chapter  8
14 Pages

The wisdom of Kapila’s cave: Sāṃkhya-Yoga as practice


Sāṃkhya-Yoga is an ancient philosophy but also a living tradition, although currently a minor one. The most important Sāṃkhya-Yoga tradition that is active today in India, and perhaps the only one, is centered at the Kāpil Maṭh in Jharkhand in north India. Since 1991 I have met with associates and disciples of the Kāpil Maṭh who have shared their understanding of the Sāṃkhya-Yoga traditions with me. Here I describe the Kāpil Maṭh and some aspects of SāṃkhyaYoga as a living practice and some basic principles of the Sāṃkhya-Yoga system of religious thought. The Yoga system of religious thought originated as a school of Sāṃkhya philosophy, and the significance of the Kāpil Maṭh is that it preserves the tradition of the “original Yoga.” My narrative derives from notes, memory, texts, and photographs.