Prakrti , also Prakriti (Sanskrit: प्रकृति, IAST: Prakṛti), means "nature". It is a key concept formulated by the Samkhya school of Hinduism, and refers to the primal matter with three different innate qualities (Guṇas) whose equilibrium is the basis of all observed empirical reality. Prakriti, in this school, contrasts with Purusha which is pure awareness and metaphysical consciousness.
Prakriti is described in Bhagavad Gita as the "primal motive force". It is the essential constituent of the universe and is at the basis of all the activity of the creation. According to Samkhya and the Bhagavad Gita Prakrti or Nature is composed of the three gunas which are tendencies or modes of operation, known as rajas (creation), sattva (preservation), and tamas, (destruction)  Sattva encompasses qualities of goodness, light, and harmony.
According to the Yoga Vasistha, people who are of a sattvic nature and whose activities are mainly based on sattva, will tend to seek answers regarding the origin and truth of material life. With proper support they are likely to reach liberation. Rajas is associated with concepts of energy, activity, ambition, and passion; so that, depending on how it is used, it can either have a supportive or hindering effect on the evolution of the soul. Tamas is commonly associated with inertia, darkness, insensitivity. Souls who are more tamasic are considered imbued in darkness and take the longest to reach liberation. Prakriti is closely associated with the concept of Maya within Vedic scripture.
Mulaprakruti can be translated as "the root of nature" or "root of Prakruti"; it is a closer definition of 'fundamental matter'; and is often defined as the essence of matter, that aspect of the Absolute which underlines all the objective aspects of Nature. While plain Prakruti encompasses classical earth element, i.e. solid matter, Mulaprakruti includes any and all classical elements, including any considered not discovered yet (some tattvas.)
Prakruti also means nature. Nature can be described as environment. It can also be used to denote the 'feminine' in sense of the 'male' being the purusha. Prakriti also means health in Marathi.
According to the ancient vedic science of Ayurveda, the three gunas (sattva, rajas and tamas) as they pertain to the human physiology are called doshas: kapha, pitta, vata. The balance or imbalance of these doshas defines the prakriti or nature of one's body.
- James G. Lochtefeld (2001), The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism: A-M, Rosen Publishing, ISBN 978-0823931798, Pages 224, 265, 520
- Esoteric anatomy: the body as consciousness By Bruce Burger, (North Atlantic Books : 1998) Page 168
- Maharishi Mahesh Yogi on the Bhagavad-Gita, a New Translation and Commentary, Chapter 1-6. Penguin Books, 1969, p. 220
- Autobiography Of A Yogi, Paramahansa Yogananda, Self Realization Fellowship, 1973, p.22
- Eknath Easwaran (2007). The Bhagavad Gita. Nilgiri Press. pp. 221–. ISBN 978-1-58638-023-6.
- The Concise Yoga Vāsiṣṭha, Swami Venkatesananda, 1984, p.161
- https://books.google.com/books?id=a-Oh_-rK5SQC&pg=PA221&dq=prakriti&lr=&ei=v3_zSdPwI4W-NsqwscEJ&hl=En The Bhagavad Gita, Eknath Easwaran, P.221., 2007.
- The Concise Yoga Vāsiṣṭha, Swami Venkatesananda, 1984, p.94
- https://books.google.com/books?id=rAorcEA7j4QC&pg=PA40&dq=Prakriti++maia&lr=&ei=vdbwSY_oNor0ygTsq_ieCw Preceptos de Perfección, Discípulos de Ramakrishna, p 40.
- https://books.google.com/books?id=-LNkFPM_Xr8C&pg=PA30&dq=mulaprakriti&ei=7or3SY3qGI6gMt7wwY8E The Physics of the Secret Doctrine, William Kingsland, 1996, p. 39
- https://books.google.com/books?id=3pwHAROOAIIC&pg=PA287&dq=mulaprakriti&lr=&as_brr=1&ei=VZD3Sa6MFpPMNZn8xNkD Systematic Studies in the "Secret Doctrine", The theosophical quarterly, 1906, p.287
- https://books.google.com/books?id=S3BXsFJ5aZYC&pg=PA364&dq=Mulaprakriti&ei=iKTwSePIGomqMr70nccJ Thinking and Destiny, Harold W. Percival, 2002, p.364
- https://books.google.com/books?id=Gg8fAAAAIAAJ&dq=Devi+Prakriti++unify+chakra.&lr=&ei=USTxSdjPMJbyygSfmKSpCw Ananda lahari: The blissful wave of Sri Sankaracharya, Śaṅkarācārya, Sivananda, Boris Sacharow, 1949 (page unavailable).
- https://books.google.com/books?id=CJFdkkGSV8gC&pg=PA110&dq=Prakriti+means+nature&lr=&ei=JDvxSY2cNp6GyAT1q4yfCw River of love in an age of pollution, David L. Haberman, 2006, p.110.
- https://books.google.com/books?id=1UhuAAAAMAAJ&q=Nature+means+environment+prakriti&dq=Nature+means+environment+prakriti&lr=&ei=GT3xSZ-4FIXGzASWloz8Cg&pgis=1 Life and Times of Netaji Subhas: The seeds of a Vedantic revolutionary, Adwaita P. Ganguly, 2000, P. 91.
- https://books.google.com/books?id=gtUzXzASJ9oC&pg=PA66&dq=gunas+doshas:+kapha,+pitta,+vata&lr=&ei=sT7xSbfMMIeyyQSAwZ2JCw&client=firefox-a Encyclopaedia of Indian Medicine, Parameshvara, S.R. Sudarshan, Saligrama Krishna, 1999, P.66.
- https://books.google.com/books?id=I8P2eq6YGPkC&pg=PT47&dq=doshas+define+prakriti&ei=_j_xScbMKIiCzATWo626Dw&client=firefox-a The essential guide to holistic and complementary therapy, Helen Beckman, 2005, p.35
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