By Swami Harshananda
Origin & Author of Tarkasañgraha
The Tarkasañgraha is an elementary treatise on logic as delineated in the Nyāya and Vaiśeṣika systems of philosophy. It's 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. His father was Meligiri Tirumalarāya. Annambhaṭṭa was a great scholar in Advaita Vedānta, Vyākaraṇa and Mīmānsā.
Summary of Tarkasañgraha
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 saptapadārthas in the Vaiśeṣika philosophy and explains them in details.
- The second section describes 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 according to the Nyāya and the Vaiśeṣika systems. Pratyaksa 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 briefly describes upamāna or analogy.
- The seventh section is concerned with śabda or verbal testimony.
- The eighth section consists of only the Dīpikā which discusses the theory of knowledge according to the Nyāya school. The theory of the Mīmānsā 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 left out earlier, viz., karma, sāmānya and so on.
- The last section 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.
Commentaries on Tarkasañgraha
On the Tarkasañgraha he himself wrote a commentary called Tarkadipikā or Dipikā. Actually there are 25 commentaries on the Tarkasañgraha and 10 on the Dipikā. This denotes it's popularity over the centuries.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore