Tarkabhasa of Kesava Misra

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Item Code: NAD336
Author: S. R. Iyer
Publisher: Chaukhambha Publishers
Edition: 2001
Pages: 264
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 9.0 inch X 5.5 inch
Weight 380 gm
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Book Description

Kesava Misra’s Tarkabhasa is a manual of the sycretic school of Nyaya-Vaisesika. It is based on the old Nyaya tradition and takes into consideration the sixteen categories of the Nyayasutra of Gotama. This proves beyond doubt that even in the age of Navyanyaya the study of the old Nyaya texts were prevalent. The Study of Tarkabhasa was very popular in all parts of India as is proved by the larfge number of commentaries written on it, Kesava’s style is lucid and his arrangement of topics is scientific. Long agto Bodas published an edition of TB with exhaustive notes. The present edition by Sri S. R. Iyer is highly informative and analytical. I am sure it will win the admiration of the students and teachers of Nyaya and will be considered as a landmark in the tradition o the textual study of Nyaya-Vaisesika.


The six orthodox systems of Indian Philosophy Popularly known as are and Because of some affinity in thought and doctrines these have traditionally been recognized as three pairs of allied systems, sometimes designated though each has flourished independently and with a distinctive individuality. Often acquiescing in and attacking the others just like the friendly quarrels among brothers in a large joint family. All these wystems were originally intended to help in the exposition and interpretation of Vedic Texts which are believed to be the revelations of God and therefore infallible. That is why they are all called in contrast to the heretic or systems such as those of the Carvakas, the Buddhists and the Jainas, who do not believe in the authority and omniscience of the Vedas. Amidst all their differences in doctrines and methods one thing is common to all the orthodox systems., viz, that salvation is the sole end and aim of life with knowledge as the only door leading to it. It is natural to ask then whicha re the things worth knowing and which are not. The propounders of each system have answered this question in the light of theirown thingking and speculation. These teachings have been codified in cryptic terse aphorisms called Sutras modeled on the Sutras of Panini on Grammar which later scholars have built up imposing superstructures by their commentaries variously called as etc. The Sutrakaras, i. e. sages who first codified the crystallized findings of teach system in the form of Sutras are according to tradition.

Many a Western scholar have questioned the authorship of these sages on the ground that it is supported only by tradition and also because the same sage is sometimes known under different names; But so far nothing has been brought to light to discredit the belief in the tradition ascribing the authorship as above. Except in the case of the Sutras of the other systems have come down to us more or less in the original form. The original of is supposed to have been lost, as the one extant now under that name has been proved to be a very late production of the 14th century or so. The original teachings of that system were collected together in 72 small verses in what is called or by sometimes before the second century A. D. Since its appearance this work constitutes the basic authority for that system just like the Sutras. Various scholars have tried their best to arrive at the periods when these Sutras were redacted or Condified; but due to lack of definite date all their best to finding have ended only in tentative guesses which may conform to or confirm some subsequent event or development of thought.

Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism and Vardhamana Mahavira, the founder of Jainism, are now believed to have lived form 624 to 544 B. C. and form 599 to 527 B. C. respectively According to their own traditions. Any date before the rise of these two schisms is almost a blank-anybody’s guess depending upon the particular evidence or material on which emphasis is stressed. The Buddhists and Jainas are believed to have collected together the vewrbal teachings of their founders in the form of Tipitakas and Agamas a centuryt or so after their Nivrvanas. They might have been prompted to do this by seeing the Hindus clinging to their vedic texts with unflinching faith and reverence. However, that be the conflict—pretty severe in many cases—that arose among the adherents of the three faiths, and that stirred the minds of all intellectuals ijn the decades following the times of these two reformers, must have compelled all the parties to systematize their doctrines and to give expression to them in a methodical form and also to meet the arguments put forth by the opponents. The Buddhist Suttras definitely refer to the and systems and vaguely to the and. The canonical scriptures of the Jaineas compiled about the same times contain a large number of logical terms such as etc. Which on the face of it appear to be borrowings and not their own creations? The mere reference to these systems positively proves the existence of the Hindu Darsanas in some form or other much earlier. No definite evidence is yet available to set aside the orthodox belief that all these systems has crystallized by this time into some definite form and were being circulated in learned circles from teacher to pupil. We are at present concerned with the and systems only, which together constitute what is called Indian Logic. All the internal evidence pointed out by various scholars tend to show that the Sutras took shape sometime about 400 B. C. and that the Sutras must have followed it not long after wards at any about 300 B. C.

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