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A History of Indian Philosophy, Vol. 1 by Surendranath Dasgupta

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and for the union of the soul with the object of its meditation.
The book was called by Alberuni _Kitab Patanjal_, which is to
be translated as the book of Patanjala, 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 Patanjal." 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 sutra_, but the manner in which these are described (so

__________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: It is important to notice that the most important Buddhist
reference _naraika-cittatantram vastu tadaprama@nakam tada kim syat_
(IV. 16) was probably a line of the Vyasabha@sya, as Bhoja, who had
consulted many commentaries as he says in the preface, does not count
it as sutra.]

234

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 sutra_. 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 1].

The idea of soul is the same as we find in the _Yoga sutra._
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
sutra._ He gives four kinds of ways for the achievement of salvation,
of which the first is the _abhyasa_ (habit) of Patanjali, and the
object of this abhyasa is unity with God [Footnote ref 2]. The second
stands for vairagya; the third is the worship of God with a view to seek
his favour in the attainment of salvation (cf. _Yoga sutra,_ I. 23 and
I. 29). The fourth is a new introduction, namely that of rasayana
or alchemy. As regards liberation the view is almost the
same as in the _Yoga sutra,_ 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 _urddhvamula
avaks'akha as'vattha_ (a tree with roots upwards and branches
below), after the Upani@sad 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

___________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: Cf. _Yoga sutra_ I. 23-29 and II. 1, 45. The _Yoga sutras_
speak of Is'vara (God) as an eternally emancipated puru@sa, 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 Vyasa 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 sutras_ of the existence of God.]

[Footnote 2: Cf. Yoga II. 1.]

235

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 sutra_ 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 1] 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 sutra_ 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 (_citta@rttinirodha_) is lost
sight of, and (7) rasayana (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 Patanjali's _Yoga sutra_ in
the direction of Vedanta and Tantra, and as such it
probably stands as the transition link through which the Yoga
doctrine of the sutras entered into a new channel in such a way
that it could be easily assimilated from there by later developments
of Vedanta, Tantra and S'aiva doctrines [Footnote ref 2]. As the author
mentions rasayana as a means of salvation, it is very probable
that he flourished after Nagarjuna and was probably the same
person who wrote _Patanjala tantra_, who has been quoted by
S'ivadasa in connection with alchemical matters and spoken of
by Nages'a as "_Carake_ Patanjali@h." We can also assume with some
degree of probability that it is with reference to this man that
Cakrapa@ni and Bhoja made the confusion of identifying him with
the writer of the _Mahabha@sya. It is also very probable that Cakrapa@ni
by his line "_patanjalamahabha@syacarakapratisa@msk@rtai@h_"
refers to this work which was called "Patanjala." The commentator
of this work gives some description of the lokas, dvipas and
the sagaras, which runs counter to the descriptions given in the
_Vyasabha@sya_, III. 26, and from this we can infer that it was probably
written at a time when the _Vyasabha@sya_ was not written
or had not attained any great sanctity or authority. Alberuni

___________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: Alberuni, in his account of the book of Sa@mkhya, 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 2: Cf. the account of _Pas'upatadars'ana_ in
_Sarvadas'anasa@mgraha_.]

236

also described the book as being very famous at the time, and
Bhoja and Cakrapa@ni also probably confused him with Patanjali
the grammarian; from this we can fairly assume that this book
of Patanjali was probably written by some other Patanjali within
the first 300 or 400 years of the Christian era; and it may not
be improbable that when _Vyasabha@sya_ quotes in III. 44 as "_iti_
Patanjali@h," he refers to this Patanjali.

The conception of Yoga as we meet it in the Maitraya@na
Upani@sad consisted of six a@ngas or accessories, namely pra@nayama,
pratyahara, dhyana, dhara@na, tarka and samadhi [Footnote ref 1].
Comparing this list with that of the list in the _Yoga sutras_ we find
that two new elements have been added, and tarka has been
replaced by asana. Now from the account of the sixty-two
heresies given in the _Brahmajala 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 Samadhi
or Dhyana school as belonging to one class of thinkers called
s'as'vatavada, and from the inclusion of tarka as an a@nga in
samadhi, we can fairly assume that the last of the a@ngas given in
Maitraya@ni Upani@sad represents the oldest list of the Yoga doctrine,
when the Sa@mkhya and the Yoga were in a process of being
grafted on each other, and when the Sa@mkhya method of discussion
did not stand as a method independent of the Yoga. The
substitution of asana for tarka in the list of Patanjali shows that
the Yoga had developed a method separate from the Sa@mkhya.
The introduction of ahi@msa (non-injury), satya (truthfulness),
asteya (want of stealing), brahmacaryya (sex-control), aparigraha
(want of greed) as yama and s'auca (purity), santo@sa (contentment)
as niyama, as a system of morality without which Yoga is
deemed impossible (for the first time in the sutras), probably
marks the period when the disputes between the Hindus and the
Buddhists had not become so keen. The introduction of maitri,
karu@na, mudita, upek@sa 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 _Acara@ngasutra, Uttaradhyayanasutra_,

____________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: _pra@nayamah pratyaharah dhyanam dhara@na tarkah samadhih
sa@da@nga ityucyate yoga_ (Maitr. 6 8).]

237

the _Sutrak@rta@ngasutra,_ etc., and passing through Umasvati's
_Tattvarthadhigamasutra_ to Hemacandra's _Yogas'astra_ 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 _Patanjal_ 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 1]. Again, the metaphysics
of the sa@msara (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.
Avidya is placed at the head of the group; yet this avidya should
not be confused with the Vedanta avidya of S'a@nkara, as it is an
avidya 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 avidya is the ignorance
of the four sacred truths, as we have in the sutra
"_anityas'ucidu@hkhanatmasu nityas'ucidu@hkhatmakhyatiravidya_" (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 2]." 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 sutras_ 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

____________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: _Yoga sutra,_ II. 15, 16. 17. _Yathacikitsas'astra@m
caturvyuha@m rogo rogahetuh arogya@m bhais'ajyamiti evamidamapi
s'astram caturvyuhameva; tadyatha sa@msara@h, sa@msarahetu@h mok@sa@h
mok@sopaya@h; duhkhabahula@h sa@msaro heya@h, pradhanapuru@sayo@h
sa@myogo heyahetu@h, sa@myogasyatyantiki niv@rttirhana@m hanopaya@h
samyagdar`sanam, Vyasabha@sya_, II. 15]

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

238

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
sutras_ must be placed about the second century B.C. Since there
is no evidence which can stand in the way of identifying the
grammarian Patanjali with the Yoga writer, I believe we may
take them as being identical [Footnote ref 1].

The Sa@mkhya and the Yoga Doctrine of Soul or Puru@sa.

The Sa@mkhya philosophy as we have it now admits two principles,
souls and _prak@rti_, 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 Sa@mkhya argues) with the
birth of one all would have been born and with the death of one
all would have died [Footnote ref 2].

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 Sa@mkhya philosophy. Unlike
the Jaina soul possessing _anantajnana, anantadars'ana, anantasukha_,
and _anantaviryya_, the Sa@mkhya soul is described as being
devoid of any and every characteristic; but its nature is absolute
pure consciousness (_cit_). The Sa@mkhya view differs from
the Vedanta, firstly in this that it does not consider the soul to
be of the nature of pure intelligence and bliss (_ananda_) [Footnote ref
3]. Bliss with Sa@mkhya is but another name for pleasure and as such it
belongs to prak@rti and does not constitute the nature of soul;
secondly, according to Vedanta the individual souls (_Jiva_) are

___________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: 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 Patanjalis as against
the other Indian systems admitted the doctrine of _spho@ta_ which was
denied even by Sa@mkhya. On the doctrine of Spho@ta see my _Study
of Patanjali_, Appendix I.]

[Footnote 2: _Karika_, 18.]

[Footnote 3: See Citsukha's _Tattvapradipika,_ IV.]

239

but illusory manifestations of one soul or pure consciousness the
Brahman, but according to Sa@mkhya they are all real and many.

The most interesting feature of Sa@mkhya as of Vedanta is
the analysis of knowledge. Sa@mkhya 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 1]. We know that the
Upani@sads 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. Sa@mkhya 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

____________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: _Tattakaumudi_ 5; _Yogavarttika_, IV. 22;
_Vijnanam@rtabha@sya_, p. 74; _Yogavarttika_ and _Tattvavais'aradi_,
I. 4, II. 6, 18, 20; _Vyasabha@sya,_ I. 6, 7.]

240

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 1]. 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 Sa@mkhya 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

____________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: It is important to note that Sa@mkhya 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.]

241

knowledge in connection with a person, so as to make them a
system of experience. This principle of intelligence is called
puru@sa. There is a separate puru@sa in Sa@mkhya for each individual,
and it is of the nature of pure intelligence. The Vedanta
atman however is different from the Sa@mkhya puru@sa 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 maya it
appears as many.

Thought and Matter.

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 puru@sa illuminate it and not external
material objects. The answer that Sa@mkhya 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 puru@sa, and is thus fit for reflecting and
absorbing the light of the puru@sa. 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

242

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 puru@sa. 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 1].

Another question that arises in this connection is the position
of feeling in such an analysis of thought and matter. Samkhya
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

_________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: _Karika_, 12, with Gau@dpada and Naraya@natirtha.]

243

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 Sa@mkhya 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
(_vi@sada_) or dullness. Thus corresponding to these three types of
manifestations as pleasure, pain, and dullness, and materially as
shining (_prakas'a_), energy (_prav@rtti_), 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 Gu@nas [Footnote ref 1].

These three types of ultimate subtle entities are technically
called _gu@na_ in Sa@mkhya philosophy. Gu@na 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 Sa@mkhya 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

_________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: _Yogavarttika_, II. 18; Bhavaga@nes'a's
_Tattvayatharthyadipana_, pp. 1-3; _Vijnanam@rtabha@sya_,
p. 100; _Tattvakaumudi_, 13; also Gau@dapada and Naraya@natirtha, 13.]

244

signifies merely the manner in which a substance reacts; any
object we see seems to possess many qualities, but the Sa@mkhya
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 gu@nas probably to suggest that they are the
entities which by their various modifications manifest themselves
as gu@nas or qualities. These subtle entities may also be
called gu@nas 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 gu@nas 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 (_puru@sa_). Moreover the object of the
world process being the enjoyment and salvation of the puru@sas,
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 gu@na 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 gu@nas 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-gu@nas_ and those which behave as units of activity are called
the _rajo-gu@nas_ and those which behave as factors of obstruction,
mass or materiality are called _tamo-gu@nas_. These subtle gu@na
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

245

one and only one stage in which the gu@nas are not compounded
in varying proportions. In this state each of the gu@na
substances is opposed by each of the other gu@na substances, and
thus by their equal mutual opposition create an equilibrium, in
which none of the characters of the gu@nas 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 gu@nas is called prak@rti [Footnote ref 1]. 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.

Prak@rti and its Evolution.

