Definition - What does Samkhya-Yoga mean?
Samkhya-Yoga is an ancient tradition, and one of the six major traditions of Hinduism. It is also one of the paths of yoga described in the yogic text, the Bhagavad Gita, where it is explained as the path of correctly discerning the principles or tattva of existence.
As a philosophical tradition therefore, Samkhya, which means “number” or “to count” is concerned with the proper classification of elements of prakriti and purusha. The goal of Samkhya-Yoga is for practitioners to realize the difference between the spirit or purusha, and matter or prakriti.
Yogapedia explains Samkhya-Yoga
Samkhya was codified in 350CE in the Sankhya-Karika, and this remains the most important text of the Samkhya school. Although it does recognise the authority of the Vedas, Samkhya is primarily built upon foundations of deep reflection and independent experience.
Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, which inform much of our modern-day understanding of the philosophy of yoga were based on Samkhya, and as such Samkhya defines the language of yoga. Some believe that understanding and studying Samkhya can take practitioners to deeper levels of awareness in their yoga practice.
Because Sankhya-Yoga helps its practitioners to know on an intellectual and analytical level what the nature of spirit and matter is, it is considered a path best suited for peoplep who prefer to engage with the world and their spiritual development through experiments, deep thought and philosophy.
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