Spirit which is material, vital, mental, supramental, cosmic, individual, transcendental—is a comprehensive reality so that is the theory of integralism. So we have materialism, vitalism, idealism, acosmic spirit it is also called illusionism—illusionism or theory of acosmic spirit and integralism. There is also a theory called Nihilism, which says that there is really nothing, all these are creations which are temporary and you can arrive at a state where no formation can take place, no bubbling of becoming; reality is in the form of Nihil it does nothing, it is emptiness—theory of emptiness in Sanskrit it is called the theory of Shunya. Shunya means zero. The Ultimate Reality if at all you want to call it reality is zero, non-existence. Now there have been powerful all these philosophies have been powerful philosophies throughout the history of the world. Some have held one view, some have the other view and there is a tremendous debate going on even today therefore Sri Aurobindo has taken into account the entire debate of all these major trends of thought. In due course we shall have to deal with all of them. At present I am not burdening your mind with each one of them. We shall gradually deal with each one of them but immediately I shall burden your mind only with two or three small things.
There is a philosophy in India which is very powerful and that is the cosmic spirit, the theory of illusionism. Although in India all these philosophies have been developed, today people believe that illusionism is the philosophy of India which is not true but it is certainly true that this philosophy has become very dominant during the last thousand years. For the last thousand years and a little more this philosophy has become very dominant in India which says the world is a an illusion that illusion is because of ignorance that ignorance is inexplicable, how it came into existence, why it came into existence is a inexplicable but somehow it is there but even that is illusion. Even the existence of illusion is itself an illusion and when you cut out ignorance for which means are available then you will realise that only acosmic spirit exists. A spirit in which there is complete silence without any movement whatsoever from where no movement is possible, not only there is no movement but in which no movement is possible even; is not even conceivable such a silence is obtained. This is the argument, − it is blissful, it is conscious, it is blissful, it is conscious and there is a real experience of being but no possibility of movement. In Sanskrit it is described as Satchidananda, Sad means being, chit means consciousness, ananda means bliss. This philosophy is attributed basically to Shankara, one of the greatest philosophers of India, his name was Shankara, Shankaracharya. He lived only for 32 years at a young age he passed away but during those 32 years he wrote important works on philosophy and taught this philosophy, argued and vanquished his opponents philosophically in big debates; established four important seats of learning in the whole of India by travelling when there was no vehicle of the kind that we have got now, travelling by foot all over India and establish his philosophy that even today it is still regarded as dominant philosophy of India. It is called the philosophy of illusionism or is also called the philosophy of Advaita, Advaita means philosophy of oneness. The one reality, the spiritual reality in the realisation of which the whole world seems to vanish as an illusion, is the main substance later on when we shall deal with this philosophy we shall speak about it at length. At present I am giving you the bare outline or even less than an outline but just the first words that could be spoken of this philosophy. Intellectually this philosophy was argued so powerfully by him that all those with whom he discussed this philosophy were vanquished, that is how his philosophy became very dominant and it has remained dominant for so many thousand, more than thousand years.
Now this philosophy of Shankara had a background. What was that background? That background starts with Veda, followed by Upanishads, followed by Gita, followed by Vedanta Sutra. There was in the history of India a great philosopher called Badarayana. In his time he summarised Veda, Upanishad and the Gita and formulated the summary in the form of short aphorisms, short sentences, essence of three. This is called Vedanta Sutra; Badarayana wrote this Vedanta Sutra and Shankaracharya made a commentary on this Vedanta Sutra. He explained the Sutra written by Badarayana therefore Shankara’s philosophy is also called Advaita Vedanta or Vedanta Mayavada, maya is the theory of illusion,—Vedanta Mayavada and in his book of commentary he refuted all the other philosophies which were prevalent at that time. What were those philosophies which were prevalent in his time? The following—there was a philosophy of materialism in his time, there was a philosophy of Buddhism, there was a philosophy of Jainism, there was a philosophy of Nyaya, philosophy of Vaisheshika, philosophy of Sankhya, philosophy of Yoga, philosophy of Pūrva-Mīmānsā these philosophies were at that time holding the field. There were different schools of thought, so Shankara refuted all of them and said whatever truth is there in them is contained in his Vedanta. So he propounded Vedanta as the correct philosophy denying the validity of all the other philosophies.
