It has been said that this system corresponds to Rajas Guna; and an examination of the diagram of the Gunas will show that Rajas, more than any other Guna, partakes of the energy of all the three Gunas. Further, we notice that its line extends to both the Right and the left side, or the Purushic and Prakrtic aspects of the Golden Egg. It has also been pointed out that Rajas is Mind-energy which is electric, characterised by a positive and a negative aspect; but, as in an electric current the flow of energy is from a higher to a lower potential, and as here it is from Purushic to Prakrtic side, Purusha is regarded as higher than and superior to Prakrti.
Accordingly, we note the following characteristics in the Yoga system of philosophy:
- All life is created by two energies, Purusha and Prakrti, who are co-extensive and co-eternal partners in the manifestation of life.
- Purusha is greater than Prakrti, but he cannot create without her.
- All manifestations of life partake of the character of both Purusha and Prakrti.
Two Aspects of Yoga Philosophy: The Yoga system may be examined from two points of view. It is characterised by Mind-energy and the Mind may be examined with reference to Buddhi, and the five senses. The Yoga system is, therefore, connected with Buddhi on the one hand and the five senses on the other; and as Buddhi is greater than the senses and is characterised by peace, while the senses are characterised by activity, one aspect of the Yoga system, and its corresponding religion, is related to peace, born of withdrawing oneself into Buddhi, and the other to activity and power, born of the association of the Mind with the senses.
Energies of Life According to Yoga System: According to this system the following are the energies of life:
- (1) Purusha;
- (2) Prakrti;
- (3) Jivatman (illustrating the union of Purusha and Prakrti);
- (4) Buddhi;
- (5) Mind;
- (6-10) Five subtle elements;
- (11-15) Five gross elements;
- (16-20) Five senses of Knowledge;
- (21-25) Five senses of Action.
Difference between Vedanta and Yoga: It will be noticed that the apparent difference between the energies of life according to Vedanta and Yoga systems is, that in the former Atman and Jiva are separate, whereas in the latter they are combined into one. This difference is not merely accidental; it is fundamental. In the Vedanta the Jiva, or the elemental self born within each individual, is conceived as created out of Atman or the higher self as his modification, and is ultimately merged in the latter, as Prakrti into Purusha. In the Yoga, on the other hand, the Jiva and Atman are united together inseparably like the positive and negative currents of electricity.
Further, in the Vedanta there is only one without a second, the Supreme Purusha, and all that is in the manifest universe has been evolved out of him, and will merge into him again; while according to the Yoga system, Prakrti is co-extensive and coeternal with the Supreme Purusha, and he cannot create anything without her. According to the Vedanta, there is one and becomes Two, and the Two become many; whereas according to Yoga there are Two from the beginning and they become many.
Again, it has been observed that the first manifest form of the energy of the Supreme Creator is Buddhi in Vedanta, while it is Mind in Yoga. It has, in this connection, been remarked that Buddhi is characterised by Heat (Tapas), like the Sun; while Mind is characterised by Electricity (Kama, Desire), like the Moon. Now it may be pointed out that Heat is single and uniform, while Electricity has a twofold character, positive and negative. Accordingly Vedanta, which has Buddhi for its first manifest energy of the Supreme, is based on a single energy, Purusha; while Yoga, which has Mind for its first energy of life, is based on a dual energy, Purusha and Prakrti, coextensive and co-eternal.
But, while there is this difference between the Vedanta and Yoga systems, there is a fundamental unity between them; for the Vedanta is ultimately based upon the idea of Heart-energy as the fountain source of all life; and the Mind-energy, upon which the Yoga is founded, is similar in character to the energy of the Heart. Accordingly the unity between the two systems is deeper than their difference.
Yoga Philosophy and its Corresponding Religion: It has been said that each system of thought has a corresponding system of religion to illustrate it; and that in the case of Yoga the system of religion is associated with Siva or Mahadeva.
Male and Female Divinities: A study of the religious systems of the Hindus will show that each male divine incarnation is, except in the case of Lord Buddha when he renounced the world, accompanied by a female divinity. This corresponds to the idea of the universe as created out of the union of Purusha and Prakrti, or the male and female energies. In the Vedanta system Prakrti is conceived as created out of Purusha; and then in union with her he creates the universe. In the Yoga the two are co-eternal from the very beginning. The reason why the Lord Buddha is separated from his consort is not far to seek. Buddhism, with which the lord of Kapilavastu is associated, is intended to indicate, not so much the creative energies of life as the means of freedom from its sorrow and death; and this, according to the Sankhya system and its associated religion, Buddhism, can be achieved only by the renunciation of Prakrti (Maya, Action etc.) herself. Accordingly, Lord Buddha must renounce his own Prakrti, his wife, in order to attain to highest freedom.
It has been observed that the Yoga system of philosophy is related to the Mahadeva system of religion, according to which the union of Purusha and Prakrti is represented in a very special and obvious manner by means of the Lingam or the Phallic emblem, indicating that the male and female are always together from the very beginning of life, and together they make it manifest.