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BPYC-131: Indian Philosophy

BPYC-131: Indian Philosophy

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2022-23

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Assignment Code: BPYC-131/ASST/TMA/2022-23

Course Code: BPYC-131

Assignment Name: Indian Philosophy

Year: 2022-2023

Verification Status: Verified by Professor


Note: 1) All questions are compulsory.

2) All questions carry equal marks.

3) The word limit for answering Questions 1 and 2 in about 400 words each.


1. Explain,


a) Concept of Sunyatā of Nāgārjuna,

Ans) The theme of śūnyatā emerged from the Buddhist doctrines of Anatta (nonexistence of the self) and Pratitya-samutpada (Interdependent Arising). The Suñña Sutta, part of the Pali Canon, relates that the monk Ananda, the attendant to Gautama Buddha asked, "It is said that the world is empty, the world is empty, lord. In what respect is it said that the world is empty?" The Buddha replied, "Insofar as it is empty of a self or of anything pertaining to a self: Thus, it is said, Ananda, that the world is empty.


Śūnyatā, (Sanskrit meaning "Emptiness" or "Voidness"), is an important Buddhist teaching which claims that nothing possesses essential, enduring identity because everything is interconnected in a chain of co-becoming and in a state of constant flux. In various schools of Buddhism, Śūnyatā is a key concept used to express that everything one encounters in life is empty of absolute identity, permanence, or an in-dwelling 'self' because everything is inter-related and mutually dependent—never wholly self-sufficient or independent. The importance of this insight is especially emphasized in Mahayana Buddhism.


Widely misconceived as a doctrine of nihilism, the teaching on the emptiness of persons and phenomena is unique to Buddhism, constituting an important metaphysical critique of theism with profound implications for epistemology and phenomenology. In the English language, the word emptiness suggests the absence of spiritual meaning or a personal feeling of alienation, but in Buddhism the realization of the emptiness of phenomena enables liberation from the limitations of form in the cycle of uncontrolled rebirth.


b) Asatkāryavāda of Nyāya School

Ans) A key element of Nyya Philosophy is the philosophy of cause. Before discussing the Nyya theory of causation, let's first define what causation is. ’.


The notion of causation consists of two crucial elements. A cause is one thing, and an effect is another. An unconditional and constant antecedent of an effect is referred to as a cause. An effect is described as an unqualified and constant result of a cause. The Nyya theory of causation is also referred to as "astkryavda" or "rmbhava."


They observed that an effect is caused by a cause, but that the two are not the same. the same. As a result, a new product emerges that wasn't present earlier in the cycle. Every effect, thus, is a brand-new substance that wasn't discovered before in the c For illustration, a pot is fashioned of ause. Here, the cause is clay, and the effect is a pot. fect. In Naiyyikas' opinion, the pot represents a new creation, a new beginning that did not exist in the past. In doing so, they support the hypothesis of "Asatkry." avāda.’


2. Write a note on the Concept of Avidya propounded by Śaṁkara and the refutation of the concept of Avidyā/Māyā by Rāmānuja. 20

Ans) Avidya propounded by Śaṁkara: Since Brahman cannot ever be objectified, perceptual cognition cannot provide knowledge of the self or Brahman. Since Brahman is a self-evident, luminous being, knowledge of Brahman is referred to as svarpa-jna, or knowledge of one's own nature, as opposed to vrtti-jna, or knowledge of the world. edge.


Samkar asserts that no method of knowledge can reveal Brahman. Because all forms of knowledge are based on the dualistic relationship between the knower and the known. Brahman has no dualities. Between the knower and the object of knowledge, there is no duality. Even the Bible is in Avdya duality. However, because they contain affirmations about Brahman, they can be employed as a signpost for Brahman. It is demonstrated that there is no time gap between the knower and the knowing when one becomes the Brahman. Since the space in a pot and space are identical and one, but we see them as separate due to the pot's wall when it is intact, you cannot perceive ghatakas when the pot is destroyed. c. As mud is found in all mud-pots and vessels, Brahman is everywhere. The term "pot" and "bottle" are merely modifications of "dirt," which is the only thing that exists in reality. e. Similarly, only Brahman is genuine; all else is a modification and has no separate existence from Brahma. n.


Avidy is organic; it has no beginning. It involves perceiving something as being different or another thing. It is sadasadvilaka because neither it nor Brahman is real or existent (Brahman is the only actual things like, flower in the sky Because of this, we are unable to understand Avidy. For interpretation, things must fall into either the real or the unreal category. Since no interpretation is possible, avidya is referred to as anirvachniya for this reason.


Refutation of the concept of Avidyā/Māyā by Rāmānuja: Rmnuja disagrees with Advaitin's theory of illusion because it violates seven unachievable assumptions about the idea of M. The seven impossibilities are covered in great detail in Ri Bha. Rmnuja claims that, first, the very nature of MY is subject to contradictions, second, that the inexplicable nature is illogical, third, that there is no way of knowledge in support of this theory of MY, that the locus of MY cannot be determined as Brahman or jVA, fourth, that the obscuring nature of MY is incomprehensible, fifth, that it is untenable to remove MY by valid knowledge, and finally, that the very idea of My logic is flawed.


3. Answers any two of the following questions in about 250 words each. 2*10= 20


a) Explain the concept of Anekāntavāda.

Ans) The word anekāntavāda is a compound of two Sanskrit words: anekānta and vāda. The word anekānta itself is composed of three root words, "an" (not), "eka" (one) and "anta" (end, side), together it connotes "not one ended, sided", "many-sidedness", or "manifoldness".[12][13][14] The word vāda means "doctrine, way, speak, thesis". The term anekāntavāda is translated by scholars as the doctrine of "many-sidedness", "non-onesidedness", or "many pointedness".


In fact, the Jain doctrine of anekantavada emerges to be a social attempt at equality and respect to all diverse views and ideologies through the philosophical elucidation of the truth or reality. The idea of reality gets enrichment in Jainism as it proposes that the reality cannot be the one and ultimate, it can have multi-dimensional form. So, what is reality for one individual may not be the reality for others.


Anekantavada brings forth a synthesis, a happy blend and proposes that reality has many forms as seen by various individuals and all must respect the reality perceived by one-another. This is the way the society can progress, and this is the way to resolve conflicts and to aim at peace in society. The Jain doctrine of anekāntavāda, also known as anekāntatva, states that truth and reality is complex and always has multiple aspects. Reality can be experienced, but it is not possible to totally express it with language.


Human attempts to communicate is naya, or "partial expression of the truth".Language is not Truth, but a means and attempt to express truth. From truth, according to Māhavira, language returns and not the other way around. One can experience the truth of a taste but cannot fully express that taste through language. Any attempts to express the experience is syāt, or valid "in some respect" but it still remains a "perhaps, just one perspective, incomplete". In the same way, spiritual truths are complex, they have multiple aspects, language cannot express their plurality, yet through effort and appropriate karma they can be experienced.


c) Explain the Buddhist concept of Pratityasamutpāda.

Ans) Pratītyasamutpāda, commonly translated as dependent origination, or dependent arising, is a key doctrine in Buddhism shared by all schools of Buddhism.It states that all dharmas (phenomena) arise in dependence upon other dharmas: "if this exists, that exists; if this ceases to exist, that also ceases to exist". The basic principle is that all things (dharmas, phenomena, principles) arise in dependence upon other things.


The doctrine includes depictions of the arising of suffering (anuloma-paṭiccasamuppāda, "with the grain", forward conditionality) and depictions of how the chain can be reversed (paṭiloma-paṭiccasamuppāda, "against the grain", reverse conditionality).These processes are expressed in various lists of dependently originated phenomena, the most well-known of which is the twelve links or nidānas (Pāli: dvādasanidānāni, Sanskrit: dvādaśanidānāni).


The traditional interpretation of these lists is that they describe the process of a sentient being's rebirth in saṃsāra, and the resultant duḥkha (suffering, pain, unsatisfactoriness),and they provide an analysis of rebirth and suffering that avoids positing an atman (unchanging self or eternal soul).The reversal of the causal chain is explained as leading to the cessation of rebirth (and thus, the cessation of suffering).


Another interpretation regards the lists as describing the arising of mental processes and the resultant notion of "I" and "mine" that leads to grasping and suffering.Several modern western scholars argue that there are inconsistencies in the list of twelve links and regard it to be a later synthesis of several older lists and elements, some of which can be traced to the Vedas.


The doctrine of dependent origination appears throughout the early Buddhist texts. It is the main topic of the Nidana Samyutta of the Theravada school's Saṃyuttanikāya. A parallel collection of discourses also exists in the Chinese Saṁyuktāgama.


4. Answers any four of the following questions in about 150 words each. 4*5= 20


a) Write a note on As͎t͎ānga Yoga?

Ans) In Sanskrit, ashtanga means eight-limbed (asta- eight, anga- limb). Ashtanga Yoga is an eight-limbed path towards achieving the state of Yoga, also known as Samadhi. The definition of Ashtanga Yoga is found in the Yoga Sutras of Patañjali, an ancient text on the theory and practice of Yoga thought to have been compiled in about 200 CE by Sage Patañjali. The Yoga Sutras of Patañjali is comprised of 196 sutras- short philosophical statements - on the theory and practice of Yoga, divided into four books, or padas. The Yoga Sutras are so succinct and are therefore almost incomprehensible without commentary. The most definitive commentary is by Veda Vyasa; his commentary is known as the Yoga Bhasya.


The Yoga Sutras begin with the highest teachings first, for those ready to enter into the final limbs of practice. In the second sutra of the first chapter, Samadhi Pada, we are offered the definition of Yoga: “Yogas citta vritti nirodah,” which can be translated as “Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind.” When the mind is stilled, and the state of Yoga is reached, the individual mind is at one with the Universal Mind and individual consciousness with Divine Consciousness, and we experience our divinity through unity. Yoga is not only the state of Yoga, but also the practice, or sadhana, we engage in on the path towards Yoga.


b) What are the arguments given by Sāṁkhya to prove the existence of Purus͎a.

Ans) Sāṅkhya has given for establishing the existence of purus̩a.

  1. Everything in this world has a purpose for someone. This is due to the inability of the conscious Prakti to utilise them. All of these compounds are so for Purusa or one's own use.

  2. Three gunas make up the universe's constituent parts. The purusa is beyond the three gunas and serves as their witness.

  3. Purusa is a pure consciousness that is outside the realm of experience and thought. It serves as the foundation for all information, whether good and bad. Without him, there can be no experience. He is the only source of all experiential knowledge, which explains why.

  4. It is unable to appreciate Prakti's creativity because she is unconscious. Therefore, in order to employ them, a conscious element is required. Since Prakti is the one to be enjoyed (bhogy), there must also be an individual to do so. There are people who attempt to find relief from the world's various sufferings. d. The desire for emancipation and liberty entails the existence of a person who may pursue and achieve liberation.


d) Write a note on the Ramanuja’s idea of God.

Ans) According to Ramanuja, God is the soul of souls. He is also the soul of nature. He identified God with the absolute. He is the immanent inner controller, the supreme real. He holds together in unity the dependent matter and the souls are His attributes. They are the body of God who is their souls. Our souls are souls in relation to God, they become his body and He is their soul. They form this body and are inseparable forms and utterly dependent on Him. Matter and soul are called attributes of God.


God is their substance, controller, supporter, the whole and the principal end. The Brihadaranyaka tells us that God is the Antarjamin of the universe: “ He who inhabit water, yet is within water, whom water does not know Who controls water from within, He is yourself. The inner controller, the Immortal, who controls fire from within who controls sky from within who controls the air from within who controls heaven from within…who controls the sun from within Who controls all beings from within the Inner controller, the Immortal.


God is Brahman and Brahman according to Ramanuja is a qualified unity. God is Karana Brahman. He is the supreme cause and instrumental cause of the world. The finite self is not independent, it is dependent on God. According to Ramanuja, Brahman is Savishesha. It is regarded as self with excellent attributes but is devoid of all evil qualities.


f) What is the significance of Adhyāsa theory in Śaṁkara’s Philosophy?

Ans) Shankara points to scriptural texts, either stating identity (“Thou art that”) or denying difference (“There is no duality here”), as declaring the true meaning of brahman without qualities (nirguna). Other texts that ascribe qualities (saguna) to brahman refer not to the true nature of brahman but to its personality as God (Ishvara).

Human perception of the unitary and infinite brahman as the plural and finite is due to human beings’ innate habit of superimposition (adhyasa), by which thou is ascribed to the I (I am tired; I am happy; I am perceiving). The habit stems from human ignorance (ajnana or avidya), which can be avoided only by the realization of the identity of brahman. Nevertheless, the empirical world is not unreal, for it is a misapprehension of the real brahman. A rope is mistaken for a snake; there is only a rope and no snake, but, as long as it is thought of as a snake, it is one.


