So, that’s why Sri Krishna says that if you want the in kṣetra detail, you go to the Veda, you go to the Upanishad, you go to Brahmasutra. And Brahmasutra contains within itself a kind of a synthesis in which Sankhya plays a great role. The Brahmasutra itself is not a Sankhya philosophy, it takes over within its embrace all that is said in Sankhya, but goes beyond it. You might say that the Sankhya of the Brahmasutra is Vedantic Sankhya, it’s not pure Sankhya, it is Vedantic: it is a body of Vedanta…Vedanta is nothing but the culmination of Veda. Culmination of Veda is Upanishads, but these Upanishads when described philosophically is called Vedanta philosophy. Upanishad is a Vedanta…spirituality: spiritual knowledge, it is also Vedanta but it is a spiritual Vedanta. Brahmasutra is a philosophical Vedanta.
So, in this philosophical statement of Brahmasutra, we have the entire body of Sankhya incorporated and gone beyond: it is a transcendence of the Sankhya, but Sankhya is taken up. Now, in Sankhya there are two very important statements and both these statements are incorporated in the Vedanta, but more than that also it is added to it.
What are these two statements? I would like to state this because this is the most important part in all the 6 chapters, which says that Purusha and Prakriti are the fundamental principles of all existence; the totality of existence can be understood in terms of Prakriti and all its modifications plus Purusha. If you put these two together, there is nothing which remains to be known except Purusha and Prakriti.
Now, Prakriti is in the beginning ‘avyakta’, is unmanifest: now, this unmanifest Prakriti begins to manifest. Now, this beginning of manifestation is caused by Purusha. The Purusha ‘glances’ at Prakriti which is unmanifest and the moment it glances at it, Prakriti begins to manifest, it is as it were Purusha commands Prakriti: “look I want to see you”, therefore She unfolds Herself. The bombardment of manifestation is caused by the glance of Purusha which is a kind of a command: “I want to see you”. And then Prakriti says: “I unfold myself”: it begins to manifest.
And the very first manifestation is called ‘mahat’ (or ‘buddhi’). The very first manifestation is the Vast, ‘mahat’: it’s like a bombardment and the vast is manifested, something like the ‘Bang’ theory: there is a ‘bang’ as it were on the avyakta prakriti, and with that bang the Prakriti begins to manifest. So that large manifestation is called ‘mahat’, the first thing is ‘mahat’. It is also called ‘buddhi’ because Buddhi’s function is to discriminate. The entire movement of Prakriti moves on the basis of division, discrimination. The whole dividing movement which is manifesting in Prakriti…in Prakriti every movement is a dividing movement, is movement of discrimination; that is the function of Buddhi, therefore the ‘mahat’ is called buddhi’.
It also distinguishes between Purusha and Prakriti, it’s a discriminating power; it is Buddhi which can discriminate between Purusha and Prakriti. Ultimately it is by virtue of Buddhi that Purusha, who was observing Prakriti all the time recognises that it is itself her ‘knower’, it is not itself that knows, discriminates between that which is known and that which knows: it’s by virtue of Buddhi that this discrimination comes about in the perceiving, observing Purusha. It is that which awakes the Purusha, as it were, saying: “Are you now satisfied with observation?” And now you withdraw, you come back to yourself.