Author Topic: Factors involved in anumaana  (Read 498 times)

Dr. Sadananda

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Factors involved in anumaana
« on: March 01, 2015, 01:58:12 PM »
Factors involved in anumaana

      In tarka shaastra, the anumaana has been extensively studied. Based on this we conclude that at least four essential factors are involved in any anumaana. They are as follows: 1. paksha, 2. saadhya, 3. hetu, and 4. dR^ishhTaanta. Taking a famous example of the inference of a fire on the mountain by seeing the smoke on the mountain, one can express this in anumaana vaakyam or an inferential statement as

      "parvataH agnimaan dhuumavatvaat, yathaa mahaanase"
      'Mountain is fiery, because it is smoky, just as in the kitchen'
      In this parvataH or mountain is said to be paksha. The saadhyam is agnimaan - that is the mountain is fiery. The hetu is that it is smoky or dhuumavatvaat. Finally dR^ishhTanta is mahaanase, just as in the kitchen. Thus the total statement is 'mountain is fiery, because it is smoky, just as in the case of kitchen'.

      Mountain is said to be paksha, because it is the locus of the discussion. Mountain is the topic of the discussion and not the fire per se. Why the discussion about the mountain? - because there is a dispute whether the mountain is fiery or not. The locus of dispute is therefore not the fieriness but the mountain, and the topic of discussion is whether the locus of discussion, the mountain, is fiery or not. Therefore paksha is always the locus of discussion or debate. From this debate, some conclusion has to be arrived at. The paksha has to be visible or known, otherwise it cannot be a matter of dispute - hence mountain has to be perceptible or known. The dispute is not about whether the mountain exists or not, but whether the existing or perceptible mountain is fiery or not.

      The fieriness of the mountain (the mountain having fire) is not perceptible and hence the dispute. If the fieriness of the mountain is perceptible then there is no dispute at all, and anumaana does not enter into picture. Hence mountain is perceptible but its fieriness is non-perceptible. Since perceptual method is of no use to establish that the mountain is fiery, we need an inferential method. Since mountain is visible but not its fieriness, paksha is always partially visible. We are not proving the visible part but proving only the invisible part, that is the fieriness of the mountain, which is invisible. Using a technical language, the dharmii (mountain) is visible but its dharma (fieriness) is not visible.

      saadhyam is that the mountain is fiery or it has fire. This conclusion is not perceptually available or directly provable. Hence saadhyam is always 'apratyaksham', while paksha is always partially pratyaksham. hetu is dhuumavatvaat - the mountain is smoky. To be more precise, one cannot just say 'smoke' is the reason or hetu, because if the smoke is somewhere else, one cannot infer that the mountain has fire. One cannot infer that mountain is fiery because there is smoke in the kitchen. Then it is the kitchen that is fiery and not the mountain. Hence one cannot say merely smoke is the hetu. The correct statement is smoke in the mountain is the hetu or smokiness of the mountain is the hetu just as the fieriness of the mountain is the saadhyam. The hetu, the smokiness of the mountain, is pratyaksham or perceptible. Thus of the three, paksha and hetu are pratyaksha and saadhyam is apratyaksha, invisible.

      Next is the example or dR^ishhTaanta, just as in this case of the kitchen, where the smoke and the fire are together. Therefore dR^ishhTaanta must be such that one has the experience of both smoke and fire together - to be precise, they should have invariable concomitance with each other. Thus dR^ishhTaanta provides an example, which both speaker and the listener are familiar, to show that the fire invariably exists with the smoke. It is not the other way around that smoke invariably exists with the fire. We should have at least one example to show the invariable concomitance of fire with the smoke. The current example shows whenever there is smoke in the kitchen there is fire and that is the dR^ishhTaanta.

      Thus to make inference, one requires a basic knowledge of the concomitant relationship between hetu and saaddhya which is gathered through perception. Here the basis of the knowledge that one should have, is the invariable coexistence of smoke along with fire. That is, wherever there is smoke there is fire. This relationship becomes fundamental for the inference. Thus 'yatra yatra dhuumaH, tatra tatra agniH' that is 'wherever there is smoke there is fire' - this knowledge is called vyaapti j~naanam. This invariable coexistence of fire and smoke is called vyaapti. It consists of two factors vyaapyam and vyaapakam - 'yatra yatra dhuumaH' is called vyaapyam and 'tatra tatra agniH' is called vyaapakam. Hence yatra yatra vyaapyam tatra tatra vyaapakam. The coexistence of vyaapyam with vyaapakam is called vyaapti and that knowledge is vyaapti j~naanam.

      Thus in the operation of inference there are two statements - anumaana vaakyam and vyaapti vaakyam. These are, 'parvataH agnimaan dhuumavatvaat yathaa mahanase' and 'yatra yatra dhumaH tatra tatra agniH', respectively.

      The vyaapyam, dhuumaH, in the vyaapti vaakyam becomes hetu in the anumaana vaakyam and vyaapakam in the vyaapti vaakyam becomes saadhyam in the anumaana vaakyam. Hence vyaapti vaakyam can be rephrased as 'yatra yatra hetuH tatra tatra saadhyam'. Only when this statement or vyaapti vaakyam is proved, then only the anumaana vaakyam is valid. vyaapti vaakyam, for example 'where there is smoke there is fire, can be validated only by perception. Once the vyaapti vaakyam is validated, that can be used to validate the anumaana vaakyam. This is the basis used even in scientific investigations. hetu, the observed data such as the study of the rocks of the moon, helps a scientist to arrive at the saadhya, the age of the moon.

      Hence anumaana or inference is always based on valid or perceptual data.