The Historical Development of Samkhya Philosophy


The study of Samkhya philosophy is important because its metaphysics are pervasive in Indian philosophy. Yoga philosophy in particular is closely related to Samkhya. Therefore understanding Indian philosophy in general and Yoga philosophy in particular requires an understanding of Samkhya philosophy. This article presents an overview of the historical development of the Samkhya philosophy.

Samkhya is one of the oldest and most influential of the six Indian darsanas. According to traditional Indian accounts, the legendary sage Kapila was the first to organize Samkhya thought in a systematic way. According to the Samkhya-Karika, the teaching originated with Kapila, it was passed by him to Asuri, from Asuri to Panchasikha, and through tradition of disciples to Krishna. Beyond that, a few teachers are known.

Four Interpretations
In the history of western studies of Samkhya philosophy, there have been four interpretations of its historical development:

  1. Dr. Zimmer, in his [I]Philosophies of India[/I], expressed the view that Samkhya is pre-Vedic and non-Aryan in origin. He based his view on observations of similarities between Samkhya philosophy and that of the Jains, which he considered to be remote, aboriginal, and non-Vedic, and also on his observation that Kapila, the traditional founder of Samkhya, falls outside the traditional assembly of Vedic saints and sages.

  2. Max Muller, in his [I]Six Systems of Indian Philosophy[/I], expressed the view that Samkhya and Vedanta developed in parallel and were undifferentiated for a very long time. It was only later that Samkhya and Vedanta became differentiated based on different views of reality

  3. The famous translator Dr. Richard Garbe held the view that Samkhya developed in opposition to Brahmanism, and contains distinctly anti-Vedic and anti-ritualistic attitudes. According to Garbe, the philosophy originally expounded by Kapila was atheistic and dualistic, and remained unchanged throughout the centuries. He maintained that the classical form of the philosophy contained in the Samkhya Karika is essentially the same as that originally passed down from Kapila.

  4. Another group of scholars working in the early twentieth century maintained that Samkhya cannot be divorced from the Vedic and Brahmanical literature. According to them, a pre-classical form of Samkhya existed that was different from that contained in the Samkhya Karika. They believed that the classical form of the philosophy could not have been the work of one man.

Recent Scholarship
Scholars working in the latter half of the twentieth century tended to stress the historical development of the philosophy, favoring the view that the classical form contained in the Samkhya Karika was not the work of one man, but developed gradually over a long period of time. They stress the parallel development of the Samkhya along with Vedanta. They have been able to show convincingly that pre-classical forms of the philosophy existed, and they map out in detail how these earlier schools differed from the classical form. However, in the opinion of this author, the evidence shows that much of Samkhya philosophy developed outside of traditional Vedic and Brahminical circles, and was later adopted and modified by the Vedic thinkers.

Due to the difficulty of dating Sanskrit literature, the history of Samkhya is described not so much in terms of chronological development as it is in terms of the development of thought. The point of reference is the Samkhya Karika of Isvarakrishna, which is considered to be the most orthodox, systematic, and authoritative statement of the philosophy. A form of the thought which is in a less developed state shows itself to be earlier than the systematic form, and a later work will rarely revert to the undeveloped form.

Four Periods of Historical Development
In his [I]Classical Samkhya,[/I] Gerald Larson identified four periods in Samkhya’s historical development:
[li]Ancient Speculations[/li][li]Proto Samkhya[/li][li]Classical Samkhya[/li][li]Later Samkhya[/li][/ol]

[B]Ancient Speculations[/B]

This period covers the time when the Vedas and the oldest prose Upanishads were written, and includes the rise of Jainism and early Buddhism. In the literature of this period there is no mention of Samkhya or a Samkhya school, and no single tradition has been identified from which Samkhya could have developed. However a number of concepts have been identified that could have been precursors to the later development of the philosophy. These are believed to have been derived from a variety of sources.

[B]Proto Samkhya[/B]

This period, which includes the middle Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, and the Moksadharma portion of the Mahabarata, is arguably the most important period in the development of the philosophy. During this time several pre-classical schools of Samkhya appeared.

At the beginning of this period, represented by the Mundaka and Katha Upanishads, the Samkhya and Vedanta philosophies were undifferentiated. Some distinctly Samkhya thought appeared in the literature, but it was not called Samkhya by name, and there was no mention of a Samkhya school. Following this, the Bhagavad Gita mentions Samkhya by name six times, and also mentions Kapila by name. However in the Gita’s statements of philosophy, Samkhya and Vedanta remained undifferentiated.

By the time of the Santi-Parva section of the Mahabharata, a definite Samkhya school had emerged that was differentiated from the Vedanta and Yoga schools. The Epic school included all of the twenty-five principles found in the classical school, and most of the other important features of the philosophy. In the Epic literature we find the mention of Kapila and references to a vast and ancient literature belonging to the school, outside of the traditional vedic literature. During this time, Samkhya was held in great esteem by the other Epic schools.

Towards the end of the period, we find in the Svetasvatara Upanishad that the Vedic thinkers had adopted the principles found in the Epic schools, while incorporating some modifications of their own. Around this same time, the school known as Sastitantra (sixty topics) developed in parallel with the Samkhya-Yoga school of the Svetasvatara Upanishad. The Sastitantra literature is purported to have been the direct precursor to the Samkhya Karika, but there is some doubt regarding this assertion.

[B]Classical Samkhya[/B]

This period saw the emergence of the definite systematic organization of the philosophy in the form of the Samkhya Karika. Two important components of the philosophy first appeared during this time. The first was atheism, in the sense that the classical thinkers explained the working of the world without any reference to a God. All of the previous forms of the philosophy had contained an element of theism. The second was the transcendental plurality of souls. Previous forms of Samkhya had recognized the empirical plurality of souls in manifestation, but had maintained a transcendental unity of souls.

The classical period also includes the various commentaries on the Samkhya Karika. Samkhya was most vigorous during the early centuries of this period, but had begun to decline after around the eighth century A.D., most likely due to the rise of Sankara and Advaita Vedanta.

[B]Later Samkhya[/B]

This period includes the Samkhya-Pravachana-Sutram, along with the commentaries of Anniruddha and Vijnana Bhiksu. The most significant development of the Samkhya-Pravachana-Sutram is the inclusion of the theistic element that was excluded from the classical school, but which had been present in the pre-classical schools. However in the later Samkhya, Isvara is conceived differently from the Isvara of the Epic school, and is closer to, if not identical with the Isvara of the classical Yoga school.

Indian scholars working as late as the early part of the twentieth century believed the Samkhya-Pravachana-Sutram to be the Sastitantra, i.e., the work that the Samkhya Karika is purported to have been based upon. Later scholars have dated the work around the thirteenth or fourteenth century C.E., based primarily on the dates of the commentaries. It is the opinion of this author that a careful comparison of all of the relevant texts might show that the development of thought contained in the Samkhya-Pravachana-Sutram is not as modern as is commonly believed by many scholars today, however such a study has yet to be done.


Hello Asuri,

This is a very nice Information on Samkhya and kinds of Samkhya . I know that The Samkhya-Pravachana-Sutram of Kapila declares God as ?unproved?. Its conclusion is that God is unproved (I. 92).

"For, we must conceive Isvara as being either free (from all fetters) or bound (by material conditions). He can be neither free nor bound; because, in the former case, being perfect, He would have nothing to fulfil by creation, and, in the latter case, He would not possess absolute power (I.93-94).

No doubt, in the Srutis, we find such declarations as ?He is verily the all-knower, the creator of all?, and the like ; these, however, do not allude to an eternal, uncaused Isvara (God), but are only eulogies of such Jivas or Incarnate Selves as are going to be freed, or of the Yogins, human as well as super-human, who have attained perfection by the practice of Yoga (I. 95).

Some say that attainment of the highest end results through absorption into the Cause (III. 54). But this is not so, because, as people rise up again after immersion into water, so do Purusas, merged into Prakriti at the time of Pralaya, appear, again, at thenext Creation, as Isvaras (III. 54-55).

