Sankhya is the earliest of the orthodox schools of Hindu Philosophy and was said to have influenced Gautama Buddha, who in turn influenced later Sankhya philosophy. Both Sankhya and Buddhism are based on the notion of suffering. The rejection of vedic sacrifice, the renunciation of ascetic extravagance, indifference to theism, and belief in the constant 'becoming' of the world.
The two ultimate realities are Purusha (spirit) and Prakriti (matter). Everything is held to be potential in these two. This view is called satkarya-vada (existence-causing-ism) meaning that the effect exists in the cause, and so something cannot come out of nothing. This principle is the distinguishing feature of the Sankhya system, and through this principle the material universe is traced back to its first cause. Nothing new is created; everything is but a manifestation or emanation of what has already existed. Purusha implies a plurality of selves or purushas, each following an individual career when it gets `interwined' with Prakriti. Prakriti is thus the seat and seed of all manifestation, and is made up of three guna or constituted principles (see quality), namely, sattva (goodness), rajas (passion) and tamas (darkness), which form a Sankhya triplicity.
The remaining twenty-three tattvas are regarded as transformations (vikara) resulting from the inter-operation of these two principles. 1) Purusha and 2) Prakriti. They are: 3) mahatattva, the Great Principle, which is the first manifestation of the universe, or the first product of Prakriti; it is the third category of Sankhya and is also sometimes called Mahat (see psychology); 4) ahamkara or self-consciousness; 5) manas or Mind, sometimes called Cosmic Mind; (6-10) tanmatra or subtle substances, five in number (1115) jnanendriya, the agents of perception, five in number; (16-20) karmendriya, the agents of action, five in number; (21-25) mahabhuta, pure elements, five in number (see substance).
The samkhya system with yoga admixtures had a profound influence on Hindu Philosophy. It has also left its mark on the lawgivers including manu, on the Mahabharata, Puranas, and the Tantras and on most other later systems of Hindu thought and sectarian philosophy.
Yoga is one of the six orthodox systems of Hindu philosophy, believed to have been founded by the sage Vajnavalkya, and later codified by Patanjali in his yoga-sutra. Yoga has been defined as a form of mental and physical discipline a code of ascetic practices; Yoga is often regarded as the practical and dynamic expression of the system of thought and life for which the Samkhya school provides the theoretical and metaphysical bases. It is a feature of most forms of Hindu contemplation, and great stress is laid on it. Even a deity cannot obtain liberation without yoga. Yoga accepts the twenty five principles of the samkhya teaching.
The term Yoga has in some opinion, been derived from the root yuj, 'yoke or join, its aim being to teach the means by which the human soul (Jivatman) might attain complete union with the universal soul (Paramatman) one who practices yoga is called yogi of yogin and the term yogarudha (yoga-arudha, 'mounted on yoga') applies to one who is well advanced in yogic techniques.
There are several forms of Yoga, depending on whether emancipation, Samadhi, mental energy, siddhis or physical powers are sought, and also on the paths or mange followed to attain these.
Hatha yoga deals chiefly with the body and its powers and functions and is best considered as a part of physical culture. The syllable ha is said to represent the sun and tha the moon and these symbolize the polarity found in each human being. Hatha yoga prescribes eight stages for the attainment of its objective they are; 1) yama, restraint, especially external control, like non-injury and continence, 2) Niyama, or internal control like equanimity and meditation 3) Asana or bodily postures 4) Pranayama or breath control 5) Pratyahara, control of the senses 6) dharana or meditation 7) dhyana or contemplation 8) Samadhi, a form of superconsciousness.
Apart from Patanjali's yoga — sutra, the most authoritative accounts of yoga teachings are found in Goraksha-shataka by Gorakhnath, Hathyoga Pradipika by Svatmarama Svamin.