Ishvarakrishna, aka Iśvarakṛṣṇa

Ishvarakrishna, aka Iśvarakṛṣṇa

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

Author Quotes

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.

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).

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.

Formed for the sake of the purpose of the Self (purusha), the subtle body (linga) appears in different roles like adramatic performer, owing to the connection of causes and effects and through conjunction with the universal power of Nature (prakriti).

Non-discriminativeness and the rest are proved by the existence of the three gunas and by the non-existence of these in their absence. The unmanifest is demonstrated by the effect possessing the properties of the cause.

The constituents (gunas) consist in the pleasant, the painful and the delusive; they serve the purpose of illumination, activity and restraint; they are mutually dominating, dependent, productive, cooperative and coexistent.

The subtle elements (tanmatras) are non-specific; from these five proceed the five gross elements which are specific, tranquil, turbulent or stupefying.

From dispassion (vairagya) there is absorption into Nature (prakriti); transmigration results from passionate attachment (rajas); from power there is non-obstruction, and from the reverse, the contrary.

Non-perception may be because of extreme distance or proximity, impairment of the senses, mental unsteadiness, subtlety, interposition, suppression, blending with what is similar, and other causes.

The effect subsists, for that which is non-existent cannot be brought into existence, and effects come from appropriate causes. Everything is not by every means possible, as capable causes produce only that which they can and the effect is of the same nature as the cause.

The unmanifest (avyakta) exists as a general cause because the particulars are finite, because of homogeneity, because production is through power, because there is differentiation of effect from cause, and because there is merging of the effect with the cause.

From primary matter (prakriti) comes Intellect (mahat), thence egoism (ahankara), and from this the set of sixteen; from five among these come the five elements.

Nothing, in my view, is more gentle and gracious than Nature; once aware of having been seen, Nature does notexpose herself to the gaze of the Self.

The eight attainments are reasoning, oral instruction, study, the prevention of pain of three sorts, acquisition of friends, and charity. The three mentioned before (obstruction, infirmity and complacency) are the curbs on attainment.

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