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Concept of Freedom in Samkhya and Yoga Philosophy - Essay Example

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Concept of Freedom in Samkhya and Yoga Philosophy

Samkhya exists as one of the oldest and most prominent philosophies in India. Kapila, a great and eminent sage, founded this school. Two philosophical schools arose in India based on Upanishads. These included the Samkhya or realistic and the Vedanta or idealistic. The entire philosophy of Samkhya combines Yoga and Samkhya basic doctrines. However, Samkhya philosophy is representative of theory, while yoga is representative of practical or application aspects (Burley 23). The two have been characterized as practical and theoretical aspects of one system with Samkhya involving the theoretical background to Yoga’s more practical orientation. In this case, Yoga can be seen as a sub-school or branch of Samkhya because it inherits most concepts from Samkhya, although some scholars also argue that Samkhya and yoga have important conceptual and doctrinal differences (Burley 23). However, one of the concepts that the two share in common is freedom. This paper will seek to discuss the concept of freedom in Samkhya and Yoga....
While Samkhya practice has many similarities with classical yoga, samadhi is not a focus in Samkhya as far as freedom and liberation are concerned. However, both practices require asceticism for true freedom and liberation. Samkhya philosophy was essential in the formation of classical yoga and the two philosophies adopted, tested, borrowed, and discarded practices and ideas from one another until, eventually, there was a consistent model that came from each of the approaches with freedom being a central component of each (Burley 32). Samkhya has a dualism that is similar to ancient Jainism where all individuals had separate and unique jivas from other jivas, similar to the purusha in Samkhya that were also believed to be separate (Burley 35). Just like in ancient Jainism, classical yoga and Samkhya practice a form of fierce yoga that involves complete renunciation. However, renunciation by itself in Samkhya does not lead to true freedom from the grasp of Prakriti with discernment also required. This discernment involves knowledge of the universe and its ways. However, this knowledge is not intellectual because intellect is still considered Prakriti. Discernment increases the ability to develop inner knowledge, which understands what is real and what is ephemeral, which separates the universes apparent from the true reality of the world. While discernment is achieved via reasoning, it also gives one the ability and will of renouncing what is not real, which is the beginning of freedom (Burley 35). The Upanishads from India tell of the soul, also referred to as the soul, which is, ultimately, one that has living and universal consciousness that is called Brahman or absolute. Brahman, which is the source of all that is alive, is ...Show more

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Samkhya exists as one of the oldest and most prominent philosophies in India. Kapila, a great and eminent sage, founded this school. Two philosophical schools arose in India based on Upanishads. These included the Samkhya or realistic and the Vedanta or idealistic…
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