4. Vaisheshika, Sankhya and Yoga
Keywords: sensual knowledge, Purusha, Prakrti, Guna, Moksha
4.1 Vaisheshika – An Emphasis on the Empirical Side of Philosophism
The name of this Darshana is probably derived from the word Vishesha, which means difference, curiosity. Similar to other orthodox systems, its origin dates back to the post-Buddhist period, but the first records come from the 5th to 6th century A.D. The Vaisheshika Sutra is accredited to Kannada and the writing Padarthadharmasangraha was written by Prashastapada. The classic, later form of this system is not philosophically interesting. The development of thinking can only be reconstructed to a certain degree.
The oldest layer of Darshana is created by the phase of natural philosophy. The base is made by the consideration of the world being made of eternal elements. Such ← 39 | 40 → an attitude is not definite yet, it is neither materialistic, nor idealistic, but atheist. There are four elements: earth, water, fire, and air. Each one of them corresponds with a certain sensual quality and sensory organ. Later they added the fifth element Akasha, which means an empty cosmic space, and they elaborated a theory of how this corresponds with sensory organs. Their understanding of sensual perception can be illustrated with the example of eyesight.
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