The Sankhya Philosophy and the Doshas


The Sankhya Philosophy is the oldest philosophy on the planet. It is one of the ‘Shad Darshans” or Six Philosophies, that seek to explain how the Universe manifested. The other five philosophies include Nyaya and Vaisheshika, knowledge gained through observation and critical thinking. This is where modern scientists take their cue.

The other of the Shad Darshans include Mimamsa, Yoga, and Vedanta. Mimamsa means to analyze and thoroughly understand the truth, and is a philosophy whereby freedom is attained through the performance of duty in light of awareness, and believes that the ultimate creator of the Universe is God; that God is eternal and personal, and incarnating in human form to bring love, peace and order.

Yoga is the fifth of the Shad Darshans. It literally means union of the lower self with the higher Self. It is a practical discipline for knowing the self and is a methodology for expanding one’s individual consciousness to the Universal Consciousness. In order to experience yoga, the thought waves must be controlled. There are several schools of Yoga: Bhakti Yoga (path of devotion), Jnana Yoga (path of knowledge), Karma Yoga (path of action) , Hatha Yoga (Alchemy of the physical body) and a few others.

Vedanta is the sixth of the Shad Darshans. It means “the ending of knowledge” and states that although knowledge is necessary for learning, inquiring and investigating, to be fully realized, one must merge the lower self with the higher self to go beyond knowledge. To be fully realized, once must read themselves, their thoughts, their emotions, and inquire of ourselves what we are.

The Sankhya Philosophy is the theory of evolution and a theory of cause and effect. It begins at the beginning, pre-manifestation, pre-world. It is the “big bang theory” Sanskrit style. It states that we evolved from the willing of Consciousness to exist, that every particulate in the Universe came from that willing. The physical world manifested from the five elements and that we are all combinations of the five elements.

The Space and Air elements are represented in the hollow organs of the body and movement, from body parts to nerves for example. The Fire and Water Elements are represented by the transformation of thoughts into things and the biochemistry of the body. The Water and Earth Elements are represented by the rivers of the body and the physical structures.

So, what does that have to do with us?

We are all unique combinations of the Space, Air, Fire, Water and Earth. Some of us have more Space and Air, some more Fire and Water, and some more Water and Earth. Those of us that are more Space and Air are said to be Vata. Those of us who are more Fire and Earth are called Pitta. Those that are more Water and Earth are called Kapha. We can also be combinations of Vata and Pitta, Pitta and Kapha, Kapha and Vata. Those who are equal parts of all five elements are called Tridoshic.

If you want to find out what Dosha you are, you may go to my website and take 2 tests: The first test is to determine your base “bio-physical” Dosha, and the second is to refine what kind of Vata, Pitta or Kapha you are.

I’m Pitta “hot” and Kapha “wet”….. What are you?

Suzanna Ran is the founder of Yoga Therapy OM, a Registered Yoga School with Yoga Alliance. She teaches yoga classes at the Sports Club of Novi and conducts private sessions and Yoga Teacher Trainings at her home studio in West Bloomfield. You may contact her at: 248-507-4008 or email her at: or thru the “contact us” link at


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