Samkhya Karika


duḥkhatrayābhighātājjijñāsā tadabhighātake hetau ।
dṛṣṭe sāpārthā cennaikāntātyantato’bhāvāt ॥ 1 ॥

Because of the injury from the three kinds of suffering, there is a desire to know that in the means of removal. If that is [considered] useless [because there exists] perceptible [means], it is not so. There is no existence [of the perceptible means of removal] based in permanency and completeness.

duḥkha suffering
traya three kinds
abhighāta injury
 jijñāsā (f. nom. sgl.)  the desire to know
tad  that
abhighātake (m. loc sg.) in removal
hetau  (m. loc. sg.) in the means
dṛṣṭe from √dṛś (see) (p. pas. part. m. loc. sg.) in the perceived
apārthā  useless
ced if
na not
ekānta permanency ekāntātyantatas based in completeness and permanency
abhāvāt non-existence


dṛṣṭavadānuśravikaḥ sa hyaviśuddhi
kṣayātiśayayuktaḥ ।
tadviparītaḥ śreyān vyaktāvyaktajñavijñānāt ॥ 2॥

That one (the perceptible means) is beheld joined to excess loss and impurity, indeed, that one is known from the tradition. The contrary should be better based on the discernment of the knowledge of the manifest and unmanifest.

dṛṣṭavat beheld
ānuśravikas known from tradition
sas that one
hi indeed
aviśuddhi impurity
kṣaya loss
atiśaya excess
yuktas joined
(aviśuddhikṣayātiśayayuktas  joined to excess loss and impurity)
tad that
viparītas contrary
śreyān should be better
vyakta manifest
avyakta unmanifest
jña knowledge
vijñāna discernment
(vyaktāvyaktajñavijñānāt – based on the discernment of the knowledge of the manifest and unmanifest)


mūlaprakṛtiravikṛtirmahadādyāḥ prakṛtivikṛtayaḥ sapta
ṣoḍaśakastu vikāro na prakṛtirna vikṛtiḥ puruṣaḥ ॥ 3॥

Mula Prakriti is the inanimate principle. Beginning with mahat are the seven (mahat, ego, and the five subtle elements), which are nature and changes. Those consisting of sixteen (the mind, the five senses, the five instruments of action, and the five gross elements) are just change. The Self is not nature nor change.

mūla root
prakṛtis nature
mūlaprakṛtis  Mula Prakriti (the original root out of which matter or all apparent forms are evolved)
avikṛtis  the inanimate principle
mahat mahat
ādī beginning (with mahat)  beginning with mahat (the intellect)
prakṛti nature
vikṛti changes
(prakṛtivikṛtayas prakṛti + vikṛtayas) nature and changes
sapta  seven


 dṛṣṭamanumānamāptavacanaṃ ca sarvapramāṇasiddhatvāt ।
trividhaṃ pramāṇamiṣṭaṃ prameyasiddhiḥ pramāṇāddhi ॥ 4॥

Perception, inference, and valid testimony are the source for establishing all correct knowledge. These three are the desired means to correct knowledge. Indeed, from correct knowledge is the attainment of correct knowledge of an object.

dṛṣṭam perception
anumānam inference
āptavacanam valid testimony
ca and
sarva all
pramāṇa knowledge
siddhatva establishing
trividham three kinds
pramāṇam means to correct knowledge
iṣṭam desired
prameya correct knowledge of an object
iṣṭam desired
prameya correct knowledge of an object
siddhi attainment (prameyasiddhis – attainment of correct knowledge of an object)
pramāṇāt from correct knowledge
hi indeed

About Sunday morning

Sunday Morning Contemplation is informed by Eastern and Western contemplative traditions. The first, lectio divina has its origins in 6th century Europe. It unfolds in four steps or stages: reading (lectio), reflecting (meditatio), responding (oratio), and silent abiding (contemplatio). Our Eastern inspiration come from the Indian Upanishads (800-200 BCE), where contemplative practice consists of three steps or stages: listening (śravana), reflecting (manana), and meditating (nididhyāsana or dhyāna). Our contemplative practice on Sundays embraces both approaches, and each contemplation will be based on a reading from either tradition.

The texts and teachers I have chosen played a significant role in my life and I believe have much to offer. I will read presellected texts, slowly, with pauses between verses or quotes. The readings will be accompanied by soothing background music. To lessen distraction, I suggest participants close their eyes and listen. However, the screen will display the text so that people can choose to read along or mute the sound and read on their own. If there is time remaining after the contemplative period, participants can choose to either leave or stay for a short discussion.

As a preface to the reading, I will provide a 10-15 minute introduction to the text. When relevant, I’ll review facts about the author/teacher’s life. I will also present a brief explanation of the terms and language encountered in the reading.

Finally, when the contemplation is over, all texts read will be available online to read and/or download at any time on the website.

What I mean by
The Symbolic Life

This website makes liberal use of classical Indian visual art and refers mostly to traditional Indian texts (for example, the Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita and Yoga Sutras) in the courses, seminars, and discussions on offer. However, I am not presenting lessons in Hinduism; in fact, teaching mainstream Hinduism is neither my area of interest nor expertise. Rather, my interest in Yoga and Tantra is grounded in the concrete situation in which we find ourselves, in the places where we arrive and from which we depart. Beginning in the here and now, we will explore the underlying meaning of the symbols, stories, images, philosophies, and techniques found in Indian philosophical texts and practice, in light of our world and our current circumstance. We will excavate the meaning of the aphorisms and teaching stories; the symbolic figures of gods, people, and nature; and the sometimes terse, sometimes poetic, philosophy of the texts. Thus, in referring to the Symbolic Life of Yoga and Tantra, I mean not just the symbols themselves, but the rich explication of life that the symbols represent.

Our lived, concrete situation is wonderfully captured in the Sanskrit word loka, whose ancient meaning is “the world.”  The root meaning of both the Sanskrit loka and the English locate (and local, locale, and location) is identical. In the ancient Indian mind, the world is where we are located, in our current circumstance. Thus, the meaning of the symbols of Yoga and Tantra can occur only in the now, in the places where we find ourselves, and not in any imagined ancient and/or foreign world.

To emphasize our place of origin and return, I use the terms “archetypal” and “symbolic” quite frequently. Archetypal meaning is associated with the universal and collective aspects of human experience—what we intimately share with all others regardless of culture or era or epoch—while symbolic language forms a bridge between the realms of the universal with the culturally specific and local. Symbols are the scaffolding upon which human beings build a world and imbue it with meaning.

Think for a moment of pain and pleasure, sorrow and joy, hatred and love, and greed and generosity—universal experiences that ancient Indian thinkers called the dvandva-s. This Sanskrit term is a combination of two words, or rather, one word spoken twice: the word dva (meaning the same as the English “two”) duplicated. Dvandva is commonly translated as “the pair of opposites” or literally “the two-twos” (dvadva). The ancients who coined this compact symbol gave voice to an archetypal human experience that can be further unpacked to reveal deep insights into the human condition. Once we gain an understanding of the various symbols of Yoga and Tantra, we can further excavate their meaning and the archetypes they convey, and thus gain access to, in a practical and meaningful way, the vision of life experienced by the sages. These insights are available to us and are still relevant today, as are the resilient and adaptable techniques and forms of practice that can help us lead richer and more fulfilling lives