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Samkhyasara is the gift of samkhya thought. Samkhya refers to purusha (self) and prakriti (primal nature). Because of the separation of purusha from prakriti, three types of suffering – psycho-physical, natural and supernatural – are experienced. Does the effect pre-exist in its material cause? Those who answer this in the negative are called Asatkaryavadins (the philosophical systems of Nyaya, Vedanta and Mimasa). The Buddhists, too, fall in this category. The others are Parinamavadins (Samkhya and Ramanuja).

Purusha is a witness beyond change and reality. Bound atmas differ in quality and quantity. The essential characteristics of the physical universe are sattva, rajas, and tamas, which are not perceived but inferred from the effects.

Sattva is the element that produces goodness and happiness; rajas means aggression, that which produces pain, restless activity; tamas means darkness, the quality of being passive, apathetic and indifferent.

The three gunas conflict and cooperate and are compared to the oil, the wick and the flame of a lamp. The gunas cannot remain static. Homogeneous change is svarupa parinama during pralaya (the great flood). Heterogeneous change (virupa parinama) occurs when one guna predominates over the other two.

According to the Samkhya system of philosophy, there are 24 substances, which together make up prakriti. With liberation (kaivalya), the association of purusha with prakriti comes to an end. This spells freedom from bodily, mental and extra organic and natural causes.