The work that follows will consist of a series of essays following the outline of the Kapila-Sutram, or Tattva-Samasa. The Tattva-Samasa is attributed to Kapila and is the oldest extant work of Samkhya philosophy. It consists of only twenty-two aphorisms and was taught as an elementary course in the Samkhya philosophy.
The word Samkhya is derived from the prefix sam, meaning complete or perfect, together with the root word khya, to declare or state, and therefore means complete enumeration or perfect declaration. " Hence Samkhya denotes the Sastra (writing) which gives a complete enumeration of all the Tattvas or Principles, or which perfectly declares the nature of the self."
According to the Samkhya, the ascertainment of the true nature of the Self is the means for achieving the Self's ultimate goal, which is the elimination of suffering. This discriminatory knowledge is said to be achieved through the study of the Tattvas, which are enumerated and explained in the Samkhya texts.
1. Now, therefore, a compendium of principles [is wanted].
atha: now, denotes an undertaking or inception of an act
tattve: of truths, principles
samasah: collection, compendium