Nyaya (from the Sanscrit ni, "into," and aya, "going," a derivative from in, "to go," hence literally. "entering," and figuratively "investigating" analytically) is the name. of one of the three great systemts of ancient Hindfi philosophy. SEE HINDUISM. There are, it is true, six- systems of Hindu philosophy, viz. The Nyaya, Vaiseshika (q.v.), Sankhya (q.v.), Yoga (q.v.), Vedanta (q.v.), and Minansa (q.v.); but, as we have said in the article MIMANSA, the term philosophical system is hardly applicable to all of them, and it should also be stated that the Vaiseshika is in some sort supplementary to the Nyaya, and the two are familiarly spoken of as one collected system, though we do not so treat them here. Accordingly it is customary to speak of Hindu philosophy as being divisible into the Nyaya, Stakhya, and Vedanta. These three systems, too, if we follow the commentators, differ more in appearance than in reality. Assuming each of them implicitly the truth of the Vedas (q.v.), and proceeding to give on that foundation a comprehensive view of the totality of things, the three systems differ in their point of view of the universe; viz. as it stands in relation severally to sensation, emotion, and intellection.
The adherent of the Nyaya system, starting from the premise that we have various sensations, inquires what and how many are the channels through which such varied knowledge flows in. Finding that there are five very different channels, he imagines five different externals adapted to these. Hence his theory of the five elements, the aggregate of what the Nyaya regards as the causes of affliction. The student of the Sankhya, struck with the fact that we have emotions, with an eve to the question whence our impressions come, inquires their quality. Are they pleasing, displeasing, or indifferent? These three qualities constitute for him the external; and to their aggregate he gives the name of Nature. With the former he agrees in wishing that he were well rid of all three; holding that things pleasing and things indifferent are not less incompatible with man's chief end than things positively displeasing. Thus, while the Nyaya allows to the external a substantial existence, the Sankhya admits its existence only as an aggregate of qualities; while both allow that it really (eternally and necessarily) exists.
The Vedanta, rising above the question as to what is pleasing, displeasing, or indifferent, asks simply what is and what is not. The categories are here reduced to two — the Real and the Unreal. The categories of the Nyava and the Sankhya are merely scaffolding to reach this pinnacle of philosophy, or, in other words, the Nyaya and the Sankhya are simply introductory to the great system of the Vedanta. With this introductory element we must content ourselves at this place, and now enter upon a consideration of the Nyaya (proper) system, which offers, as we have already said, the sensational aspect of Hindu philosophy. But in thus labeling the Nyaya we would not be understood that it confines itself to sensation, excluding emotion and intellection, nor that the other two great systems ignore the fact of sensation, but simply that the arrangement of the Nyaya has, a more pointed regard to the fact of the five senses than either of the others has, and treats the external more frankly as a solid reality. Indeed this system of philosophy bears its very peculiar name because it treats analytically, as it were, of the objects of human knowledge, both material and spiritual, distributed by it under different heads or topics; and it is in this particular unlike the Sankhya and the Vedanta, which follow a synthetic method of reasoning. With the other systems of Hindu philosophy, the Nyaya concurs in making its chief end the consideration of man's destiny, and in promising beatitude, i.e. final deliverance of the soul from re-birth or transmigration, to those who acquire truth, which in the case of the Nyaya means a thorough knowledge of the principles taught by this particular system. "The topics treated of by the Nyaya are briefly the following:
1. the pramana, or instruments of right notion. They are:
a, knowledge which has arisen from the contact of a sense with its object;
b, inference of three sorts (a priori, a pbsteriori, and from analogy);
c, comparison; and,
d, knowledge, verbally communicated, which may be knowledge of 'that whereof the matter is seen,' and knowledge of 'that whereof the matter is unseen' (revelation).
2. The objects or matters about which the inquiry is concerned (panameya). These are:
a. The Soul (atman). It is the seat of knowledge or sentiment, different for each individual coexistent person, infinite, eternal, etc. Souls are therefore numerous, but the supreme soul is one; it is demonstrated as the creator of all things.
b. Body (sarira). It is the seat of action, of the organs of sensation, and of the sentiments of pain or pleasure. It is composed of parts, a framed substance, not inchoative, and not consisting of the three elements, earth, water, and fire, as some say, nor of four, or all the five elements (viz. air and ether, in addition to the former), as others maintain, but merely earthy.
c. Organs of sensations (indriya); from the elements, earth, water, light, air, and ether, they are smell, taste, sight, touch, and hearing.
d. Their objects (artha). They are the qualities of earth, etc., viz. odor, savor, color, tangibility, and sound.
e. Understanding (buddhi), or apprehension (unpttlabdhi), or conception (jndana), terms which:are used synonymously. It is not eternal, as the Sankhya maintainms, but transitory.
f. The organ of imagination and volition (manas). Its property is the not:giving rise simultaneously to more notions than one. e.g. Activity (pravritti), or that Which originates the utterances of the voice, the cognitions of the understanding, and the gestures of the body. It is therefore oral, mental, or corporeal, and the reason of all worldly proceedings.
h. Faults or failings (dosha), which cause activity, viz. affection, aversion, and bewilderment.
i. Transmigration (pretyabhdva, literally, the becoming born after having died), or the regeneration of the soul, which commences with one's first birth, and ends only with final emancipation. It does not belong to the body, because the latter is different in successive births, but to the soul, because it is eternal.
k. Fruit or retribution (phala), or that which accrues from activity and failings. It is the consciousness of pleasure or of pain.
l. Pain (duhkha), or that which has the characteristic mark of causing vexation. It is defined as 'the occurrence of birth,' or the originating of
'body,' since body is associated with various kinds of distress. Pleasure is not denied to exist, but, according to the Nyava, it deserves little consideration, since it is ever closely connected with pain.
m. Absolute deliverance or emancipation (apavarga). It is annihilation of pain, or absolute cessation of one's troubles once for all.
"After (as above) 'instruments of right notion,' and 'the objects of inquiry,' the Nyaya proceeds to the investigation of the following topics.
3. Doubt (samsaya). It arises from unsteadiness in the recognition or nonrecognition of some mark, which, if we were sure of its presence or absence, would determine the subject to be so or so, or not to be so or so; but it may also arise from conflicting testimony.
4. Motive (pnrayojman), or that by which a person is moved to action.
5. A familiar case (drishtanta), or that in regard to which a man of an ordinary and a man of a superior intellect entertain the same opinion.
6. Tenet or dogma (siddhanta). It is either 'a tenet of all schools,' i.e. universally acknowledged, or 'a tenet peculiar to some school, i.e. partially acknowledged; or 'a hypothetical dogma,' i.e. one which rests on the supposed truth of another dogma; or 'an implied dogma,' i.e. one the correctness of which is not expressly proved, but tacitly admitted by the Nyava.
7. The different members (avayava) of a regular argument or syllogism (nydya).
8. Confutation or reduction to absurdity (tartka). It consists. in directing a person who does not apprehend the force of the argument as first presented to him, to look at it from an opposite point of view.
9. Ascertainment (nirnaya). It is the determination of a question by hearing both what is to be said for and against it; after having been in doubt. The next three topics relate to the topic of controversy, viz.
10. Discussion (vada), which is defined as consisting in defending by proofs on the part of the one disputant, and controverting by objections On the part of the other, Without discordance with respect to the principles on which the conclusion is to depend; it is, in short, an honest sort of discussion, such, for instance, as takes place between a preceptor and his pupil, and where the debate is conducted without ambition of victory.
11. Wrangling (jalpa), consisting in the defense or attack of a proposition by means of tricks, futilities, and such like means; it is therefore a kind of discussion where the disputants are merely desirous of victory, instead of being desirous of truth
12. Cavilling (vitanda), when a man does not attempt to establish the opposite side of the question, but confines himself to carping disingenuously at the arguments of the other party.
13. Fallacies, or semblances of reasons (hetvabhasa), five sorts of which are distinguished, viz. the erratic, the contradictory, the equally available on both sides; that which, standing itself in the need of proof, does not differ from that which is to be proved, and that which is adduced when the time is not that when it might have availed.
14. Tricks, or unfairness in disputation (chalat), or the opposing of a proposition by means of assuming a different sense from that which the objector well knows the propounder intended to convey by his terms. It is distinguished as verbal misconstruing of what is ambiguous, as perverting, in a literal sense, what is said in a metaphorical one, and as generalizing what is particular.
