The aesthetic and the mystic experience in Indian theory


  • Nils Simonsson


In the Sānkhyakārikās, the chief text of the dualistic Sānkhya philosophy, the world and salvation therefrom are described in compressed images as various stages of aesthetic situations. Purusa, the spiritual principle, whose only characteristic apart from being is consciousness, regards the spectacle which prakrti, primary substance, natura, gives. Existence is a theatrical show where that which takes place on the scene only acquires meaning through being regarded and enjoyed by a spectator. The spectator is totally absorbed by the show to the point of identifying himself with it, and he enjoys it. Salvation takes place when the false identification ceases, when insight into the true dualism arises, when the spectator leaves the theatre and the dancing-girl leaves the scene.



How to Cite

Simonsson, N. (1970). The aesthetic and the mystic experience in Indian theory. Scripta Instituti Donneriani Aboensis, 5, 189–199.