Seer Kanaada is the author of “VaisheShika Darshan”. As per ‘Vaayu Purana’, he was born at ‘Prabhaasapaatan’ near Dwaaraka, India, and was a pupil of Acharya Soma Sharma. His original name was “Uuluuka Muni”. His time is believed to be before Lord Buddha. He used to collect grains that fell on the earth during transportation, for his meals. In this way, being the proper utilizer of every part of grains, he was known by the name of ‘KaNaada’. Another explanation of his name is that he had propagated the principle of the atom, so he was known as ‘Kanaada’.
“VaisheShika Darshan” is the main book of aphorisms of VaisheShika. There is a commentary on “VaisheShika Darshan” by ‘Acharya Prashastapaada’, with the name of ‘Padaartha Dharma Sangraha’. What is an atom? An atom is the sixtieth part of a subtle dust particle that can be seen in the sunlight coming through a window. This atom is eternal in form. Due to its specific properties, it has separate existence in every object. These properties are described in “VaisheShika Darshan”. “VaisheShika Darshan” is divided into 10 chapters, and having 370 aphorisms.
As per “VaisheShika Darshan”, there are six types of ‘padaarth’ in the universe, namely — substance, quality, activity, generality, particularity, inherence. As per Seer Kanaada, there are nine substances —earth, water, fire, air, ether = sky, time, space, soul, mind.
There are 24 qualities — color, taste, smell, touch, number, size/dimension/quantity, individuality, conjunction/accompaniments, disjunction, priority, posteriority, knowledge, pleasure, pain, desire, aversion, effort, heaviness, fluidity, viscosity, merit, demerit, sound, and faculty.
There are 5 five types of activities — protrusion = throwing upward, precipitation = throwing downward, contraction, expansion, and movement.
Generality is the existence of common property in many objects.
The particularity is the property by which we can perceive substances as different from one another.
Inherence is the relation between the cause and the effect. It is the relationship existing between the substances that are inseparable, standing to one another in the relation of the container and the contained.
In this book, Seer Kanaada has shown that righteousness is one by which attainment of both – i.e. worldly happiness and spiritual bliss are achieved.