The Difficulties of the Spiritual Seeker : 18.
The Teachings of the Bhagavadgita
The whole of the Samkhya philosophy is a system of cosmology; it is a description of the way in which things evolve from the Ultimate Reality. Now I am speaking to you the classical Samkhya of Kapila, which is in some respects acceptable to the other schools of thought also, though not entirely. I will tell you in what way they are acceptable and in what way they are not acceptable. The Supreme Being is called purusha in the Samkhya. The essential nature of this purusha is pure consciousness, awareness, brilliance, light, intelligence, self-awareness. The purusha is an Infinite Being, and not something that is in some place; it is not an individual person. Creation takes place by the coming in contact, in a novel way, of this pure spirit, purusha, consciousness, with cosmic matter, called prakriti. So, there are two realities: consciousness and matter – the subject and the object, as you sometimes call them. When the subject comes in contact with the object, there is knowledge of the object. So knowledge is a product. Knowledge in the sense of knowledge of objects is a product of the coming together of consciousness with this principal material-stuff called prakriti. It is an indeterminate, all-
pervasive principle called prakriti; actually the word prakriti in Sanskrit means 'the origin of materiality'. The original ethereal form of matter, the finest condition of matter, is called prakriti. The natural state of affairs is prakriti. When this Infinite Consciousness, purusha, comes in contact with the infinite prakriti, there is a consciousness of one's being there as an "I am that I am". There is no consciousness of an individual object outside, because it has not yet been manifested – it is to take place further on. There is a universal feeling of "I am" – so, the feeling "I am", even in universal sense, is a step down in the process of creation, while the pure purusha is not even an "I am". It is something more than that – indescribable 'That Which Is'. This cosmic "I am" is, in its general form, called mahat; and in a more particularised, emphasised form is called ahamkara. So, we have purusha, prakriti, mahat, and ahamkara. These are cosmical levels.
To be continued