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Aṇu (Skt., ‘tiny, minute’). In Vaiśeṣika, a point in space without dimension which evolves from the subtle elements (tanmātras). Aṇus are eternal, invisible, and intangible, and are in a constant state of disintegration and reintegration. The material universe is evolved through the coming together of aṇus. There are four basic paramāṇus which are the essential components of earth, water, fire, and air. These correspond to the mahābhūtas of other Indian philosophical systems. In Kashmir Śaivism, aṇu is the soul or basic particle of Śiva. For the application among Terapanth Jains, see BHIKṢU, ĀCĀRYA.


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