Bhagavad Gita – Introduction to chapter 2

Newsletter on Bhagavadgita by Dr. P.V. Nath

Chapter 2

SAMKHYA YOGA

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This chapter is to be considered as the summary of the entire Geeta.

According to the experts the following slokas represent the four major paths to attain Moksha:

Verses 11-46:  Jnana Yoga
Verses 47-60:  Karma Yoga
Verses 61-70:  Bhakti Yoga
Verses 71-72:  Dhyana Yoga

All the four are paths that will lead the sincere spiritual aspirant towards the goal of Moksha. The paths are not to be looked upon as separate entities. They intermingle with each other and one should not be dogmatic and say his/her path is the best. The paths are meant to suit the temperaments of different types of people.

There are different schools of thoughts that interpret the Vedas and each school tries to consider its interpretation as the best. Many a times this has brought differences between the groups that analyse the Hindu philosophy.

It is out of order for us to look at the rights and wrongs of such thoughts. We can definitely say that Lord Krishna through the medium of the Bhagawadgita has cleared the misconception.

Herein is the list of main schools of philosophies:

The philosophies as such are known as “Darshanas.”
The word “Darshana” means”Viewing.” The mirror (darpana) gives us a view of ourselves. The “Darshanas” give us view of the philosophy as perceived by the founders of the schools of philosophies.

Six orthodox Hindu schools:
Vaiseshika  —  Author:  Kanada
Nyaya  —  Author:  Gautama
Samkhya  —  Author:  Kapila
Yoga  —  Author:  Patanjali
Poorva Meemamsa  —  Author:  Jaimini
Uttara Meemamsa  —  Author:  Badarayana

To this are to be added three other schools that are called as “Nastika Darshanas.” (non believers in God):
Caravaka
Jainism
Buddhism

We should not consider these three as a break from the traditional view but as a modification and adoption of the original views.

The “Samkhya Yoga” in the Bhagawadgita is not actually the “Samkhya philosophy” of Kapila. In passage of time we have lost a large section of the original Samkhya philosophy.

According to Swamy Chinmayananda, a great philosopher revered by many Hindus all over the world, the word “Samkhya” denotes “the logic of thought in a philosophy.”

The word “Samkhya” can be broken down as follows:
Sam  –  union, completeness
Khya  –  to be known, knowledge.

To have complete knowledge of the philosophy that assists in union with the Supreme is “Samkhya.”

Samkhya philosophy believes that every effect is inherent in a primary cause. The “Atman” is to be looked upon as separate from the physical body, ego mind and senses. Due to ignorance which is known as “maya”, we fail to realise this truth. We end up by associating ourselves with the physical body and get entrapped in worldly attachments. The lack of discrimination between the “Atman” (the Truth) and the “Body” (false) leads us to “bondage.” “Bondage” to the material world prevents us from attaining the “Goal”. The goal being “Moksha” which is “Liberation from pleasures and sorrows from the worldly attachments.”

The true knowledge of one’s own identity with the “Atman” is “Viveka.” Viveka in turn removes the bondage (ignorance) that prevents one from achieving “Liberation.”

Copyright for the texts on Bhagavad Gita by Dr. P.V. Nath, UK.
Questions concerning the text please direct to Dr. Nath at “snath@btinternet.com“.

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