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Akshapada is another name of Gautama, the founder of Nyaya School (300 BCE). He is referred to in tarka vidya (science of argument) and vada vidya (science of discussion). Akshapada was in the habit of keeping his eyes directed towards his feet when walking in a contemplative mood and hence the name came into existence.

It is believed that he was born at Gautamasthana (44.8 kilometers north-east of Darbhanga, Bihar), and spent most of his life with his wife Ahalya in a hermitage situated on the banks of Khirodadhi river on the outskirts of Darbhanga. He is said to have visited Prabhasa, in Gujarat.

Gautama Akshapada was the first to reduce the principle of ratiocination in a concrete form. He depicted all this philosophical conclusions in Nyayasutra, the opening verse of which says that supreme felicity is received by the knowledge of the true nature of the sixteen categories, namely, Pramana (means of right knowledge), prameya (object of right knowledge), samsaya (doubt), prayojana (purpose), drishtanta (familiar example), Siddhanta (established tenet), avayava (members of a syllogism), tarka (confutation), nirnaya (ascertainment), vada (discussion), jalpa (controversy), vitanda (cavil), hevabhasa (fallacy), chala (equivocation), jati (similarity), and nigrahasthana (disagreement in principles). These sixteen topics are the means to discover truth. The first nine relate to logic while the last seven have the function of preventing and destroying error.

Gautama Akshapada is often referred to as the father of Hindu logic and often compared with Aristotle. He concentrated more on logic and epistemology than on theology or metaphysics and considered ignorance as the root of all suffering. Bliss could be attained by gaining knowledge of the true nature of things.