Tarkasaṅgraha

The Tarkasaṅgraha is an elementary treatise on logic as delineated in the Nyāya and Vaiśeṣika systems of Hindu philosophy.

Its author is Annambhaṭṭa who probably lived during the period A. D. 1625-1700. He was a brāhmaṇa belonging to a Ṛgveda school. He hailed from the Tailaṅga country (the modern Andhra Pradesh). His father was Meligiri Tirumalarāya. He was a great scholar in Advaita Vedānta, Vyākaraṇa (Sanskrit grammar) and Mīmāṁsā.

On the Tarkasaṅgraha he himself wrote a commentary called Tarkadīpikā or Dīpikā.

Actually there are 25 commentaries on the Tarkasaṅgraha and 10 on the Dīpikā! This itself is a proof of its popularity over the centuries.

The whole work is in prose and has ten sections.

A brief summary of the work may now be attempted here:

The first section enumerates the seven categories known as the sapta-padārthas in the Vaiśeṣika philosophy and explains them. (See VAIŚEṢIKA DARŚANA for details.)

The second section describes in detail the various dravyas or substances.

The third section deals with the characteristic marks of the twenty-four guṇas or qualities.

The fourth section starts delineating the epistemology (methods of knowledge) according to the Nyāya and the Vaiśeṣika systems. Pratyakṣa (direct perception) is dealt with in detail here.

The fifth section deals with anumānas or inference, with all the necessary details, including ‘false knowledge’.

The sixth section which is very brief, describes upamāna or analogy.

The seventh section is concerned with śabda or verbal testimony.

The eighth consists of only the Dīpikā (Annambhaṭṭā’s gloss on his own work) which discusses the theory of knowledge according to the Nyāya school. The theory of the Mīmāṁsā school is taken up and refuted.

The subject of the ninth section is ayathārtha-anubhava or erroneous apprehension. It also deals with the five padārthas (substances) left out earlier, viz., karma (action), sāmānya (universal) and so on.

The last section, the tenth, is the concluding chapter. Here the author has tried to prove that the padārthas or categories are only seven and not more as enumerated by the Nyāya system of Gautama. He also states that, ultimately it is jñāna or knowledge that leads to liberation.