ॐ Hindu Of Universe ॐ

“God’s light is within you, It never leaves you.”


The Greek philosopher Democritus (460–370 BCE) may not have been the first to propound atomism.

Debate has played an important role within Hinduism, showing that spiritual commitment was not inconsistent with philosophical inquiry. Hinduism has little time for armchair philosophy, and demands high standards of personal integrity. If a scholar lost a debate, he would often become the student-disciple of the victor. This painting shows a debate between the bhakti revivalist, Chaitanya, and a famous religious leader of the day.The scholar was defeated, and became one of Chaitanya’s leading followers.


Vaisheshika, another orthodox school, was founded by Kanada (circa 600 BCE). In much the same way as the Greeks, he describes the elements, their characteristics and their interrelations. He mentions atoms and molecules and infers the existence of the atman through specific symptoms. Despite a philosophical approach, he stresses dharma as a means to both prosperity and liberation, and prescribes many traditional practices such as fasting, celibacy, and service to the guru.

Kanada states that since all material objects are constructed from atoms, they are products rather than causes, and the causes are the irreducible particles themselves. He introduces the principle of adrishta, an unknown invisible cause. Although Kanada’s philosophy is non-theistic, later doctrines built upon the notion of adrishta to propose God as the remote cause of everything: it is God who orchestrates the dynamic interrelations between the innumerable atoms.

Vaisheshika Philosophy

Vaisheshika Philosophy states that all matter is made of finite reducible particles known as atoms. Vaisheshika is among the six Astika School of Hindu philosophies of India.

Vaisheshika Philosophy is closely associated with the Nyaya Philosophy. It adopts a form of atomism and contends that every object in the physical universe is reducible to a finite number of atoms. This school of thought was expounded by sage Kanada. From the 6th century B.C. Nyaya and Vaisheshika are considered sister philosophies. It emphasises that a virtuous life guided by the principles of Dharma enables an individual to achieve a fulfilling life which has the spirit of highest good or Liberation. The two systems of philosophy maintain a dualistic concept which encompasses God and Jiva. Vaisheshika philosophy believed that only perception and inference are of prime importance. This is a theistic form of atomism. Vaisheshika philosophers tried to develop a theory to explain the properties of materials as the interaction of different types of atoms that make up the material. The Vaisheshika system of Philosophy categorises all objects of valid knowledge or Padartha into six.

According to the postulates of Vaisheshika Philosophy all things in the universe can be classified into padarthas or objects of experience. The six categories of the padarthas are guna, visesa, Dravya, karma, samavaya and Samanya.

Dravya (substance):
Nine components form an integral part of the Dravya system. They are prithvi (earth), jal (water), tejas (fire), vayu (air), akasa (sky), kala (time), dik (space), atma (self) and manas (mind). The first five among the dravyas are known as bhutas as they can be perceived and felt with the external senses.

Guna (quality):
Seventeen gunas have been mentioned by the Vaisheshika Sutra and a group of seven more gunas were added by Prasastapada. A guna is not able to exist independently. The core seventeen gunas which existed according to the Vaisheshika Sutras were rasa (taste), parthaktva (individuality), vibhaga (disjunction), aparatva (posteriority), dvesa (aversion), rupa (colour), sparsa (touch), parimana (size), samyoga (conjunction), gandha (smell), prayatna (effort), iccha (desire), sukha (pleasure), paratva (priority), duhkha (pain), samkhya (number) and buddhi (knowledge).

Karma (activity):
The element Karma does not have a separate existence. They are part of the dravyas. However karma is ephemeral in nature. For instance dravyas like akasa (sky), kala (time), dik (space) and atman (self) lack the element of karma within them.

Samanya (generality):
According to the Vaisheshika School of Philosophy there exists plurality of substances and because there is plurality of substances it is obvious that there will be common features among various substances. When such a common property is found between many substances it is referred as Samanya.

Visesa (particularity):
The element of visesa is opposed to the element of Samanya. It is with the help of visesa or particularity that one is able to distinguish things from one other. Visesa refers to the particular features of a substance.

Samavaya (inherence):
Samavaya refers to the inseparable relation between substances. Kanada had said that samavaya is the relation between the cause and the effect. Prasastapada had defined the concept of Samavaya more intricately. He had said that the relationship that exists between substances cannot be separated according to Samavaya. The Vaisheshika School of Philosophy states that even the smallest perceivable matter is composed of the finite structure atoms. It emphasises on the fact that atoms are the indivisible and eternal reality of all substances.

Thus, it can be said that Vaisheshika School of Philosophy gives emphasis on the atomicity of elements. It also states that every particle has an individuality of its own.


Definition – What does Vaisheshika mean?
Vaisheshika is derived from the Sanskrit, vishesa, meaning “distinction” or “distinguishing feature.” It is one of the six darshans, or ways of viewing the world, according to Hindu philosophy. The other five darshans of Hindu philosophy are yoga, samkhya, nyaya, mimamsa and vedanta.

What distinguishes Vaisheshika from the other Hindu schools of philosophy is its emphasis on metaphysics and naturalism. It is most similar to the Nyaya (logic) school – so much so that the two schools of thought are often studied together as the Nyaya-Vaisheshika school.

Yogapedia explains Vaisheshika
Vaisheshika believes in perception and inference as the two reliable means to knowledge, while nyaya followers believe in four sources of knowledge: perception, inference, verbal testimony and comparison.

Vaisheshika classifies life into seven padarthas (categories of being) and contends that all physical objects are made up of atoms, which this school of thought postulates are the smallest entity in the physical world. The seven padarthas are:

Dravya – substance, of which there are nine: earth, water, fire, air, ether, time, space, spirit and mind
Guna – quality
Karma – action
Samanya – genus
Vishesa – specific difference
Samavaya – things inseparably connected
Abhava – nonexistence or absence

Vaisheshsika is a kind of Atomism. It was proposed by Maharishi Kanaad. It postulates that all objects in the physical universe are reducible to a finite number of atoms. The school deals in detail with “Padarth” or Matter. Vaisheshika system developed independently from the Nyaya, but the two eventually merged because of their closely related 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.

