Saturday, February 24, 2007


The word Prakriti is usually used in the sense that Prakriti is the first cause or origin of the material world. This primordial Prakriti is the root evolvent, the finest substance from which all other substances are produced. It is eternal and uncreated, but unintelligent.

2. [I] describe or declare eight Prakritis

kathayami: declare, describe
astau: eight
prakritayoh:prakritis, natures, roots, radicals, originals, evolvents, first causes

By declaring that there are eight Prakritis, Kapila teaches the technical meaning of the term. Prakriti means that which multiplies, modifies, or procreates. It is the procreatrix, that which brings forth.

The eight prakritis consist of:
  • the primordial Prakriti,
  • Mahat or Buddhi: the principle of ascertainment or understanding,
  • Ahamkara: literally, the I-maker, the principle of self-assumption or ego, and
  • the five Tan-Matras: sound, touch, form, taste, and smell.
Mahat, Ahamkara, and the five Tan-Matras evolve successively from the primordial Prakriti; that is, Mahat evolves from Prakriti, Ahamkara from Mahat, and the Tan-Matras from Ahamkara. An although the evolution is successive, Prakriti is said to be the cause of all things, in the sense that the atoms are the cause of a water pot, even though the pot is the direct product of a lump of clay. These evolutes of the primordial Prakriti are also prakritis in the sense that they evolve further into other effects.


questions said...

What position do the Indriyas have in this setup?

Sam said...

The indriyas are considered to be a product of Ahamkara (literally, the I-maker).

Asuri said...

The material nature or prakriti has two major classifications, the prakritis or evolvents and the transformations or evolutes. The difference between the two is the evolvents evolve further into other principles, while the evolutes do not. The indriyas are included as evolutes.