[Advaita-l] The method of nyAya in the Shankara BhaShyam - a case study

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Wed Jun 15 01:56:55 CDT 2011


Here is another instance of a syllogism in the Shankara Bhashya:

In the Mandukya kArikA 2.4 bhashya we have:

jaagrat dRshyAnAm bhaavAnAm vaitathyamiti *pratijnA*. dRshyatvAditi
*hetuH*. svapnadRshyabhAvavaditi *dRShTAnta*H. yathaa tatra svapne dRshyAnAm
bhAvAnAm vaitathyam tathA jAgarite api dRshyatvam avishiShTam iti *
hetUpanayaH.* tasmAt jaagarite api vaitathyam smRtamiti *nigamanam*.

//The *proposition* (major premise) to be established is the unreality of
objects seen in the waking stae.  'Being perceived' is the *ground of
inference* (middle term).  And the *illustration* (in confirmation) is 'like
an object seen in a dream.'  And the
*assertion* of the presence of the middle term in the minor term is made
thus: yathaa tatra svapne, as (objects 'perceived') there in a dream, are
false, so also are they false in the waking state; the fact of being
perceived being equally present.  And the *concluding reiteration* is:
therefore falsity is admitted of ojbects in the waking state as well.//

In the above instance the five 'limbs' of anumAna are clearly brought out.



The Tarka sangraha, a book authored by Annam BhaTTa on the elementary study
of the Tarka shastra, presents the five-limbed syllogism, पञ्चावयवाक्यम् ,
that characterizes the process of an inference, अनुमितिज्ञानम्,  thus:
प्रतिज्ञा,हेतु,उदाहरण,उपनय,निगमनानि पञ्चावयवाः । पर्वतो वह्निमान् इति
प्रतिज्ञा । धूमवत्त्वादिति हेतुः । यो यो धूमवान् इत्युदाहरणम् । तथा च अयम्
इति उपनयः । तस्मात् तथा इति निगमनम् ।

There are five members of this syllogism: the Proposition, the Reason, the
Example, the Application and the Conclusion.  'The mountain is fiery' is the
Proposition. 'Because it smokes (smoky)' is the Reason. 'Whatever smokes is
fiery as a culinary hearth (kitchen oven)' is the Example.  'And so this
mountain is' is the Application. 'Therefore it is fiery' is the

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