Siddhanta (सिद्धान्तः)

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Siddhanta (Samskrit : सिद्धान्तम्) called as Theory or Accepted Conclusions is one of the Shodasa Padarthas defined by Gautama maharshi, the knowledge of which leads one to Nihshreyasa according to Nyaya Darshana. These sixteen things or padarthas are basically used for understanding the components seen in the world. Many concepts of things or activities of the world are propounded as siddhantas, like srsti siddhanta (theory about creation), siddhantas in ganita (mathematical theories) etc. The concept of Siddhanta is very important in the present day world which uses this term widely as "theory" virtually in every context of life.

परिचयः॥ Introduction

The word Siddhanta is made up of two words "siddha and "anta"; of these the word siddha denotes all those things with regard to which people have the idea that "this is so and so," and 'this thing has such and such a character.' The word Anta denotes the conviction or opinion that people have with regard to the particular character of those things.[1]

A proposition or statement of fact asserted in the form "this is so" is called Theory (or Doctrine). This is an "object" of cognition but yet is enunciated separately by itself because it is only when there are a number of different theories, and never otherwise, that the three forms of Debate - Discussion, Disagreement and Arguments become possible.

तन्त्राधिकरणाभ्युपगमसंस्थितिः सिद्धान्तः ॥२६॥ {सिद्धान्तलक्षणम्} (Nyay. Sutr. 1.1.26)[2]

tantrādhikaraṇābhyupagamasaṁsthitiḥ siddhāntaḥ ॥26॥{siddhāntalakṣaṇam}

Meaning : Doctrine or Theory is a final, well determined conviction (of people) with regard to the exact nature of any particular thing dealt with by Tantra (Tantra here stands for the teachings in connection with things related with one another).[1]

सिद्धान्तभेदाः ॥ Kinds of Siddhanta

According to the Nyaya Sutra there are four kinds of Siddhantas on account of diversity among the several philosophies. They are

  1. Sarvatantra Siddhanta (सर्वतन्त्रम्) : A doctrine common to all philosophies
  2. Pratitantra Siddhanta (प्रतितन्त्रम्) : A doctrine peculiar to only one philosophy
  3. Adhikarana Siddhanta (अधिकरणः) : A doctrine resting on implication
  4. Abhiyupagama Siddhanta (अभ्युपगमः) : A doctrine based on hypothesis

सः चतुर्विधः सर्वतन्त्रप्रतितन्त्राधिकरणाभ्युपगमसंस्थित्यर्थान्तरभावात्॥२७॥ {तन्त्रभेदौद्देशसूत्रम्} (Nyay. Sutr. 1.1.27)[2]

saḥ caturvidhaḥ sarvatantrapratitantrādhikaraṇābhyupagamasaṁsthityarthāntarabhāvāt॥27॥ {tantrabhēdauddēśasūtram} (Nyay. Sutr. 1.1.27)

According to the Vatsyayana Bhashya for the above Nyaya sutras

तन्त्रार्थसंस्थितिः तन्त्रसंस्थितिः तन्त्रमितरेतराभिसंबद्धस्यार्थसमूहस्योपदेशः शास्त्रम् । अधिकरणानुषङार्था संस्थितिरधिकरणसंस्थितिः अभ्युपगमसंस्थितिरनवधारितार्थपरिग्रहः तद्विशेषपरीक्षणायाभ्युपगमसिद्धान्तः । तन्त्रभेदात्तु खलु स चतुर्विधः ।[3]

tantrārthasaṁsthitiḥ tantrasaṁsthitiḥ tantramitaretarābhisaṁbaddhasyārthasamūhasyopadeśaḥ śāstram । adhikaraṇānuṣaṅārthā saṁsthitiradhikaraṇasaṁsthitiḥ abhyupagamasaṁsthitiranavadhāritārthaparigrahaḥ tadviśeṣaparīkṣaṇāyābhyupagamasiddhāntaḥ । tantrabhedāttu khalu sa caturvidhaḥ ।

Tantrasamshitihi (तन्त्रासंस्थितिः) means the conviction resting on the direct assertions of tantra (shastra) standing for the teachings in connection with things related with one another. This includes the Sarvatantra and Pratitantra Siddhantas.

Adhikaranasamsthitihi (अधिकरणसंस्थितिः) is the conviction resting on implication and not on direct assertion.

Abhyupagamasamsthitihi (अभ्युपगमसंस्थितिः) is the hypothetical and tentative acceptance of an opinion not duly ascertained.[1]

Each one of these siddhantas are elaborated in further sections.

सर्वतन्त्रसिद्धान्तः ॥ Sarvatantra

A Siddhanta common to all tantras (shastras) is called Sarvatantra Siddhanta. It is that philosophical conviction, or theory, which is not incompatible with any philosophy.

सर्वतन्त्राविरुद्धः तन्त्रे अधिकृतः अर्थः सर्वतन्त्रसिद्धान्तः॥२८॥ {सर्वतन्त्रसिद्धान्तलक्षणम्} (Nyay. Sutr. 1.1.28)[2]

sarvatantrāviruddhaḥ tantre adhikr̥taḥ arthaḥ sarvatantrasiddhāntaḥ॥28॥ {sarvatantrasiddhāntalakṣaṇam}

The Vatsayana Bhasya states the examples thus

यथा ध्राणादीनीन्द्रियाणि गन्धादय इन्द्रियार्थाः पृथिव्यादी भूतानि प्रमाणैरर्थस्य ग्रहणमिति। (Vats. Bhas. Nyay. Sutr. 1.1.27)[3]

yathā dhrāṇādīnīndriyāṇi gandhādaya indriyārthāḥ pr̥thivyādī bhūtāni pramāṇairarthasya grahaṇamiti।

As for example are such statements such as "the olfactory organ and the rest are sense-organs", "odour and the rest are the objects apprehended by means of these sense-organs", "the earth and the rest are material substances", "things are cognised by means of the Instruments of Cognition". (Page no 78 of Reference [1])

प्रतितन्त्रसिद्धान्तः॥ Pratitantra

A Siddhanta accepted by only one philosophy and is not accepted by any other Philosophy is called the Pratitantra Siddhanta.

समानतन्त्रासिद्धः परतन्त्रासिद्धः प्रतितन्त्रसिद्धान्तः॥२९॥{प्रतितन्त्रसिद्धान्तलक्षणम्} (Nyay. Sutr. 1.1.29)[2]

samānatantrāsiddhaḥ paratantrāsiddhaḥ pratitantrasiddhāntaḥ॥29॥{pratitantrasiddhāntalakṣaṇam}

The Vatsyayana Bhasya explains through the following example

यथा नासत आत्मलाभः न सत आत्महानं निरतिशयाश्चेतनाः देहेन्द्रियमनःसु विषयेषु तत्तत्कारणे च विशेष इति सांख्यानां पुरुषकर्मादिनिमित्तो भूतसर्गः कर्महेतवो दोषाः प्रकृतिश्च स्वगुणविशिष्टाश्चेतनाः असदुत्पद्यते उत्पन्नं निरुध्यतइति योगानाम् । (Vats. Bhas. Nyay. Sutr. 1.1.29)[3]

yathā nāsata ātmalābhaḥ na sata ātmahānaṁ niratiśayāścetanāḥ dehendriyamanaḥsu viṣayeṣu tattatkāraṇe ca viśeṣa iti sāṁkhyānāṁ puruṣakarmādinimitto bhūtasargaḥ karmahetavo doṣāḥ prakr̥tiśca svaguṇaviśiṣṭāścetanāḥ asadutpadyate utpannaṁ nirudhyataiti yogānām ।

For example, the following siddhantas are peculiar to the Sankhyas - "An absolute non-entity can never come into existence", "an entity can never absolutely lose its existence". The following are peculiar to the Yoga philosophy - "The entire elemental creation is die to the influence of the past deeds of men", "the defects of men and also their activity are the cause of Karma", "intelligent beings are endowed with their own respective qualities", that thing alone is produced which had no existence before", "that which is produced is destroyed".(Page no 78 of Reference [1])

अधिकरणसिद्धान्तः॥ Adhikarana

A Siddhanta which rests on the Implication wherein the knowledge or acceptance of one fact rests or depends on the knowledge or acceptance of another fact is called Adhikarana Siddhanta or Implied Doctrine.

यत्सिद्धौ अन्यप्रकरणसिद्धिः सः अधिकरणसिद्धान्तः॥३०॥ {अधिकरणसिद्धान्तलक्षणम्} (Nyay. Sutr. 1.1.30)[2]

yatsiddhau anyaprakaraṇasiddhiḥ saḥ adhikaraṇasiddhāntaḥ॥30॥ {adhikaraṇasiddhāntalakṣaṇam}

