I am interested in the teachings of Hinduism. I have a lot of questions, and there are still very few answers. Disputes of different types are found at every step of life. What is the right thing to do? Help me by providing references of scriptures regarding disputes?


1 Answer 1


In the light of Nyaya Darshana

Terms related to styles of debating, सम्भाषाप्रकाराः

vada - Arguing for truth
Jalpa - Arguing constructively as well as destructively for victory
vitanda - merely destructive .argument
hetvabhasa - fallacious reasons
chala - quibbling,
jati -specious and unavailing
nigrahasthana vulnerable points .
A Primer of Indian Logic , S Kuppuswami Sastri

Types of debates


प्रमाणतर्कसाधनोपालम्भः सिद्धान्ताविरुद्धः पञ्चावयवोपपन्नः पक्षप्रतिपक्षपरिग्रहः वादः ।।१.२.१।।(Nyaya sutra 1.2.1)
Vadin and PratiVadin(opponent) support and condemn by means of proofs and reasonings - neither of which is quite opposed to the main doctrine (or thesis), and both of which are carried on in full accordance with the method of reasoning. The principal aim of a wholesome Vada is to resolve the conflict and to establish ‘what is true’


यथोक्तोपपन्नः छलजातिनिग्रहस्थानसाधनोपालम्भः जल्पः | १.२.२(Nyaya sutra 1.2.2)
Vadin is thoroughly convinced that he is absolutely right and the other (opponent – Prativadin) is hopelessly wrong. The first party to the debate is dogmatically committed to his own thesis, while the other party takes a rigid contrary position (Pratipaksha) on a given subject and sometimes, even at the cost of truth. each discussor comes to the table with a preconceived notion that he is right and the other is wrong, the purpose of the discussion is not to discover or establish the truth but to establish one’s own position or thesis, and to prove the opponent wrong and convert the other to one's own camp.Therefore, there is hardly any knowledge that gets established in these discussions.


सः प्रतिपक्षस्थापनाहीनः वितण्डा ।।१.२.३।।[ (Nyaya sutra 1.2.2)
The contending parties in a Jalpa have a position of their own that they fight hard to defend...In Vitanda, the disputant has neither a position of his own nor is he trying to defend any specific thesis. He merely tries to derange and humiliate the other party to the debate...In Jalpa, the aim of the contenders is to make the rival accept their thesis, by whatever means...In Vitanda, the focus is to tarnish credibility for the opponent...

जल्पसाधनानि ॥ Different Means of disputation


Eg. ‘The boy has “navakambala” (possessing a new blanket), the opponent can unfairly object and say that, ‘The boy is possessing nine blankets’ since ‘nava’ means ‘new’ as well as ‘nine’. This is called as ‘chala’.Here the connotation is exploited.


It means an unfair reply based on a false analogy. For instance: If one argues, ‘Sound is non-eternal, because it is an effect like a pot,’. Another person objects to it saying that sound must be eternal because it is incorporeal like the sky. This objection is a kind of jāti since there is no universal relation between the incorporeal and the eternal.
Swami Harshananda


For Eg. All bipeds are rational. Swans are bipeds. Hence, swans are rational.’ The conclusion of this inference is false because the hetu(major premise of syllogism) given (that all bipeds are rational) is itself an ābhāsa, illusory or unreal.
Swami Harshananda


If any party in a debat fails to understand or misunderstands his own or the other party’s statement and its implication, he is brought to the point at which he has to admit defeat.
Swami Harshananda

What is the right thing to do?

Vaadha is ideal, yet ..

तत्वाध्यवसायसंरक्षणार्थ जल्पवितण्डे वीजप्ररोहसंरक्षणार्थ कण्टकशाखावरणवत् (Nyaya Sutra 4.2.50)
Sometimes Jalpa and Vithanda like covering of thorny branches that protect the germination of a seed,is used for the purpose of defending ones determination to get at the truth,

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