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Sat-kārya-vāda (Skt., ‘theory of existent effect’), in Sāṃkhya, the concept that any effect pre-exists in its cause; there is no creation of a thing previously nonexistent.

Everything that occurs exists potentially in its cause. Creation is produced simply through a recombination of the constituents of the uncreated (avyakta). By analogy, a statue pre-exists in the stone; curds in milk. Specifically, creation involves a re-organizing of the three guṇas which exist in perfect equilibrium in the primal ‘stuff’ (mūlaprakṛti) of creation. All change occurs through the interaction of these three guṇas.