Nyaya Darshana and Ayurveda: Relation and Similarities

By Dr. Regina Antony
Nyaya Darshana was composed by Gauthama Maharshi and Vatsyayana wrote its commentary.
It is the first among the Asthika Darshana (theist philosophies) and is explained in five chapters.


Examination of anything with the help of Pramanas (means of knowledge) is called Nyaya.

The 4 Pramana – Means of Knowledge:
Nyay Darshan makes use of four parameters (Pramana) for obtaining real knowledge –
1. Pratyaksha – perception
2. Anumana – inference
3. Shabda (Apta vachana) – credible instructions or knowledge, words of the wise and
4. Yukti – reasoning.
Read related: Pramana: Definition, Types As Per Sushruta And Charaka

Its aim is to achieve salvation or to be free of diseases by avoiding desire (raga), hatred (dvesha), false knowledge (mithya gyana) and spiritual ignorance (avidya) by gaining real and valid knowledge using the 4 types of Pramana. Hence it is also known as Pramana Shastra.
The concept of God, rebirth, fruits of actions, salvation etc are accepted by this Darshana.

Shodasha Padartha – 16 Factors of Nyay Darshan

16 logics or categories have been mentioned in Nyaya Darshana for obtaining the correct knowledge and to attain salvation. These are known as Shodasha Padartha. They are as follows:
1. Pramana – Parameters for obtaining valid knowledge
2. Prameya – objects of valid knowledge
3. Samshaya – doubts
4. Prayojana – motive
5. Drushtanta – examples
6. Siddhanta – conclusion, accepted truth
7. Avayava – methods of inference
8. Tarka – Hypothetical reasoning
9. Nirnaya – Determination of truth
10. Vaada – Discussion
11. Jalpa – wrangling, discussion to prove dominance
12. Vitanda – derisive criticism
13. Hetvabhasa – fallacy
14. Chala – quibbling
15. Jati – futility
16. Nigraha sthana – discussions in support of success

Ayurved and Nyaya Darshana

One can find lot of influence of Nyaya Darshana in Charaka Samhita. Charaka has described the theories of Nyaya Darshana in detail.
Read related: Influence Of Ayurveda in Darshanas: Analysis, Explanation

Master Charaka has accepted four Pramanas (means of knowledge) of Nyaya Darshana
1. Pratyaksha – perception
2. Anumana – inference
3. Shabda (Apta vachana) – credible instructions or knowledge, words of the wise and
4. Yukti – reasoning.

The concept of Tadvidya Sambhasha (symposium of like-minded personalities and discussion of common topics within the science),
Sambhasha Parishad (organisation or symposiums for discussions and deliberations), Varieties of Parishads (organisations),
44 types of Vaada margas (methods of discussions and arguments, favourable or hostile) etc are explained in detail in Ayurveda treatises. All these concepts are borrowed from Nyaya Darshana.

Ten types of Karya Abhinivritthi Ghatakas (factors helping in accomplishment of work) have been adopted from Nyaya Darshana and are explained in Charaka Samhita.

The Tantra Yuktis (factors and principles which help in comprehensive learning) mentioned in Ayurveda are also taken from Nyaya Darshana.
Read related: Sankhya Darshana and Ayurveda: Relation and Similarities

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