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A History of Indian Philosophy, Volume 1

Other buddhi evolutions take place


of gu@na evolution; for the

state of pralaya, since it has been generated to fulfil the demands of the accumulated karmas of puru@sas, and since there is still the activity of the gu@nas in keeping themselves in a state of suspended production, is also a stage of the sa@msara cycle. The state of mukti (liberation) is of course quite different, for in that stage the movement of the gu@nas ceases forever with reference to the liberated soul. But still the question remains, what breaks the state of equilibrium? The Sa@mkhya answer is that it is due to the transcendental (non-mechanical) influence of the puru@sa [Footnote ref 1]. This influence of the puru@sa again, if it means anything, means that there is inherent in the gu@nas a teleology that all their movements or modifications should take place in such a way that these may serve the purposes of the puru@sas. Thus when the karmas of the puru@sas had demanded that there should be a suspension of all experience, for a period there was a pralaya. At the end of it, it is the same inherent purpose of the prak@rti that wakes it up for the formation of a suitable world for the experiences of the puru@sas by which its quiescent state is disturbed. This is but another way of looking at the inherent teleology of the prak@rti, which demands that a state of pralaya should cease and a state of world-framing activity should begin. Since there is a purpose in the gu@nas which brought them to a state of equilibrium, the state of equilibrium also presupposes that it also
may be broken up again when the purpose so demands. Thus the inherent purpose of the prak@rti brought about the state of pralaya and then broke it up for the creative work again, and it is this natural change in the prak@rti that may be regarded from another point of view as the transcendental influence of the puru@sas.

Mahat and Aha@mkara.

The first evolute of the prak@rti is generated by a preponderance of the sattva (intelligence-stuff). This is indeed the earliest state from which all the rest of the world has sprung forth; and it is a state in which the stuff of sattva predominates. It thus holds

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[Footnote 1: The Yoga answer is of course different. It believes that the disturbance of the equilibrium of prak@rti for new creation takes place by the will of Is'vara (God).]

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within it the minds (_buddhi_) of all puru@sas which were lost in the prak@rti during the pralaya. The very first work of the evolution of prak@rti to serve the puru@sas is thus manifested by the separating out of the old buddhis or minds (of the puru@sas) which hold within themselves the old specific ignorance (_avidya_) inherent in them with reference to each puru@sa with which any particular buddhi is associated from beginningless time before the pralaya. This state of evolution consisting of all the collected minds (buddhi) or all the puru@sas is therefore called _buddhitattva._ It is a state which holds or comprehends within it the buddhis of all individuals. The individual buddhis of individual puru@sas are on one hand integrated with the buddhitattva and on the other associated with their specific puru@sas. When some buddhis once begin to be separated from the prak@rti, other buddhi evolutions take place. In other words, we are to understand that once the transformation of buddhis is effected for the service of the puru@sas, all the other direct transformations that take place from the prak@rti take the same line, i.e. a preponderance of sattva being once created by the bringing out of some buddhis, other transformations of prak@rti that follow them have also the sattva preponderance, which thus have exactly the same composition as the first buddhis. Thus the first transformation from prak@rti becomes buddhi-transformation. This stage of buddhis may thus be regarded as the most universal stage, which comprehends within it all the buddhis of individuals and potentially all the matter of which the gross world is formed. Looked at from this point of view it has the widest and most universal existence comprising all creation, and is thus called _mahat_ (the great one). It is called _li@nga_ (sign), as the other later existences or evolutes give us the ground of inferring its existence, and as such must be distinguished from the prak@rti which is called _ali@nga,_ i.e. of which no li@nga or characterise may be affirmed.


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