Kapila is the father of the Sankhya philiosphy. Veda Vyasa tells us that he is an Avatar of Vishnu and that he is the son of Kardama Maharshi and Devahuti.

The first philosophy that Sri Krishna discusses in the Bhagavad Gita is the Sankhya philosophy. Patanjali the author of the Yoga Sutras and the Mahabhasya was a follower of the Sankhya philosopy.

Kapila protested against the sacrifice of animals in Yajna.

As per the Narada Purana: Kapila had an Asrama in Patala. The sons (60,000 and one) of King Sagara thought that Kapila had stolen their sacrificial horse and they entered Patala. They disturbed Kapila, who turned them to ashes with a glare. The Nagas fled Patala in fear. Sagara adopted his grandson, Amshuman and sent him to Patala to recover the horse. Amshuman respectfully approached Kapila and recovered the horse. (Note the number 60,000 – that is a clue to an astronomical significance…. which we shall explore later).

Buddhist sources present him as a well-known philosopher whose students built the city of Kapilavastu, according to one tradition the birthplace of the Buddha.

What is this Sankhya Philosophy? : First Attempt to Understand.

Ambient knowledge says that Sankhya Philosophy is one of the Hindu philosophies and is the forerunner of Buddhism and Jainism.

(Methinks that other religions are formed by selecting some parts of Hinduism and rejecting all the other parts! Hinduism is the default religion of a human being.)

Chapter 2 of the Bhagavad Gita is labelled as Sankhya Yoga. The first proponent of Sankhya Philosophy wasKapila, who was the fifth Avatar of Vishnu, gave an exposition of the Sankhya Philosophy. : (Srimad Bhagavatam ; 22 Avatars of Vishnu). Bhishma explained this to Yudhisthira in the Santi Parva of the Mahabharata. (http://www.hinduism.co.za/sankhya.htm#Sankhya Philosophy).

Swami Abhedananda of Ramakrishna Math has explained this to us here. (http://www.hinduism.co.za/sankhya.htm#The Sankhya Philosophy of Kapila). Some Notes below :

The philosophy of Raja Yoga is based upon the Sankhya system of philosophy of Kapila. The Sankhya system is so called because it describes twenty-five categories or principles of the whole universe.

Kapila explained that when the unintelligent inert (jada) i.e. unconscious Prakriti comes in contact with the intelligent conscious Purusha, evolution of the phenomenal universe begins. He said that Prakriti and Purusha are conjoined together like lame and blind (pangu-andhavat) men, and when the insentient Prakriti comes in contact with the sentient Purusha, the universe evolves.

Everything of the universe comes out from Prakriti in the form of a gradual process, and it has already been said that Prakriti is eternal, beginningless, and endless. But it has no self-consciousness. It becomes one of the conditions of self-consciousness, when it comes in contact with the sentient and intelligent Purusha.

Kapila said that Prakriti is the combination of the three qualities, Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas, and when these qualities remain in a balancing state, the Prakriti remains in its own form, and there begins no evolution or creation; but as soon as that balance is disturbed (gunakshobha), evolution begins and the subtle and material things begin to manifest.

He said that when the Purusha contacts the Prakriti, the pure consciousness of the Purusha is transformed into Buddhitattva or the state of mind.

There is a beautiful illustration given in the Sankhya philosophy. The eternal Energy (Prakriti) is compared to a dancing girl in a theatre, and the observer is the Purusha. The girl dances as long as the observer is there, but the moment the observer ceases to look at her and understands the dance perfectly, it fails to amuse him.

The Sankhya philosophy tries to show to the world that everything exists in the world, produces some kind of suffering and sorrow.

The ultimate object of this process of evolution is to make the Purusha realize his true nature and glory, and this Purusha is the real spirit and the true nature of every individual. We should know that all these do not exist in Purusha, but exist in Prakriti, and when that is done, the Purusha begins to manifest its true nature and glory, and that is emancipation where all senses cease and all sense objects are transformed.

The Sankhya system does not believe in any God, the Creator. In the Sankhya, it is not necessary to think of a creator, as everything is explained by the process of evolution of one substance.

There are places, where we feel as though we had come to heaven. But all these are included in the different stages of evolution, and so we need not think of any heaven as a place outside the universe.

The Yoga philosophy accepts all these descriptions of the twenty-five categories (chaturvimshati-tattvas) of the Sankhya system, and at the same time it has a conception of God. The fact is this that Kapila rejected the utility and existence of God, but Patanjali, the propagator of the Yoga system, admitted for many reasons the utility and existence of God, the Creator, and he said: “Purusha-vishesah Isvarah” i.e. the Purusha, described by the Sankhya, is known as Isvara, the Creator, in the Yoga system, and for this reason Patanjali’s Yoga system is known as the ‘Sa eshvara-Sankhya’.

The Sankhya Philosophy attains numbers to things.. see below :

  1. Sattva has ten properties, Rajas has nine, and that of Tamas has eight properties. OR
  2. Buddhi has seven properties, the manas has six, and Space has five. OR
  3. Buddhi has four properties and Tamas has three, and the Rajas has two and Sattwa has one. OR

Satvic properties are :

  • gladness,
  • cheerfulness,
  • enthusiasm,
  • fame,
  • righteousness,
  • contentment,
  • faith,
  • sincerity,
  • liberality, and
  • lordship.

Rajasic Properties are :

  • Belief in the deities,
  • (ostentatious) charity,
  • enjoyment
  • endurance of happiness and sorrow,
  • disunion,
  • exhibition of manliness,
  • lust and wrath,
  • intoxication, pride, malice, and
  • disposition to revile.

Tamasic Properties :

  • Unconsciousness,
  • stupefaction,
  • excess of stupefaction,
  • muddiness of the understanding,
  • blindness (of results),
  • sleep,
  • heedlessness, and
  • procrastination

== OR

Buddhi : Mahat, consciousness, and the five subtle essences.

Manas : Manas and 5 indriyas.

Space : Space, water, wind, light and earth.

== OR

Buddhi : doubt, ascertainment, pride, and memory

Sattva : Enlightenment

Rajas : Inclination (to act) and sorrow

Tamas : Inability of comprehension, partial comprehension, and totally erroneous comprehension.


Five Faults in the Human Body : Desire, Wrath, fear, sleep and breath

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