The Concept of Sharira as Prameya

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

This page relates ‘Categories of Nyaya-shastra’ 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.

Categories of Nyāya-śāstra

The sixteen categories mentioned in Nyāya-sūtras[1] are as follows

  1. pramāṇa (The instruments of valid knowledge),
  2. prameya (The objects of valid knowledge),
  3. saṃśaya (Doubt),
  4. prayojana (Motive),
  5. dṛṣṭānta (An example),
  6. siddhānta (A tenet),
  7. avayava (The members),
  8. tarka (Hypothetical reasoning),
  9. nirṇaya (Ascertainment),
  10. vāda (Discussion),
  11. jalpa (Wrangle),
  12. vitaṅda (Cavil),
  13. hetvābhāsa (Faulty reasons),
  14. chala (Quibble),
  15. jāti (Futility) and
  16. nigrahasthāna (Ground of defeat).

1. Pramāṇa (Means of right knowkedge)

Pratykṣa (Perception), Anumana (Inference), Upamana (Comparison) and Śabda (Word) these are the means of right knowledge.[2]

a. Pratykṣa (Perception) Gautama defines perception as an erroneous cognition which is produced by the intercourse of the sense organs with the objects which is not associated with a name and which is well defined.[3]

b. Anumana (Inference) is knowledge which is preceded by perception, and is of three kinds priori, posteriori and commonly seen.[4]

c. Upamana (Comparison) is the knowledge of thing through its similarity to another thing previously well known.[5]

d. Śabda (Word)-Word (Verbal testimony) Is the instructive assertion of a reliable person.[6]

2. Prameya (Obects of right knowledge)

The object of cognition is Prameya. Twelve prameyas are explained in Nyāya sūtra. They are:

  1. Ātma (Soul),
  2. Śarīra (Body),
  3. Indriya (Senses),
  4. Artha (Obect of the senses),
  5. Buddhi (Intellect),
  6. Mana (Mind),
  7. Pravṛti (Activity),
  8. Doṣa (Faults),
  9. Pretyabhāva (Rebirth),
  10. Phala (Fruit),
  11. Duhkha (Pain) and
  12. Apavarga (Release).[7]

In Vaiśeṣika Philosophy also enumerated as [the following are Prameyas]:

  1. Dravya (Substance),
  2. Guṇa (Quality),
  3. Karma (Action),
  4. Sāmānya (Generality),
  5. Viśeṣa (Particularity),
  6. Samavāya (Intimate relation) and
  7. Abhāva (Non existence).

a. Ātma (soul) -Desire, aversion, volition, pleasure, pain and intelligence are the marks of the soul.[8]

b. Śarīra (Body) -Body is the site of gesture, senses and sentiments.[9]

c. Indriya (Senses) -Nose, tongue, eye, skin and ear are the senses produced from elements.[10]

d. Artha (Object of the senses) -Smell, taste, colour, touch and sound are objects of the senses and qualities of the earth.[11]

e. Buddhi (Intellect) -Intellect, apprehension and knowledge there are no different from one another.[12]

f. Mana (Mind) -The mark of the mind is that there do not arise (in the soul) more acts of knowledge than one at a time.[13]

g. Pravṛti (Activity) -Activity is that which makes the voice, mind and body begin their action.[14]

h. Doṣa (Faults) -Faults have the characteristic of causing activity.[15]

i. Pretyabhāva (Transmigration)–Transmigration means rebirth.[16]

j. Phala (Fruit) -Fruit is the thing produced by activity and faults[17].

k. Duhkha (Pain) -Pain has the characteristic of causing uneasiness.[18]

l. Apavarga (Release) -Release is the absolute deliverance from pain[19].

3. Saṃśaya (Doubt)

Doubt which is a conflicting judgment about the precise character of an object arises from the recognition of properties common to many objects or of properties not common to any of the objects from the conflicting testimony and from irregularity of perception and non-perception.[20]

4. Prayojana (Purpose)

Purpose is that with an eye to which one proceeds to act.[21]

5. Dṛṣṭānta (A familiar instance)

A familiar instance is the thing about which an ordinary man and an expert entertain the same opinion.[22]

6. Siddhānta (An established tenet)

An established tenet is a dogma resting on the authority of a certain school, hypothesis or implication.[23]

7. Avayava (The members)

The members (of a syllogism) are proposition, reason, example, application and conclusion.[24]

8. Tarka (Confutation)

Confutation, which is carried on for ascertaining the real character of a thing of which the character is not known is reasoning which reveals the character by showing the absurdity of all contrary characters.[25]

9. Nirṇaya (Ascertainment)

Ascertainment is the removal of doubt and the determination of a question by hearing two opposite sides.[26]

10. Vāda (Discussion)

Discussion is the adoption of one of two opposing sides. What is adopted is analyses in the form of five members and defended by the aid of any of the means of right knowledge while its opposite is assailed by confutation without deviation from the established tenets.[27]

11. Jalpa (Wrangling)

Wrangling which aims at gaining victory is the defense or attack of a proposition in the manner aforesaid, by quibbles, futilities and other processes which deserve rebuke.[28]

12. Vitaṇḍa (Cavil)

Cavil is a kind of wrangling which consists in mere attacks on the opposite side.[29]

13. Hetvābhāsa (Fallacies of a reason)

Fallacies of a reason are the erratic, the contradictory, and the equal to the question, the unproved and the mistimed.[30]

14. Chala (Quibble)

Quibble is the opposition offered to a proposition by the assumption of an alternative meaning.[31]

15. Jāti (Futility)

Futility consists in offering objections founded on mere similarity or dissimilarity.[32]

16. Nigrahastāna (An occasion for rebuke)

An occasion for rebuke arises when one misunderstands or does not understand at all.[33]

Though the philosophy of Nyāya seems to aim at a different goal, it, like the other Śāstras, is compelled to aim at emancipation or Mokṣa. This tendency, in a way, takes this science away from the rationalistic way of thinking. Anyhow Nyāya śāstra of Gautama and Vaiśeṣika darśana of Kaṇāda are the only two systems which bear a resemblance with the modern science.

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

pramāṇaprameyasamśayaprayoanadṛṣṭāntasiddhāntaavayavatarkkanirṇayavādaalpavitaṇdahetvābhāsacchalaātinigrahasthāna ānām tatvanānaniniśreyasādhigamah. 1.1.1, Nyāya Darśana, p. 1

[2]:

Pratyaksānumānopamānaśabdapramāṇāni.1.1.3,Nyāyadarśana, Satis Candra Vidyabhusana, P. 11.

[3]:

Indriyarthasannikarshotpannam nanamavyapadesyavibhicari vyavasayatmakam pratyaksam, 1.1.4, ibid, p. 12

[4]:

athatatpūrvakamtrividhamanumānam pūrvavaccheṣavatsāmānyatodṛṣṭam cha, 1.1.5, ibid, p.14

[5]:

prasiddhāsādharmyātsādhyasādhanam upamānam, 1.1.6, ibid, p.15

[6]:

āptopadeśaha śabdaha, 1.1.7, ibid, p. 16

[7]:

ātmaśarīraindriyarthabuddhimanapravṛttidoṣapretyabhāvaphaladuhkhāpavargāstu prameyam, 1.1.9, ibid, p. 19

[8]:

icchādveṣaprayatnasukhaduhkhanānani ātmanolingam,1.1.10, ibid, p.20

[9]:

ceṣṭendriyarthāśrayaha śarīram, 1.1.11, ibid, p. 20

[10]:

khrāṇarasanacakṣustvakśrotrāṇi indriyāni, 1.1.12, ibid, p. 21

[11]:

gandharasarūpasparsśaśabdah pṛdhivyādiguṇāha tadardhaha, 1.1.14, ibid, p.22

[12]:

Buddhihi upalabdhirnānamityanardhāntaram, 1.1.15, ibid, p. 22

[13]:

yugapanānānutpattihi manaso lingam, 1.1.16, ibid, p.23

[14]:

pravṛtihi vāgbuddhiśarīrārambha iti, 1.1.16, ibid, p. 23

[15]:

pravartanālakṣaṇā dośāha, 1.1.18,ibid, p. 24

[16]:

Punarutpattihi pretyabhāvaha, 1.1.19, ibid, p. 24

[17]:

pravrtidoṣaanitoardhaha phalam, 1.1.20, ibid, p.24

[18]:

bādhanālakṣaṇam duhkham, 1.1.21, ibid, p.25

[19]:

tadatyantavimokṣaha apavargaha, 1.1.22, ibid, p.25

[20]:

samānānekadharmopapattervipratipatterupalabdhyanupalabdhyavyavasthāttaśca viśeṣāpekṣo vimarśaha samśayaha, 1.1.23, ibid, p. 31

[21]:

yamardhamadhikṛtya pravarttate tat prayoanam, 1.1.24, ibid, p. 33

[22]:

laukikaparīkṣakāṇāmyasminnardhebuddhisāmyamsa dṛṣṭāntaha, 1.1.25, ibid, p.33

[23]:

tantrādhikaraṇābhyupagamasamsthitihi siddhāntaha, 1.1.26, ibid, p.34

[24]:

pratināhetudāharaṇopanayanigamanāni avayavāha, 1.1.32, ibid, p. 38

[25]:

avinātatatveardhekāraṇopapattitastatvanānārdhamuhaha trkaha, 1.1.40, ibid, p.46

[26]:

vimṛśya pakṣapratipakṣābhyāmardhāvadhāraṇam niṛṇayaha, 1.1.41, ibid, p. 48

[27]:

praāṇatarkkasādhanopālambhasiddhāntāviruddhaha pancāvayavopapannaha pakṣapratipakṣaparigraho, 1.2.1, ibid, p. 51

[28]:

Yadhoktopapannaścalajātinigrahastānasādhanopālambho jalpaha, 1.2.2, ibid, p.53

[29]:

sapratipakṣasthāpanāhīno vitaṇḍa, 1.2.3, ibid, p. 54

[30]:

savyabhicāraviruddhaprakaraṇasamasādhyasamakālātītā hetvābhāsa, ibid, 1.2.4, ibid, p.55

[31]:

aviśeṣābhihiteardhevakturabhiprāyādardhāntarakalpanā vākcalam, 1.2.12, ibid, p.61

[32]:

sādharmyavaidharmyābhyām pratyavasthānam jātihi, 1.2.18, ibid, p. 65

[33]:

vipratipattirapratipattiśca nigrahasthānam, 1.2.19, ibid, p. 66

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