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Sambhava – Inclusion In Hindu Logic

Sambhava is a term used in Hindu logic and is used to mention inclusion. For instance, when it is mentioned that a hundred persons are present, it includes fifty also. Such an error-free knowledge can be included under inference.

Of the six schools of Hindu philosophy, which hold Vedas in great esteem as authoritative, the Nyaa is coupled with the Vaiseshika, specializing in epistemology and ontology, respectively. The Nyaya darshana, the school of Hindu logic, recognizes four pramanas, the means leading to valid knowledge. These are –

  • Perception
  • Inference
  • Analogy
  • Verbal Testimony.

Some other systems of philosophy postulate two more means of veridical knowledge, namely, presumption and non-perception. There are also other means, such as sambhava and aitihya. The Nyaya school includes all these under one or the other of the four pramans accepted by it. Presumption is brought under inference, while non-perception is brought under perception. Similarly, sambhava is brought under inference, while aitihya comes under verbal testimony.

Sambhava is not a separate testimony but is treated as something distinct.