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Sunday, June 23, 2019

Maha Bharata foretold

Rg Veda Book 6, Section 75 is dedicated to implements of war including bow, arrows, quiver, armguard, chariot, reins and a special  implement which is used to goad the horses. Even the battlefield has a Rk (Number 17) dedicated to it. The seer/rishi is Payuh-Bharadwaja. They are written in different meters.

A translation of Sloka 6 reads as follows: “A skillful charioteer, standing in the car (chariot), guides the strong horses to whichever direction he desires.
See and admire the command of those controlling from behind.”

रथे तिष्ठन नयति वाजिनः पुरो यत्र-यत्र कामयते सुषारथिः |
अभीशूनां महिमानं पनायत मनः पश्चादनु यछन्त

The entire Section 75 which deals with the battlefield and war paraphernalia is probably the base for Maha Bharata. What is more, the famous scene in which Lord Krishna is the Charioteer and Arjuna is the warrior, was probably inspired by this one sloka in Rg Veda. It also becomes a metaphor for human actions and divine control. Also, for the control of the senses by the mind.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Creation Myths - Part 4

Now, let us look some creation myths from other traditions.

According to the Maori myth, there was Te Kore, ( which stands for Nothing) in the beginning. Just silence. Nothing lasted for a long time. Then there was Te Po, the Long Night , dark and silent which lasted for a long time. There was nothing to see and nothing to hear – just darkness and silence. From the Dark and the Silence emerged Papa Tu Anku or mother earth and Rangi Nui, father sky. They loved each other and embraced each other so close there was no space between them. There were many off-springs but none of them could escape the darkness. They were trapped between Tu Anku and Rangi Nui.

The children decided that they must separate their parents and start living. Tane, a son who was to become god of the forests, placed his feet on this father and slowly pushed him out. The parents were separated. Tane took some earth and made a woman, Hine Ahu One, the earth-formed maiden. She gave birth to Hine Titama, a Dawn maiden. The children of Hine Titama and Tane became the men and women of the world.

The Nordic creation myth also contains elements of void, chaos and many coming from dismembering parts of one body (akin to the story of Prajapati). Initially, there was nothing except a deep dark silent chasm called Ginnungagap between the lands of fire and ice. The heat and the cold of these worlds met at Ginnungagap. When the ice melted drops of water made themselves into a giant called Ymir. The name Yamir means “a screamer”. When Ymir slept, many giants came out of his sweat and his armpits.

As the ice melted, a cow by name Audhumla emerged. She fed on the salt-licks and nourished Ymir with her milk. Her licks uncovered Buri (means Progenitor) who had a son named Bor. Bor had three sons by Bestla, the daughter of a giant named Bolthorn. The first of these sons was Odin who became the chief of the Aesir gods.

Odin and his brothers killed Ymir and fashioned the world from different parts of his body. The ocean came from his blood, the earth and soil from his skin and muscles, plants from his hair, cloud from his brains and the sky from his skulls. Later the gods made a man and a woman from the trunks of two trees, Aska and Embla.

In the southern old kingdom of Egypt, it is said that initially there was nothing but dark water in which eight gods of power lived. They were like frogs and snakes and contained within themselves water, floods, darkness and energy. After a long time, their energy broke through the water and benben, the primal mound, rose out of water. Thoth, the Ibis god flew in with the cosmic egg and laid it on benben, the mound. Atum was born from this cosmic egg and Atum, the sun god contained the life force for all living beings and the potentiality for all non-living matter. He created his spouse from himself and all the gods and human. This myth also resembles the myth of golden egg in the puranas.

There are hundreds of Native American tribes with several different creation stories. However, the themes are common. First, these tribes do not have a word to describe “religion”. There are no dogmas or scriptures either. In other words, there is no organized religion. The emphasis is on the harmony of life between plants, animals and humans on this earth, the sanctity of earth and respect for ancestral spirits. World existed from time immemorial and man came later, after the plants and animals. The plants, animals and birds know more about the earth than we do. We are here to take care of the earth we live in; not to trample upon it and just use it.

In his sensitive firsthand experience, Charles Alexander Eastman (Indian given name was Ohiyesa) writes in his book on The Soul of the Indian as follows: “The elements and majestic forces in nature, Lightning, Wind, Water, Fire and Frost were regarded with awe as spiritual powers, but always secondary and intermediate in character. We believed that the spirit pervades all creation and that every creature possesses a soul in some degree, though not necessarily a soul conscious of itself. The tree, the waterfall, the grizzly bear, each is an embodied Force, and as such an object of reverence”.

There is a Great Spirit from which everything came; which blew its breath into all living creatures. There are references to sacred hills (Turtle Hill, Black Hill), World Tree (in the Sundance ceremony) and floods akin to these elements in other mythologies.

Two ideas struck me as very similar to the Vedic thoughts. One is from the Lakota tribe who have the word combination Wa-Ka which means That which is That it is. It is literally the same as Thou art That or Tatvam asi. The word Ka also has a meaning similar to Brahman.

The other is the Hopi story about Four worlds before the current one. It sounds very much like the four yugas of the puranas with increasing breaking down of virtues in succeeding worlds.

One other creation story from the Natives of the Plains such as Sioux calls the first human as The Man Who Was The First Created (same idea as Prajapati). He had one younger brother who was killed by a “monster of the deep. In order to revive him, the First Man dug two holes at the banks of Great Water. He filled one with the bones of his brother. In the other he placed four stones and fire and chanted. He then sprinkled water on the heated stones. With the steam, “life appeared”. When the First Man sprinkled water a second time the bones rattled. When he sprinkled water third time there was some sound coming from the hole. When he sprinkled water the fourth time, he heard his brother’s voice saying: “Let me out, brother”. Thus came the first man on this earth from under the ground.

In this myth, the stone is sacred and revered. It is called Tunkan and represents grandfather. Number four stands for the Four Winds, Four Directions and also the foursome of water, wind, fire and other elements.

In the Inuit (Eskimo) tradition, Raven is the Primordial Life. Raven is a trickster or one who behaves against the customs of the society.

The Raven made this world and its waters by beating his wings. He had the powers of a man and a bird and can switch from one to the other by simply dipping his face in the water and taking it out. In the beginning the earth was dark and silent. The Raven made mountains and fields and created peapod plants over the land. On the fifth day, a man came out of one of the peapods. The Raven was surprised that such a creature can come out of the plant he had created. The man was dizzy and confused and drank water from a pool. The Raven was flying above and observing the man. Neither was talking.

The Raven asked the man: “Who are you? Where did you come from?”. The man said that he came out of the peapod. The Raven was surprised. He asked the man whether he has eaten and the man said “no”. The Raven flew away and came back after four days with two raspberries and two heathberries. The man devoured them in one gulp. The Raven realized that the berries were not enough and so he created two sheep out of clay and waved his wings over them. The sheep came alive. The man had more food now.

The Raven created more sheep and let them graze far away so the man not eat them all at once. Soon more men came out of the peapods. The Raven made fish, birds and other animals and placed them away from these men, so they do not kill them all. The Raven also created a huge bear to make sure that men knew fear.

After a few days, The Raven noticed that the man was lonely. Therefore, he went to a place where the man could not see and created a clay figure and waved his wings over it. Out came a beautiful, soft creature. The Raven took her to the man and said: “ This is woman, your helper and companion.” Man was pleased and together they filled the earth with their children.

Conclusion: A review of these creation myths shows that the common questions are: 1. after the first human being came, how did the others come? 2. Even if the first pair of male and female begot children by incest, where did the children get their spouses?

Common themes are: a void and darkness or chaos in the beginning; Water, tree, bird or a snake in the creation story; the word as a powerful force; and many come from one by dismemberment of the first-born or splitting of the first one or by incest.

