Ishvara Krishna follows several earlier teachers of Samkhya and is said to come from Kausika family. The Samkhyakarika is the classical text book of the Samkhya school. With the discovery of 6th-century manuscripts of translations of the Indian text into Chinese language, it became clear that by the 6th-century, the Karika had seventy two verses. The Chinese version includes commentary on the Karika, but for unknown reasons, skips or misses the commentary on verse sixty three.
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Some 19th and 20th century scholars suggested that Samkhya may have non-Vedic origins. Richard Garbe stated in , "The origin of the Sankhya system appears in the proper light only when we understand that in those regions of India which were little influenced by Brahmanism the first attempt had been made to solve the riddles of the world and of our existence merely by means of reason.
For the Sankhya philosophy is, in its essence, not only atheistic but also inimical to the Veda. Surendranath Dasgupta , for example, stated in that Samkhya can be traced to Upanishads such as Katha Upanishad , Shvetashvatara Upanishad and Maitrayaniya Upanishad , and that the "extant Samkhya" is a system that unites the doctrine of permanence of the Upanishads with the doctrine of momentariness of Buddhism and the doctrine of relativism of Jainism.
Here — in Kaushitaki Upanishad and Chandogya Upanishad — the germs are to be found of two of the main ideas of classical Samkhya. This also explains why some of the later Samkhya commentators, e.
Vijnanabhiksu in the sixteenth century, tried to revive the earlier theism in Samkhya. Its roots go deeper than textual traditions allow us to see. Samkhya, writes Warder, "has indeed been suggested to be non-Brahmanical and even anti-Vedic in origin, but there is no tangible evidence for that except that it is very different than most Vedic speculation — but that is itself quite inconclusive. Speculations in the direction of the Samkhya can be found in the early Upanishads.
Burley suggests the link between Samkhya and Yoga as likely root of this evolutionary origin during the Vedic era of India. Yuktidipika suggests that many more ancient scholars contributed to the origins of Samkhya in ancient India, than were previously known, and that Samkhya was a polemical philosophical system. However, almost nothing is preserved about the centuries when these ancient Samkhya scholars lived.
Samkhya philosophy proper begins with the pre-karika-Samkhya ca. Both Kapila as a "seer" and the term Samkhya appear in hymns of section 5. Isvarakrsna is identified in these texts as the one who summarized and simplified Samkhya theories of Pancasikha, many centuries later roughly 4th or 5th century CE , in the form that was then translated into Chinese by Paramartha in the 6th century CE.
He looking around saw nothing but his Self Atman. He first said, "This is I", therefore he became I by name. However, the Samkhya ideas had not distilled and congealed into a distinct, complete philosophy. It is in this period, state Larson, Bhattacharya and Potter, that ancient scholars combined proto-Samkhya ideas with a systematic methodology of reasoning epistemology and began distilling concepts of spiritual knowledge vidya, jnana, viveka , making Samkhya a more emerging, comprehensive philosophy.
Nasadiya Sukta Hymn of non-Eternity, origin of universe : There was neither non-existence nor existence then; Neither the realm of space, nor the sky which is beyond; What stirred?
In whose protection? There was neither death nor immortality then; No distinguishing sign of night nor of day; That One breathed, windless, by its own impulse; Other than that there was nothing beyond.
Darkness there was at first, by darkness hidden; Without distinctive marks, this all was water; That which, becoming, by the void was covered; That One by force of heat came into being; Who really knows? Who will here proclaim it? Whence was it produced? Whence is this creation? Gods came afterwards, with the creation of this universe. Who then knows whence it has arisen? For example, the hymns 1. Three-naved the wheel is, sound and undecaying, whereon are resting all these worlds of being.
The seven [priests] who on the seven-wheeled car are mounted have horses, seven in tale, who draw them onward. Seven Sisters utter songs of praise together, in whom the names of the seven Cows are treasured. Where is the blood of earth, the life, the spirit?
Who will approach the one who knows, to ask this? One of the twain eats the sweet fig; the other not eating keeps watch. The tree on which the fine Birds eat the sweetness, where they all rest and procreate their offspring, Upon its top they say the fig is sweetest, he who does not know the Father will not reach it.
Higher than objects of senses, stands mind. Higher than mind, stands intellect. Higher than intellect, stands the great self. Higher than the great self, stands Avyaktam. Higher than Avyaktam, stands Purusha. Higher than this, there is nothing. He is the final goal and the highest point. In all beings, dwells this Purusha, as Atman soul , invisible, concealed. He is only seen by the keenest thought, by the sublest of those thinkers who see into the subtle.
The idea that the three gunas or attributes influence creation is found in both Chandogya and Shvetashvatara Upanishads. The purusha of Samkhya could have evolved from this idea. It is probable that these schools of thought and the earliest schools of Samkhya influenced each other. A prominent similarity between Buddhism and Samkhya is the greater emphasis on suffering dukkha as the foundation for their respective soteriological theories, than other Indian philosophies.
Elaide, however, presents the alternate theory that Samkhya and Buddhism developed their soteriological theories over time, benefiting from their mutual influence.
However Hermann Jacobi, an Indologist, thinks that there is little reason to assume that Samkhya notion of Purushas was solely dependent on the notion of jiva in Jainism. It is more likely, that Samkhya was moulded by many ancient theories of soul in various Vedic and non-Vedic schools. Hear, now, of the integrated wisdom with which, Partha, you will cast off the bonds of karma.
For example, the fourth to sixth verses of the text states it epistemic premises,  Perception, inference and right affirmation are admitted to be threefold proof; for they are by all acknowledged, and comprise every mode of demonstration.
It is from proof that belief of that which is to be proven results. Perception is ascertainment of particular objects.
Inference, which is of three sorts, premises an argument, and deduces that which is argued by it. Right affirmation is true revelation Apta vacana and Sruti, testimony of reliable source and the Vedas. Sensible objects become known by perception; but it is by inference or reasoning that acquaintance with things transcending the senses is obtained.
A truth which is neither to be directly perceived, nor to be inferred from reasoning, is deduced from Apta vacana and Sruti. It is considered the second most important work of Samkhya after the karika. The 13th chapter in this book contains a description of the Samkhya philosophy. Bhattacharya writes: Much of Samkhya literature appears to have been lost, and there seems to be no continuity of tradition from ancient times to the age of the commentators It is risky work, but unless one does it one cannot be said to understand Samkhya as a philosophy.
It is a task that one is obliged to undertake. It is a fascinating task because Samkhya is a bold constructive philosophy.
It is of two types in Hindu texts: external and internal. External perception is described as that arising from the interaction of five senses and worldly objects, while internal perception is described by this school as that of inner sense, the mind. It is described as reaching a new conclusion and truth from one or more observations and previous truths by applying reason.
The method of inference is explained by Indian texts as consisting of three parts: pratijna hypothesis , hetu a reason , and drshtanta examples. The inference is conditionally true if sapaksha positive examples as evidence are present, and if vipaksha negative examples as counter-evidence are absent. For rigor, the Indian philosophies also state further epistemic steps.
For example, they demand Vyapti - the requirement that the hetu reason must necessarily and separately account for the inference in "all" cases, in both sapaksha and vipaksha.
The schools which consider it epistemically valid suggest that a human being needs to know numerous facts, and with the limited time and energy available, he can learn only a fraction of those facts and truths directly. This means of gaining proper knowledge is either spoken or written, but through Sabda words.
Some schools, such as Carvaka , state that this is never possible, and therefore Sabda is not a proper pramana. Other schools debate means to establish reliability.
It is a pluralistic spiritualism, atheistic realism and uncompromising dualism. It is absolute, independent, free, imperceptible, unknowable through other agencies, above any experience by mind or senses and beyond any words or explanations. It remains pure, "nonattributive consciousness".
An English translation, with the Sanskrit text of the Tattva-kaumudi. (Sankhya) by Ganganatha Jha
Sankhya KarikaPDF ( सांख्य कारिका)