By Surendranath Dasgupta
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Extra info for A History of Indian Philosophy, Volume I
D. C. Jaina philosophy was probably prior to the Buddha. But except in its earlier days, when it came in conflict with the doctrines of the Buddha, it does not seem to me that the Jaina thought came much in contact with other systems of Hindu thought. Excepting in some forms of Vai@s@nava thought in later times, Jaina thought is seldom alluded to by the Hindu 31 writers or later Buddhists, though some Jains like Haribhadra and Gu@naratna tried to refute the Hindu and Buddhist systems. The non-aggressive nature of their religion and ideal may to a certain extent explain it, but there may be other reasons too which it is difficult for us to guess.
To take an illustration from the beginning of the B@rhadâra@nyaka we find that instead of the actual performance of the horse sacrifice (_as'vamedha_) there are directions for meditating upon the dawn (_U@sas_) as the head of the horse, the sun as the eye of the horse, the air as its life, and so on. This is indeed a distinct advancement of the claims of speculation or meditation over the actual performance of the complicated ceremonials of sacrifice. The growth of the subjective speculation, as being capable of bringing the highest good, gradually resulted in the supersession of Vedic ritualism and the establishment of the claims of philosophic meditation and self-knowledge as the highest goal of life.
E. XII. Introd. p. ] 14 system, unparalleled anywhere but among the Gnostics. C. The Âra@nyakas. As a further development of the Brâhma@nas however we get the Âra@nyakas 43 or forest treatises. These works were probably composed for old men who had retired into the forest and were thus unable to perform elaborate sacrifices requiring a multitude of accessories and articles which could not be procured in forests. In these, meditations on certain symbols were supposed to be of great merit, and they gradually began to supplant the sacrifices as being of a superior order.
A History of Indian Philosophy, Volume I by Surendranath Dasgupta