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Pramanas: Pratyaksha, Anumana, Upamana, Arthapatti, Anupalabdhi, Sabda (Indian Logic NTA NET 2019)


The Pramanas

Pramāṇa literally means “proof” and “means of knowledge” . It refers to epistemology in Indian philosophies, and is one of the key, much debated fields of study in Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism, since ancient times.

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It is a theory of knowledge, and encompasses one or more reliable and valid means by which human beings gain accurate, true knowledge.

Pratyaksha (Perception)

The Pratyaksha

Pratyaksha is one of the three principal means of knowledge, it means that which is present before the eyes clear, distinct and evident.

Pratyaksha is one of the three principal means of knowledge. The three principal means of knowledge are

Anumana, inference from data, which depends for its value on the possession of the right data, on the right observation of the data including the drawing of the right analogies, the unerring perception of true identity and rejection of false identity, the just estimate of difference and contrast, and on the power of right reasoning from the right data;

Pratyaksha which is the process of collecting and knowing the data, and

Aptavakya which is evidence, the testimony of men in possession of the sought after knowledge.

Anumana (Inference)


Anumana is a Sanskrit word that means “inference” or “knowledge that follows.” It is one of the pramanas, or sources of correct knowledge, in Indian philosophy.

Anumana is using observation, previous truths and reason to reach a new conclusion and truth. A simple example is observing smoke and inferring that there must be fire.

Upamana (Comparison)

The Upamana

Upamana is a Sanskrit word that means “comparison” or “resemblance.”

It is one of the pramana, or sources of correct knowledge, in Indian philosophy, but not all of the Hindu schools of philosophy accept upamana as a distinct pramana.

Arthapatti (Postulation)

The Arthapatti

Arthapatti is a Sanskrit term meaning “presumption” or “implication.”

In the yogic philosophy of the Advaita Vedanta system and the Bhatta school of Purva-Mimamsa, it is said to be one of the six pranamas, or means of obtaining knowledge.

Anupalabdhi/Abhava (Non-Apprehension)

The Anupalabdhi

Anupalabdhi or abhāvapramāṇa is the Pramana of Non-perception admitted by Kumārila for the perception of non-existence of a thing. He holds that the non-existence of a thing cannot be perceived by the senses for there is nothing with which the senses could come into contact in order to perceive the non-existence.

Sabda (Verbal Testimony)

The Sabda

Shabda, (Sanskrit: “sound” ) in Indian philosophy, verbal testimony as a means of obtaining knowledge.

In the philosophical system (darshans) , shabda is equated with the authority of the Vedas (the most-ancient sacred scriptures) as the only infallible testimony, since the Vedas are deemed to be eternal, authorless, and absolutely infalliable.