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Kapila is described in the Puranas as an incarnation of Vishnu, an avatar who came to earth to restore the spiritual balance through his teachings.

He is known for teaching a process of liberation known as bhakti yoga.

Kapila, son of Kardama and Devahuti was the founder of the famous Sankhya philosophy. Kapila was famous as a divine teacher and a sage of wonderful merit. Devahuti was very much proud of her son's knowledge and one day she went to him and asked Kapila to teach her how to gain freedom from birth and death. Kapila with a big smile and affection said his mother that he is ready to teach her lessons on the topic of gaining freedom from this cycle of birth and death. Then he told her that first and foremost one must have a pure heart and a loving devotion for God. Those who love God as much as they love themselves, as tenderly as they love their own children, who trust Him as a beloved friend and revere Him as the supreme Guru, and above all worship him with increasing devotion are those who can claim eternal freedom.

Kapila gave lectures about many things like yoga and the three main modes of the mind. He also made clear to his mother Devahuti about the divine love one can express to the almighty. A tamasic devotion is where one worships God selfishly with hatred, anger and jealousy in their hearts. Secondly it is the rajasic devotion where the people worship only for the sake of material gains. But the true and the highest form of devotion is sattvic devotion where the people worship and love the god for the sake of love, not because they want anything. He also told his mother that the Sattvic devotion is the best form of worship which keeps the mind always thinking about the Lord just like the Ganga continuously flows into the sea. Life can be purified only by following the codes and ethics of life. It requires more and more chanting of the name of the God. One must see the blessed Lord in all creatures and be friendly to all and kind to the poor and helpless. Thus Kapila taught his mother many wonderful things about the Lord's divine nature and how one could reach Him. Thus Kapila taught his mother the reality of life and excellent things about the Lord's divine nature. Devahuti followed her son's teaching and reached the state of sainthood.

Kapila was a descendant of Manu, the primal human being, and a grandson of the creator-god Brahma, or he was an avatar of the god Vishnu. The important religious text the Bhagavadgita pictures him as a recluse associated with yogic adepts (siddhas).