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A History of Indian Philosophy, Volume 1

Philosophy in the Nyaya sutras Footnote ref 1


the second chapter the nature of hetu (reason) or the middle term is described. It is said that anything connected with any other thing, as effect, cause, as in contact, or as contrary or as inseparably connected, will serve as li@nga (reason). The main point is the notion "this is associated with this," or "these two are related as cause and effect," and since this may also be produced through premisses, there may be a formal syllogism from propositions fulfilling the above condition. Verbal cognition comes without inference. False knowledge (_avidya_) is due to the defect of the senses or non-observation and mal-observation due to wrong expectant impressions. The opposite of this is true knowledge (_vidya_). In the tenth it is said that pleasure and pain are not cognitions, since they are not related to doubt and certainty.


[Footnote 1: _Upaskara_ here explains that it is intended that the senses are produced by those specific elements, but this cannot be found in the sutras.]

[Footnote 2: In the previous three kinds of non-existence, _pragabhava_ (negation before production), _dhvamsabhava_ (negation after destruction), and _anyonyabhava_ (mutual negation of each other in each other), have been described. The fourth one is _samanyabhava_ (general negation).]


style="text-align: justify;"> A dravya may be caused by the inhering of the effect in it, for because of its contact with another thing the effect is produced. Karma (motion) is also a cause since it inheres in the cause. Contact is also a cause since it inheres in the cause. A contact which inheres in the cause of the cause and thereby helps the production of the effect is also a cause. The special quality of the heat of fire is also a cause.

Works according to the injunctions of the scriptures since they have no visible effect are the cause of prosperity, and because the Vedas direct them, they have validity.

Philosophy in the Nyaya sutras [Footnote ref 1].

The _Nyaya sutras_ begin with an enumeration of the sixteen subjects, viz. means of right knowledge (_prama@na_), object of right knowledge (_prameya_), doubt (_sa@ms'aya_), purpose (_prayojana_), illustrative instances (_d@r@s@tanta_), accepted conclusions (_siddhanta_), premisses (_avayava_), argumentation (_tarka_), ascertainment (_nir@naya_), debates (_vada_), disputations (_jalpa_), destructive criticisms (_vita@n@da_), fallacy (_hetvabhasa_), quibble (_chala_), refutations (_jati_), points of opponent's defeat (_nigrahasthana_), and hold that by a thorough knowledge of these the highest good (_nihs'reyasa_), is attained. In the second sutra it is said that salvation (_apavarga_) is attained by the successive disappearance of false knowledge (_mithyajnana_), defects (_do@sa_), endeavours (_prav@rtti_, birth (_janma_), and ultimately of sorrow. Then the means of proof are said to be of four kinds, perception (_pratyak@sa_), inference (_anumana_), analogy (_upamana_), and testimony (_s'abda_). Perception is defined as uncontradicted determinate knowledge unassociated with names proceeding out of sense contact with objects. Inference is of three kinds, from cause to effect (_purvavat_), effect to cause (_s'e@savat_), and inference from common characteristics (_samanyato d@r@s@ta_). Upamana is the knowing of anything by similarity with any well-known thing.

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