Nyaya Kusumanjali Hindu Rational Enquiry into the Existence of God

Item Code: IDD777
Publisher: Aryan Books International
Language: English
Edition: 1999
ISBN: 8173051518
Pages: 357
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 8.7" X 5.7"
Weight 590 gm
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Book Description

About the Book

Nyayakusumanjali is a classic work on the logical enquiry into the existence of god by Udayanacarya, a Hindu philosopher-theologian of the 10th-11th century. Exhaustive interpretative exposition of Udayana's auto-commentary has been a demanding necessity, owing to the difficult nature of the work involving terse logical subtleties, for the students of Hindu theology.

The text has been divided into five chapters. In the first four chapters objections advanced by the opponents against the existence of god have been analysed and refuted, and the proponent's standpoint is stated. The fifth, the last chapter of the text, advances the positive proofs for the existence of God. In the translation of the karikas and in the interpretative exposition of Udayana's auto-commentary main emphasis main emphasis is laid on bringing out the contents of the text, some of which is known but most of which is hidden behind the text, due to the difficult nature of expression, analysis and methodology followed in the composition of the work. About the Author

Dr. (Mrs.) Bhaswati Sinha (nee Bhattacharya) born in August 1945, did her M.A. from the University of Calcutta in 1968 and Ph.D. from the Centre of Advanced Study in Philosophy, University of Madras in 1975, under the supervision of Professor T.M.P. Mahadevan. After the completion of her Ph.D., Professor Mahadevan assigned her the Post Doctoral research work on Khandana-Khanda-Khadya of Sriharsa. At the urgent demand of the Department of Religious Studies, Punjabi University, Patiala for sending an accomplished teacher to teach Hinduism in the area of Comparative Religion, Professor Mahadevan recommended her name for the job in November 1976 and since then she is seriously engaged in the teaching and research work in the Department. She has so far published numerous research papers on Hinduism and Comparative Religion. The present work is an outcome of sustained labour of more than twenty by the author



The Nyayakusmanjali authored by Udayanacarya the 10th 11th century logician and redoubtable philosopher of the Nyaya-Vaisesika system of philosophy is a critical and constructive polemical and philosophical treatise dealing with the proofs for the existence of God. It is a great work both in dialectics as well as in style and hence it occupies the foremost place among the Indian philosophical classics.

Most religions establish the existence of God on the authority of scriptures and the religious experience of the prophets. In Indian philosophy Vedanta in all its forms too establishes the existence of God from the deliverances of the scriptures. God is hailed as a trans empirical and super sensuous being that cannot be perceived much the less inferred hence its existence is said to be revealed. Further human reasoning is considered as finite and not competent to fathom the mystery of god.

Some systems of philosophy in India viz the Carvaka the Bauddha and the Jaina set aside the case for accepting god as the Supreme Principle. The Sankhya and the Mimamsa Systems reject the concept of God as Ultimate reality.

Against the atheistic anti rationalistic and pro-scriptural authoritarian background Udayancaraya the first Indian theologian attempts to establish the existence of god with the help of austere logic and refutes the criticisms made by opponents. In the Nyayakusumanjali Udayana with matchless skill has shown in great detail as to how it is possible to prove the existence of god and as to how the position of non Isvaravadins, viz. the Carvaka the Baudha and others is untenable. Udayana’s originality is revealed in his independent line of thinking and his characteristic subtleties of interpretation of Nyaya Vaisesika and other philosophical systems. He treats in details all the matter relating to God his nature existence and other is aspects. Udayana’s method of treatment surpasses the methods adopted by his predeccesors and is exemplary for the philosophers of other systems of thought. With sharp critical acumen he analyses the arguments against the existence of God by adopting the methods of syllogistic reasoning, refutes them and finally puts forth his arguments in support of God’s existence and nature. Though he examines critically all the atheistic systems, his chief opponent is the Bauddha. The Bauddha denies God taking recourse to rationalism, and so Udayana takes up the position of an ultra- rationalist just to prove that even an uncompromising rationalist cannot but has to accept the existence of God. He refutes the arguments of the Bauddha on their own grounds.

The intention of Udayana is not only to prove that God comes legitimately within the scope of syllogistic reasoning, but also to acknowledge that God is realized in direct experience. At the end of the fifth chapter of the treatise he mentions how the direct perception of God is possible. As the atheists resort to reasoning to prove that God cannot be established by reasoning, so Udayana endeavors to certify that even from a purely rationalistic stand-point the preference is in favor of God’s existence as against His non-existence.

There are three stages to God-realization. First, one has to hear about God from scriptures and from those who have attained God-realization. Secondly, one should reason about the validity of such testimony thirdly, after ascertaining the validity one is required to worship and to contemplate upon God. Udayana claims that his sole concern in the Nyayakusumanjali is with the second stage.

White ascertaining Udayana’s contribution to theism, it may be noted that he is in no way the founder of any theory off theism. Many doctrinal points on theism in general and Nyáya theism in particular have been in existence long before Udayana. The Nyiyasutra (4.1.19) of Gautama refers to God’s existence. Vätsyayana, Udyotakara and Vkaspati Misra discuss this topic defending thereby the Nyaya position against the onslaught of the opponents. But their contributions are only incidental to the main issues of the Nyaya system. It is Udayana who writes an independent treatise on Nyãya theism. His esteemed work, Nyayakusumi4/a14 reveals how doughty a champion he is in the cause of theism.

It is an acknowledged fact that the Nyayakusumanjali is not an easy text to comprehend. Udayana compresses his arguments in cryptic kirikis, most of which are not understandable without his auto-commentary, and even with the help of his auto- commentary some of the karikas remain incomprehensible. To work out an exposition of the Nyayakusumanjali was suggested to me by late Professor T.M.P Mahadevan, Director, Centre of Advanced Study of Philosophy, University of Madras. I took up some portions of the text for my Ph.D. dissertation and worked under the supervision of Professor Mahadevan. I gratefully acknowledge late Professor Mahadevan for inspiring me to work on this difficult topic.

