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Kapila Muni 6th Vishnu Avatar

Kapila Muni




Lord Vishnu's Sixth incarnation was as sage Kapila. The objective of this incarnation was to compile all the divine knowledge that had been destroyed. He was the profounder of Sankhya Shastra (rationalism) which helped the Brahmins, who had forgotten their duties to rectify their mistakes. He also gave discourse to his own mother.




Sankhya is an enumerationist philosophy that is strongly dualist.
According to the Sankhya school, all knowledge is possible through three pramanas (means of valid knowledge)
Pratyaksha or Drishtam - direct sense perception,
Anumana - logical inference and
Sabda or Aptavacana - verbal testimony.
Sankhya cites two kinds of perceptions: Indeterminate (nirvikalpa) perceptions and determinate (savikalpa) perceptions.
Indeterminate perceptions are merely impressions without understanding or knowledge. They reveal no knowledge of the form or the name of the object. There is only external awareness about an object. There is cognition of the object, but no discriminative recognition.
For example, a baby’s initial experience is full of impression. There is a lot of data from sensory perception, but there is little or no understanding of the inputs. Hence they can be neither differentiated nor labeled. Most of them are indeterminate perceptions.
Determinate perceptions are the mature state of perceptions which have been processed and differentiated appropriately. Once the sensations have been processed, categorized, and interpreted properly, they become determinate perceptions. They can lead to identification and also generate knowledge.


The twenty-four principles
Sankhya theorizes that Prakriti is the source of the world of becoming. It is pure potentiality that evolves itself successively into twenty four tattvas or principles. The evolution itself is possible because Prakriti is always in a state of tension among its constituent strands -
Sattva - a template of balance or equilibrium;
Rajas - a template of expansion or activity;
Tamas - a template of inertia or resistance to action.
All macrocosmic and microcosmic creation uses these templates. The twenty four principles that evolve are -
Prakriti - The most subtle potentiality that is behind whatever is created in the physical universe, also called "primordial Matter". It is also a state of equilibrium amongst the Three Gunas.
Mahat - first product of evolution from Prakriti, pure potentiality. Mahat is also considered to be the principle responsible for the rise of buddhi or intelligence in living beings.
Ahamkara or ego-sense - second product of evolution. It is responsible for the self-sense in living beings. It is also one's identification with the outer world and its content.
"Panch Tanmatras" are a simultaneous product from Mahat Tattva, along with the Ahamkara. They are the subtle form of Panch Mahabhutas which result from grossification or Panchikaran of the Tanmatras. Each of these Tanmatras are made of all three Gunas.
Manas or "Antahkaran" evolves from the total sum of the sattva aspect of Panch Tanmatras or the "Ahamkara"
Panch jnana indriyas or five sense organs - also evolves from the sattva aspect of Ahamkara.
Pancha karma indriya or five organs of action - The organs of action are hands, legs, vocal apparatus, urino-genital organ and anus. They evolve from the rajas aspect of Ahamkara.
Pancha mahabhuta or five great substances - ether, air, fire, water and earth. They evolve from the "tamas" aspect of the "Ahamkara". This is the revealed aspect of the physical universe.


Sankhya philosophy regards the universe as consisting of two realities:
Purusha (consciousness) and Prakriti (phenomenal realm of matter).
They are the experiencer and the experienced
Prakriti further bifurcates into animate and inanimate realms.
Purusha separates out into countless Jivas or individual units of consciousness as souls which fuse into the mind and body of the animate branch of Prakriti.


Purusha is the Transcendental Self or Pure Consciousness. It is absolute, independent, free, imperceptible, unknowable, above any experience and beyond any words or explanation. It remains pure, “nonattributive consciousness ”. Purusha is neither produced nor does it produce


Prakriti is the first cause of the universe--of everything except the Purusha, which is uncaused, and accounts for whatever is physical, both matter and force.
Since it is the first principle (tattva) of the universe, it is called the Pradhana, but, as it is the unconscious and unintelligent principle, it is also called the Jada.
It is composed of three essential characteristics (trigunas).
These are:
sattva - fineness, lightness, illumination, and joy;
rajas - activity, excitation, and pain;
tamas - coarseness, heavyness, obstruction, and sloth.


All physical events are considered to be manifestations of the evolution of Prakriti, or primal nature (from which all physical bodies are derived).
Each sentient being is a Purusha, and is limitless and unrestricted by its physical body.
Samsaara or bondage arises when the Purusha does not have the discriminate knowledge and so is misled as to its own identity, confusing itself with the physical body, which is actually an evolute of Prakriti.
The spirit is liberated when the discriminate knowledge of the difference between conscious Purusha and unconscious Prakriti is realized.


Sankhya regards ignorance as the root cause of bondage and suffering (Samsara).
According to Sankhya, the Purusha is eternal, pure consciousness.
Due to ignorance, it identifies itself with the physical body and its constituents - Manas, Ahamkara and Mahat, which are products of Prakriti.
Once it becomes free of this false identification and the material bonds, Moksha ensues.