I was telling you about philosophy of Shankara and I told you that in his commentary on Brahma sutra he expounded his philosophy and he refuted all the rival philosophies which were existing at that time. Let me tell you positively what he propounded for his own philosophy. There is one very short sentence which summarises his philosophy: Brahman alone is real, the world is a lie. In Sanskrit it is called: ‘Brahman satyam jagat mithya’ Brahma satyam, satyam means the truth, real,jagat the world, mithya is an illusion. He pointed out that when you transcend your present way of living by a great spiritual effort you become awakened then you discover a complete stillness of consciousness, a complete silence and there is nothing else than that silence. In that state of consciousness, what we call the world which is a world of movement, activity, all hustle and bustle; it will be found to be an illusion. Actually since that world will not be existing at all you will not even need to pronounce it to be an illusion, it will not be there at all so the question about whether it real or unreal will not even arise. This experience there will only be stillness, not only serenity but a complete silence, complete motionlessness.
Sri Aurobindo describes his experience in this chapter; if you read this paragraph loudly we shall get the description of that experience.
For at the gates of the Transcendent stands that mere and perfect Spirit described in the Upanishads, luminous, pure, sustaining the world but inactive in it, without sinews of energy, without flaw of duality, without scar of division, unique, identical, free from all appearance of relation and of multiplicity,—the pure Self of the Adwaitins, the inactive Brahman, the transcendent Silence. And the mind when it passes those gates suddenly, without intermediate transitions, receives a sense of the unreality of the world and the sole reality of the Silence which is one of the most powerful and convincing experiences of which the human mind is capable.
This is experience that one gains and based upon this experience which has been described in the Upanishads, Shankara builds up his entire philosophy. This philosophy has two layers—the intellectual layer and the spiritual layer. So let me first of all expound to you the intellectual layer of his philosophy. According to Shankara this world that we see is intellectually impossible; rationally it is impossible it is impossible for it to exist. This world is a world of change. Now change implies the cause and effect relationship. Every effect must be contained in the cause. If it is not contained in the cause then from where does it come? It can’t come out of nothing because nothing comes out of nothing, so it must be coming out of the cause. If it comes out of the cause then it is identical with the cause, if it is identical with the cause, what is it that makes it different from the cause? There is nothing which makes it different from the cause therefore effect cannot come out of the cause. On the one hand effect must be in the cause; on the other hand if it is in the cause it must be one with the cause, if it one with the cause then what is it one with the cause what is it that makes it different from the cause. There is nothing that makes it different from the cause therefore it is not different from the cause. Therefore effect as an effect, effect as a change is an impossibility. The world therefore is supposed to be an effect of a reality, of the cause is an impossibility. This is the basic argument intellectually which says the world that we see is a world of change, the world that we see is a world of effects which must have a cause. If it has a cause it must be existing in the cause, if it exists in the cause it must be one with the cause, if it is one with the cause, what is it that makes it different from the cause—there is nothing therefore it cannot be different from the cause. If it is not different from the cause then it is not changed therefore the change is an impossibility or it’s an illusion. So this is his basic intellectual argument. The same thing can be argued in regard to the world as a matter of quality. It may be argued that the world is nothing but quality, whatever you are experiencing is nothing but some kind of quality. Now quality cannot exist by itself, you consider any quality; you will find that quality must belong to some substance.
Now therefore the quality must be in the substance. If it is in the substance it must be identical with substance then what is it that makes it different from the substance? Nothing, therefore it must be one with the substance therefore quality as different from the substance cannot exist; therefore the world does not exist. The world of qualities does not exist. The cause, substance must be qualityless. The cause which is the cause of the whole world must be a substance which is absolutely quality less. His conclusion was that all quality, all relationships, all movement, all change, which we call the world, is an impossibility and somehow it appears to us before our eyes. Therefore he was obliged to say that this world which cannot exist somehow seems to exist unaccountably. You cannot give any reason as to how and why it came into existence but it really doesn’t exist, it only seems to exist, it is only an appearance.
