martes, 20 de abril de 2010


Kaëäda - an ancient sage. He is the originator of the vaiçeñika system of Indian philosophy (see vaiçeñika in the Glossary of Terms).

The word kaëäda primarily means “one who lives on a small particle of food.” This may have some connection to the basic tenet of the school which says that the universe is formed of the minutest units of matter, called aëu (the Nyäya-kandalé of Çrédhara may be consulted for further information on this point). Kaëäda is also referred to by the synonyms of his name, e.g. Kaëabhuja and Kaëabhakña, or by his genealogical name Kaçyapa. He is also known as Ulüka, which literally means an owl. Tradition explains this name with a story that Lord Çiva appeared before the sage in the form of an owl and revealed the vaiçeñika system to him. It is traditionally believed that Kaëäda lived and taught in Väräëasé.

Kaëäda is credited with the authorship of the Vaiçeñika-sütra, the basic text of the system, but the precise dates of his life and work cannot be ascertained. While tradition sets him in the 8th century BC, modern scholarship assigns the composition of the Vaiçeñikasütra to the first century AD. The basic tenets of the system were known to the early compilers of the Caraka-saàhitä – not only to its final editor, Caraka, but to its original author, Agniveça, who is thought to have lived several centuries prior to the Christian era.

The vaiçeñika philosophy, as propounded in the sütra, is acknowledged by several schools of Buddhist philosophy, particularly the madhyamikas and the vaibhäñikas. The Pali work, Milindapanha, which was written in the 1st century AD, mentions vaiçeñika as an established branch of Indian learning.

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