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Tattva is a Sanskrit word meaning 'thatness', 'principle', 'reality' or 'truth'. According to various Indian schools of philosophy, a tattva is an element or aspect of reality conceived as an aspect of deity. Although the number of tattvas varies depending on the philosophical school, together they are thought to form the basis of all our experience. The Samkhya philosophy uses a system of 25 tattvas, while Shaivism recognises 36 tattvas.
Additional recommended knowledge
The tattvas in Samkhya
The Samkhya philosophy regards the Universe as consisting of two eternal realities: Purusha and Prakrti. It is therefore a strongly dualist philosophy. The Purusha is the centre of consciousness, whereas the Prakriti is the source of all material existence. The twenty-five tattva system of Samkhya concerns itself only with the tangible aspect of creation, theorizing that Prakriti is the source of the world of becoming. It is the first tattva and is seen as pure potentiality that evolves itself successively into twenty-four additional tattvas or principles.
The tattvas in Shaivism
In Shaivite philosophy, the tattvas are inclusive of consciousness as well as material existence. The 36 tattvas of Shaivism are divided into three groups:
The tattvas in Vaishnavism
Within Puranic literatures and general Vaishnava philosophy tattva is often used to denote certain categories or types of being or energies such as :
It is described in Gaudiya Vaishnava philosophy that there are a total of five primary tattvas in terms of living beings, which are collectively known as the Pancha Tattva and described as follows:
The word is used as the title and chorus line in Kula Shaker's 1996 hit song Tattva. "Achintya-bheda-abheda-tattva".
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Tattva". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|