Which are the Kinds of perception recognized by Nyaya?

According to Nyâyikas, perception is the direct and immediate cognition produced by the interaction between the object and sense-organs.


  1. External
    • Visual: Visual perception is the ability to interpret the surrounding environment by processing information that is contained in visible light. The resulting perception is also known as eyesight, sight, or vision (adjectival form: visual, optical, or ocular).
    • Auditory: Auditory perception is the ability to perceive and understand sounds, usually with specific organs, such as a human’s ears.
    • Tactual: Tactual perception or is the awareness of physical objects through the sense of touch.
    • Gustatory: The sensation that results when taste buds in the tongue and throat convey information.
    • Olfactory: The sensation that results when olfactory receptors in the nose are stimulated by particular chemicals in gaseous form.
  2. Internal
    • Determinate: Determinate perception arises when the knowledge of an object consists of characters, such as; name, colour, shape etc. It gives knowledge of the object, as a result, we cognize ‘It is a tree’, ‘He is a man’ etc. In this case, an individual can identify and cognize the object as it is.
    • Indeterminate: A perception is considered as indeterminate when we can’t determine its features like colour, shape, size, etc. In this case, the sense organs contact with the object and a particular knowledge immediately emerges. Nyâyikas named this knowledge is ‘avyakta’ which means it can’t explain through our vocabulary.
    • Recognition: The senses contact with the object and recalled that whether the same object had been encountered earlier or not. If it had encountered in the past and positively recapitulating the situation and the features of the object then it would be considered as recognition.
  1. Samanvalaksana: Sâmânya laksana is the perception of universals. In other words, it is the perception of classes. According to Nyâya, the universals are a distinct class. They inhere in all the particular belonging to the same class. For example, a hen becomes a hen because it has the universal ‘henness’ inhering in it.
  2. Jnanalaksana: Jñânalaksana perception is a perception through complex association. In this case, an object is not directly presented to the sense organs, but it is retrieved in memory through the past cognition of it and is perceived thorough representation. For example, the ice looks cold, the fire looks hot, etc.
  3. Yogaja: Yogaja perception as an extraordinary perception is found in yogis who possess supernatural power. Yogis through their power of meditation can have intuitive and immediate perception of all objects, past, present, and future.

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