Positing a complementary relationship between the two distinct principles of puruṣa (consciousness) and prakṛti (the emotional-mental-physical matrix), Sāṃkhya is considered one of six orthodox philosophies (āstika darśana) that subscribe to Vedic authority and is coupled with and provides the metaphysical underpinnings of Patañjali’s yoga darśana as found in the Yoga Sūtra (ca. 200 CE).
Some scholars deem Sāṃkhya to contain the foundational principles out of which most of India’s diverse religious and philosophical systems have emerged. In other words, most religions and philosophies in India are, in one way or another, an elaboration and/or reconfiguration of Sāṃkhyan principles. Though “proto-” Sāṃkhyas exist in texts such as the major Upaniṣads (e.g., Chāndogya and Śvetāśvatara) as well as in the Bhagavad Gītā and the Purāṇas and while post-classical versions are found in texts such as the Sāṃkhya-Sūtra, scholars tend to...
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