prakṛteḥ mahāṃ tataḥ ahaṃkāraḥ tasmāt-gaṇaḥ ca ṣoḍaśakaḥ |
tasmāt-api ṣoḍaśakāḥ pañcabhyaḥ pañca-bhūtāni ||
prakṛti – nature / original producer
mahat – discerning intelligence
ahaṃkāra – I-principle
gaṇa – flock/number/troop
ṣoḍaśaka – sixteen
pañca – five
bhūta – elements
Mahat, a discerning intelligence.
- The manifest has been established (see verse 10) as that which is caused, and has certain qualities.
- The unmanifest (Prakrti – primordial Nature) has been established (see verse 10) and is the reverse of the manifest and is also made up of the three Gunas (see verse 13).
- Spirit (Purusa) has been established (see verse 11) as “opposite & similar.”
- The union of Spirit and Nature has been established (see verse 20).
- That union causes the first product (vikṛti) : a discerning intelligence – the Great Principle (Mahat/Buddhi).
- Mahat causes the I-principle (Ahamkara).
- Ahamkara causes a set of 16.
- 5 of those 16 cause the 5 elements.
- Together these form the 25 principles (Tattvas) of Samkhya:
- Spirit (Purusa) & Nature (Prakrti) = 2
- Spirit & Nature cause Discerning Intelligence (Mahat) which causes the I-Principle (Ahamkara) = 2
- The I-Principle causes 16 additional products =16
- 5 of these 16 cause another 5 elements = 5