Last Updated: July 27, 2017

Definition - What does Asti mean?

Asti is a Sanskrit word that means “it is” or “exists.” In the context of Indian philosophy, asti is the root of the word, astika, which refers to any of the classical schools of thought that believe in the existence of God and the authority of the Vedas, in particular. Asti is also the root word of nastika, which refers to those who do not believe in the authority of the Vedas.

Asti is also the name of a minor figure in Hindu mythology. She and her sister, Prapti, were married to Kamsa, who was king of Vrishni and in some accounts is described as a demon.

Yogapedia explains Asti

Yoga is one of the Astika schools of Indian philosophy, along with Nyaya, Vaisheshika, Samkhya, Mimamsa and Vedanta; although, it should be noted that Samkhya and early Mimamsa believe in the Vedas, but not a supreme deity. Those schools classified as nastika are Buddhism, Jainism and Charvaka.

The Astika schools believe in the authority of the priest class, or Brahmin, and the traditional four social classes, or varna. Astika may also be defined as those who believe in the existence of atman (the self) or who believe in the existence of Ishvara (a higher power, often a personal god).

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