Talk:Nyaya

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Content List

  1. 1. Brief introduction to Nyāya Darśnam
    1. 1.1. Definition of the term Nyāya
    2. 1.2. Introduction to Nyāya prayōgaḥ
  2. 2. Constituents of Nyāya Darśnam
    1. 2.1. Brief introduction to the sixteen elements of Nyāya Darśnam
    2. 2.2. Epistemology or the pramāṇa vimarśaḥ
      1. 2.2.1. Perceptual cognition or pratyakṣaṃ
      2. 2.2.2. Inferential cognition or anumānaṃ
      3. 2.2.3. Analogical cognition or upamānaṃ
      4. 2.2.4. Verbal cognition or śabdaḥ
  3. 3. Introduction to fallacious grounds or hētvābhāsāḥ
    1. 3.1. Usage of hētvābhāsāḥ in argumentation
  4. 4. Logic in Nyāya Darśnam
    1. 4.1. Usage of logic shown in Nyāya sūtraṃ
  5. 5. vyāptiḥ and its types
  6. 6.Nyāya in the traditional knowledge system
    1. 6.1. Nyāya - an Astika darshana
    2. 6.2. mōkṣaḥ or niśrēyasaṃ in Nyāya Darśnam (world view)
  7. 7. Nyāya - an independent sastra (attributes to make it an independent one)
    1. 7.1. Different traditions of Nyāya - navyaḥ and prācīnaḥ
    2. 7.2. Application of Nyāya Darśnam ideas in different traditions

Nyaya is one of the prominent subjects in Indian knowledge system. It primarily deals with logic and it is one of the most widely applied subjects across traditions, viz. Vedic, Tantric, Bauddha and Jaina. It is considered to be one of the five ‘Vidya sthanas’ or abodes of learning, one of the six canonical schools of philosophy (Darshana) and also a sub limb(Upanga) in the body of Vedic learning. Nyaya deals with the structure of knowing, learning and debating. Thus as a subject, it is component to all schools of formal knowledge in some form. To different degrees, many principles of Nyaya are agreed upon by all schools, such as ascertaining the knowable, validating sources of learning, ascertaining validity of an argument, setting terms of debate, determining the outcome of a debate. Nyaya is not prevalent as an independent school of philosophy at present, but its influence can be seen in most extant traditions. Nyaya plays a prominent role in many areas like jurisprudence.


1. A brief introduction to Nyāya Darśnam


According to the traditional scholars, roots of the Indian knowledge system are in the Vedas. Other than the vedas we have enormous literature derived directly or indirectly from the Vedas, like vedangas, darshanas, smrutis, puranas etc. They deal with a variety of topics ranging from day to day routine to the eternal truth. There are vedangas, which help to preserve the structure of the vedas and also help to understand the vedic verses better. On the other hand, we have Darshanas, which help to know the real sense and spirit of the vedas by discussing some topics like 'philosophy of life','the eternal truth',’moksha’ etc. These are of six types, namely 1. Nyaya, 2. Vaisheshika, 3. Samkhya, 4. Yoga, 5. Mimamsa and 6. Vedanta. Even though all the six darshanas have something in common, but the perception and the style are very different from each other. Nyāya is the discipline of logic, which provides the sound methodology of philosophical inquiry into the nature of knowledge and the objects of knowledge. It shows some techniques to identify Right Knowledge (pramā) and validate it. It also suggests a certain methodology to impart our knowledge and experience to others in a systematic way. It also trains how to defend the validity of our argument against criticism by means of logic.


The term Nyāya ‘नीयते प्राप्यते विवक्षितार्थसिद्धिः अनेन इति न्यायः’(nīyatē prāpyatē vivakṣitārthasiḍih anēna iti 'nyāyah') in Sanskrit signifies "going into a subject," — that is, an analytical investigation of the subject through the process of logical reasoning. Vatsyāyana, the classic commentator on the Nyāya-Sūtra, defines it as: "a critical examination of the objects of knowledge by means of the logical proof." The Nyāya is also called Tarka-vidya, "science of reasoning," or Vāda-vidya "science of argument." The founder of the Nyāya system was Gautama (Gotama) who is frequently referred to in the literature as Akṣapāda, "Eye-footed," and Dīrghatapas, "Long-penance." Before Gautama, the principles of the Nyāya existed as an unsorted body of philosophical thought situated in different types of literature. Gautama formulated the generally accepted principles of the time and gave some elaborations where ever needed. His primary work is called ‘Nyāya Sutram’ or ‘Nyāya Darśnam’, where he introduced some ways to understand the philosophy of Nyāya.


