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Suruppak Tolkaappiyar , Gautama, Patanjali and Tirumular

My primary objective in this posting is to delineate roughly the origins and development of Logical Thinking in the Dravidian and Indian traditions and how they are infact developments from the kind of Niiti Sastras  available in Sumerian in the form of moral instructions or NeRi (Su. na-ri) literature. Thus the genesis of REASONING appears to have grown in the context of sociological thinking where the experienced folks tried to ADVISE others especially the young  in terms of recommending    a course behaviour not as god-given word that dropped from the sky but  something that one has learned in experience and which can be justified by providing REASONS or what was later called Ta. eetu (>Sk. hetu). Incidentally I also  hope to show  a  time scale  as follows: Tolkaappiyar> Gautama> Patanjali > Tirumular. This date line is  quite broad but is justified by the principle that if a system of thinking is LESS differentiated then it is EARLIER than the more differentiated.

We shall begin by noting  the earliest kind of logical thinking appears to have manifested itself in terms of Mutumozi, not just proverbs (Ta. pazamozi: ancient words) but a recommendation with a REASON behind it.

1. The Mutumozi in Tokaappiyam

The very important phrase " eetu nutaliya mutumozi" meaning: a wise saying with reasons justifying it or has a reason for its promulgation, occurs in two sutras.


nuulinaana uraiyinaana
nodiyodu puNarnta piciyinaana
etu nutaliya mutumoziyaana
maRai mozi kiLanta mantirattaana
kuuRRidai vaitta kuRipppinaana


(Among the literature that are NOT bound in terms of the number of lines  are)

the scientific treatises (nuul) , commentaries( urai)
dialogic texts  (pici) that come along with retorts or explanations (nodi)
the wise percepts (mutumozi) that come along with reasons (eetu) that justify it
the string of  mantras that disclose concealed languages (maRai mozi)
texts in speech acts (kuuRRu) that also includes descritptions of paralinguistic features (kuRippu)

The sutras that follow this defines in greater detail each one of these different types of literature. And Mutumozi which is one of them and  is defined as follows:


nuNamaiyum curukkumam oLiyudamaiyum
menmaiyum enRu ivai viLangkat toonRik
kuRitta poruLai mudittaRku varUum
etu nutaliya mutumozi enpa


The scholars will say that
mutomozi that comes with REASON (eetu)  is
One that comes to establish conclusively the intended objective with
the  linguistci attributes of depth  brevity clarity
and in a style of  language that is sanguine

We shall  see that such mutumozis existed in SumeroTamil and I shall give examples of this from the text "The Instructions of Suruppak" published by Bendt Alster ( Akademisk Forlog, Copenhagen 1974)

Mutumozi or NeRi (na-ri) in Sumerian.

 Of this text Alster  observes as follows:

"This study aims at presenting for the first time a complete edition of a major piece of Mesotamian literature, the Sumerian proverb collection"The Intructions of Suruppak to his son Ziusudra", which represents one of the oldest known poems in the world. The following versions of this compositions are : 1) A relatively well preserved archaic one from  Abuu Salaabiih (ca. 2500 B..C.)    1.  2) a small fragment of an archaic one from Adab, nearly as old as the Abu Salabikh version (ca. 2400 B.C.) ; 2) , 3): a large and relatively well preserved "classical" version dating to the early old Babyloanian period (ca. 1800 B.C.) and finally 4) a small fragment  of a much later Akkadian translation of the classical version (ca. 1100 B.C.)"

Thus the text  can be assigned a date around  2500 B.C.  but probaly composed several centuries earlier but as unwritten purely oral compostion.

Before actually providing samples of mutumzi from this extremely interesting piece of literature I will discuss a bit the inital lines which may unravel the meaning of the term "sudra' (Ta. cuttiran) and semantic reversals this term seem to have suffered.

1. [u] ri-a sud-ra ri-a (In those days , in those far remote days)

2. [g]i ri-a bad-du ri-a (In those nights, in those far-away nights)

3. [mu] ri-a mu sud-ra ri-a( In those years, in those far remote years)

4. u-ba gestu.tuku inim.galam inim.zu-a kalam-ma ti-la-am( In those days , the intelligent one, who made the ealaborate words, who knew the (proper) words , and was living in Sumer

5. suruppak gestu.tuku inim.galam inim.zu-a kalam-ma ti-la-am (Suruppk - the intelligent one, who made the ealaborate words, who knew the (proper) words, and was living in Sumer)

6. Suruppak-e dumu-ni-ra na na-mu-un-ri-ri ( Suruppak gave instructions to his son)

7. Suruppak-e dumu ubar.tu.tu-ke
8 zi-u-sud-ra  dumu-ni-ra na-mu-un-ri-ri ( Suruppak, son of Ubartutu, gave insructions to his son Ziusudra)

9.  dumu-mu na ga-ri na.ri-mu he-dab ( My son, let me give you instructions, may you take my instructions!)

10. zi.u.udra inim ga-ra-ab-dug gizzal he-em si-ak (Ziusudra, let me speak a word to you, may you pay attention to it!)

11. na.ri-ga-mu su nam-bi-bar-re (Do not neglect my instructions!)

12. inim dug-ga-mu na-ab-ta-bal-e-de ( Do not tyransgress the word I speak)

13. na.ri nig kalla-am gu-zu he-em-si-gal (The instructions of an old old man are precious, may you submit to them!

A Diversion: Who are Sudras?

. Before a detailed consideration of thses  historically important lines let me point out  a few things. There are many  words and phrase like  neRi (na.ri)  , neRi abbaa (nari.abba)  and so forth and which  are quite current in tamil even now that only a extremely stubborn and unduely prejudiced individuals will refuse to admit that they are Tamil.

However historically very important is the term 'sudra"  that means distant,  remote,  and very long as in ziu-sudra, the long lived (Ta. jiiva cuuttiran). This ziu-sudra is also the King and the hero of the Great Deluge (that I will take up later)

Is there a connection beteeen the  Sumerian ziusudra and his descendents and the Sudras of India?

Before we consider the Mutumozi-type wise sayings of Suruppak, let us consider in some depth the intial few lines that are metaphysically very interesting and seem to contain a meaning of Sudra that has become submerged or lost

Let us consider the first 3 lines again.

1. [u] ri-a sud-ra ri-a (In those days , in those far remote days)

2. [g]i ri-a bad-du ri-a (In those nights, in those far-away nights)

3. [mu] ri-a mu sud-ra ri-a( In those years, in those far remote years)

u : those Ta. u, uu : the cuddu, the deictic  meaning 'that' 'those' 'there' etc.

ri-a : day Ta. eri: fire eri-a : bright, lighted up  ; eri> uri , uru: shape;  to originate, bright colours (. Sk. ruupa)

sud-ra : remote, ancient  . Cf Ta. cuudu, cuudam : the crest, the hill top, the head, the "peak" of the body. "sud-ra" could  have been originally "hailing from the hill top, and hence the "distant place". This meaning also agrees with bad-du > Ta. baNdu: ancient.

Now there is another meaning, cosidering these lines are concerned with cosmology, the origin of the universe itself. There is also the view that initially there was only darkness.

gi= ngi > mi (attested also in Su.) Ta. mai:  dark ,  pitch black . Thus the cosmological sense would be "the burst of Light", bringing something into presence as opposed to Emptiness, Nothingness a sheer darkness. The "mu" here though translated as "year" , a stretch of time, but appears to be inappropriate as the thinking seems to  go  even  beyond it, to a more primeaval situation, there being something as opposed to sheer darkness. Thus "mu" can be Ta. muu: to push forth, Ta. muLai : to grow . This sense of 'mu' is also availalbe in Sumerian as in

Kes Temple Hymn 15. hur-sag-da-mu-a an-da gu-la-a ( growing up like a mountain , embracing the sky)

Thus 'mu-ri-a'  could be Ta. muu eri-a : the bursting forth of fire

Now considering that Ta. cuudu also means "heat" it may then be possible that "sud-ra" is the same in meaning as "muu-eri-a", the bursting forth of  something intensely hot .

