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Vaisheshika (vī'shəshē`kə): see Hindu philosophy Hindu philosophy, the philosophical speculations and systems of India that have their roots in Hinduism. Characteristics
Hindu philosophy began in the period of the Upanishads (900–500 B.C.
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One of the six orthodox systems, or darshans, of Indian philosophy. Founded c. 2nd–3rd century AD, it fused with Nyaya in the 11th century, forming the Nyaya-Vaisheshika school. Vaisheshika attempts to identify, inventory, and classify the entities that present themselves to human perception. It lists seven categories of being. It holds that the universe's smallest, indivisible, indestructible unit is the atom, which is made active through God's will, and that all physical things are a combination of the atoms of earth, water, fire, and air.
one of the six orthodox Hindu systems of ancient Indian philosophy.
According to tradition, the founder of the Vaisheshika system was Kanada; the fundamental work of the system, the Vaisheshika Sutra (the final text of which dates to the first half of the first millennium), is attributed to him. Another important source of the Vaisheshika is the Padartha-dharma-sangraha —commentaries to the Vaisheshika Sutra. The Vaisheshika attained its greatest development in southern India during the ninth through 14th centuries.
According to the teaching of the Vaisheshika, everything that exists is included in six categories: substance, quality, action, the general, the particular, and the inherent. Substance, which expresses the essence of a thing, is the main category. The nine substances (earth, water, light, air, ether, time, space, spirit, and mind), which are endowed with qualities (permanent characteristics) and actions (transient characteristics), make up the entire existing universe. The Vaisheshika maintained an atomistic viewpoint, according to which the first four substances were combinations of atoms (anu) —invariable spherical material particles. Although atoms were not created by anyone and exist eternally, they are passive: they start to move because of an invisible force, adrishty, and then enter into combinations under the direction of the world spirit Brahma, which subjects the material world to the eternal cyclical process of creation and destruction. The sensuously apprehended world exists in time, space, and ether and is governed by a special universal moral law (dharma).
REFERENCESRadhakrishnan, S. Indiiskaia filosofiia, vols. 1-2. Moscow, 1956—57. (Translated from English.)
Keith, A. B. Indian Logic and Atomism: An Exposition of the Nyaya and Vaiçeşika Systems. Oxford, 1921.
Mishra, U. Conception of Matter According to Nyaya-Vaiçeşika. Allahabad, 1936.
E. I. GOSTEEVA
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His 1963 dissertation, "Aufkommen und Entwicklung der Lehre yon einem hochsten Wesen in Nyaya und Vaisesika," and his 1972 An Indian Rational Theology: Introduction to Udayana's Nyayakusumanjali distinguished him early on as the rare scholar able to engage the famously difficult Nyaya argumentation.
6-9, 85), one that classes all of these traditions, along with the Nyaya of Gautama and the Vaisesika of Kapila, as astika or "orthodox" traditions--this in opposition to Advaita Vedanta, Buddhism, Jainism, the materialist Carvaka school, and (by implication) Islam (pp.
The 48 chapters are organized into sections on Halbfass and his impact on South Asian and cross-cultural studies, India and the West and the history of South Asian studies, cross-cultural studies, issues in Indian philosophy and its history, Mimamsa, Samkhya Nyaya and Vaisesika, Vedanta, Saivism, Buddhist philosophy, aspects of the history and world views of Indian religious traditions, and Indian intellectual traditions--their self-perception and interaction.
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