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By Swami Harshananda

Anuvyavasaya literally means ‘after-cognition’.

Philosophical systems, called darśanas, have analyzed the phenomenon of knowledge in all its aspects. Out of the several pramāṇas or means of knowledge, pratyakṣa or direct perception is universally accepted and placed as the first in the series.

When a pot is seen by the eyes and the knowledge ‘This is a pot’ arises in the mind, such a knowledge is called vyavasāya or determinate cognition.

However, this is immediately followed by another knowledge ‘I know this pot’ thus relating the earlier knowledge to the self. Since this vyavasāya or cognition rises after the first, it is termed ‘anuvyavasāya’ (anu = after). This is a later doctrine developed by the Nyāya school.


  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore