The samkhyakarika of Isvarakrsna is a very happy little treatise giving us the expositions of the Samkhya doctrine in a systematic manner. Poetry and Philosophy appear to go hand in hand here and one enlivens the other. Though there is as yet little evidence to support the contention of Svapnesvara and Ghanasyama that Isvarakrsna Kalidasa, the celebrated poet, is the author of the Karika, I feel tempted to accept the same as true. I have tried to develop the idea in my Kalidasa, Art and Thought.
While preparing this study I have consulted Colebrooke, Wilson, S. Sastri, N. A. Sastri, Har Dutt Sharma, Sovani and others and to all these I am greatly indebted. I have also consulted the scholarly works of Keith, Takakusu, Jacobi, Dasagupta, Radhakrishna and I every gratefully acknowledge my debt to them. The texts of the Karika and of the Gaudapadabhasya have been the one accepted by Har Dutt Sharma in his edition of the Karika published by the Oriental Book Agency, Poona.
I am indebted to Shri K.R. Sardesai, Proprietor of the Oriental Book Agency who has taken keen interest in my work. My special thanks are due to Shri Savadi and Shri Dhayagude who corrected the proofs. To the Managers of the Aryabhushan Press also are my best thanks due for their uniform courtesy and kindness.
Of the different systems of philosophical thought that evolved in ancient India, the Samkhya is perhaps the most important and the oldest one. It has exercised tremendous influence over practically all the different systems that came later. It is as much a child of the Upanisads, as much as the Vedanta itself, has something in it which goes to indicate its relations with Buddhism and Jainism too, and finally though regarded by the Vedanta as its principal opponent, has influenced the Vedantic thought as well. Samkara has been quite candid in admitting the greatness of this thought when he observed that this thought was full of logic (yuktigadha) and was accepted by the great in the society (mahajana-parigrhita). From Samkara's own testimony it appears that the Samkhyas had tried to establish their claims too, for the support of the Upanisads. Samkara observes that it is his special aim to show that the explanation offered of the Upanisadic passages by the Samkhyas is not the correct explanation and that the correct explanation is the one offered by him, (Samkhyadayah svapaksasthapanaya vedantavakyani udahrtya na samyag-vyakhyanam, p. 220) Samkara adds also that the Samkhyatantra was of weight (mahanti) and that its founder was held in considerable esteem (sarvajnabhasita). The main difference between the traditional approach and that of the Samkhyas appears to be that the Samkhyas insisted upon the use of Logic in philosophical matters and regarded it as having a far greater scope than the one given to it by those who admitted absolute authority of the Agamas, hence the use of the term Anumana by Badarayana as indicative of the Samkhya. The Samkhyas held that Reality was a matter that could be known through the other valid sources of knowledge (pramanantara-gamya) while the Vedanta appears to have held that it is only known through the Agamas (agama-gamya-artha). If all these things are put together, the Samkhya emerges out as a powerful rational thought, developed out of the Upanisadic hints by a powerful mind that had held sway over thinking minds and therefore was a serious rival of the Vedanta. Tradition is unanimous, though rather hazy, about ascribing the foundership of this celebrated rational and intellectual thought to Kapila.
Item Code: IDE292 Author: Dr. T.G. Mainkar Cover: Hardcover Edition: 2004 Publisher: Chaukhamba Sanskrit Pratishthan ISBN: 8170842478 Language: Translated into English with an Exhaustive Introduction and Notes Size: 8.7" X 5.7" Pages: 211