Source :


First of all, if you’re going to try to argue these things, you need a better source than wikipedia. This is a rather technical argument, and is likely to be difficult to understand for the uninitiated, especially since its not well understood even by people who know something about it. I will answer all of your objections, and hopefully I can get it done before the dark forces that inhabit the forum descend upon me.


I.92 [I]Isvara-a-siddheh[/I] On account of non-proof of Isvara

Both commentators take this as being related to a previous sutra, on the topic of perception. I do not. I appears to me to be the start of a new topic, the topic being Isvara. Although this sutra states that Isvara is not proved, the concept of Isvara that is not proved is an eternal Isvara, who is the creator of the world, and who is the lord of the world.


[I]Mukta-badddhayoh [/I] - of the released and bound
[I]Anya-tara-abhavat[/I] - owing to the non-existence of something different
[I]Na[/I] - not
[I]tat-siddheh[/I] - proof thereof

Isvara is not proved because he cannot be something other than either a free or a bound soul.

The samkhyas did not recognize the concept of an eternal ‘supersoul’ that is different from the embodied jivas. I believe this is a reference to the Isvara of the epic yoga school, and later, of the samkhya-yoga school of the Svetasvatara Upanishad. The significance is that if he is a bound soul (an embodied jiva) he is limited and subject to merit and demerit and cannot be the creator of the world. On the other hand, if he is a free soul, he cannot be an agent or doer, and therefore in that case he also cannot be the creator.


[I]Ubhaytha[/I] - either way
[I]api[/I] - also
[I]a-sat-karatvam[/I] - incapacity or effect anything

This is a continuation of the previous sutra. Either way, that is, if Isvara is either a free soul or a bound soul, he does not have the capacity to be the creator.



[I]Mukta-atmanah[/I] of the free self
[I]prasamsa[/I] - laudation, glorification
[I]upasa[/I] - worship, homage
[I]siddhasya[/I] - of the perfected one
[I]va[/I] - or

[Texts referring to Isvara are either] glorifications of the free self or homage paid to the perfected one.

The key word in this sutra is[I] siddhasya[/I] - the perfected one. Who exactly does ‘the perfected one’ refer to? The commentator Aniruddha had a slightly different take on this sutra. He translated [I]upasa-siddhasya[/I] as one word, meaning accomplished by the cultivation of yoga. This is where we start to get the idea that the samkhyas had a different idea about Isvara, and that it was the same as the Isvara of the yoga school.



[I]Tat-sannidhanat[/I] - through proximity to that, i.e. Prakriti
[I]adhisthatritvam[/I] - governorship, superintendence
[I]Mani-vat[/I] - as in the case of the gem, the lodestone (magnet)

The superintendence or lordship [of Isvara or Purusha] is through proximity to prakriti, like a magnet.

Here we get the definite idea that Isvara is not a supersoul who creates and directs the working of the world by the force of his will, but is more like a natural force that causes the creation to occur through proximity to it, like a magnet.

The phrase [I]mani-vat[/I] (like a magnet) is significant in another way, because Sankara refers to it in his critique of Samkhya, and it does not appear in the Samkhya Karika. This indicates that the concept existed prior to Sankara’s time, proving its antiquity.


I want to make clear that sutra I.95 is merely the first clue, not the whole case. Making the whole case involves analyzing the further discussion of Isvara that takes place in book 3 of the Samkhya Pravachana Sutram, and a careful study of the yoga sutras. The topic of Isvara is a significant part of the development of Samkhya thought, but it is not the entire topic. The article is about a lot more than that.


A little clarification is necessary to deal with an apparent contradiction. Isvara of the epic yoga school was a supersoul, separate and distinct from ordinary jivas. I.93 makes it clear that it does not accept this view. There is evidence in yoga sutras and in the samkhya literature that indicates that the Isvara of the [I]classical[/I] yoga school was something different, i.e., a soul perfected through the cultivation of yoga, rather than an eternal and distinct supersoul.


[QUOTE=Asuri;73688] I will answer all of your objections, and hopefully I can get it done before the dark forces that inhabit the forum descend upon me.


Ha…its May the 4th…

that should keep them at bay…:smiley:


I will answer all of your objections, and hopefully I can get it done before the dark forces that inhabit the forum descend upon me.


The article a good basic introduction to the historical development of Samkhya Informative, well written and the information is reliable. I also appreciate that Asuri made clear when he was making his own opinions, which usually is a sore point with me with Asuri on Indian philosophy as I feel that he mixes his own opinions and interpretations with the actual philosophy itself which is misleading. In this case he has not done that. It could have done with some references and a bibliography for the interested readers. I generally appreciate the effort of Asuri not educate readers on this forum about Samkhya. I have noticed since more intellectual people like myself, Asuri, Suhas and started participating in this forum, we have got more and more people interested in the philosophical side of Yoga.

Now regarding Asuri’s own opinions and interpretations. There will be no surprise that I disagree with them.

However, in the opinion of this author, the evidence shows that much of Samkhya philosophy developed outside of traditional Vedic and Brahminical circles, and was later adopted and modified by the Vedic thinkers.

This is difficult to maintain considering the fact that the earliest concepts we find of Samkhya is in the Vedas, particularly in the Upanishads. There is no evidence that Samkhya comes from a non-Vedic tradition. If one considers the actual evidence it appears Samkhya is a development within the Vedic tradition, an off-shoot of Upanishadic thinking. Hence the earliest forms of Samkhya philosophy are undifferentiated from the Vedanta. However, later a distinctly atheistic Samkhya emerges which develops outside of Vedanta and positions itself as a rival to the philosophy of Vedanta. This does not make Samkhya anti-vedic, but only anti-Vedanta, as the Samkhya actually accept the Vedas as authority.


I generally appreciate the effort of Asuri not educate readers on this forum about Samkhya. I have noticed since more intellectual people like myself, Asuri, Suhas and started participating in this forum, we have got more and more people interested in the philosophical side of Yoga.

As I cannot edit posts here, I will correct my typo: I generally appreciate the effort of Asuri to educate readers on this forum about Samkhya.


There are other opinions Asuri has shared here which I don’t think are not defensible in light of the actual evidence.

Both commentators take this as being related to a previous sutra, on the topic of perception. I do not. I appears to me to be the start of a new topic, the topic being Isvara. Although this sutra states that Isvara is not proved, the concept of Isvara that is not proved is an eternal Isvara, who is the creator of the world, and who is the lord of the world.

I am glad admitted that Asuri admits commentators take the sutra to be related to a previous sutra and not the start of a new subject. That is exactly what the scholarship says on the matter. The idea that they are not related and this is in fact the start of a new subject is peculiar to Asuri’s reading of it, which I can only say is faulty because he appears to be adding words that are not there. In this case he’s added the distinction eternal ishvara vs non eternal ishvara, when the sutra only says ishvara.

The sutras then proceed to give several arguments on why ishvara cannot exist. In other words it gives proofs for why god cannot exist. It makes no distinction between an eternal or non-eternal god, it just says god in general.

The superintendence or lordship [of Isvara or Purusha] is through proximity to prakriti, like a magnet.

Here we get the definite idea that Isvara is not a supersoul who creates and directs the working of the world by the force of his will, but is more like a natural force that causes the creation to occur through proximity to it, like a magnet.

The phrase mani-vat (like a magnet) is significant in another way, because Sankara refers to it in his critique of Samkhya, and it does not appear in the Samkhya Karika. This indicates that the concept existed prior to Sankara’s time, proving its antiquity.

This also suffers from rather bad and uncritical reading. Asuri interprets this sutra to mean ishvara is a natural force like a magnet, but the actual sutra does not say ishvara is a natural force. It says that the way ishvara interacts with prakriti(nature) is like how a magnet interacts with a loadstone. It is merely an analogy to describe how ishvara’s mere proximity to nature causes nature to respond to ishvara. Ishvara does not consciously control or will nature to do his bidding.

The idea that Sankara mentions the critique of the “like a magnet” analogy in Samkhya is not proof that the Samkhya Pravichan Sutras were around in Sankaras times, it is only proof that the magnet analogy was around in the Samkhya school in Sankara’s time. The Karika does not mention the magnet analogy because the analogy came later in the Samkhya school. Asuri is jumping to conclusions on the antiquity of the Samkhya sutras based on very little evidence.


