In the ancient Indian system of medicine
known as Ayurveda, one of the key principles is the concept of
samanya (similarity). Dravya (substances) can be enhanced or
increased by consuming related things. For example, muscles can be
increased by eating meat.
In Vaisheshika, samanya refers to
similarities that permit objects to be classified together. Samanya,
therefore, is the universal characteristic/quality that the
various individual members of a class possess. For example, “dog”
evokes the qualities universal to the class (samanya), while a
specific dog does not. Likewise, “samanya yoga” refers to those
practices that are universal to the many schools and styles of yoga.
Samanya is a concept that encompasses
not just physical substances and characteristics, but qualities and
actions. It is divided into higher samanya, which is known as satta
(existence) and includes everything, and lower samanya, which
includes a limited number of items.