Classical Indian Philosophy Nyaya: Theism, God and Proofs for the Existence of God

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Classical Indian Philosophy Nyaya:Theism, God & Proofs for the Existence of God (Philosophy)

The Concept of God

  • Nyaya accepts the metaphysical theories of Vaisesika, as a result, the accounts of matter, souls, and God are almost the same in both the schools.

  • Nyaya like Vaisesika accepts the theory of asat-karyavada theory of creation.

  • According to the theory, the effect (karya) does not pre-exist (asat) in the cause. So, creation is always a new beginning. It is a fresh creation. As a result, it is also called arambhavada.

  • So, the theory believes that the effect is not contained implicitly in the cause nor are identical with the cause.

  • The opposite of this theory is the theory of sat-karya-Vada.

  • According to the theory, the effect (karya) of something is existent (sat) in the cause. This was believed by the Samkhyas and the Vedantins (though they had different ideas on the process of a cause becoming its effect).

  • Nyaya like Vaisesika also accepts the theory of bondage and liberation of souls.

  • They accept the authority of the vedas and regard them as infallible in nature.

  • According to the Later Nyayaikas, God is an essential thing for obtaining true knowledge of realities which alone leads to liberation. In other words, God’s grace alone leads to liberation.

  • God is the creator, maintainer or preserver and destroyer God.

  • They also regard God as the moral governor of all beings (prayojaka-karta).

  • In short, God is said to possess all six positive virtues or attributes. They are;

    • Majesty

    • Power

    • Glory

    • Beauty

    • Knowledge

    • Freedom

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Proofs for the Existence of God

  • Nyaya provides nine proofs for the existence of God. They are;

  • The world is the effect and hence, it must have an efficient cause. That efficient cause is God. God is the intelligent agent who orders, designs, co-ordinates. He is karyat.

  • The atoms are essentially inactive and cannot form the different combinations unless God gives them motion. So, the unseen power or the adrsta requires the intelligence of God. Without God it cannot supply motion to the atoms (ayojanat).

  • The world is sustained by God’s will alone. Similarly, it is also destroyed by God’s will alone (dhrtyadeh)

  • The word denotes a meaning and signifies an object. This power is given by God or padat.

  • God is the author of the infallible Vedas (pratyayatah).

  • The Vedas testify the existence of God (shruti).

  • The divine or the Vedic sentences deal with injunctions and prohibitions. The Vedic commands are the Divine commands. So, God is the creator of the moral laws (vakyat). As a result, he is the moral governor (prayojaka-karta).

  • According to Nyaya metaphysics, the magnitude of the dyad is not produced by the infinite magnitude of the two atoms each, but by the number of the two atoms. Number one is directly perceived, but other numbers are conceptual creations. Numerical conception, according to both the schools is related to the mind of the perceiver. At the time of creation, the souls are unconscious. The atoms, adrsta, space and time, etc. are all unconscious. So, the numerical conception depends upon the Divine consciousness. Hence, God exists (sankhyavisheshat)

  • According to nyaya, we reap as we sow or we reap the fruits of our own actions. Merits and demerits are the results of our actions and the same stock of merit and demerit is called adrsta or the unseen power. This unseen power or adrsta is unintelligible in nature, as a result, it needs the guidance of God. So, God exists (adrsta)

Mcq

1. The accounts of matter, souls, and God are ____ in both the schools, Nyaya and Vaisesika

A. Similar

B. Dissimilar

C. Can’t say

D. None of these

Answer: A

2. ______ believe in the asat-karyavada theory of creation

A. Nyaya

B. Sankhya

C. Vaisesika

D. Both A and C

Answer: D

3. According to Nyaya, God is

A. Moral governor

B. Creator, Preserver God

C. Saguna God

D. All of these

Answer: D

4. According to Nyaya, God is ______

A. Not an author of infallible Vedas

B. An author of infallible Vedas

C. An author of fallible Vedas

D. None of these

Answer: B

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