Samkhya Karika 50, Satisfaction is of 9 Types, 4 Internal & 5 External

Samkhya Karika 50 text:

Aadhyaatmikyash cha tasrah prakriti upaadaana kaala bhaagyaakhyaah |

Bahyaa vishayo oparmatpancha nava tushtayo bhimataah ||

Aadhyaatmikyash – about self

Cha tasrah – four

Prakriti – prakriti, the root cause from which the universe emerges

Upaadaana – material

Kaala – time

Bhaagya – destiny, luck

Akhyaah – termed as

Bahyaa – external

Vishayo oparmat – abstaining from or avoidance of things, asceticism

Pancha – five

Nava – nine fold

Tushtayo – satisfaction, contentment

Abhimaatah – opinion

Samkhya Karika 50

Samkhya karika 50 discusses the various forms of satisfaction (tushti), one of the many dimensions of Buddhi (intellect). Samkhya philosophy talks about different dimensions, or states intellect can exist in. This is very crucial to know as one can then decide and take action to keep the intellect in the most positive and productive (Sattvik) state so that one can remove any obstacles to one’s journey towards realization of the pure consciousness (purusha).

Satisfaction, as a state of Buddhi has already been enlisted in a previous Sankhya karika, here Isvar Krsna enumerates upon the types of satisfaction that exist. As per him these are 9 in number. Out of which 4 relate to the satisfaction that is derived from within (internal) oneself like from knowing Prakriti (nature), from material aspects, from leaving things to time, and from believing that luck will rectify everything finally.

The other five types of satisfactions (Tushti) as mentioned in this karika are related to external factors, or the external material world which is achieved by avoiding indulgence in material things. Though the literal meaning of the Sanskrit word ‘Tushtii’ would be satisfaction which can be differentiated into various experiences having subtle differences. In this particular Sankhya karika it is taken is the sense the feeling of complacency.

Complacency stands for experiencing a mix of peaceful / blissful pleasure with a sense of security in a given situation. It can also be equated to smug gratification one can experience.

Samkhay karika 50, 4 Types of Internal Satisfactions

So there is possibility that one’s intellect can experience any one of the types of Tushti (complacency) from the total 9 types as mentioned in this Karika. Out of these 9, 4 types of complacencies come from within oneself or due to an experience – act of knowing something – which emerges within the intellect (Buddhi) itself.

Remaining in ignorance about some aspect can be a very unsatisfactory feeling or experience, which is like a thirst which can only be quenched or satisfied by the act of knowing the same. The first kind of knowing which the intellect (Buddhi) can experience internally is about gaining the knowledge about the functioning of Prakriti.

The knowledge of the composition and the process of evolution of Prakriti into material universe disperses a lot of smoke from around the quest to find out one’s origins. This knowledge as available in Samkhya Philosophy provides a kind of complacency to the intellect, or a sense of solving a blind puzzle which imparts clarity on this subject.

All the inhabitants of the planet Earth will relate to the second type of complacency which comes from acquiring material objects, or wealth. Its a different type of satisfaction which is a mix of a sense of achievement, pride, and security. Most of our early education is designed to provide us this type of complacency which subsequently defines our identity (Ego) later on.

The third type of internal satisfaction is derived from leaving a situation or problem to time in a belief that time will resolve it on its own. This type of complacency comes from surrendering to the law of time, or the believe that with time everything will fall in place on its own. It resembles wishful thinking. This type of satisfaction is passive in nature vis-a vis the previous two which are achieved by action – knowing and amassing – nd thus are active by nature.

The fourth type of complacency emerges from believing in one’s luck; if my luck will have its way I will achieve my motives otherwise not. Here one is leaving everything to the control of luck on which one has no control at all. This satisfaction resembles to the release one experiences by surrendering to one’s fate. One does not regret not achieving something which one does not deserve, leaving only the complacency shorn of any guilt or regret of nonachievement.

5 types of External Satisfactions (Tushti)

Samkhya Karika 50 also talks about 5 types of complacencies which one experiences as a result of abstaining from the pleasures associated with material objects of which the material universe is made of. Please note that even acquiring these worldly object provides another type of complacency which is of internal type and has been explained above.

The names of these five types of complacencies, derived from renouncing the material world, are not disclosed in this karika by its author. The fact that giving induces satisfaction of its own type stands proof to the fact that inherently human intellect is meant to be giving away things and objects it is in possession of. But, in order to experience this pleasure of gratification this type of giving has to be a bit different in nature.

Why is Samkhya Karika 50 Important

This karika explains the different types of satisfactions Buddhi (intellect) can stay in. The term ‘Satisfaction’ has a deviously positive connotation to it. If intellect can exist in any one of the 9 types of satisfactions, which is supposed to be a positive experience, than where is the problem at all. All the 9 types of complacencies sound positive and there is no need to change anything?

In reality these are false sense of satisfactions. No one can progress on the path of spirituality by just acquiring knowledge, and feeling complacent about it, or by acquiring material objects and feeling satisfied about that, or by feeling complacent by leaving everything to the time and luck. One has to actually practically apply the learnings one has acquired in one’s daily living in order to trigger positive changes in one’s course.

Action is important than just theory. All the 9 types of satisfactions mentioned in this karika as actually impediments in the path of growth of the intellect as they feel like being ends in themselves. Ones one has attained these one falsely takes them as one’s ultimate goal and remains at that level which is much lower than the level of experiencing Purusha, the ultimate goal of practicing Samkhya or Spirituality.

The complacency which one achieves by abstaining from the material objects appears Sattvik in nature, in reality it emerges from the satisfaction of the Ego (ahankara). This satisfaction is nothing but an appeased Ego. One gives away one’s priced possessions just to feel superior to the one it is given away to. A lot of all the donations we make are to boost our spiritual Egos. We feel content that at least we have ticked another to-do item in the list comprised of Spiritual deeds.

When the real aim of attaining spiritual goal is to abolish one’s Ego, which can be attained by working on it with proper and right actions. Thus, theory and knowledge are worthless unless and until they are applied to achieve spiritual upliftment.

One of my students is very intrigued by the out of the world seemingly lofty concepts of Yoga and Samkhya. He often boosts of knowing the fact that the ultimate aim of practicing both these ancient philosophies is to still the mind to finally delete it and let the being dissolve into Purusha. He is convinced that even if he will not practice the physical asanas and Kriyas he can still still his mind by just gazing into the blank for hours.

He knows but doesn’t practice. He is oblivious of the fact that till the time physical toxicity is eliminated, with the help of Hatha Yoga, and the container of the body is readied for the mind to be held stable into it, he will not able to achieve the required tranquility. Spirituality is not meant to be known, it has to be studied, reflected upon, and then practiced till its goal is achieved.