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Drishya – Seen In Hindu Philosophy

Drishya (seen) and Drishta (seer) are the two categories or realities underlying the universe, according to the Samkhya and Yoga Schools of Hindu philosophy. This is epistemological. It is opposed to the monism of Vedanta and the pluralism of other schools.

The Drishta includes innumerable selves. The Drishya is constituted by prakriti (the primordial nature) and its 23 evolutes, which form the framework of the physical world. They are

  1. Three inner organs
  2. Five sense organs
  3. Five motor organs
  4. Five subtle essences called tanmatras (sound, touch, sight, taste and smell)
  5. Five elements of earth, water, fire, air and space.

All the 24 constituents of the seen objects have the following characteristics in common

  1. They are all pervaded by the trigunas (three components of matter) – sattva, rajas and tamas. Only the selves are devoid of and ever beyond these three.
  2. They have no understanding, knowledge or sentience.
  3. They exist not for themselves but for the sake of the selves.
  4. They offer enjoyment to anyone of the innumerable selves.
  5. They are always in the process of change and modification.

In all these respects the seen object is just the opposite of the selves, but like the self, it is also eternal. It is never destroyed, although its form and appearance may go on changing. There is a beginningless relation of samyoga (togetherness) between Dhrishta and Dhrishya, which comes to an end when the self attains kaivalya (freedom). The drishya continues its activity in relation to other selves which are not yet liberated (Yogasutra II – 18-22)

Source – 

  • Encyclopedia of Hinduism Volume III page 530 – Rupa – IHRF – 2011
  • The Evolution of the Samkhya School of Thought (1959) – Anima Sengupta – Patna – Self Published.