I am starting this thread to setup a proper debate between these two philosophies, which has ongoing between me and Asuri over the years on this forum. I think it is about time we stop pussyfooting about, and go head to head debating all the finer points of these philosophies.
Some background for neophytes very briefly:
Samkhya: Samkhya is an ancient Indian philosophy, one of the six major schools of Hindu philosophy, but it is no longer extant and much of its philosophical ideas have been absorbed into another major school of Indian philosophy known as Vedanta. Many consider Samkhya as being superseded by Vedanta, especially in India itself where Samkhya eventually conceded to Vedanta.
Samkhya is a dualist philosophy that posits that there are two ultimate substance or entities in reality, both of which are infinite and eternal: prakriti and purusha; matter and consciousness, one is a material principle and the other a spiritual principle. Of these matter is ONE, but consciousness are MANY(i.e., there is only one universe, but there are infinite individual souls sharing it)
Samkhya explains that creation as beginning when the soul comes into contact with unmanifest matter. This causes matter to manifest and evolve into the whole creation we see from subtle to gross: mind, body and world and it continues to evolve in order to fulfill the needs of the soul and stops evolving and starts to revert back to its original unmanifest state when the souls needs have been fulfilled. Simultaneously, from the beginning of creation the soul becomes entangled in matter and becomes ignorant of the fact that it is not in fact entangled. Through the practice of YOGA the soul is able to gain discriminative knowledge that it is distinct from matter, and then gradually returns to the primordial state.
Samkhya philosophy rejects god.
Vedanta: Vedanta and Yoga are the only major Hindu philosophies that have survived into the modern age, and Vedanta has been by far most the popular and had a huge influence on modern philosophy and spirituality. Major modern proponents include Swami Vivekananda, Ramana Maharishi and recently Ken Wilber, Gangaji, Mooji etc
Vedanta is a monist philosophy which posits there is only one real infinite and eternal substance or entity in reality: Brahman. Brahman is a pure spiritual principle. Nothing else exists apart from this all pervading universal spirit/consciousness, whatever appears to be matter is just Brahman perceived through the senses and mind which make it seem like such thing as matter exists. It is all in fact consciousness.
Vedanta explains that creation is act of a creative energy which exists within consciousness called MAYA(illusory energy) This causes an apparent act of material creation and Brahman to appear to split up into infinite souls called jivatmans, but the real cause of this is the senses and mind and language which filter the true reality of Brahman and make it seem like we are infinite individuals living in a world of time and space and infinite objects. This creation proceeds from suble to gross to make up the world of minds, bodies and worlds. Through the practice of YOGA the individual gains discriminative knowledge and realises their unity with Brahman and the illusion ends, leaving only the pure reality of the universal self of Atman(Atman = Brahman)
Vedanta philosophy accepts god.
Asuri’s position: Asuri contends that Vedanta is not an actual philosophy, but religious dogma masquerading as philosophy. He believes that Samkhya is a true philosophy based on rational grounds, and does not rely on religious dogma as he contends Vedanta does. He believes that Samkhya has been a victim of conspiracy by Vedanta proponents, who have actively suppressed it and assimilated it into their framework.
Surya Deva’s position: I contend that not only is Vedanta an actual philosophy, but it is a more logical and consistent version of Samkhya philosophy, and hence why it was natural for Samkhya to be absorbed into Vedanta. Samkhya by itself was logically flawed and this is why it did not survive philosophical scrutiny. There was no conspiracy to suppress it, it simply lost out because there major problems within it which it could not explain, but Vedanta could.
Let the debate begin!