Home » Indian Samkhya Philosophy in Investment & Wealth Management – Part 2: Purusha and Prakriti

Indian Samkhya Philosophy in Investment & Wealth Management – Part 2: Purusha and Prakriti

In the first part of this series, we explored the importance of building a solid investment portfolio according to a philosophy in investment that is aligned with one’s risk tolerance and risk appetite, as well as their Tri-Gunas. It is crucial to have the right knowledge (viveka) and to ground oneself in core values such as contentment (santosha) in order to stay on the path to financial freedom.

In this article, we will explore the concept of Purusha and Prakriti – the dual-headed system and how it can help navigate challenges and stay on track in the pursuit of financial freedom.

By understanding this concept, one can better navigate through challenges and reach their financial goals.

Dual-Headed System of Samkhya

The Samkhya philosophy has Purusha and Prakriti as the two main heads. Purusha is the source of energy and infuses Prakruthi, which is otherwise lifeless on its own. Prakriti in its default state is well-balanced by the three gunas. It brings things into being by changing or converting causes into outcomes. Therefore, Samkhya believes in evolution or transformation theory (parinama vada). It uses the Three Gunas and their many variations to create an endless number of creatures and elements (tattvas). The Purushas are eternal, independent and unchanging, and are not influenced or controlled by Prakriti.

Purusha – Prakriti and Investment Options

In the investment domain, one can compare Purusha with philosophy in investment. This philosophy infuses a Prakrithi as an investment system, which evolves into multiple investment products, by balancing the three gunas to meet the needs of the investor.

Let us consider an illustration. Financial freedom, mentioned in Part 1 of this series, is a key concept, acting as a Purusha. This Purusha guides Prakruthi to make investment decisions such that one has a diversified portfolio that creates enough wealth in a faster time frame (say, 15-20 years as opposed to 35–40 years) so that one can retire early. The objective is to obtain time (with a capital T), and pursue what gives them ananda, or happiness.

The dual-headed system incorporates a philosophy that creates an investment system called Prakrithi. During the accumulation stage, the focus will be primarily on growth-oriented investments. As the investor approaches the decumulation stage, the focus will shift to safety and liquidity-oriented investments.

Prakrithi generates a wide range of investment products that cater to the needs of the investor. These products include liquid and debt funds, bonds, bank instruments, and various stocks, which are chosen based on the investor’s timeline and journey.

In order to achieve Financial Freedom, it is vital to gain the knowledge of “Moksha Swaroopa”, which is to gain discrimination (‘Viveka’) that Purusha and Prakruthi are different from each other. This means knowing well that Financial Freedom is the ultimate ideal to be achieved.

However, it can be difficult to make good investment decisions because people can be easily influenced by greed and fear.

One encounters various difficulties and easily ends up with a cluttered portfolio which delays their objective of achieving financial freedom.

Hurdles in the Investment Journey

Such difficulties can be classified into three crises/miseries (Dukha-traya) as per Samkhya:

  1. Adhyatmika – pertaining to the body/mind realm – eg: personal health/family/business / job-loss events resulting in huge financial impact
  2. Adhibhautika – relating to the external world – eg: Global Financial Crisis, Recession
  3. Adhidhaivika – related to nature/divine disorder – eg: Covid Market crash

There is also the risk of losing one’s purpose by chasing rapid growth and accumulating more money just for one’s Ahmakara, thereby losing out on precious time to attain Moksha.

It can be challenging to make good decisions in the world of investments due to temptations of greed and fear.

That’s why it may be helpful to have a mentor or advisor to help you gain clarity, simplify your investment portfolio, and stay focused on your goals. This could be in the form of a competent and trusted investment advisor who has no conflict of interest. 


Philosophy in Investment: To Conclude, Building an Investment Portfolio Based on Risk Appetite and Tolerance with the Balance of Tri-Gunas.

In investment, the dual-headed system of Purusha and Prakriti can help individuals stay on the path to financial freedom. This system promotes discrimination of right knowledge (Viveka) and anchors to core attributes such as Santosha (contentment).

The dual-headed system helps you reach financial freedom by focusing on important factors like developing good judgement (Viveka), staying content (Santosha), and regularly adjusting your investments. This way, you can avoid problems and continue on your journey to build wealth.

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