Vaisheshika

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Vaisheshika (Skt. Vaiśeṣika; Tib. བྱེ་བྲག་པ་, je drakpa, Wyl. bye brag pa) — a non-buddhist school of eternalism. The Vaisheshika, or Particularists, are followers of the sage Kanada (Wyl. gzeg zan). Both the Vaisheshika and the Naiyayika claim that all objects of knowledge are included among six categories of existents:

  1. Substance
  2. Quality
  3. Activity
  4. Generality
  5. Particularity
  6. Inherence

A story describes how these six categories originate from an occasion when the sage Kanada was meditating before a lingam. An owl flew down and landed on the lingam. Thinking it must be an emanation of the almighty Ishvara, Kanada proceeded to question the bird. After simply nodding in response to six questions, the owl flew away. So it is that in this tradition all phenomena are explained in terms of six categories.

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