Six Systems of Indian Philosophy

Samkhya - A Dualistic Theory     

Samkhya is SA for short. SA philosophy, considered to be the most ancient of all the philosophical schools, was systematized by the great sage Kapila. All of Indian literature has been influenced by this philosophy. The first work of SA, the Samskhya Sutra, is traditionally attributed to Kapila, but in its present form is not his original work. So the Samkhya-karika of Isvarakrsna is actually the earliest available SA text. Among its more well known commentaries are Gaudapada’s Bhasya, Vacaspati Misra’s Tattvakaumudi, Vijnanabhiksu’s Samskhya Pravacanbhasya and Mathara’s Matharavrtti. Topics traditionally emphasized by Kapila, Isvarakrsna and others are the theory of causation, the concept of Prakrti (the unconscious principle) and Purusa (the conscious principle), the evolution of the world, the concept of liberation and the theory of knowledge.

The uniqueness of this system lies in its summing up of all the categories of reality as described in Nyaya and Vaisesika into two categories – Purusa and Prakrti – and thereby introducing a dualistic philosophy.

The Theory of Cause and Effect
All the Indian philosophies base their explanation of the evolution or manifestation of the universe on two fundamental theories of cause and effect: satkaryavada and asatkaryavada. According to the former, the effect exists in the cause prior to its production or manifestation but the latter maintains that the effect does not exists in its cause prior to its manifestation – called the theory of the origin of the effect. SA accepts the former theory of causation, but there actually two schools of thought concerning this theory. One, vivartavada, is the view accepted by Advaita Vedantins. It holds that the change of a cause into an effect is merely apparent. SA holds the view of parinamavada according to which there is real transformation of the cause into effect, as in wood being transformed into a chair or milk into yoghurt.

SA philosophy developed elaborate explanations to establish the parinamavada theory of satkaryavada that maintains that cause changes into effect. This explanation was established because all other SA concepts are based on the premise that the effect exists in its material cause even before the effect is produced. SA provided five proofs of this premise.

The first proof is, asadakaranat, states that the effect exists in its material cause before its production because no one can produce an effect from a material cause in which that effect does not exits. For e.g. no one can produce milk from a chair because chair does not exist in milk. The second proof, upasanagrahanat, states because there is an invariable relationship between cause and effect, material cause can produce only that effect after which it is causally related. Only milk can produce curd because milk alone is materially related to yoghurt. The third proof, sarvasambhavabhavat, states that there is a fixed rule for production or manifestation of things. A certain thing can be produced only by another thing and none else. The fourth proof is saktasaya-sakya-karanat, states that an effect exists in its cause in an unmanifested form before it is produced. This is a cause because only a potent cause can produce a desired effect. The fifth proof, karanabhavat, states that if the effect does not exist in the cause, then that which was non-existent would come into existence out of nothing.

By means of these arguments, SA philosophers established the theory of parinamavada or manifestation, according to which an effect is already existent in unmanifested form in its cause. The process of producing an effect from the cause or the process of manifestation and annihilation can be clarified with the analogy of the tortoise, which extends its limb from the shell. The tortoise does not create its limbs; it merely brings that which was hidden into view. SA philosophers hold that, similarly, no one can convert existence into nonexistence, nor can that which exists be entirely destroyed. The Theory of Manifestation is essential to SA philosophy and indeed serves as the basic foundation upon which all its other theories are constructed.

Prakrti (PR) - The Unconscious Principle
The SA system holds that the entire world – including the body, mind and senses – is dependant upon, limited by and produced by the combination of certain effects. Various other schools like Carvaka, Buddhism and Jainism, Nyaya and Vaisesika – maintain that the atoms of earth, eater, fire and air are the material causes of the world, but according to SA system material atoms cannot produce the subtler objects such as mind, intellect and ego. Thus, one has to seek elsewhere from for that cause from which the gross objects and their subtler aspects are derived. The ultimate cause of the word must be a latent principle of potential, and it must be uncaused, eternal and all pervading. It must be more subtle than the mind and the intellect, and at the same time it must contain all the characteristics of the external objectives as well as of the senses, mind and intellect.

In SA philosophy this ultimate cause is called Prakrti. To prove its existence SA offers the following five arguments. One it is an accepted fact that all the objects of the world are limited and dependant on something else, so there must be an unlimited and independent cause for their existence. That cause is PR. Two all the objects of the world possess a common characteristic i.e. are capable of producing pleasure, pain and indifference. Thus, something must exist as the cause of the universe that possesses the characteristics of pleasure, pain and indifference. That is PR. Three all the objects of the world have the potential to produce something else or to convert themselves into something. Thus, their cause must also have the same potential, which implicitly contains the entire universe. That is PR. Four in the process of evolution an effect arises from a certain cause, and in dissolution it is reabsorbed or dissolved into origin. The particular objects of experience must have arises from a certain cause and so on until one reaches the primal cause of the creative process itself. A similar process takes place in involution. Here, physical elements are broken down into atoms, atoms are dissolved into gross energies, and gross energies into finer ones until all of these dissolve into the unmanifested one. That unmanifested one is called PR. Five, if one attempts to go further and imagine the causes of this ultimate cause, and he will land himself in the fallacy of infinite aggression. Ultimately one has to stop somewhere and identify a cause as the first cause of the Universe. In SA that cause is PR.

The Gunas
PR is neither atomic substance nor consciousness, but it possesses the three gunas of sattva, rajas and tamas (pleasure, pain and indifference). They are not the qualities but the intrinsic nature of PR. The balanced nature of sattva, rajas and tamas is PR and thus they cannot be PR attribute’s or qualities. They are called gunas i.e. ropes because they are intertwined like three strands of a rope that bind the soul to the world. According to SA philosophy, sattva, rajas and tamas are the root causes from which the universe is derived. These gunas cannot be perceived but can only be inferred.

SA philosophy says that the whole universe is evolved from the gunas. The state in which they are in their natural equilibrium is called PR and when their balance is disturbed they are said to be in Vikrti, the heterogeneous state. These three gunas are said to be the ultimate cause of all creation. Sattva is weightlessness and light, rajas is motion or activity and tamas is heaviness, darkness, inertia. In a state of equilibrium the gunas have completely given up their specific characteristics. In imbalance, rajas is said to be the in the center of sattva and tamas, and this results in creation because manifestation in itself is action. In the state of manifestation, one guna dominates the other two, but they are never completely apart from each other or completely absent because they are continually reacting with one another.

Sattva and tamas have the appearance of being in opposition to each other because one is light and weightless and the other is dark and heavy. But these pairs actually cooperate in the process of manifestation and dissolution as things move from the subtle to the gross and from gross to subtle. The expansion of power stores up energy in some relatively subtle form, from which it manifests to form a new equilibrium. These points of relative equilibrium constitute certain stages in the evolutionary process. It might at first seem that there is constant conflict between the gunas, but that is not the case. They are in perfect cooperation during the process of manifestation because it is through their constant interaction that the flow of cosmic and individual life comes. They are essentially different from but interrelated with one another. The gunas play the same role in one’s body and mind as they do in the universe as a whole. An individual’s physical appearance is simply a manifestation of the gunas that has been brought about my consciousness. This intention of consciousness to cause PR to manifest itself disturbs the state of equilibrium in PR, thus causing the gunas to interact and manifest the universe.

In individual life, rajas can be used to convert tamas into sattva or it can be used to convert sattva into tamas. Rajas can also be thought of as a destructive force because it creates over activity and leads the body to restlessness and mind fluctuations that take it away from peace. But on the other hand, the diminution of rajas can also adversely weaken the functions of sattva and tamas or create imbalance among them. Rajas is very powerful and would ideally be present in each person in the proper balance to provide the required life force but if one has altered one’s life unnaturally through drugs etc, then rajas becomes unbalanced. To bring rajas into balance, SA recommends sattvic thoughts and actions.

The most intrinsic quality of the gunas is their constant interchangeability, they are always changing or transforming into one another. This occurs in two ways, virupaparinama ‘ change into hetrogenous state’ or avirupaparinama ‘ change into a heterogeneous state’. The former takes place when one of the gunas dominates the other two and begins the process of manifestation of a particular object. This type of manifestation is responsible for the manifestation of the world. The latter refers to the state where the gunas change internally without disturbing each other. This type of change occurs in the balanced state of PR. In this state PR cannot be perceived by one’s ordinary perception, it can only be inferred. SA philosophers describe this state as uncaused, unmanifested, eternal, all-pervading, devoid of effect producing actions, without a second, independent and partless.

Purusa  (PU) - Consciousness (CS)
As was stated earlier SA is a dualistic philosophy that acknowledges two aspects of reality: the unconscious principle (PR) and the CS (Purusa or Self). Each body contains a Self, but the Self is different from the body, senses, mind and intellect. It is a conscious spirit, at once both the subject of knowledge and object of knowledge. It is not merely a substance with the attribute of consciousness, but it is rather pure consciousness itself – a self-illumined, unchanging, uncaused, all pervading, eternal reality. Whatever is produced or is subject to change, death, decay is PR not the Self.

SA offers five arguments to prove the existence of PU. One, all the objects of the world are meant to be utilized by and for someone other than themselves. Thus, there must be something quite different and distinct from other objects. Objects cannot enjoy their own existence, nor can one material object be utilized and enjoyed by another material object, thus there must be some other enjoyer of objects which is called PU.

Two, it cannot be said that all objects are meant for PR because PR is unconscious and is the material cause of all objects. It is the balance of the gunas, of which all the objects of the world are composed. PR is thus the essence of all plain, pleasure and neutral states and cannot be the enjoyer of itself. The proprietor or utilizer of the all worldly objects must consequently be a conscious being who does not possess the three gunas and who is completely different from them in both their balanced and heterogeneous states. That transcendent Reality is Purusa.

Third, all the objects of the external world are in themselves unconscious. They cannot function without guidance from some intelligent principle and must be controlled and directed by it in order to achieve anything or realize any end. That conscious Self who guides the operation of PR and its manifestations is PU.

Four, nonintelligent PR and all its evolutes have no meaning if they are not experienced by some intelligent force. That experiencer is PU.

Five, every human being wants to attain liberation and be free from pain and misery, but whatever is derived from PR brings pain and misery. If there is nothing different from PR and its evolutes than how is liberation attainable? There has to be some conscious principle that strives for liberation. That principle is PU.

Proof of the Existence of many Selves
According to SA there are many selves or conscious principles – one in each living being. If there were only one self related to all bodies, then one individual died, all individuals would simultaneously die, but this is not the case. Two, human beings are different from God and from animal / vegetable life as well. But the distinction could be true if God, animals, plants, human beings all possessed the same self. Thus there must be a plurality of selves that are eternal and intelligent. PR, the one all pervading material cause of the universe, and PU the many pure conscious intelligent entities who are not subject to change. It is from the interaction of these two principles that evolution occurs.

The Process of the Evolution of the Universe
According to SA, the entire world evolves from the interaction of PR with PU. It is not in the nature of contact of two finite substances like male and female material substances. It is a rather sort of effective relationship through which PR is influenced by the mere presence of PU. Evolution cannot occur by Self – PU alone because the Self is inactive, nor can it be initiated only by PR because PR is not conscious. The activity of PR needs to be guided by the intelligence of PU for the evolution of the universe.

Given this two questions arise – how can two such different and opposing principles cooperate, and what is the interest them to interact with one another? PR requires the presence of PU in order to be known or appreciated and PU requires the help of PR in order to distinguish itself from PR and thereby realize liberation. Thus according to SA, the goal of the manifestation of the universe is to attain liberation.

Through the interaction of PU and PR, a great disturbance arises in the equilibrium in which the gunas are held prior to manifestation. In this rajas, the active force begins to get irritated and through this the other two gunas begin to vibrate. This vibration releases a tremendous amount of energy within PR, thus manifesting the universe in various grades and degrees. The process of manifestation originates from the unmanifested unity and completes its cycle in twenty-four stages.

The process of manifestation begins with the infusion of PU into PR. It is said that PR is the mother principle and PU is the father principle. The mother is fertilized by the father, PR is the soil in which consciousness can take root.

Mahat or Buddhi - The first evolute of PR is Mahat (great one) or Buddhi the intellect. Mahat is the state in which PR receives light from PU, the fountain of light, and sees itself, and this process of seeing is the beginning of the manifestation of the universe. The individual counterpart of this cosmic state is buddhi, the finest aspect of a human being that has the capacity to know the entire personality in its full purity. Buddhi is the immediate effect of PR resulting from the guidance of PU, therefore buddhi is the evolute closest to PU.

Buddhi is manifested from the sattvic aspect of PR because of the nature of sattva – weightlessness, clarity and light – is affected sooner by the active force of manifestation than would be the heavy and unclear nature of tamas. Because of the sattvic quality of buddhi, the light of the Self reflects in the intellect similarly to the way an external object reflects in the clear surface of the mirror. The Self, seeing its reflection in the mirror of buddhi, identifies itself with the reflected image and forgets its true nature. Thus the feeling of I-ness is transmitted to buddhi. In this way the unconscious buddhi starts functioning as a conscious principle.

According to SA system, buddhi possesses the following eight qualities: virtue (dharma), knowledge (jnana), detachment (vairagya), excellence (aisvarya), nonvirtue( adharma), ignorance (ajana), attachment (avairagya) and imperfection or incompetence (anaisvarya). The first four are the sattvic forms of buddhi while the last four are overpowered by inertia (tamas). The pure Self falsely identifies with buddhi and thereby thinks it is experiencing what buddhi is experiencing. But through the use of buddhi’s eight attribute, knowledge, it reflects pure and well-filtered knowledge onto PU from its mirror, and PU comes to realize its false identification with buddhi’s objects and to recognize its transcendent nature in all its purity. Thus, buddhi the decision making function, stands nearest to the Self enabling it to discriminate between itself and PR and thereby achieve realization of its liberated nature.

 Ahankara: The Sense of I - Ahankara or AH for short is a derivative of mahat or buddhi, it is the property of individualization that generates a boundary of ‘I-ness’. It is often translated as ego or egoistic –a western concept that refer to an exaggerated sense of self-importance but AH is a much broader concept. It refers to the sense of ‘I’ that separates one’s own self from all others and creates an individual entity. There are three categories of AH, sattvika, rajasa and tamasa determined by which of the three gunas is predominant in the AH.

Eleven senses arise from sattvika AH, the five senses perception – hearing, touching, seeing, tasting and smelling, the five senses of action – verbalization, apprehension, locomotion, excretion and procreation, and the mind – manas. The five tanmatras or subtle elements are sound, touch; color, taste and smell are derived from the tamansa AH. The function of the rajasa AH is to motivate the other two gunas, and thus it is the cause of both aspects of creation, the eleven senses and the give tanmatras.

This explanation of the manifestation of AH is based on the Samkhya-karika, the major text of SA philosophy. The commentators of this text hold various views. Some state that the mind is only derived from the sattvika AH, to others the mind, intellect, and ego are called the internal sense, yet for others the mind is the master of all external senses.

