Samkhya vs Vedanta


#1

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 Many consider Samkhya as being superseded by Vedanta, especially in India itself where Samkhya eventually conceded to Vedanta.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!


#2

Like a true Vedantin, Surya Deva is out to destroy Samkhya as an autonomous philosophical system. But he’s going to have to do it without me. I haven’t been actively pursuing this study for some time and I really don’t have time for this.


#3

Asuri says he has no time for this, yet that does not stop him from attacking Vedanta(mostly recently in the thread, “intellectual or con artist”) What this goes to show that Asuri has enough time to make blanket statements to condemn such a grande, popular, acclaimed and widely influential system like Vedanta, but no time to actually to actually back up what he says with arguments and allow his arguments to be scrutanized.

Well, I certainly do have time to show what exactly is wrong with Samhya i.e., the major problems it left unexplained and left the philosophical community dissatisfied with, and how Vedanta solved those problems and ended up replacing it. If Asuri wants to challenge my arguments, he is free to. If he leaves them unchallenged well it is patently obvious who is winning this debate.


#4

We can look at why Samkhya was eventually absorbed into Vedanta and why Samkhya is considered consistent with Vedanta and why Vedanta even prefers to use Samkhya terminologies. Also, which Samkhya concepts were ultimately rejected because they were not tenable.

Samkhya and Vedanta are not completely diametrically opposed philosophies in say the way materialism is to idealism, they are very similar.

In Samkhya the material cause of the universe is called Prakriti. This Prakriti requires an efficient spiritual cause called purusha to cause it to manifest and bring about creation. Then creation follows from subtle matter to gross matter. However, this creation only takes place due to to avidya(ignorance) of the passive purusha falsely identifying itself with the active prakriti. When the passive purusha gains discriminative knowledge of the difference between it and prakriti, the creation process reverses and he returns back to the unmanifest state where it exists in its pure state(essential self) In Samkhya there are infinite purushas but there is only one prakriti.

In Advaita Vedanta the material cause of the universe is called Maya, a creative energy which belongs to the supreme Purusha(also known as Brahman and Atman) This causes the Brahman to be enveloped in ignorance(avidya), causing existence to manifest and then creation proceeds from to subtle to gross. It also leads to Brahman being apparently split up into infinite parts called jivatmans(similar to the Samkhya purushas) When the Jivatman realises its unity with Brahman, it loses its individual identity and returns to its pure unamnifest state as supreme purusha. In Advaita Vedanta there is only one infinity: the supreme purusha/brahman.

It is easy to see, for even an idiot, just how similar these philosophies are. The similarities:

  1. They both posit ignorance as the fundamental cause of manifestation, where the spiritual principle comes under the influence of the material principle
  2. They both posit the same order of creation from subtle to gross
  3. They both posit that discriminative knowledge is the cause to break the spell of the material cause and return to the original state

The differences are:

  1. Samkhya posits that this is a real creation and it really evolves; Vedanta posits that this an unreal creation and it does not evolve, but rather it an emanation from Brahman
  2. Samkhya posts that the material principle is a separate infinity from the spiritual principle(also an infinity); Vedanta posits that there is no material principle, it is only a creative energy belonging to the spiritual principle(only one infinity)
  3. Samkhya posits there are infinite spiritual principles all sharing one material universe which creates and evolves by itself by its own inherent drive in order to fulfill the needs of the purushas; Vedanta posits there is only one spiritual principle and the entire material universe exists within it like a dream. It is all playing out like a dream and one day the dream will come to an end and we will wake up as Brahman.

#5

The similarities speak for themselves and should not go amiss on the person of sound hearing. These two philosophies are very similar, and in fact at one point they were practically indistinguishable from one another. The classical form of Samkhya which was atheistic, dualistic and strongly materialistic came much later. The first form of Samkhya was theistic and is first found in the Upanishads and then in the Bhagvad Gita(There is a chapter entitled Samkhya-Yoga)

Later, perhaps in reaction to the extreme monism of the Vedanta school, Samkhya separated apart from Vedanta and was developed into what we now know as the classical form, the earliest extant text we have of this form is the Samkhyakarika by Isvarakrishna. The Samkhya sutras, scholars believe to be of a relatively modern date around the 16th century. This is because there exists no commentaries on this text before the 16th century, or mention of it, and the prose it contains is characteristic of later styles and not that of the sutra period.(Asuri claims the Samkhya sutras are the oldest, but his opinion is not shared by scholars)

The classical form of Samkhya is the most problematic form. We will see why now but looking at the the problems in the differences outlined in the earlier post and why the Vedanta answers to these problems are more satisfactory

1. Samkhya says this is a REAL creation and it really does evolve.

  • Let us look at what Samkhya says about creation before the beginning. According to Samkhya matter is unmanifest(i.e., not yet existent) in a state of balance. It has been like this for eternity and is infinite. It also says there are infinite purushas who have also been around for eternity and are infinite.

The first immediate problem we have if matter has been there for eternity and is infinite and the souls have also been there for eternity and are infinite, then why at one moment creation takes place? What changes the status-quo and breaks the balance? The only way to answer this question is to posit a supreme efficient cause, a cause existing outside of matter and the individuals souls. Vedanta answer that by saying it is Brahman - the supreme purusha that causes creation.

Another problem is where exactly are these infinite purushas residing? Are they just floating around in space for eternity? But there is no space yet - so what is the locus of where these infinite souls reside? Samkhya does not answer this question. Vedanta answers it by stating that there are no infinite souls or any space. There is just one pure substance of consciousness and all of creation is just taking place within its imagination.

Samkhya builds up its philosophy based on the theory of pre-existent effect. It says that the effect pre-exists within the cause e.g., the apple preexists within the apple seed. On the face of it this sounds like a strong argument(and Samkhya gives 5 solid proofs for why this is true) but if we scrutinize it further we will see that the effect is not identical with the cause completely. The apple is not the same as the apple seed. If the cause can only produce what it already contains, then how does an unmanifest something produce a manifest something? That makes no sense. The best answer is given by Vedanta that an unmanifest something never can produce a manifest something, the manifest is just an illusion i.e., creation is an illusion. There has never been a creation and never will be. Time and space are just illusions that exist in our minds.

Samkhya itself alludes to the unreality of this creation. Does it not say that creation begins due to an act of ignorance when the purusha falsely identifies with the material principle? Note down this point then. Even Samkhya is saying that matter is not yet manifest before the ignorance takes place. In other words all of manifest existence is due to ignorance. Exactly what the theory of Maya says as well.


#6

Another point that I mentioned in my dissertation on Samkhya. In Samkhya philosophy the purusha is always manifest and existent - but matter actually at one point is not manifest and existent yet. In other words there is no real dualism here, at the beginning it seems only the purusha seems to exist and nothing else. Matter is not yet existent. So posting the dual-existence of matter is an unnecessary assumption. The matter of Samkhya is more like a ghost in the machine of the purusha. That is not very far off from the theory of Maya of Vedanta - there is no matter - it is just a potency existing within the supreme purusha.

2. Samkhya posts that the material principle is a separate infinity from the spiritual principle(also an infinity);

Here we have the problem of more than one infinities - how is it possible to have more than one infinite? It is like saying there can be more than one pure substance or more than one perfection or more than one whole. The problem with any kind of dualist philosophy is that if you reduce everything to only two substances, you need a third substance to explain where those two substances reside i.e., you need a locus for them.

Draw one circle and then draw another circle right besides it like this: O O
You can then draw another circle around both circles which contains both which becomes their common locus. In other words there can only ever be one ultimate circle which contains all the other circles. There cannot be two ultimate circles.

The second problem we encounter here is called the interaction problem. If purusha and prakriti in Samkhya are two separate eternal and infinite substances, then how do they interact with one another. What is the medium through which an interaction can take place? According to Samkhya when purusha comes into contact with prakriti creation takes place. How can an interaction take place between two separate infinities? It is logically impossible.

Vedanta answers by showing that the interaction is possible because there is an ultimate substance which contains both the purushas(jivatmans) and the prakriti(the bigger circle which subsumes both circles) and this is the ultimate substance of which both are made of. This ultimate substance cannot be matter, because consciousness cannot be reduced to matter; but it can be consciousness and matter can be reduced to just an experience within consciousness. How? Whatever I call matter takes place in the field of my awareness, not outside of it. So while I can deny the existence of matter, I cannot deny the existence of consciousness.


#7

what do you imagine happens when you win?


#8
  1. Samkhya posits there are infinite spiritual principles all sharing one material universe which creates and evolves by itself by its own inherent drive in order to fulfill the needs of the purushas;

This is the biggest sore point in Samkhya philosophy and has been attacked by many scholars of Samkhya. According to Samkhya there are infinite purushas and only one prakriti(one metaphor is to see prakriti like a common prostitute shared by many men) that is serving the needs of all souls and evolving exactly what they need. How can unintelligent prakriti be simultaneously serving the needs of all souls? If one soul requires something and another soul requires the opposite, how can the same prakriti serve them both?

If there are infinite purushas, then which of these infinite purushas causes prakriti to manifest? One of them or all of them at once? If all purushas are the same passive but inactive witnesses that exist eternally, then none of them could be the cause of prakriti manifesting.

There is no explanation in Samkhya as to why each purusha is sharing one universe, rather than having a universe of their own in which they are on their own. If matter is evolving for each purusha, then each purusha should have their own unique universe. But this is not the case.

The Vedanta answer to this problem is to posit a supreme purusha(i.e., god) outside of both matter and the infinite souls that causes creation to take place. The prime mover. No creation is possible until the supreme purusha provides the first movement to matter. The universe evolves not for the needs of an individual purusha, but for the needs of the supreme purusha. The individual purushas only participate in the universe of the supreme purusha. Thus even if all the individual souls were to get liberation, there would still be a universe as long as the supreme purusha has not gained liberation(i.e., completed its cycle) Even if everybody on this planet was to gain liberation, the planet, solar system, the galaxy and the universe would continue to exist. Thus the universe is not like some slave that is looking after the needs of every soul, but it is serving the will of god. Hence why a soul does not always get its needs met.

Samkhya makes absolutely no sense without including god. It cannot explain why there is a universe we all share and what caused its beginning, what supervises it, what enjoys it and what maintains it. Therefore Vedanta provides the perfect solution by positing god as the ultimate principle. In later Samkhya philosophy, the existence of god was ultimately accepted for this very reason.


#9

In conclusion: Samkhya comes full circle. It originally begin as indistinguishable from Vedanta philosophy, and them branched of from it, eventually evolving into a form that was again indistinguishable from Vedanta, and thus the natural thing happened, it got absorbed into Vedanta.

There was no conspiracy to destroy Samkhya, it itself conceded to Vedanta in the end. The Vedanta philosophy proved to provide a more logical, consistent and and satisfactory account of reality. Hence why we still have it today, but not Samkhya.

I have made my case. If Asuri feels he can still make a case, he is free to do it.


#10

Donald Trump hosted a debate that nobody participated in. Did Donald Trump win the debate? I don’t think so.


#11

I’ve noticed that participation in the forum is down over the last few days. People were just starting to come back after the fiasco of the last year or so. But now that the flame wars have started again, they’re leaving again. Nice work, chump.


#12

Its a challenge to read this thread. Sheer verbiage is overwhelming. What is called a ‘proper debate’ doesn’t look like one. It is more a show of stength. If the trophy is so desperately sought, let that be given, and let there be peace.

Peace is what we come to Yoga for. A true seeker is told that an atom, a human being or the whole universe have the same gross-subtle composition and that is scale-invarient. Put simply, the assurance is that know thyself and you will know what an atom and the universe is. On the Yoga path, one engages oneself in search of that truth first hand, revisits the experiences and understands the subtleties.