Sa@mkhya believes that before this world came into being there
was such a state of dissolution--a state in which the gu@na compounds
had disintegrated into a state of disunion and had by their
mutual opposition produced an equilibrium the prak@rti. Then
later on disturbance arose in the prak@rti, and as a result of that a
process of unequal aggregation of the gu@nas in varying proportions
took place, which brought forth the creation of the manifold.
Prak@rti, the state of perfect homogeneity and incoherence of the
gu@nas, thus gradually evolved and became more and more determinate,
differentiated, heterogeneous, and coherent. The gu@nas are
always uniting, separating, and uniting again [Footnote ref 2]. 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 gu@na which happens to be predominant
in any phenomenon becomes manifest in that phenomenon and
others become latent, though their presence is inferred by their

____________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: _Yogavarttika,_ II. 19, and _Pravacanabha@sya,_ I. 61.]

[Footnote 2: _Kaumudi_ 13-16; _Tattvavais'aradi_ II. 20, IV. 13, 14; also
_Yogavarttika,_ IV. 13,14.]

246

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 gu@nas in different proportions presuppose the state of prak@rti
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 gu@na is preponderant in any particular
collocation, the others are co-operant. This evolutionary series
beginning from the first disturbance of the prak@rti 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 1],
"the process of evolution consists in the development of the differentiated
(_vai@samya_) within the undifferentiated (_samyavastha_) 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 gu@na reals take place
within the body of the prak@rti. Prak@rti 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 gu@nas in the prak@rti has been unhinged
from a state of equilibrium. It means rather that a very vast
number of gu@nas constituting the worlds of thought and matter
has been upset. These gu@nas 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.

_____________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: Dr B.N. Seal's _Positive Sciences of the Ancient Hindus_,
1915, p.7.]

247

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 prak@rti. 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 prak@rti. 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 (_tattvantarapari@nama_) in Sa@mkhya 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 (_sa@ms@rstaviveka_).

Pralaya and the disturbance of the Prak@rti Equilibrium.

But how or rather why prak@rti should be disturbed is the most
knotty point in Sa@mkhya. It is postulated that the prak@rti or the
sum-total of the gu@nas is so connected with the puru@sas, and there
is such an inherent teleology or blind purpose in the lifeless prak@rti,
that all its evolution and transformations tike place for the sake
of the diverse puru@sas, 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 prak@rti takes place when the
karmas of all puru@sas collectively require that there should be
such a temporary cessation of all experience. At such a moment
the gu@na compounds are gradually broken, and there is a backward
movement (_pratisancara_) till everything is reduced, to the gu@nas 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 (_visad@rs'a-pari@nama_); this course of new

248

production being suspended, the activity here repeats the same
state (_sad@rs'a-pari@nama_) 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 gu@nas, or an absolute break of
the course of gu@na evolution; for the state of pralaya, since it
has been generated to fulfil the demands of the accumulated
karmas of puru@sas, and since there is still the activity of the
gu@nas in keeping themselves in a state of suspended production,
is also a stage of the sa@msara cycle. The state of mukti (liberation)
is of course quite different, for in that stage the movement
of the gu@nas ceases forever with reference to the liberated soul.
But still the question remains, what breaks the state of equilibrium?
The Sa@mkhya answer is that it is due to the transcendental
(non-mechanical) influence of the puru@sa [Footnote ref 1]. This
influence of the puru@sa again, if it means anything, means that there
is inherent in the gu@nas a teleology that all their movements or
modifications should take place in such a way that these may serve the
purposes of the puru@sas. Thus when the karmas of the puru@sas 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 prak@rti that wakes it up for the formation of a suitable
world for the experiences of the puru@sas by which its quiescent
state is disturbed. This is but another way of looking at the
inherent teleology of the prak@rti, 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 gu@nas 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 prak@rti brought
about the state of pralaya and then broke it up for the creative
work again, and it is this natural change in the prak@rti that may
be regarded from another point of view as the transcendental
influence of the puru@sas.

Mahat and Aha@mkara.

The first evolute of the prak@rti 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

___________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: The Yoga answer is of course different. It believes that the
disturbance of the equilibrium of prak@rti for new creation takes place by
the will of Is'vara (God).]

249

within it the minds (_buddhi_) of all puru@sas which were lost in the
prak@rti during the pralaya. The very first work of the evolution
of prak@rti to serve the puru@sas is thus manifested by the separating
out of the old buddhis or minds (of the puru@sas) which hold within
themselves the old specific ignorance (_avidya_) inherent in them
with reference to each puru@sa 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 puru@sas is therefore called _buddhitattva._ It is a state
which holds or comprehends within it the buddhis of all individuals.
The individual buddhis of individual puru@sas are on one
hand integrated with the buddhitattva and on the other associated
with their specific puru@sas. When some buddhis once begin to
be separated from the prak@rti, 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 puru@sas,
all the other direct transformations that take place from the
prak@rti take the same line, i.e. a preponderance of sattva being
once created by the bringing out of some buddhis, other transformations
of prak@rti that follow them have also the sattva preponderance,
which thus have exactly the same composition as the
first buddhis. Thus the first transformation from prak@rti 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
_li@nga_ (sign), as the other later existences or evolutes give us the
ground of inferring its existence, and as such must be distinguished
from the prak@rti which is called _ali@nga,_ i.e. of which no
li@nga 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 _aha@mkara,_ and the above three
tendencies are respectiviy called _tamasika aha@mkara_ or _bhutadi_,
_rajasika_ or _taijasa aha@mara,_ and _vaikarika aha@mkara._ The rajasika
aha@mkara cannot make a new preponderance by itself; it only

250

helps (_sahakari_) 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 _sattvika_ or _vaikarika
aha@mkara_. This aha@mkara 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 aha@mkara (_abhimana-dravya_) is the specific expression
of the general consciousness which takes experience as mine.
The function of the ego is therefore called _abhimana_ (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 _pra@nas_ (bio-motor force) which help both conation and
cognition are but aspects of buddhi-movement as life. The individual
aha@mkaras 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 aka@mkara (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 (_kara@na 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 (_avidya_). The buddhi and its sattva evolutes of aha@mkara
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 aha@mkara, the deficiency
of buddhi is made good by prak@rti; again as aha@mkara
partially exhausts itself in generating sense-faculties, the deficiency

251

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 prak@rti.

The Tanmatras and the Parama@nus [Footnote ref 1].

The other tendency, namely that of tamas, has to be helped
by the liberated rajas of aha@mkara, 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 _bhutadi._ From this bhutadi with the help of rajas are
generated the _tanmatras,_ the immediately preceding causes of the
gross elements. The bhutadi thus represents only the intermediate
stage through which the differentiations and regroupings of tamas
reals in the mahat proceed for the generation of the tanmatras.
There has been some controversy between Sa@mkhya and Yoga
as to whether the tanmatras are generated from the mahat or from
aha@mkara. 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
bhutadi. Bhutadi is absolutely homogeneous and inert, devoid
of all physical and chemical characters except quantum or mass.
The second stadium tanmatra 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 tanmatras 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. 2].

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

____________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: 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 Sa@mkhya physics,
in the light of the text belongs entirely to him.]

[Footnote 2: Dr Seal's _Positive Sciences of the Ancient Hindus_.]

252

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 (_atindriya_
but not _anudbhuta_) [Footnote ref 1].

Of the tanmatras the _s'abda_ or _akas'a tanmatra_ (the sound-potential)
is first generated directly from the bhutadi. Next
comes the _spars'a_ or the _vayu tanmatra_ (touch-potential) which is
generated by the union of a unit of tamas from bhutadi with the
akas'a tanmatra. The _rupa tanmatra_ (colour-potential) is generated
similarly by the accretion of a unit of tamas from bhutadi; the
_rasa tanmatra_ (taste-potential) or the _ap tunmatra_ is also similarly
formed. This ap tanmatra again by its union with a unit of tamas
from bhutadi produces the _gandha tanmatra_ (smell-potential) or
the _k@siti tanmatra_ [Footnote ref 2]. The difference of tanmatras or
infra-atomic units and atoms (_parama@nu_) is this, that the tanmatras
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 k@siti, 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
tanmatras was also conceived to exist as the ground of the five
gross forms.

The five classes of atoms are generated from the tanmatras as
follows: the sound-potential, with accretion of rudiment matter
from bhutadi generates the akasa-atom. The touch-potentials combine
with the vibratory particles (sound-potential) to generate the

____________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: Dr Seal's _Positive Sciences of the Ancient Hindus_.]

[Footnote 2: There were various ways in which the genesis of tanmatras and
atoms were explained in literatures other than Sa@mkhya; for some account
of it see Dr Seal's _Positive Sciences of the Ancient Hindus_.]

253

vayu-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 akas'a-atom possesses penetrability, the vayu-atom
impact or mechanical pressure, the tejas-atom radiant heat
and light, the ap-atom viscous attraction and the earth-atom
cohesive attraction. The akasa we have seen forms the transition
link from the bhutadi to the tanmatra and from the tanmatra to
the atomic production; it therefore deserves a special notice at
this stage. Sa@mkhya distinguishes between a kara@na-akas'a and
karyakas'a. The kara@na-akas'a (non-atomic and all-pervasive)
is the formless tamas--the mass in prak@rti or bhutadi; it is
indeed all-pervasive, and is not a mere negation, a mere unoccupiedness
(_avara@nabhava_) or vacuum [Footnote ref 1]. When energy is first
associated with this tamas element it gives rise to the sound-potential;
the atomic akas'a is the result of the integration of the
original mass-units from bhutadi with this sound-potential (_s'abda
tanmatra_). Such an akas'a-atom is called the karyakas'a; it is
formed everywhere and held up in the original kara@na akas'a as
the medium for the development of vayu atoms. Being atomic
it occupies limited space.

The aha@mkara and the five tanmatras are technically called
_avis'e@sa_ 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'e@sa,_ 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 prak@rti 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.

___________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: Dr B.N. Seal in describing this akas'a says "Akas'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.]

254

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 Sa@mkhya-Yoga evolution should be comprehended
or interpreted.

Principle of Causation and Conservation of Energy [Footnote ref 1].

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

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? Sa@mkhya 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
gu@nas, 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 (_udbhuta-v@rtti_)
in the effect. But the concomitant conditions are necessary
to call forth the so-called material cause into activity [Footnote ref 2]."
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 (_sahakari-s'akti_) or efficient cause
(_nimitta-kara@na_, such as the sculptor's art) is a sort of mechanical
help or instrumental help to this passage or the transition [Footnote ref
3]. The refilling from prak@rti thus means nothing more than this, that
by the inherent teleology of the prak@rti, the reals there are so
collocated as to be transformed into mahat as those of the mahat
have been collocated to form the bhutadi or the tanmatras.

____________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: _Vyasabha@sya_ and _Yogavarttika_, IV. 3; _Tattvavais'aradi_,
IV. 3.]

[Footnote 2: Ray, _History of Hindu Chemistry_, p. 72.]

[Footnote 3: _Ibid._ p. 73.]

255

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(_gu@nasannives'avis'e@sa_).
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 prak@rti, guided by the constant will of Is'vara, the reals
in equilibrium in the state of prak@rti leave their state of arrest
and evolve themselves into mahat, etc.

Change as the formation of new collocations.

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 k@siti, 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

256

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"
(_pari@namakramaniyama_) 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'apabandha_); certain kinds of paddy grow in the rainy
season only, this is limitation of season or time (_kalapabandha_);
deer cannot beget men, this is limitation by form (_akarapabandha_);
curd can come out of milk, this is the limitation of causes
(_nimittapabandha_). The evolutionary course can thus follow only that
path which is not barricaded by any of these limitations or natural
obstructions [Footnote ref 1].

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 _dharmapari@nama_ 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 _lak@sa@napari@nama_ and
_avasthapari@nama_. 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 2].

____________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: _Vyasabha@sya, Tattvavais'aradi_ and _Yogavarttika,_ III. 14.]

[Footnote 2: It is well to note in this connection that Sa@mkhya-yoga does
not admit the existence of time as an independent entity like the
Nyaya-Vais'e@sika. Time represents the order of moments in which the mind
grasps the phenomenal changes. It is hence a construction of the mind
(_buddhi-nirma@na_). The time required by an atom to move its own measure
of space is called a moment (_k@sa@na_) or one unit of time. Vijnana
Bhik@su regards one unit movement of the gu@nas or reals as a moment. When
by true wisdom the gu@nas are perceived as they are both the illusory
notions of time and space vanish. _Vyasabha@sya, Tattvavais'aradi_, and
_Yogavarttika_, III. 52 and III. 13.]

257

Causation as Satkaryavada (the theory that the effect potentially
exists before it is generated by the movement of the cause).

The above consideration brings us to an important aspect of
the Sa@mkhya view of causation as _satkaryavada_. Sa@mkhya 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 _satkaryavada,_ i.e.
that the karya 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 (_karakaiyapara_) only renders that manifest
(_avirbhuta_) which was formerly in an unmanifested condition
(_tirohita_) [Footnote ref 1].

The Buddhists also believed in change, as much as Sa@mkhya
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.
Sa@mkhya 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'unya, they
were called _vainas'ikas_ (nihilists) by the Vedantins. This doctrine
is therefore contrasted to Sa@mkhya doctrine as _asatkaryavada._

__________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: _Tattvakaumudi,_ 9.]

258

The jain view holds that both these views are relatively true and
that from one point of view satkaryavada is true and from another
asatkaryavada. The Sa@mkhya view that the cause is continually
transforming itself into its effects is technically called _pari@namavada_
as against the Vedanta view called the _vivarttavada_: 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. 1].

Sa@mkhya Atheism and Yoga Theism.

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 prak@rti? Sa@mkhya
denies the existence of Is'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 prak@rti is disturbed, and the gu@nas 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 puru@sas
(_puru@sarthata_) 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 prak@rti and its gratuitous service,
which causes us all this trouble of sa@msara.

Yoga here asks, how the blind tendency of the non-intelligent

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[Footnote 1: Both the Vedanta and the Sa@mkhya theories of causation are
sometimes loosely called _satkaryyavada._ But correctly speaking as some
discerning commentators have pointed out, the Vedanta theory of causation
should be called satkara@navada for according to it the _kara@na_ (cause)
alone exists (_sat_) and all _karyyas,_ (effects) are illusory appearances
of the kara@na; but according to Sa@mkhya the karyya exists in
a potential state in the kara@na and is hence always existing and real.]

259

prak@rti 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 puru@sas, how can it remove its own barriers and
lend itself to the evolutionary process from the state of prak@rti
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 Is'vara. Is'vara is a puru@sa 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 gu@nas may best serve the
double interest of the puru@sa's experience (_bhoga_) and liberation
(_apavarga_) should be removed. It is according to this permanent
will of Is'vara that the proper barriers are removed and the
gu@nas follow naturally an intelligent course of evolution for the
service of the best interests of the puru@sas. Is'vara has not created
the prak@rti; he only disturbs the equilibrium of the prak@rti 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 Is'vara
in Yoga and its denial by Sa@mkhya marks the main theoretic
difference between the two according to which the Yoga and
Sa@mkhya are distinguished as Ses'vara Sa@mkhya (Sa@mkhya with
Is'vara) and Niris'vara Sa@mkhya (Atheistic Sa@mkhya) [Footnote ref 1].

Buddhi and Puru@sa.

The question again arises that though puru@sa is pure intelligence,
the gu@nas are non-intelligent subtle substances, how
can the latter come into touch with the former? Moreover,
the puru@sa is pure inactive intelligence without any touch of
impurity and what service or need can such a puru@sa have of
the gu@nas? This difficulty is anticipated by Sa@mkhya, which has
already made room for its answer by assuming that one class of
the gu@nas called sattva is such that it resembles the purity and
the intelligence of the puru@sa to a very high degree, so much so

____________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: _Tattvavais'aradi,_ IV. 3; _Yogavarttika,_ I. 24; and
_Pravavanabhasya,_ V. 1-12.]

260

that it can reflect the intelligence of the puru@sa, 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 puru@sa in the buddhi, these appear as if
they are intelligent. The self (puru@sa) according to Sa@mkhya-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 puru@sa in the
buddhi that they are interpreted as the experiences of the puru@sa.
This association of the buddhi with the reflection of the puru@sa
in the buddhi has such a special fitness (_yogyata_) that it is interpreted
as the experience of the puru@sa. This explanation of
Vacaspati of the situation is objected to by Vijnana Bhik@su.
Vijnana Bhik@su says that the association of the buddhi with the
image of the puru@sa 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 puru@sa,
it is then superimposed upon the puru@sa, and we have the notion
of an abiding person who experiences [Footnote ref 1]. Whatever may be the
explanation, it seems that the union of the buddhi with the puru@sa
is somewhat mystical. As a result of this reflection of _cit_ on
buddhi and the superimposition of the buddhi the puru@sa cannot
realize that the transformations of the buddhi are not its own.
Buddhi resembles puru@sa in transparency, and the puru@sa fails to
differentiate itself from the modifications of the buddhi, and as
a result of this non-distinction the puru@sa 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 puru@sa from buddhi which is itself a mode of buddhi
is what is meant by _avidya_ (non-knowledge) in Sa@mkhya, and is
the root of all experience and all misery [Footnote ref 2].

__________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: _Tattvavais'aradi_ and _Yogavarttika_, I. 4.]

[Footnote 2: This indicates the nature of the analysis of illusion with
Sa@mkhya. 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 _akhyati_ (non-apprehension) theory of illusion
which must be distinguished from the _anyathakhyati_ (misapprehension)
theory of illusion of Yoga which consists in positively misapprehending
one (e.g. the rope) for the other (e.g. snake). _Yogavarttika,_ I. 8.]

261

Yoga holds a slightly different view and supposes that the
puru@sa 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 puru@sa to be
that which it is not (_anyathakhyati_). It takes the changing,
impure, sorrowful, and objective prak@rti 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 avidya of Yoga.
A buddhi associated with a puru@sa is dominated by such an
avidya, and when birth after birth the same buddhi is associated
with the same puru@sa, it cannot easily get rid of this avidya.
If in the meantime pralaya takes place, the buddhi is submerged
in the prak@rti, and the avidya also sleeps with it. When at the
beginning of the next creation the individual buddhis associated
with the puru@sas emerge, the old avidyas also become manifest
by virtue of it and the buddhis associate themselves with the
puru@sas to which they were attached before the pralaya. Thus
proceeds the course of sa@msara. When the avidya of a person
is rooted out by the rise of true knowledge, the buddhi fails to
attach itself to the puru@sa and is forever dissociated from it, and
this is the state of mukti.

The Cognitive Process and some characteristics of Citta.

It has been said that buddhi and the internal objects have
evolved in order to giving scope to the experience of the puru@sa.
What is the process of this experience? Sa@mkhya (as explained
by Vacaspati) 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
pratyak@sa_ (indeterminate perception). At the next moment by
the function of the _sa@mkalpa_ (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

262

thus generates the determinate perception, which when intelligized
by the puru@sa and associated with it becomes interpreted as the
experience of the person. The action of the senses, ahamkara,
and buddhi, may take place sometimes successively and at other
times as in cases of sudden fear simultaneously. Vijnana Bhik@su
differs from this view of Vacaspati, 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 1].
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 ahamkara 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 puru@sa are constantly becoming conscious, and are being
interpreted as the experiences of a person. The existence of the
puru@sa 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 Sa@mkhya
does not admit any separate prana vayu (vital breath) to keep the
body living. What are called _vayus_ (bio-motor force) in Vedanta
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.

__________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: 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 sphare samasta vastudrstayah
imastah pratibimbanti sarasiva tatadrumah_" _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: "_indriyanyeva pranalika
cittasancaranamargah taih samyujya tadgola kadvara bahyavastusuparaktasya
cittasyendryasahityenaivarthakarah parinamo bhavati_" _Yogavarttika_, I.
VI. 7. Contrast _Tattvakaumudi_, 27 and 30.]

263

Apart from the perceptions and the life-functions, buddhi, or
rather citta as Yoga describes it, contains within it the root impressions
(_sa@mskaras_) and the tastes and instincts or tendencies
of all past lives (_vasana_) [Footnote ref 1]. These sa@mskaras 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 vasanas like a net. If a man
passes into a dog life by rebirth, the vasanas 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 vasana 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 sa@mskaras 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

___________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: The word sa@mskara is used by Pa@nini who probably preceded
Buddha in three different senses (1) improving a thing as distinguished
from generating a new quality (_Sata utkar@sadhana@m sa@mskara@h_, Kas'ila
on Pa@nini, VI. ii. 16), (2) conglomeration or aggregation, and
(3) adornment (Pa@nini, VI. i. 137, 138). In the Pi@takas the word
sa@nkhara is used in various senses such as constructing, preparing,
perfecting, embellishing, aggregation, matter, karma, the skandhas
(collected by Childers). In fact sa@nkhara 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 (_samavaya_ of Pa@nini) is prominent. The word _sa@mskaroti_
is used in Kau@sitaki, II. 6, Chandogya IV. xvi. 2, 3, 4, viii. 8, 5, and
B@rhadara@nyaka, 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 sa@mskara 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 (sm@rti). The word vasana (_Yoga sutra_, IV. 24)
seems to be a later word. The earlier Upanis@sads do not mention it and
so far as I know it is not mentioned in the Pali pi@takas.
_Abhidhanappadipika_ of Moggallana mentions it, and it occurs in
the Muktika Upani@sad. It comes from the root "_vas_" to stay. It is
often loosely used in the sense of sa@mskara, and in _Vyasabha@sya_ they
are identified in IV. 9. But vasana 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 sa@mskaras are the sub-conscious states
which are being constantly generated by experience. Vasanas are innate
sa@mskaras not acquired in this life. See _Vyasabha@sya, Tattvavais'aradi_
and _Yogavarttika_, II. 13.]

264

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 sa@mskaras should
be eradicated completely by the formation of the habit of a contrary
tendency, which if made sufficiently strong will by its own
sa@mskara naturally stop the revival of the previous undesirable
sa@mskaras.

Apart from these the citta possesses volitional activity (ce@s@ta)
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 (_pu@nya, papa_) 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 1].

Sa@mkhya 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

____________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: Tattavais'aradi and Yogavarttika, II. 15, and Tattvakaumudi,
I.]

265

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 Sa@mkhya philosophy [Footnote ref 1]. 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 puru@sa
are associated with each other, the sufferings will continue.
Citta must be dissociated from puru@sa. Citta or buddhi, Sa@mkhya
says, is associated with puru@sa because of the non-distinction
of itself from buddhi [Footnote ref 2]. It is necessary therefore that in
buddhi we should be able to generate the true conception of the
nature of puru@sa; when this true conception of puru@sa arises in
the buddhi it feels itself to be different, and distinct, from
and quite unrelated to puru@sa, and thus ignorance is destroyed. As
a result of that, buddhi turns its back on puru@sa and can no
longer bind it to its experiences, which are all irrevocably connected
with sorrow, and thus the puru@sa remains in its true
form. This according to Sa@mkhya philosophy is alone adequate
to being about the liberation of the puru@sa. Prak@rti which was
leading us through cycles of experiences from birth to birth, fulfils
its final purpose when this true knowledge arises differentiating

____________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: Yoga puts it in a slightly modified form. Its object is the
cessation of the rebirth-process which is so much associated with sorrow
{_du@hkhabahla@h sa@msarah heya@h_).]

[Footnote 2: The word _citta_ is a Yoga term. It is so called because it is
the repository of all sub-conscious states. Samkhyn generally uses, the
word buddhi. Both the words mean the same substance, the mind, but they
emphasize its two different functions. Buddhi means intellection.]

266

puru@sa from prak@rti. This final purpose being attained the
prak@rti can never again bind the purusa with reference to whom
this right knowledge was generated; for other puru@sas 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 puru@sa 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 puru@sa. This is
the _kevala_ (oneness) state of existence after which (all sa@mskaras,
all avidya being altogether uprooted) the citta is impotent any
longer to hold on to the puru@sa, and like a stone hurled from a
mountain top, gravitates back into the prak@rti [Footnote ref 1]. To
destroy the old sa@mskaras, 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 puru@sa, and
final liberation takes place.

Karmas in Yoga are divided into four classes: (1) _s'ukla_ or
white (_pu@nya_, those that produce happiness), (2) _k@r@s@na_ or black
(_papa_, those that produce sorrow), (3) _s'ukla-k@r@s@na_ (_pu@nya-papa_,
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'uklak@r@s@na_ (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 2]. All karmas

___________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: Both Sa@mkhya 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 puru@sa remains for ever alone without any association
with buddhi, see _Sa@mkhya karika_, 68 and _Yoga sutras_, IV. 34.]

[Footnote 2: _Vyasabha@sya_ and _Tattvavais'aradi_, IV. 7.]

267

proceed from the five-fold afflictions (_kles'as_), namely _avidya,
asmita, raga, dve@sa_ and _abhinives'a_.

We have already noticed what was meant by avidya. 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 asmita, etc. Asmita 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 gu@nas. Raga means the consequent attachment
to pleasures and things. Dve@sa 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 avidya, which consists
in the false identification of buddhi with puru@sa. These five,
avidya, asmita, raga, dve@sa 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 1]. The karma in
the aspect in which it lies in the buddhi as a mode or modification of
it is called _karmas'aya_. (the bed of karma for the puru@sa 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 prak@rti and the removal of obstacles in the course
of its evolution in accordance with it by the permanent will of
Is'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 prak@rti as shall make it possible
for him to suffer or enjoy the fruits thereof. The karma of the

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[Footnote 1: _Vyasabha@sya_ and _Tattvavais'aradi_, II. 3-9.]

268

present life thus determines the particular kind of future birth
(as this or that animal or man), the period of life (_ayu@s_) 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 _jivanmukti_ stage,
when the sage has attained true knowledge and is yet suffering
mundane life in order to experience the karmas that have already
ripened (_ti@s@thati sa@mskaravas'at cakrabhramivaddh@rtas'arira@h_).

Citta.

The word Yoga which was formerly used in Vedic literature
in the sense of the restraint of the senses is used by Patanjali in
his _Yoga sutra_ 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
_k@sipta_ (wild) and of the latter type _pramu@dha_ (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 _vik@sipta_ (unsteady)
stage of mind (_cittabhumi_). 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 _ekagra_ (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 (_v@rtti_), (1) _prama@na_ [Footnote ref 1]
(valid

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[Footnote 1: Sa@mkhya holds that both validity and invalidity of any
cognition depend upon the cognitive state itself and not on
correspondence with external facts or objects (_svata@h prama@nya@m
svata@h aprama@nya@m_). The contribution of Sa@mkhya to the doctrine
of inference is not definitely known. What little Vacaspati says on the
subject has been borrowed from Vatsyayana such as the _purvavat, s'e@savat_
and _samanyatodr@s@ta_ types of inference, and these may better be
consulted in our chapter on Nyaya or in the Tatparya@tika_ of Vacaspati.
Sa@mkhya inference was probably from particular to particular on the
ground of seven kinds of relations according to which they had seven kinds
of inference "_matranimittasa@myogivirodhisahacaribhi@h.
Svasvamibadhyaghatadyai@h sa@mkhyana@m saptadhanuma_" (_Tatparya@tika_, p.
109). Sa@mkhya definition of inference as given by Udyotakara (I.I. V) is
"_sambandhadekasmat pratyak@sacche@sasiddhiranumanam_."]

