To anyone who has studied the great systems of Hindu Philosophy it would be apparent how difficult and intricate they are, and not unoften contradictory; and though it is sometimes believed that they are connected with and supplement one another, the point has never been satisfactorily proved. Again, each of them claims the Vedas for its authority, but no one has known how the claim can be established.
But if our interpretation of the gods of the Vedas be correct, viz., that they personify the great creative energies of the universe, we should be able to show how the different systems of Philosophy, claiming the Vedas for their source, are based on the same fundamental idea of creative energies as the gods themselves. There are, as we have explained, five great creative energies of life, from the Soul to the two magnetic poles of Ether, and each of them is represented by a pair of Vedic gods. There are also five great systems of Hindu Philosophy Vedanta, Yoga, Vaisesika, Nyaya, and Sankhya; and of these Vedanta is usually divided into two parts, Purva and Uttara Mimamsa, so that we commonly speak of six and not five systems. Now if we can establish a connection between the five great creative energies of life, the five pairs of principal Vedic gods, and the five chief systems of Hindu Philosophy, we shall have solved a most interesting problem in sacred Hindu literature. Indeed, as we shall presently see, they are all most closely allied and refer to the same idea of the evolution of life in Brahmanda or the universal Cell.
In other words, the great systems of Hindu Philosophy are but an attempt to examine the whole problem of the creation, evolution, and end of life from different points of view. When we examine it in the light of the character of the Soul or its vehicle Prana (breath), as well as Vishnu and Vayu, we have Vedanta; when we examine it in the light of Buddhi as well as Agni and Indra, we have Yoga; when we study it in the light of the character of the Mind and also Rudra and Soma, we have the Vaisesika; when we survey it in the light of the senses of knowledge as well as of Heaven and Earth and the two Asvins, we have Nyaya; and when we consider it in the light of the senses of action, the character of Food or vital seed as well as Varuna and Vrtra, we have the Sankhya system of thought.
The Origin of Systems of Philosophy; Five Ways of Creation: There is yet another way of looking at the problem. We have observed that the ancient Hindus constructed all their theories of life and death after the process of the evolution and destruction of the organic cell. They reared their fabric of the unknown on the basis of the known, and there is but one foundation for all speculations and systems of thought. We see around us that all organic life, at least in its higher forms, arises out of the union of the male and the female. In pure theory, however, we might conclude that it is the male alone, or the female alone, or else the union of the two that is the cause of all life. The first two ideas are clear and unambiguous; but the second may be examined from three points of view. We might hold that the share of the male is greater than that of the female, or else the two are equal, or that the share of the female is greater than that of the male.
Transforming the male and female into Purusha and Prakrti, or God and Nature, the supreme Male and the supreme Female, we see that there are five different ways of examining the problem of creation. We might hold that God is the sole creator of the universe; or that he is associated with Nature or Prakrti, but the hitter's share in the work of creation comparatively small; or that the two have an equal share; or that the share of Nature is more than that of God; or finally, that it is Nature that is the sole creator of the universe.
These are five different ways of examining the problem of creation, and they constitute another basis for the five corresponding systems of Hindu Philosophy. Vedanta is based on the creative character of the Soul and Prana, and the idea of Vishnu and Vayu, and holds that God is the sole creator of the universe. Yoga is based on the character of Buddhi and the idea of Agni and Indra, and holds that Nature or Prakrti is associated with God in the work of creation, but its share is smaller than his. Vaisesika is based on the creative energy of the Mind and the idea of Rudra and Soma, and holds that God and Nature are equal partners in the work of life; Nyaya, based on the creative energy of the senses of knowledge and the idea of Heaven and Earth and the two Asvins, holds, that God is associated with Nature in creating the world, but the share of the latter is much greater than his. Finally, Sankhya, based on the creative energy of the senses of action and the vital seed as well as the idea of Varuna and Vrtra, holds that all life is created by Nature or Prakrti alone.