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Satta In Vaisesika School

Satta is the essence of all being, including its reference all that exists. According to the Vaisesika School in Indian philosophy, this summum genus has, at its very opposite end, the individual particulars which have the least commonality. Between the Being and the individuals, there are the intermediary classes of species and particulars, each subclass being itself a member of a more general class in concentric circles of constituency.

According to the Vaisesikas, the universals exist in their own right even when the particulars are absent. At the time of creation, the universals manifest themselves in the particulars. In other words, a universal constitutes the very essence that characteristically marks the particulars as members of a class.

Advaita speaks of the satta-travidya (threefold classification of Being):
  • Paramartha – the Supreme Brahman which is the real thing
  • Vyavaharika – the empirically real
  • Pratibhasika – the apparently real

Of these three, the last one has only a subjective existence and is of the nature of an illusion. The second one is the world of practical activity and is common to all minds and public. Nevertheless, it is also subject to sublation by the true knowledge of reality as one with oneself. This world is not a modification of Brahman but only its transfigured appearance.