The great Prakriti is for me the womb in which I deposit the germ. From it all beings come to birth, O Barata.
prakriti is called by the Sânkhya philosophers indiscreet, and defined as the perfect balance of the materials in it; and it naturally follows that in perfect balance there cannot be any motion . In the primal state before any manifestation , when there was no motion but perfect balance, this prakriti was indestructible, because decomposition or death comes from instability or change.
All actions are performed by the gunas of prakriti. Deluded by identification with the ego, a person thinks, " I am the doer."
Vishnu is said to be beyond purusa and prakriti or to include both. … prakriti, like maya and shakti , in the Bhagavata, is something Vishnu possesses and controls. With prakriti becoming a goddess , or even identified with the Goddess, Devi , the old Samkhyan dualism, between a conscious spirit-person and an active but insentient material force was basically transcended “from the ground up.” P.30
The Devi-Bhagavata, expounding the sakta perspective, explicitly rejects the Samkhyan view of matter , prakriti.
In prakriti and Gunas , the concept of prakriti is used in Sankhya philosophy to explain the evolution of the universe . prakriti is defined as the ultimate unconscious primal matter or the ultimate cosmic energy, the material cause of the universe.
prakriti and maya are similar concepts. prakriti is the primal matter with the qualities of sattva , rajas , and tamas , whereas maya is cosmic ignorance with the triple powers of satva rajas and tamas.
The Samkya philosophers say that of the two principles, Purusa and prakriti, it is prakriti, the creatrix of the world , that is devoid of consciousness (caitanya).
But in deep-sleep when temporarily our minds are not effective in our selves, all these tyrannies are at an end....from the body , senses , mind and intellect , all of which constitute the matter (prakriti), and is only the witness of their functions.
prakriti is the source of the five great elements earth , water , fire , air , and ether known as Panchamahabhutas . These five great elements comprise all material objects and the bodies of plants, trees, insects, animals, and human beings. All beings in the world are the products of the union of atman (or Purusha of Sankhya philosophy) and prakriti.
For none ever remains inactive even for a moment; for all are compelled to action by the gunas inherent in prakriti.
A part indeed of Myself, which has been eternal jiva [the individual soul] in this world of life attracts the mind and the five senses from their place in the prakriti.
Know therefore that prakriti is maya and the controlled of maya is the Supreme Lord. All this world with all its beings are but parts of Him.
In Paramatma Sahita, [ Sankara says] that the Supreme Self regards him as His very self. The self in the body is generally absorbed by the world of dualities , cold and heat , pain and pleasure but when it controls the senses and masters the world, the self becomes free when the self is bound by the modes of prakriti or nature as it is called Kshetragna, when it is freed from them, the same self is called the Supreme Self.
Universal self which is beyond the universal modification of ‘prakriti’ is what is called ‘Ishvara’, the Supreme Ruler, God .
...the north, the right side and all things masculine came to represent Purusha while the south, the left side and all things feminine came to represent prakriti. Left was chosen for prakriti because it was associated with the beating heart while the silent right was reserved for Purusha.
...Purusha was personified as Brahma , Vishnu and Shiva while prakriti was personified as Saraswati , Lakshmi and Shakti .
The period before the split between Purusha and prakriti is Pralaya .
The word chitta is used for the moulding consciousness ; it connects the mind to the soul , manas to atma, prakriti to Purusha.
One should understand that the Atman is always like the King, distinct from the body, senses, mind and intellect, all of which constitute the matter (prakriti); and is the witness of their functions.