Monthly Seminar on Vedic Sciences

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Monthly Seminar on Vedic Sciences
February 19, 2011
June 24, 2012
Tirupati, Select a Country:
Report of the Monthly Seminar on Vedic Sciences arranged at Tirupati branch of I-SERVE 

Report of the Monthly Seminar on Vedic Sciences arranged at Tirupati branch of I-SERVE 

(on 19-02-2011)


The Monthly brain storming session on “Ancient Indian Disciplines of study” was arranged in the premises of I-SERVE, Tirupati at 4:00 P.M. on 19th February 2011.Around 25 intellectuals from various academic and scientific institutes of Tirupati attended the programme.

 Dr. K.Vishwanatha Sarma, Organizing Secretary, I-SERVE, welcomed the gathering and briefed the activities of Tirupati chapter of I-SERVE.

 A brief account of the presentations and talks is given below.  Prof. O.S.R.L Sharma (Dean,Faculty of Darsana,Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha) delivered a lecture on The Nyaya theory of Knowledge .Given below is a summary of the lecture.  The Nyaya theory of Knowledge. The Nyaya school accepts four means of obtaining knowledge (pramana), viz., Perception, Inference, Comparison and Word.[2]

     * Perception, called Pratyaksha, occupies the foremost position in the Nyaya epistemology. Perception is defined by sense-object contact and is unerring. Perception can be of two types:

          o Ordinary (Laukika or Sadharana), of six types, viz., visual-by eyes, olfactory-by nose, auditory-by ears, tactile-by skin, gustatory-by tongue and mental-by mind.

          o Extraordinary (Alaukika or Asadharana), of three types, viz., Samanyalakshana (perceiving generality from a particular object), Jñanalaksana (when one sense organ can also perceive qualities not attributable to it, as when seeing a chili, one knows that it would be bitter or hot), and Yogaja (when certain human beings, from the power of Yoga, can perceive past, present and future and have supernatural abilities, either complete or some). Also, there are two modes or steps in perception, viz., Nirvikalpa, when one just perceives an object without being able to know its features, and Savikalpa, when one is able to clearly know an object. All laukika and alaukika pratyakshas are savikalpa. There is yet another stage called Pratyabhijña, when one is able to re-recognise something on the basis of memory.

     * Inference, called Anumana, is one of the most important contributions of Nyaya. It can be of two types – inference for oneself (Svarthanumana, where one does not need any formal procedure, and at the most the last three of their 5 steps), and inference for others (Parathanumana, which requires a systematic methodology of 5 steps). Inference can also be classified into 3 types: Purvavat (inferring an unperceived effect from a perceived cause), Sheshavat (inferring an unperceived cause from a perceived effect) and Samanyatodrishta (when inference is not based on causation but on uniformity of co-existence). A detailed analysis of error is also given, explaining when anumana could be false.

     * Comparison, which is the rough transplation of Upamana. It is the knowledge of the relationship between a word and the object denoted by the word. It is produced by the knowledge of resemblance or similarity, given some pre-description of the new object beforehand.

     * Word, or Sabda are also accepted as a pramana. It can be of two types, Vaidika (Vedic), which are the words of the four sacred Vedas, or can be more broadly interpreted as knowledge from sources acknowledged as authoritative, and Laukika, or words and writings of trustworthy human beings.

 Dr. K E Venkatanathan  delivered a lecture on The Anaikantika

A hetvabhaasa is defined to be a false probans (middle term) the discovery of which works as a deterrent towards inference; in other words, it is what makes inference impossible and illegitimate. A hetvaabhaasa may be regarded either as a false reason (heta) or a defect visiting the reason. Whichever view may be taken of the nature of a hetvaabhaasa the undeniable fact remains that the concept of hetvabhasa (fallacy) does not extend to any defect or shortcoming or a personal nature and strictly stands for those objective defects alone which obstruct the process of inference. Previous conviction of the conclusion is an obstacle to inference and according to the definition it should be regarded as a case of fallacy. But that is not the case. Concept of fallacy does not include the cases which serve as impediments to inference only under definite conditions and cease to function as deterrents when those conditions are removed. A previous knowledge of the conclusion does not operate as a bar to inference when it is accompanied by a desire for inferential proof of the otherwise known thesis and so it does not fall under the category of a fallacy. The definition, however, covers the accredited cases of recognized fallacies which according to the Naiyaayika are of five different types, viz (1) analkaantika (the inconclusive probans (middle term) lacking invariable concomitance with the probandum (major term): (2) viruddha (the contradictory probans which is invariably concomitant with the absence of the probandum: (3) asidha (unproven probans); (4) satpratipaksha (the counter-balanced probans) and (5) baadhita (the contradicted probans). The inconclusive (analkaantika) probans thwarts the process of inference by violating the universal concomitance (vyaapti), which is one of the conditions of inference. The frustration of inference may be direct or indirect through the violation of the conditions of inference. Now, the conditions of inference are (i) the universal concomitance of the probans with probandun: (ii) the subsistence of such probans in the subject – which is expressed in the minor premise. The combined product of the two premises is the synthetic judgement (paraamarsa) which immediately leads to inference of the conclusion. If by reason of any defect the synthetic judgement fails to materialize, the conclusion will not follow and a deadlock will be the result.