After joining the Department of Religious Studies, Punjabi University, Patiala for teaching Hinduism and Comparative Religion, I decided to expound the whole text in detail, so that the students of religion and philosophy may understand the valuable contribution of Udayana to rational theology It took many years of hard work to complete the present work.

While preparing translation of kirikas and interpretative exposition of Udayana s auto-commentary all the available commentaries and translations are taken help of. The author of the present undertaking is specially indebted to Sri Uttamur T Viraraghavacarya of Madras and Sri N,S. Ramanujan Tatachariar of Tirupati at whose feet the author had the good fortune of studying the text, Nayakusumanjali. Sri Viraraghavacharyas commentary, Kusumãnjali-vistara, is the only elaborate and exhaustive commentary on the Nyãyakusuanjali, without which many portions of the text would have remained incomprehensible. Hence, the present interpretative exposition of the Nyayakusumanjali is mainly based on the Kusunianjali-visrara. I take this opportunity to express my gratitude to Dr. N. Veezhinathan, Professor of Sanskrit, University of Madras and Dr. V Swaminathan of Kendriya Sanskrit Vidyapiha, Tirupati who helped me variously while I was researching at the Centre of Advanced Study of Philosophy, University of Madras. I cannot forget the help bestowed upon me in many ways by my dear friend Dr. R. Bhagyaleela while I was studying at Tirupati. I am profusely thankful to my husband and my senior colleague, Dr. Atul N. Sinha for providing me all possible co-operation in the completion and publication of the work in its present form.

I am thankful to Mr. Umesh Upadhyaya of Eureka computer, Nehru Place New Delhi for preparing the typeset and to Mr. Vikas Arya of Aryan Books International New Delhi for the Publication of the book.




God - The Controller of Adrsta

Invocatory verse 2; Considering the existence of Supreme Being 4; Logical enquiry into the existence of God as reflection 6; Fivefold objection against the existence of God 7; Existence of super-natural cause on account of dependence 12; Refutation of the theory of accidental and spontaneous origination 14; Stream of cause and effect beginningless 21; Diversity and refutation of unitary cause 28; Universal observance establishing the causality of adrsta 31; Souls' experience of the fruits of action through adrsta 34; Like existence non-existence, a cause as well as an effect 35; Meaning of counteraction and contracting agent 38; Theory of sakti refuted 39; Purificatory modification produced in the person through spraying, sprinklin, etc. 42; Production non-production of touch in air and obstruction of fluidity in water, presence of deities in images 45; Auxiliary of the cause of victory of defeat 46; Refutation of Sankhya for agency and sentience criticized 51; Refutation of doctrine of momentariness 55; Determining endurableness 65; Carvaka refutation of causality rebutted 66; Invariable antecedence as causality 67; Causality of eternal and all-pervading soul determined 68; Concluding verse 70.


God - The Author of the Vedas

Mimamsa view of apauruseyatva of the Vedas refuted 71; Extrinsic validity of knowledge upheld 76; Intrinsic validity of knowledge refuted 77; Eternality of the Vedas not accepted 79; Creation and dissolution established 99; Authority of the Vedas by Kapila and other refuted 113; Omniscient God, the author of the Vedas 115; Concluding verse115.


No Proof for Non-existence of God

Non-cognition, not a proof for non-existence of God 117; Mimamsa doctrine of all-pervasiveness of mind refuted 121; Inference, not a proof for no-existence of God 131; Carvaka view of non-congnition proving non-existence of God refuted 137; Definition of aprayojaka-hetu 139; Analogy, not a proof for non-existence of God148; Prabhakara view of analogy refuted 148; Nyaya view of analogy stated 151; Vaisesika view of analogy refuted 152; Verbal testimony, not a proof for non-existence of God 158; Vaisesika view of verbal testimony refuted 158; Prabhakara theory of anvitabhidhanavada refuted 166; Bhatta theory of anvitabhidhanavada analysed 174; Verbal testimony proving existence of God established 176; Presumption, not a proof for non-existence of God 177; Presumption, a form of inference and not a distinct means of knowledge 179; Non-cognition include in perception and inference and not a distinct means of knowledge 183; Concluding verse 201.


God - The Substratum of Valid knowledge

Mimamsa theory of valid knowledge refuted and Nyaya theory stated 202; validity of memory rejected 207; Doctrine of cognizedness refuted 213; Super-sensuousness of knowledge rejected 217; God as the substratum of valid knowledge established 233; Concluding verse 236.


Proofs for the Existence of God

Inferential proof for the existence of God 237; First ground of inference, effecthood; explained 239; Second ground of inference, concertive activity; explained 266; Third ground of inference, 'support' and destruction; explained 271; Fourth ground of inference, empirical usage; explained 274; Fifth and Sixth grounds of inference 'authoritativeness' and 'sruti', explained 276-77; Seventh ground of inference, 'sentences', explained 278; Eighth ground of inference, 'particular number', explained 283; Second interpretation of the first ground of inference 287; Second interpretation of the second and the third grounds of inference 293; Second interpretation of the fourth ground of inference 294; Second interpretation of the fifth ground of inference 297; Meaning of Vidhi-Pratyaya (injunction) discussed 298; Vidhi, not an attribute of Karta 299; Vidhi, not an attribute of Karma or Kriya 312; Vidhi, not an attribute of Karana 322; Second interpretation of the sixth ground of inference 335; Second interpretation of the seventh and the eighth ground of inference 336-37; Direct perception of God possible 339; Concluding verse 342-43.


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