Shankara had many followers who continued and elaborated his work, notably the 9th-century philosopher Vachaspati Mishra. Advaita literature is extremely extensive, and its influence is still felt in modern Hindu thought.


5. Write a short note on any five of the followings in about 100 words each. 5*4= 20


a) Śruti

Ans) Shruti in Sanskrit means "that which is heard" and refers to the body of most authoritative, ancient religious texts comprising the central canon of Hinduism.Manusmriti states: Śrutistu vedo vijñeyaḥ meaning, "Know that Vedas are Śruti". Thus, it includes the four Vedas including its four types of embedded texts—the Samhitas, the Upanishads, the Brahmanas and the Aranyakas.


Śrutis have been variously described as a revelation through anubhava,or of primordial origins realized by ancient Rishis.In Hindu tradition, they have been referred to as apauruṣeya.The Śruti texts themselves assert that they were skillfully created by Rishis (sages), after inspired creativity, just as a carpenter builds a chariot.


Shruti (Śruti) differs from other sources of Hindu philosophy, particularly smṛti "which is remembered" or textual material. These works span much of the history of Hinduism, beginning with the earliest known texts and ending in the early historical period with the later Upanishads.Of the śrutis, the Upanishads alone are widely known, and the central ideas of the Upanishadic śrutis are at the spiritual core of Hindus.


c) Aparā Vidyā

Ans) The first section of the four Vedas—Rk, Yajur, Sma, and Atharva—along with their six limbs, or vedngas, is called Apar Vidy. These are Shiksha (phonetics), Chandas (prosody), Vykarana (grammar), Nirukta (etymology), Kalpa (rituals), and Jyotisa (astrology) [Knowledge of them is intended to result in financial gain. S. Apari vidya, the science of matter, encompasses all knowledge in the world. The Vedic Karma Knda primarily provides science of many physical and material disciplines.


The Upsan section of the Vedas discusses mental pursuits like meditation. These cerebral and physical pursuits, as well as the knowledge they provide, are treated as complimentary. Y. Their knowledge draws anybody into the world of tangible, transient things. Each ceremony bestows the benefit it confers upon the individual. The sacrifice acts and their results described in the Vedic mantras are real, in the opinion of the Upanisadic seers, if they are carried out with faith.


e) Sāmānyalaks͎an͎a

Ans) Sāmānyalaks͎an͎a is the idea of the universal. It is the sense of class, in other words. Nyya claims that the universals are a separate class of entities. They are present in all of the specific classes that belong to the same class. For instance, a hen becomes a hen because it possesses the innate, universal quality of "henness." Another illustration is when we refer to someone as a "man" because they exhibit the characteristic trait of "manhood" that we associate with men. In daily life, we only see specifics like a table, cow, pen, etc. but not universals like tableness, cowness, penness, et cetera. It is acknowledged that anytime we observe the particulars, we first perceive the universal that exists in each individual. These views are regarded as unusual perceptions by Naiyāyikas.


g) Samprajn͂ āt Samādhi

Ans) The aspirant becomes aware of his or her concentration in this phase of Samādhi. When the citta is concentrated on one thing, the same kind of thing changes in the citta. This is referred to as Samprajn͂ or aware Samādhi. Focusing on one thing helps you control your distracted mind, which frequently becomes attached to various things in your environment. Consequently, it is claimed that concentrating on one object entails distancing yourself from other objects. Attention to a specific object alleviates worldly pains, which are brought on by attachment to and enthusiasm for worldly pleasures, which facilitates realising an object's meaning and liberates one from the karmic cycle. flux.


h) Upamāna

Ans) Upamāṇa (Sanskrit: "comparison"), upamana in Hinduism, is a pramāṇa, or means of having knowledge of something. Observance of similarities provides knowledge of the relationship between the two. It also means getting the knowledge of an unknown thing by comparing it with a known thing. For example, assume a situation where a man has not seen a gavaya or a wild cow and doesn't know what it is. A forester told him that a wild cow is an animal like a country cow, but she is more furious and has big horn in her forehead. In a later period, he comes across a wild cow in a forest and recognizes it as the wild cow by comparing the descriptions made by the forester. This knowledge is possible due to the upamana or comparison. Thus, upamana is the knowledge of the relation between a name and the object it denotes by that name.

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