Now if you ask them that even as an illusion how does it come into existence, even if you grant that this world is an illusion how does it at all come into existence even as an appearance, even as an illusion. For that purpose he gives us two or three analogies which are very powerful. One analogy is that of a dream. Just as a human being in his dream consciousness sees so many objects but on opening his eyes and awakened condition they all disappear. Similarly we are today in a dream state all of us according to him and therefore we see all these articles, all the objects of the world. But when we become awakened then you find there is nothing of the kind at all, only stillness and silence. The entire world of change, causality, quality, movement all ceases like a dream it vanishes.
Question: How can you define quality in this context?
So the second analogy is the analogy of the perception of the snake in a rope. Suppose you are walking and from far you see a rope but being similar to a snake somehow, sometime you may say: Oh! There is a snake. When you come very near it then you find Oh! This is only a rope. So suddenly you find the whole idea of the snake disappears, it was not there at all, even originally it was not there, it was only a rope. Even when you thought it was a snake it was a rope and now also you discover it was a rope therefore temporary perception of a snake was only illusory. So according to Shankara this world is only in the mind, it’s only in your mind it doesn’t exist there that is what he calls the cause of this false perception, he says it is ignorance. It is what he calls Avidya, Avidya means Vidya means knowledge, Avidya means ignorance; vidya is knowledge Avidya is ignorance, not knowledge. This world is a result of ignorance. The third analogy that he gives is that of the illusion of the colour of a white marble, colour of the white marble as red because of the flower which is red which is lying on it. If there is a marble which is purely white but on it you put a red flower the reflection of red flower falls upon that marble and then you say that is red marble. Actually it is a white marble which seems to be red because of the association of the red flower on it. So when you withdraw the red flower from it and the reality of the marble, the whiteness of it becomes evident. Similarly this world is like the red flower on the reality which is absolutely white, which is absolutely without any stain whatsoever, no change, no quality, nothing of the kind and when this illusion disappears you will see the whiteness of the reality. These are the three analogies that Shankara gives to indicate to us as to how and why this world which really cannot exist, which really does not exist, yet appears to exist.
Now the sum total of this explanation is that this world appears to be there, although it is not there on account of our mental ignorance. Our mind is at present bewildered, our mind is confused, our mind is ignorant. Now ignorance according to Shankara has two powers, it hides the reality and secondly it projects unreality and superimposes upon reality. I shall repeat. Ignorance has two powers—it hides the reality, conceals the reality, veils the reality. Secondly it projects unreality and imposes unreality upon the reality. So ignorance has done two things, it has concealed the reality of the Brahman, the Brahman is concealed and on that concealment ignorance has produced multiplicity. All this manifoldness of the world it has projected, having projected it superimposes upon the reality. According to Shankara the Reality is only one, one without the second. There are no two realities according to Shankara that is why his philosophy is called the philosophy of Advaita—‘a’ means not, ‘dvaita’ means two, philosophy of non-two that is philosophy of one. So Shankara spoke of one reality without the second.
So this reality which is one gets concealed by the ignorance just as the sun can be concealed by clouds. Similarly the Reality gets concealed by the ignorance then ignorance projects multiplicity, not oneness but multiplicity and having created multiplicity it imposes upon the reality multiplicity. It is because of the defective mind. Here also there is another analogy—you look at the moon with clean eyes, with pure eyes you see only one moon but if your eyesight is bad then if you look at the one moon you will see multiple moons. Although there is one moon really but because of the defective eyesight, you see multiple moons. If your eyesight is corrected, multiplicity will disappear and you will see only one moon. Similarly according to Shankara when you have a defect in your consciousness, a defect in your knowledge, when you are unclear, when your mind is ignorant then due to ignorance you see multiplicity where there is only oneness.
But now the question of question arises. If ignorance is the cause of multiplicity what is the cause of ignorance? So according to Shankara even illusion includes ignorance also. Even ignorance is an illusion then the question arises how did that illusion arise? Shankara says that that ignorance cannot be explained, he calls it inexplicable (anirvachaniya) in Sanskrit it is called anirvachaniya that which cannot be explained. Then you might say that Shankara himself admits his own defeat. If he says ignorance cannot be explained that means therefore that his philosophy is therefore incomplete he has left something unexplained. To this question Shankara answers saying that it is true that so long as you are in ignorance the world appears and neither the world, nor the ignorance can be explained. But when ignorance is transcended you see only the Brahman and ignorance does not even exist there, not only it does not exist but you find that ignorance never existed. There you cannot even raise the question from where the ignorance arose therefore since the question does not arise the question does not need to be replied. Therefore in that sense he says that the question therefore is not left unexplained. As you are a lawyer you will understand the subtlety of the argument that since in the state of awakening where there is only one reality of the Brahman, ignorance is not at all present, there is not even a reference to ignorance. Therefore the question as to how the ignorance arose does not even arise. Therefore you might say which question I have not answered; there is nothing to answer at all. Therefore he says: that I have therefore in my philosophy answered all possible questions, the question as to how ignorance arose that question does not arise in the state of awakening therefore I am not leaving any question unanswered. Now that is his basic argument.
Now there is this further complexity of this argument. According to Shankara avidya or ignorance is something that is in the consciousness of man but apart from the consciousness of man there is also this very power in the universe; not only in the consciousness of man where it is called avidya (ignorance) but there is also in the world at large a corresponding power which he calls Maya, power of illusion, power of illusory creation. Now that Maya according to Shankara is the Mother of the world, Mother of the illusory world. Maya is the power which veils everything and there again you raise the same question: from where does the Maya arise and his first answer is that since there is one Reality namely Brahman, Maya must be in the Brahman. So there is only one Reality,Maya must be in the Brahman. So he says that when Maya is with the Brahman, then Brahman itself becomes qualified by Maya. Brahman qualified by Maya is according to him God, he makes a distinction between Brahman which is absolute and God is Brahman associated with Maya. According to him Brahman when associated with Maya is God. The Brahman is ever unmanifest not unmanifested but ever unmanifest. Brahman is absolute which is ever unmanifest, it is absolute, which is not only before creation but which is incapable of creation, it is not creative at all. But when it is associated with Maya he becomes creative. So that who is creative is what he calls God, in Sanskrit the word God is called Ishwara. So he makes a distinction between Brahman and Ishwara; Brahman is the absolute and Ishwara is God; God who is creative, God who creates. And then he asks the question in the philosophy of Shankara the reality or illusoriness of God, of Ishwara. But we were talking of the spiritual argument of Shankara’s philosophy. So there he simply mentions that there are two lower orders of reality, the dream reality and the phenomenal reality but when you go beyond the phenomenal reality then you arrive at what is called the real state of consciousness, the truly awakened state of consciousness and when you reach there both the pragmatic reality and the dream reality both vanish and there remains the real Reality which is one without the second, where there is no God, no Maya, no avidya, no manifold world, not even illusion, not even the memory of illusion or ignorance, nothing there is only swayamprabha the Reality which is self luminous, one without the second, without sinews of energy, immobile, complete silence, Tat Sat, that real.
Comment: So according to Shankara there are three degrees of Reality. The first one is the dream reality, then it is the phenomenal reality and the real Reality. The dream reality vanishes when we wake up, the second one doesn’t disappear and it is very much related to our senses, the third one is the absolute be it Brahman which has no connection between both of them.
Prof. Kireet Joshi: That’s right. Now I shall request you if you permit me today we shall stop here but I shall tell you to read this and we shall read again when you come here but I shall request you to read these two paragraphs from this chapter where Sri Aurobindo expounds the philosophy of Shankara. All that I told you Sri Aurobindo writes it down in one single paragraph, so that in a very short, brief statement you will get a complete idea of all that I have said in writing, you will get written statement on this subject from here up to here all that I have spoken it is given here in precise terms, clear terms by Sri Aurobindo.
Let us revise now. You will remember that we started the IInd Chapter by stating the basic proposition. It was as follows: If the ultimate aim is to unite divinity and Matter then logically there must be a connection between divinity and matter in fundamental principle. If fundamentally Matter and Divine are totally different from each other then the whole proposition of bringing divinity into matter is beside the point, irrelevant, impossible. So if we propose that Divinity and Matter can be united then we must suppose that logically there is a fundamental connection between the two. What kind of connection? Sri Aurobindo says that that connection cannot be short of identity. They must have some kind of identity between the two, only then Matter can be divinised because any connection basically implies a point where the two are identical. This is the first proposition otherwise matter cannot be divinised. The second point that Sri Aurobindo makes is that as we see it now between the Divinity and Matter there is a big gulf. So the second thing we have to show is that this gulf consists of many terms, these terms are in ascending series and this connecting link therefore could show us how the Matter can become the Divine in gradual series of development. So Sri Aurobindo says the second thing we have to show is that between Matter and the Divine there is life, there is mind, there is supermind to attain to the Supreme Divine. So we have to show that Matter is life, life is mind, mind is supermind, supermind is divine. While stating this proposition Sri Aurobindo examines all those theories where something of this kind is proposed but not fully. Something of this kind is even denied so that we see where the problem lies and where the solution lies. It is in that context that Sri Aurobindo speaks of two systems of Indian philosophy, one is the philosophy of Sankhya and the other is the system of Shankara. In Sankhya philosophy there is a statement that all that can be considered to be spiritual is totally different from all that is called material—that is the philosophy of Sankhya that spiritual can never be material, material can never be spiritual; no connecting point. Therefore according to that philosophy the only solution is to come out from Matter and that is our salvation; so that is one statement of philosophy. The second statement is that of Shankara. Where it is said that spirit is real, matter is real but not fully real. It says the Matter is at a certain stage real but at a higher level it turns out to be unreal and therefore ultimately it is unreal. So according to Shankara the two cannot be united. If Spirit and Matter both were real then connection could be possible but Shankara's philosophy has two steps. In the first it says Matter is to some extent real; in the second step he says ultimately it is unreal. As I told you last time, there are three levels of experience so when you come to the third level of experience you find the world is unreal, the Matter is unreal. In this second example there is only one thing that is real and that is Spirit is real. So the question of divinising Matter does not arise. Now in both the philosophies therefore the divinisation of Matter is impossible. In the Sankhya philosophy Matter is real, Spirit is real but the two are totally different so they cannot be united. In Shankara Spirit is real and Matter is to some extent real in the first stage of statement in the second stage he says that that reality of matter is ultimately illusory therefore it is unreal therefore the conclusion is matter cannot be divinised in both the philosophies. Now having stated this we have to examine both these positions in a greater detail. So let us now examine in detail first the Sankhya thought.
As I told you in India there are six systems of philosophies which all of them are derived from the Veda. There are two other philosophies which are independent and not derived from the Veda according to their claim. One is Buddhism another is Jainism in India; practised quite widely in Western India and there is also a good following itself in Delhi for example. You might have seen some monks wearing pure white cloth and having their face with a bandage over it. It's a path of spiritual discipline—Jainism and there is a philosophy of Jainism. There were 24 gurus, the last one of whom is known as Mahavira and the teachings of Mahavira are called Jainism. So this is another system of philosophy. The last one of them is the first one is Jains supposed to be Parshvanatha ending with Mahavira, 24 of them in all. They lived in India and they did not believe in God at all. They believe in the soul but not in God so it is without any ulterior root. It is self-existent by itself, plurality of individuals. In Buddhism there is no soul, no God, in Jainism there is no God but there are souls. In Hinduism there is God, there is soul, and there is the world but with varying kinds of statements. All the three are theistic philosophies. They are called theistic,—Islam, Christianity and certain portions of Hinduism are all called theistic philosophies. Now let us come back to Sankhya philosophy.
I shall tell you in detail about Sankhya Philosophy so that this proposition where Soul and Matter, Spirit and Matter are shown to be incompatible with each other. According to Sankhya Philosophy this whole world that we see can be explained in terms of one original source which they called material energy, material activity, in Sanskrit it is called Prakriti. This entire movement which we see as a world is a huge formation of energy. The world is nothing but a kind of energy in motion to start with. It is not in motion, then by some kind of disturbance motion takes place, which we call creation but according to this it is simply bringing out what is contained in Matter, in this energy, in this material energy. And by various movements of expansion and contraction this whole universe becomes manifest and if you examine this very clearly you'll find that five big manifestations are first ether, then air, then fire, then liquid and then the earth. These are the five great manifestations and everything that is in the world is basically these five elements but first they are in their subtle form. In subtle form these five are called the sense of hearing, the sense of sight, the sense of smell, the sense of taste and the sense of touch. These are the five senses or you might call the five basic elements or vibrations which are the most subtle forms of these five great gross forms. You can equate therefore ether equal to hearing, you cannot hear if there is no ether, you cannot see if there is no fire, you cannot taste if there is no water, you cannot touch if there is no earth, so all our senses basically are related to these five big elements. These five big elements are called in Sanskrit pancha mahabhutas; pancha means five, mahabhutas, maha means great, bhutas means becomings—pancha mahabhutas and these subtle things are called tanmatras that is Sanskrit word—tanmatras,very subtle sensations, which are the cause of sensations and behind these there are also five sources of action. These five are the causes of the sense of sensations but there are also other five which are the senses of action. Behind this you find a still subtler element which is called the mind-sense, in Sanskrit it is called manas,there is mind-sense that is to say—a sense which coordinates all the senses. If you may look at this book but your mind is elsewhere then if you look at the book, you won’t have a sensation of the book. Why, because the real sense is not the eye but is the mind. So behind these five senses of action and five senses of sensation is the mind but it is the mind which coordinates the senses. Behind the mind there is a still deeper thing and that is the ego-sense, it is called ahambhava in Sanskrit and behind the ego-sense is the discriminating intellect, the intellect which can discriminate one from the other which is called the buddhi. This Buddhi is the most fundamental manifestation of Prakriti. When the Prakriti begins to vibrate first is Buddhi, then is the sense of ego, then the mind sense, then the five senses of organs of sensations, the tanmatras, they are not sense organs but they are fundamentals of the senses,—five senses of action or the fundamentals of the senses of action and then the five big manifestations pancha mahabhutas.
Now this Sankhya Philosophy says that all the things in the world whatever you see can be explained in terms of this entire statement, nothing in this world escapes from this scheme, you take up anything in the world and you say this is either earth or water or fire or it is air or it is ether or it is five senses,—five senses of action, or it is mind sense, or it is ego sense, or it is Buddhi, or it is intelligence, intellect; all this can be explained in terms of this but there is one thing which still remains to be explained; which does not come under this whole scheme that is the experience of consciousness. All this is material but consciousness cannot be explained by all this and yet we do have experience of consciousness. So the Sankhya philosophers ask the question from where does the consciousness arise so they were obliged to posit consciousness as something different from all this and said that consciousness is originally self-existent, not derived from anything else, consciousness is not derived from the material energy or from Prakriti, consciousness is not even from Buddhi. Even Buddhi according to Sankhya is material in character, consciousness is something quite different, impossible to connect one with the other. It is because of the presence of consciousness in proximity with Buddhi and manas and ahambhava that they seem to be conscious. If Buddhi,if intellect seems to be conscious it is because of the proximity of consciousness with the material energy, proximity but not one derived from the other there is a gulf between the two but because of the nearness, it is a closeness that gives the impression that this is conscious. Actually consciousness belongs here only but because this is nearby this proximity gives the sense that this is also conscious. Now this entire statement, I will give you one passage to read in The Life Divine,so that you have some text by which you will be able to analyse and concentrate upon it. Now if you open chapter number X, have you got it? So let us read all that I told you about Sankhya which is stated here in these first three four paragraphs. So I shall read to you these three four paragraphs.
According to Sankhya there are only two principles which can explain the totality of everything, one is the principle called Prakriti which is nothing but energy which at beginning is at rest and with original disturbance it begins to manifest and all the things of the world begin to roll out of it, evolve out of it. But since these things whatever is brought out of this energy is purely material this cannot explain the phenomenon of consciousness therefore the Sankhya maintains that independent of matter, apart from matter, beside matter there is another principle—the principle of consciousness. This principle of consciousness is called the soul in Sanskrit; that word is called Purusha. So according to Sankhya there are only two principles of existence, one is Prakriti and another is Purusha. The whole world can be explained in terms of these two. According to Sankhya therefore there is no God, no creator but there is only this soul and Prakriti; Purusha and Prakriti. But Purusha is not one entity, there are many Purushas, each one of these individuals, you, me, everybody has got one Purusha, each one of us is one Purusha. So according to Sankhya there is multiplicity of Purushas on one hand and one Prakriti which is universal. Purusha is each individual, Prakriti is universal but there is only one Prakriti.
Now according to Sankhya Purushas are many, Prakriti is one; Purushas are conscious, Prakriti is unconscious. Purushas are inactive; Prakriti is active, so these three are contrasting characteristics. Purushas are many Prakriti is one.Purushas are conscious, Prakriti is unconscious. Purushas are inactive; Prakriti is active. Now this is the original state. Now if these two are entirely different from each other how can there be connection between the two at all? Purushas are original, self-existent. So according to Sankhya Purushas are entirely each one of them independent and self-existent, Prakriti is self-existent and both of them are totally opposite of each other in their characters as I said Purushas many Prakriti is one, Purushas are conscious Prakriti is unconscious, inactive and active, therefore the connection between the two becomes impossible. Now if they are inactive then how is it that we find in a human being both these elements connected together? In every human body you find Purushas and you find these mahabhutas, you have got matter, earth in you by means of which you can smell, you have got the liquid element in you, the water and the blood and all the liquid elements by which you can taste; you have in your body the element of fire by means of which you can see, you have the element of touch because of the air that is in you and you have the capacity of hearing which is because of ether. Now all these five elements are in you and you have consciousness also therefore there must be Purusha in you because of the consciousness. So how is it that although consciousness Purusha and Prakriti are totally different from each other, how do they happen to be connected together in your body?
So now this is the question and Sankhya replies as follows: according to Sankhya Purusha and Prakriti seem to be staying together. Actually Purusha and Prakriti are totally different but somehow they have happened to come together, how have they come together? Purusha glances at Prakriti. Purusha which is quite different, Prakriti which is quite different, Purusha in the beginning came to glance at Prakriti, only glancing at Prakriti and when it glances at Prakriti, Prakriti which was completely in the seed form, unmanifest is disturbed and with this first disturbance, Prakriti begins to unfold but the triggering is taking place because of the glance of Purusha. Once the Prakriti begins to vibrate Purusha forgets itself that it is Purusha. A very interesting phenomenon takes place in which Purusha forgets itself that it is Purusha, that it is different from Prakriti and gets entangled with Prakriti. First it only glances at Prakriti and when Prakriti begins to manifest Purusha forgets itself and gets entangled into Prakriti. This entanglement takes the form of identification, it is not identical with Prakriti because it is different but identification takes place. Purusha gets identified with Prakriti and what belongs to Prakriti it attributes to itself, forgetting that it is inactive and seeing that Prakriti is active it begins to believe that it is itself active and it identifies itself with Buddhi—intellect; it identifies itself with ahambhava—ego-sense, it identifies itself with manas—the mind sense, identifies itself with five senses of organs, five senses of action and of all the five elements of Prakriti; the ether, the air, the fire, the water and the earth. It forgets itself and identifies itself with these five. When it identifies itself with these five elements the Purusha begins to experience suffering. It begins to feel that it has got caught up, it begins to feel bound, it experiences bondage and then there is a movement to shake off from this bondage. So a human being that we see all around, all human beings are in a state of bondage, Purushas have forgotten that they are entirely inactive they are completely different from Prakriti, exactly hypnotism has taken place and this is how Sankhya explains our present state that all human beings are actually in a state of hypnosis, they have forgotten that they are pure selves, completely independent of Prakriti, inactive and conscious. They have now identified with Prakriti and they feel that they are active and that they are doing this, and that they are active and they are moving about and they are having all kinds of manifestations of energy. So we all human beings having identified with these movements of energy are in a state of suffering because basically we are not this and we have begun to believe that we are this therefore there is a state of suffering and all human beings are in a state of suffering, in one way or the other. Because of the state of suffering there is a desire to be liberated; we want to come out of it, to come back to the real memory of ourselves.
Now how to do that so Sankhya says that there is a method. Since you have become identified you now do the opposite, disentangle yourself, you discriminate, you have got a Buddhi, Buddhi is a sense of discriminating so utilise your Buddhi and then by Buddhi you perceive that this is Prakriti, I am Purusha, constantly whatever seems to be moving, you withdraw from it. If your body is moving make your body quiet, if your senses are constantly vibrating you close your eyes and withdraw yourself within yourself. If ahambhava, ego-sense is constantly bubbling out, you assert this way, assert that way—stop it. All vibrations that are there, you allow them to completely fall down into a state of complete quietude. So develop quietude in that state of quietude the intellect will clearly see that this is Prakriti and this is Purusha. The hypnotism will disappear Purusha will become completely quiet and regain its original position, that is the state of liberation according to Sankhya.