'To be liberated the Vaisheshika way, or the Vaisheshika attempt at a Negative Soteriology by the Indian school of philosophy' - 'Philosophical Thought' - NotaBene.ru
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Philosophical Thought
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To be liberated the Vaisheshika way, or the Vaisheshika attempt at a Negative Soteriology by the Indian school of philosophy

Lysenko Vitoria

ORCID: 0000-0002-6069-3502

Doctor of Philosophy

Chief Scientific Associate, Institute of Philosophy of the Russian Academy of Sciences

109240, Russia, g. Moscow, ul. Goncharnaya, 12, of. str.1

vglyssenko@yandex.ru
Other publications by this author
 

 

DOI:

10.25136/2409-8728.2021.12.37003

Received:

30-11-2021


Published:

11-12-2021


Abstract: The article examines the original concept of the Vaisheshika school, criticized by other Indian philosophers, according to which Self (Atman), freed from the bonds of rebirth (saṃsāra), is a pure substance (dravya), devoid of consciousness, which is believed to be its impermanent quality (guna); the opponents compared the Vaisheshika's liberated Self with a stone or a log. The author proposes an explanation of the Vaisheshika liberation doctrine (soteriology) within the framework of its categoriology, in which consciousness and Atman belong to different categories, respectively, guna and dravya. Vaisheshika proclaims knowledge of the six categories to be the highest spiritual goal (nihshreyasa), which, in turn, comes from the pure Dharma (Merit). The reason why the Vaisheshikas felt obliged to add a pure Dharma as the final step towards liberation (which distinguishes Vaisheshika from other schools, emphasizing the soteriological value of knowledge) is explained by assuming the Dharma's capacity to overcome a dichotomy of merit-demerit (dharma-adharma) as the main factor responsible for the rebirth of an embodied ātman. The pure Dharma, due to all the positive karmic energy accumulated during countless reincarnations of the soul, arises at the very last moment in a person's life to purufy his/her true Atman from the law of karma and rebirth. Since nothing can be said about Atman's future, it is not a "liberation for", but a "liberation from", which can be called a "negative soteriology".


Keywords:

Vaisheshika, Prashastapada, Shridhara, moksha, pada-artha, Dharma, dharma-adharma, liberation, merit, negative soteriology

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