Vaiśeṣika (Skt., ‘referring to the distinctions’, viśeṣa). The oldest of the six early Hindu philosophical systems (darśana) related to Nyāya. Founded by Kaṇāda, to whom Vaiśeṣika Sūtra is attributed, it begins with dharma and the authority of the Veda. But it then proceeds to the analysis of the six categories or objects of experience (padārthas) and makes no mention of God or gods. Later Vaiśeṣika could not regard all appearance as coming together from nowhere, and therefore postulated an unproduced Producer of all that is, i.e. God. Vaiśeṣika led on to the multiple systems of Nyāya, often known as Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika.
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