From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Nyāya literally means ‘that which takes by the right path’.

This word is used in several senses, the most general one being ‘what is right or proper’. It also stands for the Nyāya philosophy. In particular, it indicates the general line of an argument which must have five steps:

  1. Pratijñā - the first enunciation of what is to be proved
  2. Hetu - the reason
  3. Udāharaṇa - illustrations
  4. Upanaya - corroboration
  5. Nigamana - final conclusion


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