* CHARVAKA * ĀJīVIKA * BUDDHISM * JAINISM
* Vaishnava * Smarta * Shakta
* Shaiva : Pratyabhijña * Pashupata * Siddhanta
TEACHERS (Acharyas )
* Gaudapada * Adi Shankara * Vācaspati Miśra * Vidyaranya * Sadananda * Madhusūdana Sarasvatī * Vijnanabhiksu * Ramakrishna * Vivekananda * Ramana Maharshi * Siddharudha * Chinmayananda * Nisargadatta
ACHINTYA BHEDA ABHEDA
* Tantra * Shakta
* Kanada , Prashastapada
* Vallabha Acharya
* Sruti * Smriti
------------------------- _SHASTRAS AND SUTRAS _
* Pramana Sutras
* v * t * e
KAPILA (Hindi : कपिल ऋषि) is a given name of different
individuals in ancient and medieval Indian texts, of which the most
well-known is the founder of the
Many historic personalities in
* 1 Biography
* 1.1.1 In Vedic texts * 1.1.2 In the Puranas * 1.1.3 In the Dharmasutras and other texts * 1.1.4 Imagery in the Agamas * 1.1.5 Other descriptions
* 2 Works
* 3 Teachings
* 4 Recognition * 5 See also * 6 Notes * 7 References * 8 Sources * 9 External links
The name Kapila appears in many texts, and it is likely that these names refer to different people. The most famous reference is to the sage Kapila with his student Āsuri, who in the Indian tradition, are considered as the first masters of Sāṅkhya school of Hindu philosophy . While he pre-dates Buddha , it is unclear which century he lived in, with some suggesting 6th-century BCE. Others place him in the 7th century BCE. This places him in the late Vedic period (1500 BCE to 500 BCE), and he has been called a Vedic sage.
Kapila is credited with authoring an influential sutra , called
Samkhya-sutra (also called Kapila-sutra), which aphoristically
presents the dualistic philosophy of Samkhya. These sutras were
explained in another well studied text of
The name Kapila is used for many individuals in Hinduism, few of which may refer to the same person.
In Vedic Texts
The Rigveda X.27.16 – estimated to have been composed between 1500 and 1200 BCE – mentions Kapila (_daśānām ekam kapilam_) which the 14th-century Vedic commentator Sayana thought refers to a sage; a view which Chakravarti in 1951 and Larson in 1987 consider unreliable, with Chakravarti suggesting that the word refers to one of the Maruts , while Larson and Bhattacharya state kapilam in that verse means "tawny" or "reddish-brown"; as was also translated by Griffith.
The Śata-piṭaka Series on the Śākhās of the
estimated to have been composed between 1200 and 1000 BCE – mention
of a _
Kapila Śākhā_ situated in the Āryāvarta, which implies a
Yajurveda school was named after Kapila. The term Kapileya, meaning
"clans of Kapila", occurs in the
Aitareya Brahmana VII.17 but provides
no information on the original Kapila. The pariśiṣṭa (addenda)
Atharvaveda (at XI.III.3.4) mentions Kapila, Āsuri and
Pañcaśikha in connection with a libation ritual for whom _tarpana_
is to be offered. In verse 5.2 of
Shvetashvatara Upanishad , states
Larson, both the terms
In The Puranas
Kapila, states George Williams, lived long before the composition of the Epics and the Puranas, and his name was coopted in various later composed mythologies.
* _AS AN ASCETIC AND AS SLEEPING VISHNU_: In the
Brahma Purana ,
when the evil king Vena abandoned the Vedas, declared that he was the
only creator of dharma , and broke all limits of righteousness, and
Kapila advises hermits to churn Vena's thigh from which
emerged Nishadas, and his right hand from which Prthu originated who
made earth productive again.
Kapila and hermits then went to
Kapilasangama, a holy place where rivers meet. The
Brahma Purana also
Kapila in the context of Sagara 's 60,000 sons who looking
for their Ashvamedha horse, disturbed
Vishnu who was sleeping in the
shape of Kapila. He woke up, the brilliance in his eyes burnt all but
four of Sagara's sons to ashes, leaving few survivors carrying on the
* _AS VISHNU\'S INCARNATION_: The
Narada Purana enumerates two
Kapilas, one as the incarnation of
Brahma and another as the
Vishnu . The
Puranas Bhagavata , Brahmanda ,
Padma , Skanda ,
Narada Purana ; and the
Kapila is an incarnation of
Vishnu . The
Padma Purana and Skanda
Purana conclusively call him
Vishnu himself who descended on earth to
disseminate true knowledge.
