• Nyāya (Sanskrit: न्याय), literally meaning “justice”, “rules”, “method” or “judgment”,
  • Founder: Aksapada Gautam Muni
  • Source: Nyāya Sūtra
  • According to Nyaya Philosophy, nothing is acceptable unless it is in accordance with reason and experience (scientific approach).
  • Nyaya is regarded as a logical thinking technique.
  • They believe in the process of logical reasoning to obtain salvation, as the name of the school implies.
  • They regard life, death, and redemption as enigmas that can be deciphered via rational and analytical reasoning.
  • Gautama, who is also known as the author of the Nyaya Sutra, is said to have developed this school of thought.
  • According to the Nyaya Sutras, there are four ways to gain valid knowledge: perception, inference, comparison, and verbal testimony.
  • The school claims that a human being can check the validity of a proposition or statement using logical techniques such as inference, listening, and analogy.
  • It holds that God not only created but also sustains and destroys the Universe.
  • The emphasis in this philosophy was always on methodical reasoning and thinking.
  • Many treatises on epistemology (branch of philosophy concerned with knowledge) were written and polished by the Nyaya school, and they impacted many other schools of philosophy.
    • It was considered as a theory of knowledge by Nyaya, and it was evolved into Pramana-sastras by its experts.
    • Pramana is a Sanskrit term that literally means “means of knowledge.” It refers to one or more trustworthy and legitimate methods for humans to get correct, real information.
  • Ancient Mithila University was famous for Nyaya Shastra teaching.
  • In its metaphysics, Nyaya school is closer to the Vaisheshika school of Hinduism than others.
  • It holds that human suffering results from mistakes/defects produced by activity under wrong knowledge (notions and ignorance).
  • Moksha (liberation), it states, is gained through right knowledge.
  • Naiyyayika scholars approached philosophy as a form of direct realism, stating that anything that really exists is in principle humanly knowable.
  • To them, correct knowledge and understanding is different from simple, reflexive cognition; it requires Anuvyavasaya (अनुव्यवसाय, cross-examination of cognition, reflective cognition of what one thinks one knows).
  • The Naiyayikas (the Nyaya scholars) accepted four valid means (pramaṇa) of obtaining valid knowledge (pramana) –
    • Pratyakṣa – perception
    • Anumāna – inference
    • Upamāna – comparison
    • Sabda – word/testimony of reliable sources.
4 Pramanas, epistemology
4 Pramanas
  • Nyaya school shares some of its methodology and human suffering foundations with Buddhism; however, a key difference between the two is that Buddhism believes that there is neither a soul nor self; Nyaya school like other schools of Hinduism believes that there is a soul and self, with liberation (moksha) as a state of removal of ignorance, wrong knowledge, the gain of correct knowledge and unimpeded continuation of self.
  • The Nyaya metaphysics recognizes sixteen padarthas or categories and includes all six categories of the Vaisheshika.

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