Kapila

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Kapila (Sanskrit: कपिल) is a given name of different individuals in ancient and medieval Indian texts, of which the most well-known is the founder of the Samkhya school of Hindu philosophy.

Quotes[edit]

  • Ambedkar traces Buddha's rational approach, which he values so much, to Kapila, the founder of the Samkhya-Darshana, the 'viewpoint' focusing on cosmology: 'Among the ancient philosophers of India the most preeminent was Kapila (') The tenets of his philosophy were of a startling nature. Truth must be supported by proof. This is the first tenet of the Samkhya system. There is no truth without proof. For purposes of proving the truth Kapila allowed only two means of proof-1) perception, and 2) inference'.
    • Dr. Ambedkar: The Buddha and his Dhamma, book 1, part 5, para 2, in Writings and Speeches, vol.11, p.83-87. Quoted from Elst, Koenraad (2002). Who is a Hindu?: Hindu revivalist views of Animism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and other offshoots of Hinduism. ISBN 978-8185990743
  • According to Dr. Ambedkar, Kapila is the source of one of Buddhism's most fundamental concepts, causality, and also of the related Buddhist rejection of the belief in a personal Creator of the universe: 'His next tenet related to causality-creation and its cause. Kapila denied the theory that there was a being who created the universe.'
    • Quoted from Elst, Koenraad (2002). Who is a Hindu?: Hindu revivalist views of Animism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and other offshoots of Hinduism. ISBN 978-8185990743, with quote from Ambedkar: The Buddha and his Dhamma, 1:5:2.
  • Kapila's arguments are listed [by Dr. Ambedkar], and the last one introduces yet another fundamental concept of Buddhism: suffering (dukkha). It is brought in from an unusual angle: 'Kapila argued that the process of development of the unevolved is through the activities of three constituents of which it is made up, Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. These are called three Gunas. [Sattva is] light in nature, which reveals, which causes pleasure to men; [Rajas is] what impels and moves, what produces activity; [Tamas is] what is heavy and puts under restraint, what produces the state of indifference or inactivity (') When the three Gunas are in perfect balance, none overpowering the other, the universe appears static (achetan) and ceases to evolve. When the three Gunas are not in balance, one overpowers the other, the universe becomes dynamic (sachetan) and evolution begins. Asked why the Gunas become unbalanced, the answer which Kapila gave was that this disturbance in the balance of the three Gunas was due to the presence of Dukkha (suffering).'
    Buddhism is quite close to the Samkhya-Yoga viewpoint: to Samkhya for its philosophical framework, to Yoga for its methods of meditation.
    • Quoted in Elst, Koenraad (2002). Who is a Hindu?: Hindu revivalist views of Animism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and other offshoots of Hinduism. ISBN 978-8185990743, with quote from Ambedkar: The Buddha and his Dhamma, 1:5:2.

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