Vaisheshika or Vaiśeṣika (Sanskrit: वैशेषिक) is one of the six orthodox schools of Hindu philosophy (Vedic systems) from ancient India. In its early stages, the Vaiśeṣika was an independent philosophy with its own metaphysics, epistemology, logic, ethics, and soteriology. Over time, the Vaiśeṣika system became similar in its philosophical procedures, ethical conclusions and soteriology to the Nyāya school of Hinduism, but retained its difference in epistemology and metaphysics.
The epistemology of Vaiśeṣika school of Hinduism, like Buddhism, accepted only two reliable means to knowledge: perception and inference. Vaiśeṣika school and Buddhism both consider their respective scriptures as indisputable and valid means to knowledge, the difference being that the scriptures held to be a valid and reliable source by Vaiśeṣikas were the Vedas.
Vaisheshika school is known for its insights in naturalism. It is a form of atomism in natural philosophy. It postulated that all objects in the physical universe are reducible to paramāṇu (atoms), and one's experiences are derived from the interplay of substance (a function of atoms, their number and their spatial arrangements), quality, activity, commonness, particularity and inherence. Everything was composed of atoms, qualities emerged from aggregates of atoms, but the aggregation and nature of these atoms was predetermined by cosmic forces. Ajivika metaphysics included a theory of atoms which was later adapted in Vaiśeṣika school.
According to Vaiśeṣika school, knowledge and liberation were achievable by a complete understanding of the world of experience..
Although the Vaisheshika system developed independently from the Nyaya school of Hinduism, the two became similar and are often studied together. In its classical form, however, the Vaishesika school differed from the Nyaya in one crucial respect: where Nyaya accepted four sources of valid knowledge, the Vaishesika accepted only two.
Vaisheshika espouses a form of atomism, that the reality is composed of five substances (examples are earth, water, air, fire, and space). Each of these five are of two types, explains Ganeri, (paramāṇu) and composite. A paramāṇu is that which is indestructible, indivisible, and has a special kind of dimension, called “small” (aṇu). A composite is that which is divisible into paramāṇu. Whatever human beings perceive is composite, and even the smallest perceptible thing, namely, a fleck of dust, has parts, which are therefore invisible. The Vaiśeṣikas visualized the smallest composite thing as a “triad” (tryaṇuka) with three parts, each part with a “dyad” (dyaṇuka). Vaiśeṣikas believed that a dyad has two parts, each of which is an atom. Size, form, truths and everything that human beings experience as a whole is a function of parmanus, their number and their spatial arrangements.
Parama means "most distant, remotest, extreme, last" and aṇu means "atom, very small particle", hence paramāṇu is essentially "the most distant or last small (i.e. smallest) particle".
Vaisheshika postulated that what one experiences is derived from dravya (substance: a function of atoms, their number and their spatial arrangements), guna (quality), karma (activity), samanya (commonness), vishesha (particularity) and nsamavaya (inherence, inseparable connectedness of everything).
Hinduism identifies six Pramāṇas as epistemically reliable means to accurate knowledge and to truths: Pratyakṣa (perception), Anumāna (inference), Upamāna (comparison and analogy), Arthāpatti (postulation, derivation from circumstances), Anupalabdhi (non-perception, negative/cognitive proof) and Śabda (word, testimony of past or present reliable experts). Of these Vaiśeṣika epistemology considered only pratyakṣa (perception) and anumāna (inference) as reliable means of valid knowledge. Nyaya school, related to Vaiśeṣika, accepts four out of these six.
The earliest systematic exposition of the Vaisheshika is found in the Vaiśeṣika Sūtra of Kaṇāda (or Kaṇabhaksha). This treatise is divided into ten books. The two commentaries on the Vaiśeṣika Sūtra, Rāvaṇabhāṣya and Bhāradvājavṛtti are no more extant. Praśastapāda’s Padārthadharmasaṁgraha (c. 4th century) is the next important work of this school. Though commonly known as bhāṣya of Vaiśeṣika Sūtra, this treatise is basically an independent work on the subject. The next Vaisheshika treatise, Candra’s Daśapadārthaśāstra (648) based on Praśastapāda’s treatise is available only in Chinese translation. The earliest commentary available on Praśastapāda’s treatise is Vyomaśiva’s Vyomavatī (8th century). The other three commentaries are Śridhara’s Nyāyakandalī (991), Udayana’s Kiranāvali (10th century) and Śrivatsa’s Līlāvatī (11th century). Śivāditya’s Saptapadārthī which also belongs to the same period, presents the Nyāya and the Vaiśeṣika principles as a part of one whole. Śaṁkara Miśra’s Upaskāra on Vaiśeṣika Sūtra is also an important work.
According to the Vaisheshika school, all things that exist, that can be cognized and named are padārthas (literal meaning: the meaning of a word), the objects of experience. All objects of experience can be classified into six categories, dravya (substance), guṇa (quality), karma (activity), sāmānya (generality), viśeṣa (particularity) and samavāya (inherence). Later Vaiśeṣikas (Śrīdhara and Udayana and Śivāditya) added one more category abhava (non-existence). The first three categories are defined as artha (which can perceived) and they have real objective existence. The last three categories are defined as budhyapekṣam (product of intellectual discrimination) and they are logical categories.
According to the Vaiśeṣika school, the trasareṇu are the smallest mahat (perceivable) particles and defined as tryaṇukas (triads). These are made of three parts, each of which are defined as dvyaṇuka (dyad). The dvyaṇukas are conceived as made of two parts, each of which are defined as paramāṇu (atom). The paramāṇus (atoms) are indivisible and eternal, they can neither be created nor destroyed. Each paramāṇu (atom) possesses its own distinct viśeṣa (individuality).
The measure of the partless atoms is known as parimaṇḍala parimāṇa. It is eternal and it cannot generate the measure of any other substance. Its measure is its own absolutely.
The early Vaiśeṣika texts presented the following syllogism to prove that all objects i.e. the four bhūtas, pṛthvī (earth), ap (water), tejas (fire) and vāyu (air) are made of indivisible paramāṇus (atoms): Assume that the matter is not made of indivisible atoms, and that it is continuous. Take a stone. One can divide this up into infinitely many pieces (since matter is continuous). Now, the Himalayan mountain range also has infinitely many pieces, so one may build another Himalayan mountain range with the infinite number of pieces that one has. One begins with a stone and ends up with the Himalayas, which is a paradox - so the original assumption that matter is continuous must be wrong, and so all objects must be made up of a finite number of paramāṇus (atoms).
Abhava means non-existence, negation, nothing or absence. It is the negative of Bhava which means being, becoming, existing or appearance.Adrishta
The Fifth Chapter of the Vaisheshika Sutras of Kanada deals with the notion of action and the connected concept of effort; and also deals with the various special phenomenon of nature to the supersensible force, called Adrishta.Bhedabheda
Bhedābheda Vedānta is a subschool of Vedānta, which teaches that the individual self (jīvātman) is both different and not different from the ultimate reality known as Brahman.Guṇa
Guṇa depending on the context means "string, thread, or strand", or "virtue, merit, excellence", or "quality, peculiarity, attribute, property".The concept is originally notable as a feature of Samkhya philosophy, though possibly a later feature of it. The gunas are now a key concept in nearly all schools of Hindu philosophy. There are three gunas, according to this worldview, that have always been and continue to be present in all things and beings in the world. These three gunas are called: sattva (goodness, constructive, harmonious), rajas (passion, active, confused), and tamas (darkness, destructive, chaotic). All of these three gunas are present in everyone and everything, it is the proportion that is different, according to Hindu worldview. The interplay of these gunas defines the character of someone or something, of nature and determines the progress of life.In some contexts, it may mean "a subdivision, species, kind, quality", or an operational principle or tendency of something or someone. In human behavior studies, Guna means personality, innate nature and psychological attributes of an individual.Like all Sanskrit technical terms, guṇa can be difficult to summarize in a single word. Its original and common meaning is a thread, implying the original materials that weave together to make up reality. The usual, but approximate translation in common usage is "quality".Hitā
Hitā (Sanskrit: हिता) means 'causeway' or 'dike'. In the Upanishads this word is used to mean 'subtle connections' or 'canals of subtle energies', or particular 'nerves' or 'veins'. The journey to the heart is said to be through seventy-two thousand subtle channels called Hitā; they are the beneficent active veins (filled with different types of serums).Indian logic
The development of Indian logic dates back to the anviksiki of Medhatithi Gautama (c. 6th century BCE); the Sanskrit grammar rules of Pāṇini (c. 5th century BCE); the Vaisheshika school's analysis of atomism (c. 6th century BCE to 2nd century BCE); the analysis of inference by Gotama (c. 6th century BC to 2nd century CE), founder of the Nyaya school of Hindu philosophy; and the tetralemma of Nagarjuna (c. 2nd century CE).
Indian logic stands as one of the three original traditions of logic, alongside the Greek and the Chinese logic. The Indian tradition continued to develop through early to modern times, in the form of the Navya-Nyāya school of logic.Indian philosophy
Indian philosophy refers to ancient philosophical traditions of the Indian subcontinent. The principal schools are classified as either orthodox or heterodox – āstika or nāstika – depending on one of three alternate criteria: whether it believes the Vedas as a valid source of knowledge; whether the school believes in the premises of Brahman and Atman; and whether the school believes in afterlife and Devas.There are six major schools of orthodox Indian Hindu philosophy—Nyaya, Vaisheshika, Samkhya, Yoga, Mīmāṃsā and Vedanta, and five major heterodox schools—Jain, Buddhist, Ajivika, Ajñana, and Cārvāka. However, there are other methods of classification; Vidyaranya for instance identifies sixteen schools of Indian philosophy by including those that belong to the Śaiva and Raseśvara traditions.The main schools of Indian philosophy were formalised chiefly between 1000 BCE to the early centuries of the Common Era. Competition and integration between the various schools was intense during their formative years, especially between 800 BCE and 200 CE. Some schools like Jainism, Buddhism, Yoga, Śaiva and Vedanta survived, but others, like Ajñana, Charvaka and Ājīvika did not.
Ancient and medieval era texts of Indian philosophies include extensive discussions on Ontology (metaphysics, Brahman-Atman, Sunyata-Anatta), reliable means of knowledge (epistemology, Pramanas), value system (axiology) and other topics.Kanada
Kanada may refer to:
Kanada (philosopher), the Hindu sage who founded the philosophy of Vaisheshika
Kanada (raga group), a group of ragas in Hindustani music
Kanada Station, train station in Fukuoka, Japan
Kannada language, one of the major Dravidian languages of India
Canada, a country in North America (as it is spelled in many languages)Kanada (philosopher)
Kanada (Sanskrit: कणाद, IAST: 'Kaṇāda), also known as Kashyapa, Uluka, Kananda and Kanabhuk, was an ancient Indian natural scientist and philosopher who founded the Vaisheshika school of Indian philosophy that also represents the earliest Indian physics.Estimated to have lived sometime between 6th century to 2nd century BCE, little is known about his life. His traditional name "Kanada" means "atom eater", and he is known for developing the foundations of an atomistic approach to physics and philosophy in the Sanskrit text Vaiśeṣika Sūtra. His text is also known as Kanada Sutras, or Aphorisms of Kanada.The school founded by Kanada attempted to explain the creation and existence of the universe by proposing an atomistic theory, applying logic and realism, and is among one of the earliest known systematic realist ontology in human history. Kanada suggested that everything can be subdivided, but this subdivision cannot go on forever, and there must be smallest entities (parmanu) that cannot be divided, that are eternal, that aggregate in different ways to yield complex substances and bodies with unique identity, a process that involves heat, and this is the basis for all material existence. He used these ideas with the concept of Atman (soul, Self) to develop a non-theistic means to moksha. If viewed from the prism of physics, his ideas imply a clear role for the observer as independent of the system being studied.
Kanada's ideas were influential on other schools of Hinduism, and over its history became closely associated with the Nyaya school of Hindu philosophy.Kanada's system speaks of six properties (padārthas) that are nameable and knowable. He claims that these are sufficient to describe everything in the universe, including observers. These six categories are dravya (substance), guna (quality), karman (motion), samanya (universal), visesa (particular), and samavaya (inherence). There are nine classes of substances (dravya), some of which are atomic, some non-atomic, and others that are all-pervasive.
The ideas of Kanada span a wide range of fields, and they influenced not only philosophy, but possibly scholars in other fields such as Charaka who wrote a medical text that has survived as Charaka Samhita.Kasaya (attachment)
Kasaya is attachment to worldly objects and is an obstacle in the path leading to Nirvikalpa Samadhi: it is overcome through viveka, discrimination.Nididhyāsana
In Advaita Vedanta and Jnana Yoga Nididhyasana (Sanskrit: निदिध्यासन) is profound and repeated meditation on the mahavakyas, great Upanishadic statements such as "That art Thou", to realize the identity of Atman and Brahman. It is the fourth step in the training of a sisya (disciple), consisting of preparatory practives, listening to the teachings as contained in the sruti, reflection on the teachings, and nididhyasana.Nyaya
Nyāya (Sanskrit: न्याय, nyā-yá), literally means "rules", "method" or "judgment". It is also the name of one of the six orthodox (astika) schools of Hinduism. This school's most significant contributions to Indian philosophy was systematic development of the theory of logic, methodology, and its treatises on epistemology.Nyaya school's epistemology accepts four out of six Pramanas as reliable means of gaining knowledge – Pratyakṣa (perception), Anumāṇa (inference), Upamāṇa (comparison and analogy) and Śabda (word, testimony of past or present reliable experts). In its metaphysics, Nyaya school is closer to Vaisheshika school of Hinduism than others. It holds that human suffering results from mistakes/defects produced by activity under wrong knowledge (notions and ignorance). Moksha (liberation), it states, is gained through right knowledge. This premise led Nyaya to concern itself with epistemology, that is the reliable means to gain correct knowledge and to remove wrong notions. False knowledge is not merely ignorance to Naiyyayikas, it includes delusion. Correct knowledge is discovering and overcoming one's delusions, and understanding true nature of soul, self and reality.Naiyyayika scholars approached philosophy as a form of direct realism, stating that anything that really exists is in principle humanly knowable. To them, correct knowledge and understanding is different from simple, reflexive cognition; it requires Anuvyavasaya (अनुव्यवसाय, cross-examination of cognition, reflective cognition of what one thinks one knows). An influential collection of texts on logic and reason is the Nyayasutras, attributed to Aksapada Gautama, variously estimated to have been composed between 6th-century BCE and 2nd-century CE.Nyaya school shares some of its methodology and human suffering foundations with Buddhism; however, a key difference between the two is that Buddhism believes that there is neither a soul nor self; Nyaya school like other schools of Hinduism believes that there is a soul and self, with liberation (moksha) as a state of removal of ignorance, wrong knowledge, the gain of correct knowledge and unimpeded continuation of self.Padārtha
Padārtha is a Sanskrit word for "categories" in Vaisheshika and Nyaya schools of Hindu philosophy.Prabhākara
Prabhākara (active c. 7th century) was an Indian philosopher-grammarian in the Mīmāṃsā tradition. His views and his debate with Kumārila Bhaṭṭa led to the Prābhākara school within Mīmāṃsā. The Prābhākara school is considered to be nastik (atheistic) or Lokayata school. Kumārila said: For in practice the Mimamsa has been for the most part converted into a Lokayata system; But I have made this effort to bring it into a theistic path.Śālikanātha wrote commentaries on Prabhākara in the 8th century.Prashastapada
Praśastapāda (Sanskrit: प्रशस्तपाद) was an ancient Indian philosopher. He wrote the Padārtha-dharma-saṅgraha (Collection of Properties of Matter) and a commentary, titled Praśastapāda Bhāṣya , on the Vaisheshika Sutras of Kanada (Circa 6th Century BCE), both texts are comprehensive books in physics. In these texts Prashastapada discusses the properties of motion. Ganganath Jha had translated Praśastapāda Bhāṣya which translation was published in 1916. Prashasta or Praśasta (Sanskrit: प्रशस्त) means praised or praiseworthy, lauded or laudable, commended or commendable or eulogized.Dayananda Saraswati writes that the Sutras of Kanāda and Padārthadharmasaṅgraha of Praśastapāda do not show much influence of the Nyaya System. Praśastapāda Bhāṣya is actually not a commentary but an independent compendium of the tenets of the Vaisheshika School. Udayanacharya of the Navya-Nyāya School, the author of Lakṣaṇāvalī which gives the definitions of Vaiśeṣika terms, and Nyāya Kusumanjali which is a systematic account of Nyaya Theism, who also belonged to Mithila, had written Kiranavali which is a commentary on Praśastapāda Bhāṣya .Praśastapāda can be tentatively dated to the second half of the 6th century C.E. The Vaiśeṣika philosophy recognizes twenty-four gunas or qualities that are inherent in substances; these include seventeen gunas listed by Kanada and seven gunas – gurutva (heaviness), dravatva (fluidity), sneha (viscidity), dharma (merit), adharma (demerit), shabda (sound) and samskara (faculty) - added by Praśastapāda. Vyomavati of Vyomaśekhara, Nyayakandali of Shridhara, Kiranavali of Udayana and Lilavati of Śrīvatsa are well known commentaries on his works.Praśastapāda refers to a type of perception that is the simple intuition ( alochana ) of the proper form ( svarupa ) of an entity, which is the apprehension of an undifferentiated ( avibhktam ) whole arising from cognition of its specific universals. This is the preliminary stage. He differs from Dignāga for whom the determinates of cognitions are subjective constructs imposed upon the given, and constructive cognition is not a perception; Praśastapāda, who was a realist, avers that the determinates are objective constituents of reality and their conceptual co-relates are not inter-subjective fictions. Praśastapāda by redefining substance as per se a possessor of attributes opened new turf by separating the cosmological from the logical dimensions of concepts. His commentary overshadowed the Vaisheshika Sutras and became the main vehicle for later commentaries. Praśastapāda describes the dissolution of the earth, water, air and fire in terms of their atomic constituents but excludes space because space is non-atomic. With regard to the conjoining and disjoining of atoms he includes a higher will or order as the guiding principle of universal dissolution which over-rides the natural karma of atoms.Kaṇāda does not directly refer to Ishvara (God) but Praśastapāda sees Ishvara as the cause of the universe but does not explain how God creates.Sadananda (of Vedantasara)
Sadananda Yogendra Saraswati, the exponent of the Advaita Vedanta as taught by Adi Shankara and the renowned author of Vedantasara which is one of the best known Prakarana Granthas (text-books) of the philosophy of the Upanishads, was the son of Anantadeva, and probably lived in mid-15th century A.D. He is also reputed to have written - Vedantasiddhanta-sarasangraha, Bhavaprakasa on Bhagavad Gita and Brahmasutra-tatpryaprakasa – which are works of equal repute and importance. Not much is known about the life of this acharya. Hiriyanna states that Sadananda of Vedantasara is different from the Sadananda of Advaitbrahmansiddhi the text that was published by the Asiatic Society of Bengal.In his works Sadananda stresses the liberated being’s freedom from bondage, detachment from the body, and constant goodness, although being beyond virtue. The liberated being after having lived out his prarabdha karma merges with Brahman.Advayananda was the Guru of Sadananda.Sthiti
A Sanskrit Dictionary gives more than eighty meanings of the Sanskrit word, Sthiti (स्थिति), but this word mainly refers to position, rank or dignity, staying, or permanence, permanent or continued existence in any place.Udayana
Udayana, also known as Udayanācārya (Udyanacharya, or Master Udayana), was a very important Hindu logician of the tenth century who attempted to reconcile the views held by the two major schools of logic (Nyaya and Vaisheshika). This became the root of the Navya-Nyāya school of the thirteenth century, established by the Gangesha Upadhyaya ("New Nyāya") school of "right" reasoning, which is still recognized and followed in some regions of India. He lived in Kariyan village in Mithila, near present-day Darbhanga, Bihar state, India.
Udayana wrote a sub-gloss on Vachaspati's work called the Nyaya-vaartika-taatparya-tiikaa-parishuddhi. He wrote several other works such as the Kusumanjali, Atma-tattva-viveka, Kiranaavali and Nyaya-parishishhta (also called Bodha siddhi or Bodha shuddhi).
He is given credit by Naiyâyikas for having demolished in a final fashion the claims of the Buddhist logicians. All his works, or at least all of which we know, have been preserved, which attest to the respect in which he was held from the beginning.Vaiśeṣika Sūtra
Vaiśeṣika Sūtra, (Sanskrit: वैशेषिक सूत्र), also called Kanada sutra, is an ancient Sanskrit text at the foundation of the Vaisheshika school of Hindu philosophy. The sutra was authored by the Hindu sage Kanada, also known as Kashyapa. According to some scholars, he flourished before the advent of Buddhism because the Vaiśeṣika Sūtra makes no mention of Buddhism or Buddhist doctrines; however, the details of Kanada's life are uncertain, and the Vaiśeṣika Sūtra was likely compiled sometime between 6th and 2nd century BCE, and finalized in the currently existing version before the start of the common era.A number of scholars have commented on it since the beginning of common era; the earliest commentary known is the Padartha Dharma Sangraha of Prashastapada. Another important secondary work on Vaiśeṣika Sūtra is Maticandra's Dasha padartha sastra which exists both in Sanskrit and its Chinese translation in 648 CE by Yuanzhuang.The Vaiśeṣika Sūtra is written in aphoristic sutras style, and presents its theories on the creation and existence of the universe using naturalistic atomism, applying logic and realism, and is one of the earliest known systematic realist ontology in human history. The text discusses motions of different kind and laws that govern it, the meaning of dharma, a theory of epistemology, the basis of Atman (self, soul), and the nature of yoga and moksha. The explicit mention of motion as the cause of all phenomena in the world and several propositions about it make it one of the earliest texts on physics.