Samanya Vishesha Theory

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The theory of Samanya and Vishesha is important in every aspect of life. This implies that similarity increases similar things and difference decreases it.

Principle of Samanya (similarity) and Vishesha(difference)

The principle samanya causes increase and the principle vishesha causes decrease of all the existing elements at all times, both these effects are produced by their application in the body.Samanya (is the principle which ) enables to understand similarity (between objects), and vishesha (is the principle which) enables to understand distinction(between objects). Again similarity proposes similar purpose (or action) while dissimilarity has opposite one.[Charak Samhita Sutra Sthana 1/44-45]

Contemporary view

It has been referred from Vaisheshika [1] [2] school of thought. The principle is also translated in various texts as principle of generality and specificity,sameness and antagonism, homologous and heterologous, and similar or dissimilar. The generality (i.e.sameness, homology, similarity) unifies similar substances having similar properties and action, and specificity (i.e. particularity,antagonism, heterology, dissimilarity) denotes dissimilarity of substances. The principle is applicable in every aspect of life including human biology as well as in nature. It is also important in preservation of health and treatment of diseases. The universal significance of principle of Samanya and Vishesha beyond Ayurveda is proved through three case studies viz. Case of family, Case of climate change induced biodiversity depletion and Case of poverty reduction and access to health care by Pandey DN and Pandey NP.[1]

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  1. Pandey Deep Narayan , Pandey Neha Prakash. Universal significance of the principle of Samanya and Vishesha beyond Ayurveda.Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine.2018;9(4),308-311. available online from