Pratyaksha Pramana: Knowledge Perception Through Sense Organs

By Prof. Vd. Rangaprasad Bhat
Pratyaksha Pramana is a means of knowledge. Here, knowledge is acquired by direct Knowledge Perception Through Sense Organs. 

प्रत्यक्ष प्रमाणस्य लक्षणं (Features of Pratyaksha Pramānam) :-
आत्मेन्द्रियमनोर्थानां सन्निकर्षात्प्रवर्तते |
व्यक्ता तदात्वे या बुद्धि: प्रत्यक्षं सा निरुच्यते || च. सू.११/
“ātmendriyamanorthānāṃ sannikarṣātpravartate |
vyaktā tadātve yā buddhi: pratyakṣaṃ sā nirucyate” || sū.11/

Key Words Meaning:-
आत्मा इति चेतना धातु: | ātmā refers to soul.
इन्द्रियाणि इति चक्षु: आदीनि | indriyāṇi refers to sense organs – eyes, nose, ears, skin and tongue
मन: – सत्व संज्ञकम् | mana: refers to  mind.
अर्था: इति – शब्दादय विषया: | arthā: refers to the five sensory objects – shape, smell, sound, touch and taste.

सन्निकर्षात्प्रवर्तते इति – तेषां संनिकर्षात् संबन्धात् – तत्र क्रम: – १. आत्मा मनसा संबध्यते; २. मन: इन्द्रियै:; ३. इन्द्रियाणि अर्थै: इति | sannikarṣātpravartate means – the cognitory contact with the objects related. Where in the events occur in the following order – 1. Ātmā gets in touch with manas primarily; 2. Manas with indriya; 3. Sensory organs with the sensory objects – respectively.

तत्र इन्द्रियार्थ संनिकर्ष एव प्रत्यक्षे विशिष्टं कारणं (गौतम सूत्र १\१\१) आत्मा मन: सन्निकर्षस्तु अनुमानादि साधारणं कारणम्| | Where in the contact between indriya & artha  alone is to be considered as  pratyakṣā so says Gautama sutra 1/1/1. It further elaborates that the contact between Ātmā & manas generally falls under the category of anumānam, since both mind and soul could not be seen with our physical eyes.

तदात्वे इति तत्कालं (आत्मेन्द्रियमनो’र्थानां संनिकर्ष लक्षण इत्यर्थ:) | tadātve means tatkālaṃ (at that particular moment of contact occuring over the axis of Ātmā – indriya – mano – artham).

बुद्धि; – या व्यक्ता निश्चयात्मिका बुद्धि – बुद्धिरिह इन्द्रियबुद्धि: | Buddhi: refers to the clear and definetive perception of the knowledge. More specifically the word buddhi over this context refers to indriyabuddhi (sensory cognition).

प्रत्यक्षं सा निरुच्यते इति – आत्मादि चतुष्टय सन्निकर्षात्तत्कालं यत् अवितर्थं ज्ञानं उत्पध्यते तत् प्रत्यक्षप्रमाणम् |
pratyakṣaṃ sā nirucyate means “By means of the mutual contact between the Ātmā etc 4 components, begetting a crystal clear perception of knowledge, at that given particular moment of sannikarṣa is denotive of  pratyaksha pramānam”. ca. sū.11/

प्रत्यक्षन्तु खलु रोगतत्वं बुभुत्सु: सर्वेन्द्रियै: सर्वान् इन्द्रियार्थान् आतुर शरीर गतान् परीक्षेतान् यत्र रस ज्ञानात्|| च.वि.४/
“pratyakṣantu  khalu rogatatvaṃ bubhutsu: sarvendriyai: sarvān indriyārthān ātura śarīra gatān parīkśetān yatra rasa jñānāt” || vi.4/
The principles and the underlying pathology of the disease in a rogi can be recognized by pratyakṣa pramāna of the physician by using all of his sensory organs enacting contact with the object (patient’s affected portion of the body). Except the examination of the rasa or taste of the patient which requires history taking through interrogation.
Clinically the pratyakṣa pramāna is helpful as in the following situations.

Āntrakūjanaṃ (borborygmus)
Sandhisphuṭanamaṅgulīparvaṇāṃ ca (crepitations of the larger joints, Carpal / Tarsal joints MCP/MTP joints are observed through the karna & shabda axis of cognition).

Varṇa saṃsthāna pramāṇacchāyāḥ (colour, location,size and lustre) of the lesions– these are examined through  the eyes and the resultant visual contact over the lesions.

The analysis of the taste perception of the patient, which gives an inference about the status and functioning of the pāchakāgni, alone cannot be obtained through pratyakṣa pramāna, but with the help of interrogation from the subject of examination and through anumāna pramāna, the clinical knowledge regarding the patho-physiological events based on Ayurveda principles gets adjudicated.

