Samkhya

Samkhya, also Sankhya, Sāṃkhya, or Sāṅkhya (Sanskrit: सांख्य, IAST: sāṃkhya) is one of the six orthodox (astika) schools of Hindu philosophy and classical Indian philosophy. Sage Kapila is traditionally credited as a founder of the Samkhya school. It is regarded as one of the oldest philosophical systems in India.

The major text of this Vedic school is the extant Samkhya Karika circa 200 CE. This text (in karika 70) identifies Sāmkhya as a Tantra and its philosophy was one of the main influences both on the rise of the Tantras as a body of literature, as well as Tantra sadhana. The Samkhya school is dualistic and atheistic.

Sāmkhya is an enumerationist philosophy that is strongly dualist. Sāṃkhya denies the final cause of Ishvara (God). Sāmkhya philosophy regards the universe as consisting of two realities; Puruṣa (consciousness) and prakriti (phenomenal realm of matter). Jiva is that state in which puruṣa is bonded to prakriti through the glue of desire, and the end of this bondage is moksha. Samkhya does not describe what happens after moksha and does not mention anything about Ishwara or God, because after liberation there is no essential distinction of individual and universal puruṣa.

There are differences between Samkhya and Western forms of dualism. In the West, the fundamental distinction is between mind and body which are both inanimate or jaDa in Sāmkhya. In Samkhya, however, the dualism is between the real self (as puruṣa) and matter (prakriti). There are three possible states of existence of puruṣa: the liberated state when puruṣa has no connection with prakriti, the bonded state without life when puruṣa is bonded to 13 karanas but does not have a body, and the physical state as a living being or jiva when this jiva gets attached to a body. Therefore, the theory of rebirth or transmigration of the soul is inherent in Samkhya.

Read more about Samkhya:  Historical Development, Fundamentals, Influence On Other Schools

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