 (1) The first type of fallacy (anaikaantika) admits of three sub-divisions, viz (i) the common (saadharana); (ii) the uncommon (asaadhaarana); and lastly, (iii) the inconsequential (anupasamhaari) [i] The common inconclusive probans is one which is found to co-exist with the probandum [saadhya] and the absence of the probandum [saadhyaabhaava] alike. It violates the condition of necessary universal concomitance which is fulfilled when the probans is found to be invariably concomitant with the probandum and to be absent in a locus wherein the probandum is absent. In other words, the concomitance must be attested both in agreement and difference. The common inconclusive fallacy is illustrated in the following argument; Word is imperishable, because it is a cognizable fact. The concomitance of cognizability with imperishability is not necessary and does not exclude the opposite possibility. Even perishable things are cognizable. So the probans cognizable is inconclusive, being common to perishable and imperishable things alike. It is fallacious because it obstructs inference by violating the condition of necessary concomitance. [ii] The fallacy of uncommon inconclusive probans thwarts inference by thwarting the ascertainment of the concomitance in agreement, which is a necessary condition of inference. Word is imperishable, because it is a word. The hill is possessed of fire, because it is a hill. These arguments are illustrations of the aforesaid fallacy, because the concomitance between the fact of being a word and being imperishable is not capable of being ascertained [iii] The inconsequential inconclusive probans arises when the subject in the totality of existent things and the probans and the probandus are absolute universal concepts, as for instance in the argument. All thins are namable because they are cognizable. There is no case left over where the concomitance between the probans and probandum can be tested as all existents have been included in the denotation of the subject. This sub-species of fallacy however has been a subject of heated controversy and Gangesa succeeds in vindicating this fallacy on the psychological ground of failure of a knowledge of universal concomitance, the failure being due to the absence of an accredited example where the concomitance can be ascertained.

  Prof.R.L.N.Shastri,(Dean, Faculty of Veda & Vedangas,Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha) delivered a talk on the Samasa in Sanskrit Grammar.Given below is a gist of the talk.

Unlike the avyayibhāva compounds, in Tatpuruṣa compounds second member has primacy (uttara-pada-pradhāna). There are many tatpuruṣas (one for each of the nominal cases, and a few others besides). In a tatpuruṣa, the first component is in a case relationship with another. For example, a doghouse is a dative compound, a house for a dog. It would be called a “caturtitatpuruṣa” (caturti refers to the fourth case—that is, the dative). Incidentally, “tatpuruṣa” is a tatpuruṣa (“this man”—meaning someone’s agent), while “caturtitatpuruṣa” is a Karmadhāraya, being both dative, and a tatpuruṣa. An easy way to understand it is to look at English examples of tatpuruṣas: “battlefield”, where there is a genitive relationship between “field” and “battle”, “a field of battle”; other examples include instrumental relationships (“thunderstruck”) and locative relationships (“towndwelling”). All these normal Tatpuruṣa compounds are called vyadhikarana Tatpuruṣa, because the case ending should depend upon the second member because semantically second member has primacy, but actually the case ending depends upon the first member. Literally, vyadhikarana means opposite or different case ending. But when the case ending of both members of a Tatpuruṣa compound are similar then it is called a Karmadhāraya Tatpuruṣa compound, or simply a Karmadhāraya compound.

    At the end of the session, Dr.K.Viswanatha Sarma Organising secretary, I – SERVE, TIRUPATI CHAPTER   proposed the vote of thanks to the delegates. The meeting ended with National Anthem.