Prāchīna Nyāya and Navya Nyāya


Nyāya Darśnam as a philosophy can be divided into two according to time and content. 1. Prāchīna Nyāya and 2. Navya Nyāya. A collection of five books which are called ‘Pancha Granthī’ are considered to be the authentic source of ‘Prāchīna Nyāya ’. These were a series of commentary on the previous work, which complemented and elaborated the priors work. 1. Nyāya Sutram of Gotama, 2. Nyāya Bhashyam of Vātsāyana, 3. Nyāya Vārtikam of Udyōtakāra, 4. Tātparya Tīkā of Vāchaspati Miśrā and 5. Tātparya Tīkā Pariśudhi of Udayanāchārya. Gangēśōpādhyāya’s ‘Tatvachintāmaṇi is considered to be the first work which began the new era in ‘Nyāya philosophy’. By this time the concepts which were previously dealt with separately in ‘Nyāya’ and ‘Vaiṣeṣka’ Philosophies came together. This system is later called as ‘Navya Nyāya ’ or ‘Tarka Śāstram’. ‘Dīdhiti’ of Raghunātha Śrōmaṇi is considered to be the best commentary on ‘Tatvachintāmaṇi’. ‘Dīdhiti’ had the famous three commentaries ‘Māthurī’, ‘Jāgadīśī’ and ‘Gādādharī’ on it. ‘Prāchīna Nyāya’ dealt with all the original concepts which an ‘Āstika Darśana’ needs. But whereas ‘Navya Nyāya’ mainly dealt only the topics which are useful in debate.


Nyaya as a Darshana


Nyaya is considered to be one amongst the six canonical Indian Philosophies along with Vaisheshika, Sankhya, Yoga, Mimamsa, and Vedanta. (When we enquire the difference between a normal book and a Darshana, We will get to know the characteristics of a Darshana.) Every Darshana is expected to present its view on the world (samsara) and suggest a permanent solution for the problem we all face. According to Nyaya the biggest problem is suffering(duhkha) and it prescribes a theory for liberation from it. To establish its theory it has to define certain terms and change the perception of the reader. In this process, we find a detailed discussion on the means of knowledge (epistemology), distinguishing the truth from false, critical inquiry, argumentation etc. (Problem and the Solution) According to Indian literature, there are four purushartha or Motives for men which are 1.dharma, 2.artha, 3.kama and 4.moksha. The fourth purushartha is considered to be attained. Generally, every Darshana deals with the eternal truth and the way to attain it. Here Gowtama described that the liberation from suffering (duhkha) is the highest goal of life. According to him, the world (samsara) is a chain of consequences. It has to be broken in order to attain liberation from suffering. According to the text misapprehension/ illusion (ajnana) leads to distorted views (dosa), that leads to activity (karma), that leads to rebirth (janma), which ultimately leads to suffering (duhkha). To break this chain Gowtama prescribes an antidote to each member.

  1. दुःखजन्मप्रवृत्तिदोषमिथ्याज्ञानानां उत्तरोत्तरापाये तदनन्तरापायादपवर्गः १.१.२
  2. duḥkha- janma- pravṛtti- dōṣa- mithyājñānānāṃ uttarōttarāpāyē tadanantarāpāyādapavargaḥ 1.1.2


tattvajñāna or the true knowledge eradicates mithyājñāna or illusion(misapprehension). As illusion is the root cause of all activity (dōṣa) (pāpaṃ, puṇyaṃ), eradication of illusion will eradicate dōṣa., when there is no dōṣa there is no pravṛtti or causation of birth., when there is no pravṛtti there is no janma or birth., when there is no birth there will be no duḥkha or sorrow. So according to nyāya sūtraṃ tattvajñāna of the sixteen elements(Gowtama divides the world into sixteen) would successively eliminate sorrow. In the first chapter (1st adhyāya 1st ānhika 1st pāda) of nyāya sūtraṃ all the sixteen elements are defined elaborately. As nyāya sūtraṃ was written in sutra-format(Ref: What is a sūtraṃ? In the tradition we get an elaborated description.. “alpākṣkaraṃ asaṃdigdhaṃ sāravadviśvatōmukhaṃ; astōbhaṃ anavadyaṃca sūtraṃ sūtravidō viduḥ”. According to this a sūtraṃ has very less number of letters, which always gives a firm conviction to the reader, which has an inner meaning with greater scope to contemplate with and which is faultless. In the śāstrā tradition we find six sūtra-litrature. bramhamīmāṃsā sūtraṃ, dharmamīmāṃsā sūtraṃ, nyāya sūtraṃ, vaiśēṣika sūtraṃ, sāṃkhya sūtraṃ, and yōga sūtraṃ )lot of information is to be derived from the text. So later on nyāya bhāṣyaṃ explained the details.


Nyaya as a Pramana sastra


'Prama' means true knowledge and the means to it is called 'Pramanam'. As discussed earlier according to Nyaya Darshanam Moksha, is nothing but total liberation from suffering. Suffering has an indirect, but invariable connection with illusion. The direct destroyer of illusion is correct/ true knowledge. So for attaining the prescribed path for moksha, one needs to know how correct knowledge can be acquired, what is its structure, in what circumstance one cannot acquire it and how to critically inquire and validate a knowledge.

Gowtama accepted four valid means (pramaṇa) of obtaining correct knowledge, 1.perception (pratyakṣa), 2.inference (anumāna), 3.comparison (upamāna) and source for verbal cognition(śabda). The Nyaya scholars gave a prominent position for inference in their literature according to its importance in a debate. Generally, a debate takes place where the subject is not proved or accepted both the parties. Here the art of reasoning and validation has its place. They also discussed the structure of error, to methodically establish means to identify errors and the process by which errors are made in human pursuit of knowledge. These include doubt(Saṁśaya), contrariness(Viparyaya) and a reasoning technique(Tarka).


