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Tattvas: Fundamental Metaphysical Categories

The term tattva means a real entity, one that is not negated by any of the Pramanas. Technically, tattvas also refer to logical and/or metaphysical categories or padArthas.

Tattvas in this sense cover not only the ontological entities i.e. cit, acit and Isvara but also the fundamental attributes of cosmic matter.

Tattvas are enumerated and classified below

No Tattva Class Distinction
dravya (Substance)
1 Isvara? (God) ajada (non-material) pratyak (self-revealed)
2 jiva (Individual Self) ajada (non-material) pratyak (self-revealed)
3 jnana? (knowledge) ajada (non-material) parAk (externally revealed)
4 nitya-vibhuti? (transcendental matter) ajada (non-material) parAk (externally revealed)
5 Prakriti? (cosmic matter) jada (material)
6 Kala (time) jada (material)
adravya (Non-substance)
7 sattva? 1 Three
8 rajas? 2 attributes
9 tamas? 3 of Prakriti
10 sabda (sound) 1 Five
11 sparsa (touch) 2 Senses
12 rupa (color) 3 ( attributes
13 rasa (taste) 4 of gross
14 gandha (odor) 5 elements )
15 samyoga (conjunction)
16 sakti (potency)

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