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By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Nyayamrta, NyAyAmRta, Nyaayaamrrita

Nyāyāmṛta literally means ‘nectar through polemics’.

Contribution of Madhvācārya

If Śaṇkara[1] took to dialectical methods to counter the nihilism of the Buddhist philosophers and the ritualism of the mīmānsakas and establish his Advaita Vedānta based on the scripture the prasthānatraya, other Vedāntins who radically differed from him were equally pugnacious in attacking his views. The adherents of Dvaita Vedanta of Madhvācārya[2] have contributed quite a voluminous literature in this regards.

Significance of Nyāyāmrta

The Nyāyāmrta of Vyāsatīrtha[3] is one of the best works of this type. Vyāsatīrtha, also known as Vyāsa-rāya, wrote nine works of which three were considered as his masterpieces. Out of these, the Nyāyāmrta that has been regarded as his magnum opus. It aims at a thorough vindication of the philosophical power and prestige of the realistic metaphysics of Madhvācārya, dealing simultaneously with the concomitant problems.

Content of Nyāyāmrta

The work which is in elegant prose, is divided into four paricchedas or chapters. An overview of the topics of each section is delineated belows.

First Chapter

The first chapter examines thoroughly the various concepts put forward by Advaita Vedānta such as:

  • Adhyāsa - superimposition
  • Anirvacanīyatva - inexplicability
  • Mithyātva - falsity of the world-appearance
  • Others

Second Chapter

The second chapter refutes some of the common and well-known advaitic doctrines such as:

Third Chapter

The third chapter deals with the correct interpretation of certain statements in the scriptures dealing with sādhanās or spiritual practices.

Fourth Chapter

The last chapter elucidates the doctrine of mukti or liberation according to Madhva, refuting the views of other schools. Thus this work gives an inkling into the genius of Vyāsatirtha’s highly analytical mind.


  1. He lived in A. D. 788-820.
  2. He lived in A. D. 1238-1317.
  3. He lived in A. D. 1478-1539.
  4. Nirākāra means formless.
  5. Svaprakāśa means shines by himself.
  6. Pañcabhedas means the five fundamental differences.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore