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01 JULY, 2017 (MAINS)



Q1. State and examine Samkhya proofs for the existence of Purusa. (2015/15)


Please write the answer in comments section

  • Ashish

    Acc to Sankhaya, Purusha is the pure consciousness along with Prakriti. It is not a substance which possesses consciousness, rather consciousness is its essence. Sankhya gave following arguments for the existence of the Purusha:-
    1. Teleological: All compound objects exist for the sake of Purusha. The mind, body, senses- all are means to realize the end of Purusha. Evolution is teleological, Prakriti evolve itself in order to serve the Purusha’s end.
    2. Logical: All objects are composed of three gunas. It presupposes the existence of Purusa, who witnesses these gunas but Purusha himself is beyond these gunas or Naistraiguna, that which is beyond three gunas.
    3. Ontological: There must be transcendental synthetic unity of pure consciousness to coordinate all experiences. All knowledge necessarily presupposes the existence of self. The self is the foundation of all empirical knowledge without it one cannot experience any experience.
    4. Ethical: Non-intelligent Prakriti cannot experience its products, so there must be an intelligent principle to experience the products of Prakriti. Pleasure, pain and indifference are all products of Prakriti. But pleasure and pain are meaningful only for a conscious entity, and this entity is Purusha.
    5. Mystical/Religious: There are persons who tried to liberate from the sufferings of this world. The desire for liberation implies the existence of a person who can try and obtain liberation. Aspiration presupposes an aspirant, hence there must be a Purusha.

  • karan

    Samkhya believes in Dualistic realism i.e two ultimate realities with matter and soul equally real . It is also pluralistic school i.e believes in many purushas, similar to jiva of jaina , monads of libenitz and souls of Ramanuja.

    Purusha the pure consciousness is the ultimate reality which is co existent and co eternal with prakriti, it is trigunatita , udasina and follow qualitative monism and quantitative pluralism . Samkhya gives several proofs for the existence of Purushas such as:
    i) Teleological: All compound objects like mind senses etc exist for its sake and Prakriti evolves to serve Purushas purpose.
    ii) Logical: A trigunatmak prakriti logically implies trigunatit purusha which is above the three modes.
    iii) Ethical: Unintelligent Prakriti can;t enjoys its own product, enjoyer in the form of Purusa is needed.
    iv) Mystical: Aspiration of liberation presupposes aspirants i.e Purusha .
    v) Ontological: Knowledge presupposes self to coordinate all experiences.

    Critical comment:
    Critics argue that consideration of two ultimate realities make Samkhya inconsistent, also proofs of Multiple Purushas prove saupadika Purusha . So it would have been better if Samkhya would have taken Purusha as the ultimate reality with Prakiriti as Ignorance.