Classical Indian Philosophy: Kumarila and Prabhakara School

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The Theory of Khyati

  • Prabhakara accepts the theory of Akhyativada.
  • It is a theory of error which does not admit of error in the logical sense.
  • So, all knowledge is valid per se and error is only partial truth.
  • Kumarila accepts the theory of Viparitakhyativada.
  • There is a logical distinction between truth or knowledge and error.
  • Error is misapprehension and not non-apprehension.

The Concept of Self

  • Kumarila and Prabhakara believe in the plurality of the self or the individual soul.
  • They regard soul as eternal, infinite substance which is the substratum of consciousness and which is karta, bhogta, and Janta.
  • According to Prabhakara, consciousness is an accidental quality or attribute of the soul.
  • On the other hand, according to Kumarila, consciousness is modal change in the self.

The Concept of Liberation

  • According to both Kumarila and Prabhakara, liberation is cessation from pain and suffering.
  • So, both, accept Karma-kanda.
  • Liberation is possible only via the means of karmas or actions.
  • According to Prabhakara, vedas are an end it itself, so, obedience to Vedas is an end in-itself.
  • The acts are performed for the sake of the act and not for desired results.
  • According to him, liberation is not a state of bliss.
  • On the other hand, Kumarila believes in psychological hedonism.
  • Actions are the means which we perform in-order to realise the end, liberation.

MCQs

1. According to ________, liberation is bliss

A. Kanada

B. Prabhakara

C. Kumarila

D. Narayana Bhatta

Answer: C

Explanation: According to Kumarila, liberation is a state of bliss. According to Prabhakara, liberation is not a state of bliss.

2. ________ believe in the plurality of self

A. Kanada

B. Prabhakara

C. Kumarila

D. Both B and C

Answer: D

Explanation: Kumarila and Prabhakara believe in the plurality of the self or the individual soul.

3. According to ________, consciousness is modal change in the self.

A. Kanada

B. Prabhakara

C. Kumarila

D. Both B and C

Answer: C

Explanation: According to Kumarila, consciousness is modal change in the self. So, self is the object of self-consciousness.

4. According to ________, there is a logical difference between knowledge and error.

A. Kanada

B. Prabhakara

C. Kumarila

D. Both B and C

Answer: C

Explanation: Kumarila accepts the theory of Viparitakhyativada. There is a logical distinction between truth or knowledge and error.

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