Six theistic schools are accepted in San\u0101tanadharma, namely Ny\u0101ya, Vai\u015be\u1e63ika, S\u0101\u1e45khya, Yoga, P\u016brvam\u012bm\u0101ms\u0101 (or M\u012bm\u0101ms\u0101) and Uttaram\u012bm\u0101ms\u0101 (or Ved\u0101nta). These are theistic schools not because they profess the existence of a God, but because they accept the authority of the Vedas as central to their philosophy1. Of these the epistemological school of S\u0101\u1e45khya and Yoga are sister schools, so much so, Yogadar\u015bana is commonly referred to as \u2018se\u015bvara-s\u0101\u1e45khya\u2019, or the S\u0101\u1e45khya that professes a God. They are both in agreement with the dualistic nature of cosmology, and they are both in agreement with their theory of creation, existence and dissolution. 1 \u2018veda\u1e25 asti iti \u0101stika\u1e25\u2019 \u091c\u094d\u091e\u093e\u0928\u0902 \u0928\u093f\u0903\u0936\u094d\u0930\u0947\u092f\u0938\u093e\u0930\u094d\u0925\u093e\u092f \u092a\u0941\u0930\u0941\u0937\u0938\u094d\u092f\u093e\u0924\u094d\u092e\u0926\u0930\u094d\u0936\u0928\u092e\u094d\u0964 \u092f\u0926\u093e\u0939\u0941\u0930\u094d\u0935\u0930\u094d\u0923\u092f\u0947 \u0924\u0924\u094d\u0924\u0947 \u0939\u0943\u0926\u092f\u0917\u094d\u0930\u0928\u094d\u0925\u093f\u092d\u0947\u0926\u0928\u092e\u094d\u0965 j\u00f1\u0101na\u1e41 ni\u1e25\u015breyas\u0101rth\u0101ya puru\u1e63asy\u0101tmadar\u015banam| yad\u0101hurvar\u1e47aye tatte h\u1e5bdayagranthibhedanam|| I shall tell you of that knowledge of the self which is spoken of as redeeming of man, in order to cut asunder the knot of the heart (that prevents realization). - \u015ar\u012bmadbh\u0101gavata, 3.26.2 Sage Kapila is hailed as the progenitor of the dualistic school. The \u015ar\u012bmadbh\u0101gavata describes the philosophy in a nutshell, as the counsel of Sage Kapila to his mother, Devah\u016bti, upon the renunciation of his father, Kardama. The ancient teaching gained traction as a philosophy with the systematization of its tenets by the philosopher, \u012a\u015bvara K\u1e5b\u1e63\u1e47a, somewhere in 3rd CE. Till date the \u015a\u0101\u1e45khyak\u0101rika of \u012a\u015bvara K\u1e5b\u1e63\u1e47a remains a central to understanding the philosophy. The word S\u0101\u1e45khya has several meanings, amongst which \u2018reasoning\u2019 and \u2018relating to number\u2019 are of significance to us. Reasoning based on the number of principles in cosmology aimed at the emancipation of man, has earned the school the name, S\u0101\u1e45khya. Like every philosophical school of thought in San\u0101tanadharma, S\u0101\u1e45khya too is a systematic solution to the sufferings of the world. The school admonishes man to recognize the true nature of creation where from emanate man\u2019s sufferings, and describes cosmology as a collection of 24 principles. It states that the knowledge of the unmanifest reality earned from understanding the principle of creation will end the suffering of man. The school argues further that the cessation of suffering is liberation. S\u0101\u1e45khya claims Prak\u1e5bti or creative force to be the fountainhead of creation, and unlike in other schools of thought, is not a creation of the Absolute. It states that Prak\u1e5bti is an admixture of the three attributes of Satva, Rajas and Tamas, and that when the three attributes are in a state of flux under the influence of Puru\u1e63a, creation takes place. Strangely however, Prak\u1e5bti is not attributed with the knowledge to create or with the act of creation, and for that matter, neither is the Puru\u1e63a. Essentially, all that we see stand created, lie within Prak\u1e5bti in subtle form and emerge during creation. The created world returns to rest in Prak\u1e5bti when dissolution commences. Thus, Prak\u1e5bti is the womb of creation, the materialistic cause for creation, but is herself not created. The three gu\u1e47as of Satva, Rajas and Tamas that rest in Prak\u1e5bti result in setting creation in motion, when