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Title: Notion of bondage and liberation in sāṁkhya Philosophy:a critical study
Other Titles: Philosophical Papers, Journal of the Department of Philosophy, Vol. XVIII, March- 2022, pp- 110-141
Authors: Ghosh, Swagata
Keywords: Bondage
Sāṁkhya philosophy,
Issue Date: Mar-2022
Publisher: University of North Bengal
Abstract: Among the Indian philosophical system, Sāṁkhya philosophy represents one of the oldest traditions. Like the other orthodox schools of Indian philosophy, the Sāṁkhya system too considers liberation to be the highest goal of human life. According to the Sāṁkhya philosophers, though liberation is nothing but the absolute cessation of the three-fold sufferings, yet it can only be attained through the realisation of the discriminatory knowledge (vivekajñāna) between the puruṣa and the prakṛti. We know that the relation of mere contiguity (sannidhāna) between the puruṣa and the prakṛti, as admitted in Sāṁkhya philosophy, leads to the accomplishment of the bhoga and the kaivalya of puruṣa (being or embodied consciousness) in the apparent state of migration (saṁsāra). In the process of the phenomenal enjoyment and liberation through transcendence of the empirical, the assistance of the evolutes of prakṛti is required; hence their manifestation. In Sāṁkhya philosophy, we know that the puruṣa conceives of the modes of the antaḥkaraṇa to be its own, and accordingly the I-usages of the embodied consciousness occur. However, the Sāṁkhya śāstra being essentially an esoteric study of liberation, the focal issue lies in the ascertainment of the nature and the possibility of liberation of puruṣa through the attainment of the discriminatory cognition between itself and the prakṛti. In Sāṁkhya philosophy, puruṣa is essentially and eternally free (nityamukta). Evidently, the issue arises that how can we consider the possibility of liberation of the everliberated puruṣa? Further, how at all can the question of bondage arise in case of the unbound, immutable, unrelated puruṣa? Moreover, if at all any such bondages are to be admitted due to the apparent related-ness between the puruṣa and the prakṛti due to their proximity, what could be the nature of such bondages?Such critical issues and the related concerns regarding the emancipation from such bondages are the moot points of discussion and analysis in the current research paper. We now enter into the detailed critical analysis and exposition of the issues stated above following the respective Sāṁkhyakārikās. In this context various arguments from the position of the Neo-Sāṁkhya tradition as well as from Yoga and Buddhist philosophies, have been put forward wherever those have been found to be relevant.
ISSN: 0976-4496
Appears in Collections:Philosophical Papers. Vol 18 (March 2022)

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