advaita-siddhi 11 (Predicate logic formulation)

Anand Hudli anandhudli at HOTMAIL.COM
Tue Feb 15 12:49:29 CST 2000

On Mon, 14 Feb 2000 13:26:26 -0800, Vivek Anand Ganesan
<v_ganesan at YAHOO.COM> wrote:

>--- "ShrI Jaldhar H. Vyas" <jaldhar at> wrote:
>> The monumental work of Gangesh Upadhyaya Tattva
>> Chintamani not only
>> revolutionized the Nyaya school but all other branches of
>> the shastras
>> too including Advaita, Dvaita, Purva Mimamsa,
>> Dharmashastra and
>> Kavyashastra.
>  Thanks for the info.  I was not aware that logic was
>studied in the Classical form of learning.  I was only
>aware of the "nyaya" school.  Was formal logic part of the
>standard curriculum?

 Beginning from the great Gangesha, for about two centuries after him,
 MithilA (in modern Bihar) was the center of all studies in NyAya.
 During that time, the MithilA school saw the emergence of such
 great logicians as Shankara Mishra, VAchaspati Mishra II (not to be
 confused with VAchaspati Mishra I who wrote the bhAmatI commentary
 on Shankara's brahmasUtrabhAShya). Gangesha's time is itself said to
 have been the 13th to 14th century CE. During its heyday, students
 from  all over India would travel to MithilA to study nyAya. Gangesha's
 tattvachintAmaNi is the monumental treatise of Navya-nyAya (the new
 school of nyAya) upon which numerous commentaries were written.

 However, beginning from RaghunAtha ShiromaNi (~ 1500 CE), we see
 a shift in the center of nyAyA from MithilA to NavadvIpa of Bengal.
 Legend has it that RaghunAtha himself studied under Jayadeva Paxadhara
 in MithilA. But RaghunAtha disagreed with his teacher on the latter's
 explanation of the "sAmAnya-laxaNa" topic of the tattva-chintAmaNi.
 Jayadeva is said to have acknowledged his defeat in the debate with
 his own pupil who also won the right to grant titles in nyAya. Raghu-
 nAtha returned to Navadvipa and started his own school which soon
 attracted a large number of students. From then onwards, the Navadvipa
 school flourished, producing such eminent logicians as MathurnAtha
 tarkavAgIsha, VishvanAtha nyAyapanchAnana, JagadIsha, and the last
 pre-modern logician GadAdhara.

 According to a story, MadhusUdana SarasvatI is said to have really gone
 to Navadvipa to meet Chaitanya, the great devotee of Krishna. But the
 MahAprabhu was no longer staying in NavadvIpa. So MadhusUdana is said to
 have turned his attention to studying nyAya in the flourishing Navya-nyAya
 school. He is said to have studied works of udayana such as the laxaNAvalI,
 the tattva-chintAmaNi of Gangesha and its commentaries. Soon MadhusUdana
 was recognized as a foremost scholar in nyAya. He was also said to
 have been influenced by the wave of bhakti sweeping across Bengal due
 to Chaitanya. One story mentions that MadhusUdana had, at that time,
 accepted the "bheda-vAda", the doctrine of difference. The realism of
 nyAya seemed to provide a logical basis to "bheda." He soon became
 keen on "disproving" advaita using all his skills in logic. But at
 the time, he had not done an in-depth study of advaita. With the
 intention of learning the details of advaita-vedAnta so that he could
 later disprove them, he proceeded to the sacred city of KAshI. There,
 he studied vedAnta under RAma-tIrtha. But as MadhusUdana studied
 advaita more and more, he became convinced of the correctness of
 advaita. He later confessed to his Guru, Rama-tIrtha that he had
 originally come to study advaita with a view to refute it. So was
 there any prAyashchitta for MadhusUdana? RAma-tIrtha is said to have
 asked MadhusUdana to accept sannyAsa as the prAyashchitta.

 Regardless of whether these stories are true or not, it is true that
 a reading of the advaita-siddhi shows that MadhusUdana is enormously
 skilled in dealing with logic and dialectics. Note also that the
 naiyAyika, who is a realist to the core, is as much an opponent of
 the advaitin in debates as other realists such as the dvaitins.
 After all, the great advaitin dialectician (mahAkavi) shrIharshha,
 who came several centuries before MadhusUdana, systematically and
 completely demolished nyAya doctrines. Whereas MadhusUdana is more
 interested in *defending* advaita, shrIharshha is on the attack
 throughout his treatise, KhaNDanakhaNDakhAdya. Also, shrIharshha
 emphasizes the dialectical part of the debate whereas MadhusUdana
 also effectively tackles the exegetical (interpretation of VedAnta)


bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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