The study of substance is really the study of attribute. The existence of substance can hardly be denied, yet the variation of and uniqueness of our experience with substance is appreciated primarily by means of attributes--especially in combinations. Inasmuch as Ayurveda describes all substance in terms of 5 elements, the distinction between these, again, is primarily a qualitative one—attribute. The difference between water and earth is the difference between liquidity and solidity, for example. Ayurveda, in this sense, then, is mostly about the study of substance and the vehicle for this study is the study and understanding of attribute or quality. Technically, Ayurveda looks at 5 categories of attributes: gurvadi (heavy/light, etc.), paradi (processing, etc), adhyatmaka (mental), vishishta (sensory), and mahagunas (Sattva, etc.); the 20 gurvadi are the most commonly studied, however.


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