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Abhava means non-existence, negation, nothing or absence. It is the negative of Bhava which means being, becoming, existing or appearance. Uddayana divides Padārtha (Categories) into Bhava (existence) which is real, and Abhava (non-existence) which is not real. Dravya (substance), Guṇa (quality), Karma (action), Samanya (community or generality), Visesa (particularity or partimerity) and Samavaya (inherence) are the marks of existence. Abhava has not been categorically defined by the Vaisheshika School of Hindu philosophy but is of four kinds viz – 1) Pragabhava i.e. Prior non-existence, 2) Pradhvamsabhava i.e. Posterior non-existence, 3) Atyantabhava i.e. Absolute non-existence, and 4) Anyonyabhava i.e. Mutual non-existence.

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Abhava (Sanskrit) [from a not + bhava being from the verbal root bhu to be, become] Nonbeing, destruction, end of the world. See also ABHAVABHAVA 

Abhava (Abhâva) (Sanskrit) [from a not + bhava being from the verbal root bhu to be, become] Nonexistence, nonentity, negation; applied to the material universe, noumenal substance, or subjectivity. In Kananda's system of negation of individual beings or objects, abhava is classed as seventh in his categories. In Vedanta philosophy, first of the six pramanas (means of obtaining knowledge), and as such corresponds to the fifth pramana, abhava-pratyaksha, nonperception when applied to the physical, but more accurately apprehension of subjective or spiritual being.
Ordinary usage has attached the meaning of death or annihilation to abhava, but only because to the materialistic mind that which cannot be cognized by the sense organs has no existence. Like other philosophical terms, it has a dual meaning: nonbeing or nonexistence, when taken objectively; mystically, the only true being, that of spirit which is nonbeing to those who do not accept spiritual realms and their life.
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