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Pujya Dr. K.C. Varadachari - Volume -3


I am deeply grateful to the Executive Committee of the Indian Philosophical Congress for having selected me to preside over the deliberations  of the Logic and Metaphysics section of the Congress which is being held in Benares, the heart of spiritual India, and in the University founded by the revered saint Pandit Madam Mohan Malaviya and now guided by the great and eminent philosopher Dr.Radhakrishnan.

It is usual at this section for most presidents to give learned disquisitions on the metaphysical progress during the year or to describe the status of logical enquiries. Sometimes they have given enstructive hypotheses which revealed the contributions and modifications necessitated by the growing volume of knowledge. It is not my purpose here to make any such metaphysical speculation or give any metaphysical solution to our ever-recurring problems. It seems rather that a more modest effect is called for at this juncture.

We have met there in this most venerable City of Benares after the attainment of India Independence. This fact casts on us a very responsible task and that is the recovery of the initiative  in matters spiritual and metaphysical, for even today Benares is the nerve centre of logical thinking, haloed by the debates of masters of logic and saints of knowledge, warriors of truth and servants of light. And real integral universal thought is indeed the only force that can be liberator of mankind.  That is the task set before us who are considered to be the metaphysicians of the Earth.

Philosophy and metaphysics are above the battle, the changing fortunes of political and economic studies, which are tied to practical and particular interests and pragmatic arrangements based on trial and error, which more often than not are cur away from the unity of the whole. Philosophy or metaphysics must be the basic ground of all understandings of science of social endeavour. Or else we shall go onwitnessing aberrations of emotion and sentiments and encroachments on the freedom of the individual and on the spontaneity that is the characteristic of the Whole.

What is needed today is a different emphasis on the points view, a different approach from what we have been habituated to and are being  habituated to by the strong impetus of materialism, fortified by the success of amazing science. We have not yet begun to arrive at a cordinating activity of our intellect or consciousness. In recent years, thanks to the serious impacts of psychology and para-pscyhology, we have come to recognize that the hard and fast divisions that have marked our philosophical attitudes are being blurred. Yet it is also true that whilst considerable efforts have been made to make philosophical constructions which have dominant scientific methods, there have also come into existence extreme abstract mathematical formualtions of thought called by the common name symbolic Logic, which is claimed to make our thought and view of reality really scientific and to afford a trauer picture of the structure of thought. Such abstract constructions or formal principles have truth, as Professor A. N. Whitehead remarked though not the whole truth. But why should it be so? Is it likely that there is some truth about our intellectual aware that intellect and its reasoning are incapable of understanding certain aspects of experience. Intellect seems to be quite adequate for all the purposes of objective enquiry or objective knowledge, as sciences have been showing to us. It is true that neither the ideal of science not that of philosophy as defined by idealists of the objectivists schools who considered to be truly of the scientifical approach and explanation of the mechanical variety the only admissioble category of explanation, we are almost at the end of our philosophical pursuit, not because it is completed but because it has to wait on the experiences and explanations of the scientists. But this movement of thought is neither necessary nor inevitable. We have indeed over again to investigate in to the nature of our experience. After Kant’s great and copernican Critiques we have been very much anxious to explain our experiences on the bases of the categories which we were warned by him not to use beyond limits.2  It is true that whilkst we wee well advised we did not find it altogether to our taste, and indeed Kant himself shewed that our experiences did overflow the categories of Pure Reason3. With Hegel we were enabled to  traverse a longer distance, perhaps steeper, towads  our present idealistic constructions but we also know  that these were evidently too formal and based on dialectic of  opposites which whilst promising what is called the explanation of evolution towards  a grand synthesis or Absolute  coherent whole endowed it with an inner contradiction. This inner contraiction may indeed be the secret principle of evolution or dynamism. It is to Mark we owe this unseemly revelation of the intrinsic weakness or is it strength and richness of Hegel? Who showed this up by inverting the whole process and making dialetic not formal but actual, nor merely logically necessary but economically deterministic, and historically inevitable? But what most philosophers were concerned in the West was not with the fundamental meaning of Reality that could be constructed with the help of the logical intellect refreshed by the deliverances of senses intuition and the aesthetic demand for an archetechtonic or system. We have also witnessed our scientists becoming philosophers and in the writings of Eddington, Whitehead and Russell we have varied speculative adventures in construction. At best sometimes we have been regaled with ‘reinterpretatioins of terms whose meanings have been absorbed in the counters of thought’ – so as to make  them  current sterling money so to speak4.

Indeed we have enriched our modern ways of expression both in respect of coining new terms in the place of the common place and in respect of symbols, which are intended to serve old relationships with novelty. These dressings-up have been altogether useful for they have helped the glossing over or velling the problems of urgent concern. I do not think that it is the perpetual task of philosophy merely to present old thoughts and problems in new grabs. It would indeed be much more useful as an evolution in thought if we could orientate our old thoughts and render them universally valid.

But it must be said to the credit of pragmatism that it has found its best formulation in modern times, and despite its human it has almost been forgotten as a system of thought or new way, for the business of philosophy seems to be according to it the interpretation of the scientific results which are daily coming to us, a task which has to be perpetual if not exactly Sisypean.

We have indeed another philosophical school, which is the organistic conception. It is quite old in one sense but its modern version is rather nebulous, and it does not appear to be simple as the name sounds. Reality is organism, a living and dynamic whole comprising lesser wholes, evolving within itself, whose parts are in continous processes maintaining the whole. This is the objective version. That it can have a subjective version and that this subjective version is mystical and more profound is the view, that is held by many having unique points of view, value and yet mystically interrelated with the Whole which they represent, subserve, reveal or manifest.

Our biological interests have become dominant over our mecha-nical interpretations not only due to ourselves being biological results but also due to the fact that the mechanical view of reality which makes mere aggregations of points of view insufficient even to explain the process of Nature which seem to conform to the laws of mind and life. The organistic view is  much more real and truer as a system than that. It has become indeed a fundmental principle of explanation of the perceived diversity and unity of the whole, and in one sense has helped the refutation of the unfounded charge of anthropo-morphism against such explanations. There is no doubt that pluralism and monism appear to be not so much alternative explanantions of the same groups of facts but two extremes of the fundamental biune(?) Reality. Thus as it has been recognized even by absolute idealists the concepts of Organsism or Organic Unity does help a fuler appreciation of the nature of Reality than the abstract monism or concrete pluralism. But it has been shown that this organistic theory is yet in the process of birth in the writings of Whitehead. The concept of organism in his philosophy entails that the process be ‘ conceived as a complex activity with internal relations between its various factors.’ Everything in the universe takes note of everything else. If Leibniz affirmed that the monadic mirroring is on the level of reason(ratio), Whitehead’s view leads to an emotional cognition which is introspective in advanced organisms. His doctrine of internal relations in a dynamic whole affirms that every organism or a part of the organism is on a level of prenension which is available to it from the level of feeling not merely with the whole but with each other part. Thus it is clear that there is universal intersubjective intercourse. Thus it is clear also that as long as our congnitive nature is tied to external relations of subject and object so long we can never really grasp or solve the problem of interanl dynamic unity of awareness within the whole. It is true that some realists are content to be mere pluralists and yet try to arrive at unity by means of cooperative synthesis or unity by postulating a ‘sense of community’ or unity within limitations. This postulates of sense of community requires a metaphysical justification and it is found in the concept of organic unity of all within the whole. The instinct or sense of community that manifests itself is a result or consequence of the nature of the whole rather than its cause.

There is much truth in the assertion that our inferential or rationalistic thought translates into forms of thought or ideas whatever it receives whether it is of the material world reflected by the human mind or of the spiritual. Our metaphysical understanding need not coincide with the dialectical process. Indeed all that materialism has been affirming is that all the processes and contradictions available in our concepts are only the reflections, translations into the language of thought of contradictions which exists in the phenomena owing to the contradictory nature of their common foundation, namely movement. If then we can decide that our materialism is but a partial formulation of a further ultimate factor, the metaphysical concept of Reality would become more adequate and the manner of the Reality of such a measure or nature could be shewn. The Contradiction between the dialectical absolutists and the dialectical materialsits is then resolvable by the transcendence due to the higher perception of values. But then we are again confronted with the problem of human axiology, and we find that despite Signor Croce’s formulation of another form of the dialectic namely the ‘Dialectic of Distincts’—(and that is truer to the spiritual nature of the Real) – the spirit essentially limited to the affirmation of its nature by the human spirit or self. But we owe it to Signor Croce who assured us of the fact that these two dialectics are at work always, and achieve so to speak a progress that is remarkable for its double ascension in respect of the interpenetrative unity as well as dynamic progress that reveals the necessary polarity of all movement, which in a sense comprises horizontal as well as vertical possibilities. Being and Becoming and Non-being are the forces inherent in Reality or rather distinguishable factors in Reality which establish the interpenetrative fusion of the values of beauty and truth and goodness in and for the individual and the whole. There are perhaps other values which are subordinate to this integrative action of Spirit and it must also be understood that this integrative action is one of concrete Freedom. By this action we register at once the continuity of the ideal purpose or action of the Spirit as the inner meaning or significance of all history. At any rate we are forced to consider the importance of the relation between the spiritual and the material as being somehow established within the organic unity of the embodied being, the individual who is the bearer of ultimate values as well as the revealer of the Ultimate values at every stage of the evolutionary process, more or less. The goal of absolute perfection is there and it is this that makes possible for us to predict how it would happen and when; but it is the inevitable destiny of the individual, the task his spiritual aspiration has set to itself.  It is in the individual that we should find the fulfilment of this perfect unity of the spiritual and the material (including the vital and the mental); the subjective and the objective, the being and the becoming. It is true that this cannot altogether be due to the inner aspiration of the individual; under the concept of the materialist schools and the rationalists, this aspiration for becoming more is claimed to be inherent within or emerging out of the avayavas (parts). But it is irrational to claim that there is this possibility in each of the parts or in their aggregatioin as such. Rather it is likely that this aspiration is a veiled movement of the eternal purpose or the Spiritual from within, acting both as an impulsion from behind (sankalpa) and as an ideal ahead of us (purusartha). It is in the human mind that we find these two aspects of the same eternal spirit uniting the aspiration and the ideal and forging the perfect unity of the past with the eternal present and the inevitable future. Indeed as it has been stated there is the descent from above and an ascent from below whose meeting place is the human heart. Thus the metaphysical view makes this the pattern of  the whole of Reality; or rather the individual whom we know and understand will help us to understand the pattern of the Reality of which he is an integral real part. But this itself is a presumption taken from the mystical doctrine, whose pale counterpart is the view of the similarity of all the parts of a compound or the structure of the Atom or the molecule of a compound. It is indeed not like that exactly with each individual, but there is, as we can see, the element of identity which is important. This identity is at once the fundamental principle of the unity of all the many and the multiplicity which manifests itself in all the many without undergoing any kind of essential change in any of its characteristics, though getting translated in varying degrees in different planes of consciousness or comprehension. It is clear that this double status of the One Reality or the Self (to use the organistic word) which alone can function in this manner of a unitas multiplex category is real, thought it does in a sense go against the principles of abstract logic. This is due not to impossibility of any thought t grasp the inner pattern of Reality,- for this is the promise of the mystics that we can know the pattern of Reality though we may not be able to know the content of it at all or completely ever-but due to the habit of thought to be restricted adapted to the individual in his finiteness, in his sensory experience and practical struggles with the environment which are limited or conditioned by the ability of the organism to deal with it.This  conditioning and limitation of the organism itself ot he practical and the immediate utilities though very useful for immediate survival, does indeed breed conflicts between the several members of the whole each of which has its own problems of Survival, and struggle is the result. This struggle is undoubtedly a part of the reality in so far as the ascent to a larger point of view, a sense of security, is concerned. But that is the representation of the principle of sacrifice which the logical form of opposition and resolution represents or subsumption symbolises. Real security comes from conscious subordination to the transcendent sacrifice or offering to the higher and the fuller and the universal.

Thus we must grant that our assumption will determine the nature of the reality that we are going to construct. We have seen that the autonomy of the inferential reason or the abstract understanding has been most effectively denied by all alike. Its sovereinty is overthrown, and mostly because of its sensist affiliations. Whether we are pragmatists or idealists or common sense men or scientists, the regulative principles of thought are no longer of mere reason. More likely the regulative principles are of the practical and aesthetic order, and decided by our economic and political predilections or spiritual institutions and aspirations and in many cases by such personality factors that are determined by our subliminal and unconscious being. Metaphysics is not possible but it has been forced to abandon the old routes of construction. In being loyal to sensist deliverances and hypothetical theories, intellect has been strictly confined to the construction of an abstract speculum (or measure) and not as we should very much like to have a speculum sub specie eterni.

I consider that this would be an appropriate occasion to evaluate the sources of our right knowledge pramanas and offer a criticism. I deem it very necessary that Indian philosophers and logicians should undertake a new evaluation of  the categories of thought and especially make a thorough study of the use to which the pramanas have been put by Indian logicians. We have a right to do it if only for the simple reason that most logical treatises (of the scholastic and suncretist variety) are much more concerned with the analytical survey of these pramanas than the synthetical, and incidentally there has crept into their methodology a bias towards materialistic and sensist understanding. I offer on this occasion my remarks on this undertaking with the fervant hope that it would lead to more close and critical thinking so as to enable us to evolve a logic more in tune with the fundamental philosophy of Spirit espoused by Seers of the infinite than before.

Nyaya as logic considers primarily the prmanas, the instruments of right knowledge. It enumerates them and distinguishes them. Though these pramanas are not identical, they all cooperate in the act of knowing an object. The same object or prameya may be the objects of certain pramanas or some aspects of them be beyond some of these pramanas. But it is the hope of every philosopher ultimately to render all experience integral, that is to say, to enable all instruments of knowledge to function synthetically without opposition or conflict, or organically in one word. This is possible only when all these are suboridnated to or directed by mystical intuition.

Accordingly each one of the pramanas may enable us to understand some aspect of the object that falls within its competence. It is also possible that there will always be the mutual or reciprocal interaction between these several pramanas, if there be more than one, will grant fuller and profounder meaning to the object in so far as that is an object of knowledge, knowledge understood in its fullest sense. It is just likely that certain features or factors may be beyond the capability of one or more of these pramanas. We have also to recognize that no metaphysics or theory of reality as such can claim that Reality is beyond the scope of all pramanas; for that would only lead to agnosticism. It would be our task to discover that instrument of knowledge which would enable us to round off our knowledge to perfection and enable us to go beyond the intellectual and sensory ways  of knowing which are either private or abstractly universal and seriously limited to the avenues of our experience as finite individuals. It is true that some well-known thinkers hold that it impossible to know Reality so long as we are tied to the subject-object relationship, and that Reality is indescribable5 which is said to mean that it is either an experience transcendent to all relationships or describable as this or that.

