Jainism and Buddhism exercised, for several centuries, a potent influence on the system of philosophy and culture of Brahmanas. In the Deccan, the decline of Buddhism commenced in the 6th century AD, while in North India the Buddhists became almost extinct by 1200 AD. The Brahmanas who survived them, took back into their folds some of their members who had embraced Budhism and Jainism.
The treatises on logic, which were composed by them, borrowed their forms from the works of medieval school, while for their subject matter they went back to the works of ancient schools. The works so composed in this period were technically called "Prakarnas" or manuals of logic.
Bhasar vajna, the celebrated author of Nyayasara, who flourished about 950 AD was one of the earliest writers representing the Medieval school of Indian Logic. He was the first writers who attempted to reduce the sixteen categories to one. His well known logical treatise "Nyayasara’ or "the Essence of Logic" follows the method current in his time and treats only of pramanas which is divided into three kinds: perception (pratyaksa) inference (Anumana) and verbal testimony (Agama). This three-fold division of Pramana furnished a contrast to Aksapada who recognized a fourth kind named comparison. This position has brought Bhasarvajna close to the Samkhya and Jainas.
A detailed study of the text bringing out its special characteristics and estimating its contribution to Nyaya Philosophy has not so far been done. The present work is an attempt in this direction. The commentary of Vasudeva Suri is also appended to the text.
Dr. T. K. Narayanan (b. 6 May 5, 1952) obtained his B. A. (Sanskrit) and M. A. (Sanskrit) degree from the University of Kerala with distinction. The University of Kerala conferred on him the Ph. D. degree in 1981. Later he worked as Lecturer in Government Brennen College, Tellicherry and in Christ College, Irinjalakuda. In 1979 Dr. Narayanan joined the Department of Sanskrit, Calicut University as Lecturer, and retired as Professor of Sanskrit. He also held Administrative positions as Director, Academic Staff College, Registrar, Sindicate Member, and Academic Council Member in the same University.
Dr. Narayanan contributed learned papers to the journal of Oriental Institute, M.S. University Oriental Joumal. Tirupati, Joumal of manuscripts Studies, Kerala University etc.
Presently he is the Vice Chancellor of Kerala kalamandalam (Deemed to be University for Arts and Culture) cheruthuruthy, Thrissur, Kerala.
I am happy to note that the present study on the Nyayasara
of Bhasarvajnia is issued for the second time. The first edition
was well received by the world of scholars as the first critical
study on the famous logician's contribution to the field of
Nyaya philosophy. At that time the original text of the author
was not included in the publication. This proved to be a
disadvantage for the modern scholars. This time Dr. T.K.
Narayanan has improved the edition by adding the original
text to the study which formed the basis for his Doctoral thesis
submitted to the University of Kerala under the guidance of
the present writer. The text published in 193] in the famous
Trivandrum Sanskrit Series along with the Padabhanjika
commentary of Vasudeva Suri, is included in the present
publication. I hope this will be appreciated by the present
day scholars since the text has gone out of print for long.
I am sure that this improved publication will be
welcomed by all interested in the study of Nyaya philosophy.
Bhasarvajna, the celebrated author of Nyayasara was the
foremost philosopher who successfully attempted to
reconstruct Brahmanic logic on the plan of Buddhist logic.
He appeared on the scene when both Brahmanism and
Buddhism flourished side by side in Kashmir and was best
suited to effect the reconciliation to the benefit of Brahmanic
logic. Before his advent many writers crossed over to the fold
of Buddhism and Jainism attracted by the superior logical
tenets. The Buddhists built up a long tradition and achieved
a great triumph over the orhodox Brahmanic writers. It was
in this momentous situation that a new class of writers,
generally known as Neo-Brahmanic writers emerged. They
applied themselves to the task of reviving the teachings of
the orthodox Hindu logic. Many a subject that received a
detailed treatment in older texts was thrown away
unceremoniously or modified to suit the contemporary trends
In this renaissance Bhasarvajna played a significant role.
The fact that he succeeded to a large extent is evident from
the number of commentaries on his manual. A detailed study
of his Nyayasara is a most rewarding experience to a student
The present volume divided into nine chapters is a modest
attempt to assess the contribution of Bhasarvajinia to Indian
thought, especially to the Nyaya system. The introductory
chapter sketches the background against which he made his
appearance while in the second his date identity and works
are briefly dealt with. The third chapter is a survey of the
commentaries on Nydyasara. The fourth, contains an analysis
of his manual while in the next his contribution to Nyaya
philosophy is discussed. The next two hapters—The sixth and
the seventh — are set apart to point out his relation with
other Philosophical schools like Samkhya, Yoga, Buddhism
and Jainism. The penultimate chapter evaluates his impact
on later philosophical writers. Finally it is concluded that
Bhasarvajnia was the foremost Hindu logician whose
contribution had a lasting effect providing the basis for the
emergence of the Navyanyaya system.
It is my pleasure to express my deep sense of gratitude
and admiration to Dr. N.P. Unni, Professor and Head of the
Department of Sanskrit, University of Kerala and former Vice-
Chancellor of the Sri Sankaracharya Sanskrit University,
Kalady for his able guidance in preparing this monograph.
The staff of the Department also deserves my thanks for their
In the present second edition the text with the
commentary of Vasudeva Suri is reproduced from the
Trivandrum Sanskrit Series. It was long out of print.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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