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Sāṁkhya Karika with Nārāyaṇa Commentaries

Sāṁkhya Karika with Nārāyaṇa Commentaries

Sāṁkhya Karika of Īśvara Kṛṣṇa with commentaries of Śrī Nārāyaṇa Tirtha (1675-1745) called Sānkhya Chandrika.

Śrī Nārāyaṇa Tirtha was born in Andhra Pradesh but in course of time he renounced the family life and went to Varanasi and was a disciple of Śrī Rama Govinda Tirtha and later for the most part of his life he settled in Tamil Nadu. Śrī Nārāyaṇa was well known as a great musician and a master of Carnatic music who has composed many devotional songs and one of his most popular musicals was the Sanskrit opera called Śrī Krishna Leela Tarangini. He was a great propounder of Nama Sankirtana ideology and a staunch Advaitist.

Śrī Nārāyaṇa Tirtha was also a great Sanskrit scholar who has written commentaries on several fundamental Hindu philosophical treatises like the Sānkhya Karika, Yoga Sutra and Sānkhya Tattva Kaumudi.

Sāṁkhya Darśana is a traditional philosophical school of India that assume the existence of two eternal principles – the Nature or Material principle (Prakṛti) and the Spiritual or Soul (Puruṣa). The fundamental treatise Sāṁkhya Kārikā is written in the IV century AD by Īśvara Kṛṣṇa. Sānkhya Karikas were not written just for nothing better to do, but with a certain purpose and motivation in mind – to Liberate living beings from three-fold suffering characteristic to living beings. It is said that all human suffering may be of three kinds: 1. intrinsic 2.extrinsic and 3. supernatural.

Sānkhya philosophy analyses all existence and distinguishes or “enumerates” everything as consisting of 25 principles given below. The Path to Liberation from suffering and pain according to Sānkhya philosophy lies in right awareness of those 25 principles and release of Soul from wrong self-identifications with forms of Nature. When we have a right understanding that a Soul is independent and for itself existing entity and Nature and forms of Nature for itself, the suffering ceases and the Soul reaches Liberation.

1. Puruṣa (Soul)
2. Prakṛti (Nature) = Unmanifested and Manifested
A. Evolvent and Evolutes: B. Evolutes
 Super-Sensible Sense Organs  
  Organs of Perception Organs of Action Gross Elements

3. Consciousness
4. Self-Apperception

5. Rudiment of sound
6. Rudiment of touch
7. Rudiment of smell
8. Rudiment of form
9.Rudiment of flavour

10. Mind
11. Eye
12. Ear
13. Nose
14. Tongue
15. Skin

16. Voice
17. Hands
18. Feet
19. Organ of Excretion
20. Organ of Generation

21. Ether
22. Air
23. Earth
24. Light
25. Water

Kārikā means a memorial verse. Naming his work Sānkhya Kārikā Īśvara Kṛṣṇa has intended to suggest that it is a compendium of Sānkhya philosophy which formulates the essentials of Sānkhya doctrine in a concise aphorisms which would be easy to remember.

Though, due to their concise form it is often difficult for unprepared mind to understand full philosophical meaning and consequences of Sānkhya Kārikās and it is very recommended to read them with commentaries written by great minds and Liberated souls of the past, such as Sānkhya Chandrika  of Śrī Nārāyaṇa.

PART 1 - Karikas 1-10
  PART 2 - Karikas 11- 25
  PART 3 - Karikas 26-48
  PART 4 - Karikas 49-72

Further Reading Recommended:

Introduction to Sānkhya Philosophy
Sāṁkhya Karika with Vācaspati Miṣra Commentaries
Sāṁkhya Karika with Gauḍapāda Commentaries
Sāṁkhya Kārikā of Īśvara Kṛṣṇa