The Sankhya Karika, or Memorial Verses on the Sankhya Philosophy.
Krishna, Iswara./ Translated By Henry Thomas Colebrooke.
Book ID: 29873
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Sankhya, also Samkhya, is one of the six schools of classical Indian philosophy. Sage Kapila is traditionally considered to be the founder of the Sankhya school, although no historical verification is possible. It is regarded as one of the oldest philosophical systems in India.
Sankhya was one of the six orthodox systems (astika, those systems that recognize vedic authority) of Hindu philosophy. The major text of this Vedic school is the extant Samkhya Karika, written by Ishvara Krishna, circa 200 AD. This text (in karika 70) identifies Sankhya as a Tantra[ and its philosophy was one of the main influences both on the rise of the Tantras as a body of literature, as well as Tantra sadhana. There are no purely Sankhya schools existing today in Hinduism, but its influence is felt in the Yoga and Vedanta schools.
Sankhya is an enumerationist philosophy that is strongly dualist. Sankhya philosophy regards the universe as consisting of two realities: Purusha (consciousness) and Prakriti (phenomenal realm of matter). They are the experiencer and the experienced, not unlike the res cogens and res extensa of Descartes. Prakriti further bifurcates into animate and inanimate realms. On the other hand, Purusha separates out into countless Jivas or individual units of consciousness as souls which fuse into the mind and body of the animate branch of Prakriti.
There are differences between Sankhya and Western forms of dualism. In the West, the fundamental distinction is between mind and body. In Sankhya, however, it is between the self (as Purusha) and matter (Prakriti).