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DHARMIC PHILOSOPHIES : THEORIES
ancient scriptures of the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita also present a very wide and
integral teaching. Any number of philosophical systems can be derived from them. None can
claim to represent them solely. Even the Puranas and Tantras have many teachings on many
different levels and a great deal of symbolism. Again the emphasis is more on a broad
teaching that gives individuals of different temperaments their own access to the truth
rather than on setting forth any particular system.
Out of these broader teachings various more specific philosophies have arisen in time.
Such philosophies and their differences of opinion are not always given much importance in
the Yogic teaching as it emphasizes direct perception and individual experience over text
book statements, even those of the greatest sages. Each individual has his own particular
mind-set, as does each culture and each age. What is rational to one person or group may
appear irrational to another. Hence there can never be any ultimate philosophy everyone
will agree upon. It is contrary to the nature of the mind and language itself, which tend
towards differentiation. To insist upon such agreement is not helpful either as it denies
the creative unfoldment of the mind.
However, philosophies can be important for developing the rational powers of the mind and
for attuning reason to the spiritual quest. They are a kind of mental exercise or
gymnastic which can render the mind more fluid.