By Swami Harshananda
Satpratipakṣa literally means ‘inferentially contradicted middle’.
There is fire on the yonder hill; because there is smoke. Wherever there is smoke, there is fire.
There are three factors here. They are called:
- Pakṣa - minor term, the hill
- Sādhya - major term, the fire
- Liñga or hetu - middle term, the smoke
However, an inference can be fallacious. This is called hetvābhāsa and it is of five types. The satpratipakṣa is the third in the series. Here, the middle term is contradicted by another statement which is sat or real. Suppose the first statement is:
Sound is eternal, because it is audible.
This is contradicted by a second one thus:
Sound is non-eternal because it is produced like a pot.
Here the non-existence of eternity in the first is proved by the second inference which is sat or real.
- It is a pratipakṣa or opposition view.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore