From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Śaṅkara (A. D. 788-820) has used the expression ‘pradhānamalla-nibarhaṇa-nyāyena’ in his commentary on the Brahmasutras.[1] The maxim signifies that if the chief opponent is defeated, it is as good as defeating all the others in his camp.

The Sāṅkhyadarśana or the Sāṅkhya philosophy is the nearest to Vedānta[2] though it has some variations. Due to this Bādarāyaṇa Vyāsa, the author of the Brahmasutras, has taken up for refutation. It is difficult to say when exactly this deviation and separation took place because the Sāñkhyakārikā of īśvarakṛṣṇa is certainly the earliest of the cardinal works of this system.

There is not much information regarding Īśvarakṛṣṇa. He might have lived during the period A. D. 350-450. He was a brāhmaṇa of the Kauśika gotra.[3] He was a monk. He was probably a follower of Vārṣagaya, a teacher of Sāñkhya mentioned in the Mahābhārata.[4]


  1. Brahmasutras 1.4.28
  2. Vedānta tries to get support from the Upaniṣads.
  3. Kauśika gotra is the lineage of the sage Kauśika.
  4. Mahābhārata 306.57

  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore