Vaiṣṇava Siddhānta Mālā

Part 1 – Chapter Ten – Śabda, Pratyakṣa, anumāna—Tintī Pramāṇa
(The Three Evidences – Spiritual Sound, Direct Perception and Inference)


Question: What is pramāṇa (evidence)?

Answer: That which determines truth is known as pramāṇa.

Question: How many kinds of pramāṇa are there?

Answer: There are three kinds.

Question: What are they?

Answer: Śabda (Spiritual sound), pratyakṣa (direct perception) and anumāna (inference).

Question: What is śabda-pramāṇa?

Answer: All the Vedas, which are avatāras of svataḥ-siddha-jñāna, are śabda-pramāṇathis is the best amongst pramāṇas. This is because without such a pramāṇa, it is not possible to be aware of that truth which lies beyond matter.

Question: Why can’t Īśvara and the spiritual world be experienced through pratyakṣa and anumāna?

Answer: All knowledge produced from the senses is called pratyakṣa-pramāṇa; anumāna is the way of perceiving that knowledge by means of inference. These can only give knowledge of this world.

Question: Then why do we accept pratyakṣa and anumāna for understanding paramārthatattva (spiritual principles)?

Answer: Pratyakṣa and anumāna only remain effective when they exactly confirm the perfect accomplishments of śabda-pramāṇa.