four ideals, starting with Kama (love, pleasure, physiological needs), and ending with Moksha (liberation/salvation/transcendence), with Artha (prosperity, political order) and Dharma (duty, righteousness) in between in increasing orders.

According to Purushartha model, Dharma acts as the pivot around which all the other objectives of man revolve.  A person is fully aware at all times that his actions need to be in harmony with his fellow man and nature.  Any action performed without observing dharma is bound to bring unhappiness and suffering, delaying ones liberation.

What distinguishes the Purushastra from Maslow’s theory in that in the former, it is very essential to fulfill one need in order to move on to achieve the next one. One cannot be prosperous without satisfying his/her physiological needs, and Moksha can only be achieved when a person has observed and maintained his/her Dharma despite having and fulfilling the Kama and Artha needs.


Possible Reasons for the Parallel Observed

Human beings are well aware of what drives them into action and what makes them happy or unhappy. Hence, rudiments of Maslow’s theory of hierarchy of needs can be found in most cultures. In Hinduism, one can almost see a parallel between the two.

This might be a matter of complete coincidence. It can also mean that the ancient Indian scholars made significant progress in the field which we now call as psychology. However, it will be dishonest on the intellectual part to take a firm stand on either of the situations owing to the lack of evidence which can confirm either of the possibilities.