Q: Gurudev, can you tell us more about Rishi Kapila? Very little is known about him.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Rishi Kapila lived in California. That is how the name California has come. Kapilaranea is the Vedic name of California.
At one point of time, Vedic knowledge was prevalent in all of South America and North America. In the scriptures, it is said, the time difference between Kapilaranea and India is 12 hours. When it is day there, it will be night here, and vice-versa; that exactly fits California, which is called Kapilaranea.
Kapila was the son of a lady called Devahuti. Today’s Detroit has some connection with Devahuti, and that is where Detroit gets its name from – Devahuti.
Devahuti’s son, Kapilaranea, lived in California. He was the previous incarnation of Lord Krishna. He is the founder of the philosophy called Sankhya Darshana.
Sankhya means counting the different elements and principles that the whole universe is made up of, i.e., Earth, Water, Fire, Air, Ether, Mind, Intellect, etc. Like that, 24 different tatvas or principles are present in his philosophy, which is why it is called Sankhya Yoga.
He speaks about how consciousness and matter are different, and the relationship between consciousness and matter is discussed in detail.
The second chapter of the Bhagavad Gita also is called Sankhya Yoga, where Lord Krishna speaks about how the mind and the spirit are different from matter, and self is immortal. This knowledge of self is given.