The Principles in Physics

Vaiśeṣika Sūtra, also called Kanada sutra, is an ancient Sanskrit text at the foundation of the Vaisheshika school of Hindu philosophy. The Nyāya Sūtras is an ancient Indian Sanskrit text composed by Akṣapāda Gautama
The NyayaVaisesika Sutra was founded by Rishi Gautama and Kanada. The Nyaya and Vaisesika schools originally started as separate schools, but then merged into one due to their common rational approach.
Kanada declares samanya (generic) and vishesha (particularity) as names that arise relative to the observer. These are, therefore, observer-dependent notions that add to the definition of matter, in terms of attribute and action alone. The last padartha, inherence (samavaya) is relevant in the context of cause and effect.
The Nyaya-Vaiseshika Sutra consists of 373 Sutras and is composed of 12 chapters. It’s main postulates are:
– All of the universes is composed of the 5 mahabhuttas and the 4 non-physicals: that is Fluid, Atomic elements, fields/force, energy, ether and space, time, mind and atma.
-Except for ether, all of the physical elements are made of discreet and distinct paramanus or atoms
-Space-time is a frame in which the physical universe exists
-There are seven categories of experience, which are substance, quality, activity, generality, particularity, inherence, and nonexistence.
-Energy and mass are equivalent.
The Vaiseshika Sutras deal with the investigation, observation, and mechanics of the universe and the elements and the theory of space and time. A lot of the modern sciences are covered, including laws of motion, gravitation, thermodynamics, waves, hydrostatics, and magnetism among others.
An example to understand the perspective of vacuum as a category is as follows:
Statement: ‘Vacuum’ is a form of matter.
Argument from direct consideration:
1. The vacuum must be classified as matter because it possesses attributes (guna) that no
other known matter/dravya possesses.
2. Color excludes vacuum from belonging to the category of ether, space, time, and
so on, all of which are colorless.
3. It cannot be air as it lacks ‘touch’ and ‘constant motion’ – the attributes of air.
4. It is not light as it lacks brightness and hot touch.
5. It is not water for it lacks cool touch or watercolor.
6. It is not earth as it lacks scent or touch.
7. Therefore it is a new kind of matter not belonging to any of the existing
Argument related to absence:
1. The matter is perceived when light reflects off it.
2. Therefore vacuum is perceived only in the absence of all kinds of light.
Vacuum is consequently defined as the non-existence of light particles at the smallest particle level, not referring to the absence of sources of light like sun, moon or a lamp. This is to emphasize that vacuum is not the absence of a source of light, instead of the very absence of light at the minutest level perceived by the mind.
This vacuum is an entity. The absence of an entity is cognized only when its presence is recognizable which implies recognition of absence is not possible independently. But opinion was not uniform on this matter in all schools. In the Mimamsa School, the vacuum was taken as an independent entity.
By Prachodayat Team
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