The Sankhya Philosophy
In Sankhya Philosophy, evolution happens in three dimensions. The dimensions are Purusha, Prakrti and the Gunas. From infinitesimal to infinite, every evolution is a play of purusha, prakrti and gunas.
Purusha was consciouness or the cause of consciousness that just stood ten finger-breadths long at the origin. Purusha Suktam explains the way our cosmos evolved, drawing from Purusha that just existed ten finger breadths, to a size of astronomical proportions. I have given my explanation of Purusha Suktam here.
My explanation of Purusha Suktam was that Purusha or dark matter stood just ten finger breadths long at the beginning. Purusha became the sacrificed, Prakrti the sacrificial bed and the evolution that happened was a sacrifice(Yajna). The sacrifice that Purusha Suktam talks about is nothing but the Big Bang. As Purusha Suktam says, three fourths of this (75%) cosmos is filled with Purusha but insensible, while one-fourth is expressed through matter. Stars and Planets evolved, Life evolved as the result of sacrifice of the Purusha in the sacrificial bed of Prakrti.
Purusha the dark matter is sacrificed in the sacrificial bed of Prakrti, the matter. Cosmos keeps spinning unbound with purusha the sacrificed at the bottom. Seven black holes that originate from this ever expanding cosmos to purusha keep feeding this unbound spinning cosmos. They look like an inverted banyan tree with roots growing upward.
Read more about it here:
Purusha triggers the evolution of Prakrti by causing imbalance in the gunas of prakrti. It also provides the consciousness to beings and drives the evolution into different forms of matter and also into living beings.
Prakrti is the all pervading matter. It is the subtlest of all kinds of known matter. It is the cause of everything, except the Purusha. It is uncaused.
Prakrti in its original form has all three Gunas balanced. All Gunas were present in prakrti, but they were not able to express themselves one over another. All were in equilibrium.
Prakrti is what makes the infinitesimal to the infinite, assuming various forms due to the preponderance of one of the Gunas.
The three Gunas (Rajas, Tamas, Sattwa) were the cause of properties of matter. The Gunas drive the metabolism in Prakrti and serve to bind the Purusha with Prakrti.
Gunas can be visualized as forces that causes Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas. These causes or forces were well-balanced at the start. These forces that cause these properties are uncaused. They existed from the beginning in the Prakrti, but were in equilibriumstate with respect to one another.
Purusha drove the Sattwa Guna to acquire supremacy at a point of time and that sets the ball rolling for evolution.
The Sattwa Guna acquired pre-ponderance over other Gunas, due to the action of Purusha and started the evolutionary Process. It formed the first known matter form, which had higher Sattwa Guna than other Gunas. This matter form is called Mahat.
Gunas are subtler than Prakrti itself. Though they cause the different properties of matter and are hence perceived as properties of matter, they can be visualized as the forces behind the different properties of the matter.
Gunas cause the Prakrti to be perceived in various forms. They help build the various different forms of Prakrti that we perceive differently, from the same primordial prakrti.
All of them (Purusha, Prakrti and Gunas) were uncaused. The evolution of our universe is the evolution of these three according to Sankhya.
The way Purusha evolves is by expressing itself in different forms of prakrti and also increasing the concsiousness in living beings. All changes and evolution of living and non-living beings is being driven by the consciousness of Purusha. The way Prakrti evolves is by taking various forms of physical matter. The way Gunas evolve is by gaining preponderance of one of the gunas in any given form of matter.
Ahamkaras – The consolidation of Gunas
According to Sankhya, from Mahat, Ahankaras evolved. Ahankaras are of three types. Ahamkara is the first expression of the inside property of matter. Hence it is called Ahamkara. Ahamkara means the Inside property.
In Mahat, in which Sattwa has preponderance over other Gunas, forces of other properties (Rajas and Tamas) also start operating. Each Guna (force behind the Guna) consolidate their properties in Mahat and the first matter particles with specific properties are born. Hence Sattwa Ahamkara, Tamasa Ahamkara, Rajasa Ahamkara are born.
Purusha, Prakrti, Gunas, Mahat and Ahamkaras sum up the Sankhya philosophy.
Mapping Sankhya to Modern science
I think, here is where the Sankhya Philosophy can help modern science. I generally map the Sankhya philosophy to science in this way.
Prakrti means Matter
Prakrti is primordial matter that existed at the beginning. It is uncaused and all pervading. It is the primordial matter form that Science is searching for today.
Purusha means Dark Matter
Purusha is the dark matter that science is trying to explore. Purusha, the dark matter, kick-starts the evolution in the Primordial matter, by causing an imbalance in one of the properties of Primordial matter. Dark matter causes the original matter condensate to have a net spin and that starts the evolution of Primordial matter. Dark matter also drives the consciousness and evolution of consciousness in living beings.
The dark matter is also uncaused, but was just ten finger-breadths long at the beginning. During the Big Bang in which matter was like a sacrificial bed and dark matter was the object of sacrifice, dark matter spread through the entire cosmos and fills up 75% of our cosmos.
Dark matter is alos the consciousness or the one that drives the evolution of consciousness everywhere. Evolution of consciousness drives the evolution of intellect, ego and mind. It drives the evolution of beings and causes the change from non-being to being and to more intelligent beings.
Sattwa: Force that causes the property of Spin
Gunas are the forces that drive the metabolic evolution of matter. In other words, they cause the property of matter. Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas are the Gunas of primordial Prakrti that Sankhya talks about.
I map these properties of matter (Gunas) that were uncaused and existed from the beginning as Spin, Charge and Mass properties of matter.
According to Sankhya, Sattwa is the force that makes matter light, buoyant and illuminating. I map this force to Spin property of the matter. The spin property of matter can make it light, buoyant or illuminating.
Rajas: Force that causes the property of Charge
Rajas is the property of the matter that gives activity to matter. Charge is the property of matter that gives it activity, according to modern science. Motion, Restlessness of matter is characterized by the charge property of the matter.
In Quantum science there are two types of charges that are talked about. One is the property of electric charge (positive and negative) and another drives the Strong Interaction between quarks. There could be many more charge types than these two, as explained in the following discussion.
Tamas: Force that causes the property of Mass
Tamas are the forces that give mass and cause inertia.
The property of matter that gives it mass makes the matter passive and sluggish. It gives inertia to matter.
Ahamkaras : Mass, Spin and Charge carriers
In Mahat, which acquires a particular Sattwa property due to the preponderance of Sattwa (due to influence of Purusha), various other properties start consolidating.
Ahamkaras which mean ‘Inside Properties’ are carriers of Rajas, Tamas and Sattwa properties inside matter. The forces that cause Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas consolidate the properties inside prakrti to form carriers of these properties.
The first Ahamkara formed is the Sattwa Ahamkara. Sattwa Ahamkara causes spin (light, buyont and illuminating) in matter. Matter with preponderance of spin or Sattwa Ahamkara are called field carriers in modern science. Examples are photons, gluons etc.
Spin may be recognized as full-spin, half-spin etc now. Spin is known to cause fields like electro magnetic, strong field, weak field etc. Sankhya calls all these that make the matter light, buoyant as an eternal force that cause different spin types. Sankhya calls this Sattwa Ahamkara.
We can visualize this Spin causing property in matter as a force that is present inside all the matter and this force creates different dimensions of spin. Modern science recognizes spin, but not a carrier force that causes spin.
Sankhya says Spin (Sattwa) is influenced by Dark Matter (Purusha).
Next Ahamkara that is formed is the Tamas Ahamkara. Tamasa Ahamkara causes mass (heaviness according to Sankhya) in matter. Modern science recognizes mass and mass carrier. Higgs Boson is a known mass carrier. It is the Tamasa Ahamkara. There could be many more Tamasa Ahamkaras that are discovered in future.
We can visualize this mass causing property as a force that is present inside all the matter and this force creates different types of mass.
In future we may discover several types of mass causing particle apart from Higgs Boson. In other words, we may discover SEVERAL GOD particles and not just ONE.
Next Ahamkara that is formed is the Rajasa Ahamkara. Rajasa Ahamkara causes charge (restlessness and motion) in matter. There are charges like electric charge and color charge. Of these electric charge can be of Positive or Negative. Color charge could be of three types.
Modern science recognizes charges but not charge carriers as a force. There could be more than these two dimensions of charges that are discovered in future.
We can visualize this charge causing property as a force that is present inside all the matter and this force creates different dimensions of charge.
According to Sankhya, these properties themselves are driven by forces that are uncaused and eternal.
Origins of Evolution in Science and Sankhya
- According to Sankhya, prakrti is a subtle form of matter and gunas, the property of prakrti is much subtler. Different forms of praktri arise due to the pre-ponderance of gunas on prakrti. But at the time of origin, all the gunas were in equilibrium in prakrti, which was the Primordial matter.
- The first learning for science, is that the primordial matter which was a condensate made up of the same matter (prakrti) had three properties charge, mass and spin. These three properties need to be looked beyond the matter itself, as they are uncaused. These properties need to be looked at as eternal forces which cause these properties in matter.
- In the primordial matter, Forces that give mass (heaviness or Tamas) and forces that give spin (Sattwa) balance each other. Spin make the matter light and buoyant while mass makes the matter heavy. Also the net charge of matter was neutral at the origin. Forces that give Charge (Rajas) to the matter balanced each other.
- I had written about this primordial matter condensate and how it originated in my article on Nasadiya Suktam, though I referred the condensate as Quark Gluon Plasma in line with the current scientific understanding. Here is the link http://thebigthinkg.sulekha.com/blog/post/2008/12/nasadiya-suktam-before-the-bigbang.htm
- The second learning for science is that the primordial matter was a condensate or plasma of matter in which mass, charge and spin are balanced and in equilibrium. Current scientific theory is, the original primordial matter could have been a Quark Gluon Plasma.
- According to Sankhya, Purusha starts the evolution of Prakrti, by bringing the preponderance of Sattwa in Prakrti.
- Due to the influence of dark matter (Purusha), Spin of matter (Sattwa) is imbalanced (equilibrium is disturbed) in the primordial matter and that starts the evolutionary process. That is the condensate or plasma acquires a net Spin due to the influence of dark matter. This condensate or plasma with net spin is called “Mahat”.
- The third learning from Sankhya is that the Dark matter influences the spin property of matter.
- The primordial condensate matter’s spin of particles got influenced and became Mahat. In our current understanding, dark matter does not influence matter. But Sankhya is very clear. Dark matter influences the spin property of matter.
- According to Sankhya, from Mahat, Ahamkaras evolve. Ahamkaras were Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas types. In Mahat, prakrti with Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas group together forming ahamkaras of Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas type.
- The fourth learning for science is that the properties of mass, charge and spin are caused in the matter by forces that exist uncaused and beyond .
- This means that mass carrier is not a particle that science should look for. There could be several mass carriers that are caused by the force that causes mass in the matter. The force itself is uncaused.
- This means that field carriers are not few particles that cause field. There is a force that causes spin in the matter and it could express itself in multiple dimensions. There could be more types of spins and more types of fields. But the force itself is uncaused. If my interpretation is true, then that spin causes field is a new discovery for science.
- This means that charges are not simply color charge and electric charge particles. Charge needs to be looked at as a property that causes motion and restlessness in matter. It may not be limited to electric or color charge. There could be several charge types that are caused by the force that causes charge in matter. This force that causes charge in matter itself is uncaused.
- According to Sankhya, the evolution of Sattwa and Tamas rely on Rajas for energy. Sattwa and Tamas do not have their own energy for evolution. Rajas is the energy source that drives the evolution of Sattwa and Tamasic prakrti
- Force carriers and mass carriers do not evolve on their own. They need the charge carriers, which supply the energy for the evolution of mass carriers and force carriers. For eg photons are emitted by changes in energy levels of electrons. Also photons cause change in energy levels of electrons causing changes in structure of matter.
- Similarly gluons (strong force) are caused by color charge carriers. It is also possible that gluons drive changes in color charge carriers causing structural alternations in matter.
- It is also possible that Higgs Boson (mass carrier) are driven by some sort of charge carriers and in turn affect some sort of charge carriers.
- The fifth learning for science is that the Charge carriers are the energy sources for driving the evolution of building blocks of matter. While the charge carriers like electric charge and color charge which drive the photons and gluons respectively are known, there could be charge carriers that drive the Higgs Boson and other mass causing particles that are unknown.
- According to Sankhya, these Gunas or properties of matter existed from the beginning. Gunas are the forces that cause the matter to acquire a property. Hence Sattwa, Rajas or Tamas are forces that cause property of matter.
- According to Sankhya, the purusha’s effect on prakrti goes on increasing as evolution increases, as the imbalance of Gunas cause variouis forms of matter and gunas themselves increase their play in prakrti. As it is known that Purusha increases the Sattwa guna of prakrti (spin property of matter), as matter increases, purusha and effect of purusha increases.
- The sixth learning for science is that the influence of dark matter is continuously increasing with continuous evolution of matter. As the matter evolves into multiple forms, the influence of dark matter on matter is continuously increasing as the play available for dark matter increases.
- According to Sankhya, purusha, prakrti and gunas constitute everything in this world from infinitesimal to infinite.
- At the origin of cosmos Purusha is dark matter, Prakrti is matter and gunas are forces that cause properties mass, charge and spin.
- In every evolutionary stage this repeats. In evolution of stars, galaxies, planets, biological beings and human beings everything is modeled as an interaction of purusha, prakatri and gunas.
- The seventh learning for science is that the same set of fundamentals operate at every stage of evolution of universe, from physics to chemistry to biology. At the fundamental layer everything is an interplay of purusha, prakrti and gunas. Purusha could be dark matter, consciousness or some logical element. Prakrti could be matter, body or some physical element. Gunas are the metabolism that binds purusha and prakrti. They manifest mostly as the property or metabolism that operate the evolution.
- This means that even human body is modeled in the same way as cosmos and is a representation of cosmos. It is the same set of fundamental interactions that operate in human body that operate in cosmos also.
- In the way Dark matter drove the evolution of Matter (according to Sankhya), continuously increasing its influence in the matter, I see consciousness continuously evolving and increasing its influence in living beings, as evolution goes further. Hence it can be said that dark matter is the force behind our consciousness/intelligence.
- According to Sankhya also, Purusha manifests itself in beings with consciousness/intellect and evolves into ego, knowledge/intelligence and mind. Hence Purusha is what drives the consciousness of the beings.
- Consciousness becomes Intellect (power to think). Intellect evolves into ego. Ego becomes knowledge and intelligence.
- The eighth learning for modern science is to look for the influence of dark matter on not just the spin of matter, but also on the evolution of consciousness in living beings. Also influence of dark matter on development of our consciousness needs to be studied.
- Consciousness cannot be quantified in terms of signals and messages transacted in the brain. There is some dark matter hidden from all our senses, machines and methods which drives the evolution of human intelligence.
While all living beings have a representation of cosmos, human beings represent the closest to cosmos, as they have highly developed consciousness and are evolving further.
This is one of the reason why rishis and yogis of the past studied human beings and their mind. That is to better understand our cosmos and its evolution. This was called the self-realization. Over a period of time that study has taken the shape of spirituality and descended into a chaotic and at times schizophrenic scene, as the scientific temper was lost by the holy men who took it over.
As I see it, spirituality or study of one’s self started as science to understand the workings of cosmic forces better by studying one’s self. This was the time when Sankhya philosophy flourished as a science. Sankhya philosophy was the melting pot in which science and spirituality existed together.
In the next blog, I would cover, how human being is biologically modeled exactly as a representation of cosmos and cosmic evolution. I would write about purusha, prakrti and gunas in human beings. Not only in human beings, in almost everything from living to non-living these three could be seen.
More posts by this author:
- Eleven names of Rudra – Trikagni Kala
- Ashta Vasus – Biological Basics – Science of Sankhya Part II
- Hey, Higgs is in Vedas..
- The Eternal Varna Asrama Dharma – Part 4
- The Eternal Varna Asrama Dharma – Part 2