Bhagavata Purana calls him _Vedagarbha
Vishnu_. The Vishnusahasranama mentions
Kapila as a name of Vishnu. In
his commentary on the Sankyasutra, Vijnanabhikshu mentions Kapila, the
founder of Sankya system, is Vishnu. Jacobsen suggests
Kapila of the
Śramaṇa tradition and the
Mahabharata is the same person as
Kapila the founder of Sankya; and this individual is considered as an
Vishnu in the
In The Dharmasutras And Other Texts
Fearlessness to all living beings from my side, Svāhā! —_Kapila_, Baudhayana Grihya Sutra, 4.16.4 Translators: Jan E. M. Houben, Karel Rijk van Kooij
* AS SON OF PRAHLADA : The Baudhayana Dharmasutra mentions the Asura
Kapila was the son of
Prahlada in the chapter laying rules for the
Vaikhanasas . The section IV.16 of _Baudhāyana Gṛhyasūtra_
Kapila as the one who set up rules for ascetic life. Kapila
is credited, in the Baudhayana Dharmasutra, with creating the four
Ashrama orders: brahmacharya, grihastha, vanaprastha and sanyassa, and
suggesting that renouncer should never injure any living being in
word, thought or deed. He is said to have made rules for renouncement
of the sacrifices and rituals in the Vedas, and an ascetic's
attachment instead to the
Brahman . In other
Imagery In The Agamas
Kapila's imagery is depicted with a beard, seated in _padmāsana_ with closed eyes indicating _dhyāna_, with a _jaṭā-maṇḍala_ around the head, showing high shoulders indicating he was greatly adept in controlling breath, draped in dear skin, wearing the yagñopavīta, with a _kamaṇḍalu_ near him, with one hand placed in front of the crossed legs, and feet marked with lines resembling outline of a lotus. This Kapila is identified with Kapila the founder of Sāṅkhya system; while the Vaikhānasasāgama gives somewhat varying description. The Vaikhānasasāgama places Kapila as an āvaraņadēvāta and allocates the south-east corner of the first āvaraņa. As the embodiment of the Vedas his image is seated facing east with eight arms; of which four on the right should be in abhaya mudra, the other three should carry the Chakra, Khaḍga, Hala; one left hand is to rest on the hip in the _kațyavarlambita_ pose and other three should carry the Ṡaṅkha, Pāśa and Daṇḍa.
* The name Kapila is sometimes used as an epithet for Vasudeva with Vasudeva having incarnated in the place named Kapila. * Pradyuma assumed the form of Kapila when he became free from desire of worldly influences. * Kapila is as one of the seven Dikpalas with the other 6 being Dharma, Kala, Vasu, Vasuki, Ananta. * The Jayakhya Samhita of 5th century AD alludes to the Chaturmukha Vishnu of Kashmir and mentions Vishnu with Varaha, Nrsimha and Kapila defeated the asuras who appeared before them in zoomorphic forms with Nrsimha and Varaha posited to be incarnations of Vishnu and Kapila respectively. * In the Vamana Purana, the Yakshas were sired by Kapila with his consort Kesini who was from the Khasa class; though the epics attribute the origin of Yakshas to a cosmic egg or to the sage Pulastya; while other puranas posit Kashyapa as the progenitor of Yakshas with his consort Vishva or Khasha. * In some puranas, Kapila is also mentioned as a female, a daughter of Khaśā and a Rākșasī, after whom came the name Kāpileya gaņa. In the Mahabharat, Kapila was a daughter of Daksha and having married Kashyapa gave birth to the Brahmanas, Kine, Gandharvas and Apsaras.
Kapila is mentioned in chapter VIII of the _Uttaradhyayana-sutra_, states Larson and Bhattacharya, where a discourse of poetical verses is titled as _Kaviliyam_, or "Kapila's verses".
According to _Jnatadharmakatha_, Kapila was a contemporary of Krishna and the _Vasudeva_ of _Dhatakikhanda_. The text further mentions that both of them blew their _shankha _ (counch) together.
Scholars have long compared and associated the teachings of Kapila and Buddha. For example, Max Muller wrote (abridged),
There are no doubt certain notions which
Buddha shares in common, not
only with Kapila, but with every
Max Muller states the link between the more ancient Kapila's teachings on Buddha can be overstated. This confusion is easy, states Muller, because Kapila's first sutra in his classic Samkhya-sutra, "the complete cessation of pain, which is of three kinds, is the highest aim of man", sounds like the natural inspiration for Buddha. However, adds Muller, the teachings on how to achieve this, by Kapila and by Buddha, are very different.
As Buddhist art often depicts Vedic deities, one can find art of both Narayana and Kapila as kings within a Buddhist temple, along with statues of Buddhist figures such as Amitabha, Maitreya, and Vairocana.
The following works were authored by Kapila, some of which are lost, and known because they are mentioned in other works; while few others are unpublished manuscripts available in libraries stated:
* Manvadi Shrāddha - mentioned by Rudradeva in _Pakayajna Prakasa_. * Dṛṣṭantara Yoga - also named _Siddhāntasāra_ available at Madras Oriental Manuscripts Library. * Kapilanyayabhasa - mentioned by Alberuni in his works. * Kapila Purana - referred to by Sutasamhita and Kavindracharya. Available at Sarasvati Bhavana Library, Varanasi. * Kapila Samhita - there are 2 works by the same name. One is the samhita quoted in the _Bhagavatatatparyanirnaya_ and by Viramitrodaya in _Samskaras_. Another is the Samhita detailing pilgrim centers of Orissa. * Kapilasutra - Two books, namely the Samkya Pravacana Sutra and the Tattvasamasasutra, are jointly known as Kapilasutra. Bhaskararaya refers to them in his work Saubhagya-bhaskara. * Kapila Stotra - Chapters 25 to 33 of the third khanda of the Bhagavata Mahapurana are called Kapila Stotra. * Kapila Smriti - Available in the work _Smriti-Sandarbha_, a collection of Smritis, from Gurumandal Publications. * Kapilopanishad - Mentioned in the _Anandasrama_ list at 4067 (Anandasrama 4067). * Kapila Gita - also known as Dṛṣṭantasara or _Siddhāntasāra_. * Kapila Pancharatra - also known as Maha Kapila Pancharatra. Quoted by Raghunandana in _Saṃskāra Mayukha_.
Ayurveda books mentioning Kapila's works are:
* Vagbhatta mentions Kapila's views in chapter 20 of _Sutrasthana_. * Nischalakara mentions Kapila's views in his commentary on _Chikitsa Sangraha_. * Kapila's views are quoted in _Ayurvedadipika_. * The Kavindracharya list at 987 mentions a book named Kapila _Siddhanta Rasayana_. * Hemadri quotes Kapila's views in _Ashtangahradaya_ (16th verse) of the commentary _ Ayurveda Rasayana_. * Sarvadarsanasamgraha (_Sarva-darśana-saṃgraha_) mentions Kapila's views on Raseśvara school of philosophy.
* " Kapila said, "Acts only cleanse the body. Knowledge, however, is the highest end (for which one strives). 5 When all faults of the heart are cured (by acts), and when the felicity of Brahma becomes established in knowledge, benevolence, forgiveness, tranquillity, compassion, truthfulness, and candour, abstention from injury, absence of pride, modesty, renunciation, and abstention from work are attained. These constitute the path that lead to Brahma. By those one attains to what is the Highest." (Book 12: Santi Parva: Mokshadharma Parva: Section CCLXX, p. 270–271). * "Bhishma said (to Yudhishthira ), 'Listen, O slayer of foes! The Sankhyas or followers of Kapila, who are conversant with all paths and endued with wisdom, say that there are five faults, O puissant one, in the human body. They are Desire and Wrath and Fear and Sleep and Breath. These faults are seen in the bodies of all embodied creatures. Those that are endued with wisdom cut the root of wrath with the aid of Forgiveness. Desire is cut off by casting off all purposes. By cultivation of the quality of Goodness (Sattwa) sleep is conquered, and Fear is conquered by cultivating Heedfulness. Breath is conquered by abstemiousness of diet. (Book 12: Santi Parva: Part III, Section CCCII.)
