The activity of cognisance in the world; we do find consciousness in the world, do we not? (That is the question of Sankhya). Therefore, this cognitive activity must be connected with Purusha; although inactive, it is conscious, conscious therefore it is capable of reflecting. Consciousness can be understood in terms of an analogy with a mirror: what is the difference between an opaque glass and a transparent… and a glass, which is a mirror (specially manufactured mirror)? What is the meaning of it? By polishing…polishing is a process of clarifying; clarifying is a process of illumining and that is the meaning of consciousness. All consciousness is about clarity, light; therefore, consciousness is capable of reflecting: so, Prakriti can be reflected in Purusha.
The whole world, why is it that you are able to see it? Because it is being reflected in your consciousness. The moment your consciousness becomes ‘down’, unconscious, there is no reflection, the world may be existing all around but you are not conscious of it at all, there is no reflection of the world in you: there is no cognisance of the world at all. In sleep you don’t cognise anything. So, the world is cognised by the process of reflection. This is the special quality of consciousness: consciousness means a capacity to reflect. Again the word capacity is inconsistent, because capacity is something that acts and Purusha is inactive. But once again this is an original mystery you might say. But such is the nature of Reality: because of His cognisance, It normally reflects the world, but It also ‘glances’ at the world: this is an important subtlety. When Purusha ‘glances’…mere reflecting Prakriti is not enough because that will not trigger of the movement of Prakriti: there must be a glancing; the Purusha must be wanting to glance at Prakriti. In other words He must be wanting to know what is Prakriti? It is sitting side by side with Prakriti, to begin with you might say, He does not know Prakriti, or He only knows that there is only something other than Itself, which is unmanifest and the moment He says, ‘I want to know’, there is a glance at it to know, and Prakriti which is entirely dependent upon this triggering begins to manifest.
Question: The pleasures you get out of senses, it is coming from the Purusha, is it not right to get pleasures? …
Answer: The question you are raising is a central question of Sankhya. And it is this: by ‘glancing’ at Prakriti what happens? Purusha gets ‘engaged’ in Prakriti: it is not only ‘glancing’. As Prakriti begins to manifest, it begins to get ‘engaged’ in Prakriti. This engagement produces three results: by ‘engaging’ in looking at it, It ‘forgets Itself’, that is the first result. Secondly, It gets ‘identified’ with Prakriti. And thirdly It begins ‘to experience’ the various movements of Prakriti: self-forgetfulness, self-identification, and experiencing. The various movements of Prakriti are reflected in Purusha, and as Purusha goes on glancing It becomes engaged in it, and this engagement has three results: you become identified with the object while looking at it, you become identified with it, in the mean time you forget yourself and you begin to experience what is in Prakriti.
Prakriti is nothing but all kinds of movements, varieties, multi coloured reality before you: pleasure, pain, indifference, honour, dishonour, all kinds of experiences that are given in the world, you begin to experience and because you are identified, you feel: “you” are pain, “you” are pleasure. Instead of saying that it is different from you, because you are identified, the Purusha is identified, therefore it thinks: ‘this pain is my pain’; ‘this pleasure is my pain’. And we know that in Prakriti there is this element of ‘egoism’, everywhere. And now Purusha also becomes identified with this egoism. Therefore this egoism begins to be a kind of a key for Purusha. It gets hooked to this egoism, and therefore not only identifies with everything, as if universally, but identifies with everything individually, egoistically. There is an egoistic identification with the movements and it goes on, until one day it realises that this is intolerable, the pain, the indifference, the activity of Prakriti begins to dawn upon him: this is also an experience.
Because it is originally different from Prakriti, it finds this to be a burden. If it was not at all different…Prakriti does not find the burden of its own manifestation; but because Purusha is basically different, therefore one day, suddenly it begins to feel ‘burden’ of it. It begins to ‘react’; it begins to manifest its separateness from it, its difference from it. Therefore the natural tendency of Purusha is to ‘deal’ with Prakriti, to ‘change’ it, to unburden itself from it. It begins to feel that it is imprisoned, it is bound: bondage is experienced. And from there, arises in Purusha a tendency to liberate itself, it wants to come out of it: this is called ‘mumukṣutva’, it wants, desire to liberate.
If Prakriti was the only reality in the world, then the mumukṣutva would not arise at all, nobody could explain; who wants to be liberated? Only somebody who is different from it wants to liberated! So, the fact that there is a tendency in every human being to…at least, minimum thing is to deal with the circumstance. Everybody who deals with the circumstance wants to unburden himself from the circumstance, wants to be master of the circumstance, and wants to sit on the top of the circumstance. That means that there is something in us, which is different from circumstance.
And then with this movement, it begins to find out, ‘how’ it can come out of this bondage. Then, among all the faculties which are produced by Prakriti, which are reflected in Purusha, and through the faculties it is able to experience all this, among these faculties, it finds out there is ‘one’ faculty which capable of discrimination. That faculty, not only determines and discriminates the various elements of Prakriti, but also can be utilised to discriminate between Purusha and Prakriti themselves. This Buddhi therefore can be utilised as a means by which Purusha can know it is different from Prakriti, can realise that it is identified with Prakriti. You can be identified only when you are different from something.
It realises that it is identified with Prakriti, and then finds that this Buddhi however, is itself caught up by three guṇa(s), by ahaṁkāra, and by manas, constantly. These indriya(s) are very powerful, senses are very powerful, they are constantly moving out like horses. Now in this movement of ‘horses moving out’ constantly, you cannot discriminate easily; there is a tremendous pressure on you to act all the time, go on acting; and indriya(s) are nothing but a constant movement, overpowering movement in fact. Senses are so dynamic: you just open your eyes, it does not take time for you to recognise objects immediately, such a great activity; you put something in your mouth and immediately you taste it. It does not take much time at all, so dynamic! So long as indriya(s) are all the time running, identification is constant. Then if you turn to Manas, some possibility of control is possible. But even Manas is nothing but constantly driven by these forces. Only if you can do something by which some quietude is brought about in all this movement! But because Purusha by nature is quiet, it is possible to introduce some quietude in this movement; if Purusha was not quiet by its nature, this would have never happened.