The Kapila And The Pâtañjala Samkhya Yoga

Prakriti Tattvas

by Surendranath Dasgupta


A Review. Scroll Up

The examination of the two ancient Nâstika schools of Buddhism and Jainism of two different types ought to convince us that serious philosophical speculations were indulged in, in circles other than those of the Upanisad sages. That certain practices known as Yoga were generally prevalent amongst the wise seems very probable, for these are not only alluded to in some of the Upanisads but were accepted by the two nâstika schools of Buddhism and Jainism. Whether we look at them from the point of view of ethics or metaphysics, the two Nâstika schools appear to have arisen out of a reaction against the sacrificial disciplines of the Brahmanas. Both these systems originated with the Ksattriyas and were marked by a strong aversion against the taking of animal life, and against the doctrine of offering animals at the sacrifices.

The doctrine of the sacrifices supposed that a suitable combination of rites, rituals, and articles of sacrifice had the magical power of producing the desired effect--a shower of rain, the birth of a son, the routing of a huge army, etc. The sacrifices were enjoined generally not so much for any moral elevation, as for the achievement of objects of practical welfare. The Vedas were the eternal revelations which were competent so to dictate a detailed procedure, that we could by following it proceed on a certain course of action and refrain from other injurious courses in such a manner that we might obtain the objects we desired by the accurate performance of any sacrifice. If we are to define truth in accordance with the philosophy of such a ritualistic culture we might say that, that alone is true, in accordance with which we may realize our objects in the world about us; the truth of Vedic injunctions is shown by the practical attainment of our objects. Truth cannot be determined _a priori_ but depends upon the test of experience [2].

It is interesting to notice that Buddhism and Jainism though probably born out of a reactionary movement against this artificial creed, yet could not but be influenced by some of its fundamental principles which, whether distinctly formulated or not, were at least tacitly implied in all sacrificial performances. Thus we see that Buddhism regarded all production and destruction as being due to the assemblage of conditions, and defined truth as that which could produce any effect. But to such a logical extreme did the Buddhists carry these doctrines that they ended in formulating the doctrine of absolute momentariness [Footnote ref 3]. Turning to the Jains we find that they also regarded the value of knowledge as consisting in the help that it offers in securing what is good for us and avoiding what is evil; truth gives us such an account of things that on proceeding according to its directions we may verify it by actual experience. Proceeding on a correct estimate of things we may easily avail ourselves of what is good and avoid what is bad. The Jains also believed that changes were produced by the assemblage of conditions, but they did not carry this doctrine to its logical extreme. There was change in the world as well as permanence. The Buddhists had gone so far that they had even denied the existence of any permanent soul. The Jains said that no ultimate, one-sided and absolute view of things could be taken, and held that not only the happening of events was conditional, but even all our judgments, are true only in a limited sense. This is indeed true for common sense, which we acknowledge as superior to mere _a priori_ abstractions, which lead to absolute and one-sided conclusions. By the assemblage of conditions, old qualities in things disappeared, new qualities came in, and a part remained permanent. But this common-sense view, though in agreement with our ordinary experience, could not satisfy our inner _a priori_ demands for finding out ultimate truth, which was true not relatively but absolutely. When asked whether anything was true, Jainism would answer, "yes, this is true from this point of view, but untrue from that point of view, while that is also true from such a point of view and untrue from another." But such an answer cannot satisfy the mind which seeks to reach a definite pronouncement, an absolute judgment.

The main departure of the systems of Jainism and Buddhism from the sacrificial creed consisted in this, that they tried to formulate a theory of the universe, the reality and the position of sentient beings and more particularly of man. The sacrificial creed was busy with individual rituals and sacrifices, and cared for principles or maxims only so far as they were of use for the actual performances of sacrifices. Again action with the new systems did not mean sacrifice but any general action that we always perform. Actions were here considered bad or good according as they brought about our moral elevation or not. The followers of the sacrificial creed refrained from untruth not so much from a sense of personal degradation, but because the Vedas had dictated that untruth should not be spoken, and the Vedas must be obeyed. The sacrificial creed wanted more and more happiness here or in the other world. The systems of Buddhist and Jain philosophy turned their backs upon ordinary happiness and wanted an ultimate and unchangeable state where all pains and sorrows were for ever dissolved (Buddhism) or where infinite happiness, ever unshaken, was realized. A course of right conduct to be followed merely for the moral elevation of the person had no place in the sacrificial creed, for with it a course of right conduct could be followed only if it was so dictated in the Vedas, Karma and the fruit of karma (_karmaphala_) only meant the karma of sacrifice and its fruits-temporary happiness, such as was produced as the fruit of sacrifices; knowledge with them meant only the knowledge of sacrifice and of the dictates of the Vedas. In the systems however, karma, karmaphala, happiness, knowledge, all these were taken in their widest and most universal sense. Happiness or absolute extinction of sorrow was still the goal, but this was no narrow sacrificial happiness but infinite and unchangeable happiness or destruction of sorrow; karma was still the way, but not sacrificial karma, for it meant all moral and immoral actions performed by us; knowledge here meant the knowledge of truth or reality and not the knowledge

Such an advance had however already begun in the Upanishads which had anticipated the new systems in all these directions. The pioneers of these new systems probably drew their suggestions both from the sacrificial creed and from the Upanisads, and built their systems independently by their own rational thinking. But if the suggestions of the Upanisads were thus utilized by heretics who denied the authority of the Vedas, it was natural to expect that we should find in the Hindu camp such germs of rational thinking as might indicate an attempt to harmonize the suggestions of the Upanisads and of the sacrificial creed in such a manner as might lead to the construction of a consistent and well-worked system of thought. Our expectations are indeed fulfilled in the Sâmkhya philosophy, germs of which may be discovered in the Upanisads.

The Germs of Sâmkhya in the Upanisads. Scroll Up

It is indeed true that in the Upanisads there is a large number of texts that describe the ultimate reality as the Brahman, the infinite, knowledge, bliss, and speak of all else as mere changing forms and names. The word Brahman originally meant in the earliest Vedic literature, _mantra_, duly performed sacrifice, and also the power of sacrifice which could bring about the desired result [Footnote ref 4]. In many passages of the Upanisads this Brahman appears as the universal and supreme principle from which all others derived their powers. Such a Brahman is sought for in many passages for personal gain or welfare. But through a gradual process of development the conception of Brahman reached a superior level in which the reality and truth of the world are tacitly ignored, and the One, the infinite, knowledge, the real is regarded as the only Truth. This type of thought gradually developed into the monistic Vedanta as explained by S'ankara. But there was another line of thought which was developing alongside of it, which regarded the world as having a reality and as being made up of water, fire, and earth. There are also passages in S'vetas'vatara and particularly in Maitrâyanî from which it appears that the Sâmkhya line of thought had considerably developed, and many of its technical terms were already in use [Footnote ref 5]. But the date of Maitrâyanî has not yet been definitely settled, and the details found there are also not such that we can form a distinct notion of the Sâmkhya thought as it developed in the Upanisads. It is not improbable that at this stage of development it also gave some suggestions to Buddhism or Jainism, but the Sâmkhya-Yoga philosophy as we now get it is a system in which are found all the results of Buddhism and Jainism in such a manner that it unites the doctrine of permanence of the Upanisads with the doctrine of momentariness of the Buddhists and the doctrine of relativism of the Jains.

Sâmkhya and Yoga Literature. Scroll Up

The main exposition of the system of Sâmkhya and Yoga in this section has been based on the _Sâmkhya kârikâ_, the _Sâmkhya sûtras_, and the _Yoga sûtras_ of Patañjali with their commentaries and sub-commentaries. The _Sâmkhya kârikâ_ (about 200 A.D.) was written by Îs'varakrsna. The account of Sâmkhya given by Caraka (78 A.D.) represents probably an earlier school and this has been treated separately. Vâcaspati Mis'ra (ninth century A.D.) wrote a commentary on it known as _Tattvakaumudî_. But before him Gaudapâda and Râjâ wrote commentaries on the _Sâmkhya kârikâ_ [Footnote ref 6]. Nârâyanatîrtha wrote his _Candrikâ_ on Gaudapâda's commentary. The _Sâmkhya sûtras_ which have been commented on by Vijñâna Bhiksu (called _Pravacanabhâsya_) of the sixteenth century seems to be a work of some unknown author after the ninth century. Aniruddha of the latter half of the fifteenth century was the first man to write a commentary on the _Sâmkhya sûtras_. Vijñâna Bhiksu wrote also another elementary work on Sâmkhya known as _Sâmkhyasâra_. Another short work of late origin is _Tattvasamâsa_ (probably fourteenth century). Two other works on Sâmkhya, viz Sîmânanda's _Sâmkhyatattvavivecana_ and Bhâvâganes'a's _Sâmkhyatattvayâthârthyadîpana_ (both later than Vijñânabhiksu) of real philosophical value have also been freely consulted. Patañjali's _Yoga sûtra_ (not earlier than 147 B.C.) was commented on by Vâysa (400 A.D.) and Vyâsa's bhâsya commented on by Vâcaspati Mis'ra is called _Tattvavais'âradî_, by Vijñâna Bhiksu _Yogavârttika_, by Bhoja in the tenth century _Bhojavrtti_, and by Nâges'a (seventeenth century) _Châyâvyâkhyâ_.

Amongst the modern works to which I owe an obligation I may mention the two treatises _Mechanical, physical and chemical theories of the Ancient Hindus and the Positive Sciences of the Ancient Hindus_ by Dr B.N. Seal and my two works on Yoga _Study of Patanjali_ published by the Calcutta University, and _Yoga Philosophy in relation to other Indian Systems of Thought_ which is shortly to be published, and my _Natural Philosophy of the Ancient Hindus_, awaiting publication with the Calcutta University.

Gunaratna mentions two other authoritative Sâmkhya works, viz. _Mâtharabhâsya_ and _Âtreyatantra_. Of these the second is probably the same as Caraka's treatment of Sâmkhya, for we know that the sage Atri is the speaker in Caraka's work and for that it was called Âtreyasamhitâ or Âtreyatantra. Nothing is known of the Mâtharabhâsya [Footnote ref 7].

An Early School of Sâmkhya. Scroll Up

It is important for the history of Sâmkhya philosophy that Caraka's treatment of it, which so far as I know has never been dealt with in any of the modern studies of Sâmkhya, should be brought before the notice of the students of this philosophy. According to Caraka there are six elements (_dhâtus_), viz. the five elements such as âkâs'a, vâyu etc. and cetanâ, called also purusa. From other points of view, the categories may be said to be twenty-four only, viz. the ten senses (five cognitive and five conative), manas, the five objects of senses and the eightfold prakrti (prakrti, mahat, ahamkâra and the five elements)[Footnote ref 8]. The manas works through the senses. It is atomic and its existence is proved by the fact that in spite of the existence of the senses there cannot be any knowledge unless manas is in touch with them. There are two movements of manas as indeterminate sensing (_ûha_) and conceiving (_vicâra_) before definite understanding (_buddhi_) arises. Each of the five senses is the product of the combination of five elements but the auditory sense is made with a preponderance of akasa, the sense of touch with a preponderance of air, the visual sense with a preponderance of light, the taste with a preponderance of water and the sense of smell with a preponderance of earth. Caraka does not mention the tanmâtras at all [Footnote ref 9]. The conglomeration of the sense-objects (_indriyârtha_) or gross matter, the ten senses, manas, the five subtle bhûtas and prakrti, mahat and ahamkâra taking place through rajas make up what we call man. When the sattva is at its height this conglomeration ceases. All karma, the fruit of karma, cognition, pleasure, pain, ignorance, life and death belongs to this conglomeration. But there is also the purusa, for had it not been so there would be no birth, death, bondage, or salvation. If the âtman were not regarded as cause, all illuminations of cognition would be without any reason. If a permanent self were not recognized, then for the work of one others would be responsible. This purusa, called also _paramâtman_, is beginningless and it has no cause beyond itself. The self is in itself without consciousness. Consciousness can only come to it through its connection with the sense organs and manas. By ignorance, will, antipathy, and work, this conglomeration of purusa and the other elements takes place. Knowledge, feeling, or action, cannot be produced without this combination. All positive effects are due to conglomerations of causes and not by a single cause, but all destruction comes naturally and without cause. That which is eternal is never the product of anything. Caraka identifies the avyakta part of prakrti with purusa as forming one category. The vikâra or evolutionary products of prakrti are called ksetra, whereas the avyakta part of prakrti is regarded as the ksetrajña (_avyaktamasya ksetrasya ksetrajñamrsayo viduh_). This avyakta and cetanâ are one and the same entity. From this unmanifested prakrti or cetanâ is derived the buddhi, and from the buddhi is derived the ego (_ahamkâra_) and from the ahamkâra the five elements and the senses are produced, and when this production is complete, we say that creation has taken place. 

At the time of pralaya (periodical cosmic dissolution) all the evolutes return back to prakrti, and thus become unmanifest with it, whereas at the time of a new creation from the purusa the unmanifest (_avyakta_), all the manifested forms--the evolutes of buddhi, ahamkâra, etc.--appear [Footnote ref 10]. This cycle of births or rebirths or of dissolution and new creation acts through the influence of rajas and tamas, and so those who can get rid of these two will never again suffer this revolution in a cycle. The manas can only become active in association with the self, which is the real agent. This self of itself takes rebirth in all kinds of lives according to its own wish, undetermined by anyone else. It works according to its own free will and reaps the fruits of its karma. Though all the souls are pervasive, yet they can only perceive in particular bodies where they are associated with their own specific senses. All pleasures and pains are felt by the conglomeration (_râs'i_), and not by the âtman presiding over it. From the enjoyment and suffering of pleasure and pain comes desire (_trsnâ_) consisting of wish and antipathy, and from desire again comes pleasure and pain. Moksa means complete cessation of pleasure and pain, arising through the association of the self with the manas, the sense, and sense-objects. If the manas is settled steadily in the self, it is the state of yoga when there is neither pleasure nor pain. When true knowledge dawns that "all are produced by causes, are transitory, rise of themselves, but are not produced by the self and are sorrow, and do not belong to me the self," the self transcends all. This is the last renunciation when all affections and knowledge become finally extinct. There remains no indication of any positive existence of the self at this time, and the self can no longer be perceived [Footnote ref 11]. It is the state of Brahman. Those who know Brahman call this state the Brahman, which is eternal and absolutely devoid of any characteristic. This state is spoken of by the Sâmkhyas as their goal, and also that of the Yogins. When rajas and tamas are rooted out and the karma of the past whose fruits have to be enjoyed are exhausted, and there is no new karma and new birth, the state of moksa comes about. Various kinds of moral endeavours in the shape of association with good people, abandoning of desires, determined attempts at discovering the truth with fixed attention, are spoken of as indispensable means. Truth (tattva) thus discovered should be recalled again and again [Footnote ref 12] and this will ultimately effect the disunion of the body with the self. As the self is avyakta (unmanifested) and has no specific nature or character, this state can only be described as absolute cessation (_mokse nivrttirnihs'esâ_).

The main features of the Sâmkhya doctrine as given by Caraka are thus: 1. Purusa is the state of avyakta. 2. By a conglomera of this avyakta with its later products a conglomeration is formed which generates the so-called living being. 3. The tanmâtras are not mentioned. 4. Rajas and tamas represent the bad states of the mind and sattva the good ones. 5. The ultimate state of emancipation is either absolute annihilation or characterless absolute existence and it is spoken of as the Brahman state; there is no consciousness in this state, for consciousness is due to the conglomeration of the self with its evolutes, buddhi, ahamkâra etc. 6. The senses are formed of matter (_bhautika_).

This account of Sâmkhya agrees with the system of Sâmkhya propounded by Pañcas'ikha (who is said to be the direct pupil of Âsuri the pupil of Kapila, the founder of the system) in the Mahâbhârata XII. 219. Pañcas'ikha of course does not describe the system as elaborately as Caraka does. But even from what little he says it may be supposed that the system of Sâmkhya he sketches is the same as that of Caraka [Footnote ref 13]. Pañcas'ikha speaks of the ultimate truth as being avyakta (a term applied in all Sâmkhya literature to prakrti) in the state of purusa (_purusâvasthamavyaktam_). If man is the product of a mere combination of the different elements, then one may assume that all ceases with death. Caraka in answer to such an objection introduces a discussion, in which he tries to establish the existence of a self as the postulate of all our duties and sense of moral responsibility. The same discussion occurs in Pañcas'ikha also, and the proofs for the existence of the self are also the same. Like Caraka again Pañcas'ikha also says that all consciousness is due to the conditions of the conglomeration of our physical body mind,--and the element of "cetas." They are mutually independent, and by such independence carry on the process of life and work. None of the phenomena produced by such a conglomeration are self. All our suffering comes in because we think these to be the self. Moksa is realized when we can practise absolute renunciation of these phenomena. The gunas described by Pañcas'ikha are the different kinds of good and bad qualities of the mind as Caraka has it. The state of the conglomeration is spoken of as the ksetra, as Caraka says, and there is no annihilation or eternality; and the last state is described as being like that when all rivers lose themselves in the ocean and it is called alinga (without any characteristic)--a term reserved for prakrti in later Sâmkhya. This state is attainable by the doctrine of ultimate renunciation which is also called the doctrine of complete destruction (_samyagbadha_).

Gunaratna (fourteenth century A.D.), a commentator of _Saddars'anasamuccaya_, mentions two schools of Sâmkhya, the Maulikya (original) and the Uttara or (later) [Footnote ref 14]. Of these the doctrine of the Maulikya Sâmkhya is said to be that which believed that there was a separate pradhâna for each âtman (_maulikyasâmkhyâ hyâtmânamâtmânam prati prthak pradhânam vadanti_). This seems to be a reference to the Sâmkhya doctrine I have just sketched. I am therefore disposed to think that this represents the earliest systematic doctrine of Sâmkhya.

In _Mahâbhârata_ XII. 318 three schools of Sâmkhya are mentioned, viz. those who admitted twenty-four categories (the school I have sketched above), those who admitted twenty-five (the well-known orthodox Sâmkhya system) and those who admitted twenty-six categories. This last school admitted a supreme being in addition to purusa and this was the twenty-sixth principle. This agrees with the orthodox Yoga system and the form of Sâmkhya advocated in the _Mahâbhârata_. The schools of Sâmkhya of twenty-four and twenty-five categories are here denounced as unsatisfactory. Doctrines similar to the school of Sâmkhya we have sketched above are referred to in some of the other chapters of the _Mahâbhârata_ (XII. 203, 204). The self apart from the body is described as the moon of the new moon day; it is said that as Râhu (the shadow on the sun during an eclipse) cannot be seen apart from the sun, so the self cannot be seen apart from the body. The selfs (_s'arîrinah_) are spoken of as manifesting from prakrti.

We do not know anything about Âsuri the direct disciple of Kapila [Footnote ref 15]. But it seems probable that the system of Sâmkhya we have sketched here which appears in fundamentally the same form in the _Mahâbhârata_ and has been attributed there to Pañcas'ikha is probably the earliest form of Sâmkhya available to us in a systematic form. Not only does Gunaratna's reference to the school of Maulikya Sâmkhya justify it, but the fact that Caraka (78 A.U.) does not refer to the Sâmkhya as described by Îs'varakrsna and referred to in other parts of _Mahâbhârata_ is a definite proof that Îs'varakrsna's Sâmkhya is a later modification, which was either non-existent in Caraka's time or was not regarded as an authoritative old Sâmkhya view.

Wassilief says quoting Tibetan sources that Vindhyavâsin altered the Sâmkhya according to his own views [Footnote ref 16]. Takakusu thinks that Vindhyavâsin was a title of Îs'varakrsna [Footnote ref 17] and Garbe holds that the date of Îs'varakrsna was about 100 A.D. It seems to be a very plausible view that Îs'varakrsna was indebted for his kârikâs to another work, which was probably written in a style different from what he employs. The seventh verse of his _Kârikâ_ seems to be in purport the same as a passage which is found quoted in the _Mahâbhâsya_ of Patañjali the grammarian (147 B.C.) [Footnote ref 18]. The subject of the two passages are the enumeration of reasons which frustrate visual perception. This however is not a doctrine concerned with the strictly technical part of Sâmkhya, and it is just possible that the book from which Patañjali quoted the passage, and which was probably paraphrased in the Âryâ metre by Îs'varakrsna was not a Sâmkhya book at all. But though the subject of the verse is not one of the strictly technical parts of Sâmkhya, yet since such an enumeration is not seen in any other system of Indian philosophy, and as it has some special bearing as a safeguard against certain objections against the Sâmkhya doctrine of prakrti, the natural and plausible supposition is that it was the verse of a Sâmkhya book which was paraphrased by Îs'varakrsna.

The earliest descriptions of a Sâmkhya which agrees with Îs'varakrsna's Sâmkhya (but with an addition of Îs'vara) are to be found in Patañjali's _Yoga sûtras_ and in the _Mahâbhârata;_ but we are pretty certain that the Sâmkhya of Caraka we have sketched here was known to Patañjali, for in _Yoga sûtra_ I. 19 a reference is made to a view of Sâmkhya similar to this.

From the point of view of history of philosophy the Sâmkhya of Caraka and Pañcas'ikha is very important; for it shows a transitional stage of thought between the Upanisad ideas and the orthodox Sâmkhya doctrine as represented by Îs'varakrsna. On the one hand its doctrine that the senses are material, and that effects are produced only as a result of collocations, and that the purusa is unconscious, brings it in close relation with Nyâya, and on the other its connections with Buddhism seem to be nearer than the orthodox Sâmkhya.

We hear of a _Sastitantras'âstra_ as being one of the oldest Sâmkhya works. This is described in the _Ahirbudhnya Samhitâ_ as containing two books of thirty-two and twenty-eight chapters [Footnote ref 19]. A quotation from _Râjavârttika_ (a work about which there is no definite information) in Vâcaspati Mis'ra's commentary on the Sâmkhya kârika_(72) says that it was called the _Sastitantra because it dealt with the existence of prakrti, its oneness, its difference from purusas, its purposefulness for purusas, the multiplicity of purusas, connection and separation from purusas, the evolution of the categories, the inactivity of the purusas and the five _viparyyayas_, nine tustis, the defects of organs of twenty-eight kinds, and the eight siddhis [Footnote ref 20].

But the content of the _Sastitantra_ as given in _Ahirbudhnya Samhitâ_ is different from it, and it appears from it that the Sâmkhya of the _Sastitantra_ referred to in the _Ahirbudhnya Samhitâ_ was of a theistic character resembling the doctrine of the Pañcarâtra Vaisnavas and the _Ahirbudhnya Samhitâ_ says that Kapila's theory of Sâmkhya was a Vaisnava one. Vijñâna Bhiksu, the greatest expounder of Sâmkhya, says in many places of his work _Vijñânâmrta Bhâsya_ that Sâmkhya was originally theistic, and that the atheistic Sâmkhya is only a _praudhivâda_ (an exaggerated attempt to show that no supposition of Îs'vara is necessary to explain the world process) though the _Mahâbhârata_ points out that the difference between Sâmkhya and Yoga is this, that the former is atheistic, while the latter is theistic. The discrepancy between the two accounts of _Sastitantra_ suggests that the original _Sastitantra_ as referred to in the _Ahirbudhnya Samhitâ_ was subsequently revised and considerably changed. This supposition is corroborated by the fact that Gunaratna does not mention among the important Sâmkhya works _Sastitantra_ but _Sastitantroddhâra_ (revised edition of _Sastitantra_) [Footnote ref 21]. Probably the earlier Sastitantra was lost even before Vâcaspati's time.

If we believe the Sastitantra referred to in the _Ahirbudhnya Samhitâ_ to be in all essential parts the same work which was composed by Kapila and based faithfully on his teachings, then it has to be assumed that Kapila's Sâmkhya was theistic [Footnote ref 22]. It seems probable that his disciple Âsuri tried to popularise it. But it seems that a great change occurred when Pañcas'ikha the disciple of Âsuri came to deal with it. For we know that his doctrine differed from the traditional one in many important respects. It is said in _Sâmkhya kârikâ_ (70) that the literature was divided by him into many parts (_tena bahudhâkrtam tantram_). The exact meaning of this reference is difficult to guess. It might mean that the original _Sastitantra_ was rewritten by him in various treatises. It is a well-known fact that most of the schools of Vaisnavas accepted the form of cosmology which is the same in most essential parts as the Sâmkhya cosmology. This justifies the assumption that Kapila's doctrine was probably theistic. But there are a few other points of difference between the Kapila and the Pâtañjala Sâmkhya (Yoga). The only supposition that may be ventured is that Pañcas'ikha probably modified Kapila's work in an atheistic way and passed it as Kapila's work. If this supposition is held reasonable, then we have three strata of Sâmkhya, first a theistic one, the details of which are lost, but which is kept in a modified form by the Pâtañjala school of Sâmkhya, second an atheistic one as represented by Pañcas'ikha, and a third atheistic modification as the orthodox Sâmkhya system. An important change in the Sâmkhya doctrine seems to have been introduced by Vijñâna Bhiksu (sixteenth century A.D.) by his treatment of gunas as types of reals. I have myself accepted this interpretation of Sâmkhya as the most rational and philosophical one, and have therefore followed it in giving a connected system of the accepted Kapila and the Pâtañjala school of Sâmkhya. But it must be pointed out that originally the notion of gunas was applied to different types of good and bad mental states, and then they were supposed in some mysterious way by mutual increase and decrease to form the objective world on the one hand and the totality of human psychosis on the other. A systematic explanation of the gunas was attempted in two different lines by Vijñâna Bhiksu and the Vaisnava writer Venkata [Footnote ref 23]. As the Yoga philosophy compiled by Patañjali and commented on by Vyâsa, Vâcaspati and Vijñana Bhiksu, agree with the Sâmkhya doctrine as explained by Vâcaspati and Vijñana Bhiksu in most points I have preferred to call them the Kapila and the Pâtañjala schools of Sâmkhya and have treated them together--a principle which was followed by Haribhadra in his _Saddars'anasamuaccaya_.

The other important Sâmkhya teachers mentioned by Gaudapâda are Sanaka, Sananda, Sanâtana and Vodhu. Nothing is known about their historicity or doctrines.

Sâmkhya kârikâ, Sâmkhya sûtra, Vâcaspati Mis'ra and Vijñâna Bhiksu. Scroll Up

A word of explanation is necessary as regards my interpretation of the Sâmkhya-Yoga system. The _Sâmkhya kârikâ_ is the oldest Sâmkhya text on which we have commentaries by later writers. The _Sâmkhya sûtra_ was not referred to by any writer until it was commented upon by Aniruddha (fifteenth century A.D.). Even Gunaratna of the fourteenth century A D. who made allusions to a number of Sâmkhya works, did not make any reference to the _Sâmkhya sûtra_, and no other writer who is known to have flourished before Gunaratna seems to have made any reference to the _Sâmkhya sûtra_. The natural conclusion therefore is that these sûtras were probably written some time after the fourteenth century. But there is no positive evidence to prove that it was so late a work as the fifteenth century. It is said at the end of the _Sâmkhya kârikâ_ of Îs'varakrsna that the kârikâs give an exposition of the Sâmkhya doctrine excluding the refutations of the doctrines of other people and excluding the parables attached to the original Sâmkhya works--the _Sastitantras'âstra_. The _Sâmkhya sûtras_ contain refutations of other doctrines and also a number of parables. It is not improbable that these were collected from some earlier Sâmkhya work which is now lost to us. It may be that it was done from some later edition of the _Sastitantras'âstra_ (_Sastitantroddhâra_ as mentioned by Gûnaratna), but this is a mere conjecture. There is no reason to suppose that the Sâmkhya doctrine found in the sûtras differs in any important way from the Sâmkhya doctrine as found in the _Sâmkhya kârikâ_. The only point of importance is this, that the _Sâmkhya sûtras_ hold that when the Upanisads spoke of one absolute pure intelligence they meant to speak of unity as involved in the class of intelligent purusas as distinct from the class of the gunas. As all purusas were of the nature of pure intelligence, they were spoken of in the Upanisads as one, for they all form the category or class of pure intelligence, and hence may in some sense be regarded as one. This compromise cannot be found in the _Sâmkhya kârikâ_. This is, however, a case of omission and not of difference. Vijñâna Bhiksu, the commentator of the _Sâmkhya sûtra_, was more inclined to theistic Sâmkhya or Yoga than to atheistic Sâmkhya. This is proved by his own remarks in his _Sâmkhyapravacanabhâsya, Yogavârttika_, and _Vijñânâmrtabhasya_ (an independent commentary on the Brahmasûtras of Bâdarâyana on theistic Sâmkhya lines). Vijñâna Bhiksu's own view could not properly be called a thorough Yoga view, for he agreed more with the views of the Sâmkhya doctrine of the Puranas, where both the diverse purusas and the prakrti are said to be merged in the end in Îs'vara, by whose will the creative process again began in the prakrti at the end of each pralaya. He could not avoid the distinctively atheistic arguments of the _Sâmkhya sûtras_, but he remarked that these were used only with a view to showing that the Sâmkhya system gave such a rational explanation that even without the intervention of an Îs'vara it could explain all facts. Vijñâna Bhiksu in his interpretation of Sâmkhya differed on many points from those of Vâcaspati, and it is difficult to say who is right. Vijñâna Bhiksu has this advantage that he has boldly tried to give interpretations on some difficult points on which Vâcaspati remained silent. I refer principally to the nature of the conception of the gunas, which I believe is the most important thing in Sâmkhya. Vijñâna Bhiksu described the gunas as reals or super-subtle substances, but Vâcaspati and Gaudapâda (the other commentator of the _Sâmkhya kârikâ_) remained silent on the point. There is nothing, however, in their interpretations which would militate against the interpretation of Vijñâna Bhiksu, but yet while they were silent as to any definite explanations regarding the nature of the gunas, Bhiksu definitely came forward with a very satisfactory and rational interpretation of their nature.

Since no definite explanation of the gunas is found in any other work before Bhiksu, it is quite probable that this matter may not have been definitely worked out before. Neither Caraka nor the _Mahâbhârata_ explains the nature of the gunas. But Bhiksu's interpretation suits exceedingly well all that is known of the manifestations and the workings of the gunas in all early documents. I have therefore accepted the interpretation of Bhiksu in giving my account of the nature of the gunas. The _Kârikâ_ speaks of the gunas as being of the nature of pleasure, pain, and dullness (_sattva, rajas_ and _tamas_). It also describes sattva as being light and illuminating, rajas as of the nature of energy and causing motion, and tamas as heavy and obstructing. Vâcaspati merely paraphrases this statement of the _Kârikâ_ but does not enter into any further explanations. Bhiksu's interpretation fits in well with all that is known of the gunas, though it is quite possible that this view might not have been known before, and when the original Sâmkhya doctrine was formulated there was a real vagueness as to the conception of the gunas.

There are some other points in which Bhiksu's interpretation differs from that of Vâcaspati. The most important of these may be mentioned here. The first is the nature of the connection of the buddhi states with the purusa. Vâcaspati holds that there is no contact (_samyoga_) of any buddhi state with the purusa but that a reflection of the purusa is caught in the state of buddhi by virtue of which the buddhi state becomes intelligized and transformed into consciousness. But this view is open to the objection that it does not explain how the purusa can be said to be the experiencer of the conscious states of the buddhi, for its reflection in the buddhi is merely an image, and there cannot be an experience (_bhoga_) on the basis of that image alone without any actual connection of the purusa with the buddhi. The answer of Vâcaspati Mis'ra is that there is no contact of the two in space and time, but that their proximity (_sannidhi_) means only a specific kind of fitness (_yogyatâ_) by virtue of which the purusa, though it remains aloof, is yet felt to be united and identified in the buddhi, and as a result of that the states of the buddhi appear as ascribed to a person. Vijñâna Bhiksu differs from Vâcaspati and says that if such a special kind of fitness be admitted, then there is no reason why purusa should be deprived of such a fitness at the time of emancipation, and thus there would be no emancipation at all, for the fitness being in the purusa, he could not be divested of it, and he would continue to enjoy the experiences represented in the buddhi for ever. Vijñana Bhiksu thus holds that there is a real contact of the purusa with the buddhi state in any cognitive state. Such a contact of the purusa and the buddhi does not necessarily mean that the former will be liable to change on account of it, for contact and change are not synonymous. Change means the rise of new qualities. It is the buddhi which suffers changes, and when these changes are reflected in the purusa, there is the notion of a person or experiencer in the purusa, and when the purusa is reflected back in the buddhi the buddhi state appears as a conscious state. The second, is the difference between Vâcaspati and Bhiksu as regards the nature of the perceptual process. Bhiksu thinks that the senses can directly perceive the determinate qualities of things without any intervention of manas, whereas Vâcaspati ascribes to manas the power of arranging the sense-data in a definite order and of making the indeterminate sense-data determinate. With him the first stage of cognition is the stage when indeterminate sense materials are first presented, at the next stage there is assimilation, differentiation, and association by which the indeterminate materials are ordered and classified by the activity of manas called samkalpa which coordinates the indeterminate sense materials into determinate perceptual and conceptual forms as class notions with particular characteristics. Bhiksu who supposes that the determinate character of things is directly perceived by the senses has necessarily to assign a subordinate position to manas as being only the faculty of desire, doubt, and imagination.

It may not be out of place to mention here that there are one or two passages in Vâcaspati's commentary on the _Sâmkhya kârikâ_ which seem to suggest that he considered the ego (_ahamkâra_) as producing the subjective series of the senses and the objective series of the external world by a sort of desire or will, but he did not work out this doctrine, and it is therefore not necessary to enlarge upon it. There is also a difference of view with regard to the evolution of the tanmâtras from the mahat; for contrary to the view of _Vyâsabhâsya_ and Vijñâna Bhiksu etc. Vâcaspati holds that from the mahat there was ahamkâra and from ahamkâra the tanmâtras [Footnote ref 24]. Vijñâna Bhiksu however holds that both the separation of ahamkâra and the evolution of the tanmâtras take place in the mahat, and as this appeared to me to be more reasonable, I have followed this interpretation. There are some other minor points of difference about the Yoga doctrines between Vâcaspati and Bhiksu which are not of much philosophical importance.

Yoga and Patañjali. Scroll Up

The word yoga occurs in the Rg-Veda in various senses such as yoking or harnessing, achieving the unachieved, connection, and the like. The sense of yoking is not so frequent as the other senses; but it is nevertheless true that the word was used in this sense in Rg-Veda and in such later Vedic works as the S'atapatha Brâhmana and the Brhadâranyaka Upanisad [Footnote ref 25]. The word has another derivative "yugya" in later Sanskrit literature [Footnote ref 26].

With the growth of religious and philosophical ideas in the Rg-Veda, we find that the religious austerities were generally very much valued. Tapas (asceticism) and brahmacarya (the holy vow of celibacy and life-long study) were regarded as greatest virtues and considered as being productive of the highest power [Footnote ref 27].

As these ideas of asceticism and self-control grew the force of the flying passions was felt to be as uncontrollable as that of a spirited steed, and thus the word yoga which was originally applied to the control of steeds began to be applied to the control of the senses [Footnote ref 28].

In Pânini's time the word yoga had attained its technical meaning, and he distinguished this root "_yuj samâdhau_" (_yuj_ in the sense of concentration) from "_yujir yoge_" (root _yujir_ in the sense of connecting). _Yuj_ in the first sense is seldom used as a verb. It is more or less an imaginary root for the etymological derivation of the word yoga [Footnote ref 29]. In the _Bhagavadgîtâ_, we find that the word yoga has been used not only in conformity with the root "_yuj-samâdhau_" but also with "_yujir yoge_" This has been the source of some confusion to the readers of the _Bhagavadgîtâ._ "Yogin" in the sense of a person who has lost himself in meditation is there regarded with extreme veneration. One of the main features of the use of this word lies in this that the _Bhagavadgîtâ_ tried to mark out a middle path between the austere discipline of meditative abstraction on the one hand and the course of duties of sacrificial action of a Vedic worshipper in the life of a new type of Yogin (evidently from _yujir yoge_) on the other, who should combine in himself the best parts of the two paths, devote himself to his duties, and yet abstract himself from all selfish motives associated with desires.

Kautilya in his _Arthas'âstra_ when enumerating the philosophic sciences of study names Sâmkhya, Yoga, and Lokâyata. The oldest Buddhist sûtras (e.g. the _Satipatthâna sutta_) are fully familiar with the stages of Yoga concentration. We may thus infer that self-concentration and Yoga had developed as a technical method of mystic absorption some time before the Buddha.

As regards the connection of Yoga with Sâmkhya, as we find it in the _Yoga sûtras_ of Patañjali, it is indeed difficult to come to any definite conclusion. The science of breath had attracted notice in many of the earlier Upanisads, though there had not probably developed any systematic form of prânâyâma (a system of breath control) of the Yoga system. It is only when we come to Maitrâyanî that we find that the Yoga method had attained a systematic development. The other two Upanisads in which the Yoga ideas can be traced are the S'vetâs'vatara and the Katha. It is indeed curious to notice that these three Upanisads of Krsna Yajurveda, where we find reference to Yoga methods, are the only ones where we find clear references also to the Sâmkhya tenets, though the Sâmkhya and Yoga ideas do not appear there as related to each other or associated as parts of the same system. But there is a remarkable passage in the Maitrâyanî in the conversation between S'âkyâyana and Brhad ratha where we find that the Sâmkhya metaphysics was offered in some quarters to explain the validity of the Yoga processes, and it seems therefore that the association and grafting of the Sâmkhya metaphysics on the Yoga system as its basis, was the work of the followers of this school of ideas which was subsequently systematized by Patañjali. Thus S'âkyâyana says: "Here some say it is the guna which through the differences of nature goes into bondage to the will, and that deliverance takes place when the fault of the will has been removed, because he sees by the mind; and all that we call desire, imagination, doubt, belief, unbelief, certainty, uncertainty, shame, thought, fear, all that is but mind. Carried along by the waves of the qualities darkened in his imagination, unstable, fickle, crippled, full of desires, vacillating he enters into belief, believing I am he, this is mine, and he binds his self by his self as a bird with a net. Therefore, a man being possessed of will, imagination and belief is a slave, but he who is the opposite is free. For this reason let a man stand free from will, imagination and belief--this is the sign of liberty, this is the path that leads to Brahman, this is the opening of the door, and through it he will go to the other shore of darkness. All desires are there fulfilled. And for this, they quote a verse: 'When the five instruments of knowledge stand still together with the mind, and when the intellect does not move, that is called the highest state [Footnote ref 30].'"

An examination of such Yoga Upanisads as S'ândilya, Yogatattva, Dhyânabindu, Hamsa, Amrtanâda, Varâha, Mandala Brâhmana, Nâdabindu, and Yogakundalû, shows that the Yoga practices had undergone diverse changes in diverse schools, but none of these show any predilection for the Sâmkhya. Thus the Yoga practices grew in accordance with the doctrines of the S'aivas and S'aktas and assumed a peculiar form as the Mantrayoga; they grew in another direction as the Hathayoga which was supposed to produce mystic and magical feats through constant practices of elaborate nervous exercises, which were also associated with healing and other supernatural powers. The Yogatattva Upanisad says that there are four kinds of yoga, the Mantra Yoga, Laya Yoga, Hathayoga and Râjayoga [Footnote ref 31]. In some cases we find that there was a great attempt even to associate Vedântism with these mystic practices. The influence of these practices in the development of Tantra and other modes of worship was also very great, but we have to leave out these from our present consideration as they have little philosophic importance and as they are not connected with our present endeavour.

Of the Pâtañjala school of Sâmkhya, which forms the subject of the Yoga with which we are now dealing, Patañjali was probably the most notable person for he not only collected the different forms of Yoga practices, and gleaned the diverse ideas which were or could be associated with the Yoga, but grafted them all on the Sâmkhya metaphysics, and gave them the form in which they have been handed down to us. Vâcaspati and Vijñâna Bhiksu, the two great commentators on the _Vyâsabhâsya_, agree with us in holding that Patañjali was not the founder of Yoga, but an editor. Analytic study of the sûtras brings the conviction that the sûtras do not show any original attempt, but a masterly and systematic compilation which was also supplemented by fitting contributions. The systematic manner also in which the first three chapters are written by way of definition and classification shows that the materials were already in existence and that Patañjali systematized them. There was no missionizing zeal, no attempt to overthrow the doctrines of other systems, except as far as they might come in by way of explaining the system. Patañjal is not even anxious to establish the system, but he is only engaged in systematizing the facts as he had them. Most of the criticism against the Buddhists occur in the last chapter. The doctrines of the Yoga are described in the first three chapters, and this part is separated from the last chapter where the views of the Buddhist are criticized; the putting of an "_iti_" (the word to denote the conclusion of any work) at the end of the third chapter is evidently to denote the conclusion of his Yoga compilation. There is of course another "_iti_" at the end of the fourth chapter to denote the conclusion of the whole work. The most legitimate hypothesis seems to be that the last chapter is a subsequent addition by a hand other than that of Patañjali who was anxious to supply some new links of argument which were felt to be necessary for the strengthening of the Yoga position from an internal point of view, as well as for securing the strength of the Yoga from the supposed attacks of Buddhist metaphysics. There is also a marked change (due either to its supplementary character or to the manipulation of a foreign hand) in the style of the last chapter as compared with the style of the other three.

The sûtras, 30-34, of the last chapter seem to repeat what has already been said in the second chapter and some of the topics introduced are such that they could well have been dealt with in a more relevant manner in connection with similar discussions in the preceding chapters. The extent of this chapter is also disproportionately small, as it contains only 34 sûtras, whereas the average number of sûtras in other chapters is between 51 to 55.

We have now to meet the vexed question of the probable date of this famous Yoga author Patañjali. Weber had tried to connect him with Kâpya Patamchala of S'atapatha Brâhmana [Footnote ref 32]; in Kâtyâyana's _Varttika_ we get the name Patañjali which is explained by later commentators as _patantah añjalayah yasmai_ (for whom the hands are folded as a mark of reverence), but it is indeed difficult to come to any conclusion merely from the similarity of names. There is however another theory which identifies the writer of the great commentary on Pânini called the _Mahâbhâsya_ with the Patañjali of the _Yoga sûtra_. This theory has been accepted by many western scholars probably on the strength of some Indian commentators who identified the two Patañjalis. Of these one is the writer of the _Patañjalicarita_ (Râmabhadra Dîksîta) who could not have flourished earlier than the eighteenth century. The other is that cited in S'ivarâma's commentary on _Vâsavadattâ_ which Aufrecht assigns to the eighteenth century. The other two are king Bhoja of Dhâr and Cakrapânidatta, the commentator of _Caraka,_ who belonged to the eleventh century A.D. Thus Cakrapâni says that he adores the Ahipati (mythical serpent chief) who removed the defects of mind, speech and body by his _Pâtañjala mahâbhâsya_ and the revision of _Caraka._ Bhoja says: "Victory be to the luminous words of that illustrious sovereign Ranaranigamalla who by composing his grammar, by writing his commentary on the Patañjala and by producing a treatise on medicine called _Râjamrgânka_ has like the lord of the holder of serpents removed defilement from speech, mind and body." The adoration hymn of Vyâsa (which is considered to be an interpolation even by orthodox scholars) is also based upon the same tradition. It is not impossible therefore that the later Indian commentators might have made some confusion between the three Patañjalis, the grammarian, the Yoga editor, and the medical writer to whom is ascribed the book known as _Pâtañjalatantra,_ and who has been quoted by S'ivadâsa in his commentary on _Cakradatta_ in connection with the heating of metals.

Professor J.H. Woods of Harvard University is therefore in a way justified in his unwillingness to identify the grammarian and the Yoga editor on the slender evidence of these commentators. It is indeed curious to notice that the great commentators of the grammar school such as Bhartrhari, Kaiyyata, Vâmana, Jayâditya, Nâges'a, etc. are silent on this point. This is indeed a point against the identification of the two Patañjalis by some Yoga and medical commentators of a later age. And if other proofs are available which go against such an identification, we could not think the grammarian and the Yoga writer to be the same person.

Let us now see if Patañjali's grammatical work contains anything which may lead us to think that he was not the same person as the writer on Yoga. Professor Woods supposes that the philosophic concept of substance (_dravya_) of the two Patañjalis differs and therefore they cannot be identified. He holds that dravya is described in _Vyâsabhâsya_ in one place as being the unity of species and qualities (_sâmânyavis'esâtmaka_), whereas the _Mahâbhâsya_ holds that a dravya denotes a genus and also specific qualities according as the emphasis or stress is laid on either side. I fail to see how these ideas are totally antagonistic. Moreover, we know that these two views were held by Vyâdi and Vâjapyâyana (Vyâdi holding that words denoted qualities or dravya and Vâjapyâyana holding that words denoted species [Footnote ref 33]). Even Pânini had these two different ideas in "_jâtyâkhyâyâmekasmin bahuvacanamanyatarasyâm_" and "_sarûpânamekas'esamekavibhaktau_," and Patañjali the writer of the _Mahâbhâsya_ only combined these two views. This does not show that he opposes the view of _Vyâsabhâsya_, though we must remember that even if he did, that would not prove anything with regard to the writer of the sûtras. Moreover, when we read that dravya is spoken of in the _Mahâbhâsya_ as that object which is the specific kind of the conglomeration of its parts, just as a cow is of its tail, hoofs, horns, etc.--"_yat sâsnâlângulakakudakhuravisânyartharûpam_," we are reminded of its similarity with "_ayutasiddhâvayavabhedânugatah samûhah dravyam_" (a conglomeration of interrelated parts is called dravya) in the _Vyâsabhâsya_. So far as I have examined the _Mahâbhâsya_ I have not been able to discover anything there which can warrant us in holding that the two Patañjalis cannot be identified. There are no doubt many apparent divergences of view, but even in these it is only the traditional views of the old grammarians that are exposed and reconciled, and it would be very unwarrantable for us to judge anything about the personal views of the grammarian from them. I am also convinced that the writer of the _Mahâbhâsya_ knew most of the important points of the Sâmkhya-Yoga metaphysics; as a few examples I may refer to the guna theory (1. 2. 64, 4. 1. 3), the Sâmkhya dictum of ex nihilo nihil fit (1. 1. 56), the ideas of time (2. 2. 5, 3. 2. 123), the idea of the return of similars into similars (1. 1. 50), the idea of change _vikâra_ as production of new qualities _gunântarâdhâna_ (5. 1. 2, 5. 1. 3) and the distinction of indriya and Buddhi (3. 3. 133). We may add to it that the _Mahâbhâsya_ agrees with the Yoga view as regards the Sphotavâda, which is not held in common by any other school of Indian philosophy. There is also this external similarity, that unlike any other work they both begin their works in a similar manner (_atha yogânus'âsanam_ and _athas'âbdânus'âsanam_)--"now begins the compilation of the instructions on Yoga" (_Yoga sûtrâ_)--and "now begins the compilation of the instructions of words" (_Mahâbhâsya_).

It may further be noticed in this connection that the arguments which Professor Woods has adduced to assign the date of the _Yoga sûtra_ between 300 and 500 A.D. are not at all conclusive, as they stand on a weak basis; for firstly if the two Patañjalis cannot be identified, it does not follow that the editor of the Yoga should necessarily be made later; secondly, the supposed Buddhist [Footnote ref 34] reference is found in the fourth chapter which, as I have shown above, is a later interpolation; thirdly, even if they were written by Patañjali it cannot be inferred that because Vâcaspati describes the opposite school as being of the Vijñâna-vâdi type, we are to infer that the sûtras refer to Vasubandhu or even to Nâgârjuna, for such ideas as have been refuted in the sûtras had been developing long before the time of Nâgârjuna.

Thus we see that though the tradition of later commentators may not be accepted as a sufficient ground to identify the two Patañjalis, we cannot discover anything from a comparative critical study of the _Yoga sûtras_ and the text of the _Mahâbhâsya,_ which can lead us to say that the writer of the _Yoga sûtras_ flourished at a later date than the other Patañjali.

Postponing our views about the time of Patañjali the Yoga editor, I regret I have to increase the confusion by introducing the other work _Kitâb Pâtanjal_, of which Alberuni speaks, for our consideration. Alberuni considers this work as a very famous one and he translates it along with another book called _Sânka_ (Sâmkhya) ascribed to Kapila. This book was written in the form of dialogue between master and pupil, and it is certain that this book was not the present _Yoga sûtra_ of Patañjali, though it had the same aim as the latter, namely the search for liberation and for the union of the soul with the object of its meditation. The book was called by Alberuni _Kitâb Pâtanjal_, which is to be translated as the book of Pâtañjala, because in another place, speaking of its author, he puts in a Persian phrase which when translated stands as "the author of the book of Pâtanjal." It had also an elaborate commentary from which Alberuni quotes many extracts, though he does not tell us the author's name. It treats of God, soul, bondage, karma, salvation, etc., as we find in the _Yoga sûtra_, but the manner in which these are described (so far as can be judged from the copious extracts supplied by Alberuni) shows that these ideas had undergone some change from what we find in the _Yoga sûtra_. Following the idea of God in Alberuni we find that he retains his character as a timeless emancipated being, but he speaks, hands over the Vedas and shows the way to Yoga and inspires men in such a way that they could obtain by cogitation what he bestowed on them. The name of God proves his existence, for there cannot exist anything of which the name existed, but not the thing. The soul perceives him and thought comprehends his qualities. Meditation is identical with worshipping him exclusively, and by practising it uninterruptedly the individual comes into supreme absorption with him and beatitude is obtained [Footnote ref 35].

The idea of soul is the same as we find in the _Yoga sûtra._ The idea of metempsychosis is also the same. He speaks of the eight siddhis (miraculous powers) at the first stage of meditation on the unity of God. Then follow the other four stages of meditation corresponding to the four stages we have as in the _Yoga sûtra._ He gives four kinds of ways for the achievement of salvation, of which the first is the _abhyâsa_ (habit) of Patañjali, and the object of this abhyâsa is unity with God [Footnote ref 36]. The second stands for vairâgya; the third is the worship of God with a view to seek his favour in the attainment of salvation (cf. _Yoga sûtra,_ I. 23 and I. 29). The fourth is a new introduction, namely that of rasâyana or alchemy. As regards liberation the view is almost the same as in the _Yoga sûtra,_ II. 25 and IV. 34, but the liberated state is spoken of in one place as absorption in God or being one with him. The Brahman is conceived as an _urddhvamûla avâks'âkha as'vattha_ (a tree with roots upwards and branches below), after the Upanisad fashion, the upper root is pure Brahman, the trunk is Veda, the branches are the different doctrines and schools, its leaves are the different modes of interpretation. Its nourishment comes from the three forces; the  object of the worshipper is to leave the tree and go back to the roots.

The difference of this system from that of the _Yoga sûtra_ is: (1) the conception of God has risen here to such an importance that he has become the only object of meditation, and absorption in him is the goal; (2) the importance of the yama [Footnote ref 37] and the niyama has been reduced to the minimum; (3) the value of the Yoga discipline as a separate means of salvation apart from any connection with God as we find in the _Yoga sûtra_ has been lost sight of; (4) liberation and Yoga are defined as absorption in God; (5) the introduction of Brahman; (6) the very significance of Yoga as control of mental states (_cittarttinirodha_) is lost sight of, and (7) rasâyana (alchemy) is introduced as one of the means of salvation.

From this we can fairly assume that this was a new modification of the Yoga doctrine on the basis of Patañjali's _Yoga sûtra_ in the direction of Vedânta and Tantra, and as such it probably stands as the transition link through which the Yoga doctrine of the sûtras entered into a new channel in such a way that it could be easily assimilated from there by later developments of Vedânta, Tantra and S'aiva doctrines [Footnote ref 38]. As the author mentions rasâyana as a means of salvation, it is very probable that he flourished after Nâgarjuna and was probably the same person who wrote _Pâtañjala tantra_, who has been quoted by S'ivadâsa in connection with alchemical matters and spoken of by Nâges'a as "_Carake_ Patañjalih." We can also assume with some degree of probability that it is with reference to this man that Cakrapani and Bhoja made the confusion of identifying him with the writer of the _Mahâbhâsya. It is also very probable that Cakrapâni by his line "_pâtañjalamahâbhâsyacarakapratisamskrtaih_" refers to this work which was called "Pâtañjala." The commentator of this work gives some description of the lokas, dvîpas and the sâgaras, which runs counter to the descriptions given in the _Vyâsabhâsya_, III. 26, and from this we can infer that it was probably written at a time when the _Vyâsabhâsya_ was not written or had not attained any great sanctity or authority. Alberuni also described the book as being very famous at the time, and Bhoja and Cakrapâni also probably confused him with Patañjali the grammarian; from this we can fairly assume that this book of Patañjali was probably written by some other Patañjali within the first 300 or 400 years of the Christian era; and it may not be improbable that when _Vyâsabhâsya_ quotes in III. 44 as "_iti_ Patañjalih," he refers to this Patañjali.

The conception of Yoga as we meet it in the Maitrâyana Upanisad consisted of six angas or accessories, namely prânâyâma, pratyâhâra, dhyâna, dharanâ, tarka and samâdhi [Footnote ref 39]. Comparing this list with that of the list in the _Yoga sûtras_ we find that two new elements have been added, and tarka has been replaced by âsana. Now from the account of the sixty-two heresies given in the _Brahmajâla sutta_ we know that there were people who either from meditation of three degrees or through logic and reasoning had come to believe that both the external world as a whole and individual souls were eternal. From the association of this last mentioned logical school with the Samâdhi or Dhyâna school as belonging to one class of thinkers called s'âs'vatavâda, and from the inclusion of tarka as an anga in samâdhi, we can fairly assume that the last of the angas given in Maitrâyanî Upanisad represents the oldest list of the Yoga doctrine, when the Sâmkhya and the Yoga were in a process of being grafted on each other, and when the Samkhya method of discussion did not stand as a method independent of the Yoga. The substitution of âsana for tarka in the list of Patañjali shows that the Yoga had developed a method separate from the Samkhya. The introduction of ahimsâ (non-injury), satya (truthfulness), asteya (want of stealing), brahmacaryya (sex-control), aparigraha (want of greed) as yama and s'auca (purity), santosa (contentment) as niyama, as a system of morality without which Yoga is deemed impossible (for the first time in the sûtras), probably marks the period when the disputes between the Hindus and the Buddhists had not become so keen. The introduction of maitrî, karunâ, muditâ, upeksâ is also equally significant, as we do not find them mentioned in such a prominent form in any other literature of the Hindus dealing with the subject of emancipation. Beginning from the _Âcârângasûtra, Uttarâdhyayanasûtra_, the _Sûtrakrtângasûtra,_ etc., and passing through Umâsvati's _Tattvârthâdhigamasûtra_ to Hemacandra's _Yogas'âstra_ we find that the Jains had been founding their Yoga discipline mainly on the basis of a system of morality indicated by the yamas, and the opinion expressed in Alberuni's _Pâtanjal_ that these cannot give salvation marks the divergence of the Hindus in later days from the Jains. Another important characteristic of Yoga is its thoroughly pessimistic tone. Its treatment of sorrow in connection with the statement of the scope and ideal of Yoga is the same as that of the four sacred truths of the Buddhists, namely suffering, origin of suffering, the removal of suffering, and of the path to the removal of suffering [Footnote ref 40]. Again, the metaphysics of the samsâra (rebirth) cycle in connection with sorrow, origination, decease, rebirth, etc. is described with a remarkable degree of similarity with the cycle of causes as described in early Buddhism. Avidyâ is placed at the head of the group; yet this avidyâ should not be confused with the Vedânta avidyâ of S'ankara, as it is an avidyâ of the Buddhist type; it is not a cosmic power of illusion nor anything like a mysterious original sin, but it is within the range of earthly tangible reality. Yoga avidyâ is the ignorance of the four sacred truths, as we have in the sûtra "_anityâs'uciduhkhânâtmasu nityas'uciduhkhâtmakhyâtiravidyâ_" (II. 5).

The ground of our existing is our will to live (_abhinives'a_). "This is our besetting sin that we will to be, that we will to be ourselves, that we fondly will our being to blend with other kinds of existence and extend. The negation of the will to be, cuts off being for us at least [Footnote ref 41]." This is true as much of Buddhism as of the Yoga abhinives'a, which is a term coined and used in the Yoga for the first time to suit the Buddhist idea, and which has never been accepted, so far as I know, in any other Hindu literature in this sense. My sole aim in pointing out these things in this section is to show that the _Yoga sûtras_ proper (first three chapters) were composed at a time when the later forms of Buddhism had not developed, and when the quarrels between the Hindus and the Buddhists and Jains had not reached such a stage that they would not like to borrow from one another. As this can only be held true of earlier Buddhism I am disposed to think that the date of the first three chapters of the _Yoga sûtras_ must be placed about the second century B.C. Since there is no evidence which can stand in the way of identifying the grammarian Patañjali with the Yoga writer, I believe we may take them as being identical [Footnote ref 43].

The Sâmkhya and the Yoga Doctrine of Soul or Purusa. Scroll Up

The Sâmkhya philosophy as we have it now admits two principles, souls and _prakrti_, the root principle of matter. Souls are many, like the Jaina souls, but they are without parts and qualities. They do not contract or expand according as they occupy a smaller or a larger body, but are always all-pervasive, and are not contained in the bodies in which they are manifested. But the relation between body or rather the mind associated with it and soul is such that whatever mental phenomena happen in the mind are interpreted as the experience of its soul. The souls are many, and had it not been so (the Sâmkhya argues) with the birth of one all would have been born and with the death of one all would have died [Footnote ref 44].

The exact nature of soul is however very difficult of comprehension, and yet it is exactly this which one must thoroughly grasp in order to understand the Sâmkhya philosophy. Unlike the Jaina soul possessing _anantajñâna, anantadars'ana, anantasukha_, and _anantavîryya_, the Sâmkhya soul is described as being devoid of any and every characteristic; but its nature is absolute pure consciousness (_cit_). The Sâmkhya view differs from the Vedânta, firstly in this that it does not consider the soul to be of the nature of pure intelligence and bliss (_ânanda_) [Footnote ref 45]. Bliss with Sâmkhya is but another name for pleasure and as such it belongs to prakrti and does not constitute the nature of soul; secondly, according to Vedânta the individual souls (_Jîva_) are but illusory manifestations of one soul or pure consciousness the Brahman, but according to Sâmkhya they are all real and many.

The most interesting feature of Sâmkhya as of Vedânta is the analysis of knowledge. Sâmkhya holds that our knowledge of things are mere ideational pictures or images. External things are indeed material, but the sense data and images of the mind, the coming and going of which is called knowledge, are also in some sense matter-stuff, since they are limited in their nature like the external things. The sense-data and images come and go, they are often the prototypes, or photographs of external things, and as such ought to be considered as in some sense material, but the matter of which these are composed is the subtlest. These images of the mind could not have appeared as conscious, if there were no separate principles of consciousness in connection with which the whole conscious plane could be interpreted as the experience of a person [Footnote ref 46]. We know that the Upanisads consider the soul or atman as pure and infinite consciousness, distinct from the forms of knowledge, the ideas, and the images. In our ordinary ways of mental analysis we do not detect that beneath the forms of knowledge there is some other principle which has no change, no form, but which is like a light which illumines the mute, pictorial forms which the mind assumes. The self is nothing but this light. We all speak of our "self" but we have no mental picture of the self as we have of other things, yet in all our knowledge we seem to know our self. The Jains had said that the soul was veiled by karma matter, and every act of knowledge meant only the partial removal of the veil. Sâmkhya says that the self cannot be found as an image of knowledge, but that is because it is a distinct, transcendent principle, whose real nature as such is behind or beyond the subtle matter of knowledge. Our cognitions, so far as they are mere forms or images, are merely compositions or complexes of subtle mind-substance, and thus are like a sheet of painted canvas immersed in darkness; as the canvas gets prints from outside and moves, the pictures appear one by one before the light and arc illuminated. So it is with our knowledge. The special characteristic of self is that it is like a light, without which all knowledge would be blind. Form and motion are the characteristics of matter, and so far as knowledge is mere limited form and movement it is the same as matter; but there is some other principle which enlivens these knowledge-forms, by virtue of which they become conscious. This principle of consciousness (_cit_) cannot indeed be separately perceived _per se_, but the presence of this principle in all our forms of knowledge is distinctly indicated by inference. This principle of consciousness has no motion, no form, no quality, no impurity [Footnote ref 47]. The movement of the knowledge-stuff takes place in relation to it, so that it is illuminated as consciousness by it, and produces the appearance of itself as undergoing all changes of knowledge and experiences of pleasure and pain. Each item of knowledge so far as it is an image or a picture of some sort is but a subtle knowledge-stuff which has been illumined by the principle of consciousness, but so far as each item of knowledge carries with it the awakening or the enlivening of consciousness, it is the manifestation of the principle of consciousness. Knowledge-revelation is not just the unveiling or revelation of a particular part of the self, as the Jains supposed, but it is a revelation of the self only so far as knowledge is pure awakening, pure enlivening, pure consciousness. So far as the content of knowledge or the image is concerned, it is not the revelation of self but is the blind knowledge-stuff.

The Buddhists had analysed knowledge into its diverse constituent parts, and had held that the coming together of these brought about the conscious states. This coming together was to them the point of the illusory notion of self, since this unity or coming together was not a permanent thing but a momentary collocation. With Sãmkhya however the self, the pure _cit_, is neither illusory nor an abstraction; it is concrete but transcendent. Coming into touch with it gives unity to all the movements of the knowledge-composites of subtle stuff, which would otherwise have remained aimless and unintelligent. It is by coming into connection with this principle of intelligence that they are interpreted as the systematic and coherent experience of a person, and may thus be said to be intelligized. Intelligizing means the expression and interpretation of the events or the happenings of knowledge in connection with a person, so as to make them a system of experience. This principle of intelligence is called purusa. There is a separate purusa in Sâmkhya for each individual, and it is of the nature of pure intelligence. The Vedânta âtman however is different from the Sâmkhya purusa in this that it is one and is of the nature of pure intelligence, pure being, and pure bliss. It alone is the reality and by illusory mâyâ it appears as many.

Thought and Matter Scroll Up

A question naturally arises, that if the knowledge forms are made up of some sort of stuff as the objective forms of matter are, why then should the purusa illuminate it and not external material objects. The answer that Sâmkhya gives is that the knowledge-complexes are certainly different from external objects in this, that they are far subtler and have a preponderance of a special quality of plasticity and translucence (_sattva_), which resembles the light of purusa, and is thus fit for reflecting and absorbing the light of the purusa. The two principal characteristics of external gross matter are mass and energy. But it has also the other characteristic of allowing itself to be photographed by our mind; this thought-photograph of matter has again the special privilege of being so translucent as to be able to catch the reflection of the _cit_--the super-translucent transcendent principle of intelligence. The fundamental characteristic of external gross matter is its mass; energy is common to both gross matter and the subtle thought-stuff. But mass is at its lowest minimum in thought-stuff, whereas the capacity of translucence, or what may be otherwise designated as the intelligence-stuff, is at its highest in thought-stuff. But if the gross matter had none of the characteristics of translucence that thought possesses, it could not have made itself an object of thought; for thought transforms itself into the shape, colour, and other characteristics of the thing which has been made its object. Thought could not have copied the matter, if the matter did not possess some of the essential substances of which the copy was made up. But this plastic entity (_sattva_) which is so predominant in thought is at its lowest limit of subordination in matter. Similarly mass is not noticed in thought, but some such notions as are associated with mass may be discernible in thought; thus the images of thought are limited, separate, have movement, and have more or less clear cut forms. The images do not extend in space, but they can represent space. The translucent and plastic element of thought (_sattva_) in association with movement (_rajas_) would have resulted in a simultaneous revelation of all objects; it is on account of mass or tendency of obstruction (_tamas_) that knowledge proceeds from image to image and discloses things in a successive manner. The buddhi (thought-stuff) holds within it all knowledge immersed as it were in utter darkness, and actual knowledge comes before our view as though by the removal of the darkness or veil, by the reflection of the light of the purusa. This characteristic of knowledge, that all its stores are hidden as if lost at any moment, and only one picture or idea comes at a time to the arena of revelation, demonstrates that in knowledge there is a factor of obstruction which manifests itself in its full actuality in gross matter as mass. Thus both thought and gross matter are made up of three elements, a plasticity of intelligence-stuff (_sattva_), energy-stuff (_rajas_), and mass-stuff (_tamas_), or the factor of obstruction. Of these the last two are predominant in gross matter and the first two in thought.

Feelings, the Ultimate Substances [Footnote ref 48] Scroll Up

Another question that arises in this connection is the position of feeling in such an analysis of thought and matter. Sâmkhya holds that the three characteristic constituents that we have analyzed just now are feeling substances. Feeling is the most interesting side of our consciousness. It is in our feelings that we think of our thoughts as being parts of ourselves. If we should analyze any percept into the crude and undeveloped sensations of which it is composed at the first moment of its appearance, it comes more as a shock than as an image, and we find that it is felt more as a feeling mass than as an image. Even in our ordinary life the elements which precede an act of knowledge are probably mere feelings. As we go lower down the scale of evolution the automatic actions and relations of matter are concomitant with crude manifestations of feeling which never rise to the level of knowledge. The lower the scale of evolution the less is the keenness of feeling, till at last there comes a stage where matter-complexes do not give rise to feeling reactions but to mere physical reactions. Feelings thus mark the earliest track of consciousness, whether we look at it from the point of view of evolution or of the genesis of consciousness in ordinary life. What we call matter complexes become at a certain stage feeling-complexes and what we call feeling-complexes at a certain stage of descent sink into mere matter-complexes with matter reaction. The feelings are therefore the things-in-themselves, the ultimate substances of which consciousness and gross matter are made up. Ordinarily a difficulty might be felt in taking feelings to be the ultimate substances of which gross matter and thought are made up; for we are more accustomed to take feelings as being merely subjective, but if we remember the Sâmkhya analysis, we find that it holds that thought and matter are but two different modifications of certain subtle substances which are in essence but three types of feeling entities. The three principal characteristics of thought and matter that we have noticed in the preceding section are but the manifestations of three types of feeling substances. There is the class of feelings that we call the sorrowful, there is another class of feelings that we call pleasurable, and there is still another class which is neither sorrowful nor pleasurable, but is one of ignorance, depression (_visâda_) or dullness. Thus corresponding to these three types of manifestations as pleasure, pain, and dullness, and materially as shining (_prakâs'a_), energy (_pravrtti_), obstruction (_niyama_), there are three types of feeling-substances which must be regarded as the ultimate things which make up all the diverse kinds of gross matter and thought by their varying modifications.

The Gunas [Footnote ref 49] Scroll Up

These three types of ultimate subtle entities are technically called _guna_ in Sâmkhya philosophy. Guna in Sanskrit has three meanings, namely (1) quality, (2) rope, (3) not primary. These entities, however, are substances and not mere qualities. But it may be mentioned in this connection that in Sâmkhya philosophy there is no separate existence of qualities; it holds that each and every unit of quality is but a unit of substance. What we call quality is but a particular manifestation or appearance of a subtle entity. Things do not possess quality, but quality signifies merely the manner in which a substance reacts; any object we see seems to possess many qualities, but the Sâmkhya holds that corresponding to each and every new unit of quality, however fine and subtle it may be, there is a corresponding subtle entity, the reaction of which is interpreted by us as a quality. This is true not only of qualities of external objects but also of mental qualities as well. These ultimate entities were thus called gunas probably to suggest that they are the entities which by their various modifications manifest themselves as gunas or qualities. These subtle entities may also be called gunas in the sense of ropes because they are like ropes by which the soul is chained down as if it were to thought and matter. These may also be called gunas as things of secondary importance, because though permanent and indestructible, they continually suffer modifications and changes by their mutual groupings and re-groupings, and thus not primarily and unalterably constant like the souls (_purusa_). Moreover the object of the world process being the enjoyment and salvation of the purusas, the matter-principle could not naturally be regarded as being of primary importance. But in whatever senses we may be inclined to justify the name guna as applied to these subtle entities, it should be borne in mind that they are substantive entities or subtle substances and not abstract qualities. These gunas are infinite in number, but in accordance with their three main characteristics as described above they have been arranged in three classes or types called _sattva_ (intelligence-stuff), _rajas_ (energy-stuff) and _tamas_ (mass-stuff). An infinite number of subtle substances which agree in certain characteristics of self-shining or plasticity are called the _sattva-gunas_ and those which behave as units of activity are called the _rajo-gunas_ and those which behave as factors of obstruction, mass or materiality are called _tamo-gunas_. These subtle guna substances are united in different proportions (e.g. a larger number of sattva substances with a lesser number of rajas or tamas, or a larger number of tamas substances with a smaller number of rajas and sattva substances and so on in varying proportions), and as a result of this, different substances with different qualities come into being. Though attached to one another when united in different proportions, they mutually act and react upon one another, and thus by their combined resultant produce new characters, qualities and substances. There is however one and only one stage in which the gunas are not compounded in varying proportions. In this state each of the guna substances is opposed by each of the other guna substances, and thus by their equal mutual opposition create an equilibrium, in which none of the characters of the gunas manifest themselves. This is a state which is so absolutely devoid of all characteristics that it is absolutely incoherent, indeterminate, and indefinite. It is a qualitiless simple homogeneity. It is a state of being which is as it were non-being. This state of the mutual equilibrium of the gunas is called prakrti [Footnote ref 50]. This is a state which cannot be said either to exist or to non-exist for it serves no purpose, but it is hypothetically the mother of all things. This is however the earliest stage, by the breaking of which, later on, all modifications take place.

Prakriti and its Evolution Scroll Up

Sâmkhya believes that before this world came into being there was such a state of dissolution--a state in which the guna compounds had disintegrated into a state of disunion and had by their mutual opposition produced an equilibrium the prakrti. Then later on disturbance arose in the prakrti, and as a result of that a process of unequal aggregation of the gunas in varying proportions took place, which brought forth the creation of the manifold. Prakrti, the state of perfect homogeneity and incoherence of the gunas, thus gradually evolved and became more and more determinate, differentiated, heterogeneous, and coherent. The gunas are always uniting, separating, and uniting again [Footnote ref 51]. Varying qualities of essence, energy, and mass in varied groupings act on one another and through their mutual interaction and interdependence evolve from the indefinite or qualitatively indeterminate the definite or qualitatively determinate. And though co-operating to produce the world of effects, these diverse moments with diverse tendencies never coalesce. Thus in the phenomenal product whatever energy there is is due to the element of rajas and rajas alone; all matter, resistance, stability, is due to tamas, and all conscious manifestation to sattva. The particular guna which happens to be predominant in any phenomenon becomes manifest in that phenomenon and others become latent, though their presence is inferred by their effect. Thus, for example, in a body at rest mass is patent, energy latent and potentiality of conscious manifestation sublatent. In a moving body, the rajas is predominant (kinetic) and the mass is partially overcome. All these transformations of the groupings of the gunas in different proportions presuppose the state of prakrti as the starting point. It is at this stage that the tendencies to conscious manifestation, as well as the powers of doing work, are exactly counterbalanced by the resistance of inertia or mass, and the process of cosmic evolution is at rest. When this equilibrium is once destroyed, it is supposed that out of a natural affinity of all the sattva reals for themselves, of rajas reals for other reals of their type, of tamas reals for others of their type, there arises an unequal aggregation of sattva, rajas, or tamas at different moments. When one guna is preponderant in any particular collocation, the others are co-operant. This evolutionary series beginning from the first disturbance of the prakrti to the final transformation as the world-order, is subject to "a definite law which it cannot overstep." In the words of Dr B.N.Seal [Footnote ref 52], "the process of evolution consists in the development of the differentiated (_vaisamya_) within the undifferentiated (_sâmyâvasthâ_) of the determinate (_vies'a_) within the indeterminate (_avis'esa_) of the coherent (_yutasiddha_) within the incoherent (_ayutasiddha_). The order of succession is neither from parts to whole nor from whole to the parts, but ever from a relatively less differentiated, less determinate, less coherent whole to a relatively more differentiated, more determinate, more coherent whole." The meaning of such an evolution is this, that all the changes and modifications in the shape of the evolving collocations of guna reals take place within the body of the prakrti. Prakrti consisting of the infinite reals is infinite, and that it has been disturbed does not mean that the whole of it has been disturbed and upset, or that the totality of the gunas in the prakrti has been unhinged from a state of equilibrium. It means rather that a very vast number of gunas constituting the worlds of thought and matter has been upset. These gunas once thrown out of balance begin to group themselves together first in one form, then in another, then in another, and so on. But such a change in the formation of aggregates should not be thought to take place in such a way that the later aggregates appear in supersession of the former ones, so that when the former comes into being the latter ceases to exist. 

For the truth is that one stage is produced after another; this second stage is the result of a new aggregation of some of the reals of the first stage. This deficiency of the reals of the first stage which had gone forth to form the new aggregate as the second stage is made good by a refilling from the prakrti. So also, as the third stage of aggregation takes place from out of the reals of the second stage, the deficiency of the reals of the second stage is made good by a refilling from the first stage and that of the first stage from the prakrti. Thus by a succession of refillings the process of evolution proceeds, till we come to its last limit, where there is no real evolution of new substance, but mere chemical and physical changes of qualities in things which had already evolved. Evolution (_tattvântaraparinâma_) in Sâmkhya means the development of categories of existence and not mere changes of qualities of substances (physical, chemical, biological or mental). Thus each of the stages of evolution remains as a permanent category of being, and offers scope to the more and more differentiated and coherent groupings of the succeeding stages. Thus it is said that the evolutionary process is regarded as a differentiation of new stages as integrated in previous stages (_samsrstaviveka_).

Pralaya and the disturbance of the Prakrti Equilibrium Scroll Up

But how or rather why prakrti should be disturbed is the most knotty point in Sâmkhya. It is postulated that the prakrti or the sum-total of the gunas is so connected with the purusas, and there is such an inherent teleology or blind purpose in the lifeless prakrti, that all its evolution and transformations tike place for the sake of the diverse purusas, to serve the enjoyment of pleasures and sufferance of pain through experiences, and finally leading them to absolute freedom or mukti. A return of this manifold world into the quiescent state (_pralaya_) of prakrti takes place when the karmas of all purusas collectively require that there should be such a temporary cessation of all experience. At such a moment the guna compounds are gradually broken, and there is a backward movement (_pratisañcara_) till everything is reduced, to the gunas in their elementary disintegrated state when their mutual opposition brings about their equilibrium. This equilibrium however is not a mere passive state, but one of utmost tension; there is intense activity, but the activity here does not lead to the generation of new things and qualities (_visadrs'a-parinâma_); this course of new production being suspended, the activity here repeats the same state (_sadrs'a-parinâma_) of equilibrium, so that there is no change or new production. The state of pralaya thus is not a suspension of the teleology or purpose of the gunas, or an absolute break of the course of guna evolution; for the state of pralaya, since it has been generated to fulfil the demands of the accumulated karmas of purusas, and since there is still the activity of the gunas in keeping themselves in a state of suspended production, is also a stage of the samsâra cycle. The state of mukti (liberation) is of course quite different, for in that stage the movement of the gunas ceases forever with reference to the liberated soul. But still the question remains, what breaks the state of equilibrium? The Sâmkhya answer is that it is due to the transcendental (non-mechanical) influence of the purusa [Footnote ref 53]. This influence of the purusa again, if it means anything, means that there is inherent in the gunas a teleology that all their movements or modifications should take place in such a way that these may serve the purposes of the purusas. Thus when the karmas of the purusas had demanded that there should be a suspension of all experience, for a period there was a pralaya. At the end of it, it is the same inherent purpose of the prakrti that wakes it up for the formation of a suitable world for the experiences of the purusas by which its quiescent state is disturbed. This is but another way of looking at the inherent teleology of the prakrti, which demands that a state of pralaya should cease and a state of world-framing activity should begin. Since there is a purpose in the gunas which brought them to a state of equilibrium, the state of equilibrium also presupposes that it also may be broken up again when the purpose so demands. Thus the inherent purpose of the prakrti brought about the state of pralaya and then broke it up for the creative work again, and it is this natural change in the prakrti that may be regarded from another point of view as the transcendental influence of the purusas.

Mahat and Ahamkâra Scroll Up

The first evolute of the prakrti is generated by a preponderance of the sattva (intelligence-stuff). This is indeed the earliest state from which all the rest of the world has sprung forth; and it is a state in which the stuff of sattva predominates. It thus holds within it the minds (_buddhi_) of all purusas which were lost in the prakrti during the pralaya. The very first work of the evolution of prakrti to serve the purusas is thus manifested by the separating out of the old buddhis or minds (of the purusas) which hold within themselves the old specific ignorance (_avidyâ_) inherent in them with reference to each purusa with which any particular buddhi is associated from beginningless time before the pralaya. This state of evolution consisting of all the collected minds (buddhi) or all the purusas is therefore called _buddhitattva._ It is a state which holds or comprehends within it the buddhis of all individuals. The individual buddhis of individual purusas are on one hand integrated with the buddhitattva and on the other associated with their specific purusas. When some buddhis once begin to be separated from the prakrti, other buddhi evolutions take place. In other words, we are to understand that once the transformation of buddhis is effected for the service of the purusas, all the other direct transformations that take place from the prakrti take the same line, i.e. a preponderance of sattva being once created by the bringing out of some buddhis, other transformations of prakrti that follow them have also the sattva preponderance, which thus have exactly the same composition as the first buddhis. Thus the first transformation from prakrti becomes buddhi-transformation. This stage of buddhis may thus be regarded as the most universal stage, which comprehends within it all the buddhis of individuals and potentially all the matter of which the gross world is formed. Looked at from this point of view it has the widest and most universal existence comprising all creation, and is thus called _mahat_ (the great one). It is called _linga_ (sign), as the other later existences or evolutes give us the ground of inferring its existence, and as such must be distinguished from the prakrti which is called _alinga,_ i.e. of which no linga or characterise may be affirmed.

This mahat-tatva being once produced, further modifications begin to take place in three lines by three different kinds of undulations representing the sattva preponderance, rajas preponderance and tama preponderance. This state when the mahat is disturbed by the three parallel tendencies of a preponderance of tamas, rajas and sattva's called _ahamkâra,_ and the above three tendencies are respectiviy called _tâmasika ahamkâra_ or _bhûtâdi_, _râjasika_ or _taijasa ahamâra,_ and _vaikârika ahamkâra._ The râjasika ahamkâra cannot make a new preponderance by itself; it only helps (_sahakâri_) the transformations of the sattva preponderance and the tamas preponderance. The development of the former preponderance, as is easy to see, is only the assumption of a more and more determinate character of the buddhi, for we remember that buddhi itself has been the resulting transformation of a sattva preponderance. Further development with the help of rajas on the line of sattva development could only take place when the buddhi as mind determined itself in specific ways. The first development of the buddhi on this line is called _sâttvika_ or _vaikârika ahamkâra_. This ahamkâra represents the development in buddhi to produce a consciousness-stuff as I or rather "mine," and must thus be distinguished from the first stage as buddhi the function of which is a mere understanding and general datun as thisness.

The ego or ahamkâra (_abhimâna-dravya_) is the specific expression of the general consciousness which takes experience as mine. The function of the ego is therefore called _abhimâna_ (self-assertion). From this again come the five cognitive senses of vision, touch, smell, taste, and hearing, the five cognitive senses of speech, handling, foot-movement, the ejective sense and the generative sense; the _prânas_ (bio-motor force) which help both conation and cognition are but aspects of buddhi-movement as life. The individual ahamkâras and senses are related to the individual buddhis by the developing sattva determinations from which they had come into being. Each buddhi with its own group of akamkâra (ego) and sense-evolutes thus forms a microcosm separate from similar other buddhis with their associated groups. So far therefore as knowledge is subject to sense-influence and the ego, it is different for each individual, but so far as a general mind (_kârana buddhi_) apart from sense knowledge is concerned, there is a community of all buddhis in the buddhitattva. Even there however each buddhi is separated from other buddhis by its own peculiarly associated ignorance (_avidyâ_). The buddhi and its sattva evolutes of ahamkâra and the senses are so related that though they are different from buddhi in their functions, they are all comprehended in the buddhi, and mark only its gradual differentiations and modes. We must again remember in this connection the doctrine of refilling, for as buddhi exhausts its part in giving rise to ahamkâra, the deficiency of buddhi is made good by prakrti; again as ahamkâra partially exhausts itself in generating sense-faculties, the deficiency is made good by a refilling from the buddhi. Thus the change and wastage of each of the stadia are always made good and kept constant by a constant refilling from each higher state and finally from prakrti.

The Tanmâtras and the Paramânus [Footnote ref 54] Scroll Up

The other tendency, namely that of tamas, has to be helped by the liberated rajas of ahamkâra, in order to make itself preponderant, and this state in which the tamas succeeds in overcoming the sattva side which was so preponderant in the buddhi, is called _bhûtâdi._ From this bhûtâdi with the help of rajas are generated the _tanmâtras,_ the immediately preceding causes of the gross elements. The bhûtâdi thus represents only the intermediate stage through which the differentiations and regroupings of tamas reals in the mahat proceed for the generation of the tanmâtras. There has been some controversy between Sâmkhya and Yoga as to whether the tanmâtras are generated from the mahat or from ahamkâra. The situation becomes intelligible if we remember that evolution here does not mean coming out or emanation, but increasing differentiation in integration within the evolving whole. Thus the regroupings of tamas reals marks the differentiation which takes place within the mahat but through its stage as bhûtâdi. Bhûtâdi is absolutely homogeneous and inert, devoid of all physical and chemical characters except quantum or mass. The second stadium tanmâtra represents subtle matter, vibratory, impingent, radiant, instinct with potential energy. These "potentials" arise from the unequal aggregation of the original mass-units in different proportions and collocations with an unequal distribution of the original energy (_rajas_). The tanmâtras possess something more than quantum of mass and energy; they possess physical characters, some of them penetrability, others powers of impact or pressure, others radiant heat, others again capability of viscous and cohesive attraction [Footnote ref. 55].

In intimate relation with those physical characters they also possess the potentials of the energies represented by sound, touch, colour, taste, and smell; but, being subtle matter, they are devoid of the peculiar forms which these "potentials" assume in particles of gross matter like the atoms and their aggregates. In other words, the potentials lodged in subtle matter must undergo peculiar transformations by new groupings or collocations before they can act as sensory stimuli as gross matter, though in the minutest particles thereof the sensory stimuli may be infra-sensible (_atîndriya_ but not _anudbhûta_) [Footnote ref 56].

Of the tanmatras the _s'abda_ or _âkâs'a tanmâtra_ (the sound-potential) is first generated directly from the bhûtâdi. Next comes the _spars'a_ or the _vâyu tanmâtra_ (touch-potential) which is generated by the union of a unit of tamas from bhûtâdi with the âkâs'a tanmâtra. The _rûpa tanmâtra_ (colour-potential) is generated similarly by the accretion of a unit of tamas from bhûtâdi; the _rasa tanmâtra_ (taste-potential) or the _ap tunmâtra_ is also similarly formed. This ap tanmâtra again by its union with a unit of tamas from bhûtâdi produces the _gândha tanmâtra_ (smell-potential) or the _ksiti tanmâtra_ [Footnote ref 57]. The difference of tanmâtras or infra-atomic units and atoms (_paramânu_) is this, that the tanmâtras have only the potential power of affecting our senses, which must be grouped and regrouped in a particular form to constitute a new existence as atoms before they can have the power of affecting our senses. It is important in this connection to point out that the classification of all gross objects as ksiti, ap, tejas, marut and vyoman is not based upon a chemical analysis, but from the points of view of the five senses through which knowledge of them could be brought home to us. Each of our senses can only apprehend a particular quality and thus five different ultimate substances are said to exist corresponding to the five qualities which may be grasped by the five senses. In accordance with the existence of these five elements, the existence of the five potential states or tanmâtras was also conceived to exist as the ground of the five gross forms.

The five classes of atoms are generated from the tanmâtras as follows: the sound-potential, with accretion of rudiment matter from bhûtâdi generates the âkâsa-atom. The touch-potentials combine with the vibratory particles (sound-potential) to generate the vâyu-atom. The light-and-heat potentials combine with touch-potentials and sound-potentials to produce the tejas-atom. The taste-potentials combine with light-and-heat potentials, touch-potentials and sound-potentials to generate the ap-atom and the smell-potentials combine with the preceding potentials to generate the earth-atom. The âkâs'a-atom possesses penetrability, the vâyu-atom impact or mechanical pressure, the tejas-atom radiant heat and light, the ap-atom viscous attraction and the earth-atom cohesive attraction. The âkâsa we have seen forms the transition link from the bhûtâdi to the tanmâtra and from the tanmâtra to the atomic production; it therefore deserves a special notice at this stage. Sâmkhya distinguishes between a kârana-âkâs'a and kâryâkâs'a. The kârana-âkâs'a (non-atomic and all-pervasive) is the formless tamas--the mass in prakrti or bhûtâdi; it is indeed all-pervasive, and is not a mere negation, a mere unoccupiedness (_âvaranâbhâva_) or vacuum [Footnote ref 58]. When energy is first associated with this tamas element it gives rise to the sound-potential; the atomic âkâs'a is the result of the integration of the original mass-units from bhûtâdi with this sound-potential (_s'abda tanmâtra_). Such an âkâs'a-atom is called the kâryâkâs'a; it is formed everywhere and held up in the original kârana âkâs'a as the medium for the development of vâyu atoms. Being atomic it occupies limited space.

The ahamkâra and the five tanmâtras are technically called _avis'esa_ or indeterminate, for further determinations or differentiations of them for the formation of newer categories of existence are possible. The eleven senses and the five atoms are called _vis'esa,_ i.e. determinate, for they cannot further be so determined as to form a new category of existence. It is thus that the course of evolution which started in the prakrti reaches its furthest limit in the production of the senses on the one side and the atoms on the other. Changes no doubt take place in bodies having atomic constitution, but these changes are changes of quality due to spatial changes in the position of the atoms or to the introduction of new atoms and their re-arrangement. But these are not such that a newer category of existence could be formed by them which was substantially different from the combined atoms. The changes that take place in the atomic constitution of things certainly deserve to be noticed. But before we go on to this, it will be better to enquire about the principle of causation according to which the Sâmkhya-Yoga evolution should be comprehended or interpreted.

Principle of Causation and Conservation of Energy [Footnote ref 59] Scroll Up

The question is raised, how can the prakrti supply the deficiencies made in its evolutes by the formation of other evolutes from them? When from mahat some tanmâtras have evolved, or when from the tanmâtras some atoms have evolved, how can the deficiency in mahat and the tanmâtras be made good by the prakrti?

Or again, what is the principle that guides the transformations that take place in the atomic stage when one gross body, say milk, changes into curd, and so on? Sâmkhya says that "as the total energy remains the same while the world is constantly evolving, cause and effect are only more or less evolved forms of the same ultimate Energy. The sum of effects exists in the sum of causes in a potential form. The grouping or collocation alone changes, and this brings on the manifestation of the latent powers of the gunas, but without creation of anything new. What is called the (material) cause is only the power which is efficient in the production or rather the vehicle of the power. This power is the unmanifested (or potential) form of the Energy set free (_udbhûta-vrtti_) in the effect. But the concomitant conditions are necessary to call forth the so-called material cause into activity [Footnote ref 60]." The appearance of an effect (such as the manifestation of the figure of the statue in the marble block by the causal efficiency of the sculptor's art) is only its passage from potentiality to actuality and the concomitant conditions (_sahakâri-s'akti_) or efficient cause (_nimitta-kârana_, such as the sculptor's art) is a sort of mechanical help or instrumental help to this passage or the transition [Footnote ref 61]. The refilling from prakrti thus means nothing more than this, that by the inherent teleology of the prakrti, the reals there are so collocated as to be transformed into mahat as those of the mahat have been collocated to form the bhûtâdi or the tanmâtras.

Yoga however explains this more vividly on the basis of transformation of the liberated potential energy. The sum of material causes potentially contains the energy manifested in the sum of effects. When the effectuating condition is added to the sum of material conditions in a given collocation, all that happens is that a stimulus is imparted which removes the arrest, disturbs the relatively stable equilibrium, and brings on a liberation of energy together with a fresh collocation(_gunasannives'avis'esa_). As the owner of an adjacent field in transferring water from one field to another of the same or lower level has only to remove the obstructing mud barriers, whereupon the water flows of itself to the other field, so when the efficient or instrumental causes (such as the sculptor's art) remove the barrier inherent in any collocation against its transformation into any other collocation, the energy from that collocation flows out in a corresponding manner and determines the collocation. Thus for example the energy which collocated the milk-atoms to form milk was in a state of arrest in the milk state. If by heat or other causes this barrier is removed, the energy naturally changes direction in a corresponding manner and collocates the atoms accordingly for the formation of curd. So also as soon as the barriers are removed from the prakrti, guided by the constant will of Îs'vara, the reals in equilibrium in the state of prakrti leave their state of arrest and evolve themselves into mahat, etc.

Change as the formation of new collocations Scroll Up

It is easy to see from what we have already said that any collocation of atoms forming a thing could not change its form, unless the barrier inherent or caused by the formation of the present collocation could be removed by some other extraneous instrumental cause. All gross things are formed by the collocation of the five atoms of ksiti, ap, tejas, marut, and vyoman. The difference between one thing and another is simply this, that its collocation of atoms or the arrangement or grouping of atoms is different from that in another. The formation of a collocation has an inherent barrier against any change, which keeps that collocation in a state of equilibrium, and it is easy to see that these barriers exist in infinite directions in which all the other infinite objects of the world exist. From whichever side the barrier is removed, the energy flows in that direction and helps the formation of a corresponding object. Provided the suitable barriers could be removed, anything could be changed into any other thing. And it is believed that the Yogins can acquire the powers by which they can remove any barriers, and thus make anything out of any other thing. But generally in the normal course of events the line of evolution follows "a definite law which cannot be overstepped" (_parinâmakramaniyama_) or in other words there are some natural barriers which cannot be removed, and thus the evolutionary course has to take a path to the exclusion of those lines where the barriers could not be removed. Thus saffron grows in countries like Kashmere and not in Bengal, this is limitation of countries (_des'âpabandha_); certain kinds of paddy grow in the rainy season only, this is limitation of season or time (_kâlâpabandha_); deer cannot beget men, this is limitation by form (_âkârâpabandha_); curd can come out of milk, this is the limitation of causes (_nimittâpabandha_). The evolutionary course can thus follow only that path which is not barricaded by any of these limitations or natural obstructions [Footnote ref 62].

Change is taking place everywhere, from the smallest and least to the highest. Atoms and reals are continually vibrating and changing places in any and every object. At each moment the whole universe is undergoing change, and the collocation of atoms at any moment is different from what it was at the previous moment. When these changes are perceivable, they are perceived as _dharmaparinâma_ or changes of _dharma_ or quality; but perceived or unperceived the changes are continually going on. This change of appearance may be viewed from another aspect by virtue of which we may call it present or past, and old or new, and these are respectively called the _laksanaparinâma_ and _avasthâparinâma_. At every moment every object of the world is undergoing evolution or change, change as past, present and future, as new, old or unborn. When any change is in a potential state we call it future, when manifested present, when it becomes sub-latent again it is said to be past. Thus it is that the potential, manifest, and sub-latent changes of a thing are called future, present and past [Footnote ref 63]. 

Causation as Satkâryavâda (the theory that the effect potentially exists before it is generated by the movement of the cause) Scroll Up

The above consideration brings us to an important aspect of the Sâmkhya view of causation as _satkâryavâda_. Sâmkhya holds that there can be no production of a thing previously non-existent; causation means the appearance or manifestation of a quality due to certain changes of collocations in the causes which were already held in them in a potential form. Production of effect only means an internal change of the arrangement of atoms in the cause, and this exists in it in a potential form, and just a little loosening of the barrier which was standing in the way of the happening of such a change of arrangement will produce the desired new collocation--the effect. This doctrine is called _satkâryavâda,_ i.e. that the kârya or effect is _sat_ or existent even before the causal operation to produce the effect was launched. The oil exists in the sesarnum, the statue in the stone, the curd in the milk, The causal operation (_kârakaiyâpâra_) only renders that manifest (_âvirbhûta_) which was formerly in an unmanifested condition (_tirohita_) [Footnote ref 64].

The Buddhists also believed in change, as much as Sâmkhya did, but with them there was no background to the change; every change was thus absolutely a new one, and when it was past, the next moment the change was lost absolutely. There were only the passing dharmas or manifestations of forms and qualities, but there was no permanent underlying dharma or substance. Sâmkhya also holds in the continual change of dharmas, but it also holds that these dharmas represent only the conditions of the permanent reals. The conditions and collocations of the reals change constantly, but the reals themselves are unchangeable. The effect according to the Buddhists was non-existent, it came into being for a moment and was lost. On account of this theory of causation and also on account of their doctrine of s'ûnya, they were called _vainâs'ikas_ (nihilists) by the Vedântins. This doctrine is therefore contrasted to Sâmkhya doctrine as _asatkâryavâda._ 

The jain view holds that both these views are relatively true and that from one point of view satkâryavâda is true and from another asatkâryavâda. The Sâmkhya view that the cause is continually transforming itself into its effects is technically called _parinâmavâda_ as against the Vedânta view called the _vivarttavâda_: that cause remains ever the same, and what we call effects are but illusory impositions of mere unreal appearance of name and form--mere Maya [Footnote ref. 65].

Sâmkhya Atheism and Yoga Theism Scroll Up

Granted that the interchange of the positions of the infinite number of reals produce all the world and its transformations; whence comes this fixed order of the universe, the fixed order of cause and effect, the fixed order of the so-called barriers which prevent the transformation of any cause into any effect or the first disturbance of the equilibrium of the prakrti? Sâmkhya denies the existence of Îs'vara (God) or any other exterior influence, and holds that there is an inherent tendency in these reals which guides all their movements. This tendency or teleology demands that the movements of the reals should be in such a manner that they may render some service to the souls either in the direction of enjoyment or salvation. It is by the natural course of such a tendency that prakrti is disturbed, and the gunas develop on two lines--on the mental plane, _citta_ or mind comprising the sense faculties, and on the objective plane as material objects; and it is in fulfilment of the demands of this tendency that on the one hand take place subjective experiences as the changes of the buddhi and on the other the infinite modes of the changes of objective things. It is this tendency to be of service to the purusas (_purusârthatâ_) that guides all the movements of the reals, restrains all disorder, renders the world a fit object of experience, and finally rouses them to turn back from the world and seek to attain liberation from the association of prakrti and its gratuitous service, which causes us all this trouble of samsâra.

Yoga here asks, how the blind tendency of the non-intelligent prakrti can bring forth this order and harmony of the universe, how can it determine what course of evolution will be of the best service to the purusas, how can it remove its own barriers and lend itself to the evolutionary process from the state of prakrti equilibrium? How too can this blind tendency so regulate the evolutionary order that all men must suffer pains according to their bad karmas, and happiness according to their good ones? There must be some intelligent Being who should help the course of evolution in such a way that this system of order and harmony may be attained. This Being is Îs'vara. Îs'vara is a purusa who had never been subject to ignorance, afflictions, or passions. His body is of pure sattva quality which can never be touched by ignorance. He is all knowledge and all powerful. He has a permanent wish that those barriers in the course of the evolution of the reals by which the evolution of the gunas may best serve the double interest of the purusa's experience (_bhoga_) and liberation (_apavarga_) should be removed. It is according to this permanent will of Îs'vara that the proper barriers are removed and the gunas follow naturally an intelligent course of evolution for the service of the best interests of the purusas. Îs'vara has not created the prakrti; he only disturbs the equilibrium of the prakrti in its quiescent state, and later on helps it to follow an intelligent order by which the fruits of karma are properly distributed and the order of the world is brought about. This acknowledgement of Îs'vara in Yoga and its denial by Sâmkhya marks the main theoretic difference between the two according to which the Yoga and Sâmkhya are distinguished as Ses'vara Sâmkhya (Sâmkhya with Îs'vara) and Nirîs'vara Sâmkhya (Atheistic Sâmkhya) [Footnote ref 66].

Buddhi and Purusa Scroll Up

The question again arises that though purusa is pure intelligence, the gunas are non-intelligent subtle substances, how can the latter come into touch with the former? Moreover, the purusa is pure inactive intelligence without any touch of impurity and what service or need can such a purusa have of the gunas? This difficulty is anticipated by Sâmkhya, which has already made room for its answer by assuming that one class of the gunas called sattva is such that it resembles the purity and the intelligence of the purusa to a very high degree, so much so that it can reflect the intelligence of the purusa, and thus render its non-intelligent transformations to appear as if they were intelligent. Thus all our thoughts and other emotional or volitional operations are really the non-intelligent transformations of the buddhi or citta having a large sattva preponderance; but by virtue of the reflection of the purusa in the buddhi, these appear as if they are intelligent. The self (purusa) according to Sâmkhya-Yoga is not directly demonstrated by self-consciousness. Its existence is a matter of inference on teleological grounds and grounds of moral responsibility. The self cannot be directly noticed as being separate from the buddhi modifications. Through beginningless ignorance there is a confusion and the changing states of buddhi are regarded as conscious. These buddhi changes are further so associated with the reflection of the purusa in the buddhi that they are interpreted as the experiences of the purusa. This association of the buddhi with the reflection of the purusa in the buddhi has such a special fitness (_yogyatâ_) that it is interpreted as the experience of the purusa. This explanation of Vâcaspati of the situation is objected to by Vijñâna Bhiksu. Vijñâna Bhiksu says that the association of the buddhi with the image of the purusa cannot give us the notion of a real person who undergoes the experiences. It is to be supposed therefore that when the buddhi is intelligized by the reflection of the purusa, it is then superimposed upon the purusa, and we have the notion of an abiding person who experiences [Footnote ref 67]. Whatever may be the explanation, it seems that the union of the buddhi with the purusa is somewhat mystical. As a result of this reflection of _cit_ on buddhi and the superimposition of the buddhi the purusa cannot realize that the transformations of the buddhi are not its own. Buddhi resembles purusa in transparency, and the purusa fails to differentiate itself from the modifications of the buddhi, and as a result of this non-distinction the purusa becomes bound down to the buddhi, always failing to recognize the truth that the buddhi and its transformations are wholly alien to it. This non-distinction of purusa from buddhi which is itself a mode of buddhi is what is meant by _avidyâ_ (non-knowledge) in Sâmkhya, and is the root of all experience and all misery [Footnote ref 68]. 

Yoga holds a slightly different view and supposes that the purusa not only fails to distinguish the difference between itself and the buddhi but positively takes the transformations of buddhi as its own. It is no non-perception of the difference but positively false knowledge, that we take the purusa to be that which it is not (_anyathâkhyâti_). It takes the changing, impure, sorrowful, and objective prakrti or buddhi to be the changeless, pure, happiness-begetting subject. It wrongly thinks buddhi to be the self and regards it as pure, permanent and capable of giving us happiness. This is the avidyâ of Yoga. A buddhi associated with a purusa is dominated by such an avidyâ, and when birth after birth the same buddhi is associated with the same purusa, it cannot easily get rid of this avidyâ. If in the meantime pralaya takes place, the buddhi is submerged in the prakrti, and the avidyâ also sleeps with it. When at the beginning of the next creation the individual buddhis associated with the purusas emerge, the old avidyâs also become manifest by virtue of it and the buddhis associate themselves with the purusas to which they were attached before the pralaya. Thus proceeds the course of samsâra. When the avidyâ of a person is rooted out by the rise of true knowledge, the buddhi fails to attach itself to the purusa and is forever dissociated from it, and this is the state of mukti.

The Cognitive Process and some characteristics of Citta Scroll Up

It has been said that buddhi and the internal objects have evolved in order to giving scope to the experience of the purusa. What is the process of this experience? Sâmkhya (as explained by Vâcaspati) holds that through the senses the buddhi comes into touch with external objects. At the first moment of this touch there is an indeterminate consciousness in which the particulars of the thing cannot be noticed. This is called _nirvikalpa pratyaksa_ (indeterminate perception). At the next moment by the function of the _samkalpa_ (synthesis) and _vikalpa_ (abstraction or imagination) of manas (mind-organ) the thing is perceived in all its determinate character; the manas differentiates, integrates, and associates the sense-data received through the senses, and thus generates the determinate perception, which when intelligized by the purusa and associated with it becomes interpreted as the experience of the person. The action of the senses, ahamkâra, and buddhi, may take place sometimes successively and at other times as in cases of sudden fear simultaneously. Vijñâna Bhiksu differs from this view of Vâcaspati, and denies the synthetic activity of the mind-organ (manas), and says that the buddhi directly comes into touch with the objects through the senses. At the first moment of touch the perception is indeterminate, but at the second moment it becomes clear and determinate [Footnote ref 69]. It is evident that on this view the importance of manas is reduced to a minimum and it is regarded as being only the faculty of desire, doubt and imagination.

Buddhi, including ahamkâra and the senses, often called _citta_ in Yoga, is always incessantly suffering changes like the flame of a lamp, it is made up of a large preponderance of the pure sattva substances, and is constantly moulding itself from one content to another. These images by the dual reflection of buddhi and purusa are constantly becoming conscious, and are being interpreted as the experiences of a person. The existence of the purusa is to be postulated for explaining the illumination of consciousness and for explaining experience and moral endeavour. The buddhi is spread all over the body, as it were, for it is by its functions that the life of the body is kept up; for the Sâmkhya does not admit any separate prana vâyu (vital breath) to keep the body living. What are called _vâyus_ (bio-motor force) in Vedânta are but the different modes of operation of this category of buddhi, which acts all through the body and by its diverse movements performs the life-functions and sense-functions of the body.

Apart from the perceptions and the life-functions, buddhi, or rather citta as Yoga describes it, contains within it the root impressions (_samskâras_) and the tastes and instincts or tendencies of all past lives (_vâsanâ_) [Footnote ref 70]. These samskâras are revived under suitable associations. Every man had had infinite numbers of births in their past lives as man and as some animal. In all these lives the same citta was always following him. The citta has thus collected within itself the instincts and tendencies of all those different animal lives. It is knotted with these vâsanâs like a net. If a man passes into a dog life by rebirth, the vâsanâs of a dog life, which the man must have had in some of his previous infinite number of births, are revived, and the man's tendencies become like those of a dog. He forgets the experiences of his previous life and becomes attached to enjoyment in the manner of a dog. It is by the revival of the vâsanâ suitable to each particular birth that there cannot be any collision such as might have occurred if the instincts and tendencies of a previous dog-life were active when any one was born as man.

The samskâras represent the root impressions by which any habit of life that man has lived through, or any pleasure in which he took delight for some time, or any passions which were engrossing to him, tend to be revived, for though these might not now be experienced, yet the fact that they were experienced before has so moulded and given shape to the citta that the citta will try to reproduce them by its own nature even without any such effort on our part. To safeguard against the revival of any undesirable idea or tendency it is therefore necessary that its roots as already left in the citta in the form of samskâras should be eradicated completely by the formation of the habit of a contrary tendency, which if made sufficiently strong will by its own samskâra naturally stop the revival of the previous undesirable samskâras.

Apart from these the citta possesses volitional activity (cestâ) by which the conative senses are brought into relation to their objects. There is also the reserved potent power (s'akti) of citta, by which it can restrain itself and change its courses or continue to persist in any one direction. These characteristics are involved in the very essence of citta, and form the groundwork of the Yoga method of practice, which consists in steadying a particular state of mind to the exclusion of others.

Merit or demerit (_punya, pâpa_) also is imbedded in the citta as its tendencies, regulating the mode of its movements, and giving pleasures and pains in accordance with it.

Sorrow and its Dissolution [Footnote ref  71] Scroll Up

Sâmkhya and the Yoga, like the Buddhists, hold that all experience is sorrowful. Tamas, we know, represents the pain substance. As tamas must be present in some degree in all combinations, all intellectual operations are fraught with some degree of painful feeling. Moreover even in states of temporary pleasure, we had sorrow at the previous moment when we had solicited it, and we have sorrow even when we enjoy it, for we have the fear that we may lose it. The sum total of sorrows is thus much greater than the pleasures, and the pleasures only strengthen the keenness of the sorrow. The wiser the man the greater is his capacity of realizing that the world and our experiences are all full of sorrow. For unless a man is convinced of this great truth that all is sorrow, and that temporary pleasures, whether generated by ordinary worldly experience or by enjoying heavenly experiences through the performance of Vedic sacrifices, are quite unable to eradicate the roots of sorrow, he will not be anxious for mukti or the final uprooting of pains.

A man must feel that all pleasures lead to sorrow, and that the ordinary ways of removing sorrows by seeking enjoyment cannot remove them ultimately; he must turn his back on the pleasures of the world and on the pleasures of paradise. The performances of sacrifices according to the Vedic rites may indeed give happiness, but as these involve the sacrifice of animals they must involve some sins and hence also some pains. Thus the performance of these cannot be regarded as desirable. It is when a man ceases from seeking pleasures that he thinks how best he can eradicate the roots of sorrow. Philosophy shows how extensive is sorrow, why sorrow comes, what is the way to uproot it, and what is the state when it is uprooted. The man who has resolved to uproot sorrow turns to philosophy to find out the means of doing it.

The way of eradicating the root of sorrow is thus the practical enquiry of the Sâmkhya philosophy [Footnote ref 72]. All experiences are sorrow. Therefore some means must be discovered by which all experiences may be shut out for ever. Death cannot bring it, for after death we shall have rebirth. So long as citta (mind) and purusa are associated with each other, the sufferings will continue. Citta must be dissociated from purusa. Citta or buddhi, Sâmkhya says, is associated with purusa because of the non-distinction of itself from buddhi [Footnote ref 73]. It is necessary therefore that in buddhi we should be able to generate the true conception of the nature of purusa; when this true conception of purusa arises in the buddhi it feels itself to be different, and distinct, from and quite unrelated to purusa, and thus ignorance is destroyed. As a result of that, buddhi turns its back on purusa and can no longer bind it to its experiences, which are all irrevocably connected with sorrow, and thus the purusa remains in its true form. This according to Sâmkhya philosophy is alone adequate to being about the liberation of the purusa. Prakrti which was leading us through cycles of experiences from birth to birth, fulfils its final purpose when this true knowledge arises differentiating purusa from prakrti. This final purpose being attained the prakrti can never again bind the purusa with reference to whom this right knowledge was generated; for other purusas however the bondage remains as before, and they continue their experiences from one birth to another in an endless cycle.

Yoga, however, thinks that mere philosophy is not sufficient. In order to bring about liberation it is not enough that a true knowledge differentiating purusa and buddhi should arise, but it is necessary that all the old habits of experience of buddhi, all its samskaras should be once for all destroyed never to be revived again. At this stage the buddhi is transformed into its purest state, reflecting steadily the true nature of the purusa. This is the _kevala_ (oneness) state of existence after which (all samskâras, all avidyâ being altogether uprooted) the citta is impotent any longer to hold on to the purusa, and like a stone hurled from a mountain top, gravitates back into the prakrti [Footnote ref 74]. To destroy the old samskâras, knowledge alone not being sufficient, a graduated course of practice is necessary. This graduated practice should be so arranged that by generating the practice of living higher and better modes of life, and steadying the mind on its subtler states, the habits of ordinary life may be removed. As the yogin advances he has to give up what he had adopted as good and try for that which is still better. Continuing thus he reaches the state when the buddhi is in its ultimate perfection and purity. At this stage the buddhi assumes the form of the purusa, and final liberation takes place.

Karmas in Yoga are divided into four classes: (1) _s'ukla_ or white (_punya_, those that produce happiness), (2) _krsna_ or black (_pâpa_, those that produce sorrow), (3) _s'ukla-krsna_ (_punya-pâpa_, most of our ordinary actions are partly virtuous and partly vicious as they involve, if not anything else, at least the death of many insects), (4) _as'uklâkrsna_ (those inner acts of self-abnegation, and meditation which are devoid of any fruits as pleasures or pains). All external actions involve some sins, for it is difficult to work in the world and avoid taking the lives of insects [Footnote ref 75]. All karmas proceed from the five-fold afflictions (_kles'as_), namely _avidyâ, asmitâ, râga, dvesa_ and _abhinives'a_.

We have already noticed what was meant by avidyâ. It consists generally in ascribing intelligence to buddhi, in thinking it as permanent and leading to happiness. This false knowledge while remaining in this form further manifests itself in the other four forms of asmitâ, etc. Asmitâ means the thinking of worldly objects and our experiences as really belonging to us--the sense of "mine" or "I" to things that really are the qualities or transformations of the gunas. Râga means the consequent attachment to pleasures and things. Dvesa means aversion or antipathy to unpleasant things. Abhinives'a is the desire for life or love of life--the will to be. We proceed to work because we think our experiences to be our own, our body to be our own, our family to be our own, our possessions to be our own; because we are attached to these; because we feel great antipathy against any mischief that might befall them, and also because we love our life and always try to preserve it against any mischief. These all proceed, as is easy to see, from their root avidyâ, which consists in the false identification of buddhi with purusa. These five, avidyâ, asmitâ, râga, dvesa and abhinives'a, permeate our buddhi, and lead us to perform karma and to suffer. These together with the performed karmas which lie inherent in the buddhi as a particular mode of it transmigrate with the buddhi from birth to birth, and it is hard to get rid of them [Footnote ref 76]. The karma in the aspect in which it lies in the buddhi as a mode or modification of it is called _karmâs'aya_. (the bed of karma for the purusa to lie in). We perform a karma actuated by the vicious tendencies (_kles'a_) of the buddhi. The karma when thus performed leaves its stain or modification on the buddhi, and it is so ordained according to the teleology of the prakrti and the removal of obstacles in the course of its evolution in accordance with it by the permanent will of Îs'vara that each vicious action brings sufferance and a virtuous one pleasure.

The karmas performed in the present life will generally accumulate, and when the time for giving their fruits comes, such a life is ordained for the person, such a body is made ready for him according to the evolution of prakrti as shall make it possible for him to suffer or enjoy the fruits thereof. The karma of the present life thus determines the particular kind of future birth (as this or that animal or man), the period of life (_âyus_) and the painful or pleasurable experiences (_bhoga_) destined for that life. Exceedingly good actions and extremely bad actions often produce their effects in this life. It may also happen that a man has done certain bad actions, for the realization of the fruits of which he requires a dog-life and good actions for the fruits of which he requires a man-life. In such cases the good action may remain in abeyance and the man may suffer the pains of a dog-life first and then be born again as a man to enjoy the fruits of his good actions. But if we can remove ignorance and the other afflictions, all his previous unfulfilled karmas are for ever lost and cannot again be revived. He has of course to suffer the fruits of those karmas which have already ripened. This is the _jîvanmukti_ stage, when the sage has attained true knowledge and is yet suffering mundane life in order to experience the karmas that have already ripened (_tisthati samskâravas'ât cakrabhramivaddhrtas'arîrah_).

Citta Scroll Up

The word Yoga which was formerly used in Vedic literature in the sense of the restraint of the senses is used by Patañjali in his _Yoga sûtra_ in the sense of the partial or full restraint or steadying of the states of citta. Some sort of concentration may be brought about by violent passions, as when fighting against a mortal enemy, or even by an ignorant attachment or instinct. The citta which has the concentration of the former type is called _ksipta_ (wild) and of the latter type _pramûdha_ (ignorant). There is another kind of citta, as with all ordinary people, in which concentration is only possible for a time, the mind remaining steady on one thing for a short time leaves that off and clings to another thing and so on. This is called the _viksipta_ (unsteady) stage of mind (_cittabhûmi_). As distinguished from these there is an advanced stage of citta in which it can concentrate steadily on an object for a long time. This is the _ekâgra_ (one-pointed) stage. There is a still further advanced stage in which the citta processes are absolutely stopped. This happens immediately before mukti, and is called the _nirodha_ (cessation) state of citta. The purpose of Yoga is to achieve the conditions of the last two stages of citta.

The cittas have five processes (_vrtti_), (1) _pramâna_ [Footnote ref 77] (valid cognitive states such as are generated by perception, inference and scriptural testimony), (2) _viparyaya_ (false knowledge, illusion, etc.), (3) _vikalpa_ (abstraction, construction and different kinds of imagination), (4) _nidrâ_ (sleep, is a vacant state of mind, in which tamas tends to predominate), (5) _smrti_ (memory).

These states of mind (_vrtti_) comprise our inner experience. When they lead us towards sâmsara into the course of passions and their satisfactions, they are said to be _klista_ (afflicted or leading to affliction); when they lead us towards liberation, they are called _aklista_ (unafflicted). To whichever side we go, towards samsara or towards mukti, we have to make use of our states of mind; the states which are bad often alternate with good states, and whichever state should tend towards our final good (liberation) must be regarded as good.

This draws attention to that important characteristic of citta, that it sometimes tends towards good (i.e. liberation) and sometimes towards bad (sâmsara). It is like a river, as the _Vyâsabhâsya says, which flows both ways, towards sin and towards the good. The teleology of prakrti requires that it should produce in man the sâmsara as well as the liberation tendency.

Thus in accordance with it in the midst of many bad thoughts and bad habits there come good moral will and good thoughts, and in the midst of good thoughts and habits come also bad thoughts and vicious tendencies. The will to be good is therefore never lost in man, as it is an innate tendency in him which is as strong as his desire to enjoy pleasures. This point is rather remarkable, for it gives us the key of Yoga ethics and shows that our desire of liberation is not actuated by any hedonistic attraction for happiness or even removal of pain, but by an innate tendency of the mind to follow the path of liberation [Footnote ref 78]. Removal of pains is of course the concomitant effect of following such a course, but still the motive to follow this path is a natural and irresistible tendency of the mind. Man has power (_s'akti_) stored up in his citta, and he has to use it in such a way that this tendency may gradually grow stronger and stronger and ultimately uproot the other. He must succeed in this, since prakrti wants liberation for her final realization [Footnote ref 79].

Yoga Purificatory Practices (Parikarma) Scroll Up

The purpose of Yoga meditation is to steady the mind on the gradually advancing stages of thoughts towards liberation, so that vicious tendencies may gradually be more and more weakened and at last disappear altogether. But before the mind can be fit for this lofty meditation, it is necessary that it should be purged of ordinary impurities. Thus the intending yogin should practise absolute non-injury to all living beings (_ahimsâ_), absolute and strict truthfulness (_satya_), non-stealing (_asteya_), absolute sexual restraint (_brahmacarya_) and the acceptance of nothing but that which is absolutely necessary (_aparigraha_). These are collectively called _yama_. Again side by side with these abstinences one must also practise external cleanliness by ablutions and inner cleanliness of the mind, contentment of mind, the habit of bearing all privations of heat and cold, or keeping the body unmoved and remaining silent in speech (_tapas_), the study of philosophy (_svâdhyâya_) and meditation on Îs'vara (_Îs'varapranidhâna_). These are collectively called _niyamas_. To these are also to be added certain other moral disciplines such as _pratipaksa-bhâvanâ, maitrî, karunâ, muditâ_ and _upeksâ_. Pratipaksa-bhâvanâ means that whenever a bad thought (e.g. selfish motive) may come one should practise the opposite good thought (self-sacrifice); so that the bad thoughts may not find any scope. Most of our vices are originated by our unfriendly relations with our fellow-beings. To remove these the practice of mere abstinence may not be sufficient, and therefore one should habituate the mind to keep itself in positive good relations with our fellow-beings. The practice of maitrî means to think of all beings as friends. If we continually habituate ourselves to think this, we can never be displeased with them. So too one should practise karunâ or kindly feeling for sufferers, muditâ or a feeling of happiness for the good of all beings, and upeksâ or a feeling of equanimity and indifference for the vices of others. The last one indicates that the yogin should not take any note of the vices of vicious men.

When the mind becomes disinclined to all worldly pleasures (_vairâgya_) and to all such as are promised in heaven by the performances of Vedic sacrifices, and the mind purged of its dross and made fit for the practice of Yoga meditation, the yogin may attain liberation by a constant practice (_abhyâsa_) attended with faith, confidence (_s'raddhâ_), strength of purpose and execution (_vîrya_) arid wisdom (_prajñâ_) attained at each advance.

The Yoga Meditation Scroll Up

When the mind has become pure the chances of its being ruffled by external disturbances are greatly reduced. At such a stage the yogin takes a firm posture (_âsana_) and fixes his mind on any object he chooses. It is, however, preferable that he should fix it on Îs'vara, for in that case Îs'vara being pleased removes many of the obstacles in his path, and it becomes easier for him to attain success. But of course he makes his own choice, and can choose anything he likes for the unifying concentration (_samâdhi_) of his mind. There are four states of this unifying concentration namely _vitarka, vicâra, ânanda_ and _asmitâ_. Of these vitarka and vicâra have each two varieties, _savitarka, nirvitarka, savicâra, nirvicâra_ [Footnote ref 80]. When the mind concentrates on objects, remembering their names and qualities, it is called the savitarka stage; when on the five tanmâtras with a remembrance of their qualities it is called savicâra, and when it is one with the tanmâtras without any notion of their qualities it is called nirvicâra. Higher than these are the ânanda and the asmitâ states. In the ânanda state the mind concentrates on the buddhi with its functions of the senses causing pleasure. In the asmitâ stage buddhi concentrates on pure substance as divested of all modifications. In all these stages there are objects on which the mind consciously concentrates, these are therefore called the _samprajñâta_ (with knowledge of objects) types of samâdhi. Next to this comes the last stage of samâdhi called the _asamprajñâta_ or nirodha samâdhi, in which the mind is without any object. By remaining long in this stage the old potencies (samskâras) or impressions due to the continued experience of worldly events tending towards the objective world or towards any process of experiencing inner thinking are destroyed by the production of a strong habit of the nirodha state. At this stage dawns the true knowledge, when the buddhi becomes as pure as the purusa, and after that the citta not being able to bind the purusa any longer returns back to prakrti.

In order to practise this concentration one has to see that there may be no disturbance, and the yogin should select a quiet place on a hill or in a forest. One of the main obstacles is, however, to be found in our constant respiratory action. This has to be stopped by the practice of _prânâyâma_. Prânâyâma consists in taking in breath, keeping it for a while and then giving it up. With practice one may retain breath steadily for hours, days, months and even years. When there is no need of taking in breath or giving it out, and it can be retained steady for a long time, one of the main obstacles is removed.

The process of practising concentration is begun by sitting in a steady posture, holding the breath by prânâyâma, excluding all other thoughts, and fixing the mind on any object (_dhâranâ_). At first it is difficult to fix steadily on any object, and the same thought has to be repeated constantly in the mind, this is called _dhyâna._ After sufficient practice in dhyâna the mind attains the power of making itself steady; at this stage it becomes one with its object and there is no change or repetition. There is no consciousness of subject, object or thinking, but the mind becomes steady and one with the object of thought. This is called _samâdhi_ [Footnote ref 81]. We have already described the six stages of samâdhi. As the yogin acquires strength in one stage of samâdhi, he passes on to a still higher stage and so on. As he progresses onwards he attains miraculous powers (_vibhûti_) and his faith and hope in the practice increase. Miraculous powers bring with them many temptations, but the yogin is firm of purpose and even though the position of Indra is offered to him he does not relax. His wisdom (_prajñâ_) also increases at each step. Prajñâ knowledge is as clear as perception, but while perception is limited to certain gross things and certain gross qualities [Footnote ref 82] prajñâ has no such limitations, penetrating into the subtlest things, the tanmâtras, the gunas, and perceiving clearly and vividly all their subtle conditions and qualities [Footnote ref 83]. As the potencies (_samskâra_) of the prajñâ wisdom grow in strength the potencies of ordinary knowledge are rooted out, and the yogin continues to remain always in his prajñâ wisdom. It is a peculiarity of this prajñâ that it leads a man towards liberation and cannot bind him to samsâra. The final prajñâs which lead to liberation are of seven kinds, namely, (1) I have known the world, the object of suffering and misery, I have nothing more to know of it. (2) The grounds and roots of samsâra have been thoroughly uprooted, nothing more of it remains to be uprooted. (3) Removal has become a fact of direct cognition by inhibitive trance. (4) The means of knowledge in the shape of a discrimination of purusa from prakrti has been understood. The other three are not psychological but are rather metaphysical processes associated with the situation. They are as follows: (5) The double purpose of buddhi experience and emancipation (_bhoga_ and _apavarga_) has been realized. (6) The strong gravitating tendency of the disintegrated gunas drives them into prakrti like heavy stones dropped from high hill tops. (7) The buddhi disintegrated into its constituents the gunas become merged in the prakrti and remain there for ever. The purusa having passed beyond the bondage of the gunas shines forth in its pure intelligence. There is no bliss or happiness in this Sâmkhya-Yoga mukti, for all feeling belongs to prakrti. It is thus a state of pure intelligence. What the Sâmkhya tries to achieve through knowledge, Yoga achieves through the perfected discipline of the will and psychological control of the mental states.

Suggestions for Further Reading

FootnotesScroll Up

[Footnote 1: This chapter is based on my _Study of Patanjali_, published by the Calcutta University, and my _Yoga philosophy in relation to other Indian Systems of thought_, awaiting publication with the same authority. The system has been treated in detail in those two works.]

[Footnote 2: The philosophy of the Vedas as formulated by the Mîmâmsâ of Kumârila and Prabhâkara holds the opposite view. Truth according to them is determined _a priori_ while error is determined by experience.]

[Footnote 3: Historically the doctrine of momentariness is probably prior to the doctrine of _arthakriyâkâritva._ But the later Buddhists sought to prove that momentariness was the logical result of the doctrine of _arthakriyâkâritva_.]

[Footnote 4: See Hillebrandt's article, "Brahman" (_E. R.E._).]

[Footnote 5: Katha III. 10, V. 7. S'veta. V. 7, 8, 12, IV. 5, I. 3. This has been dealt with in detail in my _Yoga Philosophy in relation to other Indian Systems of Thought_, in the first chapter.]

[Footnote 6: I suppose that Râjâ's commentary on the _Kârikâ_ was the same as _Râjavârttika_ quoted by Vâcaspati. Râjâ's commentary on the _Kârikâ_ has been referred to by Jayanta in his _Nyâyamañjarî_, p. 109. This book is probably now lost.]

[Footnote 7: Readers unacquainted with Sâmkhya-Yoga may omit the following three sections at the time of first reading.]

[Footnote 8: Purua is here excluded from the list. Cakrapâni, the commentator, says that the prakrti and purusa both being unmanifested, the two together have been counted as one. _Prakrtivyatiriktañcodâsînam purusamavyaktatvasâdharmyât avyaktâyâm prakrtâveva praksipya avyaktas'avbdenaiva grhnâti._ Harinâtha Vis'ârada's edition of _Caraka, S'ârîra_, p. 4.]

[Footnote 9: But some sort of subtle matter, different from gross matter, is referred to as forming part of _prakrti_ which is regarded as having eight elements in it _prakrtis'castadhâtuki_), viz. avyakta, mahat, ahamkâra, and five other elements. In addition to these elements forming part of the prakrti we hear of indriyârthâ, the five sense objects which have evolved out of the prakrti.]

[Footnote 10: This passage has been differently explained in a commentary previous to Cakrapâni as meaning that at the time of death these resolve back into the prakrti--the purusa--and at the time of rebirth they become manifest again. See Cakrapâni on s'ârîra, I. 46.]

[Footnote 11: Though this state is called brahmabhûta, it is not in any sense like the Brahman of Vedânta which is of the nature of pure being, pure intelligence and pure bliss. This indescribable state is more like absolute annihilation without any sign of existence (_alaksanam_), resembling Nâgârjuna's Nirvâna. Thus Caraka writes:--_tasmims'caramasannyâse samûlâhhsarvavedanâh asamjñâjñânavijñânâ nivrttim yântyas'esatah. atahparam brahmabhûto bhûtâtmâ nopalabhyate nihsrtah sarvabhâvebhyah cihnam yasya na vidyate. gatirbrahmavidâm brahma taccâksaramalaksanam. Caraka, S'ârîra_ 1. 98-100.]

[Footnote 12: Four causes are spoken of here as being causes of memory: (1) Thinking of the cause leads to the remembering of the effect, (2) by similarity, (3) by opposite things, and (4) by acute attempt to remember.]

[Footnote 13: Some European scholars have experienced great difficulty in accepting Pañcas'ikha's doctrine as a genuine Sâmkhya doctrine. This may probably be due to the fact that the Sâmkhya doctrines sketched in _Caraka_ did not attract their notice.]

[Footnote 14: Gunaratna's _Tarkarahasyadîpikâ_, p. 99.]

[Footnote 15: A verse attributed to Âsuri is quoted by Gunaratna (_Tarkarahasyadîpikâ,_ p. 104). The purport of this verse is that when buddhi is transformed in a particular manner, it (purusa) has experience. It is like the reflection of the moon in transparent water.]

[Footnote 16: Vassilief's _Buddhismus,_ p. 240.]

[Footnote 17: Takakusu's "A study of Paramârtha's life of Vasubandhu," _J. R.A.S._, 1905. This identification by Takakusu, however, appears to be extremely doubtful, for Gunaratna mentions Îs'varakrsna and Vindhyavâsin as two different authorities (_Tarkarahasyadîpikâ,_ pp. 102 and 104). The verse quoted from Vindhyavâsin (p. 104) in anustubh metre cannot be traced as belonging to Îs'varakrsnâ. It appears that Îs'varakrsna wrote two books; one is the _Sâmkhya kârikâ_ and another an independent work on Sâmkhya, a line from which, quoted by Gunaratna, stands as follows:

"_Pratiniyatâdhyavasâyah s'rotrâdisamuttha adhyaksam_" (p. 108).

If Vâcaspati's interpretation of the classification of anumâna in his _Tattvakaumudî_ be considered to be a correct explanation of _Sâmkhya kârikâ_ then Îs'varakrsna must be a different person from Vindhyavâsin whose views on anumâna as referred to in _S'lokavârttika,_ p. 393, are altogether different. But Vâcaspati's own statement in the _Tâtparyyatîkâ_ (pp. 109 and 131) shows that his treatment there was not faithful.]

[Footnote 18: Patañjali's Mahâbhâsya, IV. I. 3. _Atisannikarsâdativiprakarsât mûrttyantaravyavadhânât tamasâvrtatvât indriyadaurvalyâdatipramâdât,_ etc. (Benares edition.)]

[Footnote 19: _Ahirbudhnya Samhitâ,_ pp. 108, 110.]

[Footnote 20: The doctrine of the _viparyyaya, tusti_, defects of organs, and the _siddhi_ are mentioned in the _Karikâ_ of Is'varakrsna, but I have omitted them in my account of Sâmkhya as these have little philosophical importance. The viparyyaya (false knowledge) are five, viz. avidyâ (ignorance), asmita (egoism), raga (attachment), dvesa (antipathy), abhimives'a (self-love), which are also called _tamo, moha, mahâmoha, tamisrâ_, and _andhatâmisra_. These are of nine kinds of tusti, such as the idea that no exertion is necessary, since prakrti will herself bring our salvation (_ambhas_), that it is not necessary to meditate, for it is enough if we renounce the householder's life (_salila_), that there is no hurry, salvation will come in time (_megha_), that salvation will be worked out by fate (_bhâgya_), and the contentment leading to renunciation proceeding from five kinds of causes, e.g. the troubles of earning (_para_), the troubles of protecting the earned money (_supara_), the natural waste of things earned by enjoyment (_parâpara_), increase of desires leading to greater disappointments (_anuttamâmbhas_), all gain leads to the injury of others (_uttamâmbhas_). This renunciation proceeds from external considerations with those who consider prakrti and its evolutes as the self. The siddhis or ways of success are eight in number, viz. (1) reading of scriptures (_târa_), (2) enquiry into their meaning (_sutâra_), (3) proper reasoning (_târatâra_), (4) corroborating one's own ideas with the ideas of the teachers and other workers of the same field (_ramyaka_), (5) clearance of the mind by long-continued practice (_sadâmudita_). The three other siddhis called pramoda, mudita, and modamâna lead directly to the separation of the prakrti from the purus'a. The twenty-eight sense defects are the eleven defects of the eleven senses and seventeen kinds of defects of the understanding corresponding to the absence of siddhis and the presence of tustis. The viparyyayas, tustis and the defects of the organs are hindrances in the way of the achievement of the Sâmkhya goal.]

[Footnote 2 1: _Tarkarahasyadîpikâ_, p. 109.]

[Footnote 22: _evam sadvims'akam prâhah s'arîramth mânavâh sâmkhyam samkhyâtmakatvâcca kapilâdibhirucyate. Matsyapurâna_, IV. 28.]

[Footnote 23: Venkata's philosophy will be dealt with in the second volume of the present work.]

[Footnote 24: See my _Study of Patanjali_, p. 60 ff.]

[Footnote 25: Compare R.V.I. 34. 9/VII. 67. 8/III. 27. II/X. 30. II/X. 114. 9/IV. 24. 4/I. 5. 3/I. 30. 7; S'atapatha Brahmana 14. 7. I. II.]

[Footnote 26: It is probably an old word of the Aryan stock; compare German Joch, A.S. geoc. l atm jugum.]

[Footnote 27: See Chandogya III. 17. 4; Brh. I. 2. 6; Brh. III. 8. 10; Taitt. I. 9. I/III. 2. I/III. 3. I; Taitt, Brâh, II. 2. 3. 3; R.V.x. 129; S'atap. Brâh. XI. 5. 8. 1.]

[Footnote 28: Katha III. 4, _indriyâni hayânâhuh visayâtesugocarân_. The senses are the horses and whatever they grasp are their objects. Maitr. 2. 6. _Karmendriyânyasya hayâh_ the conative senses are its horses.]

[Footnote 29: _Yugyah_ is used from the root of _yujir yoge_ and not from _yuja samâdhau_. A consideration of Panini's rule "Tadasya brahmacaryam," V.i. 94 shows that not only different kinds of asceticism and rigour which passed by the name of brahmacarya were prevalent in the country at the time (Pânini as Goldstûcker has proved is pre-buddhistic), but associated with these had grown up a definite system of mental discipline which passed by the name of Yoga.]

[Footnote 30: Vâtsyâyana, however, in his bhâsya on _Nyâya sûtra_, I. i 29, distinguishes Sâmkhya from Yoga in the following way: The Sâmkhya holds that nothing can come into being nor be destroyed, there cannot be any change in the pure intelligence (_niratis'ayâh cetanâh_). All changes are due to changes in the body, the senses, the manas and the objects. Yoga holds that all creation is due to the karma of the purusa. Dosas (passions) and the pravrtti (action) are the cause of karma. The intelligences or souls (cetana) are associated with qualities. Non being can come into being and what is produced may be destroyed. The last view is indeed quite different from the Yoga of _Vyâsabhâsya,_ It is closer to Nyâya in its doctrines. If Vâtsyâyana's statement is correct, it would appear that the doctrine of there being a moral purpose in creation was borrowed by Sâmkhya from Yoga. Udyotakara's remarks on the same sûtra do not indicate a difference but an agreement between Sâmkhya and Yoga on the doctrine of the _indriyas_ being "_abhautika._" Curiously enough Vâtsyâyana quotes a passage from _Vyâsabhâsya,_ III. 13, in his bhâsya, I. ii. 6, and criticizes it as self-contradictory (_viruddha_).]

[Footnote 3 1: The Yoga writer Jaigîsavya wrote "_Dhâranâs'âstra_" which dealt with Yoga more in the fashion of Tantra then that given by Patañjali. He mentions different places in the body (e.g. heart, throat, tip of the nose, palate, forehead, centre of the brain) which are centres of memory where concentration is to be made. See Vâcaspati's _Tâtparyatîkâ_ or Vâtsyâyana's bhâsya on _Nyâya sûtra_, III. ii. 43.]

[Footnote 32: Weber's _History of Indian Literature_, p. 223 n.]

[Footnote 33: Patañjali's _Mahâbhâsya,_ 1. 2. 64.]

[Footnote 34: It is important to notice that the most important Buddhist reference _naraika-cittatantram vastu tadapramânakam tadâ kim syât_ (IV. 16) was probably a line of the Vyâsabhâsya, as Bhoja, who had consulted many commentaries as he says in the preface, does not count it as sûtra.]

[Footnote 35: Cf. _Yoga sûtra_ I. 23-29 and II. 1, 45. The _Yoga sûtras_ speak of Is'vâra (God) as an eternally emancipated purusa, omniscient, and the teacher of all past teachers. By meditating on him many of the obstacles such as illness, etc., which stand in the way of Yoga practice are removed. He is regarded as one of the alternative objects of concentration. The commentator Vyâsa notes that he is the best object, for being drawn towards the Yogin by his concentration. He so wills that he can easily attain concentration and through it salvation. No argument is given in the _Yoga sûtras_ of the existence of God.]

[Footnote 36: Cf. Yoga II. 1.]

[Footnote 37: Alberuni, in his account of the book of Sâmkhya, gives a list of commandments which practically is the same as yama and niyama, but it is said that through them one cannot attain salvation.]

[Footnote 38: Cf. the account of _Pâs'upatadars'ana_ in _Sarvadas'anasamgraha_.]

[Footnote 39: _prânâyâmah pratyâhârah dhyânam dharanâ tarkah samâdhih sadanga ityucyate yoga_ (Maitr. 6 8).]

[Footnote 4 1: _Yoga sûtra,_ II. 15, 16. 17. _Yathâcikitsâs'âstram caturvyûham rogo rogahetuh ârogyam bhais'ajyamiti evamidamapi s'âstram caturvyûhameva; tadyathâ samsârah, samsârahetuh moksah moksopâyah; duhkhabahulah samsâro heyah, pradhânapurusayoh samyogo heyahetuh, samyogasyâtyantikî nivrttirhânam hanopâyah samyagdar`sanam, Vyâsabhâsya_, II. 15]

[Footnote 4 2: Oldenberg's _Buddhism_ [Footnote ref 1].]

[Footnote 43: See S.N. Das Gupta, _Yoga Philosophy in relation to other Indian systems of thought,_ ch. II. The most important point in favour of this identification seems to be that both the Patañjalis as against the other Indian systems admitted the doctrine of _sphota_ which was denied even by Sâmkhya. On the doctrine of Sphota see my _Study of Patanjali_, Appendix I.]

[Footnote 44: _Kârikâ_, 18.]

[Footnote 45: See Citsukha's _Tattvapradîpikâ,_ IV.]

[Footnote 46: _Tattakaumudî_ 5; _Yogavârttika_, IV. 22; _Vijñânâmrtabhâsya_, p. 74; _Yogavârttika_ and _Tattvavais'âradî_, I. 4, II. 6, 18, 20; _Vyâsabhâsya,_ I. 6, 7.]

[Footnote 47: It is important to note that Sâmkhya has two terms to denote the two aspects involved in knowledge, viz. the relating element of awareness as such (_cit_) and the content (_buddhi_) which is the form of the mind-stuff representing the sense-data and the image. Cognition takes place by the reflection of the former in the latter.]

[Footnote 48: _Kârikâ_, 12, with Gaudpâda and Nârâyanatîrtha.]

[Footnote 49: _Yogavârttika_, II. 18; Bhâvâganes'a's _Tattvayâthârthyadîpana_, pp. 1-3; _Vijñânâmrtabhâsya_, p. 100; _Tattvakaumudî_, 13; also Gaudapâda and Nârâyanatîrtha, 13.]

[Footnote 50: _Yogavârttika,_ II. 19, and _Pravacanabhâsya,_ I. 61.]

[Footnote 51: _Kaumudî_ 13-16; _Tattvavais'âradî_ II. 20, IV. 13, 14; also _Yogavârttika,_ IV. 13,14.]

[Footnote 52: Dr B.N. Seal's _Positive Sciences of the Ancient Hindus_, 1915, p.7.]

[Footnote 53: The Yoga answer is of course different. It believes that the disturbance of the equilibrium of prakrti for new creation takes place by the will of Îs'vara (God).]

[Footnote 54: I have accepted in this section and in the next many of the translations of Sanskrit terms and expressions of Dr Seal and am largely indebted to him for his illuminating exposition of this subject as given in Ray's _Hindu Chemistry._ The credit of explaining Sâmkhya physics, in the light of the text belongs entirely to him.]

[Footnote 55: Dr Seal's _Positive Sciences of the Ancient Hindus_.]

[Footnote 56: Dr Seal's _Positive Sciences of the Ancient Hindus_.]

[Footnote 57: There were various ways in which the genesis of tanmâtras and atoms were explained in literatures other than Sâmkhya; for some account of it see Dr Seal's _Positive Sciences of the Ancient Hindus_.]

[Footnote 58: Dr B.N. Seal in describing this âkâs'a says "Âkâs'a corresponds in some respects to the ether of the physicists and in others to what may be called proto-atom (protyle)." Ray's _History of Hindu Chemistry_, p. 88.]

[Footnote 59: _Vyâsabhâsya_ and _Yogavârttika_, IV. 3; _Tattvavais'âradî_, IV. 3.]

[Footnote 60: Ray, _History of Hindu Chemistry_, p. 72.]

[Footnote 61: _Ibid._ p. 73.]

[Footnote 62: _Vyâsabhâsya, Tattvavais'âradî_ and _Yogavârttika,_ III. 14.]

[Footnote 63: It is well to note in this connection that Sâmkhya-yoga does not admit the existence of time as an independent entity like the Nyâya-Vais'esika. Time represents the order of moments in which the mind grasps the phenomenal changes. It is hence a construction of the mind (_buddhi-nirmâna_). The time required by an atom to move its own measure of space is called a moment (_ksana_) or one unit of time. Vijñâna Bhiksu regards one unit movement of the gunas or reals as a moment. When by true wisdom the gunas are perceived as they are both the illusory notions of time and space vanish. _Vyâsabhâsya, Tattvavais'âradî_, and _Yogavârttika_, III. 52 and III. 13.]

[Footnote 64: _Tattvakaumudî,_ 9.]

[Footnote 65: Both the Vedânta and the Sâmkhya theories of causation are sometimes loosely called _satkâryyavâda._ But correctly speaking as some discerning commentators have pointed out, the Vedânta theory of causation should be called satkâranavâda for according to it the _kârana_ (cause) alone exists (_sat_) and all _kâryyas,_ (effects) are illusory appearances of the kârana; but according to Sâmkhya the kâryya exists in a potential state in the kârana and is hence always existing and real.]

[Footnote 66: _Tattvavais'âradî,_ IV. 3; _Yogavârttika,_ I. 24; and _Pravavanabhâsya,_ V. 1-12.]

[Footnote 67: _Tattvavais'âradî_ and _Yogavârttika_, I. 4.]

[Footnote 68: This indicates the nature of the analysis of illusion with Sâmkhya. It is the non-apprehension of the distinction of two things (e.g. the snake and the rope) that is the cause of illusion; it is therefore called the _akhyâti_ (non-apprehension) theory of illusion which must be distinguished from the _anyathâkhyâti_ (misapprehension) theory of illusion of Yoga which consists in positively misapprehending one (e.g. the rope) for the other (e.g. snake). _Yogavârttika,_ I. 8.]

[Footnote 69: As the contact of the buddhi with the external objects takes place through the senses, the sense data of colours, etc., are modified by the senses if they are defective. The spatial qualities of things are however perceived by the senses directly, but the time-order is a scheme of the citta or the buddhi. Generally speaking Yoga holds that the external objects are faithfully copied by the buddhi in which they are reflected, like trees in a lake

"_tasmims'ca darpane sphâre samasta vastudrstayah imâstâh pratibimbanti sarasiva tatadrumâh_" _Yogavarttika_, I. 4.

The buddhi assumes the form of the object which is reflected on it by the senses, or rather the mind flows out through the senses to the external objects and assumes their forms: "_indriyânyeva pranâlikâ cittasancaranamargah taih samyujya tadgola kadvârâ bâhyavastusûparaktasya cittasyendryasahityenaivârthakarah parinâmo bhavati_" _Yogavârttika_, I. VI. 7. Contrast _Tattvakaumudî_, 27 and 30.]

[Footnote 70: The word samskâra is used by Pânini who probably preceded Buddha in three different senses (1) improving a thing as distinguished from generating a new quality (_Sata utkarsâdhânam samskârah_, Kâs'ila on Pânini, VI. ii. 16), (2) conglomeration or aggregation, and (3) adornment (Pânini, VI. i. 137, 138). In the Pitakas the word sankhâra is used in various senses such as constructing, preparing, perfecting, embellishing, aggregation, matter, karma, the skandhas (collected by Childers). In fact sankhâra stands for almost anything of which impermanence could be predicated. But in spite of so many diversities of meaning I venture to suggest that the meaning of aggregation (_samavâya_ of Pânini) is prominent. The word _samskaroti_ is used in Kausîtaki, II. 6, Chândogya IV. xvi. 2, 3, 4, viii. 8, 5, and Brhadâranyaka, VI. iii. 1, in the sense of improving. I have not yet come across any literary use of the second meaning in Sanskrit. The meaning of samskâra in Hindu philosophy is altogether different. It means the impressions (which exist subconsciously in the mind) of the objects experienced. All our experiences whether cognitive, emotional or conative exist in subconscious states and may under suitable conditions be reproduced as memory (smrti). The word vâsanâ (_Yoga sûtra_, IV. 24) seems to be a later word. The earlier Upanissads do not mention it and so far as I know it is not mentioned in the Pâli pitakas. _Abhidhânappadîpikâ_ of Moggallâna mentions it, and it occurs in the Muktika Upanisad. It comes from the root "_vas_" to stay. It is often loosely used in the sense of samskâra, and in _Vyâsabhâsya_ they are identified in IV. 9. But vâsanâ generally refers to the tendencies of past lives most of which lie dormant in the mind. Only those appear which can find scope in this life. But samskâras are the sub-conscious states which are being constantly generated by experience. Vâsanâs are innate samskâras not acquired in this life. See _Vyâsabhâsya, Tattvâvais'âradî_ and _Yogavârttika_, II. 13.]

[Footnote 7 1: Tattavais'âradî and Yogavârttika, II. 15, and Tattvakaumudî, I.]

[Footnote 72: Yoga puts it in a slightly modified form. Its object is the cessation of the rebirth-process which is so much associated with sorrow {_duhkhabahlah samsârah heyah_).]

[Footnote 73: The word _citta_ is a Yoga term. It is so called because it is the repository of all sub-conscious states. Sâmkhyn generally uses, the word buddhi. Both the words mean the same substance, the mind, but they emphasize its two different functions. Buddhi means intellection.]

[Footnote 74: Both Sâmkhya and Yoga speak of this emancipated state a _Kaivalya_ (alone-ness), the former because all sorrows have been absolutely uprooted, never to grow up again and the latter because at this state purusa remains for ever alone without any association with buddhi, see _Sâmkhya kârikâ_, 68 and _Yoga sûtras_, IV. 34.]

[Footnote 75: _Vyâsabhâsya_ and _Tattvavais'âradî_, IV. 7.]

[Footnote 76: _Vyâsabhâsya_ and _Tattvavais'âradî_, II. 3-9.]

[Footnote 77: Sâmkhya holds that both validity and invalidity of any cognition depend upon the cognitive state itself and not on correspondence with external facts or objects (_svatah prâmânyam svatah aprâmânyam_). The contribution of Sâmkhya to the doctrine of inference is not definitely known. What little Vâcaspati says on the subject has been borrowed from Vâtsyâyana such as the _pûrvavat, s'esavat_ and _sâmânyatodrsta_ types of inference, and these may better be consulted in our chapter on Nyâya or in the Tâtparyatîkâ_ of Vâcaspati. Sâmkhya inference was probably from particular to particular on the ground of seven kinds of relations according to which they had seven kinds of inference "_mâtrânimittasamyogivirodhisahacâribhih. Svasvâmibadhyaghâtâdyaih sâmkhyânâm saptadhânumâ_" (_Tâtparyatîkâ_, p. 109). Sâmkhya definition of inference as given by Udyotakara (I.I. V) is "_sambandhâdekasmât pratyaksacchesasiddhiranumânam_."]

[Footnote 78: Sâmkhya however makes the absolute and complete destruction of three kinds of sorrows, _âdhyâtmika_ (generated internally by the illness of the body or the unsatisfied passions of the mind), _âdhibhautika_ (generated externally by the injuries inflicted by other men, beasts, etc.) and _âdhidaivika_ (generated by the injuries inflicted by demons and ghosts) the object of all our endeavours (_purusârtha_).]

[Footnote 79: See my "_Yoga Psychology_," _Quest_, October, 1921.]

[Footnote 80: Vâcaspati, however, thinks that ânanda and asmitâ have also two other varieties, which is denied by Bhiksu.]

[Footnote 8 1: It should be noted that the word _samâdhi_ cannot properly be translated either by "concentration" or by "meditation." It means that peculiar kind of concentration in the Yoga sense by which the mind becomes one with its object and there is no movement of the mind into its passing states.]

[Footnote 82: The limitations which baffle perception are counted in the _Kârikâ_ as follows: Extreme remoteness (e.g. a lark high up in the sky), extreme proximity (e.g. collyrium inside the eye), loss of sense-organ (e.g. a blind man), want of attention, extreme smallness of the object (e.g. atoms), obstruction by other intervening objects (e.g. by walls), presence of superior lights (the star cannot be seen in daylight), being mixed up with other things of its own kind (e.g. water thrown into a lake).]

[Footnote 83: Though all things are but the modifications of gunas yet the real nature of the gunas is never revealed by the sense knowledge. What appears to the senses are but illusory characteristics like those of magic (mâyâ):

"_Gunânâm paramam rûpam na drstipathamrcchati Yattu drstipatham prâptam tanmâyeva sutucchakam._"

_Vyâsabhâsya_, IV. 13.

The real nature of the gunas is thus revealed only by _prajñâ._]



Source: A History Of Indian Philosophy Surendranath Dasgupta Volume I First Edition: Cambridge, 1922. Produced by Srinivasan Sriram and, William Boerst and PG Distributed Proofreaders. Prepared and reformatted by Jayaram V for While we have made every effort to reproduce the text correctly, we do not guarantee or accept any responsibility for any errors or omissions or inaccuracies in the reproduction of this text. Please refer the original text for any academic or serious studies.

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