What is SankhyaDarshana ?

Samkhya is one of the six schools of classical Indian philosophy. Regarded as one of the oldest philosophical systems in India, Sage Kapila is traditionally considered as the founder of the Samkhyaschool.Samkhya is said to be one of the oldest metaphysical worldviews and philosophies of salvation. The word Sankhya means count, and Samkhya is called so because it describes the world in an enumerative way. Twenty five principles are enlisted in Samkhya. In an alternate and more elaborate version, these principles along with their attributes are enlisted as sixty principles. For this reason Samkhya is also called SasthiTantra (meaning the philosophy of sixty principles).

Samkhya was one of the six orthodox systems (astika) of Hindu philosophy. Samkhya is an enumerationist philosophy that is strongly dualist. Samkhya philosophy regards the universe as consisting of two realities: Purusha (consciousness) and Prakriti (phenomenal realm of matter). They are the experiencer and the experienced.Prakriti further bifurcates into animate and inanimate realms. On the other hand, Purusha separates out into countless Jivas or individual units of consciousness as souls which fuse into the mind and body of the animate branch of Prakriti.

Like the other darsanas, Samkhya has a concept of bondage (bandha) and liberation (moksa). The lack of discriminative knowledge between Purusa (self or pure consciousness) and prakrti (nature or primal principle underlying matter), is the source of binding (bandha). Gaining the discriminative knowledge and identification with Purusa is the source of liberation (moksa), which is the culmination of evolution. Binding and liberation are for prakrti, and not really for Purusa. They are only superimposed on the Purusa, because of prakrti-Purusa association. The world is not only apparent, but real.

Purusa is asamga-cidrupa, the eternally conscious having no real association. He is the abode of knowledge, but in the liberated state the Purusa's attribute is neither jada (insentient/inert) nor anamda (bliss). Samkhya affirms multiplicity of Self/Purusa.


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