[Advaita-l] anvaya vyatireka

Siva Senani Nori sivasenani at yahoo.com
Wed Sep 22 12:02:52 CDT 2010


I will attempt to explain the anvyaya-vyatireka logic. This is a part of anumAna 
pramANa, which itself is preferred as a means of knowledge after Sruti and 
pratyaksha. Thus, when something is not told to us by an authoritative source 
and is not directly experienced by us, then we resort to anumAna.

In anumAna we see a symptom, hetu or li~Nga and from that infer the sAdhya or 
reality. Thus when we see smoke emanating from a mountain, we infer the 
agnimatvam of the mountain, that is we infer that the mountain has a fire on it. 
The actual process has five steps:

a) First is the pratij~nA, hypothesis: The mountain has fire; b) next we state 
the symptom (hetu): because there is smoke emanating from the mountain; c) then 
given an example (udAharaNa): wherever there is smoke there is fire, like in the 
case of a kitchen; d) now, we make the induction (upanaya), that is extend the 
logic in example to the present case: like the kitchen, this mountain has the 
smoke which co-exists with fire; e) and finally state the conclusion (nigamana): 
Since the moutain has that smoke which co-exists with fire, we say that there is 
fire on the mountain.

In the above logic, the co-existence of smoke and fire is the key, underlying 
factor. This co-existence is called vyApti in tarka. vyApti is of three kinds: 
anvaya-vyatireki, kevalAnvayI and kevalavyatireki. The anvaya-vyatireki hetu is 
the strongest hetu, other two are weaker. Then there are hetvAbhAsas. The whole 
point of applying the logic of inference is to examine the evidence, that is 
symptoms or hetus, and if they are saddhetus or good symptoms and if yes, then 
the truth inferred from them is also a strong one. So, one aims to prove that 
the hetu or symptom used by one is of the highest quality - that is it is an 
anvaya-vyatireki hetu.

Now, what is anvaya-vyatireki?

First anvaya: Wherever there is smoke, there ought to be fire (as in the 
kitchen); vyatireka: where there is no fire, there ought to be no smoke (as in a 
lake or a river). In the above, note that there may be a case where there is a 
fire, but there is no smoke, like in a red hot iron rod. The fire in the iron 
rod can be readily experienced by touching it (pratyaksha) and there is no need 
to resort to anumAna there. So even in the absence of smoke, fire is realised. 

To come back to our main discussion, if smoke and fire co-exist in an 
anvaya-vyatireki fashion, the presence of smoke will always confirm the 
existence of fire. So, if one shows that the symptom exists, and symptom and the 
sAdhya, the truth to be established, co-exist in an anvayi-vyatireki fashion, 
one has proven one's hypothesis.

We omit the discussion of why the anvaya-vyatireki hetu is the strongest as it 
requires introduction of additional terms (or their equivalents) of vyApyam, 
vyApakam, paksha, sapaksha, vipaksha, pratipaksha, asatpratipaksha and so on. We 
will end the discussion by giving an example of a kevalavyatireki: prithivI 
lakshaNam gandhavatvam. Earth has the quality of smell. Here smell is the 
symptom, hetu and Earthness of a given substance needs to be established. Smell 
as a hetu of Earth, has only a kevalavyatireki co-existence. Wherever there is 
no earth, there is no smell, as by definition, earth is that which has the 
quality of smell. We can't show the anvaya that wherever there is smell there is 
earth because, the earthness of every substance is open to question till the 
inference of smell showing earthness is established. 

I hope any confusion is due to the inherent complication in the subject and not 
due to faults in presentation.

Best regards

From: Varadaraja Sharma <rishyasrunga at rediffmail.com>
To: advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
Sent: Wed, September 22, 2010 1:23:18 PM
Subject: [Advaita-l] anvaya vyatireka

Radhe Krishna

Shriman subrahmanian, Radhe Krishna

I wanted to know about anvaya vyatireka logic. and here,in the post, Jnani's 
feeling of physical pain, the facts were explained with anvaya vyatireka logic.  
I was not able to grasp the purport. could you please explain the logic per se 
and if I am not asking more could you please explain the same with another 

Radhe Krishna
Archives: http://lists.advaita-vedanta.org/archives/advaita-l/

To unsubscribe or change your options:

For assistance, contact:
listmaster at advaita-vedanta.org


More information about the Advaita-l mailing list