Gita Rahasya -Tilak 162

Karma Yoga Sastra -Tilak



The Samkhya-Karika written by Isvarakrsna is considered to be older than them. Gaudapada, the chief preceptor of Samkaracarya, has written a bhasya (Commentary) on that work and even in the Samkarabhasya itself, extracts have been taken from these Karikas, and the translation of that work into the Chinese language made before 570 A. D. is now available.[1] Isvarakrsna has stated at the end of these Karikas, that he has in his work given a summary in seventy couplets in the arya metre of a previous extensive- book of sixty chapters called Sasti-Tantra (omitting some chapters). The work Sasti-Tantra is now not available, and.

I have, therefore, considered the fundamental propositions of the Kapila Samkhya-Sastra on the authority of these Karikas. In the Mahabharata, the Samkhya doctrines have been mentioned in many chapters. But as in that work, the Vedanta doctrines have been always mixed up with the Samkhya doctrines, it becomes necessary to consider other treatises in order to decide what the pure Samkhya philosophy was ; and for that purpose, no work older than the Samkhya-Karikas is at present available. The pre-eminent worth of Kapila becomes clear from the following words of the Blessed Lord 1 in the Gita: " siddhanam Kapilo munih" [2] that is, " from among the Siddhas, I am the Kapila muni ". Nevertheless, it is not known where and when Kapila Rsi lived. There is a statement in the Santiparva of the Maha- bharata that Sanatkumara, Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatsujata, Sana, Sanatana and Kapila were the seven Mind-born sons of Brahmadeva, and that they were born with ' Knowledge [3]and in another place [4] we find the Samkhya philosophy explained to Janaka by Asuri, the disciple of Kapila, and Pancasikha, the disciple of Asuri. Again in the Santi- parva[5] Bhisma also says, that the science which was once propounded by Samkhya about the formation of the universe is everywhere to be found " in the Puranas, in history and in books on political economy and other places ". Nay, it may even be said that: "jnanam ca loke yad ihasti kimcit Sam- khyagatam tac ca mahan mahatntan ", that is, " all the knowledge in this, world originates in the Samkhya philosophy [6] When one considers in what way the- Evolution theory is being everywhere taxed into commission by the Western writers, one should not be surprised if every one of our writers has to some extent or other drawn upon our ancient Samkhya philosophy, which is a match for the Evolution theory.


References And Context

  1. Much information is now available about Isvarakrsna from Buddhistic works. The preceptor of the Buddhistic scholar Vasu- bandhu was a contemporary opponent of Isvarakrsna and the his-tory of this Vasubandhu written by Paramartha (449 to 569 A. D.) in the Chinese language has now been published. Dr. Takakasu has, on the strength of this, come to the conclusion that Isvarakrsna must have lived about 450 A. D. (See Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, 1905. p. 33 to 53). But accord-ing to Dr. Vincent Smith, Vasubandhu himself must be placed some- where in the 4th century (about 280-369 A. D.), because a trans- lation of his works has been made in 404 A. D. into the Chinese- language. When the date of Vasubandhu is in this way pushed back, the date of Isvarakrsna is also pushed back to the same extent, that is to say, by about 200 years; and must be taken at about 240 A. D. (See Vincent Smith's Early History of India, 3rd Edition, p. 328.).
  2. (Gi. 10. 26 ),
  3. (340.67);
  4. (San. 218),
  5. (301. 108, 109)
  6. "(Ma. Bha. San. 301. 109).