[B]Sankhya vs Samkhya[/B]

Thanks to a Scientist and a Sanskrt scholar, G Srinivasan, this is what I have learned.

The Polar glacial melt approximately 10 /12000 years ago created a huge disconnect between the Vedic knowledge that existed before and what was pieced together from the remains several years after. That has created confusion and therefore misunderstanding of Vedic scientific logic. So much was lost in the tragedy and so much changed in terms of the cultural backdrop later, that the current Vedic knowledge appears to possess two origins, before and after the great inundation. The two origins evolved into two independent threads often times presenting a dichotomy. Hence almost all of Sanskrit creations on Vedic knowledge and history have a strong undercurrent of duality in interpretation that becomes fodder to intellectual debates.

Western authors were often so confused that there interpretations and translations bordered on the absurd. Hence Lokmanya Tilak took up the task of correction seriously, through his classical books like ?The arctic home in the Vedas?. Eastern authors glossed over this confusion by resorting to religious / spiritual underpinnings that could not be doubted openly for it would negate the divine origin concept they had espoused by then.

Zeroing on the current debate, Sankhya and Samkhya appears to be two transliterations of the same word or a simple typo, which it is not. It is unfortunate that in almost every source, Sankhya and Samkhya are taken to be the same thing. Sankhya is a theory of just 68 verses, all on its own, without any reinterpretation, mentioned in chapter 2 of the Bhagavadgita, under the heading Sankhya Yoga and mentioned specifically in verse 39 with authorship ascribed to Kapilla muni later. The entire Sankhyan Guna spectrum of cause and effect is given full importance in the following chapters.

The Pratisahkya (rules of Sanskrit enunciation) makes it clear. The ?nk? sound is of nasal origin clipped by a guttural whereas ?mk? is a labial that cannot be clipped by any other sound because m itself is a clipped labial. Since all ancient Sanskrit consonants were defined by numerical values (as a principle of numerical formulation) and the combination of nk and mk had different values.

Those who know Sanskrt, know that “sankhya” with short sa and long khya means number and its derivative with long sa but short khya means “of or about numbers or numerical”. “Sankhya”, in preglacial terms was ?sa? as 5 and ?nk? as 1 as n was a nasal and not a consonant so k=1 got precedence or 51 was the number. This has great significance. The moolaprakriti in Sankhya has a value of one in 10^51 of a cycle as the duration of a count in reality which is beautifully derived by Maharshi. Kapilla in the 3rd and 68th sutras. Whereas “Samkhya” is the numerical value as sa=5 and m=5 because a labial is a consonant (soft) so k has no place there. Now the confusion has been created for two reasons. Khya means enumerate or enunciate or tell . Hence Sankhya means" 51 enumerate" which is a process of dynamic counting which Sankhya has come to be defined as. Whereas Samkhya really means Sama = equalized and Khya = tell etc meaning objective statements with passive meanings. It is a latter day introduction.

In ancient Sanskrit all words were to be interpreted by its dynamic meaning because there was no scripted form in existence. Hence Sankhya referred to the dynamic counting process of interactions in the universe whereas Samkhya meant an objective evaluation of an equalized state in passive existence.

Hence Sankhya as a dynamic numerical theory has never been understood, operated or exposed for it is an enigmatic theory of the most exotic order that even Physics today cannot hold a candle to. Samkhya on the other hand are the interpretations of denominations of post glacial origin belonging to religious/spiritual groups starting from the Adi Sankracharya down to various other holy orders that looked on science as the devil’s domain of materiality. Whereas Hinduism as seen by them per-se does not exist but is in reality a string of esoteric scientific practices based on Vedic holistic science and cosmology. Sankhya is the theoretical explanation of its dynamism and Yoga as its practical consequence of resonant activity that rules all of manifestation in the Universe

“Aikantha, Athyanta, Atho, Abhavat is a REAL state of the Universal substratum and that is unmanifest. BECAUSE it is in a state of balance of the three Gunas forming the Ishvara field has reached its SAMADHI state of PERPETUAL EXISTENCE. It is numerically specified to 51 orders of accuracy in Sankhya.” (G Srinivasan)

The main reason for these type of differences is because Vedic treatises have not been translated on their numeric content for that spells accuracy and removes the fuzziness that words always produce. (like ?few? and ?many? may not mean the same thing to all.) The human mind expects a linear progression in the development of mankind that makes it absurd to expect wisdom of this magnitude and precision to have existed thousands of years in the past. It is especially demeaning and inconvenient to todays? scientists in the Western world who want to remain infatuated with the unprecedented glory of modern science and in their own hornet’s nest.

Sankhya (before the glacial inundation) have numerical formulations that reduce the entire gamut of manifestation to a single level of reality. Latter day translators have by intent or otherwise added many interpretations that would have to be seen within the context of their experiences, trends in their philosophical orientations and knowingly or unknowingly sidetracked the highly precise version to rather promote its popular easy-to-fudge philosophical version. In the end, that continues to deny Sankhya the legitimate status of a ?perfect theory of everything.?


Sorry, there are tons of typos in my posts! I had a bad hangover when writing them, obviously my cognitive ability was severely impaired lol


I read G Srinivasan’s dissertation on Samkhya/Sankhya when I was doing my research for my own dissertation, and though I found some of his explanations to be helpful and I felt he was onto something, I found his translation and interpretation to be unreliable. His interpretation is strongly based on his belief and subscription to fringe nationalist theories by Tilak that the Aryans came from an Arctic home and his belief in a previous advanced Vedic scientific civilisation. So he reads into the Vedas every modern theory on particle physics, going as far as to translate “Purusha” as 'nucleus" He translates several different Sanskrit words as resonant/cyclic dynamic state of existence, that it gave me reason for pause. When comparing and and contrasting his translation with the scholarly translations, I found the latter to be more reliable.
I noted Srinivasan even did the same with the first mantra in the Rig Veda, he translates the mantra addressed to Agni as a scientific theorem for extracting free energy from the universal field and comes up with some numerical value as a universal constant. In the end I realised, as much as I wanted to believe otherwise, that Srinivasan was deliberately distorting the original meanings of the Sanskrit and assigning numerical values to them to support his fringe theories. I thus could not reference it in my dissertation.


Another thing: You can tell when somebodies interpretation is fanciful and imaginative when they cannot explain it to you in clear words. Srinivasan’s dissertation is the most difficult text I have ever read on Samkhya because he does all kind of gymnastics with mathematics and physics and comes up with really obscure highly scientific sounding, but actually pseudo scientific terms, that one gets lost reading it. If the Samkhyakarika really was an advanced treatise on particle physics and the Sanskrit letters did have numerical values, then he should be able to explain it clear language and demonstrate it clearly to us, rather than using obscure sentences like “The cyclic count of the universal oscillations of the self-similar state synchronized with the perpetual dynamic state of the 8th order of displacement”


Btw to show the difference in translations, we can compare and contrast the scholarly translations of Hari Dutta(H), Swami Virupakshananda(V) of the Ramakrishna Math with Srinivasan’s(S) translation.

SK 1

S:. Investigating the triad of interactive stresses confirms that such
interactive modes of stresses exist but it would not have been
detectable, had it not been for the existence of the coherent -
perpetual - dynamic - unmanifest state of its existence (of the

V: From the torment caused by the three kinds of pain, proceeds a desire for inquiry into the means of terminating them; if it be said that(inquiry) is superfluous(we reply) not so; because(in the visible means) there is the absence of certainty(in case of the means) and permanence(of pain)

H: On the account of affliction from three-fold misery, inquiry(should be instituted) into the means for its removal. If(it be said) that it useless because of the (existence) of evident means(then we reply) no, because of absence of certainty and finality

SK 2

S: Standard methods of evaluation through detection are affected
by distortion, attenuation and inferior resolution to details; but an
alternate method that is totally satisfactory, is based on the
principle of discriminating the basic and dynamic substratum into
its appropriate components of the unmanifest, manifest, the selfpotential
and kinetic or dynamic potential.