अथ प्रत्यक्षं – प्रत्यक्षं नाम तद्यत् आत्मना च इन्द्रियै: च स्वयं उपलभ्यते | तत्र आत्म प्रत्यक्षा: सुखदुःख – इच्छाद्वेष आदय:, शब्द आदयस्तु इन्द्रिय प्रत्यक्षा: || च.वि.८/
“atha pratyakṣaṃ – pratyakṣaṃ nāma tadyat ātmanā ca indriyai: ca svayaṃ upalabhyate | tatra ātma pratyakṣā: sukhaduḥkha – icchādveṣa  ādaya:, śabda ādayastu indriya pratyakṣā:” || vi.8/

Charaka in vimanasthana states that pratyakṣā is the knowledge obtained when atma gets in contact with indriyas. Where in the happiness and displeasure; desire and hatredness are the definitive knowledeg related to atman. Like wise the shabda, sparsha, rupa, rasa , gandha are the definitive knowledge related to the ears, skin, eyes, tongue and nose sensory organs.

Examples of utilising pratyakṣā pramana in Clinicals:
राजयक्ष्मा (Pulmonary Koch’s) – शोणितं ष्टीवति (hemoptysis) – through eyes
रक्तपित्तस्य पूर्वरूपम् (prodromal presentation in hemorrhagical disorder) – लोह-लोहित-मत्स्य-आमगन्धित्वं इव च आस्यस्य (Fetid breath and smell over the oral cavity akin to iron, blood, pustular or fish) – observed through nose

पीत अक्षि विण्मूत्रता (yellowish conjunctiva, urine & stools) – Jaundice – observed through eyes
Over Erb’s point –
S1 & S2 & Diastole: Rubbing, scratchy sound.
Systole: Rubbing, scratchy sound, usually loudest during systole – Acute pericarditis – observed through ears (auscultation)
Positive Whispered Pectoriloquy sign – Consolidation in lungs – observed by ears (auscultation)
निपीडितो न चोन्नमेद् (pitting edema) – Kaphaja Shotha – observed by skin – through palpitation

उदकपूर्णदृतिसङ्क्षोभसंस्पर्शत्वं च (fluid thrill examination) – जलोदरं (ascites) – Skin (palpation)
सितं यदा भात्यसितप्रदेशे- विहायसीवाच्छघनानुकारि
whitish thin opacity (resembling a clear sky) over the retina – अव्रणशुक्र(क्ल) avrana shukra(la) – Corneal opacity or leukoma – Eyes (inspection)

ऊर्ध्वं पश्यति नाधस्तात् (Altitudinal hemianopia affects the upper or lower half of the visual field on both sides.) – तृतीयं पटलं गत दोषा: (3rd PaTala is affected).
As is seen in conditions involving optic nerve such as in ischemic optic neuropathy – Through interrogation & Manual Testing of the Far Peripheral Fields.

वलीप्रादुर्भावस्त्वक्परिपुटनं(appearence of wrinkles in association with peeling of skin)
अङ्गुल्याऽवपीडिते प्रत्युन्नमनं (the skin surface rebounds on pressure over the swelling)
बस्ताविवोदकसञ्चरणं पूयस्य (fluctuation test positive due to pus in situ) – पक्व व्रण-शोफ अवस्था – indicative of  शल्योक्त शोधनं कर्म (Ripened stage of inflammation- indicative of proceeding with surgical procedures I&D ) – observed by eyes (inspection)

मेदःप्रभं स्निग्धं निःस्रवेत् (proteinaceous viscous fluid consistent with infection)
भिन्नेऽस्थ्नि निःस्रवेत् (osteolytic lesion forming sequestra and resulting in its expulsion due to the underlying granulation tissue formation in the area of ulcer bed)
पूयमेतदस्थिगतं (subperiosteal pus) – sub acute Osteomylitis or Brodie’s abscess  – Eyes (inspection) through probing (एषण कर्म)

पाषानगर्दभ (Parotiditis) – हनुसन्धौ समुद्भूतं शोफमल्परुजं स्थिरम् (Inflammatory & immobile swelling over the vicinity of T.M joint with mild pain) –  – observed by Eyes (inspection)

कक्षा भागेषु ये स्फोटा जायन्ते मांसदारुणाः | (painful blister like eruptions around the dermatome surrounding arm pits – (blackish blister like eruptions around the dermatome surrounding shoulder, ribs, arm pit)  – Kaksha – HSV1 – observed through eyes.

Prof.Vd.A.Rangaprasad Bhat
drrangaprasadbhat@gmail.com
Padmanilayam”, (Ayurveda & Non Conventional Marma Chikitsa Clinic) 49/46, Kanagaraya Malaiyappan St, Raja Annamalaipuram, Mandavelipakkam, Chennai- 600028.


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