Monday, May 21, 2007
4. Purusah: Person, Spirit, Self, In-dweller
Purusa is the Spirit or Self dwelling within every object appearing as sentient.
Samkhya teaches that everything in existence falls into one of two categories, Purusa or Prakriti (spirit or matter). Prakriti is the causal substance of the material world, Purusa is something entirely different. Both are equally real.
The existence of a self that is other than the body is generally accepted intuitively. A structure of many parts exists for the sake of another not so constructed. Purusa is the owner, Prakriti the owned. Purusa is the seer, Prakriti the seen. Purusa is the experiencer, Prakriti the experienced.
Samkhya states that the form of Purusa is light. This is not meant to be taken literally. It is the light that illuminates the conscious being, but is not associated with unconscious objects such as rocks, clay, etc. But Purusa is not a thing which has intelligence as an attribute. On the contrary, Purusa is intelligence itself. And Purusa does not witness only the waking state, but extends also to the states of dreaming and dreamless sleep.
Samkhya teaches that there is one Purusa associated with each individual. This concept of the multiplicity of Purusas challenges the concept of a universal self of which the many individuals are only parts.
The Purusa witnesses the activity of Prakriti through immediate connection with the individual Buddhi. Purusa is eternally free, and though it is the witness, it is indifferent; that is, inactive or non-agent, without desire or volition.