--> Skip to main content

Kapila Darshan – Philosophy Of Sage Kapila

Kapila Darshan, Samkhya philosophy, pervades Upanishads, Puranas and the epics. Sage Kapila, the founder, flourished before Buddha. Samkhya Sutra, also known as Samkhya Pravachana Sutra which is ascribed to Kapila, is a very late work. The earliest very authoritative book on the classical Samkhya is the Samkhya Karika of Ishvara Krishna. The term samkhya means ‘number’ and also “discriminative knowledge.” Both senses fit this system as it aims at perfect knowledge of Reality by enumerating ultimate categories of knowledge.

Samkhya believes in the ultimate dual realities of prakriti and purusha. Prakriti is one, unconscious and active, and constituted of the three gunas of sattva, rajas and tamas. Prakriti evolves into twenty four principles (Parinamavada) with (tattvas) a purpose, viz., to afford enjoyment to purusha and eventually liberate if from bondage. But purusha and eventually liberate it from bondage. But purusha does not control the process of creation by actual contact. Purusha is never in bondage, and it is pure, conscious, many changeless, immutable and eternal. It is because of ignorance that it identifies itself with its reflection and imagines that it is the experience, agent, etc. The moment there is the discriminative knowledge of self and not-self, there is release (kaivalya). It becomes free from all kinds of sorrow and pleasure. Release can be gained even while the body lasts. Only through the practice of Yoga can one attain moksha.

Classical Samkhya is atheistic. It sees no rational justification for postulating God for the function of creation, etc., and for the benefit of beings. But later thinkers like Vijnana Bhikshu sought to find a place for God in this system.