[Advaita-l] Patanjali Yoga Sutra. I.3

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Fri May 1 09:33:07 CDT 2009

On Fri, 1 May 2009, Sunil Bhattacharjya wrote:

> Sankhya sutra says that the existence of God cannot be proved. So 
> Sankhya is Godless but not atheistic. Most of the Hindu scholars do not 
> know this thing about Sankhya. Sankhyakarika is the shortened version of 
> Sankhya sutra.  

The Samkhya darshana was founded by Maharshi Kapila.  The canonical text 
of Samkhya was the Shashtitantra either by him or his successor 
Panchashikha.  Or perhaps Shashtitantra refers to 60 topics covered by 
this school.  Asuri and Vodhu were also two early acharyas of Samkhya. 
All four may be legendary rather than historical as they are mentioned 
during the nitya tarpana and other vidhis.  However some quotes attributed 
to them can be found in later commentaries.

The oldest extent work on Samkhya is the samkhyakarikas of Ishvarakrishna. 
It claims to be an epitome of the Shashtitantra. It's importance is shown 
in that it is one of the few non-Buddhist works found in the mahayana 
tripithaka.  Indeed one of the earliest commentaries on the karikas is 
known only from a Chinese translation.  The great Vachaspati Mishra, 
though he commented on the sutras of other darshanas commented on the 
karikas only for samkhya.

The work called Samkhyasutra is actually comparatively late.  All the 
commentaries on it date from the 15th century or later and reflect an 
already Vedantized orientation.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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