Absolute Reality as I have already remarked may be beyond the comprehension of some of the pramanas that we know of and utilize but that it is unknowable at all is not acceptable. Indeed it I enunciated by the mystic teaching that the Spirit reveals itself to the individual chosen by it- tanum svam vivrunute. It can be known and experience and entered into.

What are the pranamas? They are considered to be four usually viz. Pratyaksa, anumana, upamana and sabda. To this are added smrti, agama, itihasa, and purana: some have added arthapatti. Fully conscious as I am that you are all aware of these facts, I shall not labour to show to you the meaning of these pramanas except to point out that each plays a definite role in the structure of the integral experience into an organic unity6

Pratyaksa deals with the sensible aspect of reality. Pratyaksa as the name implies is the knowledge that is a resultant of response to stimulus. A construction of a universe primarily based on sense-experiences is impossible. Materialists really7 posit the complete objectivity of these sense impressions and objects and without much consistent thinking. Sensists are incapable of constructing a universe except with the aid of such irrational concepts as chance, faith or animal faith, as George Santayana claims. Confronted with private and personal and communicable experiences they are not satisfied with the mere deliverances of the senses. These extra-personal experiences do indeed affirm the objectivity of the objects perceived and independent of individual volition. Common experiences in a world is the strongest argument for the existence of objective truth, which is universal and of the identity or similarity of the structure of minds. Irrationality is as much of the objects however as they can be of subjects, though we find their relational thinking is inevitable and useful for all practical purposes. It cements and systematises all those parts of our experiences as could be systematised and there is much that refuses to fit in which the pattern presented by inferential thought. It is ideal when all experiences could be systematised, an ideal without any conceivable end. Thus anumana (which literally means that which follows) follows these sense-experiences and becomes the chief function of thought among us.

There is of course the limitation of the play of inference to the field of the perceived data, though this limitation is in some definite manner surpassed or transcended by the fact of similarity in the experiences of objects and their relating by minds. Whether we are prepared to agree to the fact on the basis of pure inference or not, we have to assume that mind-activity is alike in all beings similarly physically constituted. This assumption is important and there have been learned but inconclusive treatises and discussions on the problem of how we do know other minds. In this context I can remark that Sabarasvamin in his commentary on the Purva Mimamsa sutras has noted that our knowledge of other minds is based not on inference or perception, though these two do aid us by upamana (which literally means near-measure, measure taken when standing very closely)8.

8    I.i.5. “Further through Upamana also this same self is pointed out in the words ‘just as you perceive your own self so on the same Upamana please understand that I perceive the self in the same manner”.(MM.Ganganatha Jha’s trans). I have kept the word Upamana untranslated.

A study or Nyaya-Vaisesika method of approach reveals that despite much clear thinking it is dominated by the sense-order. Sensation dominates over inference or relational thinking for the reference to facts,correspondence of thoughts to things, and extrinsic test ensure the affirmation of material truth. The aim of science is this much. This entails many observers and mutual verification and organisation of experience. Secondly, perception gransts an objective world though of deiscrete objects and with discrete sensations which require a locus or foothold or ayatana, and which in other words, can be described as the unity of these qualities related in a definite manner. These qualities are general, found in more than one perceived objects, and we have come to see that these inferences of identity are not only of the general nature of these qualities but also their interrelations, as distinguished from those around them. They are innumerable and enumerable. They are related externally or in eternal conjuction in some cases. Motion too is observed between these objects as well as change of state. And thus we begin to see even the relative non-existence. Thus almost all the padarthas are perceptible facts though doubtless they seem to involve inference. These six ways of knowing an object really refers to the perception of these categories none and the same object recognized the common objects for all. Samavaya, inbherence, is also stated to be a percept, though it is really a relation, because of the observation of going together. The only point about the Samavaya is that it affirms a belonging together which is a category of inference, even as the concept to vyapti or invariable concommi-tance between two sets of phenomena is.

That is why we find that the Vaisesika darsan gives such a realistic, pluralistic, senstist account of reality. It realises however that the universe of reality has other factors regarding he subject of experience, oneself and other selves, which are not perception-dependent. That is the reason why it accepts inference as an appendage to perception and includes Sabda under anumana. Indeed the atomic theory, the theory of adrsta and others due to inference and sabda. Its acceptance of scriptural teaching is limited to the sphere of the supersensible and the supraconceptual dharma and Isvara. Jainism did not accept the agama of the Vedic origin nor did Buddhism. Buddhists accept inference and rank it above perception and consider that thought when relieved of the perceptual limitations may be able to free us from the perpetual confusion that is perceptual experience. Jainism is nearer the scientific view, the pragmatic view of dominance of perception over reasoning.

When we come to deal with the Sankhya view we find that Reason or inference is rendered more important as an instrument of knoweldge and there is distrust too of the sensedeliverances. Reality is looked at with the aid of reason almost to the exclusion of the perceptual. Perception plays a subordinate role. Not so much the person but reason is important. All processes of Nature may be sensorially real but they are brought under the concept of reason or buddhi or intellect.  It is the discrimination or rather the loss of it that produces the sensible world.  Indeed sense-experience is a degradation or objective extension of the intellect. The laws of thought such as uniformity, causality, unity and oppositional interaction are dealt with in Sankhya. Substance is equated with qualities, which are not quite the mere responses of sense organs to stimuli. A new concept of quality as dynamic, as combining at once the nature of a substance and its power of effecting some process or stimulation or motion is evolved, The individual conscient being is distinguished from the Nature and the realism of spirit and consciousness are defenitiely distinguished from the realms of Nature or matter. There however seems to be several degree of their interconnection. We can see the same first step in evolving intellectual systems here in India, as it  was in the West, when sense was distinguished from the  reason and reason was considered to lead to truth  whereas sense could only lead to ignorance. Undoubtedly, as Plato indeed saw, sense may be subordinated to reason in order to discover in it the reflections, however plate or attenuated, of the immaculate truths or eternal forms or ideas of Reason. Buddhism and Sankhya are rational systems: but Sankhya submits reason to the delivarnces of mystic teaching. It is true that Buddhism also ultimately ended in evolving a mysticism but had to pass through a period of nirvana-experience poised on the supreme conception of an all-embracing compassion. The world-view granted by Sankhya is a world of souls and a world of Nature. In the modern constructions of the philosophers we are indeed presented with this same pluralism of souls united by, or denizens of, of common Nature or universe charged with the task  of understanding it and through that, understanding themselves. They have now come to assume that in this dynamic process of understanding they are organic to each other and must evolve a formula of existing together in harmony. But then the souls must first become spectators of the process of Nature in which they are organically involved through senses or perception and affection and volition. Once they begin to exercise reason and withdraw from the senses and their objects they will regain that supreme intellectual state of perfect discrimination, which neither accepts nor rejects or condemns anything of Nature, and by this training begins to experience a new dimension of Nature, universal in kind and a truer pulse of Reality as subject-object. The great contribution of Sankhya thought with which we can compare those of the platonic-Socretean philosophy is in the field of psychology of Nature, the subjective aspect of Nature as against the objective aspect of Nature, as an aspect open to the instrument of anumana, inference rather than pratyaksa, which can only present the surface fact. It is this higher type of anumana which is considered to be alike to intuition, inseeing or in-measuring or valuing. This is surely a new meaning of the term anumana. Yet by this alone is Nature understood from within as reality. By means of this anumana, purified reason, Nature is not apprehended as the Reality but only as the subject against the object. Our inferences are even shown to be vitiated at very start. Our perceptive defect, akhyati (non-observation) is shown to be the starting point of illusion and transmigratory and evolutionary process. This perceptive defect is not of the sensory order but of the primary intellect itself. Some thinkers find in this position echoes of the Kantian schools, but it might be said that this is a state of consci-ousness which is the turning-point of the subjective-objective, the crucial point when the subjective becomes projective and objective or else the point when the objective restores itself to the subjective status, as Nicolai Berdyeav intimates. The sensory knowledge that we now get is a more distinguished and emphasised one. Reverse the direction of perception from the objective to the subjective or still better or another way of stating of the same fact, substitute reason in the place of sensory perception as an instrument of knowledge, discrimination will arrest the movement of sensory infinity. This is the sadhana of the rationalists. Sankhya and in a more radical measure, Buddhism follow this course. In Greece Socrates, Plato and earlier Parmendies and in Modern Philosophy Des Cartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Kant and Hegel follow this course. Evloution is sensorial, involution is rational; self is rational, nature is sensorial. Sankhya is concerned with the self, the subject, and the psychological core of being. Buddhism abolishes the subject as merely the configuration of ideas and images and as the womb of all dialectical activity. But in neither do we arrive at a true metaphysic of reality which clarifies the fundamental problem of One-Many. As plato said “Show me the man able to see both the one and the many in Nature and I will follow in his foot-steps as though he were a God”9.

We are left with innumerable number of souls within one Nature. We arrive at the unity of Nature by means of reason but not at the unity of the individual subjects. It is indeed in Leibniz,-Nicolas of Cusa was an earlier formulator- we have a firm  foundation  of spiritual monadism which answers deeply to the need for the fundametal solution of the problem of one-many. The reality is subject-objects, though we find that in our experience we have to pass from the object to the subject and understand that there is a close correspondence between them, if not precisely an identity in distinciton. The higher the type of consciousness the closer does the correspondence happen. Inference however universal a property of subjects, is yet individuated and cannot apprened Reality as a single whole.  There are two reasons for this defect (i) the constant habituation in our life (or lives) of inference to the field of Nature or understanding the laws of Nature and (ii) the prioriy of sensations or sense-action or reaction to the world of Nature. As already pointed out Samkhya and Buddhism seek to reverse these two habits (i) by constant habituation to inner knowing rather than to perception, so that ultimately to use reason alone as an instrument of knowing. Hence yama and dhyana, dharana and samadhi are utilized as knowing instruments, which lead to samyama in the place of samyoga. Supersensible knowing or para-cognition results. There is soul-sensibility of the integral universe as against the former prakrtic or material sensibility of the organs to limited Zones of experience. Thus when pure reason is releasedfrom the strings of perception, it achieves two things: abstractly it begins to be able to be aware of the pure forms or essences or real ideas; and concretely it manifests the supersensible way of soulseeing and release from the limited and very conditioned existence and deliverances of sensory experience. It rises to the level of intuition, intellectual sympathy, and over-mind consciouness. We owe it to Sri Aurobindo who has shown that reason has upper reaches; and professor Radhakrishnan has classically emphasized this aspect of ascension of Reason or pure Intellect to the levels of intuition (buddhi) in his exposition of this subject. It is here that we come across the third instrument of knowledge called Upamana, which some systems donot recognize, whereas others have different versions of its utility or efficacy.

Supersensible objects are perceived supersensibly by the soul. Upamana is used by Nyaya for the purpose not of analogical inference as such but for the purpose of recognition (of kind) of an object referred to by a vakya or proposition. In the Mimamasa of Jaimini School, Upamana means the recognition that the object we see has similarity with that we have already known or seen. It is of the form of inference of the immediate type that A is like B therefore B is like A. In these two views we see that Upamana grants a place to the principle of recognition of the see in the unseen or unseen in the seen (supersensible in the sensible), since both ways are legitimate)10. But it is clear also that most expositors have preferred the former than the latter and thus made Upamana a sensist category. It is however my point to show that upamana has come to play an important role in the interpretation of philosophical literature. The study of Upanishads of the Alankarikas (rhetorecians) 11 is a very helpful line of enquiry to open up a new interpretation of this instrument ofo knowledge. It is at the hands of the mystics and seers that Upamana undergoes a transformation from the poor analogical reasoning that it is considered to be and just an extension of the inferential reasoning. The celestial world of light is opened. Gods and goddesses, processes supersensible and results supersensible are fully presented in this world of experience. Purva-Mimamsa-darsana has to deal with this extended world of the supersensible reality, the higher part of the sensible, multiplicity of gods and functions, powers and performers, hymnists and sacrificers, within and without are the denizens of this new world to which our consciousness has access. The Upamana in Purva-Mimamsa and in Seer-poerty is strictly governed by the scriptural revelation in a sense; it gets its sanction and authentic voice from the supernatural wisdom of the seers. The Mimamsist’s world though a pluralistic world of souls, it is a world of souls who operceive their continuous existence with the supersensible reality arranged according to grades and planes of being and perhaps with distinct laws (rta) and powers and informing intelligences. No doubt commentators have tried to subordinate this Upamana, which is the instrument of the knowledge of the super-sensible, to the anumana, the strait-jacket of sensory inference or reasoning that is sense-dependent. But once we release the upamana from the apron-strings of sense and inference, we shall find that it immediately helps us too know or intuit the inner nature of Reality as correspondential, symbolic supra-subjective having its own unity of all grades and displaying mutual reflection which alone makes for the splendid multiple figures of speech that adornall great language and literature. Language becomes significant, poetic in the true sense of the term, which embraces, encompasses all similars by referring to diverse planes and points of view of the celestical, terrestrial and subjective adhidaiva, adhibhauta and adhyatma. Thus language becomes richer and words gain significance and laksana and dhvani. Concept develops or is recognized and is dissolved in higher consciousness resulting in or in being displayed in various metaphors all of which are discerned as being appropriate and as granting rasa. Knowledge in Upamana grants ecstacy or delight and delight or poetic sentiment indeed becomes lifted to the levels of knowledge. We move along the route to the higher realms of the supersensible. Reality however rich in this form does not gain anything more than the universal quality of organic interpenetrativeness or continuity. Upamana when it is utilised, even like the Upanisads, as the instrument of knowledge becomes the instrument of supersensible correspondence—knowledge. It reveals the Rta, law Divine which is supersensible. The Chandas is supersensible, rsis are seers of the supersensible. Hymns are supersensible. All these are perceived by this new instrument. How very different from the ordinary conception of upamana this is can be seen clearly now.

Great poets always compare the persons and phenomena of the earth with the celestical and supersensible and supraconceptual phenomena. Valmiki, Vyasa, Kalidasa and others use upamas or upamanas in this manner. The upamas are, of course, of two kinds: one svarthopamana, that is similar to the svarthanumana (subjective inference) which reveals or explains the sensible by means of the suprasensible, (this is Mimamsists upamana); and the other pararthopamana, similar to the parathanumana (inference for others) which reveals or explains the supersensible by means of the sensible. (This is the Naiyayika upamana). Upamanas grant knowledge as well as delight that is due to the discovery of the fundamental though manifold identity.12 The Upamanas of Kalidasa form and interesting study. He uses all kinds which make us feel the oneness of all things in and through their variegated diversity. The opening lines of the Raghuvamsa:  ‘vagarthaviva samprktau’ reveals the high seriousness, a characteristic of great poetry. Even the Balakanda of  Valmiki’s Ramayana abounds  in the  upamanas which reveal the characteristic of great poetry to lie in this transference of sensory images to the supersensory and more importanlty the application of the supersensory to the sensory. The characteristic of seer poetry seems to lie not so much in its being a ‘criticism of life’ but in this establishment of the continuity and correspondential identity between the supersensible and the sensible, which uplifts the sensible from its inchoateness to the sense of its truth in the Infinite. Thus also Milton’s

       What if earth

              Be  but the shadow of Heaven

Or shelley’s magnificent platonic

              Life like a dome

              Of many coloured glass

             stains the white radiance of eternity.

Instances can be multiplied to show that this is the place and function of Upamana to explain the sensible by means of the supersensible and to make the sensible truly the mirror of the Real, the finite and abode of the Infinite.


12. Upamana inculcates further the identity though samandadhikaranya ofknowledge and delight or rasa, fulness of Being , the feeling of the Infinite.

13. cf.Raghuvamsa: I .36: payovaham vidyud airavatamiva; II 69.subhram yago murtam irvatisnah. Etc… cf.  Venkatanathe’s Dayasataka.

      Cf. The poetry of Blake, Francis Thomson and other mystics. Sri Aurobindo’s poetry illustrates, this poise of the consciousness.

In the Vedic Hymns, the Brahmanas and Upanishads the use of the upamana itself betokens realities. Suggesstion is utilised too in order to prove truth, reality-Yatharthajnana. The Yathatthakhyati-vada of Nathamuni and earlier writers shows that they held the view that what there is possibility of similitude there must be some obscure or occult ground of identity, real ground-knowledge is always of the real; whether it is sensible or supersensible that is all that has to be discriminated.

Thus we go beyond the supersensory cognition of upamana which is the field of supersensory intuition into Reality in its richness and transcendent universality. Yet this is necessary to go beyond. Thought itself must reveal its real concrete power and delight and total light. This is attained at the level of sabda sruti the revelational thought that includes the revelation sense. The higher patterns of Reality are yet poured through supermental knowing which reveals itself to all seers of seer-like consciousness as the One fundamental Truth of all realitites and which also explains the movement and reflections of all lower grades of the knowledge and the ‘ignorance’.

This knowledge it is, that is, of the Divine in which all are, in all of which He indewells, and from whom or who has Himself become all these. This seems to be the aim of knowledge- to understand the full and integral nature of Reality of which all the lower are partial reflections or representations or snaches or ragged excepts for understanding which there are several ways of instruments of knowledge, All of them are necessary. That it why the terms ‘ anviksiki’ does not merely mean logical philosophy but also metaphysics of the Self or Atman even as Manu held it to be at the earliest times14 (Manu VII.43). At any rate we know that when anviksiki was used as subordinate to the intuitions of   supramental or the Infinite Self is fulfilled its purpose of metaphysics, but when it was later also utilized for the purpose of understanding the interrelations between the perceived which belongs to the same order or as near those principles of the finite, it fell from its higher purpose.

It would be apt if I quoted here the words of one of our most eminent living philosophers who states the problem  of our knowledge in this manner:There is a fourfold  order of knolwedge(i) “ the original and fundamental way of knowing native to the occult self in things is a knowledge by identity; second is the derivative knowledge by contact associated at its roots with a secret knowledge by direct identity or stating from it, but actually separated from its source and therefore powerful but incomplete in its cognition; the third  is a knowledge  by separation from the object of observation  but still with a direct contact as its support or even a partial identiy; the fourth is a completely separative knowledge  which relies on a machinary of indirect contact, a knowledge by acquisition which is yet, without being concious of it, a rendering or bringing up of the contents of a pre-existant inner awareness and knowledge. A knowledge by identity, a knolwedge by intimate direct contact, a knowledge by separative direct contact, a wholly separative knoweldge by indirect contact are the four cognitive methods of Nature.” Saksatkara or Sabda, Upamana in its higher meaning as I have expounded here in this paper, anumana and pratyaksa are what are clearly discernable in above classification by Sri Aurobindo.

We are all aware of the theory of Bertrand Russell about the distinction between knowledge by acquitance and knowledge by description. In the first of the above distincitons drawn by Russell we have a suggestion of an intimacy of knowing, something that is affective or aesthetic as well as sensorial cognition. But it could be clearly seen that is a mere varient of Bergson’s intellectual sympathy or N. Lossky’s intuition. Both the above kinds of Russell’s enumeration fall within the third and fourth kinds of Sri Aurobindo’s expostition of the doctrine of pramanas, according to Indian Philosophy. Identity theories, though speaking in terms of knowledge by identity yet fix their identity in the general concepts or ideas rather than on the spiritual or occult knowledge of the  Self which  is more than the private self or ego. Indeed if clearly conceived their’s is a theory of knowledge of identiy (contential) rather than by identity (as process). But then this distinction is not usually accepted or discerned.

I am convinced that there is a sage truth in the dictum that every unsolved problem or problem which has been bunked or avoided will return to us for solution. Reality cannot be avoided or escaped from, not any portion of it will permit us to avoid it forever. There is the urgent need for taking all the ways of knowing which have been counselled to us bymustics, poet-seers, rationalisers and observers or scientists so that we may be enabled to arrive at the full knowledge of a metaphysics that shall not be a partial representation or a mechanical structure or an abstract configuration of the Real or even a delightful Expanse of aesthesis. It is bound to be organistic displaying interdependence between the multilplicity, and concrete to each individual in its universal measure. That is the reason why we have to pass from the atomic and the partial and the fragmentary understanding of reality to the total conception of it. It cannot be said that the total reality is an absolute and infinite that cannot in any rational or understandable manner be described to us.  The very fact that we strive to represent it is an evidence of that possibility. We have to pass to the logic of the Infinite which can justifiably be able to explain the reationale of the finite which refuses to remain finite, a refusal which is represented to us by the forms of evolution or development of our thought from the sub-perceptual through the perceptual or sensory to the rational or relational and to the intuitive or para or suprarational to the meta-cognitional which does not dismiss the lower but assimilates them and grants them a firmer ground or being in the totality apprehended as Reality. And not only that – it is apprehended as the most valuable or the Ultimate Good and the Beautiful or saccidananda which belongs to the self, the most real and concrete Universal, which is the unity of the many and their ground. Obviously it would entail that this saccidananda self is the most is manifested in and through the process or History, which is a meaningful process.

The above is a sketch of the reconstruction of logical thought according to the logic of the Infinite and according to the organistic conception which grants the primacy to the mystic understanding which accepts the dynamic units of all experiences whilst not dissolving or dismissing ant of them. This attempt is worthwhile since we have so long sought to view the Absolute from the standpoint of the finite individual and failed to arrive at the solutions of the problem of the Infinite and the self, and of the status of the ultimate values. It is only when we understand that the Infinite and Self is the baode of the ultimate values ans is fact the Ultimate value that we can understand the truth of the ancient seers that Brahman is the Parama Purusartha. We have a method of knowing the Infinite, too. As Professor Macneile Dixon has with great attractiveness and lucidity pointed out the solutions granted by the poetic consciousness and seer-vision, which we have noted as equivalent to the upamana in our exposition of the pramana-sastratoday-have rendered possible certain definite scope for further thinking. They alone body forth the reality to the individual and reveal to him the unique status of himself and the supreme previlage of participation in the Life Divine, the Brahman- the organism. Not merely the content of the experiences of the mystic and Rsis or seer-ports, but also the manner of their reception has a large part to play in the reconstruction of the Logic of the Infinite.

Indian metaphysical thought can yet play its fullest part as it did in the past. I have great hopes that in this most ancient city we shall be remined of our hoary past and the inevitable splendid future and perform our duty to them.



SAMAVAYA  is a word that signifies combination or union, conjunction : -intimate union, constant and inseparable conjunction or inherence; it is claimed to be one of the important categories of the Vaiseshika realistic philosophy. They use this category to explain the relationship between dravya and guna and guna and jati.¹  Thus a quality inheres in the dravya, blue colour inheres in the sky, brown in the wood, and viscosity in oil and so on. That is to say, the quality cannot appear apart from the dravya, and exists in the dravya alone. No doubt one quality passes and another quality takes its place when a black colour of the mud passes and gives place to red when a brick is ‘fired’, which shows that qualities inhere in a substance but changes of quality do not affect the substance. So too the jati or samanya (classness) inheres in a quality.

All these inherences are said to be of the same nature. It is when the claim is made that all the samavayas are one only that we have to try to understand exactly what this means. It means for one that all kinds of samavaya or inherence are of the same kind and that there are not many kinds of samavaya. For example, the inherent relation between dravya and guna is the same kind as that between guna and samanya. It means simply that if the guna changes the samanya changes or a guna can have many samanyas but a samanya can inhere only in one guna. So too if a dravya changes the guna changes but guna cannot exist apart form dravya. This is true of all kinds of inhering categories.

The inhering relation can be therefore of two kinds: Eternal as in the case of the qualities of the eternal substances which do not change their qualities at all, e.g. the soul being cit. But its knowledge function can be temporary quality. Thus the knowledge function is related to the substance as temporary but knowledge-nature is inherent.  This is clearly a case of inherence (samavaya), which holds together tow categories or even more, since in knowledge we find many categories are held together.

Thus in the demonstration of complete definite knowledge the Nyaya logicians propounded a theory of six-fold contact, sad-vidha-sannikarsa. Six-mannered contact is better than six kinds of contact. Knowledge aimed at is definite knowledge and in perception complete knowledge would involve or imply knowledge of dravya, guna, samanya, karma too, and knowledge about a thing would imply knowledge of its name (denotation) and in order to be meaningful it must belong to a language within which it inheres or which inheres in the name, and lastly it must be clear for any definite knowledge there should be the statement of existing in a place and time. This last is called abhava or non-existence but it can well be shewn that abhava was a category that came later than or as a reflection on bhava or existence. This of course does not make abhava an inference, for abhava can be perceived as an absence of what was previously present.

The sad-vidha-sannikarsa has clearly to be perceived as the development of the definiteness of knowledge. Surely karma was omitted for activity and rest were considered most probably to fall into the visesana-visesyabhava contact

There have been early thinkers who did not think that we need a category like samavaya. (1) Because samavaya speaks the language of aggregation which is permanent togetherness, (2) because one would require a samavaya for a samavaya and so on ad infinitum. Why not be satisfied with contact (samyoga) which is temporary and all relations between objects which are temporary or between objects and qualities even, it is so. Thus samavaya is a category that we need not accept. That everything changes and change means the change in guna and samanya and so on, is the view at the back of this criticism. The question is, do we need to say that the contact between the knower and the object known is of the same order or kind as that between the dravya and the guna or the guna and the samanya or between name and form and name and language (the earlier version is between ether in the ear and ether outside). There is an essential difference between the two types of contact and we cannot say that samavaya and samyoga are identical. If samyoga can connect then samavaya also can, but the differentia between the two lies in the fact that in samyoga one can disconnect onself from the object just like a copulary link between two carriages, but one cannot disconnect the dravya from guna in a mechanical way. It is a metaphysical distinction, not a mechanical disjunction that is possible between the dravya and guna or guna and samanya.

The criticism that one requires another samavaya to connect samavaya is a specious piece of intellectual logic that does not believe that there can be any connection at all, but a characterless substance or reality.

One question however may be raised and that is to ask whether samavaya is not a kind of internal relation as distinct from an external relation? If it is an internal relation then is it not clear that the terms must in a sense be so related and modified by each other that when a guna passes or a dravya changes the terms would also get modified?. The samavaya or inherence or internal relation will bring about a contradiction in so far as it has to fall away from one guna and catch hold of another guna which means that inherence acts as a polymorphic entity. Further any internal relation is contradiction in so far as it is fixed and unchangeable and no dynamic explanation can be given. That is the reason why in Idealistic metaphysics which accept internal realtions as fixed we are presented with a block universe. Relations are from a realistic point of view clearly to reveal two kinds or rather three : one, there can be connection between object(dravyas), and this is samyoga; the samyoga between a knower and his object reveals to him that the object possesses characteristics like guna which in turn belongs to a class of qualities. The connections that he establishes with the guna and samanya are clearly through the perception of the dravya-this is of course in some cases modified-for one can perceive a guna or a samanya apparently but no sooner than he does so perceive he begins to seek out the locus (asraya) or abode of these qualities and samanyas which he had perceived. Thus some thinkers say that it is better to hold that one perceives the abode of guna and samanya and the description of this experience can be samyukta-asraya. But one asks whether this obviates the conception of samavaya. The term  asraya only shows that one perceives the guna in a dravya; it does not show how the guna and dravya are related metaphysically-metaphysically discernible but physically impartible. This ideal conception of the relationship between dravya and guna is dropped out. The fact remains that we have to have a separate concept for explaining this relationship between dravya and guna : it does not matter at all if one calls the relationship as one of primary and secondary qualities and then reduces all to subjective ideas-all these will not get rid of the experience of the dravya and samanya or even name and form and name and language within which the former is meaningful. These relations are not internal in the idealistic sense of modifying the nature of the terms except as factors of implicative inference nor are they external in the sense that they make no implication at all to experience.

Thus samavaya is a valuable category for explaining the peculiar function of metaphysical analysis in relation to the problem of relation between a dravya and guna and guna and samanya and also between name and language not to speak of name and form.

However it can be seen that samavya is used by Nyaya-Vaiseshika in another connection. This is in respect of Causality. They have distinguished between samavayi, asamavayi and nimitta karanas. There is another cause known as prayojana utility or final cause. The first samavayi karana is so called because it inheres both in the cause and the effect, that is, it is dravya (substance) which is necessary and it is that which undergoes change of state. Mud is the material which inheres in the pot. Gold is the material that inheres in the bangle. Cotton inheres in the threads and cloth. This is called upadana or material cause. Thus inherence means that which is present in both the states of cause and effect. Surely there are changes in guna in the states cause and effect. The efficient cause is the person who brings about the effect using the cause. It is called nimitta. Many cases are there which show that nimitta also includes occasion or purpose and therefore prayojana, may be included under nimitta. The occasion for making a pot or bangle or cloth can be definitely given. It is the motive. It is true that whilst we can give motives for the doing of certain things, it will be difficult to give the cosmic reason for bringing into being creation or for Nature. However the reason for the creation of the world will give rise to the problem of nimitta on the part of God.

The asamavayi karana is of course most interesting for it describes all those causes which do not inhere in the effect but cooperate with the cause (samavayi) to bring about the effect. They are in the case of making a pot, the potter, the wheel, the stick, water, etc.

The asamavayi karana therefore refers to all those implements and ingredients (samagri) which do not form part of the effect at all but which are nonetheless necessary for its production. The usual examples given in the manuals unfortunately do not give us any clear idea of the nature of the asamavayi karana.

Thus samavaya would mean when applied to causality again inherence which reveals the Nyaya-Vaiseshika did not reject a kind of modified identity between cause and effect. All that they claimed was that the totality of causes (including samavayi, asamavayi and nimmitta) do not exhibit themselves in the effect, and indeed it is precisely because certain things are not in the cause but which have been brought into being in the effect that it is claimed that the effect is non-existent in the cause but comes into being anew.

It is clear that samavaya is a necessary concept for revealing the metaphysical and realistic facts of the perceptive and inferential order. The term ‘samyukta-asraya’ can hardly be used in terms of causality which is a factor of inherence. Can we do without samavaya because it is a multiplication of categories? It has been shewn that the law of parsimony or the Occam’s Razor cannot be applied in all cases. Inherence in this limited sense shows that the effect is not in the cause not the cause in the effect in the sense of logical implication but that it is more probable to hold that there must be some substance common to both the cause and the effect. In this lies the refutation of Nihilism (sunyavada) which claims that there is no substance at all and that out of Nothing something comes into being. Logical implication flows from effect to cause but not from cause to effect, inherence being only of guna in dravya but not of dravya in guna. It is sesavat anumana. Visishtadvaita claimed that samavaya is not quite adequate to explain the relationship between God and the soul and nature, for all these are dravyas and not in the relation of guna and dravya. Samavaya was refuted in the usual way of leading to regress and so on, and one must confess that it was also shewn that inherence must be permanent and reciprocal or not at all. This of course is to demand from objective and realistic analysis something that is not there. Change reveals this demand for some inherences being temporary: it is not perhaps necessary to say that all should be permanent and none should be temporary.

The relation between dravya and dravya as, for example, between God and souls is said to be one of inseparability (aprthaksiddha). So too the relation between God and Nature is said to be one of inseparability (aprthaksiddha). This is on the ground that God is ever exercising the power of control, direction, support and enjoyment of them. In other words, the constant exercise of power over the two dravyas mentioned (souls and Nature) is said to be logically being defined as inseparability. Suppose the souls are separated from God; what will result? In the one case the souls may cease to be as also in the other case Nature will cease to be. In other words it is inconceivable that either the souls or Nature cease to be and this assurance of their eternity it is that makes us assume that God does not even for a while cease to exercise power of preservation of them. However, how are we to explain the processes of change in the soul’s consciousness-function and the Nature except by saying that God with whom they form a unity (samavaya or Oneness) wills the manifold manifestations of souls and Nature?

Thus aprthaksiddha sambandha differentiating itself from samavaya does rescue the souls and Nature from being mere visesanas or gunas, for it firmly establishes the fact that it is relation between real entities (dravyas) and secondly the inherence is not of the causal (upadana) order of kind, and that it is permanent.

This is usually lost sight of because some thinkers almost reduce the soul to the level of a guna and Nature to the level of trigunas which because of this misuse or abuse of the terms leads to various misinterpretations.

However we have yet to feel our way to speaking about samavaya as the principle of Reality as basically governed by Unity or System or One-Many. All pluralistic thinkers must arrive at the realisation of the necessity for a principle of Inherence or Aggregation and Combination which will produce Happiness for all. In what sense can this sense of inherence or union be discovered in all and between all. It is impossible to think that this inherence can be between all individuals as such, except by the assumption  of a common bond of love that animates all form within, inseparable from our nature. This may be Atman or the living principle in all. But is it the technical inherence as we have met with in the Nyaya? No. However Vedanta has spoken of this Self in all and all in the Self in a sense of basic inherence or should we better choose the word aprthaksiddha? As it has been pointed out aprthaksiddha is linked up with the Power of the Divine, Cosmic Support of all whereas the love that sustains all is of the order of inherence, internal linking-but then these are terms which are not adequate to describe the sense of support and love that are combined in our transcendent experience of the Divine and the Bhagavatas.




Indriyartha sannikarsotpannam jnanam avyapadesyam

avyabhicari vyavasayatmakam Pratyaksam                                                                   ( Nyaya Sutras 1-1-4 )

The knowledge that one gets through pratyaksa or sensory organs should be definite or determinate. All real knowledge is determinate or definite so as to leave no doubt as to the object known. It must be yathartha-jnana and not suffer from samsaya or doubt. Now there are two kinds of perception therefore, the indefinite and the definite, the indeterminate and the determinate, nirvikalpaka and savikalpaka. The authors of Indian Logic usually speak about the six ways (vidhah) of knowing as object in perception. The sense organ has to come into contact with the object (artha). Taking for example vision, the eye comes into contact with the object. The relation between them is samyoga, a disjunctable relation, for the eye can withdraw this contact and begin to know other objects. But the eye when it comes into contact with the colour or form of the object comes into contact with a quality which cannot exist apart from the object or is in inseparable relation to it (samavaya). Likewise when the eyes comes into contact with the samanya (general character) which is inherent in the quality which is in inseparable relation with the object. It is clear that these three are stages in the determinateness of the knowledge of the object. The perception ‘that’ is nirvikalpaka pratyaksa surely, but the second stage of contact with quality and the third stage of contact with the genus (samanya) are paving the way for savikalpaka pratyaksa which can only become complete when not only the object’s form (rupa) but also its name (nama) becomes known. Thus rightly the fourth contact is with the name, which indeed is apprehended through sound (sabda). Every sound refers to a thing and in one sense is inherent in it. Non-sense syllables however gain meaning too as they get used. In one sense we may accept the mystical rendering of akasa as the organ of hearing being the instrument of sound cognition, and therefore the contact is just between the akasa in the ear and the quality of sound got from outside as being in the relation of samavaya or inherence. This is fanciful. What is rightly to be thought of in this connection is the more fundamental problem of the relationship between sound and form in respect of objects. No object is adequately or completely known unless it has both form and name. The name and form are related to the object as inherent to it. This is of course the Vedantic position. Whether the sabda is heard first and the form is perceived later or vice versa, every sound is linked up with a form, a non-sense sound with a sense-form. The child exclaims in some manner and conveys its knowledge of an object with a sound, and thereafter continues to use it for that object whether it belongs to the general knowledge or language of those about him or not. Conditioned reflexes show this possibility of association in cognition. Therefore the interpretation of this inherence (samavaya) should not be left to the mystical and fanciful physiology of the past. And further the relationship between the samanya of sound (word) and sound (word) is not to be explained on the basis of the alleged relationship between srotrakasa and akasa. The linguistic position would be that every word gets fused or gains meaning in and through the language which pervades the environment. No sound merely exists in vacuum, and language is inherent in every sound. Despite diversity of languages which have grown up all over the world a stranger is confronted with the sound and understands it only when it is understood in terms of the language to which it belongs, whether it is of the animal or man or different species. The relationship thus is inherent. Language is inherent in every sound and every sound is inherent in a form or related to a form, through every object has different names in different languages.

At the beginning in the perception of an object we can never be said to know it fully determinately unless its name is also given; determinate knowledge is verbal knowledge, denotative.

What the ancient rishis thought about their apprehension of the Veda would get a relevency in this context. We know that God revealed the Vedas to the rishis. The rishis saw them. They also heard them at the same time. Thus every object or word got both a form and a name at once. It is said that the word (form) and sound get fixed by the Divine Himself. No human being fixed the relationship of inseparable connotation and denotation. Thus the Vedas are apauruseya – not man-made. In other words, it is not conventional usage that gave rise to language—sound and meaning. Meaning always refers to a thing (fact seen) and the experienced relation or motion or activity, or even the similarity of appearance and so on. Thus the view that all words are expressive of motion or activity may be conceded with the proviso that all these are facts of experience. The name becomes a name differentiated from a sound (non-sense word) because of its being coordinated with the thing as in conditioned reflex. Languages, however much they might have differentiated due to tongues being unable to develop the habit of pure or accurate pronunciation (primeval pronunciation), are at bottom derived from the original God-given speech. It is not to be disputed that there might have been different epochs of god’s revelation. For instance it is perhaps very difficult to prove the identity of language in Sanskrit and Tamil or their mutual derivation. Nay it appears to be almost impossible. But that apart, taking the general philosophic-psychological question, name and form go together for determinate knowledge. This is true whether it is through the medium of the indriyas (indriyartha sannikarsa) or through the manasapratyaksa or atmasaksatkara. Name and form, sound and vision, sabdapratyaksa and caksusa pratyaksa together give us determinate knowledge along with the perception of relative position in space and time (through the perception of abhava or non-presence). These two are related to each other as Sakti and Siva even as Kalidasa Mahakavi praised the divine inseparable pair-vagarthav iva samprrktau vagarthapratipattaye. The simultaneous presentation of name and form (namarupevyakaravani) is here given successively in six stages.

It is not necessary to accept another mystical doctrine of sphota, of individual sounds or letters for this cognition. Thus we show that determinate knowledge grows from the bare ‘that’ to the ‘what’ which included quality, genus, name and language. But even at this stage we cannot say that complete perceptual determination has been made. Thus the Indian Logicians rightly insisted upon the spatial and temporal perception being included in respect of the knowledge of an object. We cannot speak about space or time in any perceptual sense except with reference to an object existing, including oneself. Visesya visesana-bhava is the determination of the spatial or temporal location of an object in terms of abhava or negation. Negation is perceptual when it is one of anyonyabhava or pradhvamsabhava or pragabhava. In each case, it becomes reciprocal in the sense, (i) what was not has come into existence; (ii) in relation to itself it was not it has come into being (as in the case of effect in Nyaya asatkaryavada), (iii) it was, it is not now (in respect of bodies that are transient or have moved away from their original position in space or time) or (iv) one and the same thing cannot occupy two places at the same time, or (v) two things cannot occupy the same place at the same time. In each case we know that negation is perceived in respect of an object (visesya).

We find its occupation of a place is the qualification of that place, a predicate so to speak. But more; it is in respect of the object itself which has to be defined as existing in a place or not, at a time or not. But this emphasis again is not made in the treatises which deal with this problem of definitive or determinate knowledge in perception.

No determinate knowledge is complete, no perfect truth is possible in respect of objects of perception unless all the six contacts are made and integrated, so as to give us the form, the genus, the name and verbal expression and spacial and temporal location. That this is the intention of the Great Teachers can well be seen in their insistence on all these factors in such a thing as sankalpa, which is determination in the performance of rites (vratas).

IItc "II"

Sabda-pramana and Logical Proposition

Sabdapramana is the validity depending upon the spoken word or expressed language. It is verbalised experience. It presupposes prior experiences of other orders of sensation. It is not mere sound-experi-ence, wherein there is just the perception of sound as sound: the sound of a crow being perceived as the sound made by the crow. It is verbalised, communicated experience. That all experience so far as man goes is such verbalised experience whether it is for oneself or another goes without saying. Indian Logic considers that sabda is the fourth pramana. The reason is that knowledge is not only from one’s own experience but in certain cases it is got from others as instruction. The quality and characteristic of the instructor grants to the communication of propositions validity and rightness. Aptavacana is the statement of an apta. Such vacana may be laukika or alaukika, that is pertaining to seen and possible experience here or pertaining to experience beyond normal ken and understanding and possible elsewhere. It is the proposition that grants definite knowledge or determinate knowledge about supersensory facts available to those who have arrived at the mystic vision or yogic relation. Such knowledge conforms to clear affirmations or denials (vidhi and nisedha), imperatives and prohibitions in ethical and spiritual action being also of the order of affirmation and denial or negation. Thus knowledge communicated by another person through language will have this first quality of determinate utterance about a thing or experience, supersensory or spiritual or empirical and pragmatic. All sabda thus conforms to the pattern of affirmation (vidhi) or negation (nisedha) considered logically. Ethically or ritualistically the affirmation takes on the characteristic of the ‘ought’ or imperative of affirmation or prohibition.

The proposition of European logic is seen to be identical with the apta-vacana. Every proposition is either an expression of affirmation of a predicate or a denial of the same to a subject. This is direct logical speech as different from a grammatical sentence. The conclusion above mentioned is re-enforced by the consideration of the conditions of the vacana.

A statement (vakya) must have sannidhi (nearness), yogyata (relevance) and akanksa (expectancy). The subject and predicate must be near each other and not separated from each other either by time or space. In other words in respect of truth what is aimed at is immediacy, non-interval between the predicate and the subject, predicate being that which is to be affirmed or denied. The two terms must be conjuct, near, non-separate. The Yogyata is the question of relevance, an expression of affirmation between the two terms or negation of them of each other. This is the only logical relevance that we know of and no other is possible. In other words, Yogyata gives us the copula-nature of the vakya. And as for akanksa (expectancy) this is a new factor introduced for the purpose of the syllogistic thought. The words indeed by themselves mean nothing at all taken in isolation. All communication or instruction or verbal knowledge is expressed in sentences or propositions not mere terms. In thought no term stands just by itself. Thus when any word is uttered, the questions arise as to what it is, what about it, where it is, how it is, and also what it is not, etc. thus it is the process of determination of the ‘that’ (word in the vakya) that is felt as the akanksa (expectancy).

The usual method of explaining these three conditions leaves very much to be desired in order to develop a true theory of Indian Logic. The fact that the ancient Indian Logicians did have a correct idea of the conditions of logical proposition, which should avoid all ambiguity and give determinate knowledge, verbalised or experienced, shows that the later Indian logicians did not develop their explanations properly. This is frankly due to the advaitic theory of knowledge that ultimate knowledge is (and so all mediate knowledge or sensory knowledge) indeterminate. We may well claim that the Absolute Knowledge is indescribable or indeterminative by our pramanas, which are human¹. But the knowledge that we have of the individual things, and the expression of knowledge in words and sentences must be determinate and beyond the criticisms of doubt, ambiguity, manifold predication, etc. Nyaya system rightly explained in its original the conditions which the vakyas (propositions of  European logic) have to fulfil and they are not different from what is seen in their western parallels. Knowledge is universal, and Western Logic and Eastern logic have developed almost in the same way. True, the syllogistic pattern and even in sabda there are subtle differences which bring out the mystic unity of thought and applicability of this apparatus of propositions beyond the purely logical purpose of syllogism as in European (Aristotelian) Logic, But Professors teaching Indian Logic have to take note of the need for orientated teaching of the subject to bring out the most clear aspects of ancient thought to the modern scholars. Accustomed to parrot repetition even good teachers of the subject have failed to see the fundamental contribution made by Indian Logic to a proper appraisal of the subject of Logic.










¹.    Kena Upanisad mantra II : Yadi manyase suvedeti dabhram evapi nunam…avsjnatam vijanatam vijnatam avijanatam.