Metaphysics is the science that investigates into the first principles of nature and thought. It is concerned with the study of things and their ultimate causes and their underlying but unseen nature. Like ancient Greece, so in India also the human intellect tried to probe and understand nature. So philosophy in India started as Swabhava vada (naturalism).

Evolution of different schools of thought

  1. Lokayata or Charvaka Darshana by sage Brihaspati is: "In it only perceptual evidence is authority. The elements are earth, water, fire and air. Matter can think. There is no other world. Death is the end of all."
  2. Sage Kanaada's Vaisheshika Darshana and Kapila's Saankhya is materialistic in its exposition. It relies on the material world to establish the reality of existence.
  3. The existence of an abstract principle cannot be proved. The "Sunya Vada" or the Nihilist school of Buddhism is deduced from realism. Sunyavada and Vijnanavada, the theory of the aboriginal vacuum or blank, and of the sensational and fluxional nature of the world is presented in Buddhism. Vacaspati Misra (900-980 CE) shows appreciation for the Buddhists when he states in his Bhamati commentary that the Buddhists of the Sunyavada school were advanced in thought (prakrstamati).
  4. Universe is unreal (asat). Since its origin is sunya and it ends in sunya, logically, its interim must also be sunya. Thus they conclude that ultimately the element of time also does not exist. This means that the sum-total of everything in the universe is sunya.
  5. Jainism believed in soul, and perceived it as a constantly Changing entity. The phenomenal world, is permanent and real with a continuous change.
  6. Sankarachaya describes with Mayavada, and Maya is part and parcel of the primitive Indian cosmological conception. This world is unreal and Brahman is the only reality. Ajativada refers to the theory of non-creation. Gaudapada claims that the world of appearances is actually maya and does not factually exist. Sankara states jagat-mithya – the universe is false.
  7. Yamunacarya stated that Buddhism and Mayavada was essentially the same thing. Sri Ramanuja also concurred that Mayavada was another form of Sunya Vada.


Shunyata (Sanskrit), Stong-pa-nyid (Tibetan), Kung (Chinese) – is a technical term that is sometimes also translated as “void” or “openness.” Emptiness is seen as the opposite of “fullness. The second meaning of emptiness (Wu) points to an inner realization or state of mind characterized by simplicity, quietude, patience, frugality and restraint. The still mind of the sage is the mirror of heaven and earth, the glass of all things. Vacancy, stillness, placidity, tastelessness, quietude, silence, and non-action - this is the level of heaven and earth, and the perfection of the Tao and its characteristics.” emptiness imply an infinitely open space that allows for anything to appear, change, disappear, and reappear. The basic meaning of emptiness, in other words, is openness, or potential. Buddha, who have transcended, or “gone beyond,” conflict, delusion, or suffering of any kind—a condition one might reasonably understand as “blissful.”


மாறிக் கொண்டேயிருக்கிற, இல்லாத வஸ்துவான மாயைதான் பூஜ்யம். எல்லாமே சூனியம், பூஜ்யம், மாயை என்கிறது பௌத்தம்.
"பிரம்மம் பூரணமானது; பிரம்மம் என்ற பூரண வஸ்துவில் உலகம் என்ற பூரணம் உதயமாயிற்று; இந்த உலகம் என்ற பூரணத்தைப் பிரம்மம் பூரணத்திலிருந்து எடுத்துவிட்ட போதிலும் பிரம்மம் பூரணமாகவே இருக்கிறது". பூரணம் என்றால் எல்லாம் என்று அர்த்தம்.
அனந்தம்தான் (Infinity) பிரம்மம். பிரம்மம் வேறேதோ பொருள்களைக் கொண்டு உலகை சிருஷ்டிக்க (Create) வில்லை. பிரம்மம் உலகமாக மாறிவிடவும் (Transform) இல்லை. பிரம்மம் உலகமாகத் தோன்றுகிறது (Appearance). அவ்வளவுதான். பிரம்மம் என்பது சத்தியம் என்று சொல்வது அத்வைதம்;
பிரபஞ்சத்தை சத்தியமாகச் சொல்கிறது த்வைதம்.
பிரம்மம் × மாயை = பிரபஞ்சம்
Infinity (God) × shunya (illusion or Appearance) = shunya (creations or universe)
அத்வைதம் × பௌத்தம் = துவைதம் [from தெய்வத்தின் குரல்]