[Advaita-l] 'nyAya' and 'tarka'

Siva Senani Nori sivasenani at yahoo.com
Fri Jul 8 00:05:07 CDT 2011

What Sri Rajaram Venkataramani refers to can be better understood from the following:
Originally there were two distinct but related systems - nyAya and vaiSehika - which got later fused into navya-nyAya circa 13th century AD. As time passed, the adjective navya got dropped, and nyAya started referring to navya nyAya, which by the way is also referred to as tarka. The tarkasangraha was written in circa 16th century AD and really covers navya-nyAya. What is interesting is that mImAmsa is also called Jaimini-naya and sometimes nyAya. Apart from this, nyAya also refers to certain principles when used in phrases like sthAlipulAkanyAya (the principle of sample testing, as with checking whether rice grains are boiled)  or ksheeraneeranyAya (complete mixture to the extent that the constituents cannot be differentiated as in milk and water). The vyAkaraNamahAbhAshya refers to 27 such nyAyas.
The first sutra of Gautama-nyAya-sUtras enumerates 16 substances namely - 1) pramANa, 2) prameya, 3) samSaya, 4) prayojana, 5) drishTanta, 6) siddhAnta, 7) avayava, 8) tarka, 9) nirNaya, 10) vAda, 11) jalpa, 12) vitaNDa, 13) hetvAbhAsa, 14) chala, 15) jAti, 16) nigrahasthAn [AnAm tattvaj~nAnAnniSreyasaadhigamah). As a part of this 16, tarka means a hypothetical argument, leading to a reduction to absurdity - reductio ad absurdum in Latin. If has five further varieties and so on, but we will stop here. 
The way you used the word, "tarka", any reasonable person would take it to mean nyAya as a whole, but Sri Rajaram Venkataramani chose to make fun by invoking vitaNDa (destructive criticism), jalpa (sophistry, arguing) etc. thereby referring to tarka as one of the 16 padArthas of nyAya. There is a famous example in nyAya that the intent of the speaker guides the interpretation. For example, nava-kambala can mean both nine blankets and a new blanket; the interpretation depends on the speaker's intent, if that can be known (as in the present instance), or by the context when we cannot reach the speaker. By both means, your usage would mean nyAya.
N. Siva Senani

From: V Subrahmanian <v.subrahmanian at gmail.com>
>To: A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
>Sent: Friday, July 8, 2011 6:58 AM
>Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] 'nyAya' and 'tarka'
>On Thu, Jul 7, 2011 at 10:20 PM, Rajaram Venkataramani <
>rajaramvenk at gmail.com> wrote:
>> RV: My original criticism was with respect to interchangeably using nyaya
>> (whole) and tarka (part)
>From the above observation of yours I am unable to understand what exactly
>you mean.
>Do you object to the interchange of the use of the terms 'nyaya' and
>Is it your understanding that 'nyaya' is a certain 'whole' as in a 'set' and
>tarka is a part of it?
>Pl. clarify your stand with appropriate support from standard texts.  Pl.
>give at least one instance each of the usage of the two terms from whatever
>work you have read with your justification of the usages and why they cannot
>be interchanged.
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