Rg Veda
Satapata Brahmana
Eighteen Puranas
Isabella Price. In the Beginning. Creation Myths Across Cultures. Kindle edition. One Truth Many Paths, 1st Edition 2014
Joseph Campbell. The Mythic Image . Princeton University Press, 1981

Joseph Campbell. The Hero with a Thousand Faces. 3rd Edition. New World Library. 2008

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Creation Myths - Part 3

Creation Myth in the Bible

What is the creation myth in the Bible? In one version of the Bible (New International Version) the creation story is given as follows:  (

1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

6 And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.” 7 So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so. 8 God called the vault “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.

9 And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.

11 Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. 12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.

14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. 16 God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, 18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.

20 And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.” 21 So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.” 23 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day.

24 And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. 25 God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.

26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

27 So God created mankind in his own image,
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them.

28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.

31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.  This is the end of Genesis 1 – 31.

Genesis 2 starts here:

1.Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.

2 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.

3 Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.


The original theme of darkness and water are like what we read in the Vedic version also. The Creator God created the world out of water or imposed order in the chaos of darkness. There is an intention (“Let there be light) and with these Words He created the world and its inhabitants.

In this version, both man and woman came at the same time. In another version God created human from clay and blew his breath into him. God created the Garden of Eden with the Tree of Life and Tree of Knowledge and asked the man to work the soil. But he warned the man not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge. The man was lonely. After several attempts, the woman was fashioned from the rib of a man. A serpent is now inserted into this narrative. The serpent is human desire which tempts Eve to eat the apple from the Tree of Knowledge and Eve tempts Adam to eat the apple. God arrives (He is immanent) and banishes Adam and Eve from the immortality of Garden of Eden to earth with its dualities and mortality. This version has several implications for the development of societies in Christianity.

In another version, Gospel according to John (, the narrative is different, and the emphasis is in the Word of God. This version is like that of  the Jewish tradition and the first book of Talmud, as follows:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

The same was in the beginning with God.

All things were made by him, and without him was not anything made that was made.

In him was life, and the life was the light of men.

And the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not.

In reading this version, the similarity to the idea of OM as the eternal sound from which everything came is obvious.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Creation Myths - Part 2

Before reviewing creation myths from other traditions, let us look at a superb summary of the Indian Vedic thoughts given by Bal Gangadar Tilak in his book on Gita Rahasya (Volume 2: page 1027). I have added a few points of clarification and examples to Sri.Tilak's remarks.

There are four points of view on cosmogeny (creation of this universe) in the Vedic tradition. They are:

1.       All things which exist in this world  evolved out of five primordial elements (mahabhutani) of Prakriti energized by contact with Purusha. This is the adibhouthika view of Samkhya philosophy.

2.       All of this was created out of a Prajapati or Yagnapurusha in the process of fire-sacrifice or yagna according to Rg Veda and Satapata Brahmana.  That sacrificer-sacrificed is Yagnanarayana or Parameshwara says Bhagavatam. This is the adiyagna school.

3.       Various activities seen in this universe are caused by an active agent, a deity or a deva. These deities are responsible for making the Sun to shine and give light, for making the cloud to give rain and to energize the functions of our organs. This deva is a variant of the purusha of Samkhya. This is the adidaivata school of bhakti marga.

4.       Just as atman exists in every one of us, there exists in everything some subtle form of that primordial Brahman (tat). This is the adyatmika school of the Vedas and Vedanta.

My own take on this is that if we have several different points of view  on the same issue, we really do not know which one is or any of them are true.

I prefer the humble and honest view of the Nasadiya Sukta of Rg Veda.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Creation Myths

Should we call this Creation Myth or Manifestation Myth? Creation needs a creator and a motive. Manifestation leaves us wondering how it started. If you like definitive answers, you will be happy with creation myths. If you can live with indefinite answers and mystery, you will like the idea of manifestation. Fortunately, the Vedic tradition provides for both alternatives.

All myths try to answer the same questions:  Where did all this come from? How did something come from nothing? How did order come out of chaos? How did one become many?  All myths try to speculate about the “after”. That is  after life began or after the earth came about. None can reach THAT which must have been before all this.

There is no one single canonical creation or manifestation myth in Hinduism. There are several, starting from the Vedic to the puranic period. Hindus consider these legends as allegories or metaphors rather than absolute truth.

The most humble and honest view was expressed in Nasadiya Suktam. It is the 129th hymn, in Chapter 10 of the Rg veda. It is attributed to Rishi Prajapathi and it is about Parabrahman and it is in Anuhstup chandas, 4 lines of 11 syllables each. It is called Nasadiya because it starts with the words: naasat aasit no sad aasit   which means “in the beginning there was no asat (opposite of sat, non-existent, un-manifest, non-being), nor was there any sat, being”.

Here is my own translation of the Sukta with one word of caution. I am no scholar in either Sanskrit or Rg Veda.

“In the beginning there was no asat (non- existent, un-manifest, non-being), nor was there any sat, being. Then, there was no earth, no sky. In that state, who (what) was covering what? And for what purpose? Was there deep water?                                                                                       (Sloka/Stanza1)

There was no death; no immortality either; There was no means for finding out the difference between day and night. Not moved by any wind, it was breathing by its own power. There was nothing else.                                                                                                                                                    (Sloka/Stanza 2)

Some say that there was darkness or there was water enveloped in darkness. But, that all powerful Brahman covered by Maaya came into manifestation by austerity and transformation from that one Brahman.                                                                                                                        (Sloka/Stanza 3)

The seed of the mind of this, which first came into existence, became desire (kaama) (to create the world). Great minds have seen that this is the initial relation between the sat (the manifest, the being) and the asat, the unmanifest Parabrahman.                                                            (Sloka/Stanza 4)

A ray fell transversely between them. If you say It was below, It was also above. Some of these grew bigger pervading on one side by Its own prowess and pervading everything on the other side.

                                                                                                                                                (Sloka/Stanza 5)       

Who is there who can explain how the sat (the manifest) developed and from whom? Who knows for sure? Even the gods came only after the sat came into being? Then, who is to know from where it came?                                                                                                                                           (Sloka/Stanza 6)

The adhyaksha (the Primordial One) may know how the development of the Sat came about or did not come about. Perhaps, even He may not know that!       (Sloka/Stanza 7)

Rg Veda refers to Purusha and Prajapati (?the first human) who gets sacrificed as described in Satapata Brahmana of Sukla Yajur veda. Purusha of the Veda becomes the Prajapati of the Puranas. Purusha sukta (R V 10:90) says that the universe came out of the parts of Purusha, Brahman or Prajapati.

Three creative divinities mentioned in the Vedas are Prajapati, Vishnu and Rudra. In the puranic period Prajapati became Brahma; Rudra became Shiva.

In Satapatha Brahmana, Prajapati, the first creator or the father of all  felt lonely and felt a desire to be many. He differentiated himself into two beings, man and woman. The man wanted to unite with the woman he had created from himself. The woman (Ushas) got scared and regarded union with her producer as incest. She fled from his embraces assuming various animal disguises. He became the male of the species. The male of each species pursued the female, and from these unions sprang the various species of animals.  (Satapatha Brahmana, xiv. 4, 2)

A related story in Satapata Brahmana says that when Ushas runs away from his incestual embrace, a hunter appears and sends an arrow at Prajapati. The arrow strikes Prajapati and creates a wound. This story is repeated with variation in Maha Bharata. Pandu wounds a male deer during the act of mating. The deer curses the king that if he ever unites with a woman, he will die. That means an end to his line of succession to the throne. That is why Satyavati requests Vyasa to beget sons through the queens of Pandu.

After the idea of yuga cycles came into use, for each creation cycle there was a Brahma to create, Vishnu to sustain and Shiva to dissolve and merge with the ONE. In some myths, Vishnu is the remaining power at the end of a cycle. He is alone floating on a leaf or sleeping on a serpent. At Vishnu’s will  the creation cycle starts, Brahma comes out of the lotus emerging from His navel.

According to the Satapata Brahmana, Manu is the originator of the current generation of humans. He was the only man who survived a great deluge and this legend is comparable to  flood legends in other traditions.

How did creation myth get connected with constellations? How did the Prajapati get connected with the constellation Mrga.   Mrga means an animal or antelope. This constellation is Orion or the Great Hunter in the Greek astronomy.  What a coincidence? In addition, when Prajapati takes the form of an antelope and chases Ushas in the form of a female antelope, she  runs towards Rohini. Rohini’s counterpart in Greek astronomy is Aldabaran, which is in the constellation Orion.

One scholar points out that these mythological deities came out of the observation of the stars which are easily observable to the naked eyes. The Milky way is the eternal river. The stars of the Milky Way were a rich source for mythological stories in the east and the west.

The Krittikas and Saptarishis have stories connected with them. In the western system, Krittikas are called the Seven Sisters or the Pleiades. The Sapta Rishis are the same as the Great Bear or the Ursula Major of the western system. The Krittikas are in the east and the Sapta Rishis are in the north. The seven rishis were married to the seven sisters and lived in the north at one time. One day Agni fell in love with the seven sisters. Trying to forget his predicament, Agni wandered into the territory of Svaha, which is in modern terminology the star Zeta Tauri.  Svaha disguised herself as six of the seven sisters and Agni believed he had conquered the sisters. The rishis heard the rumor and divorced their wives, except Arundathi, who stayed with her husband. The others became the current stars Krittika, or the Pleiades. Arundathi is Alcor in the western system.

It does not require too much imagination to believe that our ancestors were dramatizing celestial events such as location and movement of stars and planets and the cyclic movements of the sun and the moon in relations to the background movements of the stars and galaxies. When we add the fact that the galaxies themselves move and therefore the relative positions of the closer celestial objects will vary over millennia, some of the mythologies make sense. For example, based on ancient astronomical names in the Vedic literature, Prof. Kak has estimated that the Satapata Brahmana was probably written somewhere around 2700 BCE (almost 5,000 years back).  

There are other creation stories in the Vedic literature. For example, Rig Veda Book 10 Hymn 90 is Purusha Sukta. In this we read that the Primordial Force called Purusha had thousand eyes, thousand feet and face all over. It is symbolic of the suggestion that the One is in the Many. This poem suggests that the original Purusha remained on earth with the creatures and three-fourths went to heaven. All the worlds and all the creatures came out of the sacrificial fire when Purusha Himself was sacrificed. In yet another place (R V 10:63:6-7), Manu is mentioned as the person who performed the first sacrifice.

Rg Veda Book 10, Verse 190 says that Eternal Laws and Truth were born out of the force of Tapas (ardor). Then came the night and the ocean. From the ocean came the Year, the ordainer of days and nights. The great creator made the Sun and the Moon and Heaven and Earth and the region in between and also light.

After Prajapati or the first person  is sacrificed, the devas request his spirit to come back. Based on what they had observed, our ancestors thought that life must disappear to come back again. This concept was prevalent in all ancient societies as pointed out by Durkheim. The primary purpose of the sacrifice was reconstruction of life, not destruction. The reconstruction purpose of the sacrifice is seen in RV 10:58: 1-12 as follows:

THY spirit, that went far away to Yama to Vivasvān's Son,
We cause to come to thee again that thou mayst live and sojourn here.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Self and Spirituality

I have spent several  hours of my meditation time thinking about “self” and “spirituality”. During a meditation walk at the Winterthur Garden, I suddenly saw a thread connecting them. The critical word is connection.

The concept of self depends on my making connections between my body and my mind, between “me” and my experiences both in time and in space. It is a state in which one is aware of oneself as a continuum experienced at different times. According to the Upanishads  it is a state beyond the state of wakefulness, dream state and deep sleep. It is the common ground state which makes the awareness of the other three states possible. It depends on the mind making connections between the various states of the mind. The concept of self depends on this.

