Question: The desire also would become an action,
…an action, this is also a contradiction. Why should Purusha at all glance first of all? Glance itself is an action and even the motive of glancing also is an action.
In spite of this contradiction, Sankhya philosopher have continued to say what they are saying, the result being that in spite of this contradiction, it explains quite well the whole world; granted that this is a contradiction but ultimately, it explains the whole world; so anything that explains the whole world, even with contradiction has to be accepted, this is the argument of the Sankhya philosophers.
So, we go with them for the time being. So, according to Sankhya, the Purusha glances at Prakriti to observe it and Prakriti answers it by unfolding itself, so gradually unfolds itself for the sake of the enjoyment of Purusha. Purusha glances for the sake of observing. To satisfy this motive Prakriti unfolds.
So, one of the principles in Sankhya is that Purusha is the enjoyer: bhoktā. All this world is dependent upon the wish of Purusha, a very important statement which is valid although inconsistent with the Sankhya philosophy. In itself it is valid. If you have another system of philosophy then this element would be very important and we shall see how it is important.
Now, when Purusha glances at Prakriti it becomes absorbed in Prakriti. This also is an action: to be absorbed. It becomes absorbed in Prakriti. As a result it forgets itself. Because of absorption it forgets itself and by absorption it becomes identified with Prakriti, it becomes one with the objects that it perceives. This identification is what is called bondage: bandhana.
It’s like a child who is given a toy and then child falls in love with the toy and attributes to the toy all the needs that the child feels for himself. It wants a toy to go to sleep, it needs bath, it needs food, it needs all cradle songs, similarly now Purusha becomes identified with Prakriti, forgets itself and becomes itself like Prakriti. He doesn’t know itself that it is different from Prakriti. It only knows Prakriti, nothing else.
It is only when there is experience of pain, experience of suffocation, a feeling of real bondage that now Purusha begins to wonder: what is it that is happening? What is the remedy for this? Then he makes a study of everything and through this study it discovers that it is identified with Prakriti. That is the real reason for all the misery, suffering, suffocation.
Then it enquires as to how to come out of it. That examines all the movements of Prakriti and finds that there is one faculty called ‘Buddhi’, intellect which is capable of discrimination. Now, discrimination means a movement opposed to identification: identifying is to mix up things together; discrimination means that you can distinguish one from the other. So, by the virtue of the capacities and activities of Buddhi, Purusha can discriminate itself from Prakriti. And if it continues to dwell upon the distinction between Purusha and Prakriti by the help of Buddhi constantly then Purusha withdraws from Prakriti, becomes free, liberated from the clutches of Prakriti and attains back to its original condition of peace, tranquillity, inactivity, luminosity: that is mokṣa.
Question: In Sankhkya is there Purushottama state?
No, in Sankhya there is no Purushottama at all. According to Sankhya, you don’t need God to explain the world: it is called niṛśvara sāṁkhya, Sankhya which does not accept iśvara. So, there is no Purushottama concept at all in the Sankhya. According to Sankhya you can explain all the experience in the world only by two principles: Purusha and Prakriti and both are original. Original means ‘nothing beyond’, Supreme is not beyond, whatever is supreme is Purusha and Prakriti.
Now here also the very first sentence in the verse n°19, it says:
prakṛtiṁ puruṣaṁ caiva viddhy anādī ubhāv api |, it is as if Sri Krishna accepts Sankhya philosophy, because He says: “know, viddhy, understand that there are two thing Purusha and Prakriti; ubhāv api, both of them are anādī, are original.” It is as if Sri Krishna accepts the Sankhya philosophy.
According to Sankhya, Prakriti is independent although when the bondage takes place, when the Purusha glances Prakriti begins to be operative part because it follows the dictate of the Purusha, but philosophically, the Purusha and Prakriti are independent of each other. Purusha is many, Prakriti is one.
…Purusha is luminous, Prakriti is jaḍa, unconscious, according to Sankhya.