in flux. From Prak\u1e5bti arises the first evolute of Mahat (Intellect), then Aha\u1e45k\u0101ra (the great I), the pa\u00f1catanm\u0101tras (five subtle elements), the pa\u00f1cabh\u016btas (five gross elements), and the ten organs of sense and perception along with the mind. Together with Prak\u1e5bti, these constitute the 24 principles of S\u0101\u1e45khya, and are collectively called the vyakta or the manifest. Prak\u1e5bti although imperceptible, is categorized as manifest, for her presence is deducted from the evolutes that issue forth from her. Puru\u1e63a alone is categorized as unmanifest or avyakta, and his presence is established by the argument that anything created must be created for the benefit of someone. Created souls achieve the cessation of earthly miseries by recognizing that there is a distinct unmanifest and eternal reality, and that manifest creation is misery and transient. The most characteristic feature of the S\u0101\u1e45khya school of thought is that the realization of the Puru\u1e63a does not evolve into a classic merger with the Puru\u1e63a as in Ved\u0101nta. Rather, the individual souls remain distinct, thereby making S\u0101\u1e45khya a dualistic school of philosophy. Puru\u1e63a thus remains in essence, a symbol of the lack of misery that can be experienced, but not the goal to be achieved. Also, unlike in Ved\u0101nta, Puru\u1e63a is not the doer, but is explained as the embodiment of consciousness in whose presence creation comes into existence. He is unmanifest, immutable, uncreated, beyond dissolution and devoid of agency. He is claimed to be the connoisseur of the play of creation, for whose benefit Prak\u1e5bti like an expert danseuse, displays it. It is stated that Prak\u1e5bti, even without any stake in it, exists as creation for the sole joy of the Puru\u1e63a. \u0928\u093e\u0928\u093e\u0935\u093f\u0927\u0948\u0930\u0941\u092a\u093e\u092f\u0948\u0930\u0941\u092a\u0915\u093e\u0930\u093f\u0923\u094d\u092f\u0928\u0941\u092a\u0915\u093e\u0930\u093f\u0923\u0903 \u092a\u0941\u0902\u0938\u0903\u0964 \u0917\u0941\u0923\u0935\u0924\u094d\u092f\u0917\u0941\u0923\u0938\u094d\u092f \u0938\u0924\u0938\u094d\u0924\u0938\u094d\u092f\u093e\u0930\u094d\u0925\u092e\u092a\u093e\u0930\u094d\u0925\u0915\u091e\u094d\u091a\u0930\u0924\u093f\u0965 n\u0101n\u0101vidhairup\u0101yairupak\u0101ri\u1e47yanupak\u0101ri\u1e47a\u1e25 pu\u1e41sa\u1e25| gu\u1e47avatyagu\u1e47asya satastasy\u0101rthamap\u0101rthaka\u00f1carati|| The supremely helpful Prak\u1e5bti who is endowed with attributes, acts in myriad ways for the benefit of the Puru\u1e63a who is pure consciousness, and is beyond attributes and assistance, with no desire for an end herself. - S\u0101\u1e45khyak\u0101rik\u0101, 60 Unlike in the Ved\u0101nta school of philosophy, created souls are not a reflection of the Puru\u1e63a and do not merge in him when creation ceases to exit, as has been mentioned earlier. In explaining the unique relationship that exists between the Puru\u1e63a and Prak\u1e5bti, the analogy of a lame (man) being led by a blind (woman) is given. It is further stated that once the individual souls have attained realization and after the Puru\u1e63a has rejoiced in the play of creation, Prak\u1e5bti withdraws into her unmanifest state. In other words, the evolutes are sucked back into the imperceptible Prak\u1e5bti, to remain there in a state of suspension until evolution takes place again. The cycle of quest for knowledge that can end misery, begins all over again and ends in cessation of creation. The three pram\u0101\u1e47as or testimonies accepted in this philosophical school of thought as the means to gain said knowledge, are pratyak\u1e63a (direct perception), anum\u0101na (inference) and \u015aabda (Vedic testimony). Essentially, the dualistic school, unlike its sister school of Yogadar\u015bana, is predominantly an intellectual quest to understand the reality behind creation, and to end the misery it presents.