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Vaisheshika - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Vaisheshika or Vaieika (Sanskrit: ) is one of the six Hindu schools of philosophy (Vedic systems) of India. Historically, it has been closely associated with the Hindu school of logic, Nyaya. Vaisheshika espouses a form of atomism and postulates that all objects in the physical universe are reducible to a finite number of atoms. Originally proposed by the sage Kada (or Kana-bhuk, literally, atom-eater) around the 2nd century BC.[1]

1 Overview 2 Literature of Vaisheshika 3 The Categories or Padrtha 4 Epistemology and syllogism 5 The atomic theory 6 Later developments 7 Views by the Vedanta School 8 See also 9 Notes 10 References 11 External links

Although the Vaisheshika system developed independently from the Nyaya, the two eventually merged because of their closely related metaphysical theories. 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 perception and inference. Although not among Kanada's original philosophies,[2] later Vaishesika atomism also differs from the atomic theory of modern science by claiming the functioning of atoms(or their characterization because of which they function in their way) was guided or directed by the will of the Supreme Being or Supreme Concept. An alternative view would qualify the above in that the holism evident in the ancient texts mandate the identification of six separate traditional environments of philosophy, consisting of three sets of two pairs.

The earliest systematic exposition of the Vaisheshika is found in the Vaieika Stra of Kada (or Kaabhaksha). This treatise is divided into ten books. The two commentaries on the Vaieika Stra, Rvaabhya and Bhradvjavtti are no more extant. Praastapdas Padrthadharmasagraha (c. 4th century) is the next important work of this school. Though commonly known as bhya of Vaieika Stra, this treatise is basically an independent work on the subject. The next Vaisheshika treatise, Candras Daapadrthastra (648) based on Praastapdas treatise is available only in Chinese translation. The earliest commentary available on Praastapdas treatise is Vyomaivas Vyomavat (8th century). The other three commentaries are ridharas Nyyakandal (991), Udayanas Kiranvali (10th century) and rivatsas Llvat (11th century). ivdityas Saptapadrth which also belongs to the same period, presents the Nyya

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Vaisheshika - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

and the Vaieika principles as a part of one whole. akara Miras Upaskra on Vaieika Stra is also an important work.[3]

According to the Vaisheshika school, all things which exist, which can be cognised, and which can be named are padrthas (literal meaning: the meaning of a word), the objects of experience. All objects of experience can be classified into six categories, dravya (substance), gua (quality), karma (activity), smnya (generality), viea (particularity) and samavya (inherence). Later Vaieikas (rdhara and Udayana and ivditya) 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 budhyapekam (product of intellectual discrimination) and they are logical categories.[4] 1.Dravya (substance): The substances are conceived as 9 in number. They are, pthv (earth), ap (water), tejas (fire), vyu (air), kaa (ether), kla (time), dik (space), tman (self) and manas (mind). The first five are called bhtas, the substances having some specific qualities so that they could be perceived by one or the other external senses.[5] 2.Gua (quality): The Vaieika Stra mentions 17 guas (qualities), to which Praastapda added another 7. While a substance is capable of existing independently by itself, a gua(quality) cannot exist so. The original 17 guas (qualities) are, r pa (colour), rasa (taste), gandha (smell), spara (touch), sakhy (number), parima (size/dimension/quantity), p thaktva (individuality), sayoga (conjunction/accompaniments), vibhga (disjunction), paratva (priority), aparatva (posteriority), buddhi (knowledge), sukha (pleasure), dukha (pain), icch (desire), dvea (aversion) and prayatna (effort). To these Praastapda added gurutva (heaviness), dravatva (fluidity), sneha (viscosity), dharma (merit), adharma (demerit), abda (sound) and saksra (faculty).[6] 3.Karma (activity): The karmas (activities) like guas (qualities) have no separate existence, they belong to the substances. But while a quality is a permanent feature of a substance, an activity is a transient one. ka (ether), kla (time), dik (space) and tman (self), though substances, are devoid of karma (activity).[7] 4.Smnya (generality): Since there are plurality of substances, there will be relations among them. When a property is found common to many substances, it is called smnya.[8] 5.Viea (particularity): By means of viea, we are able to perceive substances as different from one another. As the ultimate atoms are innumerable so are the vieas.[9] 6.Samavya (inherence): Kada defined samavya as the relation between the cause and the effect. Praastapda defined it as the relationship existing between the substances that are inseparable, standing to one another in the relation of the container and the contained. The relation of samavya is not perceivable but only inferable from the inseparable connection of the substances.[10]

