Contribution of Vachaspati-Mishra to Samkhya System

by Sasikumar. B | 2017 | 35,637 words

This page relates ‘Evolution of Prakriti (introduction)’ of the research on the Sankhya [Samkhya] school of Indian philosophy with special reference to the contribution of Vachaspati-Mishra. The study includes concepts such as Epistemology (validity and worth of knowledge), Ontology (theory of being or reality), Psychology (science of behavior and mind), Phenomenology (the philosophical study of the structures of experience and consciousness) and Ethics (the removal of errors), all forming an essential part of Samkhya philosophy.

Chapter 4.1b - Evolution of Prakṛti (introduction)

The order of evolution according to Sāṅkhya has two stages,

  1. psychical evolution (pratyayasarga) and
  2. physical evolution (bhautikasarga).

In the first stage appear buddhi, ahaṃkāra, and the eleven organs. In the second stage appear five subtle elements, the five gross physical elements and their products. The five subtle elements are imperceptible to the ordinary individuals and hence called aviśeṣa or these are devoid of perceptible peculiar qualities. In the physical elements and their products they're the qualities such as pain, pleasure and attachment. Hence, they are called viśeṣa or particular.[1] Viśeṣa substances are of three kinds, viz. gross physical elements, gross body and subtle body. The gross body is the residence of the subtle body. The intellect, ego and the organs cannot function without physical substratum.

Footnotes and references:


Richard Garbe: Philosophy of Ancient India, p.30

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