Now, there are three questions which can be raised in respect of Sankhya.
What is the nature of Purusha and what is the nature of Prakriti? The answer of Sankhya is: Purusha by nature is completely immobile, and Prakriti by nature is completely mobile.
Secondly mobility and immobility have no relationship with each other: what is immobile is immobile; what is mobile is mobile.
Thirdly, that which is immobile is completely conscious; what is mobile, that which is dynamic is completely unconscious.
Prakriti does not know itself; it is unconscious. Purusha knows itself, but knows itself only as conscious. Conscious, immobility is Purusha; unconscious, mobility is Prakriti. Now, these are the premises of Sankhya.
And the question is: if Purusha is immobile, how does it “glance” at Prakriti? Glancing is an activity. So, if Purusha was completely immobile, the question of glancing of Purusha would not arise: this is the first contradiction in the Sankhya.
Secondly, if Prakriti is completely different from Purusha, why Purusha’s glancing move Prakriti; it’s unconscious! Why should its movement depend upon Purusha, if it is independent from Purusha?
Next: if Purusha is conscious, it is conscious of what! If it has no connection with Prakriti at all, surely it cannot know Prakriti, it can know only itself, immobility; how does it know mobility at all?
And then how does it happen that Purusha forgets itself? If Purusha is a pure mass of consciousness, from where does this forgetting arise? Forgetting means some kind of absence of consciousness. But if its very nature is mass of consciousness, how does it happen to forget? And not only forget, it forget itself to such an extent that it becomes identified with Prakriti. If it is completely different from Prakriti, how does it get even identified with it?
Now, these questions are not answered in Sankhya. That is why Sankhyan account of the whole process is incomplete or inadequate.
Now, you look at the other side: if Purusha is really independent of Prakriti, why should the liberation of Purusha depend upon the development of Prakriti? To such an extent that Buddhi should get completely purified, should become like a mirror. Why should Purusha’s freedom from Prakriti depend so much upon Prakriti? So, this question also is not answered in the Sankhya. So, one feels that there is something inadequate and we need to find out something much more formidable, something which is the real secret.
One of the questions that Shankara raises: how can there be two independent existences at all? Purusha and Prakriti are two ultimate existences, but both are existences; therefore they must be common as far as existence is concerned; therefore this idea two ultimate entities is not sustainable: both are existences; therefore as far as existence is concerned they must be the same. The common element: both are existences. What is it that makes existence ‘existent’? In that there can’t be a difference! If both are ‘existence’ they are in common as far as the existence is concerned. So, ultimate ‘existent’ must be ‘only one’ according to Shankara. There can’t be two.
Now, if there is only one existent and only one Reality, (not two Realities), then the question is: is that Reality immobile? What is the nature of existence, immobile or mobile? Now, his analysis is: it must be immobile, because all mobility implies imperfection. It moves towards something else so as to become ‘more’ than before; therefore its present condition must be imperfect, there only it can move forward to be what it is not, to become what it is not. But what is not ‘is not’. To become what is not, that means that there is something like ‘is not’. Now, ‘is not’ is a self contradiction as far as the existence is concerned. Therefore ‘existent’ must be of such a nature that it cannot move towards that which is not, therefore the ultimate Reality must be immobile. And that immobility is conscious, completely conscious.
Now, this is the line of reasoning in Shankara.
Question: I have missed one line in between, I have not understood: to become what it is not is a self contradiction because…
…‘is not’ does not exist,
Question: ‘is not’ does not exist, so existence should be of the nature that…
…that it is moving towards ‘non existent’.
So, it must be mobile.
Comment: But we are talking of Shankara’s philosophy,
Shankara, yes. According to Shankara the movement does not exist actually.
Comment: That is mithya.
That’s right. Movement does not exist.
That…I am coming afterwards. At the present moment only this much: the becoming does not exist.
Question: There is only ‘being’
Question: And he proves it in this manner?
This is the argument. Existence is existence!
Question: And when you try to become something?
…yes, that means that you are moving towards ‘non existent’!
Question: That which you ‘are not’,
…or, which ‘is not’; ‘is not’ never exist.‘Is not’…
Question: Because there ‘is’ existence,
‘is not’ is that which does not exist. What is the meaning of ‘is not’? That which does not exist, so, ‘is not’ does not exist.
Question: So, all movement does not exist, it’s only an illusion.
That, afterwards; that, afterwards.
Logically, these are the steps.