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Gangeshopadhyay


Gangeshopadhyay founder of nyaya philosophy. There are differences of opinion about when and where he was born. Some scholars believe that he was a man of the 12th century, while others believe that he was born sometime in the 13th or 14th centuries. Similarly, some scholars believe he was a high-caste brahman and that he was born in Mithila, at Karion village beside the river Kamala. Other scholars believe that he was a low-caste Brahmin from a 'Chhadan' family. According to his son Burdwan, his actual name was Gangeswar.

It is traditionally believed that in early life Gangesh was a great fool, but was transformed after worshipping the goddess Kali at the burning ghat. He was greatly knowledgeable about both theistic and atheistic philosophies. Though he wrote a number of books, Tattvachintamani (Thoughts on Theory) is his greatest contribution. Through his writing, he initiated a new era in philosophy by introducing terminology which could be used for deeper analysis. The book had a tremendous impact on scholars who could follow its method to analyse other subjects as well.

Basically, Gangesh dealt with Gautam's rules of logic on testimony. In logic, testimony is of four types: direct, assumed, comparative, and vocal. Basing his work on these four testimonies, Gangesh completed Tattvachintamani in four volumes: Pratyaksachintamani (Direct Thoughts), Anumanachintamani (Hypothetical Thoughts), Upamanachintamani (Analogical Thoughts) and Shavdachintamani (Sound Thoughts). Important philosophers who analysed Tattvachintamani and ensured the smooth development of Nyaya philosophy from the 17th to the 19th centuries include his son Burdwan, Pakshadhar Mishra, Raghunath Shiromani, Mathuranath Tarkavagish, Basudev Sarvabhauma, Jagadish Tarkalankar, Gadadhar Bhattacharya etc. [Mrinal Kanti Gangopadhyay]