The Samkhyan Self & the Buddhist Self

In this module, we shift to a focus on contemplative traditions and will discover that, while housed in very different philosophical systems and cultural contexts, the critiques of identity found in Sāṃkhya and Buddhism are remarkably analogous to those found in the 20th century continental critiques. We will explore the key similarities and differences between the notion of the Buddhist anātman (“non-self”) and the Sāṃkhya-Yoga’s puruṣa (consciousness). We will outline these two traditions’ related practices of meditational yoga and how these practices were designed to cultivate an experience of non-identity that is, in their view, the source of liberation.