Among the Ṣaḍ-darśanas or the six systems of Indian philosophy, Sāṅkhya-darśana has an important place. It is nearer to the Vedānta system and has been quite popular. Ideas of Sāṅkhya are found spread over the epics and the purāṇas too.

The system is said to have originated from Kapila, and Āsuri was his chief disciple. Along with Pañcaśikha, the disciple of Āsuri, the three great teachers have put the system on a firm foundation. The Mahābhārata (12.219) gives an account of their teachings.

Nothing is known of Āsuri except that he was a teacher of Sāṅkhya, a disciple of Kapila and guru of Pañcaśikha. Mythological lores say that Āsuri was a house-holder immersed in the world and it took a long time and much effort for his guru Kapila to awaken him to the path of spiritual life.