Ruminations on Vedic Philosophy

Showing: 15 RESULTS
Philosophy Psychology

A Random Walk Through Perception

I have recently received several questions about Sāñkhya. These include the differences between senses and organs, that between inert matter and a living body, how desires influence perception, how Sāñkhya elements could be understood in analogy to motion, and the relation between yoga and the control of senses and the mind. These are not tightly …

Philosophy Physics

Sāńkhya and Modern Atomism

Sāńkhya has a theory of atomism, which is quite different than the theory of modern atomism. The modern description of atoms is based on the distinction between matter and force whereas the Sāńkhya description is based on the distinction between words and meanings. Clearly, we cannot expect the two descriptions to be similar, and making …

Overview Philosophy Physics Religion

Why God is a Scientific Construct

Vaishnava literature describes four forms of God—Vasudeva, Saṅkarṣaṇa, Pradyumna, and Aniruddha. These four forms are also said to be the masters of mind (Aniruddha), intelligence (Pradyumna), ego (Saṅkarṣaṇa) and mahattattva (Vasudeva), which are material elements in Sāńkhya. This leads us to ask: how is God the “master” of a material element, and how is the …

Philosophy Physics Religion

The Four Ethers of Sāńkhya Philosophy

Sāńkhya describes four ethers—vaikhari, madhyama, pasyanti, and para—which are successively deeper descriptions of reality. The understanding of the successive ethers depends on the understanding of the previous ether. In that sense, there are four tiers of causality and each such tier must be fully understood to obtain a complete understanding of material nature. This post …

Philosophy Physics Religion

What is Prāna?

Sāńkhya divides matter into manas (mind), prāna (life force), and vāk. In the previous post, we discussed the nature of vāk and manas as the relation between word and meaning, or between matter and mind. This post elaborates on the third aspect of matter called prāna. The post discusses the role prāna plays in the …