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By Swami Harshananda

Pratiyogi literally means ‘that which is the opposite’.

This is a technical term used in philosophical systems like the Vaiśeṣika of the sage Kaṇāda where abhāva or non-existence of a thing is also considered as a padārtha or category.

In a particular place which is empty there is no ghata or pot. Hence we should accept that there is the abhāva[1] of the ghaṭa. The opposite of the ghaṭābhāva[2] is the pot, which is brought and kept there. Once this is done, the ghaṭābhāva disappears. Hence the pot is called the ‘pratiyogi’ of the absence of the pot.


  1. Abhāva means nonexistence.
  2. Ghaṭābhāva means the absence of the pot.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore