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Many Paths

Hinduism has many dimensions.
  1. Scholarly dimension (the systems or traditions based on gnana or knowledge),
  2. Devotional or popular dimension (the systems and traditions based on bhakti)
  3. Physical dimension (the esoteric, fierce and sexual cults of tantrism) and
  4. Folk dimension (superstition, animism, animal sacrifices etc, practiced by rural people, tribals etc.)
Many paths:
  1. The karma yOga , the way of work,
  2. Bhakthi yOga , the way of devotion. Bhakthi refers to "unqualified love/devotion" to God or a devotional experience.
  3. dhyAna yOga , the way of meditation, leading to wisdom or enlightenment (gnAna) (ஞானம்). Thus

Different schools

  1. Sankhya:. Sage Kapila is traditionally considered to be the founder of the Sankhya school. It is regarded as one of the oldest philosophical systems in India. Sankhya philosophy regards the universe as consisting of two realities: Purusha (consciousness) and Prakriti (phenomenal realm of matter). They are the experiencer and the experienced. Prakriti further bifurcates into animate and inanimate realms. Likewise, Purusha separates out into countless Jivas or individual units of consciousness as souls which fuse into the mind and body of the animate branch of Prakriti.
  2. Yoga, a school that is concerned principally with the cultivation of the mind using meditation (dhyana) to further one's acquaintance with reality and finally achieve liberation.
  3. Nyaya or Logic: School of philosophical speculation based on texts known as the Nyaya Sutras, which were written by Aksapada Gautama from around the 2nd century CE. It used syllogisms or logical appeals: a logical argument in which one proposition (the conclusion) is inferred from two others (the premises) of a certain form.
  4. Vaisheshika, an empiricist school of atomism: It postulates that all objects in the physical universe are reducible to a finite number of atoms. Originally proposed by the sage Kanāda around the 2nd century BC
  5. Mimamsa: Its primary enquiry is into the nature of dharma (the "higher truth" or ultimate reality of the universe) based on close hermeneutics (Interpretive understanding that seeks systematically to access the essence of things. The study of the interpretation of written texts) of the Vedas. Its core tenets are ritualism, anti-asceticism and anti-mysticism. The central aim of the school is elucidation of the nature of dharma, understood as a set ritual obligations and prerogatives to be performed properly. The nature of dharma isn't accessible to reason or observation and must be inferred from the authority of the revelation contained in the Vedas, which are considered eternal and authorless.
  6. Vedanta (synonym for the Upanishads): Vedanta came to be the dominant current of Hinduism in the post-medieval period. It teaches that the believer's goal is to transcend the limitations of self-identity and realize one's unity with Brahman. Vedanta is not restricted or confined to one book and there is no sole source for Vedantic philosophy. Vedanta is based on two simple propositions: human nature is divine and the aim of human life is to realize that human nature is divine.

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