Sage Kapila is the founder of the Samkhya school in Hindu philosophy. He is known to be the Vedic Sage and is said to have lived in the 6th and 7th centuries BCE. It is also said that Kapila name is given to many individuals in the Indian texts but sage Kapila is the most famous one of all. Kapila had a great influence on Buddhism and Buddha. He has been the subject of studies as well. Speaking about the different personalities with the same name, the majority of people with the name Kapila were seen to be belonging to the Hindu and Jain religions. Many mythical creatures along with pilgrimage sites and cows were also included in the list.
Samkhya was founded by Kapila and he is considered as the respected sage among many schools and institutions in Hindu philosophy. Kapila is the son of Devahuti and Kardama Prajapati. He was married to Anasuya. Devahuti, mother of Rishi Kapila was a princess who got married to Sage Kardama and served him for a very long time. Rishi Kardama liked to live a secluded life away from people. He performed various austerities and focused on his life’s purpose. Later, he ended up getting married to Devahuti. Rishi Kardama created seven flying palaces with the help of his yogic powers. Devahuti gave birth to nine daughters and then when she was pregnant again, Lord Krishna came to visit him. He told them that their child would be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu and would bring happiness and blessings in their life.
Sage Kapila has a special connection to the river Ganga and the festival of Makar Sankranti. Let’s understand how that is related. We know that Makar Sankranti is celebrated to mark the great incidence of the river Ganga descending to earth. The story goes something like this. Sagar, who was the ocean king performed the Ashwamedha Yagya to achieve massive power. The horses were to be worshipped prior to being sacrificed. Lord Indra stole the horses each time the king decided to sacrifice causing a hurdle in the Yagya and chaos overall. This time, the king decided to hide the horses in Sage Kapila’s hermitage.
King Sagar sent sixty thousand of his grandsons to retrieve the special horse from the hermitage. To their dismay, the horse had already disappeared and was nowhere to be found. They started digging the earth causing massive botheration and disturbance to Sage Kapila. They couldn’t care less about anything but the horse. They kept digging and disturbing the sage. Kapila grew furious and burned all the grandsons. King Sagar, frightened and shocked by this incident, begged Kapila to retrieve the lives of his grandsons. Rishi Kapila placed a very tough and interesting proposition in front of the king. It was to bring Ganga back to the earth as only her mercy could bless the damaged souls.
Sage Kapila has given out wise learnings to the world. One of them is to understand the importance of knowledge. He said that one’s act is only to cleanse the body. If one wants to reach the peak, then only knowledge is the way to reach there.