Samkhya Karika 46, Fifty Dimensions of Buddhi (Intellect)

Samkhya Karika 46 text:

Esah pratyayasargoh viparyaya ashakti tushtih siddh akhyah I

Guna-vaishamya-vimarddaat-tasya cha bhedaastu panchaashat II

Esah – this

Pratyayasargoh – creative faculties

Viparyaya – ignorance, wrong perception

Ashakti – disability, incapability

Tushtih – satisfaction, contentment, fulfilment

Siddh – achievement, success

Akhyah – called, termed

Guna-vaishamya – interplay, suppression of gunas

Vimarddaat – inequalities

Tasya – Its

Ca – and

Bhedaa – divisions

Tu – again

Panchaashat – fifty

Samkhya karika 46 elaborates upon different dimensions of Buddhi (intellect) which will be discussed in detail, individually, in the forthcoming karikas. As discussed in earlier Sankhya karikas, Buddhi being the first evolute of Prakriti is much similar in composition to Prakriti than the other evolutes. The creative faculties (pratyayasargoh) are the 8 Bhavas which represent the attributes or qualities of Buddhi.

Three gunas are the subtle qualities of which Buddhi is composed of; these gunas have come from Prakriti (parent body from which Buddhi evolves) as they are its main components. So we have 8 bhavas (attributes / qualities of Buddhi) and three gunas (sattva, rajas, Tamas), which form Buddhi. All these 11 dimensions which make up Buddhi are extremely changeable and persistently keep transforming their states as their compositions keep altering.

These 11 dimensions can come together in various combinations and permutations (because of their inherent differences and inequalities) and give rise to fifty dimensions of Buddhi. This means Buddhi, the internal sense faculty, can exist in any one of the fifty dimensions at any given point of time. Pratyaya, as mentioned in Samkhya kaarika 46 stands for intellectual force, another name for Buddhi.

Samkhya Karika 46

These fifty dimensions, states, or ways of expression of Buddhi can be broadly categorized in four dimensions: wrong perception (viparyaya), incapability (ashakti), contentment (tushtih) and achievements (siddh).

The Four Broad Dimensions of Buddhi

Wrong Perception – Viparyaya

Mis-perception or doubting one’s perception has five major forms forms though they can be many more in number. These means we through our Buddhi (intellect) may perceive, know certain things and can remain ignorant of other things though these other things also exist with the ones we know. We may be mistaken in our perception as well as in our knowledge of anything.

Looking from a distance our intellect (Buddhi) may not be able to perceive a bush as a bush or is it some animal sitting on the ground. This doubt so created is Viparyaya or mis-perception which is one of the states or dimensions of Buddhi.

Ashakti – Disability, Incapability

Sometimes Buddhi lacks the ability to perceive correctly at all. It is not certain about what it has perceived or known. Doubt keeps it away from certainty. The intellect is incapable of perceiving the right way, or has lost its power to know without error.

This is similar to not being able to decide with certainty even after carefully perceiving the bush, whether it is an animal or bush. This is the dimension where in Buddhi is never sure of whatever it knows or the knowledge it gains from Material universe or Prakriti.

Ashakti exist sin 28 forms.

Tushtih – Contentment – Samkhya Karika 46

Buddhi can also exist in a state of contentment or Tushtuh. It has no desire to know or not know anything more or less. I am not interested in knowing whether it is a bush or an animal. There are different levels of fulfilment we experience via Buddhi as humans. We can feel fulfilment or contentment by doing some actions or even by not doing anything.

Tushti as mentioned in Samkhya karika 46 is not the same as the concept of Santosh mentioned by Patanjali in his Classical Yoga. Santosh, or satisfaction, is a state of mind which can be achieved by persistently practicing the teachings of Ashtanga Yoga. Here, the intellect (Buddhi) is content with whatever state the being is in at a particular moment in time, and doesn’t feel the need to change or betterment.

Sense of achievement is not needed for experiencing Tushtih (contentment), it is just a state of Buddhi (intellect) which exists on its own, not dependent on any external factor. Samkhya Philosophy mentions nine forms of Tushtih.

Siddhi – Attainment of Powers

Siddhis are the powers or abilities one can posses within one’s Buddhi. It is the power to rightly, correctly discriminate on and attain something. After seeing the flapping of the ears from the distance one determines that it is an animal sitting on the ground and not a bush. Siddhis are about eight in number, and also find a mention in Patanjali’s Ashtanga Yoga text.

The eight Siddhis as mentioned are:

Anima – ability to reduce one’s physical size to an atoms size.

Laghima – the power to become weightless.

Mahima – the power to increase one’s size infinitely large.

Prapti – to be able to get anything at anytime, anywhere.

Prakamya – the ability to attain anything one desires.

Isitva – attaining the power of the divine.

Vasitva – the power to control anything or anyone.

Since Buddhi exist in fifty dimensions it can be developed in any of these by will and working in that direction.

The power of the will is the gift of nature as it is the powerful tool in one’s hands with which one can alter the course of one’s destiny by altering the state of Buddhi one exists in. Its we who have to decide whether one has to remain in the state of ignorance, inability, contentment, or attain something concrete, like changing the state of Buddhi to the more positive one (filled with positive bhavas or qualities).

Majority of us either live in ignorance and never know the right knowledge. We stay put with our disabilities and never aspire to overcome them. We remain content of where ever we are and never strive to move towards attaining determinative state of Buddhi which has the powers to achieve success on the path of remedying the three pains of existence.

We should strive to come out of the states of helplessness and indecision. One should sincerely work towards altering the state of Buddhi and attain the associated powers for progressing on the path of spirituality.