269

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) _nidra_ (sleep, is a vacant state of mind, in which
tamas tends to predominate), (5) _sm@rti_ (memory).

These states of mind (_v@rtti_) comprise our inner experience.
When they lead us towards sa@msara into the course of passions
and their satisfactions, they are said to be _kli@s@ta_ (afflicted or
leading to affliction); when they lead us towards liberation, they
are called _akli@s@ta_ (unafflicted). To whichever side we go, towards
sa@msara 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 (sa@msara). It is like a river, as the _Vyasabha@sya
says, which flows both ways, towards sin and towards the
good. The teleology of prak@rti requires that it should produce
in man the sa@msara 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 1]. Removal of pains

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[Footnote 1: Sa@mkhya however makes the absolute and complete destruction
of three kinds of sorrows, _adhyatmika_ (generated internally by the
illness of the body or the unsatisfied passions of the mind),
_adhibhautika_ (generated externally by the injuries inflicted by
other men, beasts, etc.) and _adhidaivika_ (generated by the injuries
inflicted by demons and ghosts) the object of all our endeavours
(_puru@sartha_).]

270

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 prak@rti wants liberation for
her final realization [Footnote ref 1].

Yoga Purificatory Practices (Parikarma).

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 (_ahi@msa_),
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 (_svadhyaya_) and meditation on Is'vara
(_Is'varapra@nidhana_). These are collectively called _niyamas_.
To these are also to be added certain other moral disciplines such as
_pratipak@sa-bhavana, maitri, karu@na, mudita_ and _upek@sa_.
Pratipak@sa-bhavana 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 maitri 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 karu@na or kindly feeling for sufferers, mudita

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[Footnote 1: See my "_Yoga Psychology_," _Quest_, October, 1921.]

271

or a feeling of happiness for the good of all beings, and upek@sa
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
(_vairagya_) 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 (_abhyasa_) attended with
faith, confidence (_s'raddha_), strength of purpose and execution
(_virya_) arid wisdom (_prajna_) attained at each advance.

The Yoga Meditation.

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 (_asana_) and fixes his mind
on any object he chooses. It is, however, preferable that he should
fix it on Is'vara, for in that case Is'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
(_samadhi_) of his mind. There are four states of this unifying
concentration namely _vitarka, vicara, ananda_ and _asmita_. Of
these vitarka and vicara have each two varieties, _savitarka, nirvitarka,
savicara, nirvicara_ [Footnote ref 1]. When the mind concentrates on
objects, remembering their names and qualities, it is called the savitarka
stage; when on the five tanmatras with a remembrance of their
qualities it is called savicara, and when it is one with the tanmatras
without any notion of their qualities it is called nirvicara.
Higher than these are the ananda and the asmita states. In the
ananda state the mind concentrates on the buddhi with its functions
of the senses causing pleasure. In the asmita 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 _samprajnata_
(with knowledge of objects) types of samadhi. Next to this comes
the last stage of samadhi called the _asamprajnata_ or nirodha
samadhi, in which the mind is without any object. By remaining

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[Footnote 1: Vacaspati, however, thinks that ananda and asmita have also
two other varieties, which is denied by Bhik@su.]

272

long in this stage the old potencies (sa@mskaras) 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 puru@sa, and after that the citta not
being able to bind the puru@sa any longer returns back to prak@rti.

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 _pra@nayama_. Pra@nayama
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 pra@nayama, excluding
all other thoughts, and fixing the mind on any object (_dhara@na_).
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
_dhyana._ After sufficient practice in dhyana 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
_samadhi_ [Footnote ref 1]. We have already described the six stages of
samadhi. As the yogin acquires strength in one stage of samadhi, he passes
on to a still higher stage and so on. As he progresses onwards
he attains miraculous powers (_vibhuti_) 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 (_prajna_) also increases at each step. Prajna knowledge
is as clear as perception, but while perception is limited to

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[Footnote 1: It should be noted that the word _samadhi_ 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.]

273

certain gross things and certain gross qualities [Footnote ref 1] prajna
has no such limitations, penetrating into the subtlest things, the
tanmatras, the gu@nas, and perceiving clearly and vividly all their
subtle conditions and qualities [Footnote ref 2]. As the potencies
(_sa@mskara_) of the prajna wisdom grow in strength the potencies of
ordinary knowledge are rooted out, and the yogin continues to remain
always in his prajna wisdom. It is a peculiarity of this prajna that
it leads a man towards liberation and cannot bind him to sa@msara.
The final prajnas 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 sa@msara 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 puru@sa from prak@rti 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 gu@nas drives
them into prak@rti like heavy stones dropped from high hill tops.
(7) The buddhi disintegrated into its constituents the gu@nas
become merged in the prak@rti and remain there for ever. The
puru@sa having passed beyond the bondage of the gu@nas shines
forth in its pure intelligence. There is no bliss or happiness in
this Sa@mkhya-Yoga mukti, for all feeling belongs to prak@rti. It
is thus a state of pure intelligence. What the Sa@mkhya tries to
achieve through knowledge, Yoga achieves through the perfected
discipline of the will and psychological control of the mental states.

___________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: The limitations which baffle perception are counted in the
_Karika_ 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 2: Though all things are but the modifications of gu@nas yet the
real nature of the gu@nas is never revealed by the sense knowledge. What
appears to the senses are but illusory characteristics like those of magic
(maya):

"_Gunana@m parama@m rupam na d@r@s@tipatham@rcchati
Yattu d@rs@tipatham praptam tanmayeva sutucchakam._"

_Vyasabha@sya_, IV. 13.

The real nature of the gu@nas is thus revealed only by _prajna._]

274

CHAPTER VIII

Book of the day: