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Lakshana, enumeration and classification, Bhava and Abhava padartha, Padartha according to Charaka (Karana-Padartha).


Padartha is a Sanskrit word derived from combination of two words. 'Pada' signifies foot or step or stride, 'Artha' is related to

  • An object or thing;
  • An object or purpose,
  • An object or motive or reason,
  • An object or thing,
  • A material object including a person or man.

Thus the word Padartha literally means 'the object signified by a word' or 'the meaning of a word'. All the objects of knowledge fall in the category of padartha.

Number of Padartha

  • Substance,
  • Quality,
  • Action,
  • Genus,
  • Individuality,
  • Inherence.

Later on, the commentators added yet another (seventh), privation. Then Nyaya school of thought developed a list containing sixteen Padarthas.

  • Valid means of knowledge (pramana),
  • Objects of valid knowledge (prameya),
  • Doubt (samshaya),
  • Aim (prayojana),
  • Example (dris?anta),
  • Conclusion (siddhanta),
  • Members of syllogism (avayava),
  • Hypothetical reasoning (tarka),
  • Settlement (nir?aya),
  • Discussion (vaada),
  • Wrangling (jalpa),
  • Cavilling (vitanda),
  • Fallacy (hetvabhasa),
  • Quibbling (chala),
  • Sophisticated refutation (jati),
  • Point of defeat (nigrahasthana).

Bhava (Existence) Padartha

Bhavas means evident. They are further classified into six types:

  • Substance (Dravya),
  • Quality (Guna),
  • Activity (Karma),
  • Genus (Samanya),
  • Difference (Visesha)
  • Intimate relation (Samavaya).

Dravya is definitely an organized moiety. Dravya is defined as store house of guna (physical properties) and karma (pharmacological properties). As an instance, combination of atoms results in synthesis of molecules. Similarly, molecules dissociate into atoms. The process of combination and separation are included in karma. According to Ayurvedic philosophy, guna resides in the dravya as when two dravya combine together to form a new entity and after through study, it can be concluded that the new entity has distinct property.

Samanya refers to 'general'. Samanya is defined as the basic cause of increase in number of all the things. Samanya has two types:

  • Para (Guna)
  • Apara (Lower)

Visesha refers to dissimilarity. The food-stuffs that we eat, if they have similarity to the human body constituents (directly or even by activity or quality); then the food-stuffs increase those body constituents. As an instance, the flesh or meat has direct similarity with the flesh of the body. Thus, it shall increase the Mansa Dhatu in the human body.

Samavaya refers to co-existence. Samavaya is defined as union that cannot be seperated and in which the parts of dravya are held together in proper configuration. Dravya has samavaya relationship with guna and karma.

Abhava (Non-Existence) Padartha

Abhava (Non-Existence) padartha are entirely different from the bhava padartha and is treated as the seventh category. Kanada accepts six padartha, but according to the Vaisesika school of thought, abhava, mentioned in prameya form is the seventh padartha. Abhava (Non-Existence) padartha have been dealt with detail in Vaisesika philosophy.

Classification of Abhava

  • Sansarga bhava (This is related to absence of one entity in another. For example, absence of heat in the moon).
  • Any bhava not being another (For example, the moon is not the sun).

Classification of Sansarga bhava:

  • Pragabhava (Prior non-existence): Pragabhava is the non-existence of an effect in the material before the process of theproduction. The process has a start or beginning and has an end as gets eliminated by the synthesis of the effect.
  • Pradhvamsabhava (Posterior non-existence): Pradhvamsabhava is defined as non-existence of any effect with its destruction. The process has a beginning but no end is there.
  • Atyantabhava (Absolute non-existence): Atyantabhava is defined as non-existence during all the times. It is basically denial of an absolutely non-existent substance in all places and times. It is characeterised by the state of compelete abstraction.
  • Anyonyabhava (Mutual non-existence): Anyonyabhava is defined as the denial of identity between two substance, having a specific nature.

Distinction between Anyonyabhava and Sansargabhava

  • Sansargabhava is defined as the absence of relation between two substances. Anyonyabhava is defined as the absence of one thing in rare other objects.
  • Sansargabhava is basically deals with relation absence. On the other side, anyonyabhava deals with the identity absence.

The Bhatta Mimamsa, Dvaita schools, the Vaisheshika, and the Nyaya, the Bhatta Mimamsa and Dvaita schools of though hold Abhava (Non-Existence) as a distinct classs. The Nyaya school of thought considers abhava as reality and is connection with Mukti. In this relative word, abhava can come only when there was/is a bhava, previously. More or less, abhava is an occasion happening with time. Abhava represents unmanifested state from where the bhava is born or emerged. To conclude, abhava means negation or non-existence or absence or nothing.

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