Abhava, aka: Abhāva; 13 Definition(s)


Abhava means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, Marathi. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Hinduism

Vyakarana (Sanskrit grammar)

Abhāva (अभाव).—Absence.

Source: Shodhganga: Vaiyākaraṇabhūṣaṇasāra: a critical study

Abhāva (अभाव).—Absence; absence of any following letter which is technically called avasāna. cf. विरामोऽवसानम् । वर्णानामभावोऽवसानसंज्ञः स्यात् (virāmo'vasānam | varṇānāmabhāvo'vasānasaṃjñaḥ syāt) S. K. on P. I.4.110.

Source: Wikisource: A dictionary of Sanskrit grammar
context information

Vyakarana (व्याकरण, vyākaraṇa) refers to Sanskrit grammar and represents one of the six additional sciences (vedanga) to be studied along with the Vedas. Vyakarana concerns itself with the rules of Sanskrit grammar and linguistic analysis in order to establish the correct context of words and sentences.

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Abhava in Purana glossary... « previous · [A] · next »

Abhāva (अभाव).—The son of Unnetā, who was the son of Nikhāta, according to the Varāhapurāṇa chapter 74. Nikhāta was the son of Pratihartā, whose ancestral lineage can be traced to Svāyambhuva Manu, who was created by Brahmā, who was in turn created by Nārāyaṇa, the unknowable all-pervasive primordial being. Abhāva had a son named Udgātā.

Source: Wisdom Library: Varāha-purāṇa
Purana book cover
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The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

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Nyaya (school of philosophy)

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Abhāva (अभाव, “non-existence”).—The Nyāya-Vaiśeṣikas accept abhāva (non-existence or negaton) as a separate category. This category is a negative one is opposed to other six categories which are positive categories. The theory of the reality of abhāva is related to the Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika theory of causation which is known as asatkāryavāda. According to Nyāya-Vaiśeṣikas, abhāva has a existence. According to asatkāryavāda effect is not existent in the cause before its production. A jar is nonexistent on the ground before its production or after its destruction. Before the production and after the destruction abhāva exists. Abhāva is not like sky flower. It has a negative reality.

According to the Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika, abhāva or no-existence is real category. Jayanta Bhaṭṭa maintains that non-existence is also capable of producing knowledge. It is not devoid of all capabilities. It is the object of knowledge in the form of ‘it is not’ (nāsti). The Nyāya-Vaiśeṣikas also hold that abhāva is not without any essence. It is determined by its pratiyogī (countercorrelate). In case of negation, there is an object whose non-existence is experienced and there is a locus and which this non-existence is based. The object of non-existence is called its pratiyogī and the locus is called anuyogī.

According to Annaṃbhaṭṭa abhāva has four kinds, viz.,

  1. prāgabhāva (antecedent non-existence),
  2. pradhvaṃsābhāva (destructive non-existence),
  3. atyantābhāva (absolute non-existence),
  4. anyonyābhāva (mutual non-existence).

Śivāditya also accepts four varieties of abhāva. Viśvanātha has divided abhāva into two types—saṃsargābhāva and anyonyābhāva.

Source: Shodhganga: A study of Nyāya-vaiśeṣika categories
context information

Nyaya (न्याय, nyaya) refers to a school of Hindu philosophy (astika), drawing its subject-matter from the Upanishads. The Nyaya philosophy is known for its theories on logic, methodology and epistemology, however, it is closely related with Vaisheshika in terms of metaphysics.

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Vaisheshika (school of philosophy)

Abhava in Vaisheshika glossary... [A] · next »

Abhāva (अभाव).—According to Kaṇāda, all objects of knowledge come under six categories. These are: dravya, guṇa, karma, sāmānya, viśeṣa and samavāya. So, Kaṇāda does not accept the abhāva as a separate category. Because if the knowledge of abhāva depends on bhāva-padārtha. So, abhāva is not mentioned as a separate category. Praśastapāda, also accepts the six categories which are dravya, guṇa, etc. He states that mokṣa (liberation) depends upon the right knowledge of these six categories.

Source: Shodhganga: A study of Nyāya-vaiśeṣika categories (vaisesika)
Vaisheshika book cover
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Vaisheshika (वैशेषिक, vaiśeṣika) refers to a school of orthodox Hindu philosophy (astika), drawing its subject-matter from the Upanishads. Vaisheshika deals with subjects such as logic, epistemology, philosophy and expounds concepts similar to Buddhism in nature

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General definition (in Hinduism)

Abhāva (अभाव) means “non-existence”. Some scholars consider anupalabdi to be same as abhāva, while others consider anupalabdi and abhāva as different. Abhāva-pramāṇa has been discussed in ancient Hindu texts in the context of padārtha (पदार्थ, referent of a term). Abhava is then explained as “referents of negative expression” in contrast to “referents of positive expression” in padārtha. An absence, state the ancient scholars, is also “existent, knowable and nameable”, giving the example of negative numbers, silence as a form of testimony, asatkaryavada theory of causation, and analysis of deficit as real and valuable.

Abhava was further refined in four types, by the schools of Hinduism that accepted it as a useful method of epistemology:

  1. dhvamsa (termination of what existed),
  2. atyanta-abhava (impossibility, absolute non-existence, contradiction),
  3. anyonya-abhava (mutual negation, reciprocal absence)
  4. and pragavasa (prior, antecedent non-existence).
Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

In Buddhism

General definition (in Buddhism)

Abhāva (अभाव) or abhāvaśūnyatā refers to “emptiness of non-existence” one of the “twenty emptinesses” (śūnyatā) as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 41). The Dharma-samgraha (Dharmasangraha) is an extensive glossary of Buddhist technical terms in Sanskrit (eg., abhāva). The work is attributed to Nagarjuna who lived around the 2nd century A.D.

Source: Wisdom Library: Dharma-samgraha

Abhāva (अभाव, “non-existent”).—According to the Buddhists reality is always existence. This does not accept any negative or non-existent reality. Hence, abhāva is not reality. The Buddhists oppose the Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika concept of non-existence. They argue that nonexistence is always determined by its positive counterpart. Again the negatum is to be regarded as the adjective of the corresponding negation. Hence, the object negated is the adjective or the qualifier of the negation. But the Buddhists point out that this is not possible for a non-existent (abhāva) object to qualify another object.

Source: Shodhganga: A study of Nyāya-vaiśeṣika categories (buddhism)

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Abhāva (अभाव, “non-existent”).—According to some Jaina philosophers abhāva is cognized in time and space. If negation is bare non-existence then it cannot qualify space and time. On the other hand, if an object does not qualify space and time, it cannot be located on space and time. Prabhācandrasuri criticizes the view that negation has distinct reality. He holds that negation is nothing but the positive locus qualified by some unique property.

Source: Shodhganga: A study of Nyāya-vaiśeṣika categories (jainism)
General definition book cover
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Jainism is an Indian religion of Dharma whose doctrine revolves around harmlessness (ahimsa) towards every living being. The two major branches (Digambara and Svetambara) of Jainism stimulate self-control (or, shramana, ‘self-reliance’) and spiritual development through a path of peace for the soul to progess to the ultimate goal.

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Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

Abhava in Pali glossary... « previous · [A] · next »

abhāva : (m.) disappearance; absence; non-becoming.

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary
Pali book cover
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Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.

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Marathi-English dictionary

abhāva (अभाव).—m (S) Negation, privation, nullity, nihility, nonentity. Four kinds are enumerated: viz. pradhvaṃsābhāva Destruction; reduction into nihility; prāgabhāva Antecedent negation or non-existence; anyōnyābhāva Reciprocal negation; the not being any other thing of this thing, and the not being this thing of any other thing; atyantābhāva Simple negation; nullity or non-existence. 2 (Corr. from ābhāva S) Surmise, supposition, suspicion, belief. Ex. hā dravyavān āhē asā lōkāmmadhyēṃ a0 āhē; mājhā tyānēṃ a0 dharalā āhē.

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ābhāva (आभाव).—m S (See the popular form abhāva) Surmise or supposition.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

abhāva (अभाव).—m Negation, not-existence. Want, lack, absence. Surmise, supposition, belief (corr. from ābhāva). As hā dravyavāna āhē asā lōkāmadhyēṃ abhāva āhē.

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ābhāva (आभाव).—m Negation, nihility. Surmise, supposition.

Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
context information

Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.

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Sanskrit-English dictionary

Abhava (अभव).—

1) Non-existence; मत्त एव भवाभवौ (matta eva bhavābhavau) Mb.

2) Absolution, final beatitude; प्राप्तुमभवमभिवाञ्छति वा (prāptumabhavamabhivāñchati vā) Ki.12. 3,18.27.

3) End or destruction; अद्यैव सर्वभूतानां रक्षसा- मभवाय च (adyaiva sarvabhūtānāṃ rakṣasā- mabhavāya ca) Rām.3.64.56. सुखं च दुःखं च भवाभवात्मकम् (sukhaṃ ca duḥkhaṃ ca bhavābhavātmakam) Mb.3. 295.1.

Derivable forms: abhavaḥ (अभवः).

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Abhāva (अभाव).—a. [na. ba.] Without love or affection. कच्चिन्नाभिहतोऽभावैः शब्दादिभिरमङ्गलैः (kaccinnābhihato'bhāvaiḥ śabdādibhiramaṅgalaiḥ) Bhāg.1.14.4.