Do we have here  something like the Big Bang Theory in those  ancient  days itself? We cannot rule it out as Astronomy was well advanced in those days itself and later carried on further by the Babylonians. Astronomy was important, as we have already seen ,  in the Temple Building activity.

Such notions are rendered in Tamil as "uuzikaalam" , the point at which the Universe came into being. The term "uuzit tii" ; the fire that originated everything perhaps retains the original meaning " mu-ri-a" "sud-ra ri-a" etc.

However overall the use of such concepts are metaphorical, just to indicate a remote period of time as the time of Suruppak. Thus it may be possible that Suruppak and his neRi (na.ri) was already very ancient even at the time this literature was composed ie. ~ 2600 B.C.

Another kind of metaphorical use of "sud-ra" appears to be Ta. cuuttiram: ingeneous, skillful  and as a derivative of this Ta. cuuttiram:  an utterance that enunciates something deep and profound.  The Ta. cuuttiram in the sense 'secret" "deep insight" may also be related to this.

Sud-ra as a person

But these meanings do not seem to be related to the term Ta. cuutiran (Sk sudra) as a name for a caste , considered low in the social hierarchy.

Now let us consider  the meaning of the  Proper Names which are quite illuminating in this respect.


The names are contained in the following lines

6. Suruppak-e dumu-ni-ra na na-mu-un-ri-ri ( Suruppak gave instructions to his son)

7. Suruppak-e dumu ubar.tu.tu-ke
8 zi-u-sud-ra  dumu-ni-ra na-mu-un-ri-ri ( Suruppak, son of Ubartutu, gave insructions to his son Ziusudra)

9.  dumu-mu na ga-ri na.ri-mu he-dab ( My son, let me give you instructions, may you take my instructions!)

suruppaak Ta:  cuurupaakku : a cutting insrument that is sharp (Ta. cuur > Ta. kuur; paakku < Ta. paku; to cut and divide) Note Malay:  paakku:  nail . Thus the name may be an ancient  form of Veel, a sharp spear which is used as part of proper names to this day e.g.  veRRiveel etc  and related to Muruka cult.

'ubar.tu.tu'  and  'upanisad'

This is an interesting term that can be seen as the archaic form of Ta. uppartuutu, umbartuutu : utterances that are high or coming from the heavens and hence mystical utterances. In this it  seems to be a precursor of "upanisad" 'i.e,  uba-ni-saaR (Ta. uppar-ni caaRRu) as the meanings appear to be similar.

 The tu-tu < Su. du(g)-du(g) ; Ta. tuu(k)-tuu(k)) is retained to this day as in Ta. tuti: praise (> Sk stuti);  Ta. tuutu: message etc. This may be related  also to Malay: tutur: to utter, speak etc.


The clue to another but related  meaning is available in the word "zi-u" or 'zi-us'  the living creature . ( zi Ta. jiivan ciivan  (, Sk jiiva ) us Ta. ussu> ucir>uyir; to breath. ( Note zi-us> jesus?)

Thus 'sud-ra' here means "for long a span of time" and 'zi-u-sud-ra" the long living , perhaps immortal.

This same name occurs as the hero of  the Flood myth which is central in Christianity. When the tablets related to the deluge were translated into Akkadian  the name Zi-u-sud-ra was rendered as "napisthu" -- long breath, long living and hence derivatively perhaps immortality. This same name was rendered as Noah in Old Testament and incorporated as the Nuuh  Nabi in Islam.

Thus such meanings as   "ancient" "long living"  "immmortal" "primeaval " and so forth are available as the ancient layer of meanings of 'sud-ra' . It is interesting that none of these meanings  suggest anything like a low caste, untouchable etc. It may mean however the 'original" people , the primitive inhabitants etc who somhow became depressed and made the untouchables

I am proposing these just as points for further investigations.

Let us consider the actual sayings of Surupak in order to see the birth of logical thinking or rational thinking , an important stage in the growth of the human mind.

Below I provide samples of both Proverbs and Mutumozi  as they are quite revealing about the conditions of ordinary people in the 3rd millennium B.C. What surprised me was that  even in those ancient  days the problems are very similar to  what we encounter now.

Proverbs (given with hypothetical Ta. constructions)

32. nig nam-mu-zuh-zuh ni.zu nam-mu-us-e (Do not steal anything , do not kill yourself)

*Ta. nikam naam moo cuucuutu nii ji-u naam moo oocceee ( Do not at any cost gamble, don't waste your life)

( Ta. nikamam: shops, stores; naa Ta. aa:  a particle of negation (retained in Sk as 'na')  ; zuh-zuh Ta. cuutu: gambling; us-e Ta. ooccu : to drive away)

39. dumu-mu daggan-na lu dam.tuku-da tus nam-bi-ga-ga ( My son. do not sit (alone) in a [chamber] with someone's wife

* Ta.  tamu moo tannana aaLu tamtoku-odu tunjcu naam  kaalkaalvi (Note: 'g' also read as 'n')

51.  us si-ga kaskal si-ga-am ( A safe foundation is a safe road)

* Ta. ucci sugam kasikaal sugam ( If the goal is good the road  will be good)

( Ta. ucci: the peak;  kaskal > Ta. kasikaal , kadikaal: a long pathway, road?)

59. sun-na-da e na-an-da -ga-ga-an  (Do not manage your house with discord)

*Ta. cuunna-odu il naan idu kaalkaalan ( Don't put the home in poverty or nothingness)

(sun-na Ta. cunnam, cuunyam: nothing, empty)

74. ur-sag dili na-nam dili-ni lu sar-ra-am ( The 'hero' , he alone, is absolutely unique, but men   are many)

*Ta. oorcaan tani nanam tani-nii aaLu sarvam aam)

 These sayings are articulations of flashes of social insights and interestingly enough appear to be quite valid even today. It must also be noted that they are not relegious but rather existential or sociologicalor  psychological , insights on how to lead a proper trouble-free and happy life.

Samples of Mutumozi

In contrast to above insightful sayings that touch upon existence as such, we have the following where REASONS are given for whatever recommended.

38. ki.sikil dam tuku-e-de nam-mu-un-ne-e mah-am ( Do not speak with a girl if you are married(?). the slander is strong)

" Ta. kanni sukkila tam tuukkidavee  naam munnee, enam ciikka maa aam  ( Don't try to abduct a virgin in order to get a wife, the slander will be great)

( inam >  enam ciikku: words of accusations)

Here it should be noted that the sayings have two distinct components where the first part is the advise or recommendation and the second the REASON for the recommendation. The notion of REASON implicit here must have become linguisticalised later as "eetu" (Sk hetu) probably related to the Ta. etu, yaa , een   :  why? the interrogative.


uru.tus lu-ka na-ab-ta-bal-e-de ( Do not transgress people's dwelling places;)

si-du-un si-du-un si-me--si-ib-be-e-ne  ( Go away! Go away! -- they will say to you)

*Ta.  uuru tunjcu aaLuakam  naa av-at-tu paziyidee ( When among the people of the town who wants to sleep , do not continue speaking)
        celiduyen! celiduyen!  ciimmee ceppinee ( they will tell you : Go away! Go away!)

( bal Ta. paal: to cross over as in "paal-am" : to bridge, that which helps to cross over.  Also  Ta.pazi: to speak, curse etc)  )

158. dumu.engar-ra-ra nig nam-mu-ra-ra-an se-im-ra  (Do not beat a farmer's son, he will beat your irrigation canal)

*Ta. tamu eeNkarranRa nika naam moo aRai aRai  il paazu ceyinRa  ( Don't beat the son of the farmer, he will spoil your house)

More such examples can be given from the vast collection of what are called proverbs that are of absorbing interest for the study of human civilization esp. their thought processes value systems social percepts and so forth.

However it is clear that above mutumozi-type sayings are NOT given as god given  words that dropped from the sky ( ubartutu)  but rather  recommendations that are argued for in terms of providing a reason, a eetu for whatever that is recommended. Such forms of recommendations presuppose an investigatory kind of  behaviour and hence a kind of scientific bent.

We shall make a big jump to the  Cangam period , overlooking the milenniums of gap to be filled by later reasearch. What  unites of coure is the langugae, the Sumerian being Archaic Tamil and Cangkam period being that of O.Ta.

We shall consider some sutras from Marabiyal that comes appended to Tolkaapiyam which by general consensus cannot be later than 2cent. B.C.

The relevant sutras  are as follows

1601 . pazippil cuuttiram padda paNbin
            karappinRi mudivatu kaaNdikai yaakum

The KaaNdikai ( type of commentary) is that which enunciates clearly and conclusively  the meanings of a faultless sutra with respect to  what it purports to declare

1602. viddu akal vinRi , virivodu porunti
           cuttiya cuuttiram mudittaR poruddaa
          eetu wadaiyinum eduttuk kaaddinum
           meevaangku amainta meyneRit tatuvee

To elaborate further (the essence of KaaNdikai) , it shouldbe guided with the intention  directed to ascertain the truth of the sutra without deviating from what purports to declare  , and in order to bring about as a definite consclusion consider all that is relevant but in terms  reason , the eetu and , selective showing , the edutukkaaddu.

let us note the most important features of this momentous event in the intellectual histoy of Indian Civilization.

The kaaNdikai is a commentary and looking at the meaning of the term with the root Ta. kaaN-di-ka = kaaN -idu-kal, making others see i.e showing  it is clearly hermeneutical.  Deeper reflections will indicate that the notions "seeing for oneself " "acertaining the truth of what is seen for oneself" " showing that to another person so that he can also see" " ascertaining as a truth agreed upon by all" are available  here but only implicitly.

However we can see that presence here of what later became explicitly stated as modes of anumana: tha tanporuddu (for self ) and piRarporuddu (for others)

The kaaNdikai here is the the Communicative Logic and which is Spiralic, i.e. coming back to the initial that is declared as a possiblity but now as  a truth , something that has been  SHOWN for others to SEE and concur.

Thus overall the Logic here is different from the Aristotelian  Syllogisms where the thinking is linear, an exercise in dedeuction from premises that are taken as true. In contrast here we have an initial seeing announced as the the intend in the Sutra to others at the beginning only  as provisional  but later something they also SEE through showing by means of Etu and Eduttukkaadu and all with the intend of establishing only truths

The undwerlying assumption appears to be: If also others see what I see as true, then it is a an Objective Truth.

Thus the psychological/ social aspects are that of ' seeing and showing others to see" while the communicative aspects are "self -communication"  , i.e ascertaining for oneself , and having done it "communicate to others to bring about agreement"

We shall see that Gautama or Aksapada seizes upon these notions and writes a revolution in the History of Indian Philosophy whereby  philosophical thinking is liberated from the mystical and made thoroughly REASON based, i.e rational.

But before that there is  one more aspect that occurs in Tol. and which gets eloborated later by Nyaya Sutras, constituting the sepcial falvour of Indian Logical thinking.

Once the notion of the RIGHT form of thinking and reasoning is grasped with sufficient clarity as it is done here, it follows as a corollary to this the ability to  identify   the misleading form of thinking, the illogical and irrational called citaivu in Tol. The following sutra announces this.


citaivenap padubavai vasaiyaRa naadin
kuuRiyatu kuuRal maaRukoLak kuural
kunrak kuuRaL mikaip pada kuuRal
keedpoorkku innaa yaappiR  Raatal
pazitta moziyaan izukkak kuuRal
tannaaan oruporuL karutik kuuRal
enna vakaiyinum manakkooL inmai
ana piRavum avaRRuviri yaakum

Among the DEFECTS if the Logical Defects are isolated without any complaints i.e as the generally agreed upon they are the following: redundancies, self-contradictions,  incomplete articulations, excessive and imprecise statements, saying what are meaningless, stating is such a way that it is immensely confusing; couching in a diction very unpleasant to hear; insulting the opponents with abusive language; twisting the facts to establish one's own prejudiced view;  couching in a language with deliberate intend to obfuscate the issue so that no matter how hard one tries there is NO comprehension of what is intended and all such mental strategies and their elaborations.

