Our Soul’s Purpose in Ayurvedic Philosophy

In Sankhya philosophy, we came from Purusha and Prakriti. We are the manifestation of pure consciousness and pure potential. Purusha and Prakriti are the origins of the universe and are potential energies. Purusha, the potential for consciousness, merged itself with Prakriti, the potential for form or matter because Purusha desired to know itself and to have form.

The aspect of existence that is eternal is Purusha, pure consciousness. This is what our individual soul, or Atman, is trying to achieve.

The aspects of existence that are transient are the manifestations of individual consciousness. There are five elements that exist as the foundation of the physical structure in the world. These are the Maha Bhutus, ether, air, fire, water and earth. In order to experience them, we have the senses, called the Tanmatras. They are sound, touch, sight, taste, and smell. Finally, in order for the sensory experiences to be perceived, we have sense organs. They are the Pancha Jnanedriyani or Buddhi. In order to process the experience, we have the limited mind, the Manas. These are are transient and lead to our ignorance.

When Purusha merged with Prakriti, the universe as we know it was formed. Physical matter was created which pushed the need for a sense of separation. The sense of separation is what lead to a sense of self, or Ahamkara, and is needed to have individual experience. This is the aspect of creation that is responsible for our ignorance; when we perceive ourselves through the individual ego we lose knowledge of who we are, which is God.

When we act in ways that serve the Ahamkara, such as being led by our sensory organs, we are perpetuating our ignorance and our ego. This keeps us from being connected to our Atman, to God. If I lived in accordance with Sankhya philosophy, the purpose of my life would be to form a connection to my Atman. This is my personal God and my connection to pure consciousness, Purusha. It would require a realization of my true nature as spirit, and would require meditation and living in accordance with my true nature. It would have an effect on my life because I would no longer be interested in sensory experiences. I would be living solely for the enlightenment of my Atman and I would only act according to my soul’s purpose. This would free me from my karmic binds and liberate me into pure consciousness.

Agnes Brown

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