Author: Randeep Singh / go to all Samkhya Karikas
Samkhya Karika 68, Samskaras Exhaust Then Purusha, Prakriti Separate
Samkhya Karika 68 text:
Prapte shareerabhede charitaarth-tvaat pradhana vinivrtteh ||
Aikaantikam atyanti-kamubhayam kaivalyam aapnoti ||
Prapte – after the exhaustion of all past samsakaras
Shareerabhede – on becoming separate from body
Charita – for the reason
Arth-tvaat – the purpose being achieved
Pradhana – prakriti
Vinivrtteh – termination of activities
Aikaantikam – definite, certain, sure
Atyanti-kam – the ultimate, final, permanent
Ubhayam – both
Kaivalyam – alone-ness, single-ness
Aapnoti – accomplishes, attains
Samkhya Karika 68 talks about the final separation of Prakriti (body as part of entire material universe) and the Purusha (spirit) which leads to the dissolution of the individual as a whole. The individual human associated with the individual Purusha (which has separated from Prakriti) never takes birth again as this Purusha never comes together wth Prakriti.
Attaining this final separation of the Purusha and Prakriti is the final aim of spirituality (Yoga, Samkhya philosophy) which doesn’t come easy. The previous karikas have mentioned the conditions which help one reach this stage of separation of the two, erasing of all samskaras (karmas) is the only way to achieve this.
Samskaras are the glue which keeps the Purusha and the Prakriti bound together in the form of a living (embodied consciousness) being.
Samkhya Karika 68, Exhaustion of Samskaras lead to Kaivalyam
How can one achieve erasing all samaskaras of the past karmas and preventing the new ones from forming. Is it even possible to do during one’s lifetime? Sankhya Darshan talks about the bhavas which can be used as effective tools to achieve this.
Karmas, actions which leave their imprints as samskaras, have their origin in one’s thoughts. The type or quality of thought which emerges within an individual determines the quality of the karma (action) it is going to trigger.
Negative (tamasic, rajasic) thoughts lead to binding karmas (samskaras); on the other hand sattvic thoughts lead to non-binding karmas.
The easy answer that can be derived from this is that by encouraging sattvic thoughts one can reduce the formation of binding karmas, also prevent the formation of the new ones. This leads to the next logical question: how to turn one’s thoughts sattvic?
It is common knowledge that thoughts arise and reside in the mind, and mind evolves from Buddhi (intellect). This means the tendencies (quality and inclination) of Buddhi will get translated to the mind.
Samkhya has given the concept of bhavas which are the tools with whichthe quality or tendencies of Buddhi can be steered, altered, Practicing the sattvik bhavas can keep the intellect (Buddhi) positively charged which will beget positive thoughts leading to positive actions.
The positive bhavas of Dharma (duty), Jnana (wisdom, and Vairagya (detachment) play a major role in keeping the nature of Buddhi sattvik. An action when done with the sense of duty (dharma) is done without any expectations of the benefits from it, it is done because it is needed to be done to laign to the basic principles of life.
Prioritising actions with dharma can be very tricky and confusing as multiple actions may appear dharmic at once in a given situation. Learn to look at them as in a linear hierarchy by importance and act on the one which appears highest on this ladder.
Self has to come first because its the body which keeps one together as an individual and is a tool with which all the other actions can be undertaken. Prioritise the health of the body as well as the mind, intellect over everything else. Next comes the other aquaintances, family, society, and the nation.
Actions must be done by adhering to strict discipline, keeping out of the influence of any attachments, attractions, greed, jealosy etc. Actions (karmas) which are done with Dharma (duty), Jnana (wisdom), and Vairagya (detachment) bhavas will not create any samskaras (impressions of karma or actions).
Once all the karmas become devoid of samskaras their is no binding force left between the Prakriti (body) and the Purusha (spirit). Thus, now they separate from each other. Now is when the Purusha achieves its ultimate freedom – alone-ness- from Prakriti other known as Kaivalya.
Prakriti also also achieves its independence from Purusha. Eventually the body and the associated Purusha separate from each other.
Realizing Body and Spirit are Separate and Different is Wisdom
We have to bring this realization slowly and gradually that this body and spirit (sarir and chaitanya) are separate. After this knowledge of Purusha there is an illuminated vision that the material body is with us and we are not the body. Children are also like that; when they see big books they get scared but slowly learn to understand it.
To gain true knowledge is the essential thing. And this is liberation but this knowledge has to be acquired and long lasting for life.
There was once a prince who got caught in the strong currents of a river. He drifted to another country and engaged himself in some petty work, unrecognised for many years. One day the king’s minster king recognized him and brought him back to his kingdom, revealed his identity to all and he was soon crowned as the new king.
We are tied up with many mundane things like me, my family, my possessions, my house etc. But the ultimate objective should be to increase the understanding that body and spirit are separate. After this knowledge, work begins, evil thoughts stop. We have to reach to the Divine, the sentient being, and have to be concentrated in that. After true knowledge, the person (Purusha) may leave the body but continues to lives in divine consciousness.