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Sachchidananda 'The Life Divine' Book I,Ch.9, 10, 11, 12 - Track 707

Now what is it that puts prakriti in a state of manifestation, the answer it gives is that prakriti becomes disturbed. Now why does it become disturbed? How does it become disturbed? One answer could have been it is the nature of it. Sometimes it remains unmanifest, suddenly it begins to manifest that is the nature of it that could have been one answer, but then it found that this answer is not applicable because it could at any moment become unmanifest. At any moment it could be become manifest, if that was the nature of prakriti to become manifest or unmanifest, but this is not happening. Once it is begins to be disturbed and once it is disturbed it goes on and on and on and once it is in the state of equilibrium it could have gone on and on and on. Therefore there must be something exterior to prakriti which is causing this disturbance, so they were obliged to go beyond prakriti and the answer was that when the purusha looks at prakriti the disequilibrium is created. Prakriti by itself would remain unmanifest, but the glance of purusha at prakriti causes the disturbance.

Question: What is this glance?

The witnessing state, the purusha takes notice of prakriti. Purusha is not prakriti itself, it is outside itself. When it takes notice of it that is a glancing. I am only expounding, I am not yet defending or criticizing Sankhya. We shall come to it little later. I am only expounding the exact process by which the whole world is explained by Sankhya. So purusha when it glances at prakriti, prakriti begins to manifest.

Now this glancing is a kind of action. Although purusha by itself is inactive and yet Sankhya is obliged to say it glances at prakriti and as you rightly say what is this glance and I said it is a witnessing. Even that is not sufficient to explain therefore I said it takes notice of prakriti. This is one of the difficulties in Sankhya. If Purusha is absolutely a pure witness consciousness, purely inactive, how does it glance? Glance is an activity, but it happens. Let us say this is one of the difficulties in Sankhya, but for the sake of exposition we go ahead and say that it glances at prakriti so we might say that although its nature is inactive, its nature of karta is subordinate. It’s not the real nature of purusha, but somehow it partakes into the nature of prakriti, which is active and prakriti begins to manifest and it is said therefore that prakriti’s manifestation although it is mechanical, purely material, yet it is subordinate to the glancing of purusha. If purusha does not glance then prakriti would become once again in the state of equilibrium, therefore it is said that prakriti gives the experience to purusha of enjoyment (bharta) by moving out all prakriti’s movement are subordinate to purusha and subordinate in such a way that prakriti’s movements are always to give enjoyment to purusha. All this world is nothing but for enjoyment of purushas, not one but many purushas. There is one prakriti, many purushas and the entire prakriti is nothing but a field of enjoyment of purushas, therefore any individual in any given situation (situation is a movement of prakriti). The temperament which you have is a part of prakriti. The activities of your sense organs is a part of prakriti. The activities of karma indriyas is the part of prakriti. The movement of manas is prakriti. The movement of buddhi is prakriti. All the activities which are happening around us are all prakriti, all action is prakriti, but essentially all this is for the enjoyment of purusha, so actually there is no ground for complaint according to Sankhya. Whatever you are experiencing is because the purusha has glanced at prakriti and prakriti in order to satisfy the purusha has begun to open herself out and manifest. In one of the statements of Sankhya, there are many expositions of Sankhya. It is said Prakriti is like a dancer and she dances for the enjoyment of  purusha and dances in a way in which purusha wants her to dance, therefore the conditions in which you are put are entirely because you want them to be what they are. The moment you decide you don’t want these conditions prakriti will so manage everything that that will disappear. The moment you say I don’t want this enjoyment, I don’t want this complication, I want to be free from all this, just will it firmly and you will back to a state of witnessing consciousness and prakriti will be covered or folded up for you it may still continue for others because other purusha have not demanded it. For you the prakriti becomes folded up; that is called the state of liberation. Now this is the account given by Sankhya which tries to explain what is force and how from one force the multiplicity of the world can be explained and after trying to explain everything in terms of only one force it fail to account for consciousness. Therefore it was oblige to posit purusha and because of the fact that different individuals are in different states of consciousness it was obliged to conclude that there is not one purusha but many purushas and it also was able to explain by positing purusha that prakriti which remains in a state of equilibrium at rest begins to manifest when purusha glances at it and the whole world is nothing but a kind of enjoyment made for purusha and when the purusha determines that this enjoyment is not acceptable then by withdrawal from it, one become librated and prakriti for him, for that purusha becomes folded up.

Question: In this individual purusha is the Jivatman?

They don’t use the word Jivatman they simply say purusha. In sankhya terminology the word is only purusha. Whether it means or not it’s a different question which I will come to later on because it will make a very complicated exposition but for sankhya individual is nothing but purusha. There are many other meanings of Jivatman but according to sankhya what we called Jivatman is purusha for sankhya , but if you ask the question is Jivatman purusha? I would say in terminology of sankhya yes, but in Jivatman is a very larger complex notion which we will come later on. We shall continue the whole question of consciousness and matter – materialism vs. idealism. Idealism is the theory of consciousness.