People think Sankhya Yog is the spirituality mentioned in chapter two of Gita. That is not correct. Chapter two is the first time where the dialogues of Dharma, and difficult decisions of life are logically based upon spirituality. However, the same spirituality logically expands to so many psychological, sociological and even scientific dimensions. Thus, all logic based discussions are Sankhya. Logic of Spirituality and how it transforms into people’s duties is one of the prime themes in Srimad Bhagwad Gita. Sankhya is about discovering truth and knowledge through a process of logical reasoning. Logical reasoning has helped science and technologies to grow but applied in limited ways in subjects of humanity, often superimposed by faiths and beliefs. Logical reasoning involves observations, analysis and hypothecation. Science goes further to experiment and prove but in humanities, objective studies are often difficult to experiment. Nevertheless, the observations are available in natural life itself and experiments are not essential. Logic is mostly ‘if then else’, statistical or Boolean type. Applied to observations in humanities, philosophies emerge. In fact, entire science is developed from philosophies.
However blind faith is more predominant as compared to logical faith. Even those who think that they believe in logical faith, inadvertently tend to have blind faith on other. For example people with scientific background also believe in books of science which they themselves have never experimented or derived. Even though many of such scientific hypothesis may change in future, as we discover more about the nature. In practical life too many times we just believe on the feedbacks provided to us, and never testify it ourselves. Religions are often subject to corrupt connotation of realities or adjunct practices often due to contemporary culture and traditions. For example, no religious book describe how to dress, yet people follow typical dress code in temples, mosques and churches. All these are examples of Blind faith. Some of them are socially acceptable, but some actually go against the core principles of religion. Heroes have challenges bling faiths often, as it tends to mislead. For example, Lord Rama was advised not to go to Ahilya’s house and touch her, as she was cursed. But he found no logic in such sociological boycott, and he went to her and freed her from such social boycott. Similarly, Prophet Mohammed spoke against many rituals related to idol worshipping, as people did not realize the true essence and mechanically indulged in glib practices. Similarly Jesus Christ challenged norms in his time. These prophets were thinkers and could see the irrelevance in blind practices, thus recommending being more intelligent in practicing religions. Unfortunately Humanity, despite advances in science and knowledge often forgets the logic of religions and falls back to blind faith.
In ancient times, Humanities were well advanced in terms of ethical thinking, philosophies and knowledge. Several types of sciences related to weapons mastery astrology, mathematics, Ayurveda - medical sciences, architectural sciences, understanding animal behaviours and communication with them etc were very well advanced in ancient times. Where did seers get this knowledge? Sankhya is the answer, i.e. the logical thinking. Rishis were thinkers, they studied and researched various types of sciences. The level of sciences we see today was started by them in primitive ways, but with same scientific bent of mind. As civilizations made errors, and humanities had to be controlled, Religions evolved to save and prosper human civilizations. They observed elements of nature and discovered truth, often with meditation to concentrate and relate cause and effect aspects of human nature. Their natural observation-based conclusions and hypothesis were no different, in principle, from Lab-based experimental observations by scientists. They both observed, used logic, debated within community (presenting paper was called Shastrarth in ancient times) and then concluded hypothesis. As a science student does not understand everything in science, just the same way, principles of humanities hidden in religions are often not well understood or applied. The opponent may say, why to give it the garb of religion. The answer lies in human psychology, we tend to believe more on the religion than Law. Even Courts ask you to take an oath on your religious books, thereby admitting the importance of religion in people’s life, yet, there is no organized institution to control the deviations from religions. It is assumed that people can learn religions flawlessly, themselves. Truth is that even the most educated and learned, at one point of time lean on religions and park their opinions accordingly.
Logical conclusions required Dhyan, the meditation, which is about developing excellent thinking power utilized to discover intricate knowledge. Therefore Dhyan can be said to be a heightened form of Sankhya Yog. It is said where yog leads to, Sankhya leads too. They are not different (Shloke 5.4-5.5) and it also fits the explanations in Gita (shloke 3-3). It states there are two types of belief systems, blind beliefs and logical belief. Four paths of yoga can be parked in these two streams, where Sankhya and Dhyana come under logical streams and Bhaktiyog and Karmyog belongs to belief system.
Sankhya (logical and scientific ways of attaining knowledge) and yog are both are distinct, is not said by the Pundits (the knowers of Brahm). Following either of them, results into similar fruits.
Wherever Sankhya leads to, yog leads too. He sees who sees the Sankhya and the Yog as one and the same.
Sankhya logic can be applied to any stream of thoughts. When applied to physical part of nature it comes as modern sciences, but when applied to metaphysical part of nature it delivers spirituality. Worldly observation leads to spiritual enquiry. As we delve deeper into our consciousness, we wake up to the understanding of life, Sankhya of Spiritualism and Metaphysics. To excel in Sankhya, meditation helps, a sit improves the brain power to analyse and relate various observations.
Sankhya has been given highest importance in Scriptures because intellect and knowledge driven Dharma i.e. Sankhya serves its true purpose. This is why Bhagwan Kritsna says that above all the paths, Sankhya Yogis are the dearest to him. See below:
Four types of Sukrutinas (benefactors) venerate me (by their deeds). Hey Arjun! – Distressed, inquisitive, significance seekers and the erudite.
Among them, the erudite, whose deeds are incessantly and singularly dedicated to one objective, are dear to me. Of those knowledgeable, those engaged in discovering my meaningful significance are most dear to me.
Bhagwan emphasizes on ‘artham aham’ i.e. ‘Understanding me and my knowledge’ or research about my ways or knowing Brahm and its laws (Cosmic, physical and spiritual sciences etc.) – this is what knowledge seekers and erudite love the most and such people are dearest to God. Brahm comprises physical cosmology as well as spiritual or metaphysical sciences that drive human behaviours. The later forms the basis for humane duties aiming constructive, progressive and sustainable humanity.
However, while understanding Dharma through logical reasoning, one should not challenge the devotional streams as long as they are within the boundaries of humanity, and not harming others. It is the devotees who are mainly responsible to carry forward Dharma from generations to generations. Not everybody can understand logic of religions, but it is important that everyone believes in it and live the values of Dharma within. But when impiety is seen as piety, then rational thinkers of Dharma must come forward to explain to the people.