That experincing and understanding is completely missing here. There is no inquiry into the compulsive human need to see things frozen, separated and then judged. There is no sign of unrest over generalizations, undue simplifications, assertions based on subjective views of external authorities, and skewing of someone’s reality into the world’s ultimate, unshakable truth. Abundance of words itself is expected to bring richness of meaning.

Not everything said is untrue, nor the efforts less commendable. What is un-Yoga, if you will, is the desperate anguish to defeat someone and the deceptive air of presenting a balanced truth. The overriding question is whether this takes Yoga and the yogis any further?

I wish this grand presentation is followed by a sequel called “Making of this article” examining own processes of thinking, evaluating, reasoning, judging, articulating, etc in the context of limitation of perceptions in realizing the truth and inability of words in capturing it. Afterall, words like purusha and prakriti are too weak to convey the experience of the phenomena and if you have experienced them, there is no urge to convey anything, but just be there.


#13

? just be there.


#14

I do not take true Sankhya philosophy to be taken from the sankhya sutras which were of much more recent origin and was not the position of sage Kapila. There is an interesting development in the philosophical systems. In the age of the Mahabharata and Bhagavatam the Sankya system, yoga system and vedanta system had more commonalities than differences. Even though there were different philosophers already on the Sankhya system as is mentioned in the Mahabharata. Later in the first millenium through the medieval period and further everything was dissected and debated and systemised. I don’t think any of these systemised philosophical schools do justice to the Shastras whether it be advaita vedanta or medieval sankhya. In later years (for example in the work of Vijnana Bhikshu) attempts were made to harmonise the philosphical systems again with a renaissance of the ancient philosophies as described in the vedas, itihasa, purana and agamas. In my opinion more effort should be spend researching the ancient texts to understand Hindu philosophy rather than arguing points made by medieval scholars. Still, these debates and arguments can be used as an aid in understanding and the works of the darshanic acharyas are important because they preceded us in their analysis of Indian philosophy. The subject of Hindu philosophy should always go together with a deep undertanding of the Hindu shastras (veda, itihasa, purana, agama) and personal practice. The problem with neo-vedanta (like that of theosophy, ken wilber etc.) is that the philosphy is seperated from the shastras which will lead to all sorts of groundless imagination.


#15

This thread does exactly what it set out to do. It has set up a debate between two philosophies Samkhya and Vedanta. The proponent for Samkhya, Asuri, is not making any effort now, but over the last 2 years has been vociferousness in condemning Vedanta at any chance he got, most recently in the thread, “Intellectual or con artist” where he even personally attacked me for defending a Vedanta view, while trumpeting Samkhya as the bastion of rationality. I have done the needful by setting up this debate to show that this person is not at all aware of flaws within Samkhya and the strengths of Vedanta in addressing those flaws.

In the future when Asuri makes more anti-Vedanta comments and personally attacks somebody for sharing Vedanta views, I will just re-direct him to this thread to show his failure in being unable to engage with any of the core issues in Samkhya and provide any defense to his oft blanket statements against Vedanta. At least in this case, I have shown Vedanta is a superior philosophy to Samkhya.

In any case this thread is only going to appeal to those who have a grounding in philosophy, this type of thing is not for everybody. The sheer ‘verbiage’ is just standard philosophy speak which not everybody can get their heads around. I did make an attempt though to include others by giving backgrounds and educating about the core concepts in these philosophies.


#16

A better understanding of Sankhya can be obtained from the Srimad Bhagavatam, Khanda 3 and the conversations of sage Kapila with his mother devahuti.


#17

[QUOTE=Surya Deva;69437]This thread does exactly what it set out to do. It has set up a debate between two philosophies Samkhya and Vedanta. The proponent for Samkhya, Asuri, is not making any effort now, but over the last 2 years has been vociferousness in condemning Vedanta at any chance he got, most recently in the thread, “Intellectual or con artist” where he even personally attacked me for defending a Vedanta view, while trumpeting Samkhya as the bastion of rationality. I have done the needful by setting up this debate to show that this person is not at all aware of flaws within Samkhya and the strengths of Vedanta in addressing those flaws.

