Samkhya – Swami Bodhananda

I was reading the Wikipedia page on Hinduism when a link in the section, “External Links” caught my eye. The link lead to an article on Advaita Vedanta Hinduism by Dr. Sangeetha Menon. While I did not read that post, I scrolled down to see that Dr. Menon was from the National Institute for Advanced Sciences, where she leads the NIAS Consciousness Studies Programme.

Scrolling down on her homepage, I found a reference to the Sambodh Foundation and her spiritual guru, Swami Bodhananda. He is from the lineage of Advaita Vedanta. I reached the website of the Sambodh Foundation. It was here under the “Lectures” tab that I found a programme he had done in 2016 in association with Ahmedabad Management Association (AMA). AMA has a centre called Mamta, a Centre for Indian Wisdom for Management. It was Mamta that had organised this event.

The event sought to cover the entire spectrum of Indian philosophy including Buddhism and Jainism. The talk linked above was on Samkhya. I had last year written about my interest in Samkhya.

This post records how I found this video and some of the notes that I took from the video, for my reference. Once you see this video, I am sure you can find the rest of the series on the Sambodh Foundation’s YouTube channel.

Notes from the video:

  • Nyaya-Vaisheshika is pluralistic – Samkhya was searching for 1.
  • Kapila is the founder.
  • 3 references available
    • 15th century – Samkhya Sutras (gleamed from other commentaries)
    • Tattva-samasa – probably a Buddhist work
    • 5th century – Eswara Krishna’s Samkhya Karika (poem) – most authentic.
  • Important to understand for thought leaders from India today.
  • 2 tattvas (principles) – Prakriti (matter) and Purusha (consciousness)
  • Samkhyans believed that these two could not be further sub-divided. Their inter-play produces our world.
  • 3 sufferings (tapatreyas) – adhyatmika (from within – psychological, physioligical, etc.), adhiboutika (from outside – virus, bacteria, polluted water, environmental etc.), adhidevikam (unknown causes)
  • The escape from suffering is by enquiring the cause of the suffering. The purpose of philosophy is to release us from suffering.
  • Samkhyams did not have belief. They thought belief is the end of enquiry. To understand means to have the light of knowledge.
  • conscious I – content what I am conscious of.
  • world I am conscious of – inner world and outer world (emotions, thoughts, ego etc) – both are objects of my experience – Prakriti
  • matter includes mind, emotions, memory, ego other than solids, liquids etc.
  • purusha – person who watches all this – detached experience – like a person watching the movie – rasa
  • purusha – a point of consciousness – bokhta not a karta – that which lives in the city of body-mind complex – always present
  • snapshots of reality
  • suffering – purusha identifies with suffering in prakriti – aviveka -non-discrimination
  • diagnosis – viveka – discriminate between prakriti and purusha
  • Prakriti – sarga (manifests, unfolds) and pratisarga (infolds, close)
  • vishama (disturbance)
  • samya (silent)
  • progress is not linear – boomerangs
  • laya avastha – seed, point of singularity
  • mahath – explosion happens as a result of its nature, Prakriti wakes up, alert, alive
  • mahath – buddhi – lights up
  • Prakriti – 3 gunas – sattva (light), rajas (movement), tamas (asleep)
  • laya avastha – prakriti tamas overpowers – after sometime sattva overpowers
  • after mahath – ahankara – on waking up, feeling of I am – Prakriti splits into I (sattvik) and other (rajas and tamas) notion
  • 5 tanmatras – qualities – sound, touch, form, taste, smell
  • mana – combination of tanmatra – contact and co-ordinate
  • njan-indriyas – eyes, ears, nose, skin, tongue – receive
  • karma-indriyas – transmit –
  • panchbhootas –
  • Swami comments that the artificial intillegence we produce will be without a purusha
  • 24 tattvas – unfoldment of Prakriti

You have to learn to side-step his science references which are not full understanding of a subject or may feel out-dated. Some of his insights are interesting. He also continually almost says Patanjali instead of Samkhyans/Kapila.

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