The validity of Anumana (inference) in Nyaya system

by Babu C. D | 2018 | 44,340 words

This thesis is called: The validity of Anumana (inference) in Nyaya system. It tries to establish the validity of Anumana through citing its application either consciously or unconsciously in every sphere of human life. Anumana in Nyaya system is the knowledge of any object not by direct observation but by means of the knowledge of a liṅga or sign ...

Chapter 4.4 - Tarkashara by Ananda Narayana Sastry P.S.

Ananda Narayana Shastry was born in 1885 at South Pudukad in Thrissur district. He studied Sanskrit under various scholars viz., Ramashastri, Edamam Nampoodiripad, Vadanakkurissi Ramashastrigal and Punnasseri Nambi and V.R. Krishnamacarya. His works are grouped under three heads: original, commentaries and Essays. The original treaties written by him are: Vakyatattva, Tarkasara and Balaramayana. Commentaries included: Vivrti vyakyana of praveshaka of Acyuta Pisarotti, Devimahatmya Vyakyana, Narayaniya Vyakyana, Mekhasandesa Vimarsana etc. Manimajusa and Navapuspamala are included in the collection of essays.

His famous work ‘Tarkasara’ deals with the fundamental principles of Nyayashastra. It is a product of the amalgamated form of Nyaya-Vaisheshika darshanas. It represents the concept of categories according to Vaisheshika system and the concept of means of knowledge. Inference as a means of knowledge gained great prominence under Tarkikas and they analyzed the whole categories according to its signs and significant. The book is divided into small paragraphs of prose style which includes: Introduction, Benefits of Shastra, Categories, Signification, Substances, Perception, Inference, Verbal knowledge etc.

Ananda Narayana Shastri defines anumiti as knowledge of a cognized object through the help of some means.[1] This knowledge is referred as inference. Tarkika considered inferential knowledge as the instrument of inference which is developed by the Invariable concomitance or reason and predicate. The invariable concomitance or vyapti is the invariability of concomitance in reason and predicate. He mentions about two kinds of vyapti: Anvaya Vyapti and Vyatireka Vyapti.

Inferential knowledge precedes consideration or Paramarsha which is the knowledge of reason as distinguished by invariable concomitance. The process of inference as per Tarkikas is the five membered syllogism of Naiyayikas viz., pratijna, hetu, udhaharana, upanaya and nigamana. Inferential knowledge includes three things viz., Paksha, Hetu and Sadhya.

Later Tarkikas accepted the desire of an object to be inferred as Paksha. There are several efforts seen to divide the nature of Paksha adopting several types of avaccedaka, the uses of which is generally found in Navya-Nyaya treatises. For instance a place like a kitchen. Even in cases of continuous relation like that of between dhuma and vahni or vahni and dhuma, tarkikas are interested in inferring the things through reasoning. The desire of an object to be proved represents the possession of minor term where the ascertaining middle term is a homologous case. In a positive inference sapaksha bears the role of drishtanda. Where there is no presence of Sadhya in a middle term, it is known as heterogenous case. In the case of fire as major term lake is known as vipaksha. So Vipaksha bears the role of drishtanda.

According to him Inferences are twofold: Svarthanumana (inference for oneself) and Pararthanumana (inference for others). Tarkikas speak of three kinds of reason viz., purely positive, purely negative and positive negative. The former is that where there is positive concomitance as pot is namable because it is knowable like cloth. Purely negative is that which has only a negative concomitance as earth differs from other things because it has smell; that which does not so differ has no smell as water this is not like that and hence it is not so.

He mentions about five kinds of fallacies viz.,

  1. discrepancy (Anekanthah),
  2. contradiction (viruddha),
  3. ambiguity (satpratipaksha),
  4. futility (Asiddha) and
  5. Falsity (bhadita)

Footnotes and references:


P.S. Ananda Narayana Sastry, Tarkasara, The Mangalodayam Company Limited, Thrissur,1916.

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