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Thursday, 25 June 2015

Vaisesika Philosophy


Ø  Vaisesika school is next to sankhya in origin, priopr to Buddhism and Jainism.
Ø  The Vaisesika philosophy is Pluralistic Realism- diversity is the soul of universe.
Ø  Founder: Kanada also known as Kanbhuk, Uluka, Kashapa.
Ø  This shool is also known as Auluka darshana.
Ø  Prashastapada has written Padarthadharmasangraha- called bhasya or commentary on the vaisesikasutra, Vaisesikasutra written by Kanada.

Ø  Vaisesika fused with the Nyaya which accepted the ontology of the former and developed it in the light of its epistemology.
Ø  Vaisesika system is regarded as conducive to the study of all systems.
Ø  Entire system of this school is reduced to six or seven padartha- means the meaning of a word. A category is called padartha.
Ø  Padartha: an object which can be thought (jñaya) and named (abhidheya).
Ø  Vaisesika categories are different from categories of Aristotelian, Kantian and Hegelian. It is metaphysical classification of all knowable objects or of all reals.
Ø  Vaisesika system is pluralistic realism, a dynamic concrete identity-indifference.
Ø  Originally Vaisesika believed in six categories (bhava), the sevnth one was added later viz; Abhava.
Ø  Bhava- being, abhava is non-being.
Ø  All that is real comes under the object of knowledge and is called padartha, these are seven:
                                i.            Substance (dravya): Substratum where actions and qualities inhere and which is coexistent material cause of the composite things produced from it.
a) Compound substances (avayavidravya)
b) Substances are nine:
earth- prthvi
fire- tejas
water- ap
eather- akasa
time- kala
space- dik
spirit- atman
mind- manas
                              ii.            Quality (guna): it is called an independent reality because it can be conceived (prameya), though (jñeya) and named (abhidheya). Kanada mentions seventeen gunas. Seven more are added by prashastapada. There are total twenty four gunas.
                            iii.            Action (karma): It cannot exist independent of a substance. It is dynamic and transient feature of a substance. It is of five kinds:
1.      Utksepna (upward movement)
2.      Avksepna (downward movement
3.      Akunchana (contraction)
4.      Prasarna (expansion)
5.      Gamana (locomotion)
           iv. Generality (samanya): class concept, class essence or universal. It is the common characteristics of the individual and it does not includes the sub-classes.
                              v.  Particularity (vishesa): Enables us to perceive things to perceive things as different from one another. Nyaya-vaisesika maintains quantitative and qualitative pluralism. Differentium (vyavartaka) of ultimate eternal substances (nityadravyavrtti).
                           vi.    Inherence (samvaya): inseperable eternal relation. An independent category (padartha). It is the relation between cause and effect. The things releated by samvyaya are inseperably connected (ayutasiddha)
                          vii. Non-being/ non-existence (abhava): Kanada does not mention it as a separate category, it is added afterwards. It is negative, relative, absolute negation is an impossibility. Non-existence or abhava is of four kinds:
1.      Pragbhava: non-existence of a thing before its production.
2.      Pradhvamsabhava: non-existence of a thing after its destruction.
3.      Anyonyabhava: non-existence of a thing as another thing which is different from it.
4.      Atyantabhava: pseudo-idea, the absence of a relation between two things in the past, the present and the future.
Ø  Nyaya-vaisesika believes in the theory of asatkaryavada (the effect does not pre exist in its cause).
Ø  This doctrine is also known as arambhabhava.
Ø  Vaisesika atom is not materialistic.
Ø  The Vaisesika believes in the authority of veda and in the moral law of karma. Kanada himself does not openly refer to god. His aphorism- ‘the authority of veda is due to its being His (or their) word’, has been interpreted by the commentators in the sense that the Veda is the word of God.
Ø  The realistic pluralism of Vaisesika is not a synthetic philosophy. It is mere common sense explanation and may, at best, be regarded as scientific analysis. The Vaisesika gives us a mere catalogue of categories without making any attempt to synthesize them.
Ø  Atomistic pluralism is no final philosophy, but it is an important stage in the development of Indian philosophy.
Ø  Difference between Nyaya and Vaisesika:
                                i.            Vaisesika recognizes seven categories and classifies all reals under them. Nyaya recognizes sixteen categories and all categories of Vaisesika lies under one ategory (prameya) or the knowable.
                              ii.            Vaisesika recognizes only pratayaksa and anumana, Nyaya does four- pratayaksa, anumana, upmana, sabda pramana.
Ø  Jnana or buddhi is upalabdhi or anubhava.

Ø  Knowledge and perception: all knowledge is a revelation or manifestation of objects (arthprakasho buddhi). 

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