Article by Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) and Dr Manasa, B.A.M.S
‘Every great movement must experience three stages: ridicule, discussion, adoption’ – John Stuart Mill
The business of the universe runs on the quality and quantity of discussions; be it family or work place or anywhere.
When like-minded people discuss and share the knowledge, the knowledge will be updated, fortified and transmitted to the successive generations in right sense.
Most of the times when discussions take place it would involve a common topic. Example, doctors discuss medicine, engineers discuss buildings and constructions, commentators discuss cricket during the process of a cricket match etc.
When a common topic is being discussed both parties should be well versed in the subject. A doctor cannot discuss medicine with an engineer because they both belong to different faculties. This would become unlikely discussion. But when a doctor discusses medicine with another doctor or when 2 groups of doctors discuss medicine it would become like discussions because both parties are discussing the same topic and both parties are interested and well versed in the same topic. Such discussions of same topic or subject between 2 or more people or 2 or more parties are called Tadvidhya Sambhaasha in Ayurveda.
Tadvidya Sambhasha – Tad (Same) + Vidhya (subject) + Sambhaasha (discussion)
This discussion can be in the form of a friendly discussion, debate, argument, argument or hostile discussion.
‘The aim of an argument or discussion should not be victory, but progress’ – Joseph Joubert
This means to tell that the discussion of a common topic between people need not necessarily be friendly. Even hostile discussions and arguments with disagreements can lead to healthy results and conclusions which in due course of time would become widely accepted and documented theories. Therefore even critics take an important part in these Tadvidya Sambhaashas.
‘Discussion is an exchange of knowledge; An argument an exchange of ignorance’ – Robert Quillen
भिषग् भिषजा सह सम्भाषेत्।(च.वि.८/१५)
‘The Doctor should converse (discuss) with another doctor’ says Acharya Charaka.
Benefits of Tadvidya Sambhasha
– Jgnaana Vriddhi – enhancement of knowledge
– Vaak shakti vriddhi – mastery over speech and vocabulary
– Suyashas – popularity, fame
– Vishaya spashtataa – clarity of unclear topics and subjects leading to precise and comprehensive knowledge
‘Creativity comes from spontaneous meetings, from random discussions’ – Steve Jobs
Types of Tad Vidhya Sambhasha
द्विविधा तु खलु तद्विध्या सम्भाषा भवति – सन्धाय सम्भाषा, विगृह्य सम्भाषा च।(च.वि.८/१६)
Tadvidhyaa Sambhaasha is of 2 types. They are:
– Sandhaaya Sambhaasha
– Vigruhya Sambhaasha
In Sandhaaya Sambhaasha, the discussions are of friendly type. This occurs in a friendly way and in agreement in each other. The talks are casual and occur in a good mood and tone. The topics of discussion are given a deep thought by both parties in the discussion. The topics are also analyzed and scrutinized in good terms. Such discussions are praised by the learned people.
‘Public discussions are part of what it takes to make changes in the trillions of graphics published each year’ – Edward Tufte
विगृह्य भाषा तीव्रम् हि केषाञ्चिद् द्रोहम् आवहेत्।(च.वि.८/२२)
In Vigruhya Sambhaasha, the discussions are hostile. The discussions can be termed as arguments. They can even go to the level of hot arguments, verbal wars and physical assaults. The discussions are not friendly and are not in agreement with each other. The talks do not go in good mood and tone, they are loud and disturbing. There is an element of dominance of one person over the other or the authority of one party over the other. Each is in a process of proving their own theory and not in a mood to hear the arguments of the opposition. Such types of discussions are not praised by learned people.
Vigruhya Sambhasa forms the source of cheating (sometimes). Some cheat, some are cheated.
‘If those who do not possess knowledge avoid the scholarly discussions, disagreement will end’ – Al-Ghazali
तत्र वादो नाम स यत् परेण स शास्त्रपूर्वकं विगृह्य कथयति।
स द्विविधः – संग्रहेण – जल्पः वितण्डा च। त्त्र पक्ष आश्रितयोः वचनं जल्पः, जल्प विपर्यया वितण्डा। यथा एकस्य पक्षः पुनर्भवः अस्ति इति, नास्ति इति अपरस्य, तौ च स्व स्व पक्ष हेतुभिः स्व स्व पक्षं स्थापयतः पर पक्षम् उद्भावयतः, एष जल्पः। जल्प विपर्ययो वितण्डा। वितण्डा नाम पर पक्षे दोष वचन मात्रं एव॥(च.वि.८/२८)
Vaada is a subtype of Vigruhya Sambhasha
When a Vigruhya type of (argument) discussion is held with other opponents (discussing of the same topic) with an intention of dominating and winning over them, it is called as Vaada.
Vaada again is of 2 types. They are –
Jalpa Vaada and
‘The growth of knowledge depends entirely upon disagreement’ – Karl Popper
It is a type of argument, in the form of debate. If a person argues by choosing the favor of a subject (pro) which he strongly believes while the opposition contradicts their theory it is called as Jalpa Vaada.
Example – One party supports the concept of punarbhava (that things can be recreated, things or events can repeat). This party believes and supports this theory. They would like to fight to defend this topic, prove the concept and to establish their supremacy over the opposition who are against the concept of Punarbhava.
On the other hand, the opposition would like to stand by the concept that they had always believed i.e. ‘Punarbhava is not possible’. They would like to fight and defend this topic and disprove the concept while establishing their supremacy while in argument.
But in Jalpa type of argument it is mandatory that both parties give valid references for the theories which they standby in the argument. While supporting their hypothesis, one part would defend the topic that they are supporting and also contradict (criticize, condemn, discard) the theory of the opposition.
‘Honest disagreement is often a good sign of progress’ – Mahatma Gandhi
Vitanda Vaada is also an argument type of discussion but is just opposite of Jalpa Vaada. The arguments don’t abide any rules and regulations and are un-ethical in nature. We can call this as ‘vague, senseless and meaningless arguments’. The main criteria of this type of argument are only to criticize and condemn the concepts of the opposition while not trying to support their own theory. In fact either parties don’t have a theory to support and defend, their only intention is to win the contest at any cost and defeat the opposition, whatever method it takes!! Either party doesn’t have any theoretical proofs to substantiate their say. For one party, the 2nd party is just a ‘target of abuse’. The benefit, name and fame of their party are not an intention. Defaming and defaulting the opposition is the main criteria.
‘A philosopher who is not taking part in discussions is like a boxer who never goes into the ring’ – Ludwig Wittgenstein
Just Before Finishing –
Discussions form the base of evolution, especially if they are constructive and healthy. In Ayurvedic treatises like Charaka Samhita, we can find references related to many symposiums which were held in ancient India wherein the stalwarts and teachers of Ayurvedic science gathered together to have Tadvidya Sambhasha. Though there were disagreements among themselves leading to debates, arguments and differences of opinion, many hypothetical points were given conclusion and documented. Some topics which wer not clarified were put forth for further discussions. Such symposiums formed the foundation for the debates, seminars, CME’s, discussions, deliberations, presentations, researches and symposiums of the modern day. The Ayurvedic treatises are the products of such Tadvidya Sambhaashas.
‘Discussion is always better than argument because argument is to find out who is right and discussion is to find out what is right’
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