View Full Version : Components of debate (vāda)

14 July 2010, 01:43 PM
hariḥ oṁ


I am wondering if there is interest in discussing the subject of debate. The purpose of the conversation will look at the components of a debate from the nyāya school of thinking to better understand them and their application.

Within the 6 schools¹ of Indian philosophy (ṣaḍ-darśana) we have nyāya school, considered the school of logic. Nyāya is from ni - that into which a thing goes back i.e. an original type , standard , method , rule , especially a general or universal rule , model , axiom or system. We find nyāya defined also as logical argument or inference which fits with parārtha¹.

There is no doubt that debates bring out more knowledge for the individual to ponder and appreciate. Some consider it a science , others an art. We hear of some of the luminaries of wisdom i.e.
ādi śaṅkara (some write śaṃkara) , yajñavalkya, udayanācārya and the like, engaged in debates for the benefit of their śiyṣa's (students) and for the seeker of salvation to study.

If there is interest we can proceed, if not we can wait for another time. If we proceed I ask all that wish to participate to add, ponder & question as you see fit but please avoid 'cut 'n paste' of large amounts of information that fills space and is devoid of one's views , ideas and insights.

Let me know if you wish to proceed on this subject.


words and references

6 schools of Indian thought/philosophy i.e. yoga, sāṁkhya, vedānta, mimāṁsā, nyāya and vaiśeṣika , considered primary darśana-s ; yet there are others which cover grammar, medical, etc.
For the ṣaḍ-darśana one could in general group the 6 into 3 pairs :
yoga & sāṁkhya
mimāṁsā & vedānta as vedānta is also known as uttara mimāṁsā a.k.a. the brahma-sūtra-s
Also some distingush mimāṁsā as pūrva ( former , prior ) to that of uttara ( later , following , subsequent ) mimāṁsā
nyāya & vaiśeṣika - logic and cosmology - Here we find the 'atom eater' or kaṇāda-muni the author of the vaiśeṣika branch. And we have akṣapāda-muni (akṣapāda = having his eyes fixed on his feet ) of the nyāya philosophy.
parārtha - the highest advantage or interest ~ meant to prove or demonstrate some truth~.

15 July 2010, 08:52 AM
I should admit, I am very poor in scriptures. However from macro point I can make some points.

The most part of our philosophy was developed when science was no where near to the present state as least in the physical state.

So the theory of Hinduism had to be brought down by the enlightened souls to the general people through many paths - which might be sankhya, mimamsa, nyaya, etc. (please pardon me if I mentioned wrong).

However in today's context and also the advancement of science has laid bare and proved much of the philosopy at least on the physical side. Though I admit much needs to be done. But the pointer is created.

That is why you will find more and more intellectuals are oriented towards similar kind of thought process.

So from today's point if I have to define the knowledge of hinduism, science will part a big role in that and thereafter it will be logic, interpretations, inferences, etc.

Love and best wishes

16 July 2010, 07:14 AM
This one-liner is among a few I received in mail today:

There are three sides to any arguments: your side, my side and the right side.

Obviously, when we both don't agree about the right side, the right side vanishes, so we both see only two sides.