Thus here we see several types of fallacies:

logical :  redundancies -- kuuRiyatu kuuRal , saying the same as said laready already earlier;   muraNpada kuuRal : contadicting oneself;

semantic : kunRak kuuRal :  saying too briefly or incompletely; mikappadak kuuRal ; saying in excessive manner perhaps  unduely verbose

stylistics:  keedpoorukku inna yaappiRaatal : saying in a language unpleasant to hear; pazitta moziyaal  izukkak kuuRaL:  insulting the opponents with abusive language;

intentional: tannaan oruporuL karutik kuuRal: twisting the fact to establish one's own prejudice; enna vakaiyinum manakkooL inmai: couching in a language with deliberate intend to obfuscate the issue so that no matter how hard one tries no comprehension of what is inteded

We shall see that all these notions are very elaborately discussed in Nyaya Sutras of Gautama/ Akspada in the  Second and Third Books.

Nyaya Sutras and Tolkaappiyam

In the history of Indian thoughts and perhaps also in world history, Nyaya Sutras constitutes an important advance. It certainly takes off from Tolkaappiyam  but tears itself away from  Tamil language in use as it was with Tol. and   abstracts the REASONING processes in arguments as that with  which  concerned .  But in this it also relegates to the background the TEXTUALITY of understanding that remains central in Tol.  While Gotama/Aksapada  abtracts away as his theme argumentations and the REASONING processes of the mind, Meykandar on the other hand does not do this, he remains faithful to Tol . but genralises on the notion of TEXTUALITY, now including everything the forms the understanding and thus initiating the Saiva Logic that gets adumbrated from the 13th cen. onwards in India where texts exists both in Tamil and Sanskrit outlining the details.

The central notion of N.S (ie. Nyaya Sutras) is that of  criterial( S. laksnana, Ta. ilakkaNam) categorization  which Gotama takes over from Tol. where it exists as the uRuppiyam, the component and constituent structure in terms of which any departments of knowledge is analysed.

The first sutra of N.S begins just as Tol. where the first sutra enunciates the uRuppu, the avayava of the field that is dealt with in that chapter.

N.Y  (Transliteration & translation by K.P. Bahadur)

Sutra 1 . piramaana, prameya, sanshaya, pirayojana, drishtaanta, siddhaanta, avayayava, vaada , vitanda, hetvaabhaasa, chala, jaati, nigrahasthaanaa, tatvanjaat nisheyasa adhigamah

Trans: The supreme happiness is obtained by knowledge of the sixteen categories, viz. means of right knowledge, object of right knowledge, doubt, puropse, familair example, established tenet, members, confuation, ascertainment, discussion, wrangling, cavil, fallacy, quible, futility and occasion for rebuke.

( I am not sure whether the translation is accurate, but I leave it alone as it is.)

This ought to be  compared with the following Sutra of Tol. , the first in CeyyuLial, the  chapter on Literature.


maattirai ezuttiyal acaivakai enAa
yaatta ciiree adiyaappu enAa
marabee tuukku todaivakai enAa
nookkee paavee alaviyal enAat
tiNaiyee kaikooL kuuRRuvakai enAaw
keedpoor kaLanee kaalavakai enAa
payanee meyyppadu eccavakai enAa
maaddee eNNamodu yaappiyal vakaiyin
aaRutalai yidda annaa laintum
ammai azaku tonmai toolee
viruntee iyaipee pulanee izaipenAap
poruntak kuuRiya eddodum tokai-i
nallicaip pulavar ceyyuL uRuppena
vallitiR kuuRi vakutturait tanaree

Trans (just the essence ) The great scholars have identified   the organs or categories for analysing ceyyuL, the composed verses as  the 26 concerned with literary aspects  and the 8  concerned with poetics.

