Does the ebt reject kanada(vaisheshika) view?

So when I try to trace the earliest history of materialism I found this

Materialism developed, possibly independently, in several geographically separated regions of Eurasia during what Karl Jaspers termed the Axial Age (c. 800–200 BC).

In ancient Indian philosophy, materialism developed around 600 BC with the works of Ajita Kesakambali, Payasi, Kanada and the proponents of the Cārvāka school of philosophy. Kanada became one of the early proponents of atomism. The Nyaya–Vaisesika school (c. 600–100 BC) developed one of the earliest forms of atomism (although their proofs of God and their positing that consciousness was not material precludes labelling them as materialists). Buddhist atomism and the Jaina school continued the atomic tradition
Source :

Now both Ajita Kesakambali and Payasi’s view was directly described in sutta as part of wrong views but I don’t find kanada reference at all in sutta

Now I want to quote every references about kanada’s view and his school the vaisheshika founded in suttacentral so we don’t repost what’s already posted

This is an attack from a Madhyamaka buddhist to vaisheshika school of brahmanism

This is an interesting quote showing an attack from a sarvastivadin buddhist to a vaisheshika teacher during a debate

This is an attacks to the vaisheshika school from a mahayanist

This shows that vaisheshika school embrace essentialism especially atomism

  1. Because of finding the state of excess of visible data, etc. (rupadinam
    adhikabhavadassanatof. the first theory holds the view, “visible data, etc. are their
    qualities” because it is found that they are associated with these special aspects, that is,
    the resplendent visible datum in fire, sound audible by its basic nature in air, the odour
    beginning with fragrance in earth, and sweet taste in water. The teacher has stated the
    conclusion ofthe first theory with the statement, beginning with, “iccheyyama”. By the
    same means the second theory is refuted. Or optionally, it should be understood that the
    words “athdpi vadeyyum (then they may say)”, etc. are stated in order to refute the view
    of Kanada, which asserts that the eye, etc. are respectively made by fire, space, earth,
    water, and air, having special qualities like visible data, etc, respectively after having
    taken it up. The odour, even if being apprehensible in fermented liquor, is ofthe earth
    that is mixed with water, which is different from cotton, therefore the odour of cotton
    would not have the state of excess. If it is argued in this manner, it is not so, since the
    earth of the cotton is not overpowered [by water]. For the earth mixed with water in
    fermented liquor is overpowered by water, but not the earth of the cotton. Therefore
    odour of cotton only should be in excess. Fire associated with hot-water is to be
    obtained as distinct, thus considering, like contact of hot-water, its resplendent form too
    would be known. Therefore the form of cold-water, not contacted with fire, would be
    weaker than the form ofhot-water.

  2. Taking final release (apavaggagaho)’. assuming final release to be in the immaterial
    world like that of Ramuddaka, and Alara, etc., or in a World Apex (lokathupika) like
    that of the Niganthas. And by the word etc. are included also ‘those who hold that
    nibbana is acquired in this very life’ as the selfs establishment in its own self when it
    has become dissociated from the qualities (guna), owing to the non-occurrence of the
    Basic Principle (padhana), and being in co-residence with, standing in vicinity of, in
    association with, Brahma world. Here non-occurrence of the Basic Principle
    (padhanassa appavatti) means non-change of the Basic Principle into the state of
    intellect (mahat), etc. or its non-manifestation. When assuming of unity regarding self,
    pleasure, pain, and delusion is removed by knowing difference between pakati and
    purisa that arises as, “I am different from pakati”, the Basic Principle does not appear
    by the method already told. That is called release according to the followers of Kapila.
    Dissociatedfrom qualities (gunaviyuttassa): those who follow the system of Kanada
    maintain that selfis dissociated from nine qualities, namely, intelligence, pleasure, pain,
    wish, hate, exertion, righteousness, non-righteousness, and formations

  3. Or it is a selfthat knows (attájünati va): in this way one thinks, like a follower of
    Kapila, and so on. Or [a self] does not know (na jánáti va) like a follower ofKanada
    and Áfivika, and so on. For Kanada also said that a self does not know by itself. When it
    is associated with property of intelligence (mahat), then only it knows - in this way he
    desires. It is he who does and makes others to do (so eva karoti ca kdreti ca): one who
    experiences pleasure and suffering in the next life is the same person who performs
    merit and demerit and makes others to do in this life, not other person - this is the
    implication. Putting into shape (santhapentá): as producing two atoms, etc. and
    [causing it to fulfilling] according to wish. He (so): a being called self. Endowed with
    faculties (indriyasampanno): being endowed with faculties, such as, the eye. By this the
    teahcer shows the appearance ofsix bases. For all this is said through wrong-view, thus,
    “Thinking the function of ignorance, etc. that occur according to conditions, to be the
    activity ofsoul, the holder ofwrong-view is deluded.” [All beings are] moulded byfate
    and coincidence and nature (niyatisañgatibhávaparinatá): determination of preceding
    and succeeding is fate (niyati) just as unbroken gem hung by an unbroken thread.
    Coincidence (sañgati) of fate or only fate which is coincidence is niyatisañgati.
    Through this niyatisañgati one undergoes a change in life, reaching the state of a human
    being, a deva, a bird, and so on. “Niyatisañgati bhávaparinata”: reaching the different
    states through fate, coincidence and nature called bháva (life) - this is the meaning
    according to some.

