Supremacy of Perception according to Nyaya Philosophy: A Critical Survey


  • Dr. Selim Reza Associate Professor, Syamprasad College, Kolkata, West Bengal, India


Prime Supremacy of Perception, Definition of Perception, Sense Organs (Indriya), Artha, Sannikarsa, Justification of Gautama’s Definition


The article delves into a critical exploration of the concept of “perception” within the framework of Nyaya Philosophy. Given that inference, analogy, and testimony are intricately linked to perception, the objective of the author is to establish the pre-eminence of the "perception" concept. The initial phase of my analysis involves delineating the term 'perception' as outlined in Maharsi Gautama’s Nyaya-sutra 1/1/4. The author has delved into Gautama's multifaceted definition from various analytical angles. To substantiate Gautama's definition, inquiry has been made regarding the Buddhist interpretation of pratyaksa as well as the perspective of Vedantis. Furthermore, parallels have been drawn between Nyaya's conception of pratyaksa and that expounded by Western Philosophers such as Kant, Whitehead, Russell, and Heidegger. Given the challenges posed to Nyaya-sutra 1/1/4 by other philosophical schools, the author has undertaken the task of defending this sutra from two alternative viewpoints. The crux of the matter lies in determining whether the purported definition accurately captures the essence of perception or if it merely explicates the causal factors underlying perception. In this context, the author has scrutinized the theory of perception grounded in the interaction between the senses and objects, and also explored the concepts of "atma-manah-samyoga" and "indriya-manah-samyoga" both of which substantiate and vindicate Maharsi Gautama's designated definition of perception.  


Vatsayayana-Bhasya on Nyaya-Sutra, 1/1/5

Ibid, 1/1/7

Ibid, 1/1/4

Manusamhita, Ch. II, Verse 89

Manasaca indriyabhavat na vacyam laksanantaram iti. Tantrantara samacarat ca etat pratyetabyam iti.

Tarkabagis, Mahamahopadhyay Phanibhusan; Nyayadarsana, Vol. I, Paschimbanga Rajya Purtak Parisad, Kolkata, 1981, p.140

Gita, 15/7

Ibid, 10/22

Mimamsa-Sutra, 1/1/4

Mimamsa-Sutra-Vartik, Verse 126

Manodasendriyani arthah (Verse-15); Buddhi-indriya-manah arthanam (Verse - 23); Sarirakasthana

Goswami, Narayan Chandra: Sankhyatattvakaumudi, Sanskrit Pustak Bhandar, Kolkata, 1406 Bangabdo, p.46

Vatsayayana-Bhasya on Nyaya-Sutra, 2/1/26

Hana Buddhi is one by means of which we renounce something as not desirable; Upadana buddhi helps us to receive something as desirable; Upeksa buddhi is the cause of indifference to something. Knowledge is an effect of any of the buddhi’s mentioned above. ‘Yada jnanam tada hana-upadana-upeksa-buddhayah phalam’.




How to Cite

Dr. Selim Reza. (2024). Supremacy of Perception according to Nyaya Philosophy: A Critical Survey. Indian Journal of Ethics, Logic and Philosophy, 2(1), 1–10. Retrieved from