A basic question is asked: from where, by what process the Prakriti is able to create such a variety: pañca mahābhūta(s), and five objects of sensations, five senses, their coordination, their individuality, such tremendous variety which may be called the world of determinations. Prakriti which was one, which becomes triple and which manifest in so many determinations, hundreds and billions and trillions, how does it happen? There must be a principle in Prakriti, a principle of determination. ‘One’ energy capable of determining itself in millions and billions and trillions of forms and discriminating between one and the other and maintaining the individuality of each, such capacity must be present! That capacity is called by Sankhya, ‘buddhi’. Buddhi has two important functions: it determines and discriminates. You might say Prakriti originally is indeterminate: it like the ‘dough’ for the cook, who makes various kinds of preparations out of dough. Prakriti is like the dough, indeterminate. It is by the operation of the power of determination that this indeterminate becomes determined, and so many forms are brought out as it were; and by the power of ahaṁbhāva, each determination is maintained as a result of which all the objects of the world are perceived as determinate objects. But according to Sankhya all ‘this’ is unconscious.
According to Sankhya all this is unconscious, this principal function, it is like a machine; and machine can have various kinds of cogs, isn’t it? various kinds of elements, so that if there is one machine which brings out of indeterminate so many forms, so you call that machine “Buddhi”; all the determinations comes out of…it is unconscious! But all determinations come out because its structure is such that so many things come out: all determinations. Buddhi itself is not conscious of determinations. Even the sensations are unconscious. As long as they are products of Prakriti they are all unconscious: it is ‘jaḍa’. Prakriti is unconscious according to Sankhya.
Then how does this (when we say, “Buddhi” as a discriminating intelligence), we call it intelligence? The answer is that this unintelligent movement of Prakriti, when it is reflected in the Purusha, which is conscious, then what we call ‘intelligent will’ arises. The process of discrimination is unintelligent; but reflected in the conscious Purusha, it becomes conscious discrimination. If you ask the question, who knows determinations? Prakriti does not know determination. One who knows determinations is Purusha. Who senses? It is Purusha.