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Asuri Teacher In Hinduism – A Great Interpreter of Samkhya System

Asuri was a great interpreter of the Samkhya System of sage Kapila. The sacred knowledge of Samkhya was first passed by Sage Kapila to Asuri as per the Bhagavad Purana (1.3. 10-11). He later passed it onto Panchasikha who made the teachings popular.

It is believed that Asuri renounced his wife, children and family to become a disciple of Sage Kapila.

Some scholars are of the view that Asuri is not an historical figure as no exact date regarding him is found.

In Samkhya Karika of Ishwarakrishna (karika 70) it is mentioned that Sage Kapila, the founder of Samkhya School, gave the sacred knowledge to Asuri, who passed it onto Panchasikha, who, later, spread it extensively. Mathara, in the beginning of his commentary on Samkhya Karika, has mentioned that Asuri had renounced his home, wife, son and became the best disciple of Kapila Muni.

In the Mahabharata (Shanti Parva, Chap 218) Panchasikha is said to be the student of Asuri.

Haribhadra Suri, who lived in the 8th century CE, has mentioned the name of Asuri as a preceptor of the Samkhya system and has quoted a verse composed by him.

But, in spite of all these references to the name of this great exponent of Samkhya, his exact date is not found mentioned anywhere. Nor is there any work written by him available. It may be due to this lack of information that some experts have opined that Asuri was not a historical figure at all. But there are others who consider this conclusion incorrect. About Sage Kapila also there is considerable difference of opinion. His name has appeared in the Bhagavad Gita (X 26). But that Kapila Muni is not taken to be the author of Samkhyasutra by experts of the Samkhya system.