The Sankhya philosophy believes that :
1. There is no God at all
2. The balance of prakrti and Purusha is guided by prakrti independently
Choose the correct option from the codes given below:

Answer: [D] Neither 1 nor 2

Early Sankhya philosophers did not accept the existence of God. They argued that because the entire universe is a system of cause and effect, it could not be caused by God because by definition God is eternal and immutable. That which is unchanging cannot be the active cause of anything, so the ultimate cause of the universe is eternal but ever-changing. That cause is prakrti, the eternal and ever-changing unconscious material principle. In reply to this, one could argue that prakrti is not intelligent and must, therefore, be controlled and directed by some intelligent principle in order to produce the universe. But because there are many purusas, they cannot guide and lead the infinite, all-pervading prakrti, so one must therefore conclude that there is a God. But this is not possible, the proponents of nontheistic sankhya reply, because the act of controlling or guiding prakrti means to do something or to be active. In addition, if God controls prakrti, then what inspires God to make her create a world full of pain and misery? Moreover, one cannot say that God has desires because desire implies imperfection, which is a quality God cannot have. Therefore, there is no such thing as God. purusa is sufficient to inspire the unconscious prakrti to manifest herself in the form of the universe.

Later, a section of sankhya philosophers were persuaded to accept the existence of God. In debates with theistic opponents they found it very difficult to explain the creation without including a Supreme Being in their system. One logical weakness of Nirisvara sankhya that was attacked by theists is the belief in many purusas but only one prakrti. Was it one purusa or all the purusas together that inspired prakrti to manifest? If only one, then creation occurred against the wish of the other purusas. Why did the desire of only one soul implicate all others in birth and death? If all the purusas together inspired prakrti to create, then there must be some communication and agreement among the purusas. But there is no record of a cosmic conference of all the purusas to make such a decision. Therefore, there must be one Supreme Being who guides prakrti independently.

This question is a part of GKToday's Integrated IAS General Studies Module