Prakṛti, also Prakṛiti or Prakṛuti (from
प्रकृति, prakṛti), means "nature". It is a key
concept in Hinduism, formulated by its
Samkhya school, and refers to
the primal matter with three different innate qualities (Guṇas)
whose equilibrium is the basis of all observed empirical
reality. Prakriti, in this school, contrasts with
is pure awareness and metaphysical consciousness. The term is also
found in the texts of other Indian religions such as Jainism, and
In Indian languages derived from Indo-European
Prakriti refers to the feminine aspect of all life forms, and more
specifically a woman is seen as a symbol of Prakriti.
1 Etymology and meaning
3 Role in Ayurveda
4 See also
6 External links
Etymology and meaning
Prakriti (Sanskrit: प्रकृति) is a Vedic era concept,
which, states Monier Williams, means "making or placing before or at
first, the original or natural form or condition of anything, original
or primary substance." The term is discussed by
Yāska (~600 BCE)
in Nirukta, and found in numerous Hindu texts. It connotes "nature,
body, matter, phenomenal universe" in Hindu texts.
Samkhya school, it is contrasted with
Prakriti refers to "the material world, nature,
matter, physical and psychological character, constitution, temper,
disposition". According to Knut Jacobsen, in the dualistic system
Samkhya school, "
Purusha is the principle of pure
Prakriti is the principle of matter", where
Purusha is the masculine in every living being as consciousness, while
Prakriti is the feminine and substrate which accepts the Purusha.
In Hindu mythologies,
Prakriti is the feminine aspect of existence,
the personified will and energy of the Supreme (Brahman); while in
Shaktism, the Goddess is presented as both the
Brahman and the
Prakriti. In Samkhya-
Prakriti is the potency that
brings about evolution and change in the empirical universe. It is
Bhagavad Gita as the "primal motive force". It is the
essential constituent of the universe and is at the basis of all the
activity of the creation.
Prakriti is closely associated with the concept of Maya within Hindu
In Jainism, states Knut Jacobsen, the term
Prakriti is used in its
theory of Karma, and is considered "that form of matter which covers
the perfections of the soul (jiva) and prevents its liberation".
Samkhya and the
Bhagavad Gita Prakrti or Nature is
composed of the three gunas which are tendencies or modes of
operation, known as rajas (creation), sattva (preservation), and tamas
Sattva encompasses qualities of goodness, light, and
Rajas is associated with concepts of energy, activity,
and passion; so that, depending on how it is used, it can either have
a supportive or hindering effect on the evolution of the soul.
Tamas is commonly associated with inertia, darkness,
insensitivity. Souls who are more tamasic are considered imbued in
darkness and take the longest to reach liberation.
Prakruti also means nature. It can also be used to denote the
'feminine' in sense of the 'male' being the purusha.
Role in Ayurveda
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (March
^ a b c James G. Lochtefeld (2001), The Illustrated Encyclopedia of
Hinduism: A-M, Rosen Publishing, ISBN 978-0823931798, Pages 224,
^ Esoteric anatomy: the body as consciousness By Bruce Burger, (North
Atlantic Books : 1998) Page 168
^ Prakriti: Indian philosophy, Encyclopædia Britannica
^ J Jaini (1940). Outlines Of Jainism. Cambridge University Press.
pp. 32–33. GGKEY:B0FNE81JRLY.
^ Paul Williams (2005). Buddhism: Yogācāra, the epistemological
tradition and Tathāgatagarbha. Routledge. p. 20.
^ a b c Knut A. Jacobsen (2008). Bron Taylor, ed. Encyclopedia of
Religion and Nature. Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 1299–1300.
^ a b c d Monier Monier-Williams (1899), Monier William's
Sanskrit-English Dictionary, 2nd Ed., Oxford University Press,
Prakriti प्रकृति, page 654
^ Constance Jones; James D. Ryan (2006). Encyclopedia of Hinduism.
Infobase Publishing. pp. 332–333.
^ a b Charles Johnston (2014). The Bhagavad Gita: Songs of the Master.
pp. 159 footnote 36. ISBN 978-1-4904-5140-4.
^ Maharishi Mahesh Yogi on the Bhagavad-Gita, a New Translation and
Commentary, Chapter 1-6. Penguin Books, 1969, p. 220
Preceptos de Perfección, Discípulos de Ramakrishna, p 40.
^ Knut A. Jacobsen (1999). Prakr̥ti in Samkhya-yoga: Material
Principle, Religious Experience, Ethical Implications. Peter Lang.
pp. 151–162. ISBN 978-0-8204-3465-0.
^ Eknath Easwaran (2007). The Bhagavad Gita. Nilgiri Press.
pp. 221–. ISBN 978-1-58638-023-6.
The Bhagavad Gita, Eknath Easwaran, P.221., 2007.
^ The Concise
Yoga Vāsiṣṭha, Swami Venkatesananda, 1984, p.94
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