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Jnapti In Hindu Logic

Jnapti is a term frequently used in Hindu texts. Etymologically the meaning the term is understanding or apprehension – denoting intelligence. The relation between a word and its meaning is given and not determined by human convention. Therefore, the meaning of a word is authoritative, according to Badarayana, as its authority independent and self sufficient. Veda is thus authoritative, free from error, infallible and self-sufficient. In this sense, the word jnapti as one of the names of the Supreme Self means one who enables us to know (Jaiminiya Mimamsa Sutra 1-1-5).

According to Hindu logic, if a word or words come to mind, then it reminds us of other related words with associated sense. This is also jnaapti.

For example, if one says that “Ashok is quite fat and is never seen eating in the morning”, we come to the logical conclusion that he eats at night. This is also called arthapatti, technically. Another example would be that whenever we refer to “smoke on the mountain”, our mind thinks of the presence of fire. Such corollaries are covered by the term jnapti.

The Sanskrit word saindhava means both salt and horse; in the context of food/eating it should be understood to mean salt. This process of inference for the appropriate contextually determined meaning of a word is referred to as jnaapti.




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