In the future when Asuri makes more anti-Vedanta comments and personally attacks somebody for sharing Vedanta views, I will just re-direct him to this thread to show his failure in being unable to engage with any of the core issues in Samkhya and provide any defense to his oft blanket statements against Vedanta. At least in this case, I have shown Vedanta is a superior philosophy to Samkhya.

In any case this thread is only going to appeal to those who have a grounding in philosophy, this type of thing is not for everybody. The sheer ‘verbiage’ is just standard philosophy speak which not everybody can get their heads around. I did make an attempt though to include others by giving backgrounds and educating about the core concepts in these philosophies.[/QUOTE]

Your attitude about this is right, when people make statements about philosophy, they should also be able to defend them, or otherwise remain silent. But other than that, I don’t think that starting a debate with an ignoramus will be of any use.


#18

[QUOTE=Sarvamaṅgalamaṅgalā;69434]I do not take true Sankhya philosophy to be taken from the sankhya sutras which were of much more recent origin and was not the position of sage Kapila. There is an interesting development in the philosophical systems. In the age of the Mahabharata and Bhagavatam the Sankya system, yoga system and vedanta system had more commonalities than differences. Even though there were different philosophers already on the Sankhya system as is mentioned in the Mahabharata. Later in the first millenium through the medieval period and further everything was dissected and debated and systemised. I don’t think any of these systemised philosophical schools do justice to the Shastras whether it be advaita vedanta or medieval sankhya. In later years (for example in the work of Vijnana Bhikshu) attempts were made to harmonise the philosphical systems again with a renaissance of the ancient philosophies as described in the vedas, itihasa, purana and agamas. In my opinion more effort should be spend researching the ancient texts to understand Hindu philosophy rather than arguing points made by medieval scholars. Still, these debates and arguments can be used as an aid in understanding and the works of the darshanic acharyas are important because they preceded us in their analysis of Indian philosophy. The subject of Hindu philosophy should always go together with a deep undertanding of the Hindu shastras (veda, itihasa, purana, agama) and personal practice. The problem with neo-vedanta (like that of theosophy, ken wilber etc.) is that the philosphy is seperated from the shastras which will lead to all sorts of groundless imagination.[/QUOTE]

Thank you Sarva, for a reply that is actually on-topic and can further this discussion.

The earliest text on Samkhya we know of is the Samkhyakarika and not the Samkhyasutras. The Samkhyasutras were unknown in India prior to Vijnana Bhikshu, some even said that he may have invented them. The Samkhyakarika is more like an abridged version of the original Samkhya sutras attributed to sage Kapila of the Samkhya system, but the original has been lost.

In any case we can see that there is not just one Samkhya, but many: There is the theistic Samkhya found in the Mahabharata, Gita and the Upanishads, where Samkhya is found in a less systematized form. There is the atheistic Samkhya darsana, which is the most systematic articulation of it. There is also a medieval Samkhya in the Srimad Bhagvata purana, known as the Kapilpodesha which attempts to reconstruct the original theistic Samkhya.

There is actually no problem even in the atheistic Samkhya darsana as long as one accepts Samkhya is taking a certain viewpoint and constructing a systematic philosophy based on that. Samkhya is looking at creation from the point of its beginning, and not before it. At the point of its beginning in Vedanta Brahman has already split up into infinite jivatmans(purushas) each participating in one universe. Thus Samkhya starts from there and constructs its philosophy from that base.

This is why Indian philosophies are known as darsanas, they all take one viewpoint and start building a system of philosophy from that base. Buddhism starts from the void; Nyaya-Vaiseshika start from empirical reality; Charvaka start from matter. They are all highly logical and consistent theories insofar as you accept the fundamental assumption and viewpoint.

Vedanta starts before the beginning from the absolute reality. It constructs its philosophy from that base. In other words Vedanta takes the highest perspective. There can be nothing higher than Vedanta, hence why it is called Ved+anta, the end point of the Vedas. There is nothing higher than the absolute. Thus Vedanta provides the most comprehensive and unified theory of philosophy we know. It can explain everything! It is widely considered the acme of philosophy by many. Whitehead called it, "The most perfect metaphysics the human has ever conceived’


#19

The earliest text on Samkhya we know of is the Samkhyakarika and not the Samkhyasutras.
My mistake, I meant the Samkhyakarika. There are indeed many different Samkhyas, but the debate is mainly between the systemised atheistic Samkhya and vedanta. Vijnana Bhikshu was the first to try to reconstuct the Samkhya from the puranic literature and try to harmonise it with vedanta.

There is also a medieval Samkhya in the Srimad Bhagvata purana, known as the Kapilpodesha which attempts to reconstruct the original theistic Samkhya.
I do not take the Srimad Bhagavatam to be medieval. Some indologists like Van Buitenen have tried to argue that the text is much younger, because of the sophisticated use of language, but I don’t take this view. Professor Edwin Bryant makes a good overview of the arguments about the date of the bhagavatam and shows that there is good reason that the text is much older. The Bhagavatam (canto 3) forms a part of the theistic Samkhya found in the Mahabharata, Upanishads and Pancaratra literature. Vijnana Bhikshu also draws a lot from this puranic source.

As we all know, there are also many different schools of vedanta. Scholars of dvaita and advaita are still debating. The dvaitins are well praised for their expertise in logic, more so than the advaitins. Advaitins are putting more emphasis on pravachan (lecturing) than debate these days.


#20

Samkhya vs Vedanta: What does it all mean for the layman

Here is an attempt to allow the readers to cut through the verbiage and come to the core points these philosophies are making from the point of view of spirituality:

Samkhya:
Every individual soul is separate from one another(individualism)
Each soul is a passive witness of the world(pacifism)
There is no god, each soul must bring about their own liberation through Yoga by emptying the mind of its conditioning(asceticism)
Each soul must incarnate innumerable lifetimes and gradually work through their karma to be empty of desire(reincarnation)
Liberation/enlightenment is a slow and progressive process(spiritual evolution)
This world is suffering(pessimism)

Thus Samkhya philosophy leads to a rather bleak, passive and selfish view of reality. It basically sums up the average spiritual seeker - retiring away into the mountains in order to find their enlightenment. I did this myself recently, only to realise how selfish it is to leave the world behind you, while you go in search of enlightenment. I already realised just how apathetic yogis and sadhus were. Many of them simply do not care about others or their feelings, they are self-absorbed, spending hours locked up in their hermitage, hardly engaging with the world around them and eschewing all senses pleasures, living on alms, barely wearing anything.

This is what happens when you internalize a philosophy like Samkhya - which many of us have done through Yoga and Buddhism, both of which have Samkhya as their underpinning.

Vedanta:
There is no separation, everything is divine, everything is god(pantheism, compassion, social responsibility)
You are god in essence, the supreme, omniscient, omnipotent lord(self empowerment)
You are an active co-creator within the universe(self-responsible)
There is a god(it is your essence) and you must seek communion with god to become liberated by directing your mind to god(devotion)
There is no reincarnation because there is no time and space, one can become free right here and now just by realizing their unity with god(assertiveness)
Enlightenment is instant
The world is to be enjoyed

Such a contrast to the Samkhya worldview! The Vedanta worldview is positive, life affirming, vibrant, confident, responsible, self-empowering, majestic. A random spiritual person I met once, who appeared in my life almost as if he was guided by the divine to talk to me, once said to me, “Do not fear, you are a prince amongst men” When we realise that we are divine beings, we no longer see ourselves as the limited complex ridden creatures that we do - but rather as gods - like royalty - who have a birthright to be happy and prosperous. This changes our worldview dramatically from just a face in the crowd, to the life of the party. We should be the life of the party wherever we go. We should be worship worthy - for we are gods.