Hindu superiority: An Attempt to Determine the Position of the Hindu Race in the Scale of Nations By Har Bilas Sarda, B. A., F. R. S. L

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The Nyaya system was founded by G-autama, who says that the way to salvation is the true knowledge of tr Tir, substance or being, which he classifies as under :—

(1) Pramana. (10) Bad.!

(2) Prameha. (11) Jalp.2

(3) Sanshaya, (12) Bitancla.3

(4) Prayojana. (13) Haitwabhasya (paralle-

(5) Drishtant. logism.)

(6) Siddlant (principle). (14) Chhal.

(7) Avayav (portion.) (15) Jati.

(8) Tarak logic), (16) Nigiahstan (when one

(9) Nirnaya. is pushed to an utterly

untenable position.) ,

The author then discusses (1) the nature of the argument and the proof, and their different kinds ( vikvaT rtwrm), (2) the nature of the soul as apart from senses, body and the mind. The relation of the soul with the body is through the medium of the mind or 9naft. The soul and the body cannot affect each other directly but only through the medium of the mind. He then proceeds to prove the transmigration of souls, the omnipresence and omniscience of God, and declares that. He is separate from the souls who are countless in number. The author believes the Vedas to be the Revelation, and advises all mankind to follow their teachings. The material cause of the universe, ,he declares, is Pramanu

Bad = a discussion with a sincere desire to get at the truth. 2Jalp = a discussion to refute the opponent.

3Bitanda = when one obstinately clings to his own doctrine anct does not listen to the other side.

(atoms). The Pramanu are eternal. The author then proceeds to refute Atheism, and ends by giving reasons for a belief in God. An English critic says: “The great prominence given to the method by means of which truth might be ascertained has sometimes misled European writers into the belief that it is merely a system of logic. Far from being restricted to mere logic, the Nyaya was intended to be a complete system of philosophical investigation, and dealt with some questions—such as the nature of the intellect, articulated sound, genus, variety, and individuality—in a manner so masterly as well to deserve the notice of European philosophers.”‘ Mrs. Manning, after giving a brief outline of the Naiyayic syllogistic proof, says: “Even the bare outline here given shows Gautama’s mental powers and practical mode of dealing with the deepest questions which affect the human mind.”‘

European logic employs phraseology founded upon classification, while the Nyaya system makes use of terms upon which a classification would be founded. The one infers that “kings are mortal because they belong to the class of mortal beings.” The other arrives at the same conclusion, because mortality is inherent in humanity, and humanity is inherent in kings. The proposition given above would, as we have seen, be stated by a European logician as, “ All men are mortal ;” by a Hindu as, “ Where there is humanity there is mortality.”

1Chamber’s Encyclopedia, “ Nyaya.”

2Ancient and Medieval India, Vol. I, p. 173. Mrs. Manning says: “His clearness of aim and his distinct perception of right means towards its attainment continue to be the invaluable guide of successive generations.”

The reasoning is the same, but the Hindu method appears to be simpler.’

The German critic,, Schlegel, says: “The Nyaya doctrine attributed to Gautama, from all that we can learn, was an idealism constructed with a purity and logical consistency of which there are few other instances and to which the Greeks never attained.”2

As regards the logical system of the Hindus, Max Dunker says: “The logical researches of the Hindus are scarcely behind the similar works of modern times.”3 Mr. Elphinstone says: “An infinity of volumes have been produced by the Brahmins on the subject (Logic).”4


The Veisheshik is said to have been written not to oppose but to complete the Nyaya system: with slight modifications it is only a fuller development of the Nyaya. In Sanskrit, these two schools of philosophy are comprised under one head, “ Manan Shastra.” Kanada,

The European is assisted by the abstract idea of Class; the Hindu makes use of what in Sanskrit is termed Vyapti. “It is difficult,” remarks Dr. Roer, “to find an adequate word in English for this term.” For further information see Translation of Bhashaparichheda, pp. 31 and 32, note.

2Schlegel’s History of Literature, p. 126,

8llistory of Antiquity, p. 310.

4Elphinstone’s India, p. 122. Mrs. Manning says: “To the ability of the author may be attributed the yet continued popularity of the work Nyaya).”

the founder of Veisheshik, reduces the contents of the universe under six categories only. They are :-

1. -Drabya (substance).

2. Gunn, (quality).

3. Karma (action or motion),

4. Samanya (generality or class).

5. Vishesha (atomic individuality or difference).

6. Samvaya (intimate relation).

7. Abhav (non-existence) was added afterwards.

Kanida’s work is divided into ten books, of which the first book, after reducing the sixteen LTC ri of the Nyaya to six only, as given above, discusses the nature of Abhav or non-existence. The second book discusses the nature of .Drabya. In the third are discussed Atma and Antahkaran and their relation to each other. The Atma and Antahkaran correspond with the Jeeva and Man (R4) of the Nyaya. The fourth book discusses the nature of the human body and the external nature as affecting it, while the Vedic dharma is upheld in the sixth book. The seventh book discusses Guna and Sambaya, their natures, kinds and effects. The eighth book shows the way to what the Hindus call Gyana, or true knowledge of the mysteries of existence, non-existence and other metaphysical topics. The intellect and the Vishesha are , discu. ssed in the ninth book. The tenth book contains a detailed disctission on Atma and its gunas, etc.

The points of difference between the Nyaya and the Veisheshik are only two. (1) The Nyaya distributes the contents of the universe into sixteen categories, while the Veisheshik does so into seven only. (2) The Nyaya accepts four kinds of Pramana or arguments. The Veisheshik accepts only two—Pratyakhsha and Anuman—andrejects the remaining two, Upman and Shabda.

In the interesting introduction which Dr. Roer appends to the translation of Bhashaparichheda he Compares Kanada’s doctrine of atoms to that of Democritus, the Greek philosopher, and pronounces the former to be vastly superior.

“Veisheshik,” says Mrs. Manning,’ “leans towards physical science rather than metaphysical.” The theory of sound propounded by the Hindus seems to be in accordance with the latest European advancement in science. After distinguishing between the articulate and the inarticulate sounds, Vishvanath, the author of Bhashaparichheda, says: “Some say its (sound) production takes place like a succession of waves; according to others, like the bud of Kadamba plant” (verses 165, 166). The Tarak Sangrah, another work of this school, says: “It is ether in which there resides the quality of sound. It is one, all-pervading and eternal.”`

The author of the History, of Hindu Chemistry says: “ His theory of the propagation of sound cannot fail to excite our wonder and admiration even at this distant date. No less remarkable is his statement that light and heat are only, different forms of the same essential substance. But Kanada is anticipated in many material points by Kapila, the reputed originator of the Sankhya philosophy.” 3

According to the Veisheshik, as also according to . Nyaya, there are five members of the syllogism instead_ of three as in. the English syllogism,

They are—(1) Proposition, (2) Reason, (3) Example, (4) Application, (5) Conclusion.

I Ancient and NI.ediseval India, Vol. I, p. 181. 2A ncient and MediTval India, Vol. I, p, 189, 3History of Hindu Chemistry, Vol. I, p. 1.

For instance,—(1) The mountain is fiery.

(2) Because it smokes.

(3) Whatever smokes is fiery, as a culinary hearth.

(4) This does smoke.

(5) Therefore it is fiery as aforesaid.

A charge of deficiency, “inaccuracy of definition,” has been brought against the five-membered syllogism. Dr. Ballantyne thus meets the accusation: “The five-membered expression, so far as the arrangement of its parts is concerned, is a summary of the Naiya yik’s views in regard to rhetoric, ‘an offshoot from logic’ (see Whateley’s Rhetoric, p. 6.), and one to which, after the ascertainment of the truth by investigation, belongs the establishment of it to the satisfaction of another.”‘ To this Mrs. Manning adds the following “ In fact, Gautama appears to have expressed bare logic in two-membered argument, and to have added two other members when he sought to convince rhetorically. After the declaration and the reason, he inserts an example’ confirmatory and also suggestive, and an application,’ that is, he shows in the fourth member of his syllogism that his example possesses the required character; and then he winds up with the conclusion or Q. E. D., which is common to all syllogisms.”

Evidently the difference betweeen the Hindu and the Greek syllogism (for the Europeans have no syllogism of their own)2 is due to the difference of aim of the

1Ballantyne on the Nyaya system.—The Pandit, Vol. I, p. 39. 2” There are only two nations in the whole history of the world who have )conceived independently, and without any suggestion from others, the two seiences of Logic and Grammar, the Hindus and the Greeks.”—Max Muller’s Ancient Sanskrit Literature, p. 158. Considering that the Greek philosophers derived their philosophy from India, there may be a doubt regarding the Greek originality.

reasoning of the two nations. The Greek wanted to prove his contention, but the Hindu, being more practical and thorough, wanted to convince his adversary.

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