Nyaya as a Vada shastra


(Vada means debate and shastra means a traditional treatise.) A treatise which deals with debate in detail is Vada shastra. The methodology of debate followed by all Indian traditions is originated in Nyaya. Gowtama has given the most prominent place to introduce and elaborate the art of debate in his work. In the sixteen elements, which he described in Nyaya sutram around seven elements are directly related to the debate. A debate is an exchange of verbal statements between two opponents. It is done to achieve different results like demonstrating the truth, winning an opponent, misleading an opponent etc. In the Nyaya tradition components useful in debate like hypothetical reasoning(tarka) (Ref: Tarka is a method of attaining correct knowledge about an uncertain thing by showing faults in all contrary ideas.), discussion (vAda) [1], polemic (jalpa)[2], cavil(vitanDa)[3], casuistry (chala), futile rejoinder (jAti), clinchers(nigraha sthana) were discussed categorically.


Elements of Nyaya

As Nyaya is a traditional philosophy there are some unique methods introduced to understand the world. According to this philosophy, the world should be understood in reality to liberate an individual from suffering. To know the true sense of anything, first of all, we need to understand the process of knowing. Thus epistemology/ pramana got a prominent place in the Nyaya sutras. In fact, In the list of the sixteen elements stated in Nyaya sutram pramana stands first.


When we are understanding some principals, at some time we may encounter different opinion. When the difference is very fundamental, there arises the need for a debate. As we want to seek the truth we must know the structure of the debate. In a debate, presenting your argument in a systematic way is very important. Here Nyaya sutra introduces a syllogism which consists of five members. 1. ‘Pratigyā’ [4], 2. ‘Hētu’[5], 3. ‘Udāharaṇa’[6], 4. ‘Upanaya’[7] and 5. ‘Nigamanam’[8]. These five members are called ‘Panchāvayava ’. So using these five members to prove the merit of their cause can be called ‘Nyāya’. As ‘Nyāya’ had a predominant place in ‘Gōtama’s’ work it is called ‘Nyāya Darśanam’ or ‘Nyāya Sūtram’.

A debate can be of many types, Some lead us to the truth, which is vAda[9]. Some can only give a victory on the opponent, which is vitanDa[10]. Some are incomplete, Some consist flawed argument etc. Hence to equip us with the potentiality in argumentation and to find flaws in others argumentation Gotama took a very prominent portion of his book Nyaya sutram. In the hEtvAbhAsa section, Gotama gives clarity about the flaws generally we commit while presenting an argument.


(Understanding of world, Structure of an argument.. complete / incomplete, Katha: Debate.. Set of structured argument.. flawed argument.. inheritant , vada ... to do.. not to do , common points argument.. when there is no common point there is no structured debate. establishing the context of debate.. Nyaya tells you how to do it.. vaadana challunu.. challadu, debating parameters., there is a logical view of world. How to know? establish the means.. then validating it.)


Nyaya in Life

(Logical comparative techniques we have. live demonstation of logic in life... 'pradhana malla nibarhana', 'pangvandha nyaya'.. by showing upamana they are establishing a logic. Regardless when the sutras came Nyaya was always in our life. conseptual ga who ever claimed to be logical he followed some pricipals of nyaya.. like panchavayava. System got used to Nyaya a long time ago.. 'Vitanda vada' is been used by people who know the definition.. and also people who do not know.. This shows the impact of the Nyaya system. Impact on Structured thinking ... common life lo indication of nyaya. )


File:Navya nyaya.jpg

1.1 Definition of the term Nyāya

‘Vātsāyana’ in his ‘Nyāya Bhashya’, the commentary on ‘Nyāya sutram’ gave a detailed technical explanation for the word ‘Nyāya’ and also briefly explained the usage of ‘Nyāya’ . ‘कः पुनरयं न्यायः? प्रमाणैः अर्थपरीक्षणं न्यायः ’ (Kah Punarayam Nyāyah? Pramāṇaih Arthaparīkṣṇam Nyāyah) – What does the term ‘Nyāya’ depicts? Nyāya is an examination of objects by evidence. To understand the evidence that examines the objects stated in the definition, some background knowledge about the usage of ‘Nyāya’ is needed. In a debate generally, we have two or more contenders who present two or more contradictory statements. (Generally these two contradictory statements are not directly known by sense organs – ‘प्रत्यक्षप्रमाणम्’ So the Instrument of Inference – ‘अनुमानप्रमाणम्’ plays its significant role to prove the truth.) Here to prove his statement the contenders use evidence. This process of debate has a logical structure In ‘Nyāya philosophical system’. Here we take evidence or ‘Pramāṇās’ to signify a syllogism which consists of five members. 1. ‘Pratigyā’ , 2. ‘Hētu’ , 3. ‘Udāharaṇa’ , 4. ‘Upanaya’ and 5. ‘Nigamanam’. These five members are called ‘Panchāvayava ’. So using these five members to prove the merit of their cause can be called ‘Nyāya’. As ‘Nyāya’ had a predominant place in ‘Gōtama’s’ work it is called ‘Nyāya Darśanam’ or ‘Nyāya Sūtram’.


  1. The contents in Nyāya sutram:
  2. Chapter 1.1 (41 Sutras)

Subject matter and statement of purpose of the text. Four reliable instruments of correct knowledge. Definitions. Nature of argument and nature of the process of valid proof.

  1. Chapter 1.2  (20 Sutras)

How to analyze opposing views, presents its theory of five membered arguments, correct conclusions are those where contradictions do not exist, theory of reasoning methods that are flawed, what is a quibble and how to avoid it.

  1. Chapter 2.1 (69 Sutras)

Presents its theory of Doubt. Discusses epistemology, when perception, inference and comparison is unreliable and reliable. Theory that the reliability of testimony depends on the reliability of the source. #Chapter 2.2  (71 Sutras) Instruments of knowledge are fourfold, Confusion caused by presumption and prejudice, Sound is noneternal theory, Theory of three meaning of words (vyakti, akrti and jati)

  1. Chapter 3.1 (73 Sutras)

Presents its theory of body, followed by theory of sensory organs and their role in correct and incorrect knowledge, states that the soul is not a sense organ nor an internal organ.

  1. Chapter 3.2  (72 Sutras)

Presents its theory of soul (self, atman), that the essence of a person and source of judgments is the soul, states its “judgment is non-eternal” theory, presents theory of Karma.

  1. Chapter 4.1 (68 Sutras)

Presents its theory of defects, then its theory that “everything has cause, and consequences”, and its “some things are eternal, some non-eternal” theory. Defines and describes Fruits, Pain, Release.

  1. Chapter 4.2  (50 Sutras)

Presents correct knowledge is necessary and sufficient to destroy defects. Both whole and part must be known. Establishes external world exists, and phenomenon are as real as objects. Refutes “the everything is false” theory. Presents ways to produce and maintain correct knowledge, Need to seek and converse with those with knowledge.

  1. Chapter 5.1 (43 Sutras)

24 futile rejoinders, how to avoid errors and present relevant rejoinders.

  1. Chapter 5.2  (24 Sutras)

22 ways of losing an argument.

The Nyaya-Sutra has, since its composition, enjoyed a very great popularity as is evident from the numerous commentaries that have from time to time, centred round it.A few of the commentaries are mentioned below: 1. Nyaya-Sutra by Gotama or Aksapada Commentaries. 2. Nyaya-Bhaisya by. Vaitsyayana 3. Nyaya-Vairtlka by Udyotakara. 4. Nyaya-Yairtika tatparya-lika by Vacaspati Misra. 5. Nyaya-Yartika-tatparyacika-parnuddhi by Udayana. 6. Pari-iuddiprakasa by Vardhamaina. 7. Vardhamanendu by Padmanabha Misra. 8. Nyaiyailaukara by Srikantha. 9. Nyayalaiikara Vrtti by Jayanta. 10. Nyaya liianjari by Jayanta. 11. Nyaya-Vrtti by Abhayatilakopadhyaya. 12. Mitabhasini Vatti by Mahadeva Vedanti. 14. Nyayaprakasa by Kesaava Misra. 15. Nyayabodhint by Govardliana. 16. Nyaya Sutra Vyakhya by Mathurfinfltha.

1.2 Introduction to nyAya prayOga

Here I would like to briefly describe ‘Panchāvayava’.. ‘Anumāna’ is of two types ‘Svārtha ’ and ‘Parārtha ’, of these two Instruments of Inference ‘Parārtha’ needs a five-membered syllogism known as ‘Nyāya’ and each member is called ‘Avayava’. The application of the five-membered syllogisms is called ‘Nyāya Prayōga’.


1. प्रतिज्ञा - Pratijyā : The proposition or the statement that is going to be proved(inferred) or statement of the thesis. Ex: ‘पर्वतो वह्निमान्’ (Parvatō vanhimān) Mountain is on fire (Here smoke is only seen not the fire.. but he wants to prove the fire which is not seen)


2. हेतुः – Hētu : The statement consisting of the ground of the inference. Ex: ‘धूमात्’(Dhūmāt) Because of the smoke.


3. उदाहरणम् – Udāharaṇam : The sentence of example which demonstrates the invariable relationship between the reason and the claim (to be inferred ) or the statement setting forth an illustration. Ex: ‘यो यो धूमवान् सः वह्निमान् , यथा महानसः’ (Yō Yō Dhūmavān Sa Vanhimān, Yathā Mahānasah) Whatever place consists of smoke it consists fire also. Because fire is the reason behind smoke (Fire and smoke are having cause-effect relationship) , Like Kitchen(In the older times).


4. उपनयः – Upanaya : The statement showing that the subject of the inference has ground of the inference which is invariably related to the thing that is sought to be established. Ex: ‘तथा चायम्’ (Tathā chāyam) Such is this (Mountain).


5. निगमनम् – Nigamana : Conclusion or The sentence which confirms the claim or The statement that the subject of the inference has the thing that is sought to be established as it has the ground of the inference. Ex: ‘तस्मात् तथा’ (Tasmāt tathā) Therefore this mountain possess fire. So the systematic use of the ‘Panchāvayava’ or the ‘Nyāya’ logically builds the argument.