* "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)
Kapila, the founder of Samkhya, has been a highly revered sage in
various schools of
* ^ dashAnAmekaM kapilaM samAnaM taM hinvanti kratavepAryAya garbhaM mAtA sudhitaM vakSaNAsvavenantantuSayantI bibharti Translated by Griffith as: One of the ten, the tawny, shared in common, they send to execute their final purpose. The Mother carries on her breast the Infant of noble form and soothes it while it knows not. * ^ Quote from Chakravarti's work: These Kapileyas are the clans of Kapila, but who was the original Kapila, we cannot know; for the text does not supply us with any further data. In his article on the Śākhās of the Yajurveda, Dr. Raghuvira acquaints us with one _ Kapila Śākhā_ that was situated in the Āryāvarta. But we do not know anything else as regards the Kapila with whom the said branch was associated. Further in the _khilas_ of the Rgveda, one Kapila is mentioned along with some other sages. But the account of all these Kapilas is very meagre and hence cannot be much estimated in discussing the attitude of Sāṃkhya Kapila towards the Vedas. Though the Sāṃkhya vehemently criticises the Vedic sacrifices, but thereby it does not totally set aside the validity of the Vedas. In that case it is sure to fall under the category of the nāstika philosophy and could not exercise so much influence upon the orthodox minds; for it is well known that most of the branches of orthodox literature are more or less replete with the praise of Samkhya". * ^ The pariśiṣṭa to each Veda were composed after the Veda; Atharvaveda itself estimated to have been composed by about 1000 BCE. * ^ In Vedic texts, Asura refers to any spiritual or divine being. Later, the meaning of Asura contrasts with Deva.
* ^ Baudhayana
Dharma Sutra, Prasna II, Adhyaya 6, Kandika 11,
Verses 1 to 34:
14. A hermit is he who regulates his conduct entirely according to
the Institutes proclaimed by Vikhanas.(...)
28. With reference to this matter they quote also (the following
passage): 'There was, forsooth, an Âsura,
Kapila by name, the son of
Prahlâda. Striving with the gods, he made these divisions. A wise man
should not take heed of them.' * ^ The Baudhayana Dharmasutra
Prasna II, Adyaya 6, Kandiaka 11, Verses 26 to 34 dissuade the
Vaikhanasas from sacrificial ritual works in the Vedas.
* ^ Quote from p. 49–51: Of course, the Panchatantrikas accorded
a place of honour to
Kapila who was designated _muni_ and
_paramarishi_, and even identified with Narayana. The original concept
of Kapila, the _asura exponent of one of the oldest systems of
philosophy is, however, preserved in the present inscription_. (...)
The Rūpamaņḍana and Aparājittapŗichha accounts of the deity
mention a female face instead of
Kapila which has puzzled scholars. In
this connection, it may be pointed out that in the Mahabharata,
Pañcaśīkha the disciple of Āsuri has been called Kapileya. He was
so named because he was fed on the breast-milk of a brahmana lady,
Kapila. According to Chattopadhyaya, "We have to take the story of
Kapila breast-feeding Panchasikha ina figurative sense and if we do so
the myth might suggest the story of an original female preceptor of
* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ _E_ _F_ _G_ D, Satyanarayana (2015). _The Kapila Gita (From The Mahabharata, Shanti Chapter 268-270)_. Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams, Tirupati. Printed at T.T.D Press, Tirupati. pp. vii–xxviii. * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Arti Dhand (2009). _Woman as Fire, Woman as Sage_. State University of New York Press. pp. 41–42. ISBN 978-0-7914-7988-9 . * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica (1998). _The New Encyclopædia Britannica_. Encyclopædia Britannica. p. 731. ISBN 978-0-85229-633-2 . CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link ), Quote:" Kapila (fl. 550 BC), Vedic sage and founder of the system of Samkhya, one of the six schools of Vedic philosophy."
* ^ _A_ _B_ Guida Myrl Jackson-Laufer (1994). _Traditional Epics: A
Literary Companion_. Oxford University Press. p. 321. ISBN
978-0-19-510276-5 . , QUOTE: "
Kapila was a Vedic sage (ca. 550 B.C.)
and founder of the
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