Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Sage Kapila

Sage Kapila in his Hermitage, Illustration from the Ramayana, Kangra or Garhwal.

This miniature resembles some of the cosmographical paintings that are a feature of Indian art. The sage, like the innermost Self, sits at the centre of all things, in a state of Kaivalya (isolation, detachment).

Kapila says in the Bhagavata Purana:
"My appearance in this world is especially to explain the philosophy of Sankhya, which is highly esteemed for self-realization by those desiring freedom from the entanglement of unnecessary material desires. This path of self-realization, which is difficult to understand, has now been lost in the course of time. Please know that I have assumed this body of Kapila to introduce and explain this philosophy to human society again." (3.24.36-37)
"When one is completely cleansed of the impurities of lust and greed produced from the false identification of the body as "I" and bodily possessions as "mine," one's mind becomes purified. In that pure state he transcends the stage of so-called material happiness and distress."(3.25.16)

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