2. Constituents of Nyāya Darśnam

2.1 Brief introduction to the sixteen elements of Nyāya Darśnam

  1. प्रमाणप्रमेयसंशयप्रयोजनदृष्टान्तसिद्धान्तावयवतर्कनिर्णयवादजल्पवितण्डाहेत्वाभासच्छलजातिनिग्रहस्थानानाम्तत्त्वज्ञानात्निःश्रेयसाधिगमः। १.१.१
  2. pramāṇa- pramēya- samśaya- prayōjana- dṛṣṭānta- sidhdhanta- avayava- tarka- nirṇaya- vāda- jalpa- vitaṇḍā- hētvābhāsa- chala- jāti- nigrahasthānām tatvajñānānniśrēyasādhigamaḥ . 1.1.1


This is the first sutra of nyāya sūtraṃ which states that the true knowledge of the sixteen elements or padārthāḥ leads to niśrēyasa or the mōkṣhaḥ. Destruction of the final sorrow is mōkṣhaḥ according to nyāya, So to attain that an order was prescribed by gōtama maharṣi in the second sūtra itself.


a.) Pramāṇāni

  1. प्रत्यक्षानुमानोपमानशब्दाः प्रमाणानि। १.१.३
  2. pratyakha- anumāna- upamāna- śabdāḥ pramāṇāni 1.1.3


A means of getting true knowledge is called pramāṇaṃ. According to Nyāya tradition there are four pramāṇāni. Namely 1.pratyakhaṃ, 2.anumānaṃ, 3.upamānaṃ, 4.śabdāḥ.


a.a) Pratyakhaṃ or the source of perceptual cognition

  1. इन्द्रियार्थसन्निकर्षोत्पन्नं ज्ञानं अव्यपदेश्यं अव्यभिचारि व्यवसायात्मकं प्रत्यक्षम्। १.१.४
  2. indriyārthasannikarṣōtpannaṃ jñānaṃ avyapadēṣyaṃ avyabhicāri vyavasāyātmakaṃ pratyakshaṃ 1.1.4

According to Nyāya tradition, there are six sense organs or indriyāṇi. All these organs have a different type of relationship with different objects. For example, an eye can see a pot and the color in it with a different relation. To know the pot the eye or cakṣurindriya has a relation called samyōgaḥ with the pot. To know the pot’s color it has samyutasamavāyaḥ as a relation. Here in the sūtraṃ we have three adjectives to the word pratyakshaṃ. 1.avyapadēṣyaṃ, which means non-verbal cognition, 2.avyabhicāri, which means non-illusion and 3.vyavasāyātmakaṃ, which means the cognition which is not doubtful. So the true cognition occurred because of a special relation between sense organs and its object and when it is not a verbal cognition when it is not an illusion and when it is not doubtful then we could call that a pratyakhaṃ or perceptual cognition.

a.b) Anumānaṃ or the source of Inferential cognition

  1. अथ तत्पूर्वकं त्रिविधं अनुमानं पूर्ववत्शेषवत्सामान्यतोदृष्टं च। १.१.५
  2. atha tatpūrvakaṃ trividhaṃ anumānaṃ pūrvavat- śēṣavat- sāmānyatōdṛṣṭaṃ ca 1.1.5

The instrument or the process which produces the inferential cognition is called anumānaṃ. For example by seeing only smoke in a mountain we could infer that the mountain possesses fire. The Nyāya tradition explains this process in detail.

Step 1: Acquiring the knowledge that 'Smoke and fire are having invariable relationship'. This requires the knowledge of their co-existence at many places and not having any contradiction of the above statement. This is called vyāpti jñānaṃ. (This is not always consciously known by the pramātā)

Step 2: Seeing the smoke on the mountain and knowing that the mountain possesses the smoke.

Step 3: Remembering the invariable relationship between smoke and the fire. ('ēka sambandhi jñānaṃ apara sambandhi smārakaṃ' according to this yukti or logic knowing one relative will remind you the other. As the person knows the invariable relationship between smoke and fire, by seeing smoke he would remind fire.)

Step 4: Conforming that such a smoke with such a relationship exists on the mountain. (The difference between the second step and fourth one is that in the primary stage he would just know smoke, but in the later stage he could definitely know the smoke which possesses an invariable relationship with fire.)

Step 5: Concluding that the mountain possesses fire. This is called anumitiḥ.

According to the above sūtraṃ anumānaṃ is of three types. 1.pūrvavat, 2.śēṣavat and 3.sāmānyatōdṛṣṭaṃ.

a.b.a) Pūrvavat : Inferring an effect by a knowing a cause. Here pūrva means cause. Like we can forecast rain by seeing the clouds height and colour. (The clouds become heavier and black in colour when it is going to rain.) So here we are inferring the effect i.e., rain by knowing the cause i.e., particular height and colour of the clouds. The statement would be 'The clouds may rain because its lower than usual and black in colour.'

a.b.b) Śēṣavat : Inferring a cause by knowing an effect. Here śēṣa means effect. Like we can know that the place has fire by seeing smoke in it, because smoke is the effect of fire. So here we are inferring cause i.e., fire by knowing the effect i.e., smoke. The statement would be 'The place has fire, because of the smoke that we can see.'


a.b.c) Sāmānyatōdṛṣṭaṃ :


a.c) Upamāna or the source of analogical cognition :

  1. प्रसिद्धसाधर्म्यात्साध्यसाधनं उपमानम् । १.१.६
  2. prasidhdhasādharmyāt sādhyasādhanaṃ upamānaṃ। 1.1.6

An analogical cognition is a cognition of the relationship between a word and its meaning. The instrument of that is the knowledge of similarity.

To explain in detail, when a person dose not know the meaning of the word 'gavaya'...

Step 1: He knows from a forester that "gavaya is similar to cow".

Step 2: He goes to the forest and sees an animal similar to cow and remembers the sentence of the forester.

Step 3: Then an analogical cognition or upamitiḥ arises such as "This(the animal) is the referent of the word gavaya".

Here if the man did not knew from the forester that the "gavaya is similar to cow", even though seeing gavaya in the forest he could not come to the conclusion that "This(the animal) is the referent of the word gavaya".

a.d) shabda or the source of verbal cognition

  1. १.१.७ः आप्तोपदेशः शब्दः। १.१.७
  2. āptōpadēśaśśabdaḥ। 1.1.7
  3. १.१.८ः सः द्विविधः दृष्टादृष्टार्थत्वात् । १.१.८
  4. saḥ dvividhaḥ dṛṣṭādṛṣṭārthatvāt। 1.1.8

The cognition derived from a set of words uttered by a reliable person is called śābdabōdhaḥ, and its is called śabdaḥ. This is divided into two types dṛṣṭārthaḥ and adṛśṭārthaḥ. The first type dṛṣṭārthaḥ is the source for the cognition which deals with all the worldly subjects, like the instructions given by a doctor as a treatment. The second type adṛśṭārthaḥ is the source for the cognition which deals with all the super natural subjects, like the instructions given by the veda to attain the heaven or svargaḥ.

b.) pramēyāṇi

  1. आत्मशरीरेन्द्रियार्थबुद्धिमनःप्रवृत्तिदोषप्रेत्यभावफलदुःखापवर्गाः तु प्रमेयम् । १.१.९
  2. ātma- śarīra- indriya- artha- budhdhi- manaḥ- pravṛtti- dōṣa- prētyabhāva- phala- duḥkhāpavargāstu pramēyaṃ। 1.1.9

After defining pramāṇāni the sūtrakāra is defining pramēya. The pramēya is of eleven types.


b.a) ātmā or soul


  1. इच्छाद्वेषप्रयत्नसुखदुःखज्ञानानि आत्मनः लिङ्गं इति। १.१.१०
  2. ichā- dvēṣa- prayatna- sukha- dukha- jñānāni ātmanō lingam iti। 1.1.10


The ātmā cannot be known by the sense organs so the sūtrakāra is suggesting how could we infer it. Here ichā means desire, dvēṣa means aversion, prayatna means internal effort, sukha means happiness, dukkha means unhappiness and jñānaṃ means cognition. Where dose these six i.e., desire etc., take their birth? not in this body or the manas, but in the ātmā. As we can sense desire etc., easily we could infer the ātmā with them.

b.b) śarīraṃ or body


  1. चेष्टेन्द्रियार्थाश्रयः शरीरम् ।१.१.११
  2. cēṣṭēndriyārthāśrayaḥ śarīraṃ।1.1.11

According to the sūtrakāra body is the place which has cēṣṭā, indriyaṃ and arthaḥ. There is procedure for the knowledge taking the form of an effort. A person first knows about something and then starts liking or disliking it and then makes an effort to own or disown it. Here the effort of obtaining or leaving is called cēṣṭā.

घ्राणरसनचक्षुस्त्वक्श्रोत्राणि इन्द्रियाणि भूतेभ्यः। १.१.१२ ghrāṇa- rasana- cakṣhustvak- śrōtrāṇi indriyāṇi bhūtēbhyaḥ। 1.1.12


Here the sūtrakāra states the five indriyāṇi or sense organs namely 1. Nose or ghrāṇaṃ, 2. Tongue or rasanaṃ, 3. Eye or cakṣhuḥ, 4. Skin or tvak, 5. Ear or śrōtraṃ. At the end of the sūtraṃ we can see the word bhūtēbhyaḥ which is in the plural form of bhūtāt. So we can assume that the cause for each sense organ is different.

  1. पृथिवी आपः तेजः वायुः आकाशं इति भूतानि। १.१.१३
  2. pṛthivī- āpaḥ- tējaḥ- vāyurākāśaṃ iti bhūtāni।1.1.13

pancha bhūtāni are referred as five elements of nature. Here nose or ghrāṇaṃ is related to earth, tongue or rasanaṃ is related to water, Eye or cakṣhuḥ is related to fire, Skin or tvak is related to air and Ear or śrōtraṃ is related to Space.


{भूतलक्षणम्}

  1. गन्धरसरूपस्पर्शशब्दाः पृथिव्यादिगुणाः तदर्थाः।१.१.१४
  2. gandha- rasa- rūpā- sparśa- śabdāḥ pṛthivyādiguṇāstadarthāḥ।1.1.14

Five sense organs sense different types of objects via., Smell, Taste, Color, Touch and Sound. These senses are objects derived from pancha bhūtāni or Five elements.

{अर्थ(विषय)लक्षणम्}

  1. बुद्धिः उपलब्धिः ज्ञानं इति अनर्थान्तरम् ।१.१.१५
  2. budhdhirupalabdhiḥ jñānamityanarthāntaraṃ।1.1.15

There is no difference between the words Buddhi, Upalabdhi, Jñānaṃ. Which means meaning of these words are same. They all represent cognition.

  1. युगपत्ज्ञानानुत्पत्तिः मनसः लिङ्गम् ।१.१.१६
  2. yugapat jñānānutpattirmanasō lingaṃ।1.1.16

According to nyāya darśanaṃ there are many reasons behind the birth of a cognition. A unique relation between manaḥ and indriyaṃ is also one of them. Not every object related with a sense organ is known except when manaḥ is related with that sense organ. That is why we cannot identify different types cognition at any given point of time.

{मनोलक्षणम्}

  1. प्रवृत्तिः वाग्बुद्धिशरीरारम्भः इति।१.१.१७
  2. pravṛttirvāgbudhdhi- śrīrāraṃbhaḥ iti। 1.1.17

The extrovert activity which sets mind, body, and voice in motion, for good or bad. In general, the word buddhi refers cognition but here, the sūtra kāra is referring manaḥ

{प्रवृत्तिलक्षणम्}

  1. प्रवर्त्तनालक्षणाः दोषाः।१.१.१८
  2. pravartanālakṣaṇāḥ dōṣaḥ।1.1.18

{दोषलक्षणम्}

Here pravartanā means the cause of extrovert activity. sutrakarā concludes that every dōṣaḥ will be the cause of extrovert activity.


  1. पुनरुत्पत्तिः प्रेत्यभावः।१.१.१९
  2. punarutpattiḥ prētyabhāvaḥ।1.1.19

{प्रेत्यभावलक्षणम्}

The re-embodiment of the Self (jīva) in another physical form after death.

Birth consists of the connection of the jīva with a new body and mind complex. Therefore, birth is not the production of a new circumstance, but only re-association; while death is not the destruction of anything, but only separation.

  1. प्रवृत्तिदोषजनितः अर्थः फलम् ।१.१.२०
  2. pravṛttidōṣa- janitōrthaḥ phalaṃ।1.1.20

{फललक्षणम्}

The reason behind extrovert activity(ies) are Attraction(rāgaḥ) or Aversion(dvēṣaḥ) or delusion(mōhaḥ). Any persons extrovert activity results in Pleasure(sukhaṃ) or Pain(dukhaṃ) Sutrakara described this as phalaṃ


  1. बाधनालक्षणं दुःखम् ।१.१.२१
  2. bādhanālakṣaṇaṃ duḥkhaṃ।1.1.21

{दुःखलक्षणम्}

  1. तदत्यन्तविमोक्षः अपवर्गः।१.१.२२
  2. tadatyanta- vimōkṣōpavargaḥ।1.1.22

{अपवर्गलक्षणम्}

[न्यायपूर्वाङ्गलक्षणप्रकरणम्]

  1. समानानेकधर्मोपपत्तेः विप्रतिपत्तेः उपलब्ध्यनुपलब्ध्यव्यवस्थातः च विशेषापेक्षः विमर्शः संशयः।१.१.२३
  2. samānānēkadharmōpapattēḥ vipratipattēḥ upalabdhi- anupalabdhi- avyavasthātaśca viśēṣāpēkṣaḥ vimarśaḥ saṃśayaḥ।1.1.23

{संशयलक्षणम्}

  1. यं अर्थं अधिकृत्य प्रवर्तते तत्प्रयोजनम् ।१.१.२४
  2. yaṃ arthaṃ adhikṛtya pravartatē tat prayōjanaṃ।1.1.24

{प्रयोजनलक्षणम्}

  1. लौकिकपरीक्षकाणां यस्मिनर्थे बुद्धिसाम्यं सः दृष्टान्तः।१.१.२५
  2. laukikaparīkṣakāṇāṃ yasminnarthē budhdhisāmyaṃ saḥ dṛṣṭāntaḥ।1.1.25

{दृष्टान्तलक्षणम्}

[न्यायाश्रयसिद्धान्तलक्षणप्रकरणम्]

  1. तन्त्राधिकरणाभ्युपगमसंस्थितिः सिद्धान्तः।१.१.२६
  2. tantrādhikaraṇābhyupagamasaṃsthitiḥ sidhdhāntaḥ।1.1.26

{अभ्युपगमसिद्धान्तलक्षणम्}

  1. सर्वतन्त्रप्रतितन्त्राधिकरणाभ्युपगमसंस्थित्यर्थान्तरभावात् ।१.१.२७
  2. sarvatantra- pratitantra- adhikaraṇābhyupagama- saṃsthityarthāntarabhāvāt।1.1.27

{तन्त्रभेदौद्देशसूत्रम्}

  1. सर्वतन्त्राविरुद्धः तन्त्रे अधिकृतः अर्थः सर्वतन्त्रसिद्धान्तः।१.१.२८
  2. sarvvatantrāvirudhdhaḥ tantrē adhikṛtaḥ arthaḥ sarvatantrasidhdhāntaḥ।1.1.28

{सर्वतन्त्रसिद्धान्तलक्षणम्}

  1. समानतन्त्रसिद्धः परतन्त्रासिद्धः प्रतितन्त्रसिद्धान्तः।१.१.२९
  2. samānatantrasidhdhaḥ paratantrasidhdhaḥ pratitantrasidhdhāntaḥ।