This was an attack from a theravadin to vaisheshika, this quote comes from paramatthamanjusa which is a commentary to visuddhimagga, visuddhimagga had 3 commentaries and paramatthamanjusa is the longest commentary made by Ven dhammapala in 6th century ad this paramatthamanjusa then was translated from pali to English by Cha Myang Hee as part of his doctorate thesis to Pune university

So I know nearly all buddhist schools have attacked vaisheshika view but i don’t know whether sutta or agamas have attacked or refuted it or not which I find hard to believe knowing scholars dated it earlier than ebt, it’s the earliest among ehts(earliest hindu text School) yet we don’t find any trace of it in ebts hence my question

If we can find it that would be interesting because that means all earliest view about materialism have been debunked by the buddha and earlier arahants yet majority of scientist refers back to this wrong view 2500 years later

I am still learning English I hope you understand atleast 1 or 2 words of mine

May you be happy
May you be free from suffering
May you not lose your current success and achievement

Since the Vaiśeṣika Sūtra defends the theory of atman, which the EBTs see as problematic, they are not fully compatible.


That’s good to know but that means it’s not strictly a materialist school because it acknowledges something can exist outside of matter


The materialists are Carvaka \ Lokayata

1 Like

According to Pakudha, there are seven eternal “elements”: Earth, Water, Fire, Air, Joy, Sorrow and Life. Pakudha further asserted that these elements do not interact with one another.

The Samannaphala Sutta (DN 2) represents Pakudha’s views as follows:

"’…[T]here are these seven substances — unmade, irreducible, uncreated, without a creator, barren, stable as a mountain-peak, standing firm like a pillar — that do not alter, do not change, do not interfere with one another, are incapable of causing one another pleasure, pain, or both pleasure and pain. Which seven? The earth-substance, the liquid-substance, the fire-substance, the wind-substance, pleasure, pain, and the soul as the seventh. These are the seven substances — unmade, irreducible, uncreated, without a creator, barren, stable as a mountain-peak, standing firm like a pillar — that do not alter, do not change, do not interfere with one another, and are incapable of causing one another pleasure, pain, or both pleasure and pain.

“‘And among them there is no killer nor one who causes killing, no hearer nor one who causes hearing, no cognizer nor one who causes cognition. When one cuts off [another person’s] head, there is no one taking anyone’s life. It is simply between the seven substances that the sword passes.’”[1]

In the Brahmajala Sutta (DN 1), theories such as Pakudha’s are labeled as “Atomic theory” (Pali/Skt.: anu vaada) and “eternalism” (sassatavādā).[2]

Modern science evolves from the development of logos over mythos, using the left, rational brain to view the world, less of the right brain which is more holistic and used for mystical, spiritual purposes, like rituals, meditation, etc.

As there’s no corresponding development of the spiritual technology of say the divine eye, etc, some scientists regards the mind as merely the function of the brain. By no means does it represent all scientist’s view. Many scientists are also religious.

The worldview of reductionism is so successful in explaining physics, that it sort of convinces many atheistic scientist that the materialism world view is the right one. Living beings are made of cells, which are made of molecules, which are made of atoms, which are made of electrons, neutrons, protons, of which electrons are currently fundamental, but quarks can make up the other 2. By studying the property of the lower one, the property of the higher level seems to be constrained, emerged out of necessity. Even if unpredictable due to emergence, the fundamental properties of stuffs seems to be consisting only of material stuffs, since brains are made of cells, and neuron pathways is the mind (critical assumption we don’t share), then the mind would ultimately be constrained by the laws of physics which governs the lowest level of reality.

There seemed no good empirical evidence to require that the mind itself can be fundamental.

Of course, the world view above is in ignorance of buddhism (except for secular Buddhists), rebirth evidences, deep meditation experiences or psychic phenomenon, etc.


How do you know that kanada is pakudha ?

Do you know why there’s no reference at all to kanada in ebt even though the vaisheshika was earlier than ebt ?

I didn’t say that.

I just wanted to point out to you the atomism in the sutta, and it’s not materialism.

I first encounter Kanada in this post.

Wikipedia says this: Estimated to have lived sometime between 6th century to 2nd century BCE,

How can you be sure that Kanada is not born after the Buddha passed away?


Because the vaisheshika sutra don’t mention buddhism at all but they mentioned samkya and mimamsa school of brahmanism

Does every Hinduism sutra written after Buddhism appear must mention Buddhism? Is that a rule?

1 Like