From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Satpratipakṣa literally means ‘inferentially contradicted middle’.

The well-known example given for anumāna or inference in the systems of logic like the Nyāya Darśana runs as follows:

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:

  1. Pakṣa - minor term, the hill
  2. Sādhya - major term, the fire
  3. 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[1] which is sat or real.


  1. It is a pratipakṣa or opposition view.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore