Samkhya Karika 64, Knowing the Tattvas is Ultimate Wisdom

Author: Randeep Singh / go to all Samkhya Karikas

Samkhya karika 64 text:

Evam tattva abhyaasaa nna asmi na me na aham Itya aparishesham |

Aviparyayaad vishuddham kevalam utpadyate jnanam ||

Evam – so

Tattva abhyaasaa – by realising the knowledge of tattvas

Na asmi – does not exist

Na me – not me

Na aham – not I

Itya – thus

Aparishesham – beyond which nothing more to be known

Aviparyayaad – absence of wrong knowledge, without any fault

Vishuddham – purified, unblemished

Kevalam – only that, the ultimate

Upadyate – is produced.arises

Jnanam – Knowledge

Samkhya karika 64 talks about the nature of knowledge (wisdom) as mentioned in the previous karika which helps Prakriti attain its freedom. This knowledge is the knowledge (jnana) of the Tattvas (25 principles or elements of Samkhya). Once one knows these 25 principles one gains the ultimate knowledge which is error less and pure.

Samkhya Karika 64, Ultimate Wisdom is Knowledge of Tattvas

Samkhya Karika 64

The knowledge of Tattvas endows upon the seeker the understanding that it is the Ego (Ahamkara) which glues onesl physical existence (Prakriti) to reat of the physical (material) universe. It is when one begins to identify oneself with the physical objects and beings around it.

One has to understand that Prakriti (Matter) and Purusha (spirit, consciousness) are separate entities and the sense of Ahamkara (Ego) makes it look like one, or Prakriti appears to be entangled with Purusha. The sense of entanglement is created by the presence of Ahamkara.

Thus, from the practice of truth (the 25 tattvas), is produced the wisdom in the form – “I am not”, “nothing is mine” and “not- I”, which is final and pure on account of the absence of error and absolute (knowledge).

We have acquired the knowledge of Prakriti and Purusha. Now the point arises “what next”? Tattva means true and correct understanding of things – that Prakriti and Purusha are two different and distinct identities.

There is nothing like “I”, such a profound wisdom will have to be acquired. This identification with “I”, and “mine”, is the root cause of misery; e.g. if you say this house is “mine”, but one never finds “your” imprint on any of the brick, stone or any other material used in the house. This is only an assumption. After a great deal of thinking truth dawns. “I” is not the real thing.

The relationship of a wife to a husband and husband to a wife or of a mother to a son – who calls “mine”; but the wife, husband and son are all separate individual entities. This “I” and “mine” are just an illusion. All the time we are stuck in “my son”, “my house” etc. and keep suffering.

Till the sentient being is there, this body is there. We mistake the chaitanya (purusha / spirit) with this body and mind. Since childhood we have been conditioned like this. We should not teach children that this is “yours” and this is “mine”.

There is a story of a child who comes to a saint and enquires as to who he was? The saint asks for water and a pinch of salt. He dissolves the salt in water and asks the child to separate the two. He then goes on to explain that just like salt in the water, this “I” is mixed in the Prakrti and we have to separate this “I”, understanding the 25 elements.

We commit mistakes that cannot be rectified easily. We always think of material possessions and get attached to the extent that we will never think of –“Now is the time for Purusha”. Suddenly something happens and realization dawns but that too is peripheral.

The sence of “I” is what creates attachment to material world which is the causeof all suffering. In order to cutivate detachment of Purusha (spirit) to Prakriti (Material world) one needs to gain the understanding of the working of the 25 Tattvas, of which Prakriti is made of, and learn to “cultivate detachment “let go” of all the pull and attraction coming from it.

All the attachment exist in our thoughts. Thoughts are in turn woven from the strings of our ideas, memories, and opinions. This is where all the binding exists.

Wisdom comes slowly. Sometimes, death comes before this true knowledge dawns. Just understand whatever is going on. Don’t cry too much. At least this much can be done by a wise person. Most of us are engrossed in “laughing” and “crying”. There is no realization of the truth of life. Chaitanya is the real, not the “me” and “mine”.

“letting go” or distancing oneself from one’s thoughts is only possible by practicing the bhava of Vairagya minus the “I” factor. If practiced with ego, Prakriti (material being) gets bound to the spirit instead of being freed from it.

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