That common ground state is called meta-awareness by psychologists. But I think it is way beyond meta-awareness. It is the eternal behind dualities and instabilities. It is the constant that gives the base for all variations and multiplicities. The Vedas call this the Brahman, Purusha or simply That.

Spirituality is the totality of one’s being which can see the interconnections between the different layers of one’s self, between one's self and the self of others and between the self and the universe.

When I observe people with brain damage or dementia, I notice that the inability to connect the various components of the self  is at the core. Several of them have lost contact with parts or the whole of their own self. Most do not see the connection between their body and their name, their body and their belongings and their life’s experiences. I get the sense that most of them have lost their spiritual self since they are not able to connect with others or with the rest of the world.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Samkhya System for the 21st Century

I am sure you want to know what the original Samkhya text says. The word samkhya denotes enumeration. Here are the 22 sutras of Thathva Samaasa of Sage Kapila.                

1.       Athaatah thathva samaasah – This is the summary of the truth.

2.        Kathayaami ashtau prakritayah – There are eight root causes. (Nature, intellect, ego, sound, touch, form, taste and smell)

3.       Shodasah asthu vikaarah – There are 16 modifications (mind, five cognitive senses, five active senses, five primordial elements)

4.       Purushah – There is a spirit, an indweller.

5.       Traigunyam – There are three attributes namely, sattva (light), rajas (movement) , tamas (stability)

6.       Sanchaarah, prathisanchaarah – There is evolution and involution

7.       Adhyaatmam, aadhibootham aadhidaivam cha – Suffering may be caused by self, other beings or Divine acts

8.       Pancha abhibuddhayah – Five sources of knowledge (intellect, ego, mind, five cognitive senses and five active organs)

9.       Pancha karmayonayah – Five causes of action (evidence, fallacy, fancy, sleep and memory)

10.   Pancha vaayavah – Five winds (inbreath, outbreath, holding breath, spreading breath and steadying breath)

11.   Pancha karma aatmaanah – Five essences of action ( self restraint, practice, dispassion, stable intellect, wisdom)

12.   Pancha parvaah avidyaah – Five kinds of false knowledge (darkness, infatuation, deep infatuation, aversion and deep aversion)

13.   Ashtaavimsathidha asaktih – Twenty-eight inabilities

14.   Navadha thushtih – Nine types of satisfaction

15.   Ashtadha siddhih – Eight gifts or attainments

16.   Dashmoolikaarthah – Ten primary qualities

17.   Anugrahah sargah – Emanation is accumulation

18.   Chathurdashvidha bhoothasargah – Fourteen stages in the evolution of beings

19.   Trividha bandhah – Threefold knots or bondages

20.   Trividha mokshah – Threefold emancipation

21.   Thrividham pramaanam – Threefold proofs (seeing, inference and testimony)

22.   Says that whoever understands the above will be free from the effects of bondages and escape suffering caused by self, others or by Divine will.

Finally, here is a short summary of ideas from the Greek philosophers. In the 6th century BCE, Thales said that water was the original source of this earth. Anaximander said that space was the original source. Anaximedes thought that air was the primary source. Between 540 and 480 BCE, Paramanides said that “Nothing can come out of nothing; something that exists can become nothing.” Heraclites who said that “one cannot step into the same river twice” said that constant change is the nature of the world. Further, one universal reason, a constant oneness underlies all changes. 

Empedocles proposed four elements as the sources of this world – air, water, fire and earth. This is similar to the Samkhya philosophy except for the omission of space. Later Anaxagoras (500 – 428 BCE) said that each of the four elements are made of minute particles call atoms. This idea was developed further by Democritus and Lucretius. These writing were considered heretic and buried until the middle of the 13th century when a secretary to the Pope by name Poggio Braccolini unearthed these documents. 

Reference: Kapil's Samkhya and Patanjali's Yoga. Compiled and Edited by William and Margot Milcetich. Brahma Rishi Yoga Publications.2008