Samkhya Karika 63, Seven forms Bind Prakriti, One Releases it

Author: Randeep Singh / go to all Samkhya Karikas

Samkhya Karika text:

Roopaih sapta-bhir eva tu badhnaatya atmaanam aatmanaa prakritih |

Saiva cha purushartham prati vimochayatya eka roopena ||

Roopaih – by the forms (of conditions, Bhavas, attitudes)

Sapta-bhir – the seven

Eva tu – then again

Badhnaatya – binds

Atmaanam – herself

Aatmanaa – by herself

Prakritih – Prakriti

Saiva – it is she

Cha – and

Purushartham – purpose of the Purusha

Prati- towards, regards

Vimochayatya – releases, frees

Eka roopena – through one form

Samkhya karika 63 help one undersand how Prakriti gets bound. In the previous Karika we had seen that its actually Prakriti that is bound and not the Purusha as is generally inferred. There is a clear reason because of which Prakriti gets bound or entangled in its matrix of activities.

Here, the significance of the role Buddhi (intellect) plays in binding Prakriti has been enumerated upon.

Samkhya Karika 63, Bound by Seven & Released by One

The nature of Buddhi is defined by any of the eight bhavas (four positive and four negative) it can remain infused with at any given time. Samkhya Karika 63 mentions seven forms of Buddhi which bind Prakriti, these seven forms are nothing but the seven bhavas (out of total eight).

Samkhya Karika 63

Prakrti binds herself by means of her seven forms (bhavas), and it is she again, who by means of one form (bhava), releases herself, for the benefit of the Spirit (Purusha).

Prakrti by means of these seven forms (dharma, vairagya, aishwarya, adharma, ajnana, avairagya and anaishwarya) binds herself. And by means of discriminative knowledge or wisdom (jnana) releases herself for the benefit of Purusha.

This explains the fact that one should work on one’s intellect (Buddhi) to enhance the Jnana bhava (knowledge) within it so that Prakriti (physical body is composed of) can be unbound, or freed from the cycle of its creation (birth) and destruction (death).

How do Bhavas Help Bind or Release Prakriti?

Bhavas are the building blocks of Buddhi. They add the respective attitude, or tendency (positive or negative inclination) to it whereby changing its entire potentiality to behave, work in the partcular direction.

Out of the eight bhavas, four are negative, thus, are understandable binding by nature. Three bhavas out of the remaining four (Dharma, Vairagya, Aisvarya) positive bhavas can be binding too. THis happens when Ego overtakes these tendencies by identifying them (binding them) to the concept of self.

‘My’ duty (dharma), ‘my’ detachment (Vairagya), and ‘my’ confidence (aisvarya) are the example where the sense of identity (my) with one’s physical self (Prakriti) comes into play and create the bondage.

The sense of identity can also emerge with the fourth [positive bhava, Jnana (wisdom), but only this bhava, which is knowledeg can identify this association and purge itself of the ‘my’ syndrome. ONly the right knowledge has the ability to free one self from the binding tendecy of Ego (my ness) and free onself in the truest sense.

It is through discriminative knowledge only that Prakrit can remove all its bindings and set itself free, leaving the spirit unblemished or snared up by its own activities.

Increasing Jnana bhava, or wisdom, is a long drawn and consistent effort. The seed doesn’t grow into a full fleged tree in seconds. It needs the proper nutrients, and environmental conditions to be transformed into a plant.