These  34 categories listed are  given individual definitions in the sutras that follow and the commentators give  appropriate examples of  each.

It is not necessary for us to go into details as it just sufficient  to note the SAME organisational structure with N.S applying to REASONING that has as its goal " tatvanjaat nisheyasa"  which I take it as  meaning " the acertainment of true understanding.

We should not also fail to note the important revolution in Indian thinking that's being made  here and for which reason Nyaya became something that no school of indian thought  can afford to  neglect.  The REASON that functions in terms of the above categories  is sufficient to ascertain TRUE UNDERSTADING and by implication throwing out all authorities especially the mystical like the Vedas Vedantas the Agamas of the Jains and Buddhists  and perhaps also others. And in identifying these categories , while remaining linguistical, it is NOT peculiarly  Tamil  as the poetics is or  Sanskrit, but rather the argumentative processes that can be  conducted in any language.

What is made important is the REASONING and NOT the language in which the reasoning is conducted, though it is granted that some language is necessary for that.

And in this the  Tatva Njanam, the True Understanding is also liberated from the Vedists and other traditionalists who maintained that TRUTH is only in their tradition and the sacred lore that constitutes their tradition.

It appears that Gotama/ Akspada and Vatsayana ( also known as Paksila Swamin, perhaps  a Dramila) were adherents of Pacupata Saivism, which from Sumerian days has been concerned with the processes that illuminate the mind.

This close resemblances ( more to follow) also indicates that Gotama/ Aksapada was probably a Tamil scholar very intimately familiar with Tolkaappiyam or at least someone well acquinted with that tradition. What reinforces this view is also the fact that Vatsalya, or Paksila Swamin  ( a name for Murukan)  is generally taken as Dramila

Before we go on to compare NS with Tol. an important point of departure and which has become the hallmark of Naiyayaika should be mentioned. And this pertains to the view of pratyaksa that rightfully became controversial since the days of NS itself.  It is not that Tol. does not emphasize the enormous importance of sense perceptions but certainly it was in the nature of sharp and very differentiated observations of the natural rather than sensations per se. The following sutra of Tol. may be to the point. It occurs as the last sutra of the enormously interesting Meypaaddiyal, the chapter concerned with feelings and emotions.


kaNNinum ceviyinum tiNNitin uNarum
uNarvudai maantark kallatu teriyin
nannayap poruLKooL ennarung kuraitee.

When we come to understand it clearly (teriyin) unless a person trains himself to observe with the eyes and ears firmly and minutely and have consciousness (uNarvudai)  generated ( by such observations) it impossible to contemplate on what constitues the most excellent.

The 'nannayam', translated here as 'the most excellent" is derived by the duplication of 'nayam" (< Ta. nalam) that which is good, healthy, desirable, excellent and so forth. It is possible that"  naiyaayika" itself is a derivative of this and which helps us to understand the overall goal of NS. However this and many other sutras clearly indicate that Tol. does not take perception as sensations that arises when senses come into contact with objects but rather as "seeing" and which later became adumbarated as vaayiR kaadci ( sensory seeing) maanatak kaadci (mental seeing) yookak kaadsi ( transductive seeing) etc and which notions have a long history of their own.

 The  PramaaNa

Despite this difference there are other  fundamental similiraties. The notion of piramaaNa as understood in NS certainly appears to be something that has evolved from an intensive study  of Tol. The meaning pramaaNa i.e Ta. perumaaNam, i.e  ways of getting (Ta. peru > Sk. pra) clear and indubitable knowledge ( Ta. maaNam : clear knowledge , maaNaRivu) is clarified as follows

NS. 3

Pratykasa, anumaana, upamaana, shabdaah pramaanaani

The means of right knowledge are perception inference comparison and verbal testimony.

Among these let us consider first Upamana , Comparison of Analogy


Now  in Tol. there is a whole chapter on upamaana ( < Ta. oppu: to compare, Ta. maan : to measure) where it is seen as an important way we can knowledge of things.


uvamap poruLai uRRatu uNarum
teLimarungku uLavee tirattiya laan

When the comparison ( or analogy) is well done,  there is definitely a way of clearly knowing (uRRatu uNarum teLimarungku) that which implicated by the comparision or analogy(uvamap poruL)


uvamap porulai uNarung kaalai
marIiaya marabin vazakkodu padume

When we understand faultlessly what is implicated by the comparision, it will be consistent with the emprirical processes (vazakku) that  emerge ( marIya) from the traditional (marabu)

It is not necessary to go into the details here -- it is suffcient  to point out the parallels which cannot simply be accidental.

The Apta upadeshah ( sabdhah, agama)

Now the notion  shabdah or agama ( apta vasanam, urai etc)  appears to be clearly the restating of Tol. notion of" mutal nuul "as defined  below. (already given but reproduced for convenience)


vinaiyin niingki viLankiya aRivin
munaivan kaNdatu mutanuu laakum

The TEXT composed by an illustrious person (munaivan) of clear faultless understanding ( viLangkiya aRivu) free of prejudices ( vinaiyin niingki) is the authoritative text ( mutal nuul)

In Tol the 'mutal nuul' is understood as that which embodies truth through   defectless understanding and hence with the capacity to give  rise to further texts ( vazi and caarbu) that issue forth on the presuppositon of the truths enunciated there.   Something quite similar appears also  to be said in NS as well.

7. aaptopdeshah shabdaah

Verbal testimony is the percept of a reliable person. ( A reliable person is one who has intimate knowledge of the subject on which the testimony is to be given)

The "munaivan" in Tol. becomes the  " aapta ' and the contents of mutal nuul becomes  the "updeshah"


The notion of "reasoning" is already available in Tol. in the concept of Kaandika Urai as we have already seen. Here we have the occurrence of Spiral Logic, the Logic of hermeneutic Science where a certain insight ( sutra) is communicted and with providing the relevent reasons ( eetu) and selective showing (eduttukkaaddu) another person is also enabled to see what one has seen and thereby agree to the sutra.

This notion is given in  NS in a more diffrentiated form as below.


Pratijnaa hetu-uadharan-upanaye-nigamanna- avayavaah

The members  of the reasoning process are proposition (pratijnaa) reason (hetu) example (udharana), application (upanaya) and final conclusion (nigamana)

Here we notice that what was simply that  which is asserted by Sutra in Tol. has become more clearly the pratijnaa, that which is put forward to otheres.  The "eetu' of Tol is retained but the 'edutukkaaddu" has become more diffrentiated into  udaharaNa and upanayam. We also notice that the Nigamana, the final conclusion is the SAME as the pratijnaa only that as nigamana it is a truth that is now  agreed  upon by all. The nigamana is NOT something deduced from the premises as it in Aristotelian Logic but rather the same as the Pratijnaa but RECOVERED now as a generally agreed upon truth. The pratijnnaa and nigamana are the SAME except for difference in logical status,  where the former is  only a proposition  while the latter is truth collectively agreed upon.

It si this aspect that we see in Tol sutras 1602 and 1603 and which we call the Spiral Logic and  which is not deductive like the Wetsern Logic but communicative and hermeneutical.

I can go on to show  many other such parallels and similarities. However I conclude here by noting that

1. NS must have been written by someone intimately acquinted with Tol. and hence must have also a great Tamil scholar and hence  probably a native Tamil. So Gotama or Aksapada  must have hailed from Tamil Nadu  from those days the tradition of Tol. was very actively pursued and the substabnce lively debate.

2. This makes NS later than Tol and the date ascribed by many scholars , 100 A.D. to 400 A.D.  may not be off the mark. However what is certain is that it must  at least a few centuries after Tol.

Next I shall take up later  NS and the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali just  as way of following up  the further developments of these traditions and innovations.