Does Purusha will?

nanda chandran vpcnk at HOTMAIL.COM
Wed May 5 19:15:33 UTC 1999

Ferenc writes :
>I do have misgivings about the notion of a purpose *of an intelligent
>subject* not willing it. The puruSa is >conscious; it has purposes;
>therefore (I think) he wills.

Are you right about this?

The popular theory traces the origins of SAmkhya to the analogy using the
two birds in MundAka Upanishad. One bird which enjoys the world and the
other, the mute spectator silently observing the first bird without being
affected by the experience of the first bird.

The Purusha though conscious is just the witness. It just observes the
changes of prakriti.

The PrAkriti separate from the Purusha, undergoes change only due to its
proximity to the Purusha.

The Purusha does not will the change. The purpose or will, is that of
PrAkriti, whose sole reason for evolution is for the sake of the enjoyment
of Purusha. But PrAkriti is not capable of action by itself. It is a non
conscious entity. As mentioned before it evolves only due to the light shed
on it by the Purusha.

But that doesn't in anyway mean that Purusha willed the evolution of

All brAhmanical schools, accept that the Self is eternal. By eternal, they
also accept that it is changeless. But they are also eager to reconcile the
eternal changeless Self with day to day individual experience, which is full
of change.

And thus the effort by Ishwara Krishna to split the world into changeless
Souls and evolving matter. But there's nothing known in human experience
which is beyond change. So Ishware Krishna makes the Self devoid of all
qualities - even bliss. But he has to concede consciousness to the Self, as
he has to equate it with the normal self.

The four truths of the SAmkhya are quite similar to the Four Noble Truths of
the Buddha. Liberation is in empirical terms - the cessation of desire. To
make the Purusha desire, would defeat all purpose.

To reconcile the changeless Self with the everchanging world has long been
the greatest puzzle to the Indian mind. Samkhya-Yoga try to evolve their
metaphysics and psychology using a changeless Self and changing matter. The
Advaita VedAnta denies all change and asserts only the existence of a
changeless Being. The NyAya-Vaiseshika philosophers succumbing to the
pressure of logic even go to the extent of making the Self unconscious.

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