Prof. V.N. Jha (b.1946) is an eminent scholar and specialist of various branches of Sanskrit learning. All along his life he has been trying to promote Sanskrit studies through multi-disciplinary approaches inorder to make such studies relevant to contemporary world and knowledge domains. He created new disciplines of study in Sanskrit. He ahs contributed over 45 books and over 100 articles. So many students received Ph.D. degree under his supervision. He is member of a number of national and international academic bodies and institutions. He has been honored by several academic institutions. He hold the position of Professor and Director of Centre for Advanced study in Sanskrit University of Pune for 20 years. He was also the founding Chairman of the special centre for Sanskrit Studies Jawaharlal Nehru University New Delhi.
Paramarsa can be paraphrased as ‘the confirmatory knowledge’. It is a stage in the process of Inference. Inference is one of the four processes of knowing or internalizing the universe, accepted by the Indian logicians Naiyayikas). The other three processes are perceptual, analogical and verbal processes.
Although other systems of Indian philosophy accepted different numbers of the process of internalization, the Naiyayikas included all extra processes in one or the other of these four Pramanas. Carvaka accepted only one namely, perception. The Vaisesikas and the Buddhists accepted only two namely perception and Inference. The Sankhya philosophers accepted three adding verbal testimony to the above List of two. Naiyayikas accepted four by adding upamana to the above list. The Prabhakara school of Purva- mimamsa added presumption making the number five. The Bhatta school of Purva—mimamsa made it six by adding the process of knowing absence. The folk tradition added two more to the list namely history and inclusion.
The Naiyayikas included arthapatti and sambhava in inference aitihya in sabda and anupalabdhi was felt to be unnecessary since absence could be known by perception also.
By 10th century A.D. the Vaisesikas and the Naiyayikas came very close in their world view and the system was more or less known as Nyaya-Vaisesika system of though. Jayanta Bhatta has clearly stated that Vaisesikastu asmad-anuyayinah eva. (Nyayamanjari Ist ahnika). The Nyaya-Vaisesika system of thought accepted five member process of anumana to convince others. The bhatta school accepted only three members. The five members are:
1. Pratijna : The Mountain possesses fire
2. Hetu : Because there is smoke
3. Udaharana : Like the Kitchen
4. Upanaya: Such is this mountain
5. Nigamana : Therefore Mountain Process fire
The Bhatta school thinks either the first three steps or the last three steps are sufficient to explain the generation of inferential cognition. This issue is being debated for more than 1500 years. Sasadhara the pre-gangesa neo-logician wrote an independent essay on Paramarsa in his Nyayasiddhanta dipa and defended the Nyaya-Vaisesika position taking into account all the pros and cons of the objection raised by the Bhatta-Mimamasakas.
The present monograph summarizes the entire debate briefly and shows how cleverly Sasadhara formulated his arguments in Navay-Nyaya language in order to defend the position of the Indian logicians. The abstract formulation have been explained here through diagrams.
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