Vaisheshika is also different from the Modern Atomic Theory because Vaisheshika says that the behaviour of the atoms is guided by the Supreme being.

The Vaisheshika School classified the matter or padartha into six categories:

Dravya (substance): There are nine substances viz. pṛthvī (earth), ap (water), tejas (fire), vāyu (air), ākaśa (ether), kāla (time), dik (space), ātman (self) and manas (mind). The first five are called bhūtas
(Panchabhutas) the substances having some specific qualities so that they could be perceived by one or the other external senses.
Guṇa (quality): There are 17 Gunas or qualities of matter. The Gunas are diferent from Dravya. While a Dravya is capable of existing independently by itself, a guṇa(quality) cannot exist so. The 17 Gunas are rūpa (colour), rasa (taste), gandha (smell), sparśa (touch), saṁkhyā (number), parimāṇa (size/dimension/quantity), pṛthaktva (individuality), saṁyoga (conjunction/accompaniments), vibhāga (disjunction), paratva (priority), aparatva (posteriority), buddhi (knowledge), sukha (pleasure), duḥkha (pain), icchā (desire), dveṣa (aversion) and prayatna (effort). To these Praśastapāda added another Gunas such as gurutva (gravity), dravatva (fluidity), sneha (viscosity), dharma (merit), adharma (demerit), śabda (sound) and saṁkāsra (faculty).
Karma (activity): Activity is a feature of the some of the Dravyas. Ākāśa (ether), kāla (time), dik (space) and ātman (self), though substances, are devoid of karma (activity)
Sāmānya (generality): When a property is found common to many substances, it is called sāmānya.
Viśeṣa (particularity) : By means of viśeṣa, we are able to perceive substances as different from one another. As the ultimate atoms are innumerable so are the viśeṣas
Samavāya (inherence): Samavaya is basically cause and the effect by two substances. Acording to Praśastapāda, it is the relationship existing between the substances that are inseparable, standing to one another in the relation of the container and the contained
One more category was later added called abhāva (non-existence). Here, the first three categories are defined as artha (which can perceive) and they have real objective existence. The last three categories are defined as budhyapekṣam (product of intellectual discrimination) and they are logical categories.

The Darsanās are the great schools of philosophy in Hinduism. These are also called the Astika (orthodox) philosophical traditions and are those that accept the Vedas as authoritative, important source of knowledge. Nyāya and Vaisheshikā are two of the most important philosophies among these 6 darśanas.

Let’s know some more.

Darshana or darsanā literally translates to and also ,means ,seeing or making oneself seen. 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.

In continuation of the tradition, even today people in India would eagerly wait for hours for the darshana of spiritual gurus and prominent public personalities. The darshana of a deity or a spiritual master is considered auspicious and purifying. Hence, people frequently visit them to declare their faith or allegiance. Thus, in a generally sense darshana means having a direct vision of a rare object, a holy person, or a person of great significance.

It is also used to mean a book or a scripture. For example, Tattva darshana means a book or a treatise on philosophy. The same holds true for Yoga Darshana, or Jnana Darshana. Darshana also means a perspective, view point, or a way of seeing eternal and philosophical truths. In the religions of Indian origin, a darshana refers to a body, system, or school of philosophy. In Hinduism there are six such darshanas or schools of philosophy, namely Sāṅkhya, Yoga, Nyāya, Vaiśeṣika, Mīmāṃsā and Vedanta. Each has a long history, believers, literary sources, and several sub schools. They variously speculate upon the nature of existence, God, soul, matter, Nature, reality, creation, truth, means to liberation, cause and effect, and so on according to their foundational beliefs.

Nyaya Philosophy
So,the Nyāya School of Philosophy. This school comes primarily from the Nyāyakusumanjali by Udayana, written to prove the existence of God in 9 valid arguments.

Nyāya means rule, law, justice or right judgment. The Nyaya school deals with “logical realism” of the world as an independent realty that is separate from the thinking and cognitive minds. In other words, the world exists not because you think so but because it has an independent existence of its own which is verifiable through logical inquiry and parameters (pramānas) of truth. Thus, clearly the school is dualistic and attempts to establish the truths concerning the world and its numerous aspects by logical and rational means.

In that approach Nyāya follows the Vaisheshika school, which strongly emphasizes the importance of right knowledge or valid knowledge, and the right means (pramanas) to perceive reality and establish truth. Right knowledge is the knowledge that corresponds to the nature of the object, without the distortions of the mind and the senses. Since it is an independent reality, it remains unaltered by our knowing or not knowing. It can be known only through pure perception, aided by right knowledge that is acquired through right methods of knowing and reasoning.

Nyāya goes to great lengths and suggests several techniques of reasoning to prove the existence of things and ascertain their valid knowledge. Suffering is the result of ignorance, or wrong knowledge, which causes delusion, whereby one develops wrong notions about the realities of existence. Liberation is gained by overcoming ignorance and delusion, and by gaining right knowledge. The Nyāya Sutras, composed by Akshapada Gautama, is the foundational work of the school, which expounds its essential philosophy and the methods of arriving at truth. Vatsayana (A.D. 400) wrote a commentary upon it.

The school recognizes the existence of individual souls and their bondage to the realities of Nature. However, like the other two previous schools, it does recognize God and acknowledge him as the first and the highest among the individual souls (Purushas). The souls are numerous, eternal and exist as solid realities among other realities. They remain bound to the cycle of births and deaths until they gain right knowledge through right means of reasoning and validation of truths.

Now for the Vaisheshikā School of Philosophy.

Vaisheshika Philosophy
Our knowledge of Vaisheshikā philosophy primarily comes to us from the Vaisheshika Sutra of Kanāda. The Nyāya school has a close affinity with the Vaisheshikā, which is described by scholars as the “atomic pluralism.” The school relies heavily upon logical and realistic analysis of object and strict adherence to observable and verifiable facts.

Vaisheshikā derives its name from the word vishesha, meaning particularity or specialty. As the name suggests it focuses upon the particularities or distinguishing properties of the objects or substances that are found in existence and how to ascertain truths regarding them. In this it relies heavily upon logical analysis and rational methods, very similar in approach to the methods used in today’s scientific world to validate truths or test assumptions.

The Vaisheshikās believe that everything found in the existence is a substance, including the souls. What other schools view as concepts or intangible phenomena such as actions (karma), space (akāsa), gunas (modes), etc., are also substantial realities. Based on the same logic and adherence to scientific realism they accept only two methods (pramanas) to arrive at truth, namely direct observation (pratyaksha) and inference or hypothesis (anumana).

Another distinguishing feature of the school is its the atomic theory, according to which all substances are made up of minute parts or atoms (paramanus) of different kinds which are indivisible and indestructible. Exceptions are those substances that are eternal and infinite such as souls and space. Atoms coalesce in different combinations to form a diversity of compounds and substances.

Vaisheshikā identifies seven categories of (padarthas) of materiality found in Nature which make up the stuff of the universe. The substances possess one or more of the 24 qualities (gunas) the school identifies. It also upholds the idea that nonexistence is a material fact with four states such as nonexistence before the beginning of existence, nonexistence after the end of existence, existence and ultimate reality.

Visheshika Darshana Vaisheshika, or Vaiśeṣika, (Sanskrit:वैशॆषिक) is one of the six Hindu schools of philosophy (orthodox Vedic systems) of India. Historically, it has been closely associated with the Hindu school of logic, Nyaya.

Vaisesika 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 Kaṇāda (or Kana-bhuk, literally, atom-eater) around the 2nd century BC.

Although the Vaishesika 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. This is therefore a theistic form of atomism.

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.

Literature of Vaisheshika
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. Śaṁkarā Miśra’s Upaskāra on Vaiśeṣika Sūtra is also an important work[3].

The categories or padartha
According to the Vaisheshika school, all things which exist, which can be cognised, and which can be 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 abhāva (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.

1.Dravya (substance): The substances are conceived as 9 in number. They are, pṛthvī (earth), ap (water), tejas (fire), vāyu (air), ākaśa (sky), kāla (time), dik (space), ātman (self) and manas (mind). The first five are called bhūtas, the substances having some specific qualities so that they could be perceived by one or the other external senses.

2.Guṇa (quality): The Vaiśeṣika Sūtra mentions 17 guṇas (qualities), to which Praśastapāda added another 7. While a substance is capable of existing independently by itself, a guṇa(quality) cannot exist so. The original 17 guṇas (qualities) are, rūpa (colour), rasa (taste), gandha (smell), sparśa (touch), saṁkhyā (number), parimāṇa (size/dimension/quantity), pṛthaktva (inidividuality), saṁyoga (conjunction/accompaniments), vibhāga (disjunction), paratva (priority), aparatva (posteriority), buddhi (knowledge), sukha (pleasure), duḥkha (pain), icchā (desire), dveṣa (aversion) and prayatna (effort). To these Praśastapāda added gurutva (heaviness), dravatva (fluidity), sneha (viscosity), dharma (merit), adharma (demerit), śabda (sound) and saṁkāsra (faculty).

3.Karma (activity): The karmas (activities) like guṇas (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. Ākaśa (sky), kāla (time), dik (space) and ātman (self), though substances, are devoid of karma (activity).

4.Sāmānya (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 sāmānya.

5.Viśeṣa (particularity): By means of viśeṣa , we are able to perceive substances as different from one another. As the ultimate atoms are innumerable so are the viśeṣas.

6.Samavāya (inherence): Kaṇāda defined samavāya as the relation between the cause and the effect. Praśastapāda 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 samavāya is not perceivable but only inferable from the inseparable connection of the substances.

Epistemology and syllogism
The early vaiśeṣika epistemology considered only pratyaksha (perception) and anumāna (inference) as the pramaṇas (means of valid knowledge). The other two means of valid knowledge accepted by the Nyaya school, upamāna (comparison) and śabda (verbal testimony) were considered as included in anumāna. The syllogism of the vaiśeṣika school was similar to that of the Nyaya, but the names given by Praśastapāda to the 5 members of syllogism are different.

The atomic theory
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 obviously ridiculous – 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).

According to the vaiśeṣika school, the trasareṇu (dust particles visible in the sunbeam coming through a small window hole) 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).

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

Vaisheshika or Vaisheshika (; Sanskrit: वैशेषिक) is one of the six schools of Hindu philosophy in ancient India. In its early stages, Vaisheshika was an independent philosophy with its own metaphysics, epistemology, logic, ethics, and soteriology. Over time, the Vaisheshika system came to resemble the Nyaya school of Hinduism in its philosophical procedures, ethical conclusions, and soteriology, although differences in epistemology and metaphysics remained. The epistemology of the Vaisheshika school of Hinduism, similar to Buddhism, accepted only two reliable means of acquiring knowledge. It’s direct observation and inference. Both Vaisheshikas and Buddhism consider their respective scriptures to be indisputable and valid means of knowledge, but the difference is that the scriptures that Vaisheshika considered to be valid and reliable sources are the Vedas. The point is that there is. The Vaisheshika school is known for its insight in naturalism. It is a form of atomism in natural philosophy. That is, all objects in the physical universe are reducible to paramāṇu (atoms), and human experience consists of matter (atom functions, number of atoms, spatial arrangement), qualities, activities, commonalities, particularities, and uniqueness. was assumed to be obtained from the interaction of . Everything is made up of atoms, and properties emerge from collections of atoms, but these collections and properties of atoms were predetermined by cosmic forces. Ajivika metaphysics included atomic theory, which was later adopted by the Vaisheshika school. According to the Vaisheshika school, knowledge and liberation could be achieved through a complete understanding of the world of experience. Vaisheshika Darshana was founded by Kanadakashyapa around the 6th to his 2nd century. B.C.

