Is Anadhyavasāya a Distinct Type of Non-veridical Cognition (Avidyā)? Analysis of the Vaiśeṣika View

  • Soma ChakrabortyEmail author


The Vaiśeṣika school is an important ancient system of Indian philosophy. According to the Vaiśeṣika philosophers, cognition or jñāna is of two types—vidyā and avidyā (vidyā ca avidyā ca), and avidyā is of four types—saṃśaya (doubt), viparyaya (illusion), anadhyavasāya (non-ascertainment) and svapna (dream). Among these four kinds of avidyā, the third kind of non-veridical cognition (avidyā), named ‘anadhyavasāya’ (non-ascertainment/non-assertory cognition), is acknowledged alone by the Vaiśeṣika school. Apart from the Vaiśeṣika school, no other school of Indian philosophy admits such a type of non-veridical cognition. Such a sort of non-veridical cognition is not mentioned even in the Vaiśeṣikasūtra of Kaṇāda. However, Praśastapāda discusses it in his Padārthadharmasaṃgraha, after mentioning it as a variety of non-veridical cognition. He has been followed in this respect by the commentators of Padārthadharmasaṃgraha in their respective commentaries. Following them, in this paper I am going to establish anadhyavasāya as a distinct type of non-veridical cognition.


Vyāsaṅga Anāgraha Aparicaya Jijñāsā Ekakoṭikajñāna Ālocanajñāna Aprasiddha 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.East Calcutta Girls’ CollegeKolkataIndia

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