According to SA philosophy, the mind is neither atomic or eternal but is rather a product of PR and is therefore subject to origin and dissolution. The cognitive senses contact their objects and supply their experiences to the mind, which then interprets the data into determinate perceptions. AH then claims the objects of the world, identifying itself with the desirable ones while misidentifying with the undesirable ones, and finally the intellect decides whether to purse or avoid those external objects.

The five tanmatras of sound, touch, color, taste, and smell are the subtle counterparts to the gross elements; they can be inferred but not perceived. They evolve after ten senses come into being and they are the cause of the five gross elements, which are derived in a gradual step-by-step process. First to evolve is the tanmatra that is the essence of sound –sabda, from which in turn the ether – akasa, the space element is derived. The air element is derivation of the essence of touch – sparsa tanmatra that combines with that of sound. The fire element is derived from the essence of color (rupa tanmatra). T combines the qualities of sound, touch, color and its special property is sight, which is sensed by the eyes. The water element is derived from the essence of taste (rasa tanmatra). All three preceding qualities – sound, touch, color are found in it, as well as its special quality, taste, which is sensed by the tongue. The essence of smell (gandha tanmatra) produced the earth element, whose special property is odor, which is sensed by the nostrils.

Thus the course of evolution takes place in twenty-four stages. It starts from the root cause, PR and ends with the earth element, the grossest manifestation. This process is broken down into two major categories: the development of PR as buddhi, ahankara and the eleven senses and the evolution of the five subtle/gross elements.

The Sources of Valid Knowledge
SA philosophy accepts only three independent sources of valid knowledge: perception, inference and testimony. According to SA there are three factors present in all valid knowledge: pramata the subject, prameya the object and pramana the medium. Pramata is the conscious principle that receives and recognizes knowledge, is none other than the Self. Prameya is the object of knowledge that is presented to the Self. Pramana is the modification of the intellect by which the Self comes to know an object, thus it is the source or medium of knowledge.

Valid Knowledge is thus the reflection of the Self, in the intellect, which is modified into the form of an object.

 Perception - The SA concept of perception as a source of valid knowledge is different from those posited by other systems of Indian philosophy. In SA, valid knowledge means a definite and unerring cognition that is made known or illuminated by the Self through its reflected light in buddhi. The mind, intellect and senses are unconscious material entities and therefore cannot perceive or experience any object. For perception or experience, consciousness is needed and that belongs only to the Self. But the Self cannot directly apprehend the objects of the world because the Self is niskriya meaning motionless. The Self knows objects only through the mind, intellect and senses. True knowledge of an external object is attained when the impression of the object is perceived through the senses and recorded in the intellect, which then reflects the light of consciousness onto those objects.

Two major proponents of the SA theory of reflectionism – Vijnanabhiksu and Vacaspati Misra – hold differing views. According to the former, the knowledge of an object takes place when there is a reciprocal reflection of the Self in the intellect and of the intellect in the Self. This theory is also accepted by Vyasa in his commentary on the Yoga Sutras. According to the latter, perception is a process of one-sided reflection. There is a reflection of the Self in the intellect, but there is no reflection of the intellect back into the Self.

Both these views are possible because the Self’s experience of external objects or pain and pleasure, depends on the intensity of its identification with the intellect. SA recognizes two kinds of perceptions: determinate and indeterminate. The first is called ‘alocana’ which means merely seeing the object while the second vivecana means interpretation of the object.

 Inference - Knowledge determined through the universal or invariable relationship between two things is called Anumana – inference. The SA concept of inference is slightly different from that held by Nyaya philosophy. In SA it is of two kinds: vita and avita. Vita is based on a universal affirmative proposition and avita is based on a universal negative proposition. Vita in turn is of two types, purvavat and samanyatodrsta. The former is based on previously observed uniform concomitance between two things e.g. smoke is always accompanied by fire. The latter is not based on any previously observed concomitance between the middle and major terms. For example, how do we know that we have senses? One cannot perceive senses but their existence can be inferred in the following way, for all action, some kind of instrument is needed, seeing – hearing – touching are actions that must have their corresponding instruments, the senses are these instruments.