Although the Vaisheshika system developed independently from the Nyaya school of Hinduism, the two have become similar and are often studied together. However, in its classical form, the Vaisheshika school differed from Nyaya in one crucial respect. While the Nyayas accepted his four sources of valid knowledge, the Vaisheshikas accepted only his two. The epistemology of the Vaisheshika school of Hinduism accepted only his two reliable means of knowledge: perception. Vaisheshika espouses a form of atomism that says that reality is made up of five substances (earth, water, air, fire, and space, for example). Ganeri explains that each of these five types has two types: paramane and compound. A paramāṇu is something that is indestructible, indivisible, and has a special kind of dimension called “small” (aṇu). A complex is something that can be divided into paramāṇu. Everything that humans perceive is complex, and even the smallest thing that can be perceived, a speck of dust, has an invisible part. Vaiśeṣikas visualized the smallest compound as a “triad” (tryaṇuka), which he called three parts, each part consisting of a “dyad” (dyaṇuka). Vaisheshikas believed that the dyad had two parts, each of which was an atom. Size, shape, truth, and everything that humans experience as a whole is a function of parmanus, their number, and spatial arrangement. Parama means “the farthest, farthest, extreme, last” and aṇu means “atom, very small particle”. Therefore, paramāṇu is essentially “the most distant or last small (i.e., smallest) particle.” Vaisheshika states that what a person experiences is dravya (matter, the function of atoms, their number, spatial arrangement), guna (quality), karma (activity), samanya (commonality), vishesha (particularity), and samavaya. (Essentially, the followers of this philosophy are mainly Shaivites. Acharya Haribhadra Suri, in his book Ṣaḍdarśanasamuccaya, describes the followers of Vaisheshika as worshipers of Pashupati or Shiva.

Hinduism identifies six pramanas as epistemically reliable means to accurate knowledge and truth. Pratyaksha (perception), Anumana (reasoning), Shabda or Aagama (words, testimony of reliable experts, past or present), Upamana (comparison and analogy), Artapatti (of these, Vaiśeṣika epistemology is the basis of valid knowledge) considered only pratyakṣa (perception) and anumana (reasoning) as reliable means of. Yoga accepts the first three of these as pramana, and the Nyaya school associated with Vaisheshika accepts these six. Accept the first four. Pratyakṣa (प्रत्यक्ष) means perception. There are two types: external and internal. While external perception is explained as arising from the interaction of the five senses and mundane things, this school describes internal perception as belonging to the inner senses, the mind. Hindu ancient and medieval texts identify four requirements for correct understanding. Indriyarthasannikarsa (direct experience of the object of study through the sense organs, whatever it is), Avyapadesha (non-verbal).Correct perception is not based on hearsay.According to ancient Indian scholars, one’s sense organs are dependent on accepting or rejecting the perceptions of others), avyabhikara (no wandering, correct perception does not change), and also when one’s sense organs or means of observation are adrift or defective. (because it is not the result of deception) and vyavasayatmaka (clear. Correct perception excludes judgments of doubt, since one does not observe something that is not observed). Some ancient scholars proposed “abnormal perceptions” as pramana and called them inner perceptions, but this suggestion is disputed by other Indian scholars. The concepts of inner awareness include pratibha (intuition), samanyaraksanapratyaksa (a form of induction from perceived concreteness to universality), and jnanaraksanapratyaksa (by observing the present state). A form of recognition of the previous process and previous state of the “research topic”) was included. . Furthermore, in the text, the rules of Pratyaksha accepting uncertain knowledge from his pranamas are considered and refined to contrast nirnaya (definite judgment, conclusion) with anadhyavasaya (indefinite judgment). Ta. Anumana (अनुमान) means reasoning. It is described as arriving at new conclusions and truths from one or more observations and previous truths by applying reason. Deducing fire by observing smoke is an example of anumana. In all Hindu philosophies except one, it is a valid and useful means of knowledge. In Indian literature, the method of reasoning is described as consisting of his three parts: pratijna (hypothesis), hetu (reasons) and drshtanta (examples). According to ancient Indian scholars, this hypothesis has to be further divided into two parts. Sadhya (the idea that needs to be proven or disproved) and Paksha (the presupposed object of Sadhya). An inference is conditionally true if there is a sapaksha (positive example as proof) and no vipaksha (negative example as disproof). For the sake of rigor, further epistemological steps are also mentioned in Indian philosophy. For example, they demand the requirement that Vyapti, or Hetu (reason), must necessarily and individually explain the reasoning in “all” cases of both Sapaksha and Vipaksha. A conditionally proven hypothesis is called a nigamana (conclusion).

= Syllogism =
The syllogism of the Vaisheshika school was similar to the syllogism of the Nyaya school of Hinduism, but the names given to the five members of the syllogism by Prashastapada are different.

The earliest systematic exposition of Vaisheshika is found in the Vaisheshika Sutra of Kannada (or Kambaksha). This treatise is divided into his 10 books. His two commentaries on the Bishamon Tenkyo, Rāvaṇabhāṣya and Bhāradvājavṛtti, no longer exist. Prashastapada’s Padartadharmasagraha (c. 4th century) is the next important work of this school. Although commonly known as his bhāṣya of ‘Vaiśeṣika Sōtra’, this treatise is essentially an independent work on the subject. The next Vaisheshika treatise, Chandra’s Dasyapadhartashastra (648), based on the treatise of Prashastapada, is available only in Chinese translation. The earliest available commentary on Prashastapada’s treatise is Vyomaśiva’s Vyomavati (8th century). His three other commentaries are Sridhara’s Nyayakandali (991), Udayana’s Kiranavali (10th century), and Srivatsa’s Leelavati (11th century). Shivaditya’s Saptapadharti, which belongs to the same period, also presents the principles of Nyaya and Vaisheshika as parts of his one whole. Shakara Mishra’s Upaskara on Vaisheshika Sutra is also an important work.

The Categories or Padārtha
According to the Vaisheshika school, everything that exists and can be known and named is padartha (literally: meaning of the word), or object of experience. All objects of experience can be divided into six categories: dravya (essence), guṇa (quality), karma (activity), sāmānya (generality), viśeṣa (particularity), and samavāya (particularity). Later, the Vaiśeṣikas (Sridhara, Udayana, Sivaditya) added another category: bhava (non-existence). His first three categories are defined as artha (perceptible) and actually have an objective existence. His last three categories are defined as Budhyapeksham (products of intellectual discrimination) and are logical categories. Dravya (Matter): The number of matter is believed to be nine. They are pṛthvī (earth), ap (water), tejas (fire), vāyu (air), ākaśa (ether), kāla (time), dik (space), ātman (self or soul), and manas (mind). is. The first five are called bhutas and these substances have some specific properties and can be perceived by any of the external senses. Gunas (qualities): There are 17 gunas (qualities) listed in the Vaisheshika Sutras, to which Prashasthapada added seven more. Matter can exist independently of itself, but gunas (qualities) cannot exist as such. The original 17 gunas (qualities) are Rupa (color), Rasa (taste), Ganda (smell), Sparsha (touch), Sankhya (number), Parimana (size/dimensions/amount), Pritakva (personality), Sanyoga (connection/accompaniment), Vibhaga (separation), Paratva (priority), Aparatva (sequence), Buddhi (knowledge), Sukha (pleasure), Dhukha (pain), Icha (desire), Dvesha (aversion), Prayatna ( effort). To these Praśastapāda added gurutva (weight), dravatva (fluidity), sneha (viscosity), dharma (merit), adharma (disadvantage), śabda (sound), and saṁskāra (ability). Karma (activity): Like gunas (qualities), karma (activity) has no independent existence but belongs to matter. But whereas quality is a permanent characteristic of a substance, activity is temporary. Ākāśa (ether), kāla (time), dik (space), and ātman (self) are substances but do not have karma (activity). Samānya (generality): Since there is more than one substance, relationships exist between them. If a property is found that is common to many substances, it is called samanya. Vishesha (particularity): Vishesha allows us to perceive matter as different from each other. Just as there are an infinite number of ultimate atoms, so there are an infinite number of Visheshas. Samavaya (Essence): The Kādhas defined Samavaya as the relationship of cause and effect. Prashastapada defined it as the relationship that exists between substances that cannot be separated from each other in relation to the container and what is contained. Samavaya relationships are not perceptible and can only be inferred from the inextricable connection of matter.

The atomic theory
According to the Vaiśeṣika school, trasareṇu is the smallest mahat (perceptible) particle and is defined as tyaṇukas (triad). These consist of his three parts, each defined as a dvyaṇuka (dyad). A dvyaṇukas is believed to consist of two parts, each defined as a paramāṇu (atom). paramāṇus (atoms) are indivisible and eternal; they cannot be created or destroyed. Each paramāṇu (atom) has its own distinct viśeṣa (individuality) and has intrinsic relationships that give rise to change and movement. The measure of an atom without parts is known as parimaṇḍala parimāṇa. It is eternal and cannot produce any other material measure. That measure is absolutely unique.

Shad-Darshana: Understanding Hindu school of Thoughts ( Part Four) :

The Vaisesika philosophy derives its name from visesa meaning ‘particularity.’ The Vaisheshika school of Indian philosophy bases itself on Vaisheshika Sutra by the sage Kanada, and commented on in the 5th century CE by Prashastapada. This is considered one of the oldest systems and is said to be contemporary to the Sankhya system. They are called visesa as they believe that there are various objects in the world and each object has a particular (visesa) atomic structure. 

Sage Kanaada, the founder of Vaisheshika was the first one to propose the theory of atomic structure. He postulated that all objects in the physical universe are reducible to paramāṇu (atoms), and one’s experiences are derived from the interplay of seven padarthas namely, dravya (a function of atoms, their number, and their spatial arrangements), Guna (quality), Karma (activity), samanya(universality), visesa (particularity), samvaya (inherence) and abhava(non-existence). 

  Later Vaisheshika doctrines by Prashastapada and others proposed the atomic theory of creation in terms of creation and dissolution and God as the remote cause of everything: it is God who orchestrates the dynamic interrelations between the innumerable atoms. Everything was composed of atoms, qualities emerged from aggregates of atoms, but the aggregation and nature of these atoms were predetermined by cosmic forces. Creation in their view was an arrangement of atoms in a particular way and destruction was a dissolution of this geometrical arrangement of atoms. The atoms remain in a passive inactive form even after the dissolution.

The word ‘padarthas’ for Vaisheshika means an object which possesses uniqueness or has a distinct individuality known as ‘astitva’ and can be thought of ( jnanetvya) and can be given a unique name( abhideyatva). Astitva is the bedrock of Vaisheshika philosophy. Here lies the secret of Divine names invoked in Sanatana Dharma. Many times, people say why we have so many names for Divine and why we can not just call him by one name. Each name of Divine holds a unique astitva or individuality and to distinguish that uniqueness, the divine is invoked by a different name. This is the reason it is always said that name and individuality are not considered separate in Sanatana Dharma. Each name has a unique individuality.

Dravya :

Dravya is the repository of guna( qualities) and karma (action). According to Vaisheshika’s philosophy, guna and karma can’t exist independently. They need dravya to subsist in. Hence, Dravya is the ashraya ( locus) for guna and karma . Dravya is also considered the material cause of the universe. They say that dravya exists independently in the first stage of creation, in the next stage, they inherit guns and karma. Dravya can not be recognized, however, without guna and karma.

The nine Dravyas are Prithvi ( earth element), apas( water element), Vayu ( air element), Tejas ( fire element), Akash ( ether element), kaala ( time), dik( location), atmaa( soul), manas( mind). Four Dravyas namely kaala ( time), manas( mind), dik ( location), and Atma ( soul) are eternal Dravyas while the Pancha-bhutas are non-eternal Dravyas are per this school of thought.

Prithvi dravya is the substratum for smell, apas for taste, Vayu for touch, Tejas for color, and ether for sound. Kaala is the substratum for the cognition for past, present, future, etc. Dik is the substratum for our cognition like here, there, near, far, etc. Atma is all-pervading and is the substratum for consciousness. Paramatma is a special kind of aatma and has perfect knowledge. Manas is an internal sense organ and is the substratum for experiences like pain, pleasure, etc.

