Ishvarakrishna, aka Iśvarakṛṣṇa

Ishvarakrishna, aka Iśvarakṛṣṇa

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

Author Quotes

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.

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.

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.

And from this divergence it follows that the Self (purusha) is witness, solitary, neutral, spectator and non-agent.

Like the visible means, the revealed mode is also tainted, destructive and excessive. Different from these and superior is that method consisting in discriminative knowledge of the manifest, the unmanifest and the knower.

Since intellect (buddhi), together with the other internal organs (ahankara and manas), ascertain all objects, these three instruments are the guardians and the rest are gates.

The Self stands indifferent, having seen Nature; Nature desists, having been seen. Though their coexistence continues, there is no motive for creation.

Celestial evolution is of eight kinds; the groveling species is fivefold; the human is single and specific in form. This, in brief, is material evolution.

Munificent Nature, endowed with attributes, accomplishes by manifold means the purpose of the attributeless and uncaring Self, with no gain for itself.

Since it is the intellect (buddhi) which accomplishes the fruition of all that is to be enjoyed by the Self (purusha), it is also that which discerns the subtle difference between Nature (pradhana) and the Self (purusha).

The subjects treated in the seventy verses are those of the entire science of sixty themes (shashtitantra), exclusive of illustrative tales, and devoid of polemical consideration of rival doctrines.

Defects of the eleven organs, together with impairment of the intellect, are said to constitute infirmity. Injuries to the intellect are seventeen, resulting from the inversion of complacency and attainment.

Nature by herself binds herself by seven modes, and by means of one mode (knowledge), releases herself for the sake of the Self.

So through study of principles (tattvas) arises the ultimate, undistracted, pure knowledge that neither I am, nor is anything mine nor am I embodied.

Author Picture
First Name
Ishvarakrishna, aka Iśvarakṛṣṇa
Birth Date
Death Date

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