V: The scriptural means is like the obvious means since it linked with impurity, decay and excess. The means contrary to both proceeding from the discriminative knowledge of the manifest, the unmanifest and the spirit, is superior.

H: The revealed like the evident one. It is linked with impurity, destruction and inequality. Other than that, is better proceeding from the right cognition of the manifest, unmanifest and the knower.

SK 3

S: The fundamental resonant oscillatory state is synchronised,
coherent, resonant and stable; the first interactive oscillatory state is
of maximum intensity of acceleration; then there are seven levels of
coherent, harmonic and oscillatory interactive stages followed by
an expanding radiation above a sixteenth order of the fundamental
value; the nuclear core is neither oscillatory nor harmonically

V: The primal nature is non-evolute. The group of seven beginning with the Great principle(Buddhi) and the rest are both evolvens and evolutes. But the sixteen(five organs of sense, five of action, the mind, and the five gross elements) are only evolutes. The spirit is neither the evolvent or the evolute.

H: The primal nature is not an evolute; Mahat, etc., the seven, are evolvents and evolutes.; the spirit is neither an evolvent or an evolute.

SK 12

S: Just as the human being undergoes, when under stress, a three
stage transfer from a state of buoyant feelings through a calm state
to a state of utter despair; the three interactions of the Guna are
from a state of free and mobile expansion through a balanced and
resonant interface to a state of compact static contraction. As a
result the three states are capable of mutually interacting to
override or strengthen or weaken, one or both at the expense of
the remaining aspects; be creative or destructive as a whole;
associate or join or pair or combine to form groups; and also exist
by itself as a self supporting resonant or dynamic entity.

V: The attributes(gunas) are the nature of pleasure, pain and delusion, they serve the purpose of illumination, action and restraint and they mutually dominating and supporting, productive and cooperative

H: The attributes are the nature of of pleasure, pain and delusion, they are adapted to illuminate, to activate and restrain. They mutually suppress, support, produce, consort and exist.

SK 17

S: 17. Second change of phase creates nucleus .
The nucleus is the location, centre or core that holds the power,
potential, interaction or energy produced as a result of the cyclic
collision or aggregation due to close contact, back to back, of the
oscillating volumes or waveforms, initiated or triggered into action
by the operating principle of the triad of Guna (interactive
interactions), in a relatively isolated, free and synchronised state.
[Summarising: the Purusha or nucleus is a superpositioning of
three dimensional oscillatory waveforms due to the mode of action
of the Gunas in a static state of dormant potential in the
undetectable, absolute substratum that is synchronised and
coherent, perpetually dynamic but unmanifest and the period being
determined solely by the time constant referred to in suthra 3 that
forms the self potential referred in suthra 2. ]

V: The spirit exists because (a) the aggregate is for anothers sake; (b) because of the absence of the three gunas and other properties; © there must be some controller; (d) there must be some experiencer; and (e) the tendency of activities towards final beautitude

H: The spirit exists, since composite objects are meant for another; since it is the reverse of that which has the three attributes and the rest; there there must be control; since there must be somebody who enjoys and since there is activity for release.

Now if we compare and contrast the translations. I really want to believe in Srinivasan’s translation, because it supports my own beliefs that the Vedas belong to an advanced scientific age and I myself agree the Vedic literature contains high level of science, but Srinivasan’s translation is obviously more imagination than reality. It is obvious is he adding a lot of words that are not there and translating every Sanskrit word into something really highly scientific sounding. His biggest mistake is translating obviously spiritual words like ‘purusha’ into nuclear. It is clear SK 15 is giving 5 proofs for why spirit exists distinct from matter, but he translates it into some pseudoscientific nonsense.

Now Asuri has accused me on several occasions of forcing scientific meanings onto the Samkhya or Yoga, accusing me of wishful thinking. This criticism of course is not valid for me because my comparisons of modern scientici theories with concepts in Samkhya are valid and based on valid translations, I never add new words or overstate anything. But Asuri criticism is entirely valid to describe Srinivasan. Srinivasan even says his translation of the sutras are based on psychic revelation and his super intuition which has grasped its meanings, as such his translation is peculiar to his own imagination. Thus I cannot recommend his translation to anybody.