Guna :

Every guna tries to express a particular existence. There are 24 types of guna namely, Rupa ( colour/form), rasa( taste), Gandha ( smell), sparsha ( touch), Shabda ( sound), Sankhyaa ( number), parimaana ( measurements), prutaktva ( distinguishing factor), samyoga( combinations), vibhaaga ( division), paratvam ( nearness), apartvam ( farness), guru ( heaviness), Drava ( liquidity), Sneha ( viscosity), buddhi( cognition), sukha ( pleasure), dukkah ( suffering), iccha ( desire), dvesha ( hatred), prayatna (effort), dharma ( righteous actions as prescribed in Vedas), dharma ( non- righteous action), samsara ( latent tendencies).

Karma :

Karma is an action or movement. It always results in some merit or demerit. As we sow, so shall we reap is a metaphysical perspective for the theory of karma. However, they believe that karma resides in dravya.  Karma resides only in non-eternal dravyas( Pancha-bhutas). They can not subside in kaala, manas, dik, and aatma. They can not exist independently.

Vaisheshika attempts to describe what exists by giving a six-fold view of the world and classifying the world into six categories.

The Vaisheshika chooses to see the world in a unique way and describe the structure of the world only in terms of dharma – dharmin. The dharma here meant the intrinsic nature or property of anything. Dharmin is the one who possesses the dharma(property). Unless we understand the meaning of dharma and dharmin and their interrelation, it is difficult to understand the Vaisheshika school of thought.

Major Contribution of Vaisheshika School of thought:

The atomic theory of creation:

At the beginning of new creation, the atoms are first set into motion by the will of Isvara. This results in the combining of two atoms to create a new product known as dvyanuka. (dyad). Thereafter, three dvyanukas( dyads) are combined to form a (tryanuka) triad. This is the smallest visible form of matter. Subsequently, four triads join to form a tetrad ( caturnuka), and the creation of gross bodies takes place in geometric progression. Ever wondered Why Lord Vishnu in Indian mythology is shown with four arms. Now, you know the answer.

Propagation of Sound:

Vaisheshika also proposed that the propagation of sound happens in the form of waves. They said that the first sound of the wave is produced by external energy. However, before getting destroyed it gives rise to another sound, this following sound is produced by the propagation of the previous energy and so on. The previous sound before getting destroyed creates a new sound until it reaches the ear. It is so amazing that this model of sound is quite similar to the recent understanding of sound. They arrived at these concepts by closely observing the padarthas and contemplating on the padarthas.

Vaisheshika also provides us with an extensive measurement of Kala( time) and dik( direction). 

Features of Vaisheshika school of thought:

  • Ignorance is the root cause of the suffering of the soul.
  • Ignorance can be removed by knowing the true dharma( property) of various objects in the world. Knowing the dharma of something will tell us why we hanker for a particular object. It will tell us the dharma of which Padartha has bound us and we will attempt to liberate us from that dharma.
  • Vaisheshika considers only 2 pramanas, unlike Nyayikas who considers four pramanas( means of valid knowledge).
  • The Vaisesika School believes Vedas as a word of Ishvara. 
  • It also believes in the principle law of karma. 
  • A soul is separate from the Ishvara and will remain eternally separated.
  • A soul can desire and will and undergoes pain/pleasure.
  • Ishvara is the supreme soul, perfect, omniscient, omnipresent, and eternal. 
  • Consciousness is not the inherent quality of Jiva.
  • Liberation as per the Vaisheshika School of thought is freedom from pain and pleasure. There is no concept of eternal ananda. 
  • The way to attain the right means of knowledge is through contemplation of the objects for a prolonged period of time. When you contemplate on an object for a long time, its true nature comes forth, and that dissolute the bond between the object and the subject(soul).

The merger of Nyaya- Vaisheshika :

Nyaya and Vaisheshika are later considered as a pair in Indian Philosophy, much like Sankhya-Yoga. Here Vaisheshika has the practical approach whereas Nyaya has the theoretical approach. 

Although Nyaya and Vaisheshika initially developed independently. However, in recent times after a period of independence, the Vaisheshika school fused entirely with the Nyaya school, a process that was completed in the 11th century. Thereafter the combined school was referred to as Nyaya-Vaisheshika. Nyaya and Vaisheshika’s school of thought are very similar and they both attempt to validate the existence of Supreme by understanding the manifested world. Both the system believes that time, space, atoms, and atman are eternal. Nyaya focuses more on logic and reasoning while Vaisheshika focuses more on metaphysics and naturalism. The other major difference is Vaisheshika believes in perception and inference as the two reliable means to knowledge, while Nyaya followers believe in four sources of knowledge: perception, inference, verbal testimony, and comparison. 

In conclusion, the Vaisesika system indicates the beginnings of a scientific method both in investigating the external world and the internal world of the mind. In later systems, this attitude is expanded and amplified. 

Indian Philosophy – Kanada & The Vaisheshika

Kanada, like the country but with a K, is the founder of the Vaisheshika school and his name means one who eats grain, but it could also mean one who gathers particulars or particles into larger groups, and he was one of the first atomists and logicians in human history.  He is also known as the Owl (Uluka).  Legend has it that he was so ugly in appearance that he frightened young women, so he only ventured out at night, sneaking into granaries to eat corn and rice grains/particles.  Another story is Shiva taught him in the form of an owl. Vaisheshika also means particular, but also particle, atom, particular, special, specific, and distinction. 

Gautama’s Nyaya school, who study logic and debate, borrowed much from Kanada’s Vaisheshika school, who more study cosmology and how nature works.  Aristotle studied both these subjects in Athens just after Kanada and Gautama, and like Aristotle, Kanada and Gautama were particularly focused on inherence, how individual particular things are gathered into groups in the world, and inference, how our minds draw logical conclusions from these groups.  For example, both Gautama and Aristotle likely argued, whether or not they wrote the works associated with their names, that if something is a cow, then it certainly has four feet and horns, like an ox but unlike a bird.  Kanada and Gautama’s texts argue that all cows have dewlaps, the hanging skin found in the neck-folds of sacred Indian cows.

