Who was Isvarakrishna?

Isvarakrishna was:

  • a Vaishnava teacher from early medieval Orissa
  • a King of Assam in the eighth century AD
  • a philosopher of one of the six systems of philosophy
  • a lawgiver of the medieval period

Isvarakrishna was an Indian philosopher who lived during the 5th century BCE. He was a prominent figure in the Samkhya tradition of Hindu philosophy, which emphasized the duality of purusha (consciousness) and prakriti (nature).

Isvarakrishna is known for his work, the Samkhya Karika, which is considered one of the most important texts in the Samkhya tradition. In this text, he outlines the concept of purusha and prakriti and their relationship to one another. He also discusses the concept of purusha-prakriti vikara, which refers to the transformation of prakriti into the material world we experience.

Isvarakrishna also believed in the concept of avidya, or ignorance, which he saw as the root cause of suffering in the world. He believed that by gaining knowledge and understanding of the true nature of reality, one could transcend suffering and achieve liberation.

Overall, Isvarakrishna’s contributions to the Samkhya tradition have had a lasting impact on Hindu philosophy and continue to be studied and debated by philosophers today.

Over centuries, India’s intellectual exploration of truth has come to be represented by six systems of philosophy. These are:

  • Vaishesika
  • Nyaya
  • Samkhya
  • Yoga
  • Purva Mimansa
  • Vedanta or Uttara Mimansa

Isvarakrishna was an Indian philosopher and one of the six systems of philosophy who was the author of Samkhyakarika.


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