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From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Classification of Sāñkhyatattvakaumudi[edit]

Sāñkhyatattvakaumudi is written by Vācaspati Miśra who lived in A. D. 850. Sāñkhyacandrikā is written by Nārāyaṇa Tīrtha. All these commentaries consider the entire work as one unit running continuously. However one commentary has divided it into prakaraṇas and āhnikas as follows:

Prakaraṇas Ahnikas Karikas
1 3 14
2 2 7
3 3 24
4 3 26
Total 11 71

Contents of Sāñkhyatattvakaumudi[edit]

A brief summary of the work may now be attempted:

  • The first kārikā is introductory.
  • The second stresses that knowledge[1] alone gives freedom from suffering.
  • Kārikās 3 to 8 describe the means of getting apavarga.[2]
  • Kārikās 9 to 14 establish the satkāryavāda and describe the following:
  1. Avyakta or the pradhāna
  2. Vyakta or the manifested products of the avyakta
  3. Three guṇas[3]
  4. Puruṣa[4]
  • Kārikās 15 to 21 deal with the avyakta or prakṛti as the original cause, its three guṇas as the constituents, multiplicity of the puruṣas or souls and that creation proceeds from their mutual association.
  • Kārikās from 22 to 45 deals with the evolution of the prakṛti into this universe through the 23 cosmic principles and their nature.
  • The last group from 46 to 71 or 73 kārikās explain the following:
  1. Various pariṇāmas or changes of buddhi[5]
  2. Types of creation which are threefold
  3. Three worlds
  4. Role of prakṛti in creation which is only for helping the puruṣa or the soul to get liberated
  5. Nature of puruṣa as eternally free, never subject to any bondage in reality
  6. Importance of tattvābhyāsa, repeated study of the fundamental principles taught till now
  • Liberation
  • Jīvanmukta


The treatise ends with the narration of the names of the great teachers of this tradition.


  1. Knowledge means vijñāna.
  2. Apavarga means liberation.
  3. These guṇas are sattva, rajas and tamas.
  4. Puruṣa means the soul.
  5. It means intellect.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore

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