“Upon death, we take with us only what we have given.”
Charles Eisenstein

Sacred Economics

Samkhya – Introduction

n

Samkhya is the oldest school of Hindu philosophy (placed around 6th century B.C.) and the first attempt to harmonize the philosophy of the Veda’s through reason. It it based on scientific principles of conservation, transformation and dissipation of energy.

It’s purpose is to provide knowledge which will forever remove the cause of misery and thereby release the soul from its bondage. It indicates three kinds of misery:  from intrinsic causes (such as disorders of the body & mind), extrinsic causes (such as other men or inanimate objects) and supernatural causes (such as the atmosphere or planets). The misery of the soul is said to be caused by its intimate association with the body. Bondage (of the soul to the body) is claimed to be purely an illusion caused by incorrect knowledge of the true nature of things. Therefore it is believed that discriminate knowledge will forever release the soul from all misery.

Samkhya deals exclusively with the empirical world which is governed by the rules of reason and can be known. It leaves the more transcendental speculations to other systems, maintaining that questions pertaining to the beginning of things are not conductive to enlightenment.

The phenomenal order of the universe is considered as a dynamic order, an eternal process of unfolding, without beginning or end. All has evolved from an Uncaused Cause – a postulated  absolute beginning which cannot be conceived by the intellect.

Samkhya postulates two ultimate realities (logical principles) – Spirit (Purusa) and Matter (Prakrti) to account for all experience.  A fundamental tenet of Samkhya is that creation is impossible, for something cannot come out of nothing. Change implies something to change; whatever is, always is, and whatever is not, never is.

Samkhya divides cosmic evolution into 25 categories grouped into four:

  1. Cosmic Spirit (Purusa) – that which is neither produced nor produces.
  2. Cosmic Substance (Prakrti) – that which is not produced but produces.
  3. 7 Evolvents – those which are produced and do produce.
  4. 16 Evolutes – those which are produced and do not produce.
This entry was posted in Yoga, Yoga Philosophy. You are welcome to read 8 comments and to add yours

One Comment

  1. Posted July 6, 2010 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyed reading. Thanks.

    Bob Weisenberg

7 Trackbacks

  • By Yoga – What is Human? | iamronen on August 12, 2009 at 2:59 am

    […] – ParamanusVaisesika – Ether, Time, SpaceVaisesika – Soul & MindSamkhya – IntroductionSamkhya – Spirit & Matter (3 Gunas)Samkhya – Evolvents & EvolutesYoga – […]

  • By Vedanta | iamronen on August 17, 2009 at 3:21 am

    […] – ParamanusVaisesika – Ether, Time, SpaceVaisesika – Soul & MindSamkhya – IntroductionSamkhya – Spirit & Matter (3 Gunas)Samkhya – Evolvents & EvolutesYoga – […]

  • By Kasmir Saivism – Introduction | iamronen on August 19, 2009 at 4:17 am

    […] – ParamanusVaisesika – Ether, Time, SpaceVaisesika – Soul & MindSamkhya – IntroductionSamkhya – Spirit & Matter (3 Gunas)Samkhya – Evolvents & EvolutesYoga – […]

  • By Pranayama – Nostril Control | iamronen on August 24, 2009 at 7:24 am

    […] Prana. Prana is associated with the animating principle of Purusa (Cosmic Spirit) described in Samkhya philosophy – a life […]

  • By It’s not Yoga, It’s You | iamronen on June 30, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    […] based on an assumption that existence is a meeting of Spirit & Matter (as described in Samkhya philosophy). It is a rich set of tools and techniques that can be used to play the magical […]

  • By Yoga Sutra – Chapter 2 Sutra 29 | iamronen on July 11, 2010 at 10:37 am

    […] of Samkhya. Samkhya is one of the ancient philosophies of India and is closely related to Yoga. Samkhya is a practical philosophy based on a number of […]

  • By Permaculture and Yoga: Introduction | iamronen on May 28, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    […] my Yoga studies and that seem to be aligned with permaculture. Since Yoga philosophy is rooted in Samkhya philosophy and Samkhya is a metaphysical description of existence … it makes sense that the two should […]

Leave a Reply