{प्रतितन्त्रसिद्धान्तलक्षणम्}

  1. यत्सिद्धौ अन्यप्रकरणसिद्धिः सः अधिकरणसिद्धान्तः।१.१.३०
  2. yatsidhdhau anyaprakaraṇasidhdhiḥ saḥ adhikaraṇasidhdhāntaḥ।

{अधिकरणसिद्धान्तलक्षणम्}

  1. अपरीक्षिताभ्युपगमात्तद्विशेषपरीक्षणं अभ्युपगमसिद्धान्तः।१.१.३१
  2. aprīkṣitābhyupagamāt tadviśēṣaṇaparīkṣaṇaṃ abhyupagamasidhdhāntaḥ।1.1.31

{अभ्युपगमसिद्धान्तलक्षणम्}

[न्यायप्रकरणम्]

  1. प्रतिज्ञाहेतूदाहरणोपनयनिगमनानि अवयवाः।१.१.३२
  2. pratijñā hētūdāharaṇōpanayanigamanāni avayavāḥ

{अवयवौद्देशसूत्रम्}

  1. साध्यनिर्देशः प्रतिज्ञा।१.१.३३
  2. sādhyanirdēśaḥ pratijñā

{प्रतिज्ञालक्षणम्}

  1. उदाहरणसाधर्म्यात्साध्यसाधनं हेतुः।१.१.३४
  2. udāharaṇa sādharmyāt sādhyasādhanaṃ hētuḥ

{हेतुलक्षणम्}

  1. तथा वैधर्म्यात् ।१.१.३५
  2. tathā vaidharmyāt

{हेतुलक्षणम्}

  1. साध्यसाधर्म्यात्तद्धर्मभावी दृष्टान्तः उदाहरणम् ।१.१.३६
  2. sādhyasādharmyāt tadhdharmabhāvī dṛṣṭāntaḥ udāharaṇaṃ

{उदाहरणलक्षणम्}

  1. तद्विपर्ययाद्वा विपरीतम् ।१.१.३७
  2. tadviparyayādvā viparītaṃ

{उदाहरणलक्षणम्}

  1. उदाहरणापेक्षः तथा इति उपसंहारः न तथा इति वा साध्यस्य उपनयः।१.१.३८
  2. udāharaṇāpēkṣastathē tyupasaṃhāraḥ na tathētivā sādhyasyōpanayaḥ

{उपनयलक्षणम्}

  1. हेत्वपदेशात्प्रतिज्ञायाः पुनर्वचनं निगमनम् ।१.१.३९
  2. hētvapadeśāt pratijñāyāḥ punarvacanaṃ nigamanaṃ

{निगमनलक्षणम्}

[न्यायोत्तराङ्गप्रकरणम्]

  1. अविज्ञाततत्वे अर्थे कारणोपपत्तितः तत्त्वज्ञानार्थं उहः तर्कः।१.१.४०
  2. avijñātatvē arthē kāraṇōpapattitaḥ tatvajñānārthaṃ ūhaḥ tarkaḥ

{तर्कलक्षणम्}

  1. विमृश्य पक्षप्रतिपक्षाभ्यां अर्थावधारणं निर्णयः।१.१.४१
    1. vAda is a sincere dialogue in which one adopts the truth in the end.
    2. jalpa is a verbal interaction done only to be victorious, its not for the truth.
    3. vitanDa is a type of debate where the arguer has no desire to establish his position, but his only interest is to distract the opposition.
    4. Pratijyā : The proposition or the statement that is going to be proved(inferred) or statement of the thesis. Ex: ‘पर्वतो वह्निमान्’ (Parvatō vanhimān) Mountain is on fire (Here smoke is only seen not the fire.. but he wants to prove the fire which is not seen)
    5. Hētu : The statement consisting the ground of the inference. Ex: ‘धूमात्’(Dhūmāt) Because of the smoke. So the systematic use of the ‘Panchāvayava’ or the ‘Nyāya’ logically builds the argument.
    6. Udāharaṇam : The sentence of example which demonstrates the invariable relationship between the reason and the claim (to be inferred ) or the statement setting forth an illustration. Ex: ‘यो यो धूमवान् सः वह्निमान् , यथा महानसः’ (Yō Yō Dhūmavān Sa Vanhimān, Yathā Mahānasah) Whatever place consists of smoke it consists fire also. Because fire is the reason behind smoke (Fire and smoke are having cause-effect relationship) , Like Kitchen(In the older times).
    7. Upanaya : The statement showing that the subject of the inference has the ground of the inference which is invariably related to the thing that is sought to be established. Ex: ‘तथा चायम्’ (Tathā chāyam) Such is this (Mountain).
    8. Nigamana : Conclusion or The sentence which confirms the claim or The statement that the subject of the inference has the thing that is sought to be established as it has the ground of the inference. Ex: ‘तस्मात् तथा’ (Tasmāt tathā) Therefore this mountain possess fire.
    9. vAda is a sincere dialogue in which one adopts the truth in the end.
    10. vitanDa is a type of debate where the arguer has no desire to establish his position, but his only interest is to distract the opposition.