Anumana, aka: Anumāna; 14 Definition(s)


Anumana means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Marathi. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Hinduism

Nyaya (school of philosophy)

Anumana in Nyaya glossary... « previous · [A] · next »

Anumāna (अनुमान, “inference”) is one of the most important contributions of the Nyaya. It can be of two types:

  1. inference for oneself (Svarthanumana, where one does not need any formal procedure, and at the most the last three of their 5 steps),
  2. and inference for others (Parathanumana, which requires a systematic methodology of 5 steps).

Inference can also be classified into 3 types:

  1. Purvavat (inferring an unperceived effect from a perceived cause),
  2. Sheshavat (inferring an unperceived cause from a perceived effect)
  3. and Samanyatodrishta (when inference is not based on causation but on uniformity of co-existence).

A detailed anaysis of error is also given, explaining when anumana could be false.

Source: WikiPedia: Nyāya

Anumāna (अनुमान, “inference ”) refers to the second of the four “means of valid knowledge” (pramāṇa), which in turn is classified as the first of the sixteen padārthas (“categories”), according to Gautama’s 2nd-century Nyāyasūtra (verse 1.1.3). Annaṃbhaṭṭa states in his work that anumāna (inference) is the instrumental cause of inferential knowledge (anumiti). There are two parts in the word anumāna viz. anu meaning after and māna meaning knowledge. Hence, the literal meaning of anumāna is that it is a knowledge (māna) which originates after (anu) other knowledge.

Gautama divides anumāna into three kinds—

  1. pūrvavat,
  2. śeṣavat,
  3. sāmānyatodṛṣṭa.

The first two types of anumāna are based on causation and the last one is on mere co-existence. It is called pūrvavat inference, when there is inference of the unperceived effect from a perceived cause.

Annaṃbhaṭṭa accepts two kinds of anumāna in his work—

  1. svārtha (for oneself),
  2. parārtha (for another).
Source: Shodhganga: A study of Nyāya-vaiśeṣika categories
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Nyaya (न्याय, nyaya) refers to a school of Hindu philosophy (astika), drawing its subject-matter from the Upanishads. The Nyaya philosophy is known for its theories on logic, methodology and epistemology, however, it is closely related with Vaisheshika in terms of metaphysics.

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Dharmashastra (religious law)

There are instances in the Dharmaśātras in which the term anumāna has the classical, technical meaning: “inference.”

For instance, in the Kātyāyana-smṛti (358-86):

“(The judge) should discern the (real) intention (or mental state) from the outward manifestations (such as sweat, horripilation), the gestures (looking down at the ground, etc.) and physical movements; the litigant becomes a losing party and he is found out (to be so) by inference (from the signs mentioned above).” (Tr. Kane)

Manu-smṛti (8.44) explicitly uses the term anumāna for a similar process:

“As a hunter traces the lair of a (wounded) deer by the drops of blood, even so the king shall discover on which side the right lies, by inference (from the facts).” (Tr. Bühler)

Source: Google Books: Studies in Hindu Law and Dharmaśāstra
Dharmashastra book cover
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Dharmashastra (धर्मशास्त्र, dharmaśāstra) contains the instructions (shastra) regarding religious conduct of livelihood (dharma), ceremonies, jurisprudence (study of law) and more. It is categorized as smriti, an important and authoritative selection of books dealing with the Hindu lifestyle.

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Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Anumāna (अनुमान, “deduction”) refers to ‘making of an inference’ or conjecture. Anumāna represents one of the thirteen garbhasandhi, according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 21. Garbhasandhi refers to the “segments (sandhi) of the development part (garbha)” and represents one of the five segments of the plot (itivṛtta or vastu) of a dramatic composition (nāṭaka).

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

Anumāna (अनुमान).—One of the thirteen elements of the ‘development segment’ (garbhasandhi);—(Description:) Perceiving something by the name of a thing similar to it in from, is called Deduction (anumāna).

