Classical Indian Philosophy: Samkhya: Evolution: Sattvika or Vaikarika Ahamkara

Dr. Manishika Jain- Join online Paper 1 intensive course. Includes tests and expected questions.

Evolution

  • According to the doctrine of evolution accepted by Samkhya philosophy, the first product of evolution is called Mahat, or the Great.
  • Mahat includes the intellect, the ego, and the mind.
  • It is cosmic and psychological in nature.
  • Intellect or the buddhi is material in nature for it is an evolutes of evolution.
  • Its function is those of ascertainment and decision making.
  • It arises when sattva predominates the other two, rajas and tamas.

Its original attributes are:

  • Virtue
  • Knowledge
  • Detachment
  • Power
Types of Mahat
  • Ego or ahamkara is the second.
  • Mahat produces ego.
  • Meaning, I; Me; Mine.
  • Its primary function is to generate the sense of self or abhimana.
  • Purusha wrongly identifies himself with the ego.

Ahamakara or ego is of three kinds:

Sattvika or Vaikarika Ahamkara

It occurs when sattva predominates over the two, rajas and tamas

Bhutadi or Tamasa Ahamkara

It occurs when tamas predominates over the two, sattva and rajas.

Taijasa or Rajasa Ahamkara

It occurs when rajas predominate over the two, sattva and tamas.

Types of Ego
  • Mind or manas arises from Sattvika ahamkara.
  • Manas is the central and subtle sense-organ.
  • The Sattvika ahamkara, produces the five sensory organs (jnanendriyas) and the five motor organs.
  • So, buddhi, ahamkara and manas represent the three aspects of knowing, willing and feeling to cognition, volition, and affection, respectively.
  • Samkhya philosophy derives from them prakriti the material cause.
  • From the Tamasa ahamkara, arises the five subtle essences which are called tan-mantras or things in themselves.
  • The tan-mantras are the essences of sight, smell, taste, touch, and sound.
  • Five mahabhuta of earth, water, fire, air, and ether are produced.
  • So, evolution is the play of these twenty-four principles where purusha is a mere spectator and outside the play of evolution.
Taijasa or Rajasa Ahamkara

It is important to note that in the doctrine of evolution:

  • Out of these twenty-five principles, the purusha is neither a cause nor an effect.
  • On the other hand, prakriti is only the cause and not the effect.
  • Mahat, ahamkara, and the five subtle essences are both the causes and the effects.
  • The five sensory, the five motor organs, the five gross elements and manas are effects only.

Questions

1. Mahat includes

A. Ego

B. Mind

C. Intellect

D. All of these

Answer: D

Explanation: Mahat includes the intellect, the ego, and the mind. It is both cosmic and psychological in nature.

2. ________ occurs when sattva predominates over the two, rajas and tamas

A. Sattvika ahamkara

B. Vaikarika ahamkara

C. Bhutadi

D. Both A and B

Answer: D

Explanation: Sattvika or vaikarika ahamkara, occurs when sattva predominates over the two, rajas and tamas

3. ________ are the essences of sight, smell, taste, touch, and sound.

A. Mahabhuta

B. Tanmatras

C. Prakriti

D. Purusha

Answer: B

Explanation: The tan-mantras are the essences of sight, smell, taste, touch, and sound.

4. ________ is neither a cause nor an effect

A. Prakriti

B. Purusha

C. Mahat

D. Ahamkara

Answer: B

Explanation: The purusha is neither a cause nor an effect. On the other hand, prakriti is the only cause and not the effect.

#Samkhya

#Evolution

#Prakriti

#Purusha

Developed by: