Indian logic is the new topic for the students but majority originated in ancient India. Indian logic originated in the Sanskrit language. Pramanas means proof and it’s also Means of knowledge. The word prama is also used in the sense of consciousness, perception, etc. The occurrence of anything in our mind cannot come without knowledge. All thoughts in our mind are related to some knowledge that we have acquired.

The Indian philosophical studies are called Darshan Shastras, Shastras is a systematic study of any branch of knowledge. The word Darshana is derived from the root “drush” which means “to see” Drashyam means visuals; the movie Drashyam is quite an effective example of learning and knowledge through visuals, visual memory is the strongest memory. But they may be true or not, just like the Mirage.

The teachers of Advaita Vedanta philosophy have gone into this aspect of the process of knowledge in great detail, and have enumerated “six” pramanas. Which pramanas has to be resorted to and also when is decided by the situation and the nature of object concerned. These six means of knowledge are as follows…

1.Pratyaksha Pramana (Perception)

The external perception implies cognition of sense objects, namely sound, touch, form, taste, and smell by our five senses organs respectively ears, skin, eyes, tongue, and nose. When the sense organs contact their respective objective then pratyaksha knowledge takes place.

The internal perception means the direct and immediate cognition of pain, pleasure, love, hate, anger, knowledge, or ignorance of various objects in our minds.

2.Anumana Pramana (Inference/Assumption)

Translated word Anumana means “knowing after”. It means the method by which knowledge is derived from another knowledge. It is indirect, mediate knowledge. We know an invariable relationship between two things and on that basis while seeing one we deduce the presence of the other. Thus anumana refers to the logical process of gaining knowledge.

In all inferential knowledge, there are definite steps to be followed. The following steps are accepted for logical deduction of knowledge by the teachers of Advaita Vedanta:

  1. Perceptual evidence – we see smoke on the hill
  2. Invariable concomitance – wherever there is smoke there is fire, as seen in the kitchen
  3. Conclusion – therefore the hill has fire

3.Upamana Pramana (Comparison)

Mimankshas and Advaitas define Upmana as the process by which the knowledge of A’s similarity to B is gained from the perception of B’s similarity to A, which has been seen elsewhere. This methodology is seen as distinct from mere inference and is thus accepted as a valid mediate method of knowledge. For example a comparison between pet dog and animal which looks the same as a dog but lives in forest (wild dog)


4.Aarthapati Pramana (Implication)

This means postulation, supposition, or presumption of a fact. It is a distinct valid method of mediate knowledge. It is, in fact, a method of assumption of an unknown fact to account for a known fact that is otherwise inexplicable.

The classic example of this method of knowledge is a fat person ….. a fat person says that he never eats in the day, then we can easily postulate that he eats in the night, for the simple reason that without this assumption his fatness and also his getting fatter cannot be explained.


5.Anuplabdhi Pramana (Non-apprehension)

The Advaita and the Mimaksha school of Kumaril Bhatt believe Anuplabdhi to be a separate independent Pramana. It means non-apprehension.

The non-existence of a thing is apprehended by its non-perception. By not seeing a jar in a place one knows that it is not there. We use this method of knowledge very often, and this is evident from a statement like

“There is no teacher in the classroom”

“There is no sound here”

“This flower has no fragrance”

6.Sabda Pramanas (Verbal Testimony)

Sabda Praman is verbal testimony. It is also called “Apta Vakyas” (statement of a trust-worthy person) and agama (authentic word). A verbal statement uttered or written, is man’s most potent instrument for transmitting knowledge. We learn mostly using words, an oral or written message is a universal mode of communication. We constantly get various information, direction, and knowledge through words. Right from childhood to this moment we use words as a valid and effective means of bringing about awareness of things, ideas, or emotions. Books, magazines, newspapers, letters, conversations, chats, radios, TV, movies, songs, etc. all the things depend on words. Also, the blog you are reading is a written message i.e. Shabda Pramana.

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