An estimate of the vaisesika sutra in the history of science
Sixth century B.C. has been generally held as the period which heralded the dawn of what has now come to be known as Greek science. The Greek thinkers, one after another, displayed a rare intellectual activity to understand the world of matter and form in the three hundred years from the beginning of the sixth century to the close of the fourth century B.C. Bold speculations appeared then on the primordial stuff of the world, atomism, mathematical models and structure of the knowable universe. There were schools of thought which often ran parallel to one another and not a few of them tried to delineate their own positions in such a way as to refute and exclude the views of others. The Indian Vaiśeṣika system, on the other hand, had assumed a definite shape by the sixth century B.C. when even the pre-Socratic thinkers were gradually generating their views. A fact of great significance is that the Vaiśeṣika contains in it the most important ideas enunciated by some of the leading Greek thinkers including Aristotle. The paper discusses the origins as well as the probable date of the Vaiśeṣika system, presents a synopsis of the contents of the ten chapters of the Vaiśeṣika Sūtra and tries to discuss the merits as well as the internalized limitations of the Vaiśeṣika system in relation to the Greek science.
Vol. 2, no. 1,