Skip to main content


(S). The Sanskrit name of a school of Indian philosophy which stated that everything arises from its own (sva) nature (bhāva), i.e., that the effect is inherent in the cause. It was a Hindu system of belief contemporary with early BUDDHISM and is sometimes confused with that teaching because it shares some similarities with it. But Buddhism taught, as Mysore Hiriyanna puts it, that the effect “is not the mere self-unfolding on the part of the cause, but the result of certain external factors co-operating with it” (Outlines of Indian Philosophy, p. 143). However, according to Helena P. BLAVATSKY, there was also an early school of Buddhist philosophy by that name, still extant in her day in Nepal, that postulated the ultimate reality was svabhāvat, hence they too were called Svābhāvikas, the initial ā indicating “believer in [svabhāva]” (cf. SD I:3 fn.).

See also BUDDHISM.

© Copyright by the Theosophical Publishing House, Manila