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Vitanda – A Type Of Debate In Hinduism

Vitanda is one of the three kinds of disputation in Hinduism. Three different kinds of debates are recognized in Hindu traditional lore. They are vida, jalpa, and vitanda.

 The purpose of vada is to find out the truth. There is no question of who wins. Generally the discussions between the teacher and the students fall in this category.

Jalpa is a mode of discussion wherein one party tries to beat the other by hook or by crook. The purpose is not necessarily to expound the truth. Generally, knowing full well that what they argue is wrong, people sometimes engage in discussions.

The third and final method is vitanda, wherein the party never comes out with his own opinions. It only rebuts the views of opponents. Finally, the president and the audience are left to come to their own conclusion about the result of the proceedings. This method of arguing is very difficult. It requires sound knowledge of all other branches of learning. Only very few authors chose this method to expound their points, without expressly establishing them. Sriharsha, the author of Khandana-Khanda-Khadya, the great Advaitic text, is well known for his abilities in Vitanda. Vedanta Desika is the other exponent.