From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Mahatpariṇāma literally means ‘transformation that gives the aṇus or atoms mahattva or practical dimension’.

The Vaiśeṣika Darśana is one of the six recognized systems of the philosophy. It has developed its own atomic theory of creation. Out of the seven fundamental basic principles of creation the four elements earth, water, light or fire and air are in the form of the paramāṇus or extremely minute atoms. They have existence but no perceptible dimensions.

However when by the will of īśvara or God and the totality of the karmas of the unredeemed souls of the previous creation, the process of creation starts two paramāṇus of the same element like the earth join together forming a dvyaṇuka or a diad. When three such dvyaṇukas join together forming a tryaṇuka then only it attains:

  1. Mahattva - perceptible dimension
  2. Dīrghatva - length and breadth

This change in the paramāṇus becoming ‘mahat’ is called ‘mahatpariṇāma’.


  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore