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Particularity In Vaisheshika Philosophy In Hindu Religion

Particularity, or vishesha, is part of Vaisheshika philosophy in Hindu religion. In the world we not only find things having common aspects, but we also differentiate a thing belonging to a class from the other things of the same class. In the case of compound substances, perceptible qualities and activities, it is not difficult to differentiate a particular object of a class from the other particular objects of the class.

We are able to do it by virtue of some differentiating (vyavartaka) feature consisting of some part or character of the object under consideration. But the difficulty arises in the case of simple substances, which have no parts and which are not even directly perceptible.

How will an atom of earth be differentiated from the other atoms of earth? Here the category of particularity (vishesha), which kanda calls ‘final species’ (antya-vishesha), plays its crucial role. In this specified sense, vishesha may be defined as the ultimate differentiator, which inheres in an ultimate, eternal substance. The selves also are ultimately alike. They are differentiated from one another by each one having a particularity (vishesha). Otherwise, all the three, being alike, cannot be differentiated from each other. Therefore, it goes without saying that the particular is the category without which it was impossible for Kanada to maintain a pluralistic as well as realistic ontology. According to Kanada, vishesha is also eternal for the reason that it inheres in eternal substances.