Classical Indian Philosophy: Vaisesika School: The Concept of Visesha

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The Concept of Visesha

  • Visesha or particularity is the fifth category of dravya.
  • Visesha as the name suggests means exclusivity.
  • It is exclusive in nature.
  • Whereas generality forms the basis of assimilation. Visesha is the complete opposite of it.
  • Vaisesika being a realist school believes in both, quantitative and qualitative plurality.
  • So, each part-less ultimate substance has an original peculiarity of its own, a uniqueness of its own, which is its Visesha or particularity.
  • There are innumerable eternal Visesha.
  • Though, Visesha like quality and action in here in substance, yet they are a distinct category.

The Concept of Samavaya

  • Samavaya or inherence is the sixth category of dravya or substance.
  • Samavaya or inherence is an independent category or padartha which means an inseparable eternal relation.
  • Kanada avers, it is the relation between the cause and effect. Inseparable in nature.
  • Prashastapada avers, it is the relationship that exists between things that are inseparable, standing to one another, like the relation of the container and the contained.
  • The things related by inherence are inseparable connected and this connection is called ayutasiddha.
  • It is eternal in nature for its production would involve infinite regress.

Some of the examples are:

  • part and whole
  • quality and the substance
  • action and the substance
  • particular and the universal
  • the particularity and the eternal substance

In short, inherence is one and eternal relation that subsists between two things which have inseparable connection between them or ayutasiddha.

The Concept of Abhava

  • The seventh category is Abhava or non-existence.
  • Kanada himself does not mention it as the seventh category.
  • The seventh category or Abhava is negative in nature.
  • The seventh category is regarded as relative in its conception.
  • According to Vaisesika, non-existence or Abhava is of four kinds.

Praga-Abhava

  • It is also known as antecedent non-existence or negation
  • It is beginning less but it has an end.

Pradhana-Sambhava

  • It is also known as subsequent non-existence or negation.
  • It has a beginning but no end.

Anyonyabhava

  • It means exclusion or it is also known as mutual negation.
  • It is both, beginning-less and end-less in nature.
  • For example, S is not P.

Atyanta-Abhava

  • It is also known as absolute non-existence or negation.
  • It is a pseudo concept.
  • For example, son of a barren woman or a hare՚s horn or sky-flower, etc.
  • Praga-abhava, pradhana-abhava and atyanta-abhava- are called non-existence of co-relation or samsarga-abhava.
  • For example, S is not in P.
  • On the other hand, anyonyabhava deals with S is not P.

Questions

1. ________ means mutual negation

A. Pragabhava

B. Pradhana-sambhava

C. Anyonyabhava

D. Atyantabhava

Answer: C

Explanation: It means exclusion, or it is also known as mutual negation. It is opposed to identity. It is both, beginning-less and end-less in nature.

2. ________ means eternal inseparable relation

A. Samanya

B. Samavaya

C. Guna

D. None of these

Answer: B

Explanation: Samavaya or inherence is the sixth category of dravya or substance. It is different from conjunction or samyoga which is a separable, transient relation and is a quality or Guna. Samavaya or inherence is an independent category or padartha which means an inseparable eternal relation.

3. Vaisesika believes in

A. Quantitative plurality

B. Qualitative plurality

C. Both A and B

D. None of these

Answer: C

Explanation: Vaisesika being a realist school believes in both, quantitative and qualitative plurality. In other words, according to them one atom differs from another not only quantitatively (or numerical existence) but also in qualitative existence.

#Metaphysics

#Vaisesika

#Samavaya

#Abhava

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