The 3 pramanas accepted in Vishishtadvaita philosophy are Pratyaksha, Anumana, and Shabda.

How come the others like Upamana (Comparison), Arthapatti (Necssary Assumption), Anupalabdhi (Non-apprehension), Aitihya (Tradition), Chesta (Gesture), Parishesha (Elimination), and Sambhava (Inclusion) are not included? Could it be because these 7 just fall under the category of Anumana, which is generally logical proofs, or are they excluded for a reason?

Many scriptures like the commentaries on the Brahma Sutras use lots of logical reasoning and things like comparison, inclusion, tradition, etc to make arguments, so I am wondering.

  • 1
    I answered this in the comment section of your other post, but Visistadvaita does not dispute the validity of Upamana, Arthapatti, etc. It just says that there are three independent Pramanas, namely Pratyaksha, Anumana, and Sabda, and that the other Pramanas are reducible to these three. Oct 6, 2017 at 14:19

1 Answer 1


Visistadvaita does not dispute the validity of other Pramanas, it just says there are three independent Pramanas, namely Pratyaksha, Anumana, and Sabda, and other Pramanas are reducible to these three. Here is what S.M. Srinivasachari says in his book "Fundamentals of Visistadvaita Vedanta", which is based on Vedanta Desikan's Tattva Mukta Kalapa:

Upamana or knowledge derived by comparison is considered as a separate Pramana both by the Mimamsakas, and Naiyayikas, though they offer different explanations. After critically examining both the views, Vedanta Desika holds that it cannot be an independent Pramana but a part of either inference or verbal testimony.... Arthapatti or presumption is the postulation of something to account for what apparently conflicts with experience and is therefore in the nature of a hypothesis.... Vedanta Desika states that this method of discovering the unknown from the known is not different from inference.... Anupalabdhi or non-apprehension is admitted as a separate Pramana by the Kumarila school of Mimamsa.... According to the Visistadvaitin Anupalabdhi is not a separate Pramana. The same sense organs which apprehend an entity can also cognize its Abhava or the non-existence.... Aitihya refers to the statements of an elderly person about matters which are being passed on from generation to generation, their origin being shrouded in the mist of antiquity.... Vedanta Desika takes the view that such statements may be taken as valid verbal testimony provided they conform to the facts; otherwise they have to be rejected as invalid.... Sambhava or subsumption is the cognition of a part from the whole of which it is a part. Thus, when we speak of ten thousand, the number one hundred is understood to be a part of it because the former includes in it the latter..... As this is strictly a numerical inclusion and there is a definite concomitance between one hundred and ten thousand, it is a case of deductive inference and not a separate Pramana.... Chesta or gesture of hand is regarded as a source of knowledge, because by observing the sign made by a person we understand the needs of the person such as his desire for food or drink. We infer from the sign what one wants to convey.

On a side note, quoting S.M. Srinivasachari's book brings back memories, because it's the first book I used to study Visistadvaita in detail, back when I was 14 years old. (I didn't understand everything in it at the time; if I did I would have had fewer misconceptions about Hinduism.)

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .