Samkhya Karika 72, Seventy Karikas Explain Sasthi Tantra minus Stories

Author: Randeep Singh / go to all Samkhya Karikas

Samkhya Karika 72 text:

Saptatyaam kila ye arthaste arthaah krtsnasya shashthi tantrasya |

Aakhyaayikaavirahitah paravaada-vivarjitaash cha api ||

Saptatyaam – seventy verses (karikas)

Kila – truly, verily

Ye – what

Arthas – topics, subjects, doctrines

Te – those

Arthaah – topics, subjects

Krtsnasya – whole, complete, entire

Shashthi tantrasya – pertaining to sixty topics of tantra (philosophical principle)

Aakhyaayikaa – allegories, stories as illustrations

Virahitah – opposing, refuting, denying

Paravaada-vivarjitaash – denialof / overthrough of opposite principles / doctrines

Cha – and

Api – also

Samkhya karika 72 explains that the author of Samkhya Philosophy (karikas) has written these verses i a way that they do not seem to be downplaying other spiritual philosophies at those times. Neither they seem to be competing for supramacy over them in any form.

Ishvar Krsna’s karikas do not entangle themselves in any debate with the other theories prevalant in that era, nor do they appear to critisize them in any form. Nornally. all the other schools of philosophies strive to prove their points by providing logic and reason (vada) against the prevelant thoughts.

This is not the case with the Samkhya Philosophy, the flow of thoughts here remains focused on itself and never goes astray, or tread into other’s territories. Samkhya karikas are all centered on the central principle of the wisdom of the 25 elements (tattvas).

Samkhya doesn’t critisize nor is it in the form of a dialogue between two people to be able to look like a debate. The author has put forth its doctrines in a very simple to understand manner. He does not use any stoies, allegories, or metaphors to explain his concepts.

This is so different from the style in which ‘smritis,’ ‘Puranas,’ and ‘Upanishad’ are wriiten. These texts abundantly use allusions to mythology to dwell on a particular doctrine. This gives scope for diverse interpretations of the written text and can cause confusion related to the same.

Samkhya Karika 72, Seventy karikas is Complete Samkhya

The term ‘Saptatyaam’ means seventy karikas but the number of karikas which comprose the whole Samkhya Philosophical text are seventy two in number. This meas that the main philosophy is complete within the seventy karkas, the last two are just the epilogue.

The subjects which are treated by the seventy verses are the very topics treated in the Sasthi Tantra (sixty topics), excluding the illustrative tales and omitting the doctrines of other people.

In the old scriptures, opinions of different people and principals have been detailed. A great deal was discussed and Vedanta is full of this. But Samkhya doesn’t contain all this and the karikas have been explained in concise terms lucidly. If we read it repeatedly we can understand a lot and prosper too.

Till now, Kapil Muni, has explained by way of the karikas, as to how to get rid of miseries. Who is not afflicted by pain? If wealth is there- there is no progeny; if progeny is there- there is no wealth. If fame is there- there is no health; if there is health- there is no respect. Each one is afflicted by some kind of pain and getting rid of it takes a whole lifetime and eventually death comes.

By reading Samkhya, it looks like- if we apply these principles, miseries will go away by itself. Why should we suffer when nothing is permanent? Everything changes. Prakriti– our intelligence-mind-senses – they all work according to their nature. We cannot do much except to observe. One who is experiencing is Prakriti and one who is doing is also Prakriti.

E.g. someone bangs the door very aggressively – he/she does it because it is their nature to do it. Similarly, the reaction of the house owner will be in accordance to his/her nature. If we could understand this well then we will not suffer. But this type of understanding doesn’t come.

The knowledge imparted in these 72 karikas is greater than any knowledge. Reading it once will not help. It will have to read repeatedly and well understood. All our life we want to see new things, experience new things – sometimes one is fed up of all this. But the strength required to counter this is not there. The purpose of Samkhya is to bring complete understanding.

One has to learn to see Prakriti and Purusha as separate from each other and utilize the powerof the Bhavas, residing in Buddhi, to overcome the bindings of matter (Prakriti) and release the consciousness (Purusha) from it.