Kanada argued there are many objects of knowledge, including substances such as air, water, fire, earth, ether, time, space, self and mind, composed of particles or atoms that are eternal and uncreated, and thus can’t be created or destroyed, attributes such as quality (color, texture, odor, taste) and quantity (number, measure, distinction, conjunction, disjunction), actions (karma) such as kicking someone, they feel pain and you are later reborn a cockroach, generals, such as the group of all cows or rainstorms, particulars, such as individual cows or rain clouds, inherences, the individual cow having four feet or the rain cloud leading to rain, and emptiness, non-being and types of absence.

Kanada argues action belongs to one substance, not many.  It is very possible that, in opposition to this theory, the Buddhist sound of one hand clapping is a counter example to this.  While the Zen koan has value as a contemplation device, it is also contemplating the impossibility of sound, an action, being produced exclusively by one thing but rather by the desire to clap, two hands, the air as medium, and everything situated together, what Buddhists call codependent arising.  Kanada argues that sound is caused and therefore it is impermanent. This could be a subtle critique of the oral Vedic tradition, promoting philosophy and science as a route to the divine and objective, beyond traditional Hindu devotional practices.

Kanada also argues in the Vaisheshika Sutra that things move downward naturally, so things must have additional causes or forces to move sideways or upward.  For example, Kanada says smoke shows additional energy, as it has fire in it and fire moves upward, and water moves upward by sun and fire in it, collects in clouds, the fire is released as lightning, and the water comes downward in cycles.  He argues that the arrow flies first from cause and then from an inherent tendency to remain in motion, similar if not identical to Newton’s concept of inertia.


VAISHESHIKA According to Kanāda, the mythical founder of the system, Vaisheshika is the enumeration of everything in this world that has the character of being. Since the categories are numerous, the use of formal logic is essential to draw inferences, and in this respect Nyāya is its sister system.

Kanāda’s Vaisheshika Sūtra presents a system of physics and metaphysics. Its physics is an atomic theory of nature, where the atoms are distinct from the soul, of which they are the instruments. Each element has individual characteristics (visheshas), which distinguish it from the other nonatomic substances (dravyas): time, space, soul, and mind. The atoms are considered to be eternal.

There are six fundamental categories (padārtha) associated with reality: substance (dravya), quality (guna), motion (karman), universal (sāmānya), particularity (vishesha), and inherence (samavāya). The first three of these have a real objective existence, and the last three are products of intellectual discrimination. There are nine classes of substances (dravya), some of which are non-atomic, some atomic, and others all-pervasive. The non-atomic ground is provided by the three substances, ether (ākāsha), space (dik), and time (kāla), which are unitary and indestructible; a further four, earth (prithivī), water (āpas), fire (tejas), and air (vāyu) are atomic, composed of indivisible, and indestructible atoms (anu); self (ātman), which is the eighth, is omnipresent and eternal; and, finally, the ninth is the mind (manas), which is also eternal but of atomic dimensions, that is, infinitely small.

There are seventeen qualities (guna), listed in no particular order as color or form (rūpa), taste (rasa), smell (gandha), and touch (sparsha); number (sankhyā), size (parimāna), separateness (prithaktva), conjunction (samyoga), and disjunction (vibhāga); remoteness (paratva) and nearness (aparatva); judgment (buddhi), pleasure (sukha), pain (duhkha), desire (ichchhā), aversion (dvesha), and effort (prayatna). These qualities are either physical or psychological.

Two atoms combine to form a binary molecule (dvyanuka). Two, three, four, or more dvyanukas combine into grosser molecules of tryanuka, chaturanuka, and so on. The other view is that atoms form dyads and triads directly to form the molecules for different substances. Atoms possess an incessant vibratory motion. The activity of the atoms and their combinations are not arbitrary but are based on laws that are expressed as the adrishta.

Molecules can also break up under the influence of heat. In this doctrine of heating of atoms, the impact of heat particles decomposes a molecule. Heat and light rays are taken to consist of very small particles of high velocity. The particles of heat and light may be endowed with different characteristics, and therefore heat and light can be of different kinds.

Ākāsha (ether), time, and space have no lower constituents. Of ākāsha the qualities are sound, number, dimension, separateness, conjunction, and disjunction. Thus, being endowed with qualities, and not being located in anything else, it is regarded as a substance. In as much as it has no cause, either homogeneous or heterogeneous, it is eternal. “Time” is the cause of the relative notions of priority, posteriority, or simultaneity and succession, and of late and soon, in as much as there is no other cause or basis for these notions. The Vaisheshika Sūtras clearly present the principle of cause (kārana) and effect (kārya). Time and space are the efficient cause for all phenomena.

It is stated that there are two kinds of universals: higher and lower. The higher universal is Being, which encompasses everything. Lower universals exclude as well as include, which means that the universals may be defined in a hierarchical fashion. The higher universal is akin to a superposition of all possibilities and it therefore anticipates the essence of the quantum theory.

(Sanskrit, visesa, difference)
One of the six orthodox schools of Indian philosophy. Vaisheshika is concerned with the things that there are, or the categories of being. Vaisheshika is a kind of atomism, holding that the basis of physical reality is a plurality of infinitesimal atoms. The Indian school was well aware of the problem of understanding how the combination of infinitesimals produces a finite quantity of stuff (see Bayle’s trilemma).

Vaisheshika is philosophically allied to the Nyaya school, supplementing its analysis of knowledge with a philosophy of the nature of the things that are known.

Vaisheshika Philosophy: Atomic Theory of Naturalism in Ancient India

Vaisheshika is one of the six orthodox Hindu philosophies. Its original originator is Rishi Kanada. This philosophy is very similar to the nyaya philosophy, but actually is an independent philosophy with a naturalistic approach. Maharishi Kanada first wrote the foundational ideas of Vaisheshika philosophy in the sutra form in his work Vaisheshika Sutra. Since this philosophy focuses on the particularity of different entities present in this universe, therefore this philosophy has been given the name “Vaisheshika”, which means associated with particularity.


Hinduism identifies six reliable sources (Pramanas) of gathering knowledge about the truths, these are:

1. Pratyakṣa (perception, what you see is what you believe in)

2. Anumāṇa (inference, as an example if you see smoke then you can infer there is fire)

3. Upamāṇa (comparison and analogy, as an example if you have never seen a moose and I tell you that the moose looks like a stag with different antlers. In future you see a moose and you realize that you have identified moose then you have realized it through upmana)

4. Arthāpatti (postulation, derivation from circumstances, you see something and then you make a guess for the truth. This is how all modern scientific theories have been developed, as an example you observe that the galaxies are moving further from each other, so you postulate at some instance back in time all the galaxies were at a single point and the universe came into existence with big bang)

5. Anupalabdi (non-perception, negative/cognitive proof, you have never seen a penguin fly in the sky, so you know that penguins cannot fly)

6. Śabda (scriptural testimony/ verbal testimony of past or present reliable experts, as an example considering the Vedas to be a reliable source of knowledge).

Out of these six pramanas, Vaisheshika Philosophy only considers Pratyakṣa (perception) and Anumāna (inference) to be reliable. Vaisheshika philosophy also accepts Vedas to be valid, but reduce them to Pratyaksa and Anumana when it comes to using them as a source of knowledge.

Natural World

In the Vaisheshika school, the whole world is divided into these two divisions “Bhav and Abhav”. There are further six divisions of “Bhava”, these are — Dravya, Guna, Karma, Samanya, Vishesh, and Samvay. Let’s understand them in detail:

Dravya: The substance in which or on which action happens is dravya. These are pṛthvī (earth), ap (water), tejas (fire), vāyu (air), ākaśa (ether), kāla (time), dik (space), ātman (self or soul) and manas (mind). The first five are called bhūtas, that is material objects. Of these five, there are two distinctions of the first four substances, Nitya (eternal) and Anitya (non-eternal). The eternal form is called paramāṇu (atom) and the non-eternal form is action on them. The atom cannot be re-partitioned; hence it is eternal.

That which one can smell is “earth”, which is cold to touch, is “water” which has a warm touch, is “tejas”, which does not have form and does not arise from the combination of fire, is dry and cold to touch, is “air”, and the word which has a quality is “ākaśa”. These five are also called ‘Panchabhutas’. Akash, Time, Space and Atman are the four “Vibhu” substances, which means they pervade everything. The mind is immaterial atom, it is eternal and is a generated in Atman.

Guna: The attribute of any function is the “Guna”. Guna reside in dravya and has no separate existence of its ow. The original Vaiśeṣika Sūtra mentions 17 guṇas to which Praśastapāda added 7 more. The original 17 guṇas (qualities) are: Rūpa (colour), Rasa (taste), Gandh (smell), Sparśa (touch), Saṁkhyā (number), Sparimāṇa (size/dimension/quantity) Pṛthaktva (individuality) Saṁyoga (conjunction/accompaniments) Vibhāga (disjunction), Paratva (priority), Aparatva (posteriority), Buddhi (knowledge), Sukha (pleasure), Duḥkha (pain), Icchā (desire), Dveṣa (aversion) and Prayatna (effort). To these Praśastapāda added Gurutva (heaviness), Dravatva (fluidity), Sneha (viscosity), Dharma (merit), Adharma (demerit), Sabda (sound) and Saṁskāra (faculty).

Karma: The process of action is called “karma”. Karma similar to Guna, also resides in the Dravya but while Guna is static, Karma is dynamic. Rising, falling, contracting, spreading and (other types of) movement, such as excursion, vibration, catharsis, etc., are five distinctions of the”karma”.

Samanya: Similarity present in different things.

Vishesha: that which “special” is called Vishesha. This differentiates between eternal substances.

Samvaya: A relation that exists between entities.

Aabhav: Absence of an entity

Understanding this world

In the Indian way of thinking this entire universe is a school where all beings come to develop knowledge about the self. In that reference Vaisheshika philosophy borrows its outlook from nyaya philosophy. The processes in this universe are controlled by the supreme being Ishwara through unseen methods called the Adrishta. The entire natural world which includes the four dravyas with atomic nature and five which are not atomic are controlled by Ishwara through the Adrishta. Ishwara sends the beings into this universe in a physical body to gain self-knowledge. This universe is ruled not only by the physical laws but also by the moral laws of karma. Living beings suffer or enjoy in this world based on their understanding of these laws that govern the universe.

The universe goes through a cycle of creation and destruction and this process is eternal. In one cycle after its creation the universe moves through its due course where the atoms start combining with each other to create all the different kinds of material objects present. All the beings go through the cycle of birth and death and earn merit or demerit based on their karma. After a certain period of existence, the process of the destruction of the world is initiated by him, where all the physical objects start disintegrating back into their constituent atoms. All being with their accumulated karma are withdrawn from the universe. The reason for the destruction of the universe is to give rest to all the beings from the hard work they go through while the universe exists. This is similar to how we all go to sleep at night to recover from the hard work of the day to come back refreshed on the next day. The cycle of creation and destruction has been going on since eternity and will continue to happen for eternity. The freedom is attained by a being when he gains the knowledge about how this universe functions.

Limitations of Vaisheshika Philosophy

Since Vaisheshika philosophy borrows its basic worldview from the Nyaya philosophy therefore it has the same limitations as that of the Nyaya philosophy. These are

1. Vaisheshika philosophy considers jeevatma to be a different substance from Ishwara and consciousness it considers just a property of jeevatma. This assumption limits us to only our subtle body and considering ourselves to be our subtle body leaves us with the problem of ego.

2. The process of liberation in this philosophy is just the process of gaining the knowledge of the universe. It is never well explained why this knowledge should lead to liberation of jeevatma.

3. The universe goes through the eternal process of creation and destruction and all beings are sent and withdrawn from the universe. It is not very clear what happens to the liberated beings in this process.

4. The Ishwara in Vaisheshika philosophy has been reduced to just a powerful monarch running his kingdom through the Adrishta. Ishwara to be separate from the physical universe reduces the divinity of the entire creation.

5. Leaving his rules for ruling this universe as adrishta limits us in terms of pursing to understand these rules deeply.

The major contribution of Vaisheshika is in its formulation of the physical matter to be made up of fundamental particles called Paramanu. In terms of spiritual development, the formulation of this philosophy is not as satisfying as some other Indian philosophies are.