2) Nonexistent.

-vaḥ 1 Not being or existing, non-existence; गतो भावोऽभावम् (gato bhāvo'bhāvam) Mk.1 has disappeared.

2) Absence, want, failure; सर्वेषामप्यभावे तु ब्राह्मणा रिक्थभागिनः (sarveṣāmapyabhāve tu brāhmaṇā rikthabhāginaḥ) Ms.9.188; mostly in comp.; सर्वाभावे हरेन्नृपः (sarvābhāve harennṛpaḥ) 189 in the absence of all, failing all; तोय°, अन्न°, आहार° (toya°, anna°, āhāra°) &c.

3) Annihilation, death, destruction; (vaco...pathyamuktam) राक्षसानामभावाय त्वं वा न प्रतिपद्यसे (rākṣasānāmabhāvāya tvaṃ vā na pratipadyase) Rām.5.21.1. non-entity; नाभाव उपलब्धेः (nābhāva upalabdheḥ) Ś B.; क्षणमात्रभवामभावकाले (kṣaṇamātrabhavāmabhāvakāle) Śi.2.64; Ki.18.1.

4) (In phil.) Privation, non-existence, nullity or negation, supposed to be the seventh category or पदार्थ (padārtha) in the system of Kaṇāda. (Strictly speaking abhāva is not a separate predicament, like dravya, guṇa, but is only a negative arrangement of those predicaments; all nameable things being divided into positive (bhāva) and negative (abhāva), the first division including द्रव्य, गुण, कर्म, सामान्य, विशेष (dravya, guṇa, karma, sāmānya, viśeṣa) and समवाय (samavāya); and the second only one अभाव (abhāva); cf. अत्र सप्तमस्याभावकथनादेव षण्णां भावत्वं प्राप्तं तेन भावत्वेन पृथगुपन्यासो न कृतः (atra saptamasyābhāvakathanādeva ṣaṇṇāṃ bhāvatvaṃ prāptaṃ tena bhāvatvena pṛthagupanyāso na kṛtaḥ) Muktā.) अभाव (abhāva) is defined as भावभिन्नोऽभावः (bhāvabhinno'bhāvaḥ) (pratiyogijñānādhīnaviṣayatvam) that whose knowledge is dependent on the knowledge of its प्रतियोगी (pratiyogī). It is of two principal kinds संसर्गाभाव (saṃsargābhāva) and अन्योन्याभाव (anyonyābhāva); the first comprising three varieties प्रागभाव, प्रध्वंसाभाव (prāgabhāva, pradhvaṃsābhāva), and अत्यन्ताभाव (atyantābhāva).

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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Relevant definitions

Search found 49 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

Atyantābhāva (अत्यन्ताभाव).—m. (-vaḥ) (In logic) absolute negation or non-existence. E. atyanta...
Anyonyābhāva (अन्योन्याभाव).—m. (-vaḥ) Mutual negation, relative difference. E. anyonya, and ab...
Saṃsargābhāva (संसर्गाभाव).—m. (-vaḥ) Logical non-existence or annihilation; of three kinds, pr...
Pradhvaṃsābhāva (प्रध्वंसाभाव) refers to “destructive/posterior non-existence” and represents o...
Abhāvaśūnyatā (अभावशून्यता) or simply Abhāva refers to the “emptiness of non-existence”, repres...
Prāgabhāva (प्रागभाव) refers to “antecedent non-existence” and represents one of the four types...
Sarvabhāva (सर्वभाव) or Sarvvabhāva.—m. (-vaḥ) Whole disposition, all one’s thoughts and purpos...
Sāmayikābhāva (सामयिकाभाव).—m. (-vaḥ) Temporary, non-existance.
Pramāṇābhāva (प्रमाणाभाव).—absence of authority. Derivable forms: pramāṇābhāvaḥ (प्रमाणाभावः).P...
Ātapābhāva (आतपाभाव).—non-existence of the sun's heat, shadow. Derivable forms: ātapābhāvaḥ (आत...
Vastvabhāva (वस्त्वभाव).—1) absence of reality. 2) loss of property or possessions. Derivable f...
Sādhyābhāva (साध्याभाव).—the absence of the major term. Derivable forms: sādhyābhāvaḥ (साध्याभा...
Abhāvasvabhāva (अभावस्वभाव) or Abhāvasvabhāvaśūnyatā refers to the “emptiness of non-existence ...
Bhava (भव).—m. (-vaḥ) 1. Being, existing, the self-support of something already produced. 2. Bi...
Padārtha (पदार्थ).—m. (-rthaḥ) 1. Thing, substantial or material form of being. 2. A category o...

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