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Re: Six religions

From: Mani Varadarajan (mani_at_best.com)
Date: Wed Aug 04 1999 - 15:00:21 PDT

Sri Ramagopal wrote:
> > para madha bangam #52:
...
> > aiyamaRa aRu samayak kuRumbaRuththOm

> > (The boastful arguments of the six religions
> > have been destroyed.)

> What are the six religions? I would appreciate if our learned Bhagavathas
> explain these six religions.

Dear Ramagopal,

The "six religions" usually refer to the following traditions 
which were prevalent in the time of the author of the Brahma-Sutras 
and Alvars:

  (1) Buddhism or 'SAkya', propagated by the Buddha also
      known as SAkyamuni (saakkiyar in Tamil)
  (2) Jainism or the tradition of the 'sramaNas' (samaNar in Tamil)
  (3) The materialistic atheism of the Carvaka philosophy,
      started by Uluka
  (4) Naiyayikas, or adherents of the nyAya philosophy
  (5) The atheistic sAnkhyA philosophy of a thinker named Kapila
  (6) A variant of the yoga philosophy of Patanjali

[ Please correct me if I am wrong or if there are other enumerations ]

Each of these is refuted on logical grounds by Badarayana, the author of 
the Brahma-Sutras and first known systemizer of the Vedanta philosophy.
It is interesting to note that anything in these various systems that
does not contradict the Vedanta philosophy or Vedic practice is accepted,
and only those theories which contract the Vedas are rejected.

Nammalvar also refers to "six systems" in Tiruvaymoli 4.10.x.

adiyEn rAmAnuja dAsan
Mani