By Swami Harshananda
Nyāyapariśuddhi literally means ‘a work that purifies the Nyāya philosophy’.
Next to Rāmānuja, only Vedānta Deśika was the most important teacher of the philosophy of Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedānta. Realizing the importance of logic in establishing one’s own school and in countering the arguments of the opposing schools, he composed two works-the Nyāyapariśuddhi and the Nyāyasiddhāñjana which are complementary.
The Nyāyasutras of Gautama had been accepted by all the philosophers who believed in the final authority of the Vedas as a basic work of logic. However, the commentators who developed the Nyāya system, paid overwhelming attention to the pramāṇas rather than the prameyas.
With a view to ‘purifying’ or correcting this imbalance, Deśika wrote these two works wherein he has tried to show that the philosophy of the Nyāyasutras with regard to the pramāṇas, is the same as that of Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedānta. This work has five chapters. They are:
- Pratyakṣādhyāya - It deals with the subject of direct perception.
- Anumānādhyāya - It deals with the subject of inference.
- Śabdādhyāya - It deals with the subject of scriptural testimony.
- Smṛtyadhyāya - It deals with the secondary scriptures.
- Prameyādhyāya - It deals with the objects of knowledge like the world, the soul and God.
The second chapter is the longest. Since he could not amplify the prameya part sufficiently in this work, he wrote the second work, the Nyāya-siddhāñjana, wherein his objective was fulfilled.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore