Ishvarakrishna, aka Iśvarakṛṣṇa

Ishvarakrishna, aka Iśvarakṛṣṇa

Indian Hindu Philosopher, Author of Samkhya Karika from the Samkhya School

Author Quotes

This Secret Doctrine (guhya) leading to the emancipation of the Self, and wherein the origin, duration and dissolution of beings has been considered, has been fully expounded by the great Seer (paramarishi) Kapila.

This supreme purificatory wisdom was imparted, through the compassion of the Sage, to Asuri. Asuri transmitted it to Panchashikha, by whom the system (tantra) was elaborated.

This, which was handed down through a succession of pupils, has been compendiously set down in the arya metre bythe noble-minded and devout Ishvarakrishna, who thoroughly comprehended the established doctrine.

Through the attainment of perfect wisdom, virtue and the rest cease to function as causes; yet the Self continues tobe invested with the body, just as a potter's wheel continues to whirl owing to the momentum imparted by a prior impulsion.

Through virtue there is ascent; through vice there is descent; through knowledge there is deliverance; there is bondage through the reverse.

Thus, through conjunction with the Self (purusha), the insentient seems to be sentient, and though the agency really belongs to the gunas, the neutral stranger appears as if it were active.

Verily, therefore, the Self is neither bounded nor emancipated, nor does it transmigrate; it is Nature alone, abiding in myriad forms, that is bounded, released and transmigrates.

When separation from the body takes place and Nature ceases to act, its purpose having been fulfilled, the Self attains to absolute and final emancipation (kaivalya).

Without dispositions (bhavas) there would be no subtle body (linga), and without the subtle body there would be no cessation of dispositions. Evolution, therefore, proceeds in two ways, the elemental and the intellectual.

These, characteristically different from one another and variously modified by the gunas, present to the intellect (buddhi) the whole purpose of the Self (purusha), illumining it like a lamp.

This briefly expounded treatise has not sacrificed anything of the content of the science, and is an image reflected in a mirror of the compendious tantra.

This evolution, from Intellect (mahat) to the specific elements (bhuta), brought about by the modifications of matter (prakriti), is for the emancipation of the individual Self (purusha). This is for the sake of another, though seemingly for itself.

This is an intellectual creation, termed obstruction, infirmity, complacency and attainment. Through the disparity in influence of the gunas, its varieties are fifty.

Therein does the conscious Self (purusha) experience pain caused by decay and death, until dissociation from the subtle body; thus suffering is in the very nature of things.

Just as a dancer desists from dancing, having shown herself to spectators, so too does primal Nature (prakriti) desist, having revealed itself to the Self (purusha).

Primordial matter (mulaprakriti) is the root, not a product; the seven principles beginning with the great Intellect (mahat) are both products and productive; the sixteen are mere products; the Self (purusha) is neither a product nor productive.

The multiplicity of souls verily follows from the distributive allocation of birth, death and the instruments of causation, since occupations are not simultaneous, and since there are diverse modifications of the three gunas.

Just as a painting does not stand without a support, or a shadow cannot exist without a stake and the like, so too the cognitive apparatus cannot subsist without a support, without specific particles.

Sattva is considered to be buoyant and luminous, rajas to be exciting and volatile, and tamas to be indeed heavy and enveloping. They function together, like a lamp, for a purpose.

The organs of cognition are the eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin; the organs of action are the voice, hands, feet, the excretory organ and the organ of generation.

Just as insentient milk serves as nourishment for the calf, so too does Nature (prakriti) act for the sake of the Self's emancipation.

Self-assertion is egoism (ahankara). Thence proceeds a dual evolution, the eleven-fold set and also the five subtle elements (tanmatras).

The primary dispositions are innate; the acquired ones, like virtue and the rest, depend on the instruments. The uterine germ and the rest belong to the effect.

Among these, the mind (manas) is both an organ of sensation and of action. It is deliberative and it is an organ cognate with the rest. They are multifarious due to the specific modifications of the gunas, and so are the external diversities.

Just as people engage in action to gratify desire, so too the unmanifest, unevolved Nature functions for the emancipation of the Self.

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Ishvarakrishna, aka Iśvarakṛṣṇa
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Indian Hindu Philosopher, Author of Samkhya Karika from the Samkhya School