Negative inference, avita, is explained in the Nyaya system as sesavat, in which inference results by the elimination of all other possible alternatives.

 Testimony - SA holds the same view as Nyaya.

The Concept of Liberation
According to SA philosophy, the universe is full of pain and misery and even what is thought of as pleasure is mingled with sorrow because all pleasures eventually end in disappointment, which is the basis of misery. SA states that living beings can get rid of misery only through the correct discriminative knowledge of reality.

The entire external world and all internal phenomena belong to the PR, but pure consciousness, PU, is free from the limitations of space, time and causation. All activity, change, thought, feeling, pleasure and pain belong to the body/mind, not to the Self. The Self is pure ever-illumined consciousness that transcends the entire phenomenal world, including the mind/body complex. However, all the experiences of the phenomenal world are received by PU because of its false identification with the mind, intellect and ego. The intellect is responsible for this, even though PU is actually always and forever beyond the evolutes of PR.

The manifestation of the universe into the 23 evolutes of PR is not meant to create bondage for PU but rather to help PU realize that it is free and distinct from PR. Although it may seem so but mind, ego and intellect do not function for themselves but they exist to provide experiences to PR. Problems arises because PU falsely identifies with rajas and tamas and forgets its capacity to see through its false identification. Thus PU fails to use PR’s sattvic manifestations to distinguish the Self from the non-Self.

Both PR and PU are infinite and eternal, and when PR is in her unmanifested state, she is so intermingled with PU that he becomes anxious to realize his own true nature. PU’s anxiety allows him to come even closer to PR, and it is this move or intention towards her that inspires the latent forces in PR to function. But when through ignorance PU forgets his purpose in coming closer to PR, then instead of discriminating himself from the unconscious principle, he entangles himself with it. The moment PU remembers his main purpose and discriminates himself from this manifest world and from its causes, he realizes his true nature and recognizes his freedom.

The purpose of the manifestation of PR is to show herself to PU so he can realize that he is distinct from her. The moment PU realizes that he is not the external object, and then the entire manifestation is withdrawn.

In actuality, pure consciousness, PU is subject to neither bondage nor to liberation, because he is never really in bondage. PR binds herself with the rope of her own manifestation, and when PU recognizes her as distinct from him, she liberates herself. As has been said earlier there are eight attributes of mahant or buddhi, which is the prime evolute of PR. Of these the first seven are attachment and detachment, ignorance and knowledge, nonmeritous and meritorious, vice and virtue. PR binds herself with the first seven and librates herself with the eight i.e. the light of knowledge. Thus bondage and liberation are both concepts of the intellect. Through the practice of the Yoga of discrimination – that is repeated nonidentification with the body, mind and senses – one polishes one’s intellect and become more conscious of one’s true nature. After the Self realizes its true nature, all anxieties are dissolved.

In SA philosophy there are two kinds of liberation: jivana mukti and videha mukti. The former is liberation in one’s lifetime while the latter is liberation after death. In the former a person continues to live as a liberated being. He continues in this worldly life as a fan continues to revolve, due to its previously generated speed for a short while before being switched off. When all the samskaras – the impressions of past actions – are finished, then he casts off his body and is said to enter into videha mukti, which is liberation after death.

The Concept of God
There is a great controversy among SA philosophers w.r.t. the concept of God. The earliest possible text Samskhya Karika does not discuss the existence of God. The absence of such a discussion led scholars to believe that early SA did not accept the existence of God. They argued that since the entire universe is a system of cause and effect, it could not be caused by God because by definition God is eternal and immutable. That which is unchanging cannot be the cause of anything, so the ultimate cause of the universe is eternal but ever changing. That cause is PR, the eternal and ever-changing conscious principle. Next, one could argue that PR is not intelligent and must thus be controlled by some intelligent principles to produce the world. But because there are so many PU’s they cannot guide and lead the infinite PR, so one could thus conclude that there is a God. If God controls PR, then what is it that inspires God to make this world full of pain and misery. Moreover, one cannot say that God has desires implying imperfection, which is a quality that God cannot have. Therefore, there is no God. PU is sufficient to inspire PR to manifest herself in the form of the universe.

Later developments in SA however, indicate acceptance of the existence of God. These philosophers point out that in metaphysical discussions it is very difficult to explain the nature of the universe and of oneself without accepting a Supreme Being. There must be one Supreme Being who could guide PR independently.

The Bhagavad Gita states that the unmanifested PR issues forth the entire universe as guided and directed by God. But early SA scriptures did not talk about God because they wanted to teach human beings to be independent and courageous so that they could explore all potentials hidden within. It does not mean that they denied the existence of God. The practical aspect of SA is the Yoga system, which recognizes the existence of God.

The Practical Teachings of SA
From earliest times, the SA philosophy understood the basic problem of human life: that the mind turn’s one’s bliss into misery by its projections, preoccupations and identifications with noneternal things. As has been discussed, SA recognizes three functions of the mind: the lower mind, ego and intellect.

Whatever are sensed by the sense organs is received by the mind and transmitted to the ego and intellect, which in turn presents this to the Self. However, the Self or PU which falsely identifies itself with the intellect, enjoys or suffers that experience as the intellect does, even though actual enjoyment or suffering does not belong to the Self. What follows is a natural infiltration process. Senses receive experiences; the mind transmits those that are desirable to the ego. The ego filters and transmits to the intellect only those experiences that are related to the ego. Next the intellect only forwards those experiences that are necessary and beneficial to the Self.

This is a natural process, but because of the presence of rajas and tamas in the personality and because of attachment to worldly objects, the mind – ego – intellect looses their capacity of infiltration. Because of this they accumulate avoidable mental garbage, loose their strength and block the path for going inward. Thus, one remains at the lower stage of the mind, whose very nature is to doubt, suspect and vacillate. This leads to confusion and frustration. For this reason SA philosophy emphasizes polishing the mind so it can filter experience and provide valid knowledge with full understanding.

SA philosophy discourages rituals because most of people do not understand their significance. SA emphasizes right knowledge of the external world and Self. It does not want a student to renounce the world but rather teaches one how to live in the world yet remain above. An adept of the SA system is called a sthitaprajna translated as ‘one who is established in wisdom, who has cut down desires mentally and who is self-satisfied within’. Such a person is not distressed by unpleasant events and is not overpowered by pleasure.

SA philosophy gives a complete method of training for this state. One, one should control and purify his thinking process because thinking about a sense object produces attachment to it, then desire. If the object is not attained there arises anger towards the impediment, and this anger destroys one’s patience and produces delusion. Delusion gives birth to confusion or loss of memory and then one’s intellect becomes disorganized. Next one becomes lost in the jungle of pain and sorrow.

The SA system reminds one to examine one’s thinking process to purify it so that he can develop proper attitudes towards the objects of the senses. If one is aware of the first flicker of an arising desire, it is easier for his intellect to discriminate and to make proper decisions. A strong, positive thought led by discrimination does not permit the senses to wander blindly towards external objects. Enjoyment of external objects with full awareness and discrimination does not disturb one’s internal state but rather it provides peace and happiness. This is the basis of the steadiness of intellect that reveals the true nature of the world and helps PU attain realization.

SA philosophy advises a person not to run away from the world but to have perfect mental control so that he will not be agitated by the tides of the ocean of worldly objects. As the Bhagavad Gita –Ch 2v70 states ‘ He attains peace into whom all sensual experiences enter, just as so many rovers flow into the ocean, which, though being ever filled, remain unaffected. But he who is desirous of enjoyments, never attains peace’.

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