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Sankhya Philosophy

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The presentations discusses the division of conscious experience into various components which are called objects, properties, senses, mind, intellect, ego, and morality. This categorization of parts of conscious experience is useful in understanding how our experience is created.

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Sankhya Philosophy

  1. 1. SANKHYA PHILOSOPHY I N T R O D U C I N G V E D I C P H I L O S O P H Y — L E S S O N 2 ASHISH DALELA
  2. 2. WHAT IS SANKHYA?
  3. 3. S A N K H YA I S T H E C O M P O N E N T S O F C O N S C I O U S E X P E R I E N C E • Describes conscious experience as being tiered into seven hierarchical levels • Each higher level becomes more and more personal and each lower level becomes more and more objective or impersonal • The external world of objects is described in terms of objectification of sensual properties • Mahattattva represents the ideal standard • The personal notions about ideals MAHATTATTVA • Ahamkara represents the ego • The personal sense of identity, individuality AHAMKARA • Buddhi represents judgments • Judgments are based on personal beliefs BUDDHI • Represents concepts about the world • Examples – tables, chairs, apples, houses MANAS • The five senses of perception • Seeing, tasting, touching, smelling, and hearing INDRIYA • The properties of observations • color, shape, size, and direction for seeing TANMATRA • The five embodiments of properties • Earth,Water, Fire,Air, and Ether BHUTA
  4. 4. M A H AT TAT T VA • Mahattattva means the essence of greatness – Mahat literally means “greatness” – Tattva literally means the “essence” • We see the individual things in the world, but at the back of our minds we hold an ideal, the perfect, or the image of greatness • The ideals can be understood in three ways: – The ideal behaviors – The ideal objects – The ideal emotions • The world is created from the perfect and ideal.The perfect and ideal is the original element called mahattattva • From this ideal many non-ideal imperfect things are created • Sigmund Freud called this image of perfection the Super Ego SAT CHIT ANANDA MAHAT The ideal behaviors (Honesty, charity) The ideal objects (Perfect male body) The ideal emotion (Love, kindness)
  5. 5. A M A M K A R A • Ahamkara means the individual ego – It is the self-image that everyone holds – We have separate ideas about the ideal and the self (we know we are not always the ideal) • Through every experience of the world we obtain an image or impression about the self. by doing great things we think “I am great” • The ego can be understood in three ways: – The role identity – The bodily identity – The personality identity • Everyone wants to be perfect in their own eyes, and this gradual perfection create the inner sense of progress • We compare ourselves to the picture of the ideal and make improvements to the self • The inner gap between ideal and the self is called our ‘conscience’ or guilt SAT CHIT ANANDA AHAMKARA The role identity (I am a father) The bodily identity (I am white) The personality identity (I am aggressive)
  6. 6. BU D D H I • Buddhi is the intellect or the power of judgment – Unlike mahattattva and ahamkara which are internally focused, the rest of the elements are outward focused – Mahattattva judges the ego, and buddhi judges the mind – Thus, even the mahattattva is sometimes called buddhi or intellect (it is judgment of the self) • It checks consistency with axioms to decide truth – These axioms can be ideas or facts • It has three kinds of outward judgments – The judgment of truth – The judgment of right – The judgment of good • Buddhi relies on the beliefs about the world. • in science we believe that nature is uniform, the world is comprised of matter, governed by mathematical laws.These are axioms based on which we judge • Inconsistency with axioms leads to a negative judgment SAT CHIT ANANDA BUDDHI The judgment of right (Action is right/wrong) The judgment of truth (Meaning is true/false) The judgment of good (Emotion is good/bad)
  7. 7. M A N A S • Manas is the name given to the mind – It is the faculty that perceives concepts – These concepts are the meaning of sensations • the meaning of knitted brow is concern or anxiety – Due to this perception, the mind is also sometimes called the sixth sense or mana-sasthani • Manas cognizes three kinds of concepts – Object concepts such as chair and table – Emotion concepts such as fear and anger – Role concepts such as father, CEO, etc. • Manas is the agency that creates and perceives meanings. Meanings are interpretations of sense data, and they are more abstract than the sense data • Hence the meanings can only be perceived by the mind rather than the five senses SAT CHIT ANANDA MANAS Role concepts (Parent, employee, etc.) Object concepts (Chair, table, house, etc.) Emotion concepts (Anger, fear, lust, etc.)
  8. 8. I N D R I YA • Indriya is the name give to the senses – There are five senses of knowledge • Sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell – There are five senses of action • Speech, procreation, hands, legs, and defecation • Senses are different in different species of life – Each species has a different type of five senses – These types manifest in three different ways • Abilities of senses – eagles can see very far • Roles of the senses – how we must speak to elders • Pleasures of the senses – we can enjoy music • Senses are measuring instruments that define what properties exist in the world • Based on the senses only the properties of the five senses are considered real • Everything else is reduced to the properties of sensation SAT CHIT ANANDA INDRIYA Duties, responsibilities (What I have to do) The five senses (sight, sound, taste, etc.) The five pleasures (I enjoy eating)
  9. 9. TA N M AT R A • Tanmatra is the name give to properties – Each sense measures many different properties • sight can measure color, shape, size • skin can measure heat, roughness, heaviness • Properties exist in things, roles, and pleasures – The cognitive properties are very common in science; we measure things like weight, length, temperature, which are objectifications of shape, heat, heaviness, etc. – Behavioral properties are also common in science; we measure speed and acceleration. But we also say things like the motion is jerky, the going is smooth, etc. • To know something we have to know the properties in terms of which we will know • These properties become the dimensions of the property space in which the object is situated. For example, in classical mechanics, position and momentum are basic properties of all particles SAT CHIT ANANDA TANMATRA Behavioral properties (Smoothness, speed, etc.) Cognitive properties (Color, shape, size, etc.) Emotive properties (Prioritize color vs. form)
  10. 10. B H U TA • Bhuta objectify the properties into values – For example, red and blue are values of color – Sweetness and bitterness are values of taste • Values are types rather than quantities – In modern science, values such as mass or energy are described as quantities such as 5 kg or 7 Joules • Three types of values – Cognitive properties – red and bitter – Emotive properties – the expressions of anger – Behavioral properties – the description of action • Bhuta are objective expressions of the sensations • By these expressions others can measure or know our mental or internal state • Bhuta constitute our gross body, visible actions, and bodily expressions of emotions SAT CHIT ANANDA BHUTA Observable behaviors (Actions, conduct) Cognitive objects (Red color, square shape) Emotive expressions (How I express anger)
  11. 11. SUMMARIZING THE SEVEN LEVELS SAT CHIT ANANDA MAHAT The ideal behaviors (Honesty, charity) The ideal objects (Perfect male body) The ideal emotion (Love, kindness) AHAMKARA The role identity (I am a father) The bodily identity (I am white) The personality identity (I am aggressive) BUDDHI The judgment of right (Action is right/wrong) The judgment of truth (Meaning is true/false) The judgment of good (Emotion is good/bad) MANAS Role concepts (Parent, employee, etc.) Object concepts (Chair, table, house, etc.) Emotion concepts (Anger, fear, lust, etc.) INDRIYA Duties, responsibilities (What I have to do) The five senses (sight, sound, taste, etc.) The five pleasures (I enjoy eating) TANMATRA Behavioral properties (Smoothness, speed, etc.) Cognitive properties (Color, shape, size, etc.) Emotive properties (Prioritize color vs. form) BHUTA Observable behaviors (Actions, conduct) Cognitive objects (Red color, square shape) Emotive expressions (How I express anger)
  12. 12. THE SCIENCE OF TYPES
  13. 13. T Y P E S C R E AT E A N I N V E RT E D S E M A N T I C T R E E • An inverted tree is a graph structure with a root at the top and trunks, branches, and leaves at the bottom • The tree becomes semantic when the nodes of this tree represent concepts • Biological classification from animal to mammal to dog to poodle is an example ANIMAL BIRDS FISH MAMMAL DOG CAT POODLE TERRIER
  14. 14. HOW TYPES BECOME NUMBERS ANIMAL BIRDS FISH MAMMAL DOG CAT POODLE TERRIER 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 When types are defined in relation to an original type, they can be counted
  15. 15. RELATIVESPACE ABSOLUTESPACE ABSOLUTE AND RELATIVE COUNTING 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4
  16. 16. UNIVERSAL AND INDIVIDUAL OBSERVER • The absolute space with its absolute origin constitutes the universal observer experience – This begins in the universal root, which becomes mahattattva • The relative space with its relative origin constitutes the individual observer experience – This can begin anywhere, and that relative origin becomes mahattattva • Therefore, the sensations of a higher being are concepts for a lower being – Even concepts like color and shape have a color and shape! – Thoughts of a lower being become sensations for a higher being
  17. 17. GROSS AND SUBTLE BODIES
  18. 18. W H AT I S G RO S S ? W H AT I S S U B T L E ? • The bhuta, tanmatra, and indriya are considered the ‘gross body’ – Of these only the bhuta are studied in modern science as quantities • The manas, buddhi, ahamkara, and mahattattva are called ‘subtle body’ – Changes to gross body may not change our thoughts, judgments, identity, and ideals – But changes to our thoughts, judgments, identity and ideals change our gross body • Some gross changes effect the mind, all mental changes effect the body • The meaning of ‘gross’ or sthula is simply that it can be understood in relation to our five senses. For most people it is easier to understand things that they can see and touch • The meaning of ‘subtle’ or sukshma is that it is grasped by the mind and intellect and cannot be understood in relation to the five senses
  19. 19. THE SOUL IS BEYOND THE MATERIAL COMPONENTS OF EXPERIENCE • The soul can exist without an experience • When the soul has experiences, these can have material or spiritual components • The soul can exist in material or spiritual worlds • Therefore, consciousness (as the ability to experience) is different from actual experience – In modernWestern philosophy, there is confusion between consciousness and experience – People call conscious experience itself as consciousness – They don’t recognize that consciousness transcends the experience
  20. 20. “The key to growth is the production of higher dimensions of consciousness into our awareness.” – Lao Tzu www.ashishdalela.com

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