Anumana Pramana: Types, Description, Ayurveda Examples

By Prof. Vd. Rangaprasad Bhat
Anumana pramana is a means of knowledge. Here, the knowledge is acquired through guessing, interpretation and analysis. All Darshanas and Ayurveda accept this Pramana.

Charaka Sutra – 11
Charaka Vimana – 4
The perception of knowledge from the relationship existing between a kAraNa & kArya, which occurs even prior to the direct perception (pratyakSha pUrvam) of the event occuring at same or different space and time zone (trikAlam) is referred as anumAna pramAna. The trikAla refers to atIta (past time), anAgata (future time) & vartamAna (present time) kAla.

Example: Inferring the presence of pustular stage of inflammation by applying chandan and ghrta over an inflamed site and observing for the chandan to get dried and the ghrta to get liquified, caused by the local UShmata over the iste of lesion falls under the perview of anumAna pramAna – states AcArya DalhaNa.

Classification 1

Classification I of anumAna pramANam:- As per Nyaya Darshana:
The anumAna is of three types –
1.1. Purvavat Anumana- Karanat Karya Anumana
1.2. Sheshavat Anumana – Karyat Karana Anumana
1.3. Samanyato Drushta Anuman

Purvavat Anumana

1.1. Purvavat Anumana

Purvavat refers to the reasoning obtained from cause to effect.
Inferring the flowering (kArya) from the rising of clouds (kAraNa), and through seeing a Seed (kAraNa) inferring the Fruiting (kArya) are some examles of pUrvavat anumAna pramANa.

Sheshavat Anumana

1.2. The sheShavat refers to the jnAna obtained through arguement from effect to cause.
Example:- | | Inferring the cause (physical union) from the effect (pregnancy). Like wise upon seeing the fruit (effect) inferring the seeds (kAraNa) falls under the sheShavat anumAna pramANa.

Samanyato drushtam

1.3. The sAmAnyato drShuTam refers to the inferential knowledge obtained through “generalization of a particulate matter”. Example inference of fire upon seeing the fumes.

Another example –
When one mentions about tArA (pupil of eyes) over the present time and space zone, if the person who hears it infers it as a star (tArA) present in the sky or infers it as silver (tArA) present in a diffrent space and time zone, it is to be understood as the inference jnAna obtained through the sAmAnyato drShtam, where in the kArana exhibits a different inference of kArya, totally unrelated to the context of that kArana.

Like wise when one listens to a song of Sindhu rAgam, if infers the Sindhu nadi (river) or saindhava lavanam (rock salt) that is to be inferred as sAmAnyato drSTam avriety of sAmAnya pramANAm.

Classification 2

Classification II of anumAna pramANa :-
2.1. (SvArtha anumAna pramANa)
2.2. (ParArtha anumAna pramANa).

Parartha Anumana

The ParArtha anumAna pramANa has 5 sub types of presentation of inference, as as per Tarka sangraha. Hence it gets further sub classified into –
2.2.1) – PratijNA
2.2.2) – Hetu
2.2.3) – UdAharaNa
2.2.4) – Upanaya
2.2.5) – Nigamana

Svartha Anumana

2.1. (SvArtha anumAna pramANa)
The inference of an artha from one’s own perspective of observation is |
For example while circumnavigating repeatedly around the foothill of a hill, in few specific areas of the hill, a person quite often sees fumes emerging along with fire. Having observed the incidence of association of fume and fire many times during the circumambulation, the same person when happens to see just the fumes alone over a different spot of the hill, with the help of his prior knowledge, infers that from his own perspective that it is firing over that new area of place over the hill where he saw the fumes alone. It is because of his conception (due to previous experiences of having seen both the fumes and the fire together), that “Where ever fire gets present, there the fumes are sure to be present. Like wise where ever the fumes are present, there the fire is sure to be present”.

Such a type of “Self perspective guessing of inference occuring uppon indriyartha sannikarsha with an object (fume as in above example), it gets denoted by the name SvArtha anumAna pramANa.”

2.2. (ParArtha anumAna pramANa) :-
When a person tries to explain his inference of fire from the presence of fumes over the hilly area to another person to make him get the jnAna about it, such sort of pramANa is denoted by the word parArtha anumAna pramANa. Where while trying to convince the second person, the first person uses 5 steps or methods.