The early Vaieika epistemology considered only pratyaka (perception) and anumna (inference) as the pramas (means of valid knowledge). The other two means of valid knowledge accepted by the Nyya school, upamna (comparison) and abda (verbal testimony) were considered as included in anumna.[11] The syllogism of the Vaieika school was similar to that of the Nyya, but the names given by Praastapda to the 5 members of syllogism are different.[12]

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Vaisheshika - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The early Vaieika texts presented the following syllogism to prove that all objects i.e. the four bhtas, pthv (earth), ap (water), tejas (fire) and vyu (air) are made of indivisible paramus (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 paramus (atoms). According to the Vaieika school, the trasareu (dust particles visible in the sunbeam coming through a small window hole) are the smallest mahat (perceivable) particles and defined as tryaukas (triads). These are made of three parts, each of which are defined as dvyauka (dyad). The dvyaukas are conceived as made of two parts, each of which are defined as paramu (atom). The paramus (atoms) are indivisible and eternal, they can neither be created nor destroyed.[13] Each paramu (atom) possesses its own distinct viea (individuality).[14] The measure of the partless atoms is known as parimaala parima. It is eternal and it cannot generate the measure of any other substance. Its measure is its own absolutely.[15]

Over the centuries, the school merged with the Nyaya school of Indian philosophy to form the combined school of nyya-vaieika. The school suffered a natural decline in India after the 15th century.

The Vaisheshikas say that the visible universe is created from an original stock of atoms (janim asata). As Kada's Vaieika Stra (7.1.26) states, nitya parimaalam (that which is of the smallest size, the atom, is eternal), he and his followers also postulate eternality for other, nonatomic entities, including the souls who become embodied, and even a Supreme Soul. But in Vaieika cosmology the souls and the Supersoul play only token roles in the atomic production of the universe. The Brahma Sutra (2.2.12) says ubhayathpi na karmatas tad-abhava. According to this stra, one cannot claim that, at the time of creation, atoms first combine together because they are impelled by some karmic impulse adhering in the atoms themselves, since atoms by themselves, in their primeval state before combining into complex objects, have no ethical responsibility that might lead them to acquire pious and sinful reactions. Nor can the initial combination of atoms be explained as a result of the residual karma of the living entities who lie dormant prior to creation, since these reactions are each jiva's own and cannot be transferred from them even to other jvas, what to speak of inert atoms.

Darshanas Hindu philosophy Hinduism Nyaya (philosophy) Padrtha Vaieika Stra

1. ^ Oliver Leaman, Key Concepts in Eastern Philosophy. Routledge, 1999, page 269.

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2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15.

^ Kevin Burns: "Eastern Philosophy", Enchanted Lion Books, 2006 ^ Radhakrishnan 2006, pp. 18081 ^ Radhakrishnan 2006, pp. 18386 ^ Chattopadhyaya 1986, p. 169 ^ Radhakrishnan 2006, p. 204 ^ Radhakrishnan 2006, pp. 20809 ^ Radhakrishnan 2006, p. 209 ^ Radhakrishnan 2006, p. 215 ^ Radhakrishnan 2006, pp. 21619 ^ Chattopadhyaya 1986, p. 170 ^ Radhakrishnan 2006, p. 75ff ^ Chattopadhyaya 1986, pp. 16970 ^ Radhakrishnan 2006, p. 202 ^ Dasgupta 1975, p. 314

Chattopadhyaya, D. (1986), Indian Philosophy: A Popular Introduction, Peoples Publishing House, New Delhi, ISBN 81-7007-023-6. Dasgupta, Surendranath (1975), A History of Indian Philosophy, Vol. I, Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi, ISBN 81-208-0412-8. Radhakrishnan, S. (2006), Indian Philosophy, Vol. II, Oxford University Press, New Delhi, ISBN 0-19-563820-4.

A summary of Vaisheshika physics ( Shastra Nethralaya - Vaisheshika ( GRETIL e-text of the Vaieika Stras ( /3_phil/vaisesik/vaissu1u.htm) Retrieved from "" Categories: Philosophical traditions Ancient philosophical schools and traditions Philosophical schools and traditions Hindu philosophical concepts Indian philosophy stika This page was last modified on 12 March 2013 at 23:16. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Wikipedia is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization.

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