The Concept of Sharira as Prameya

by Elizabeth T. Jones | 2019 | 42,971 words

This page relates ‘Navyanyaya philosophy’ of the study on the concept of Sharira as Prameya Based on Nyaya (shastra), which represents one of the six orthodox schools of Hindu philosophy. Nyaya philosophy basically represents the “science of reasoning” and primarily deals with epistemology and logic. Sharira (“body”) refers to one of the twelve Prameyas (“objects of valid knowledge”), as defined in the Nyayashastra literature.

The Navyanyāya philosophy

The Nyāya Philosophy developed in two ways. One is pracīna and other is navīna or navyanyāya. Pracīna or ancient period started with Gautama. In pracīnanyāya gives more importance to prameyas and the languages are very simple. Navyanyāya developed a sophisticated language and conceptual scheme that allowed it to raise, analyze and solve problems in logic and epistemology. It gives an importance to pramāṇas perception, inference, comparison and verbal testimony. It was founded in the 13th century by the philosopher Gaṃgeśopādhāaya of Mithila and continued by Raghunātha Śiromaṇi. It was a development of the classical Nyāyadarśana. Other influences of Navyanyāya were the work of earlier philosophers VācaspatiMiśra and Udayana. It remained active in India through to the 18th century.

Geṃgeśopādhyāya, the esteemed founder of Navyanyāya, wrote a book called Tattvacintāmaṇi on the 9th century AD. Tatvacintāmaṇi paved a new path in the field of Nyāya. It is a unique work in this field since it deals mainly with the Pramāṇas or the means of right knowledge. From this book the development of Nyāya marked a new way and hence this is called the first book in the Navyanyāya philosophy. Tattvacintāmaṇi is divided in to four books namely Pratyakṣakhanda, Anumānakhanda, Upamānakhanda and Śabdakhanda.

It deals with all the important aspects of Indian philosophy, logic, set theory and especially epistemology which Gaṃgeśa examined rigorously developing and improving Nyāya scheme and offering examples. The results especially his analysis of cognition were taken up and used by other darśanas. The Navyanyāya system is considered more scientifically philosophical by scholars.

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