From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Jati, JAti, Jaati

Jāti literally means ‘that which comes by birth’.

Jāti, As per Philosophical Systems

In the philosophical systems, categorization of things is an important part of discussion. ‘Sāmānya’ or ‘jāti’ is one of them. It indicates the common quality of many things which are similar in certain respects. For instance, herd of cows contain cows of different sizes, colors and other features. But there is a common quality in it which can be called as ‘gotva-jāti’ or ‘cowness’ which comes to them by birth.

Jāti, As per Nyāya System

In the Nyāya system of philosophy, the word ‘jāti’ is used in the technical sense representing ‘futility’.[1] It means an unfair reply based on a false analogy. It bases on a futile argument on any kind of similarity or dissimilarity between two things to controvert another sound argument.

For instance: If one argues, ‘Sound is non-eternal, because it is an effect like a pot,’. Another person objects to it saying that sound must be eternal because it is incorporeal like the sky. This objection is a kind of jāti since there is no universal relation between the incorporeal and the eternal.


  1. Nyāyasutras 1.2.18.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore