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Which Cannot Be Experienced By Senses In Hinduism – Avyakta

In Hinduism, Avyakta literally means not manifest, cannot be experienced by the sense organs. In the Samkhya system, the word avyakta indicates prakriti (primordial nature or matter), which is said to be the first, or primary cause of all existence, of the material world. They are all said to be the evolutes of the avyakta. Samkhya is a dualistic system based on two basic realities – energy and matter.

Avyakta is also called alinga, because it is not itself the product or effect of anything else, and so it has no linga, or cause. It is called mulaprakriti, because it is the first cause of all else, except of the selves. It is also given the name pradhana because in the material world it is the main, the chief, among the existents.

Avyakta, as explained in Samkhya Karika (10-11), is constituted by three gunas, namely sattva, rajas, and tamas. It is jada (a material principle). It exists not for its own sake, but for the purushas (selves). It is all pervading and omnipresent. It gives rise to modified forms of itself, according to the doctrine called Parinamavada. First there is tattvantraparinama in which 23 tattvas emerge in a particular order, and further there are three parinamas (modifications) undergone by all manifest objects of experience. They are respectively called dharma parinama, lakshana parinama and Avastha. In Samkhya, the existence of avyakta as the first cause is proved on the basis of Satkaryavada.