Gunas: the Three Qualities of Matter

It is said in the Shvetashvatra Upanishad that the only way to truly understand human existence and the primal cause of all things is through philosophy and spiritual self-discipline – samkhya-yoga-adhigamya. This ancient text establishes, for the first time, the connection between Samkhya and Yoga. As one of the foundational Upanishads, this commentary is meaningful because philosophy alone cannot impart the truth. Reason and reflection is only fully embodied through practice. The Samkhya Karika, attributed to Ishvarakrishna, is the oldest text of the Samkhya philosophy. Samkhya means enumeration and the text essentially creates an accounting system of the universe. It posits that the nature of reality is dualistic – there is spiritual consciousness, Purusha, and there is material consciousness, Prakriti. Purusha is the realm of the higher Self, our inner reality, pure cosmi

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