Darśana (Philosophy) and Dharma (Religion): Relation between realized knowledge and practice of truth
Dr. Alka Tyagi
In this paper, there is an attempt to examine the correlation between religion and philosophy in India. In fact, the concepts of darśana and dharma that are translated into English as religion and philosophy are very loaded concepts and cannot be reduced by to their English equivalents. The term ‘darśana’ comes from root ‘dṛś’- ‘to see’ or ‘to realize’. The word ‘dharma’ has its origin in ‘dhṛ’- ‘to hold’. In that sense, that which has been realized, as truth is darśana; and the truth thus realized is to be held sacred in life - to hold on to the truth itself is dharma. Therefore, darśana is the source of dharma. In this paper, I have taken up two important advaita darśanas (non-dual philosophical systems), which are also the respective source for very well developed religious traditions that correspond to their philosophy. The paper attempts to reveal how the difference in philosophy makes a difference to the dhārmic that includes not only the religious but also an entire range of practices denoted by the word dharma in the life of Indians. These two philosophies are: Adi Śaṅkarācārya’s advaita Vedanta and Kashmiri Trika darśana. Towards the end, we find that Trika darśana which attained culmination in the 11th century is exemplary in its exegetical exposition and fills the gaps in the logic that we come across in the advaita Vedanta of Ācārya Śaṅkara.