Nyaya Darsana is written by Maharshi Goutham. In this Sastra there are two main parts, (a) Deductive (b) Inductive. To investigate Special theory from Ordinary theory is Deductive. Examining the Special observations and identifying the Ordinary theory is Inductive. This Sastra is used in discussions of knowledge as a special tool of logic. To find the truth with evidence, some rules are necessary. The correct methods of these rules are given in this Sastra.
This Sastra is also used as Epistemology. That means discretion of knowledge or the philosophical study of human knowledge. In this Sastra the following are explained in detail. (i) Picture of knowledge, (ii) Borders of knowledge, (iii) Evidence of knowledge, and (iv) Deciding about Truth and Untruth. In this Sastra the Author has explained not only about the borders of knowledge but also what is across its borders. Some of the things we will know with our experience and some are beyond our experience. To separate these is most essential and this Sastra gives us the opportunity to analyze and experience it.
Also this Sastra explains about metaphysics. There are many real and unreal things in this nature. This Sastra differentiates these two and separately shows them. One more important analysis in this Sastra is about Ehtics. This means the knowledge of duties. This Sastra clearly states what duty is and what is not. In the ethics section the Author explains in detail about the definition of duty and how many ways it can be done. Also this Sastra gives the method to decide what exactly a human’s duty is and how to decide. Also psychology is discussed in detail giving the idea about mind and its work.
The main idea of this Darsana is to know that to create the Universe material particles (Prakrithi) are required. Without Prakrithi which is called Upādāna Cause one cannot make the Universe.
About the Eight types of Pramānās: Pramānās are methods to acquire true knowledge of something. In order to test anything like Vēdas we require Pramānās. There are eight Pramānās and are respectively (i) Prathyaksham (ii) Anumānam (iii) Upamānam (iv) Shabdam (v) Itihyam (vi) Arthāpathi (vii) Sambhavam and (viii) Abhāvam.
(1) Prathyaksha Pramānām: Sound (Shabdam), Touch (Sparsha), Picture (Rōpam), Taste (Rasam) and Smell (Gandham) are respectively related to ears, skin, eyes, tongue and nose. Ears, skin, eyes, tongue and nose are called senses (Gnanendriyas). Sound, touch, picture, taste and smell are respectively called properties of these senses. When senses with their respective properties come in contact with mind and the mind contacts the soul the required knowledge is acquired. This procedure of acquiring the knowledge is called Prathyaksha Pramānām. This Prathyaksha Pramānām should meet three criteria viz., (a) Avyapadesya, (b) Avyabhichari and (c) Nischayathmakam.
(a) Avyapadesya: Naming an object itself is not sufficient to say that it is Prathyaksha Pramānām. For example if a person ‘A’ describes to ‘B’ that a mango is green in color and tastes sweet does not give the direct knowledge of mango to ‘B’ and is not considered as Prathyaksha Pramānām. It can be considered as Shabda Pramānām only if ‘A’ is considered as Apta Purusha (Will be described in Shabda Pramānām).
(b) Avyabhichari: Prathyaksha Pramānām should be illusion free. For example when a person sees a rope in less illumination and ascertains it as snake and on exposing the rope to good illumination the same person now ascertains it as rope. This type of acquiring the knowledge as is in the first case cannot be regarded as Prathyaksha Pramānām.
(c) Nischayathmakam: Prathyaksha Pramānām should not be of indecisive nature. For example when a person sees smoke far way and is unable to decide whether it is smoke or dust then such knowledge cannot be regarded as Prathyaksha Pramānām. So the knowledge acquired should be of decisive in nature in order to qualify for it to be a Prathyaksha Pramānām.
Therefore when senses become ‘Pramānām’, knowledge of the object becomes result. And when object becomes ‘Pramānām’, the result is either to acquire the object or to leave the object or to proceed to acquire the object.
(2) Anumānam: Guessing about something because of some reason is called Anumānam. Anumāna Pramānām is of three types viz., (a) Pūrvavath (b) Sheshavath and (c) Samānyatho.
(a) Pūrvavath: If future knowledge is acquired because of past reason, then the Pramānām is called Pūrvavath. For example formation of clouds gives the idea of rain.
(b) Sheshavath: If something happened in the past and its knowledge is acquired due to present knowledge then the Anumānam Pramānām is called Sheshavath. For example looking at the smoke at a place one can suspect that previously there was fire.
(c) Sāmānyatho: If ‘A’ and ‘B’ are two objects and have equal properties and if ‘A’ is displaced from a point ‘o’ to a point ‘oo’ due to motion in space then if object ‘B’ is at a point ‘x’ at time‘t’ and at point ‘y’ at time ‘T’, then one can say that ‘B’ was also displaced due to motion in space. This type of Anumānam Pramānām is called Sāmānyatho.
Reason (Cause) and its result are connected by something called extension. This extension is of three types viz., (a) Special extension, (b) General extension and (c) Reverse extension. Pūrvavath, Sheshavath and Samānyatho are caused by Special extension, General extension and Reverse extension respectively. Anumānam is always produced after Prathyaksha Pramānām. If one guesses fire because of seeing smoke, then the knowledge of smoke is due to Prathyaksha Pramānām and the knowledge of fire is due to Anumānam Pramānām.
(3) Upamānam: The knowledge acquired due to similarities is called Upamāna Pramānām. For example let us say that a person ‘A’ knows what a cat is but does not know what a tiger is and then let ‘A’ be explained that a tiger looks like a cat but is much bigger in size and has black stripes on its body. Then on seeing a tiger, ‘A’ compares it with a cat and ascertains that it is a tiger. This type of acquiring knowledge is called Upamāna Pramānām.
(4) Shabda Pramānām: “Aptopadesha” is called Shabda Pramānām. Apta means the person who has the following qualities. Is having complete knowledge of the subject concerned, is a Dharmatma, speaks only truth, is helpful to others, has control over his senses and gives knowledge to others in order to do good to society. Teachings of such a person are called “Aptopadesha”. The knowledge acquired in this manner is called Shabda Pramānām. This Shabda Pramānām is of two types viz., (a) Direct and (b) Indirect. If the person concerned teaches because of his/her experience through Prathyaksha Pramānām then it is called as Direct Shabda Pramānām. For example the teachings of God which are Vēdas. If the person concerned teaches because of his/her experience through either by Shabda, Anumāna or Upamāna Pramānām, then it is called as Indirect Shabda Pramānām. For example the teachings of Vēdas by Rishis and Scholars which are abiding by the Vēdas.
(5) Ithihyam: History can be taken as a Pramānām as long as it is having recordings written or told by someone who can be regarded as Apta.
(6) Arthāpathi: When something can be inferred from something else then the Pramānām is called Arthāpathi. For example from the statement “Rain is possible if clouds are present”, then it can be inferred that “Without clouds rain is not possible”.
(7) Sambhavam: Sambhavam means possible. If someone says that “Bhimasena kicked earth like a foot ball”, then since it is not according to nature this is not possible. Therefore the statement cannot be regarded as a Pramānām.
(8) Abhāvam: Abhāvam means absence or negation of something. When a teacher asks his students to get flowers which are not having yellow color in them, then the students search for flowers which have absence of yellow color. Such a Pramānām is called Abhāvam.
Let us proof the age of earth/human life on earth and that of Vēdas after creation with the help of the above Pramānās.
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