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Kariona, Mithila (Bihar), India [1]
Religion Hinduism

Udayana, also known as Udayanācārya (Udyanacharya, or Master Udayana), (circa 975 - 1050 CE) was a very important Nyaya Philosopher & Logician of the tenth century who attempted to devise a rational theology to prove the existense of God using logic and counter the attack on the existense of God at the hands of Buddhist philosophers such as Dharmakīrti, Jñānaśrī and against the Indian school of materialism (Chārvaka). [2] [3]


He worked to reconcile the views held by the two major schools of logic (Nyaya and Vaisheshika). This became the root of the Navya-Nyāya ("New Nyāya") school of the thirteenth century, established by the Gangesha Upadhyaya school of "right" reasoning, which is still recognized and followed in some regions of India today. He lived in Kariyan village in Mithila, near present-day Darbhanga, Bihar state, India.

Udayana wrote a sub-gloss on Vachaspati's work called the Nyaya-vaartika-taatparya-tiikaa-parishuddhi. [4] He wrote several other works such as the Kusumanjali, Atma-tattva-viveka, Kiranaavali and Nyaya-parishishhta (also called Bodha siddhi or Bodha shuddhi).

He is given credit by Naiyâyikas for having demolished in a final fashion the claims of the Buddhist logicians. [5] [6] All his known works are thought to have been preserved, attesting to the importance given to him in Indian philosophy. [7]

Early life

It is accepted by most scholars now that he was from Mithila, Bihar. Scholars are almost unanimous in declaring Udayana to be one of the greatest of Indian philosophers. In the Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika school itself, to which he belongs, he occupies a singular position of authority and renown. Flourishing at the period of transition from the Older Nyāya to the New (Navya-Nyāya), he shines as an unrivalled master of the former and an inspiring herald of the latter. For example, Gaṇgeśa Upādhyāya the 14th century Indian Philosopher & Mathematician who established the Navya-Nyāya school refers to Udayana as "Acāryaḥ" (lit. Master/Teacher). D. C. Bhattacharya observes: "From the 12th century onwards he [= Udayana] was looked upon as the greatest exponent of the Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika doctrines and was the greatest target of all scholars of the opposing camps"

One Indian writer of the sixteenth century, Sāyana Mādhava, the author of the Sarvadarsanasamgraha, speaks of him not only as "one whose fame had spread everywhere" (viśvavikhyātakīrtih), but also as "one who has seen the opposite shore of the ocean of the principles of logic" (nyāyanayapārāvārapāradṛk) an epithet which shows his fame as a logician. [8]

The controversy about Udayana's lifetime seemed to have been settled by the discovery of the Lakṣaṇāvalī, the concluding verse of which states that it was written in Saka era 906 (984—985 A. D.). Hence, he was active as a philosopher from the late 10th century to the beginning of the 11th century. [9]

Nyayakusumanjali and the existence of God

Udayana's Nyayakusumanjali gave the following nine arguments to prove the existence of a creative God. [10] [11] [12]

Other works by Udayana

Seven works have been ascribed to Udayana. The following are the titles of the works in the chronological order in which they are believed to have been composed. [9]

Related Research Articles

Nyāya, literally meaning "justice", "rules", "method" or "judgment", is one of the six orthodox (astika) schools of Hinduism. This school's most significant contributions to Indian philosophy was systematic development of the theory of logic, methodology, and its treatises on epistemology.

Eastern philosophy Set of philosophies originating in Asia

Eastern philosophy or Asian philosophy includes the various philosophies that originated in East and South Asia, including Chinese philosophy, Indian philosophy, Japanese philosophy, Korean philosophy, and Vietnamese philosophy; all of these are dominant in East, South, and Southeast Asia.

Hindu philosophy Various systems of thought in Hinduism

Hindu philosophy encompasses the philosophies, world views and teachings of Hinduism that emerged in Ancient India. These include six systems (shad-darśana) – Sankhya, Yoga, Nyaya, Vaisheshika, Mimamsa and Vedanta.

Vaisheshika or Vaiśeṣika is one of the six schools of Indian philosophy from ancient India. In its early stages, the Vaiśeṣika was an independent philosophy with its own metaphysics, epistemology, logic, ethics, and soteriology. Over time, the Vaiśeṣika system became similar in its philosophical procedures, ethical conclusions and soteriology to the Nyāya school of Hinduism, but retained its difference in epistemology and metaphysics.

Kanada, also known as Kashyapa, Ulūka, Kananda and Kanabhuk, was an ancient Indian natural scientist and philosopher who founded the Vaisheshika school of Indian philosophy that also represents the earliest Indian physics.

Gangesha Upadhyaya was an Indian philosopher and mathematician from the kingdom of Mithila. He established the Navya-Nyāya school. His Tattvacintāmaṇi, also known as Pramāṇacintāmaṇi, is the basic text for all later developments. The logicians of this school were primarily interested in defining their terms and concepts related to non-binary logical categories.

Ishvara is a concept in Hinduism, with a wide range of meanings that depend on the era and the school of Hinduism. In ancient texts of Indian philosophy, depending on the context, Ishvara can mean supreme soul, ruler, lord, king, queen or husband. In medieval era Hindu texts, depending on the school of Hinduism, Ishvara means God, Supreme Being, personal God, or special Self.

<i>Nyāya Sūtras</i> Sanskrit text of the Nyaya school of Hindu philosophy

The Nyāya Sūtras is an ancient Indian Sanskrit text composed by Akṣapāda Gautama, and the foundational text of the Nyaya school of Hindu philosophy. The date when the text was composed, and the biography of its author is unknown, but variously estimated between 6th-century BCE and 2nd-century CE. The text may have been composed by more than one author, over a period of time. The text consists of five books, with two chapters in each book, with a cumulative total of 528 aphoristic sutras, about rules of reason, logic, epistemology and metaphysics.

The development of Indian logic dates back to the anviksiki of Medhatithi Gautama ; the Sanskrit grammar rules of Pāṇini ; the Vaisheshika school's analysis of atomism ; the analysis of inference by Gotama, founder of the Nyaya school of Hindu philosophy; and the tetralemma of Nagarjuna.

Āstika and nāstika are concepts that have been used to classify Indian philosophies by modern scholars, as well as some Hindu, Buddhist and Jain texts. The various definitions for āstika and nāstika philosophies have been disputed since ancient times, and there is no consensus. In current Indian languages like Hindi and Bengali, āstika and its derivatives usually mean 'theist', and nāstika and its derivatives denote an 'atheist'; however, the two terms in Ancient- and Medieval-Era Sanskrit literature do not refer to 'theism' or 'atheism'. The terms are used differently in Hindu philosophy. For example, Sāṃkhya is both an atheist and āstika (Vedic) philosophy, though “God” is often used as an epithet for consciousness (purusa) within its doctrine. Similarly, though Buddhism is considered to be nāstika, the Gautama Buddha is considered an avatar of Vishnu in some Hindu traditions.

Bimal Krishna Matilal was an eminent Indian philosopher whose writings presented the Indian philosophical tradition as a comprehensive system of logic incorporating most issues addressed by themes in Western philosophy. From 1977 to 1991 he was the Spalding Professor of Eastern Religion and Ethics at the University of Oxford.

The Navya-Nyāya or Neo-Logicaldarśana of Indian logic and Indian philosophy was founded in the 13th century CE by the philosopher Gangeśa Upādhyāya of Mithila and continued by Raghunatha Siromani of Nabadwipa in Bengal. It was a development of the classical Nyāya darśana. Other influences on Navya-Nyāya were the work of earlier philosophers Vācaspati Miśra and Udayana. It remained active in India through to the 18th century.

Madhusūdana Sarasvatī (c.1540–1640) was an Indian philosopher in the Advaita Vedānta tradition. He was the disciple of Viśveśvara Sarasvatī and Mādhava Sarasvatī, and is the most celebrated name in the annals of the great dvaita-advaita debate. Nyayamruta of Vyasatirtha caused a furore in the Advaita community resulting in a series of scholarly debates over centuries. Madhusūdana composed Advaitasiddhi, a line-by-line refutation to Nyayamruta of Dvaita school of Vedanta.

Vaiśeṣika Sūtra, also called Kanada sutra, is an ancient Sanskrit text at the foundation of the Vaisheshika school of Hindu philosophy. The sutra was authored by the Hindu sage Kanada, also known as Kashyapa. According to some scholars, he flourished before the advent of Buddhism because the Vaiśeṣika Sūtra makes no mention of Buddhism or Buddhist doctrines; however, the details of Kanada's life are uncertain, and the Vaiśeṣika Sūtra was likely compiled sometime between 6th and 2nd century BCE, and finalized in the currently existing version before the start of the common era.

Raghunatha Shiromani was an Indian philosopher and logician. He was born at Nabadwip in present-day Nadia district of West Bengal state. He was the grandson of Śulapāṇi, a noted writer on Smṛti from his mother's side. He was a pupil of Vāsudeva Sārvabhauma. He brought the new school of Nyaya, Navya Nyāya, representing the final development of Indian formal logic, to its zenith of analytic power.

Padārtha is a Sanskrit word for "categories" in Vaisheshika and Nyaya schools of Hindu philosophy.

Praśastapāda was an ancient Indian philosopher. He wrote the Padārtha-dharma-saṅgraha and a commentary, titled Praśastapāda Bhāṣya, on the Vaisheshika Sutras of Kanada ; both texts are comprehensive books in physics. In these texts Prashastapada discusses the properties of motion. Ganganath Jha had translated Praśastapāda Bhāṣya which was published in 1916. Prashasta or Praśasta means praised or praiseworthy, lauded or laudable, commended or commendable or eulogized.

Tattvacintāmaṇi is a treatise in Sanskrit authored by 12th-century CE Indian logician and philosopher Gangesa Upadhyaya. The title may be translated into English as "A Thought-jewel of Truth." The treatise is also known as Pramāṇa-cintāmaṇi.


Nyayakusumanjali is a treatise in Sanskrit composed by 10th century CE Indian logician and philosopher Udayana. The work has been described as codification of the Hindu arguments for the existence of God. It has been noted that this treatise is the most elaborate and the most fundamental work of the Nyaya-Vaiseshika school on the Isvara doctrine.

Ānvīkṣikī is a term in Sanskrit denoting roughly the "science of inquiry" and it should have been recognized in India as a distinct branch of learning as early as 650 BCE. However, over the centuries its meaning and import have undergone considerable variations. In the earliest period, the term was used to denote Atma-vidya, the science of the soul, in contrast to Adhyatma-vidya, the spiritual science, or Brahma-vidya, the divine science. In Manu Smriti the term Ānvīkṣikī has been used as equivalent to Atma-vidya and it has been described as a branch of the Vedas. In the fourth century BCE, Kautilya in his Arthashastra recognised it as a distinct branch of learning different from Vedas and other disciplines. Kautilya classifies all disciplines into four categories: scripture, agriculture and commerce (varta), politics and public administration (danda-niti), and Ānvīkṣikī, the investigative reflective science. The distinction between Atma-vidya and Ānvīkṣikī is that while the former embodied certain dogmatic assertions about the nature of the soul, the latter contained reasons supporting those assertions. Thus Ānvīkṣikī dealt with two subjects, namely, atma, soul, and hetu, theory of reasons. The Samkhya, Yoga, and Lokayata, in so far as they treated of reasons affirming or denying the existence of soul, were included by Kautilya in the Ānvīkṣikī. Of the two subjects studied in the ambit of Ānvīkṣikī, the study of soul later developed and matured into a separate independent study described by the term Darsanas, and the theory of reasons was developed into an independent branch of study referred to as Nyaya or logic. This bifurcation of Ānvīkṣikī into philosophy and logic must have had its beginning in around 550 BCE with the exposition of the logical side of Ānvīkṣikī by Medhatithi Gautama. However the term Ānvīkṣikī has been in use in the general sense of a science embracing both the science of soul and the theory of reasons.


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