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Vaikarika Samsara In Samkhya Hindu Philosophy

Vaikarika Samsara is associated with the Samkhya system of Hindu philosophy. Vaikarika refers to the psychological categories in Samkhya system. As per this system, both mind and matter evolve from Prakriti, the primordial material matrix. It should be noted that the mind is a physical category that has evolved from matter. On the other hand, self is pure consciousness, in contradistinction to the insentient Prakriti, the material first cause which evolves successively into mahat (cosmic intelligence), ahamkara (ego), and so on.

Prakriti is composed of three gunas (strands) – sattva (purity), rajas (activity) and tamas (inertia). These three strands permeate all evolutes of Prakriti. Owing to the prevalence of purity, cosmic intelligence evolves from Prakriti. Further modifications take place in consonance with the dominant guna. The stage in which such modifications take place is called ahamkara. Egoity has all three constituents.

The function of sattvik egoity is the assertion of the individual self. From this develops the mind, the five sense organs of perception and the five cognitive organs. The mind, the senses and the motor organs together constitute the psychological complex of man. This complex, evolving from sattvika egoity, is called vaikarika ahamkara. This ahamkara represents the development of mind to produce self-consciousness.

The tamasika evolution of egoity is bhutadi, the physical elements. These are the five subtle elements or potentialities of touch, sound, sight, taste, and smell, and the five gross elements of either, air, fire, water, and earth.

The rajasika element of egoity, called taijasa, is a catalytic agent helping the evolution of sattvika and tamasika elements.