They are the following.,-
2.2.1) PratijNA :- The statement – “the mountain is On Fire” is pratijnA.
2.2.2) Hetu :- When he states – “It is because of the presence of fumes ”, it gets denoted as hetu.
2.2.3) UdAharaNa :- When he cites an example as in the following statement, it becomes udAharaNa – “Where there is fume, there lies the fire – as is seen in kitchen”.
2.2.4) Upanaya :- In Upanaya mode of presenting his tarka, the person states “Here too (mountain) it should be like that (kitchen) only”.
2.2.5) Nigaman :- “And that is why the fire is present here (mountain) too”, when he concludes his statement as above, it denotes the nigaman mode of presenting his parArtha anumAnapramAna to the second person (from his point of perspective).

Where as VAtsyAyaNa classifies the parArtha anumAna in to the following 5 sub-types.
According to VAtsyAyana 5 systematic stages of tarka should get involved before acquiring the knowledge of perception through the parArtha anumAna pramAna, as mentiooned below.

2.2-i) – JijNAsA (Exploration or desire to know more)
2.2-ii) – Samshaya (doubt)
2.2-iii) – ShakyaprApti (possibility of clearing the doubt)
2.2-iv) – Prayojana (workaiming to clear the doubt)
2.2-v) – samshayavyudAsa (clearing the doubt)

Classification 3

Classification III of anumAna pramANa (Based on -LingaparAmarsha as in both svArtha & parArtha anumAnAs) – Tarka sangraha mentions the following 3 types.

Anvaya vyatireki

3.1) – Anvaya vyatirekI The inference where in anvaya (logical agreement) and vyatireka (contradiction) are associated together in the perception of jnAna gets known as anvaya vyatireki. In yatra yatra dhUma tatra tatra vahni (where there is fume, there exists the fire) example ,- the anvaya (logical agreement) which gets understood in another angle as – where there is fire, there exists the fumes , as seen in kitchen. In addition, the vyatireka (different opinion based up on reasoning) of above example is – “yatra dhUmo nAsti, tatra vahnirapi nAsti (if fume is not present in a place, the fire too cannot exist over the spot)”- Example as in pond, where in mist (resembling fumes) when present the fire donot exist since the cause of the mist is not fire.

Kevala Anvayi

3.2) – Kevala anvayI
The inference of an object based on just anvaya (logical agreement) is referred as Kevalanvayi. Example – “This is a pot”. Where in the name (abhidheya) of the object is a pot. The prameya (knowledge obtained) over here is Ghata (pot). And the prameya gets obtained through the commonly accepted name (the pot).

Kevala vyatireki

3.3) – Kevala vyatirekI
The inference obtained from the lone factor – differentiating the object based on reasoning (vyatireka) is denoted as kevalavyatirekI. Example – prthvi. The prthvi mahabhuta is totally different from other maha bhutas like ap, teja etc. due to the presence of gandha (smell) guna which is present only in prthvi mahabhuta. This type of specific reasoning validates the inference of prthvi for gandha guna falls under the kevalavyatirekI anumana.

Anumana Pramana examples

Examples for AnumAn pramANa – helpful in clinical knowledge:
– Digestion of food – – empty eructation
– Digestive enzymes function – – through the digesting ability food
– vAta kShayam – – decreased funtional ability
– Amlapittam – – heart-burn
– vyAna vAta kShayam – – decreased gait and tendon reflexes.
– vyAna vAta vrddhi – Tremors / fasciculations

– Vishama gati of apAna – – altered bowel movements as in IBS-D.
– Physical strength – – limit of exercising capability
– Life expectancy – by looking out for dhAtukShaya & ariShTa lakShaNAs.
– state of mind – disturbed contact with artha (objects) like lack or eye contact, lack of listening.
– Knowledege / wisdom – through one’s job / business profile
– Emotions – through the their approach
– Ignorance – through their illiteracy
– Determination – through their rigid and fixed approach
– Anger –through the confrontation exhibited

– Grief – deprresed state of mind
– Happiness – by the cheer up or cool attitude
– Love / affection – from contentment
– Fear – sorrow or depression
– Bravory – fearlessness / courage / non-depression
– strength – – effort

– Stability – by observing non confusion
– Faith – from the intention of the person
– Intelligence – from grasping ability
– Consciousness – from ability of recognizing people around them, calling by their names.
– Memory – from their recollecting ability of the past events.

– Unknown or idiopathic causes – from the amelioraing and aggravating factors.
– The dosha vruddhi and kshaya related knowledge – through wholesome and unwholesome diet and pratices
– Age -ethnicity / race – habits – disease factors. – are analysed by kala (birth date) – nationality – ameliorating factors – vedana vishesha (chief complaints).

Prof.Vd.A.Rangaprasad Bhat
Padmanilayam”, (Ayurveda & Non Conventional Marma Chikitsa Clinic) 49/46, Kanagaraya Malaiyappan St, Raja Annamalaipuram, Mandavelipakkam, Chennai- 600028.

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