This process of
creation and destruction goes on from kalpa to kalpa.
The theory of the Samkhya School is known as Parinama -vada. It is a
theory of evolution. According to this the universe consists of two eternal realities, one
conscious and the other unconscious. The former is called Purusa and the latter Pradhana
or Prakrti. There are numberless Purusas or souls all independent of one an other and
devoid of any qualities. They are the silent spectators of the various modifications of
The Pradhana or Prakrti of the Sankhya
system is either universal matter or universal energy. It has three gunas or dispositions
namely, sattva or purity, rajas or passion and tamas or dullness. When these dispositions
are in equilibrium, Pradhana is said to be quiescent. But when the equilibrium is
disturbed by the presence of souls, the gunas as begin to act on one another and we have
evolution in the following order. Pradhana gives rise to
- Mahat or buddhi, which means
the cosmic intellect.
- Ahamkara or self - consciousness.
- The five so-called
tanmatras of sound, touch, smell, form and taste.
- Manas or the mind,
- The five
organs of cognition
- The five organs of action and, finally
- The five gross
elements of ether, air, light, water and the earth.
The evolving Prakrti is in itself blind and unconscious, but
all its activities are purposive, their fulfillment being the fruition of the destiny of
souls. At the end of a kalpa the world is dissolved and the three
gunas of Prakrti come
into equilibrium again.