Source: Natya Shastra

Anumāna (अनुमान) refers to one of the 93 alaṃkāras (“figures of speech”) mentioned by Cirañjīva Bhaṭṭācārya (fl. 17th century) in his Kāvyavilāsa and is listed as one of the 89 arthālaṃkāras (figure of speech determined by the sense, as opposed to sound).Anumāna has found a place for treatment in the works of Ālaṃkārikas like Ruyyaka (A.S.P. 146), Mammaṭa (K.P. X/117), Viśvanātha (S.D. X/82), Jayadeva (C.L.V/36) and Cirañjīva (K.V. II/P. 21).

The admittance of the figure anumāna is the result of the influence of Nyāyaśāstra upon the rhetoricians. In fact the Ālaṃkārikas have admitted pramāṇālaṃkāras like anumāna etc. As the name suggests this figure is concerned with the cause and effect. It is known from the Nyāyaśāstra that there is the relation of invariable concomitance between the cause and the effect. When this cause-effect relation is treated by the poets having genius it takes the shape of an alaṃkāra, expressing beauty.

According to Cirañjīva when a cause is understood from the existence of an effect it is the figure anumāna. The illustration of this figure has been cited from his own work Mādhavacampū.

Example of the anumāna-alaṃkāra:—

sahasā hṛdaye nidhāya ceto nayanādīndriyamudraṇaṃ vidhāya |
ayi kaṇṭakitāṅgayaṣṭi! satyaṃ kathaya dhyāyasi kiṃ rahaniṣaṣṇā ||

“Oh Lady! With horripilated lips! Speak truly what you meditating upon by sitting in a solitary place and by keeping your mind in your heart suddenly and also by restraining the sense organs like eyes etc”.

Notes: In this verse the effect of restraining of sense organs like eyes etc. betray the cause that is the meditation upon something on the part of the lady. So the question—‘what you are meditating upon’ arises. This is an example of anumānālaṃkāra.

Source: Shodhganga: The Kavyavilasa of Ciranjiva Bhattacarya (natyashastra)
Natyashastra book cover
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Natyashastra (नाट्यशास्त्र, nāṭyaśāstra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition (śāstra) of performing arts, (nāṭya, e.g., theatrics, drama, dance, music), as well as the name of a Sanskrit work dealing with these subjects. It also teaches the rules for composing dramatic plays (nataka) and poetic works (kavya).

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Vyakarana (Sanskrit grammar)

Anumāna (अनुमान).—Inference,suggestion, cf. अशक्या क्रिया पिण्डीभूता निदर्शयितुम् । सासामनुमानगम्या (aśakyā kriyā piṇḍībhūtā nidarśayitum | sāsāmanumānagamyā) M. Bh. on I.3.1.

Source: Wikisource: A dictionary of Sanskrit grammar
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Vyakarana (व्याकरण, vyākaraṇa) refers to Sanskrit grammar and represents one of the six additional sciences (vedanga) to be studied along with the Vedas. Vyakarana concerns itself with the rules of Sanskrit grammar and linguistic analysis in order to establish the correct context of words and sentences.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

Anumāna: Sanskrit for 'inference'. A term used in Advaita Vedānta.

Source: Wisdom Library: Hinduism

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

N Knowledge of a fact out of suspicion. Existence of something or a fact, guessed owing to the knowledge of external elements or information.

Source: Dhamma Dana: Pali English Glossary
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Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).

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Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

Anumana in Pali glossary... « previous · [A] · next »

anumāna : (m.) inference.

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Anumāna, (fr. anu + man) inference Miln.330 (naya +), 372, 413; Sdhp.74. (Page 41)

Source: Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary
Pali book cover
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Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.

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Marathi-English dictionary

Anumana in Marathi glossary... « previous · [A] · next »

anumāna (अनुमान).—n (S) Reasoning, inferring, drawing a conclusion, a deduction, or a corollary. 2 Conclusion or inference drawn. 3 Rough computation or conjecture. 4 (Poetry. See anamāna) Slight, disregard, indifference, heedlessness. Hence, the apparent sense, Hesitation. Ex. satvara ghē chatrasiṃhā- sana || kāṃhī a0 karuṃ nakō||

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

anumāna (अनुमान).—n Reasoning, drawing a conclu- sion. Conclusion from given premis- ses, inference. Guess, conjecture.

--- OR ---

anumāna (अनुमान) [-dhapakā-dhabakā, -धपका-धबका].—m Mere guess, guess- work.

Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
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Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.

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Sanskrit-English dictionary

Anumāna (अनुमान).—

1) Inferring as the instrument of an अनुमिति (anumiti), conclusion; from given premises; an inference, conclusion, one of the four means of obtaining knowledge according to the Nyāya system; (anumitikaraṇamanumānaṃ tacca dhūmo vahnivyāpya iti vyāptijñānam. It is of two kinds svārthā- numānam & parārthānumānam); प्रत्यक्षं चानुमानं च शास्त्रं च विविधागमम् । त्रयं सुविदितं कार्यं धर्मशुद्धिमभीप्सता (pratyakṣaṃ cānumānaṃ ca śāstraṃ ca vividhāgamam | trayaṃ suviditaṃ kāryaṃ dharmaśuddhimabhīpsatā) || Ms.12.15.

2) A guess, conjecture, sign to know; इङ्गितैरनुमानैश्च मया ज्ञैया भविष्यति (iṅgitairanumānaiśca mayā jñaiyā bhaviṣyati) Rām.

3) Analogy, similarity; आत्मनो हृदयानुमानेन प्रेक्षसे (ātmano hṛdayānumānena prekṣase) Ś.5 you judge (of others) by the analogy of your own heart; स्वानुमानात्कादम्बरीमुत्प्रेक्ष्य (svānumānātkādambarīmutprekṣya) K.35.

4) (In Rhet.) A figure which consists in a notion, expressed in a peculiarly striking manner, of a thing established by proof; S. D.711; यत्र पतत्यबलानां दृष्टिर्निशिताः पतन्ति तत्र शराः । तच्चापरोपितशरो धावत्यासां पुरः स्मरो मन्ये ॥ अनुमानं तदुक्तं यत्साध्यसाधनयोर्वचः (yatra patatyabalānāṃ dṛṣṭirniśitāḥ patanti tatra śarāḥ | taccāparopitaśaro dhāvatyāsāṃ puraḥ smaro manye || anumānaṃ taduktaṃ yatsādhyasādhanayorvacaḥ) K. P.1.

Derivable forms: anumānam (अनुमानम्).

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
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Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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Relevant definitions

Search found 46 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

Anumānokti (अनुमानोक्ति).—f. reasoning; logical inference.Anumānokti is a Sanskrit compound con...
Parārthānumāna (परार्थानुमान, “syllogism”) or simply Parārtha refers to “inference intended for...
Svārthānumāna (स्वार्थानुमान, “for oneself”) or simply Svārtha refers to one of the two divisio...
Śuddhānumāna (शुद्धानुमान).—a particular figure of rhetoric. Derivable forms: śuddhānumānam (शु...
Pratyanumāna (प्रत्यनुमान).—an opposite conclusion. Derivable forms: pratyanumānam (प्रत्यनुमान...
Tulānumāna (तुलानुमान).—like inference, analogy. Derivable forms: tulānumānam (तुलानुमानम्).Tul...
Niranumāna (निरनुमान).—a. not bound to conclusions or consequences. Niranumāna is a Sanskrit co...
Anumānakhaṇḍa (book on inference), second book (khaṇḍa) of the Tattvacintāmaṇi (by Gangesha ...
Anumana Sutta
Preached by Mahamoggallana in the Bhesakalavana at Sumsumaragiri in the Bhagga country. I...
Pramāṇa (प्रमाण).—n. (-ṇaṃ) 1. Cause, motive. 2. Limit. 3. Proof, testimony, authority. 4. A sc...
Śabda (शब्द).—The Vaiśeṣikas initially did not accept the “verbal testimony” (śabda) as an inde...
Hetu (हेतु).—(1) (substantially = Sanskrit id.) cause; on relation to pratyaya (1) see this; n...
Udāharaṇa (उदाहरण).—n. (-ṇaṃ) 1. An example or illustration, an opposite argument, one of five ...
Pūrvavat (पूर्ववत्) refers to one of the three divisions of anumāna (inference), according to G...
Anubhava (अनुभव).—m. (-vaḥ) 1. Conclusive judgment, understanding, impression, the exercise of ...

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