BEd 2nd Year Meaning of Sankhya Study Material Notes
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Meaning of Sankhya
The word ‘Sankhya’ is derived from the word “Sankhya’ which means right knowledge as well as number. The Gita uses this word in the sense of knowledge, so does the Mahabharata at other places also. Sankhya means the philosophy of right knowledge (samyak khyati or janana). The system is predominately intellectual and theoretical. Right knowledge is the knowledge of the separation of the Purusa for the, Prakrti. Yoga, as the counterpart of Sankhya, means action or practice and tells us how the theoretical metaphysical teachings of Sankhya might be realized in actual practice. (BEd 2nd Year Meaning of Sankhya Study Material Notes)
Thus Sankhya-Yoga forms one complete system, the former being the theoretical while the latter being the practical aspect of the same teaching. Sankhya is also the philosophy of numbers, because it deals with twenty-five categories. As a philosophy of numbers, it might have influenced the Pythagorean philosophy. (BEd 2nd Year Meaning of Sankhya Study Material Notes)
Sankhya gives five arguments in support of Satharyavada
- If the effect does not pre-exist in its cause, it becomes a mere nonentity like the hare’s horn or the sky-flower and can never be produced (asadakaranat). (BEd 2nd Year Meaning of Sankhya Study Material Notes)
- The effect is only a manifestation of its material cause, because it is invariable connected with it (upadanagrahant).
- Everything cannot be produced out of everything. This suggests that the effect, before its manifestation, is implicit in its material cause (sarvasambhavabhavat). (BEd 2nd Year Meaning of Sankhya Study Material Notes)
- Only an efficient cause can produce that for which it is potent. This again means that the effect, before its manifestation, is potentially contained in its material cause. Production is only an actualization of the potential (shaktasya shakyakaranat). Were it not so, then curd should be produced out of water, and cloth out of reeds, and oil out of stand particles,
- The effect is the essence of its material cause and as such identical with it. When the obstructions in the way of manifestation are removed, the effect naturally flows out of its cause. The cause and the effect are the implicit and the explicit stages of the same process. The cloth is contained in the threads, the oil in the oil seeds, the curd in the milk. The effect pre-exists in its material cause (karanabhavat). (BEd 2nd Year Meaning of Sankhya Study Material Notes)
The theory that causation means a real transformation of the material cause leads to the concept of Prakrti as the root-cause of the world of objects. Sankhya gives five proofs for the existence of Prakrti which are as follows
- All individual thins in things world are limited, dependent, conditional and finite. The finite cannot be the cause of the universe. Logically we have to proceed from the finite to the infinite, from the limited to the unlimited, from the peros to the aperos, from the temporary to the permanent, from the many to the one. And it is this infinite, unlimited, eternal and all-pervading Prakrti which is the source of this universe (bheaanam parimanat).
- All worldly things process certain common characteristics by which they are capable for producing pleasure, pain and indifference. Hence there must be a common source composed of three Gunas, form which ally worldly things arise (samanvayat). (BEd 2nd Year Meaning of Sankhya Study Material Notes)
- All effects arise from the activity of the potent cause. Evolution means the manifestation of the hitherto implicit as the explicit. The activitym which generates evolution must be inherent in the word-cause. And this cause is Prakrti inherent in the world-cause.,/and this cause is Prakrti (karyathah pravrttescha).
- The effect differs from the cause and hence the limited effect cannot be regarded as its own cause. The effect, is the explicit and the cause is the implicit state of the same process. The effects, therefore, point to a world-cause where they are potentially contained (karanakaryavibhagat). (BEd 2nd Year Meaning of Sankhya Study Material Notes)
- The unity of the universe points to a single cause. And this cause is Prakrti. (avibhagat vaishvarupyasya).
The other of the two co-present co-eternal realities of sankhya is the Purusa, the principal of pure Consciousness. Purusa is the soul, the self, the spirit, the subject, the knower.
Sankhya gives the following five proofs for the existence of the Purusa
- All compound objects exist for the sake of the Purusa. The body, the senses, the mind and the intellect are all means to realize the end of the Purusa. The three gunas, the prakrti, the subtle body-all are said to serve the purpose of the self. Evolution is teleological or purposive. Prakrti evolves itself in order to serve the purasa’s end. This proof is teleological (sanghataparathatvát).
- All objects are composed of the three gunas and therefore logically presuppose the exisfence of the Purusa who is the witness of these gunas and is himself beyond them. The three gunas imply the conception of a nistraigunya-that which is beyond them. This proof is logical (trigunadiviparyayat). (BEd 2nd Year Meaning of Sankhya Study Material Notes)
- There must be a transcendental synthetic unity of pure consciousness to coordinate all experiences. All knowledge necessarily presupposes the existence of the self. The self is the foundation (adhisthana). The fundamental postulate of all empirical knowledge. All affirmations and all negations equally presuppose it. Without it, experience would not become experience. This proof is ontologica(adhisthanat). (BEd 2nd Year Meaning of Sankhya Study Material Notes)
- Non-intelligent Prakrti cannot experience its products. So there must be a intelligent principles to experience the worldly products of Prakrti. Prakrti is the enjoyed (bhogya) and so there must be an enjoyer (bhokta). All objects of the world have the characteristics of producing pleasure, pain and bewilderment. But pleasure, pain and bewilderment have meaning only when there is a conscious principle to experience them. Hence Purusa must exist. This argument is ethical (bhoktrbhavat).
- There are person’s who try to attain release from the sufferings of the world. The desire for liberation and emancipation implies the existence of a person who can try for and obtain liberation. Aspiration presupposes the aspirant. This proof is mystical or religious (kaivalyartham pravrtteh). (BEd 2nd Year Meaning of Sankhya Study Material Notes)
The original Sankyha was monistic and theistic. But the classical Sankhya, · perhaps under the influence of Materialism, Jainism and Early Buddhism, became atheistic. It is orthodox because it believes in the authority of the Veda. It does not establish the non-existence of God. It only shows that Prakrti and Purusas are sufficient to explain this universe and therefore there is no reason for postulating a hypothesis of God. (BEd 2nd Year Meaning of Sankhya Study Material Notes)
But some commentators have tried to repudiate the existence of God, while the later Sankhya writers like Vijnanabhiksu have tried to revive the necessity for admitting God. Those who repudiate the existence of God give the following arguments : If God is affected by selfish motives, he is not free; if He is free; He will not create this world of pain and misery, Either God is unjust and cruel or He is not free and all-powerful. If He is determined by the law pf Karma, He is not free if not, He is a tyrant.
Again, God being pure knowledge, this material world cannot spring form Him. The effects are implicitly contained in their cause and the material world which is subject to change requires an unintelligent and ever-changing cause and not a spiritual and immutable God. Again, the eternal existence of the purusas is inconsistent with God. If they are the parts of God, they must have some divine power. If they are created by God, they are subject to destruction. Hence there is no God..
YOGA (ASTANGA YOGA)
Patanjali is the traditional founder of the Yoga system. The word ‘Yoga’ literally means ‘union’, i.e., spiritual union of the individual soul with the Universal Soul and is used in this sense in the Vedanta. According to tatanjali, Yoga does not mean union but spiritual efforts to attain perfection through the control of the body, senses and mind, and through right discrimination between Purusa and Prakrti.
Sankhya and Yoga
Yoga is intimately allied to Sankhya. the Gita calls them one. Yoga means spiritual action and Sankhya means knowledge. Sankhya is theory; Yoga is practice. For all practical purposes, Sankhya and Yoga may be treated as the theoretical and the practical sides of the same system. Yoga mostly accepts the metaphysics and the epistemology of Sankhya. It shows the practical path by following which one may attain Viveka-jnana which along leads to liberation.
Yoga accepts the three pramanasperception, inference and testimony of Sankhya and also the twenty-five metaphysical principles. Yoga believes in God as the highest Self distinct form other selves. Hence it is sometimes called ‘Seshvara Sankhya’ or “Theistic Sankhya’ as distinct from Classical Sankhya which is nirishvara or atheistic.
The Yoga-sutra is divided into four parts. The first is called Samadhipada which deals with the nature and aim of concentration. The second, Samadhipada, explains the means to realize this end. The third, Vibhutipads, deals with the supra-normal powers which can be acquired through Yoga. The fourth, Kaivalyapads, describes the nature of liberation and the reality of the transcendental self.
To overcome them, Yoga gives us the Eightfold Path of Discipline (Astanga Yoga)-Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranyema, Pratyahara, Dharna, Dhyana and Samadhi.
- Yama : It means abstention and includes the five vows of Jainism. It is abstention from injury through thought, word or deed (ahimsa), from falsehood (satya), from stealing (asteya), from passions and lust (brahmacharya), and from avarice (aparigraha).
- Niyama : It is self-culture and includes, external and internal purification (shaucha), contentment (santosa), austerity (tapas), study (shaucha), and devotion to God (Ishvarapranidhana).
- Asana : It means steady and comfortable posture. There are various kinds of postures which are a physical help to meditation. This is the discipline of the body. (BEd 2nd Year Meaning of Sankhya Study Material Notes)
- Pranayama : It means control of breath and deals with regulation of inhalation, retention and exhalation of breath. It is beneficial to health and is highly conducive to the concentration of the mind. But it must be performed under expert guidance otherwise it may have bad after-effects. (BEd 2nd Year Meaning of Sankhya Study Material Notes)