आदिविद्वान् निर्म्मानचित्तम् अधिष्ठाय कारुण्याद् भगवान् परमर्षिरासुरये जिज्ञासमानाय तन्त्रं प्रोवाच॥
The great rishi Kapila, the first enlightened being, moved by compassion assumed a created mind to expound the doctrine of tantra* (see below) or Samkhya philosophy to enquiring (rishi) Asuri.
– From Samkhya Sutras of Pancasikha (disciple of rishi Asuri)
The system of philosophy that comprehensively categorises and explains the constituent principles or the tattvas constituting or causing the universe, is called Samkhya. Since it enables the initiate to realize santa Brahma or the self without attributes, it is also called santa Brahma vidya. Vidya means true knowledge. Yoga, being the means whereby the tattvas can be directly apprehended, is included in Samkhya.
This philosophy was propounded by the great rsi Kapila. Rsi Kapila was born with supreme knowledge, virtues, spirit of non-attachment and super-normal powers acquired in his previous birth. He realized the ultimate reality without the help of any human teacher and propagated his doctrine after directly apprehending the tattvas through samadhi.
Samkhya’s tenets are based on reason and do not require any blind faith for their acceptance. The tattvas or the constituent principles are not mere abstract concepts but are entities that really exist and can be directly apprehended. Since Kapila, preached the doctrine from his own realization of the tattvas, its authenticity is fully established.
The message of Samkhya is complete cessation of all miseries (categorized into three kinds) for all time to come is Kaivalya Moksa or liberation. Moksa is Parama Purusartha or the highest goal of all living beings. Samkhya, in a practical and rational manner, shows the means by which that state can be attained.
Samkhya says that there is innate divinity in living beings. With spiritual practice, an adept’s chitta gets progressively purified and he ultimately becomes like Brahman. It should be borne in mind that the adept can be “like” saguna-Brahman, not become “Brahman.”
* Tantra here means Samkhya as a philosophical doctrine. This should not to be confused with the ritualistic and procedural system which evolved much later and has come to be known as tantra