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The Meaning of Yoga and Sankhya_SB 3-16-37_2-0-03

Page history last edited by PBworks 14 years, 11 months ago

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An analytical view on the meaning and linguistics of various philosophical terms



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SB 3.116.27


visvasya yah sthiti-layodbhava-hetur adyo

yogesvarair api duratyaya-yogamayah

ksemam vidhasyati sa no bhagavams tryadhisas

tatrasmadiya-vimrsena kiyan iharthah





My dear sons, the Lord is the controller of the three modes of nature and is responsible for the creation, preservation and dissolution of the universe. His wonderful creative power, yogamaya cannot be easily understood even by the masters of yoga. That most ancient person, the Personality of Godhead, will alone come to our rescue. What purpose can we serve on His behalf by deliberating on the subject?



Here Krsna is described as hetuh, the cause. He causes the creation, preservation and dissolution of the universe. Ahaituki bhakti  is bhakti which has no hetuh, no material motivation, psychological cause of motive. Saying that Krsna is the cause of the universe also means that He has a personal motivation: He wants to deliver the fallen souls. The word yoga means to link, to connect. The six kinds of philosophy are linked together.  There is Sankhya and Yoga, Nyaya and Vaiseska and Purva Mimamsa and Uttara Mimamsa.  Uttara Mimamsa , the Vedanta-sutra, is widely accepted as the apex of all six systems because it deals exclusively with the Absolute Truth.  Mimamsa means to think intensely, to inquire philosophically.


In BG all the language we use to technically describe something is coming from sankhya. Sank-hya means “to tell together”, enumeration. It explains how many fundamental real things are there. That is the meaning of tattva. Like visnu-tattva or jiva-tattva explains the category, the fundamental real thing, and the process by which we “get it” and become enlightened is called yoga.


Sankya and yoga are the philosophies of practice. Yoga is the potency that gets things done in terms of self-realisation. Bhakti-yoga means to practice yoga, getting yoga done.


Brahma is here cautioning the demigods because Krsna is doing things through His yoga-maya potency. So the demigods are assured that the Lord will provide for their safety.