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Two Samkhyas – Difference Between Samkhya Darsana And Samkhya Of Bhagavata Purana

There are several important differences between the teaching of the Samkhya system of religious thought (Samkhya Darsana) and the Samkhya of Bhagavata Purana, although Kapila is celebrated as the founder of both.

According to the teaching of kapila in Bhagavata Purana, there is one purusha that appears as many purushas due to ignorance. According to Samkhya, however, the many purushas do not dissolve in a higher principle (tattva), but are ultimately real.

Another difference is that Kapila in Bhagavata Purana teaches that purusha and prakriti are persona principles. The enumeration of the principles is also different in the two systems. According to Samkhya, there are 25 principles – purusha, prakriti and 23 manifest principles. In Bhagavata Purana, according to Kapila, there are 28 principles – 24 manifest principles, prakriti, time, purusha and God.

Samkhya considers the inner instrument as constituted by manas (mind), ahamkara (egoity) and buddhi (intellect). Kapila in Bhagavata Purana considers citta as a fourth principle of the inner instrument.

According to Samkhya, kala (time) is not a tattva (principle), but Kapila in Bhagavata Purana counts time as the 26th principle. Time is not a product of prakriti, according to Bhagavata Purana, but is a power of purusha by which the unmanifest state of prakriti is disturbed and the manifest world is produced.

Kapila, in Bhagavata Purana, identifies the first product of prakriti, the mahat, with Hiranyagarbha, citta and Vasudeva.

Yet another difference is that, according to Samkhya, buddhi is the first product of prakriti but according to Kapila in Bhagavata Purana, buddhi is a product of the rajas aspect of ahamkara.

The way of salvation is described by Kapila in Bhagavata Purana as the withdrawal of the mind from the activities of prakriti by means of Yoga and devotion to God. Devotion to God is not usually mentioned as a means of salvation in Samkhya, although a form of bhakti called Ishvara Pranidhana is recognized in Samkhya Yoga as a means to the goal of liberation (kaivalya).