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Dr. Rajeshree Chitre
M.D. (Ayurved)

Pramaan`a means the right cognition of truth. These ideas have been put forth by oriental philosophy. They are the tools, which help us gain true knowledge. Just as to understand the formula of EinsteinE=mc2, we need to know the basic principles of physics in the same manner to understand or gain true knowledge, the Pramaan`as have been explained

The word Pramaan`a literally means to measure. This measurement can be done by instruments other than the body. Hence, Charakaachaarya has used the word Pareekshaa, which specifies the cognition of true knowledge only by the means of Indriya or senses.

The different synonyms of Pramaan`a_s are Upalabdhi, SaadhanaDnyaanaPareekshaa.

The three technical terms in relation to Pramaan`a need to be understood to understand Pramaan`a in a better manner.

Pramaa: (knowledge as it is)

It is the experience of correct knowledge. To gain Pramaa the state of the mind must be clear, free from doubts, errors, and indecisiveness. It must be a suitably cultivated mind in which the scientific attitude is inculcated, and which is unprejudiced, stocked with knowledge and full of confidence and faith.

Prameya: (Knowledge about substrates)

The subject to be cognized is known as Prameya. The subject of cognition by means of Pramaan`a is known as Prameya. All the objects existing in this world are Prameya. Hence the number of Prameya is countless. Anything that exists is the subject of cognition. Hence it is known as Prameya. According to Nyaayadars`hana there are 12 different Prameyas.

The Trigun`a TridoshaSaptadhaatuPanchamahaabhoota, Rogamaarga are all Prameya_s.

Pramaataa: (The desirous individual for real knowledge)

The person gaining the knowledge of the Prameya is known as the Pramaataa, individual making efforts for real knowledge:

The knower is the Pramaataa

Only true knowledge is termed, as Pramaa, false knowledge or experience is known as Apramaa.

Pramaatas efforts are of three types

  1. Sanshaya: The presence of different possibilities on a single subject, which is to be proved. E.g. to doubt a far off figure in the dark to be, a man or a pole.
  2. ViparyayaFalse knowledge is known as Viparyaya e.g. to mistake the presence of the shiny layer as silver on a seashell.
  3. Tarka: Purposefully done false claim is known as Tarka e.g. In spite of having the knowledge that wherever there is smoke the presence of Agni is undoubtedly true, say that wherever fire is absent smoke is also absent.

Importance of Pramaan`a:

The principles and Padaartha expounded by Ayurveda have to be proved by Pramaan`a by avoiding chance to mistakes.

  1. The aim of recollection of Ayurveda was to maintain the health and help cure disease. This recollection was done by Maanasa Pratyaksha Pramaan`a
  2. Before commencing any treatment a thorough knowledge of the science is mandatory to achieve success. This knowledge can be obtained only by knowledge and use of Pramaan`a
  3. The specific knowledge of the disease or the condition of the patient can only be achieved with the help of Pramaan`a

We will now see different types of Pramaan`a accepted by different Daarshanika_s.

  • Chaarvaaka Dars`hana – Pratyaksha Pramaan`a
  • Vaisheshika Dars`hana
  • Vaisheshika Dars`hana

Buddha Dars`hana – Pratyaksha Pramaan`a and Jain Dars`hana and Anuman Pramaan`a

  • 3. Saankhya Dars`hana 1. Pratyaksha Pramaan`a
  • 2.    Anumaana Pramaan`a
  • 3.    S`habda Pramaan`a
  • 4. Nyaaya Dars`hana – All the above three + Upamaana
  • 5. Poorva Mimaamsaa – All the above four + Arthaapatti
  • 6. Uttar Mimaamsaa – All the above + Abhaava
  • 7. Pauran`ika – All the above six + Sambhava Aitihya
  • 8. Others – Chest`aa Paris`hesha
  • 9. Kaayas`haastra – All the above ten and Pratibhaa

Now we will see what each word means:

  1. Pratyaksha – Perception
  2. Anumaana – Inference
  3. Upamaana – Analogy
  4. S`habda | – Documented words of reliable
  5. Aaptavachana – Verbal authority, revelation of Anupalabdh
  6. Arthaapatti – Inference from circumstances
  7. Aitihya – Traditional or Talliabletestimony
  8. Chesht`aa – Gestures for communication
  9. Sambhava – With context understanding
  10. Paris`hesha – to leave over
  11. Pratibhaa – self-capacity to present

Dr. Rajeshree Chitre

Last updated on March 23rd, 2021 at 05:33 am

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