Samkhya Karika 42, Subtle Body Acts Various Roles via Gross Body
Samkhya Karika 42 text:
Purushaarthhetukam idam nimitta-naimittik prasangena I
Prakrteh vibhutva yogaa natvad vyavatishthate lingam II
Purushaarthhetukam – the goal of Purusha is its motive
Idam – this
Nimitta – instrumental cause
Naimittik – the effects
Prasangena – association with
Prakrteh – of Prakriti
Vibhutva – universal supremacy
Yogaa – union from
Natvad – like an actor
Vyavatishthate – appears in various roles
Lingam – the subtle body
Samkhya Karika 42 talks about how the subtle body performs various roles as an actor in order to help Purusha fulfill its final goal of liberation from the attachments of Prakriti.
Samkhya Karika 42 – Prakriti Binds as well as Help free Purusha
There is a interdependence of Prakriti and Purusha on each other. This interdependency helps them work towards their purposes. Samkhya Philosophy is quiet on why these two entities (Prakriti and Purusha) come together to being creating matter and with it the universe but the purpose of Purusha is very clear. The Purpose of Purusha is to experience the play or drama generated by Prakriti and develop disinterest in it so that it sets itself free of Matter or Prakriti.
Practically, this means that with the practice of Yoga the being arrests all the activity of Prakriti which puts an end to the continuous play of drama but it. The activities of the Prakriti get arrested when the mind gains strength and becomes steady (non-fluctuating) and withdraws it from its senses which are in a way feeding its existence.
As the mind dissolves their is no input to Ahamkara and in turn to Buddhi for generating the experience to be presented to Purusha. With no signals, data, or information available to keep the inner senses running these get dissolves too.
Thus, starting from the external sense organs the all the parts (evolutes) of Prakriti gets dissolved which liberates Purusha from its clutches. Here, steadying the mind and other inner sense organs is is achieved by directing them away from what? The play of Prakriti. It is the Drama created by Prakriti which the 13 sense organs are directed to loose interest in.
Thus, Prakriti binds Purusha by weaving a web of experiences – drama- around it. This drama unfold due to the causes being transforming into their effects throughout the chain of evolution of Prakriti. Buddhi is the cause which manifests as Ahamkara as its effect, Ahamkara is the cause to the effect known as manas (mind) and so on.
The motive of Prakriti is the Purpose of Purusha: Prakriti evolves to generate experiences for Purusha to finally liberates Purusha from its hold.
Subtle Body Acts Various Roles through Gross Body
As learnt in the last Sankhya karika, Subtle body is made up of the elements, evolutes of Prakriti. The Subtle body as a cause plays different roles by manifesting as different gross bodies. Each subtle body (of an human, animal, or other beings) has its own characteristics which it carries with it across different lives of the gross body it manifests into.
The cause (subtle body having particular characteristics) manifests as a gross body pertaining to those characteristics and thus different subtle bodies manifest gross bodies with different characteristics or roles they play in the material world.
In turn, the subtle body can also be compared to an actor which portrays multiple roles by manifesting as various gross bodies. It can manifest as a priest, a human, a animal, a saint etc. depending on its tendencies of its Samskaras.
The main purpose of Sankhya Darshan is to help one realize the painful nature (because it is not constant) of Prakriti and the need to free oneself from its attachments and attractions. Only which is steady can provide bliss and happiness. One needs to realize this fact as early in life as possible and begin working towards the only permanent and steady principle; Purusha.