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Nyaya Kusumanjali

Nyaya kusumanjali is an important text on Nyaya philosophy by Udayana (10th or 11th century CE). It aims at refuting the major arguments against the existence of God. It consists of 73 karikas (memorable verses), arranged in five stavakas (chapters). Udayana regards his arguments as his kusumanjali (offering of flowers) to God and holds that logical investigation into the nature and existence of God is also a form of worship.

In each stavaka, he discusses and refutes five major arguments against the existence of God. The arguments are – that the world has no transcendent cause; that there are means such as performance of rituals and yajnas for attaining emancipation which do not presuppose or require a belief in the existence of God; that there are valid means such as pratyaksha (perception) and anumana (inference) to prove the non-existence of God; that even if God exists, he cannot be a source of valid knowledge; that there are no valid means to prove God’s existence.

In the first stavaka, logical arguments are provided to prove the existence of God. In the second, Udayana argues for the need to postulate the existence of God. In the third, he argues that an inferential knowledge of the non-existence of God is fallacious. In the fourth stavaka, he shows that God is the source of valid knowledge. The last stavaka contains eight proofs for the existence of God.

Kusumanjali prakasha by Vardhamana (1250 CE) and Kusumanjali karika vyakhya by Haridasa Nyayalankara Bhattacharya (1480 – 1540 CE) are two important commentaries on Nyaya kusumanjali.