PURUSHA, PRAKRITI, AND THE THREE GUNAS
The samkhya has for its fundemental concept the idea that the universe is a duality. Purusha, spirit, is eternal, and prakriti, matter, is co-eternal with spirit. Purusha and prakriti are inseparable and are inherent in the manifested universe. Prakriti has three modes or aspects;
- Rajas: activity,
- Tamas: inertia,
- Sattva: rhythm, balance.
These three, called the three gunas, combine in an infinite variety of manifestations, which constitute the universe, and the student will notice recurrent trinities of classification due to this underlying conception of the threefold nature of matter.
There are two variants of sankhya philosophy, one which is entirely atheistic, and the other which accepts the idea of a deity, Ishvara. This last is usually called the 'sankhya with God',