Vaisheshika, Vaiśeṣika, Vaishesika, Vaiseshika: 10 definitions


Vaisheshika means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, 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.

The Sanskrit term Vaiśeṣika can be transliterated into English as Vaisesika or Vaisheshika, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Vaisheshika (school of philosophy)

[«previous (V) next»] — Vaisheshika in Vaisheshika glossary
Source: Shodhganga: A study of Nyāya-vaiśeṣika categories (vaisesika)

Vaiśeṣika (वैशेषिक) system advocates Dualistic Realism. It is said that this system has been founded on a Ṛk ascribed to the Seer Dīrghatamas. The Ṛk narrates that two birds which are intimate friends, reside in the same tree. One of them eats the sweet fruits, while the other without eating just looks on. The dualistic philosophers are influenced by this Ṛk which implies the distinction between the individual self and the Supreme self.

The founder of Vaiśeṣika is Kaṇāda. The name of this system Vaiśeṣika is derived from the word Viśeṣa. Viśeṣa as a separate category is discussed broadly in this system.52 We do not find this category in any other system of Indian Philosophy. So, Kaṇāda’s philosophy has come to be known as Vaiśeṣika system. The Vaiśeṣika system gives stress on the plurality and distinctness of physical things and finite souls. The special feature of this system is the theory of atomism.

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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Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Source: Natya Shastra

Vaiśeṣika (वैशेषिक).—One excelling (viśeṣayet) in all the arts (kalā) is called a Vaiśeṣika (specialist) or one is also called Vaiśika because of his dealings with the courtezans (veśyopacāra).

Natyashastra book cover
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Natyashastra (नाट्यशास्त्र, nāṭyaśāstra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition (śāstra) of performing arts, (nāṭya, e.g., theatrics, drama, dance, music), as well as the name of a Sanskrit work dealing with these subjects. It also teaches the rules for composing dramatic plays (nataka) and poetic works (kavya).

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General definition (in Hinduism)

[«previous (V) next»] — Vaisheshika in Hinduism glossary
Source: Digital Library of India: Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika
The Vaiśeṣika system, which deals with the analysis of nature, takes its name from viśeṣa “particularity”. Starting from the principle that the particulars of the world, especially the atoms and the souls, are eternal and the objects which we experience and which are made up of parts are non-eternal it develops an atomic theory in connexion with the substances of earth, water, light, and air (space). Although this system is earlier than the Nyāya, which discusses the problem of knowledge and analyzes the ways in which knowledge is acquired, it has assumed the main logical principles which were developed in the other system.
Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

Vaiśeṣika (वैशेषिक) is one of the six Hindu schools of philosophy (Vedic systems) of India. Historically, it has been closely associated with the Hindu school of logic, Nyaya. Although the Vaisheshika system developed independently from the Nyaya, the two eventually merged because of their closely related metaphysical theories.

Vaisheshika 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.

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).

Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

[«previous (V) next»] — Vaisheshika in Marathi glossary
Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

vaiśēṣika (वैशेषिक).—m S A follower of the school of philosophy called vaiśēṣika.

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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

[«previous (V) next»] — Vaisheshika in Sanskrit glossary
Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Vaiśeṣika (वैशेषिक).—a. (- f.)

1) Characteristic, special; विषये वर्तमानानां यं तं वैशेषिकैर्गुणैः (viṣaye vartamānānāṃ yaṃ taṃ vaiśeṣikairguṇaiḥ) (prāhurviṣayagoptāram) Mb.12.47.7; 7.5.15.

2) Belonging to the Vaiśeṣika doctrine.

-kaḥ A follower of the Vaiśeṣika doctrine.

-kam [viśeṣaṃ padārtha- bhedamadhikṛtya kṛto granthaḥ ṭhañ] One of the six principal Darśanas or systems of Hindu philosophy founded by Kaṇāda; it differs from the Nyāya philosophy of Gautama in that it recognizes only seven instead of sixteen categories or heads of predicables (the earlier writers e. g. Kaṇāda recognizing only six), and lays particular stress upon Viśeṣa.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Vaiśeṣika (वैशेषिक).—m.

(-kaḥ) A follower of the Vaiśeshika doctrine. n.

(-kaṃ) The Vaiśeshika doctrine, or branch of the Nyaya or logical school of philosophy, instituted by Kanada. It differs from Gautama'S system in recognizing only seven categories instead of sixteen. E. viśeṣa difference, (from the original Nyaya of Gautama,) ṭhañ aff.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Benfey Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Vaiśeṣika (वैशेषिक).—i. e. viśeṣa + ika, I. adj. 1. Characteristic, Bhāṣāp. 43. 2. Belonging to the Vaiśeṣika doctrine (cf. Ii.), Bhāṣāp. 104; 140. Ii. n. A peculiar philosophical system, the Vaiśeṣika doctrine. Iii. m. A follower of the Vaiśeṣika doctrine, [Kusumāñjali, (ed. Cowell.)] 3, 8 (p. 29, 13, ed. Cowell).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

1) Vaiśeṣika (वैशेषिक):—mf(ī)n. ([from] vi-śeṣa, p.990) special, peculiar, specific, characteristic, [Āpastamba; Suśruta; Bhāṣāpariccheda; Hemādri’s Caturvarga-cintāmaṇi]

2) distinguished, excellent, pre-eminent, [Mahābhārata]

3) relating or belonging to or based on or dealing with the Vaiśeṣika doctrine, [Bhāṣāpariccheda; Madhusūdana]

4) m. a follower of the V° doctrine, [Kapila; Kusumāñjali; Buddhist literature]

5) n. peculiarity, distinction, [Kaṇāda’s Vaiśeṣika-sūtra]

6) Name of the later of the two great divisions of the Nyāya school of philosophy (it was founded by Kaṇāda, and differs from the, ‘Nyāya proper’ founded by Gautama, in propounding only seven categories or topics instead of sixteen; and more especially in its doctrine of viśeṣa, or eternally distinct nature of the nine substances, air, fire, water, earth, mind, ether, time, space, and soul, of which the first five, including mind, are held to be atomic), [Indian Wisdom, by Sir M. Monier-Williams 65 etc.]

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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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