The Vatsyayana Bhashya clarifies as follows

यस्यार्थस्य सिध्दावन्येऽर्था यदधिष्ठानाः सोऽधिकरणसिद्धान्तः । यथा देहेन्द्रियव्यतिरिक्ते ज्ञाता दर्शनस्पर्शनाभ्यामेकार्थग्रहणादिभिः। अत्रानुषङ्गिणोऽर्था इन्द्रियनानात्वं नियतविषयाणीन्द्रियाणि स्वविषयग्रहणलिङ्गानि ज्ञातुर्ज्ञानसाधनानि गन्धादिगुणव्यतिरिक्तां द्रव्यं गुणाधिकरणमनियतविषयाश्चेतना इति पूर्वार्थसिध्दावेतेऽर्थाः सिध्यन्ति न तैर्विना सो ऽर्थः संभवतीति। (Vats. Bhas. Nyay. Sutr. 1.1.30)[3]

yasyārthasya sidhdāvanye'rthā yadadhiṣṭhānāḥ so'dhikaraṇasiddhāntaḥ । yathā dehendriyavyatirikte jñātā darśanasparśanābhyāmekārthagrahaṇādibhiḥ। atrānuṣaṅgiṇo'rthā indriyanānātvaṁ niyataviṣayāṇīndriyāṇi svaviṣayagrahaṇaliṅgāni jñāturjñānasādhanāni gandhādiguṇavyatiriktāṁ dravyaṁ guṇādhikaraṇamaniyataviṣayāścetanā iti pūrvārthasidhdāvete'rthāḥ sidhyanti na tairvinā so 'rthaḥ saṁbhavatīti।

When it so happens that a certain fact having become established or known, other facts become implied - and without these latter facts the former fact itself cannot be established; the former constituting the basis of these later is called Adhikarana Siddhanta or Siddhanta resting on an implication (Implied Doctrine). Example, when the fact that the cogniser is distinct from the body and the sense-organs is proved or indicated by the fact of one and the same object being apprehended by the organs of vision and touch - the facts implied are :

  1. that there are more sense organs than one
  2. that the sense organs operate upon particular kinds of objects
  3. that they have their existence indicated by the apprehension of their objects
  4. that they are the instruments bringing about the cognitions of the cogniser
  5. that the substratum of qualities is a substance other than the qualities of odour and the rest
  6. that intelligent beings cognise only particular objects

All these facts are included in the aforesaid fact (of the cogniser being distinct from the body) as this fact would not be possible without all those other facts.(Page no 80 of Reference [1])

अभ्युपगमसिद्धान्तः॥ Abhyupagama

A siddhanta wherein a fact is taken for granted, without investigation, and then proceeds the examination of its particular details, is called an Abhyupagama Siddhanta.

अपरीक्षिताभ्युपगमात्तद्विशेषपरीक्षणं अभ्युपगमसिद्धान्तः॥३१॥ {अभ्युपगमसिद्धान्तलक्षणम्} (Nyay. Sutr. 1.1.31)[2]

aparīkṣitābhyupagamāttadviśeṣaparīkṣaṇaṁ abhyupagamasiddhāntaḥ॥31॥ {abhyupagamasiddhāntalakṣaṇam}

Vatsyayana Bhashya for the above sutra is as follows

यत्र किंचिदर्थजातमपरीक्षितमभ्युपगम्यते अस्तु द्रव्यं शब्दः स तु नित्यो ऽथानित्य इति द्रव्यस्य सतो नित्यताऽनित्यता वा तद्विशेषः परीक्ष्यते सोऽभ्युपगमसिद्धान्तः स्वबुध्द्यतिशयचिख्यापयिषया परबुध्द्यवज्ञानाच्च प्रवर्ततइति। (Vats. Bhas. Nyay. Sutr. 1.1.31)[3]

yatra kiṁcidarthajātamaparīkṣitamabhyupagamyate astu dravyaṁ śabdaḥ sa tu nityo 'thānitya iti dravyasya sato nityatā'nityatā vā tadviśeṣaḥ parīkṣyate so'bhyupagamasiddhāntaḥ svabudhdyatiśayacikhyāpayiṣayā parabudhdyavajñānācca pravartataiti।

When a fact is taken for granted without investigation, such a siddhanta is called Abhyupagama or a Hypothetical Doctrine. Example, it is taken for granted, without investigation, that Sound is a substance and from that assumption proceeds an investigation as to whether Sound is eternal or non-eternal. In this investigation details of eternality or non-eternality of sound are examined. An author has recourse to this kind of Siddhanta with a view to display his intellect with an utter disregard for the intellect of others.(Page no 81 of Reference [1])

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Mm. Ganganatha Jha. (1939) Gautama's Nyayasutras With Vatsyayana Bhashya. Poona : Oriental Book Agency. (Page no 77)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Nyaya Sutras (Adhyaya 1 Ahnika 1)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Pt. Gangadhara Sastri Tailanga. (1896) The Nyayasutras with Vatsayana's Bhashya and Extracts from the Nyayavarttika and the Tatparyatika. (Page 84 of PDF) Benares : E. J. Lazarus & Co