Sāṅkhya Teachings Found in Theravada Buddhism: an inquiry into an analogy depicted in the Visuddhimagga

Sanjeewa Vijitha Kumara

Abstract


In the study of philosophies in religions, occasionally, parallel concepts among the religions are also found. For that reason, to understand the original form and precise doctrine of the religions, it is essential to study their history too. The analogy “blind and lame” found in the Visuddhimagga was applied by Buddhaghosa to explain the teaching of Dependent Origination. The same analogy was utilized by Iśvara Kṛṣna to explain the interrelationship between Prakṛti and Puruṣa in Sāṅkhya Kārikā. In consequence, a doubt arises whether the Theravada Buddhist texts were shaded by non-Buddhist systems accepted soul theory. Also, this doubt leads to misunderstand that the teachings of the Dependent and Origination and Prakṛti and Puruṣa are identical. Nevertheless, inquiring the historical records related to these two different religious texts and their traditions, it is obvious that they were different teachings in different contexts. So, this article aims to corroborate varies of them with reference to the history of religions: Buddhism and Sāṅkhya


Keywords


the Visuddhimagga; Sāṅkhya Kārikā; blind and lame

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