15. Futile objections (jati), of which twenty-four sorts are enumerated; and,
16, failure in argument or reason of defeat (nigraha-sthana), of which twenty-two distinctions are specified.
"The great prominence given by the Nyaya 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 formal logic, not engaged in metaphysical investigations. But though the foregoing enumeration of the topics treated by it could only touch upon the main points which form the subject-matter of the Nyaya, it will sufficiently show that the Nyaya is intended to be a complete system of philosophical investigation; and some questions, such as the nature of intellect, articulated sound, etc., or those of genus, variety, and individual, it has dealt with in a masterly manner, well deserving the notice of Western speculation. That the atomic theory has been devolved from it will be seen under the article VAISESHIKA
SEE VAISESHIKA . On account of the prominent position, however, which the method of discussion holds in this system, and the frequent allusion made by European writers to a Hindu syllogism, it will be expedient to explain how the Nyaya defines the 'different members of a syllogism' under its seventh topic. A regular argument consists, according to it, of five members, viz.:
a, the proposition (pratijna), or the declaration of what is to be established;
b, the reason (hetu), or 'the means for the establishing of what is to be established;'
c, the example (udaharana), i.e. some familiar case illustrating the fact to be established, or, inversely, some familiar case illustrating the impossibility of the contrary fact;
d, the application (upanaya), or 'restatement of that with respect to which something is to be established;' and,
e, the conclusion (nigamana), or 'the restating of the proposition because of the mention of the reason.'
An instance of such a syllogism would run accordingly thus:
a, This hill is fiery,
b, for it smokes,
c, as a culinary hearth, or (inversely) not as a lake, from which vapor is seen arising — vapor not being smoke, because a lake is invariably devoid of fire;
d, accordingly the hill is smoking;
e, therefore, it is fiery.
"The founder of the Nyaya system passes under the name of Gotama (q.v.), or, as it also occurs, Gantama (which would mean a descendant of Gotama). There is, however, nothing as yet known of the history of this personage or the time when he lived, though it is probable that the work attributed to him is, in its present shape, later than the work 'of the great grammarian Pnini. It consists of five books or adhyayas, each divided into two 'days,' or diurnal lessons, which are again subdivided into sections or topics, each of which contains several aphorisms or sutras (q.v.). Like the textbooks of other sciences among the Hindus, it has been explained or annotated by a triple set of commentaries, which, in their turn, have become the source of more popular or elementary treatises." Mr. Banerjea, in his Dialogue on the Hindu Philosophy (Lond. 1861, 8vo), considers the Buddhists' system as closely resembling the Nyaya system, and .points out its similarity to and differences from that of Kapila (q.v.). The latter agrees with the Nyaya in that it makes all souls eternal and distinct from body. Its evil to be overcome is the same, viz. transmigration; and its method of release is the same, viz. Buddhi, or knowledge. They differ in that the Nyaya assumes beyond that of Kapiia a third eternal and indestructible principle as the basis of matter, viz. atoms. It also assumes the existence of a supreme soul, Brahma, who is almighty and 'allwise. The Sanscrit text of the Sutras of Gotama, with a commentary by Viswanatha, has been edited at Calcutta (1828); and the first four books, and part of the fifth, of the text, with an English version, an English commentary, and extracts from the Sanscrit commentary of Viswanatha, by the late Dr. J. R. Ballantyne (Allahabad, 1850-54). This excellent English version and commentary, and the celebrated essays on the Nvaya by H. T. Colebrooke (Trans. of the Royal Asiatic Society, vol. i, Lond. 1827; and reprinted in the Miscellaneous Essays, vol. i, Lond. 1837). and Ballantyne, Christianity contrasted with Hindu Philosophy (Lond. 1859, 8vo), are the best guides for the theological student who, without a knowledge of Sanscrit, would wish- to familiarize himself with the Nyaya system. See Thomson, Outlines on Thought (Appendix on Hindu Logic, Lond. 1857 ); Ballantyne, Lectures. upon the- Aiyaya Philosophy; Division of the Categories (f the N1yaya Philosophy, in the Bibliotheca Indicc, No. 33 and 35; Dictionary of the Technical Terms of the Nygya Philosophy (Bombay, 1875); Barthelemy Saint-Hilaire, Memoire sur le Nyaya; Bibliotheca Sacra, 1861, p. 673-697.