These are also called the Astika orthodox philosophical traditions and are those that accept the Vedas as authoritative, important source of knowledge. Figuratively, it means what has been seen, understood or known as the established truth. In Hindu tradition devotees visit religious places and temples to have a darshan of the deity. In the past kings in India would give an audience to the people and the officials who came to see them to give them an opportunity to interact with them or place their requests and appeals. It was part of the darshana tradition only.
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Thereafter the combined school was referred to as Nyaya-Vaisheshika. The Vaisheshika school attempts to identify, inventory, and classify the entities and their relations that present themselves to human perceptions. It lists six categories of being padarthas , to which was later added a seventh. These are: Dravya , or substance, the substratum that exists independently of all other categories, and the material cause of all compound things produced from it. Dravyas are nine in number: earth, water, fire, air, ether , time, space, spirit, and mind.
Guna , or quality, which in turn is subdivided into 24 species. Karma , or action. Both guna and karma inhere within dravya and cannot exist independently of it. Samanya, or genus, which denotes characteristic similarities that allow two or more objects to be classed together.
Vishesha, or specific difference, which singles out an individual of that class. Samavaya, or inherence, which indicates things inseparably connected. To these six was later added abhava, nonexistence or absence. Though negative in content, the impression it makes is positive; one has a perception of an absence where one misses something. Four such absences are recognized: previous absence, as of a new product; later absence, as of a destroyed object; total absence, as of colour in the wind; and reciprocal absence, as of a jar and a cloth, neither of which is the other.
Get exclusive access to content from our First Edition with your subscription. Subscribe today The Vaisheshika system holds that the smallest, indivisible, indestructible part of the world is an atom anu. All physical things are a combination of the atoms of earth, water, fire, and air. This article was most recently revised and updated by Matt Stefon , Assistant Editor. Learn More in these related Britannica articles:.
Vaisheshika and Nyaya Philosophy in Hinduism
Overview[ edit ] 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. Whatever human beings perceive is composite, and even the smallest perceptible thing, namely, a fleck of dust, has parts, which are therefore invisible. Size, form, truths and everything that human beings experience as a whole is a function of parmanus, their number and their spatial arrangements. 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.