Like the Nyaya system, the Vaisesika is a realistic philosophy which combines pluralism with theism. It traces the variety of the objects of the world to the combination of material atoms of different kinds and qualities.

But the creation of the world out of the combination of eternal atoms, in eternal time and space, has reference to the moral life of individual selves.

The world is created and destroyed by God according to the moral deserts of individual souls and for the proper realization of their moral destiny.

But the realistic idea of the soul and the apparently deistic conception of God in the Vaisesika labour under the difficulties of the Nyaya theory and are as unsatisfactory as the latter.


For it, the soul is an independent substance, of which consciousness is an accidental property. It may be admitted by us that the mind or the empirical consciousness is not the real self and that the latter is different from the former.

Still it is not possible for us to explain mental phenomena or the empirical consciousness unless we admit that the real or the noumenal self is an essentially conscious and intelligent reality.

So also the Vaisesika idea of God as wholly transcendent to and separate from man and the world is not favourable for a deeply religious view of life and the genuine religious consciousness of communion with God.

The special contributions of the Vaisesika philosophy are its comprehensive conception of padartha or object as that which is denoted by a word, its classification of objects and its atomic cosmology.


In the classification of objects it recognises the distinction between positive and negative objects or between those that have being and those which have no being, but are real and as much denoted by words as the former.

Again, it’s here pointed out that while most objects can be classified and brought under certain genera (jati), there are some like akasa or ether, siimanya, visesa, samavaya and abhava which do not come under any corresponding genera like akasatva, samanyatva, etc- because none of them is a genus or jati at all.

The Vaisesika division of objects into seven classes and of these into many other sub-classes is a logical classification of them based on their distinctive characters and ultimate differences.

The atomic theory of the Vaisesika is an improvement on the ordinary view of the world as constituted by the physical elements of earth, water, air and fire.


It is also an advance on the materialistic theory that all things including life, mind and consciousness are transformations and mechanical products of material atoms.

The Vaisesikas harmonise the atomic theory with the moral and spiritual outlook of life and the theisdc faith in God as the creator and moral governor of the world.

But they do not carry their theism far enough and make God the author not only of the order of nature but also of its ultimate constituents, viz. the atoms, minds and souls, and see God at the heart of all reality.