This Dark Age

A manual for life in the modern world.

By Daniel Schwindt

This Dark Age is now available in paperback on Amazon. The print version is MUCH cleaner than this online version, which is largely unedited and has fallen by the wayside as the project has grown. If you’ve appreciated my writing, please consider leaving a review on the relevant paperback volumes. The print edition also includes new sections (Military History, War Psychology, Dogmatic Theology).

Volume 1 | Volume 2 | Volume 3| Volume 4 | Volume 5 | Volume 6

The six padarthas of Vaisheshika

Like Nyaya, Vaisheshika recognizes a number of padarthas, although it deals with them from its own point of view, and so the term should be taken in the special sense given to it by its context. This is why the six Vaisheshika padarthas could be included as subdivisions of the second Nyaya padartha, prameya, or objects of proof. The first of these is dravya. Dravya is ‘substance,’ taken in the relative sense according to Aristotle’s categories, which designates the function of the logical subject, and not in the more universal, metaphysical sense. The second padartha is guna or ‘quality.’ Again, however, this is quality in the relative sense, according to Aristotle’s ‘accidents,’ and the term guna will be met with again in Sankhya, taking on a different meaning as is appropriate to that point of view. As found in the present context, however, these qualities are the attributes of manifested beings considered in relation to the underlying substance which acts as a support for them; due to the strict limits of the point of view in question, we must not go any further than this and consider these accidents as constituents of ‘essence,’ as the principle of manifestation, since this order of things transcends nature as considered by Vaisheshika. Substance is itself never manifest, but is only manifested through its attributes, as its modalities, and these attributes only enjoy existence in and through substance. The third padartha is karma or action. Action is also considered in the notion of attributes, along with quality, despite the differences between the two. After all, action is but a ‘manner of being’ of substance. Action consists in movement, which is but a species of change, and is in this sense a transitory mode of being, whereas quality is relatively stable, but if considered purely in its consequences, the distinction between action and quality fades. The remaining three padarthas are less significant for the general knowledge we wish to present at this point, and can be addressed briefly. They each represent categories of relationships. The fourth is samanya, the association of qualities which give rise to gradation or ‘genera’; the fifth is vishesha, particularity or difference, meaning that which belongs exclusively to a particular substance and which distinguishes it from others; the sixth is samavaya, or aggregation, and it refers to the union between a substance and its attributes.

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