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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Six Philosophies > Nine Tenets of Vedanta > Introduction


The word prameya may be defined, in accordance with the meaning given to it by Shri Jayatiirtha, as "the subject of exact knowledge." All knowledge involves three entities: the subject, the knower, and the knowledge itself. If the knowledge is exact, then these are called the prameya, the pramaataa (or pramaat.r), and the pramaa, respectively.

Knowledge itself can be of three kinds: yathaartha-j~naana, or exact knowledge; samshaya-j~naana, or doubtful knowledge; and viparyaya-j~naana, or incorrect knowledge. Thus, exact knowledge is that which precludes the presence of doubt or incorrect understanding. However, it is not necessary for knowledge to be complete in all respects, for it to be considered exact. Knowledge may be considered exact to whatever extent it is present, even if the subject of the knowledge is not known to its fullest extent.

The shloka by Shri Vyaasa Tiirtha lays out nine important tenets, all seemingly simple on the surface but having a world of depth, as the prameya-s of Tattvavaada. These prameya-s are consistent among themselves, and are complete in defining Tattvavaada; thus, they give a coherent and unique definition of the whole doctrine. It is very characteristic of Shri Vyaasa Tiirtha to have digested the whole of the corpus of a large number of commentaries, original texts, glosses, etc., and presented a very pithy and yet easy-to-understand statement of the doctrine as presented in all of them.

In reading and analyzing the shloka that explains the prameya-s, one finds a faithful echo of many of Shrimad Ananda Tiirtha's own statements; Shri Vyaasa Tiirtha compromises neither the nature nor the intensity of his master's unequivocal assertions. His prameya-shloka is thus a faithful recap of the subjects expounded upon by the previous scholars in the tradition, and it may be asserted that a correct understanding of the shloka is equivalent to a grasp of the fundamental tenets of Tattvavaada.