Summary of Samkhya teachings

Q: What in brief are the main propositions of the Samkhya Philosophy?

A: Samkhya teachings may be summed up as follows: Everything that exists, which one can either perceive through one’s senses or conceive of, is constituted by the twenty five principles of Tattvas. Objects, subtle and gross, constituted by the Tattvas are of two kinds, the sentient beings and the insentient manifestations. Sentient beings, possessed of the mind and other organs, experience pleasure and pain, and are of countless varieties depending on their power and knowledge. Those who have attained Kaivalya, i.e. the state of of the Self-in-Itself, are liberated forever. One state lower than Kaivalya are the “Hiranyagarbhas”, who are the creators, protectors and overlords of the universes. Other sentient beings vary from celestial to human and lower forms. Through practice of Yoga and pursuit of true knowledge, sentient beings gain successively higher realms of existence and ultimately attain liberation.

Besides the sentient beings, there are numerous ¬†insentient manifestations evolving out of the mutative ego of the Creator. Sentient beings, influenced by the Divine mind, perceive them. Such superimposition of the Divine mind on the minds of all sentient beings emanates from their individual latencies which continue through the cycle of births. If, however a person strives to overcome his past latency by shutting (stilling) ¬†his mind (the mind being the master of all the organs) to the external world and perseveres to apprehend his own Self, the external world of sights and sounds fade away and gradually he attains liberation. This, in brief is the rational philosophical system of Samkhya-yoga… (taken from Samkhya Catechism by Swami Hariharananda Aranya)