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THE ROLE OF REASONING IN RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

The manifestation of the various kinds of new scientific methodologies and techniques
continuous overflow in the field of research of ancient and modern literature of the world. This
method is not quiet new but absolutely ancient one. When we proceed towards analysis and
synthesis in the course of concluding the subject matter then several doubts starts originating.
The form of the origination of doubts are also absolutely old. The Veda (ÿgveda), oldest
literature of the world reveals the same. The reluctant with the various means of the cessation
from suffering the inquisitive pray and wishes for fearless flame . He prays that neitherI have
knowledge of right nor left, neither east nor west. My mind is unmatured and I am
disheartened and perplexed. If you guide our path then we may have knowledge of fearless
flame".1
When inquisitive, proceed towards propounding the subject matter as a researcher then
he needs a subject expert in the form of Guide or Supervisor for the same. The Supervisor
should be so intellectual as holy seer - preceptor of mantras, since their acquiring knowledge
was mere profession. When the preceptors of mantras engaged in the searching for absolute
then they sang the ‚cÈs. They made effort to preserve knowledge by contemplating, and again
through remembering the ‚cÈs by the hearing to holy seers - the chanters of mantras. Therefore
it is clear evidence from above contentions that the methodology of the Research is too old.
The kind of traditional knowledge acquired by „ruti in latter period started
deteriorating, and the modern Researcher became unable to preserved them through acquiring
by hearing then the techniques for writing of books originated for the preservation of that
knowledge. The proper efforts have been initiated for the preservation of these compositions by
compiling the subject - materials propounded by words through the means of lexicography.
When the tradition of oscillation and pre-oscillation were taking place for the etymological
literature for analysis of words and import of words again and again then the commencement of
the new kinds of technologies of debate and discussion were introduced. The promulgation of
providing various kinds of new directions for Research have taken place because of the
expansion of established thoughts through reasoning. By way of the continuous argumentation
the vivid kinds of research tendencies arisen on the basis of various new scientific technologies..
It is clearly apparent from the above contentions that the reasoning is to be considered primal
base for the presentation for methodologies of search, investigation or research in most
authentic and in real form of the research work.
The groundwork of the research is mainly depend upon reasoning, and an intellect or
comprehension is the substratum for this . Therefore the reasoning and comprehension both are
co-related. But comprehension has not any state of restriction. A logician presents his
reasoning by his intellectual and skilful arguments quiet efficiently but the same arguments may
be refuted by other logician by his solid apprehensions and on the basis of strength of his minute
intellect that the earlier arguments becomes invalid. The well propounded object by efficient
logician become invalid by refutation then some other logician efforts for the establishment of
various principles in place of them on the ground of new hypothetical reasonings.. The
'Universal law of gravitation' which had been established by famous modern scientist Isaac
Newton on the basis of his hypothetical reasoning the same became the subject matter for study
for other scientists. And when the Albert Einstein propounded the 'Theory of Relativity' and
Jhon Dalton ( in1803) proposed the 'Atomic Theory' of Matter on the basis of his observance and
hypothetical reasoning, even today the scientific community accepts these hypothesis with some
modifications .As time is endless and the world is extensive. There would arise someone or
other having similar qualities with logical aptitude then these principles may refute too. For,
there is no end of the comprehension.
A researcher proceed towards the search for real object through reasoning again and
again for an ascertainment of reality. When doubts arise on the search of reality of truth then
specific inquisitiveness of real knowledge originates for removal of doubts, in the consequences
he starts debates and reasoning. The reasoning is not possible without any doubts therefore
VÈtsyÈyana has said that " nyÈya functions neither with regard to things unknown nor with
regard to things that are definitely known, but it functions only with regard to things that are
doubtful."2 Therefore it is quite clear from above contentions that the doubts arise through
reasoning.
The doubt is the contrary of the knowledge of plunge into two alternatives. It originates
from two contrary opinions. When the doubts arise in the mind of the inquisitive about the
subject matter after hearing of contrary opinion of each other then he efforts for knowing the
reality of truth through means of valid knowledge and try to reach on conclusion on the basis of
reasoning. Therefore, researcher engaged in his research work needs reasoning for the
presentation of ascertained reality of the subject . The reasoning is required for the development
of the intellectual faculty. The knowledge of worldly affairs, subtle sentiments, and
inconceivable highest truth is possible only through the strength of intellect. The reasoning
assists a lot in this matter for this cause.
When a researcher, having mind deeply engaged in his research work, study the
literary works and starts analysing on propounded subject matter of others, then for the
refutation of depicted unreal facts needs valid arguments in his supports of reasoning. But
means of valid knowledge are quite necessary for the presenting of his solid arguments for the
criticism. Therefore, mainly three objects - statement of credible person i.e. scriptures - Ègama,
reasoning, and evidently self observance are needed. These are called the act of hearing
(„rava‡a), thinking (manana) and propound and repeated meditation (nididhyÈsana). The
presentation of the statement of credible person or quotations from scriptures are quite essential
for the establishment of the subject matter in the form of evidence. A researcher whatever
writes are needed to be tested by means of valid knowledge. At the time of presenting the
evidences in support of his arguments the important work for a researcher is to criticize that
on the basis of his hypothetical reasoning through his thinking and propounded and repeated
meditation. Thus, for a research work verbal testimony, reasoning and self observance these
three kinds of object are essential. All these three matters should be examine separately or
together. Only verbal testimony and valid arguments are not sufficient but self observance is
also needed equally for the same. The presentation of a research work in any language or in
any literature require all these three subject- elements equally.
The scripture (ƒÈstra) is called original source (Ègama), which comprises the statement
of credible persons. Thus the statement of credible person is the form of credibility of acquisition
of knowledge. A n Indological Researcher specially of Sanskrit literature accepts Vedic
literature as a means of reliable authority or valid knowledge for acquisition of property. In
Sanskrit literature there are mainly two kinds of original sources vedic literature and other or
classical literature. Vedas are called revealed texts and others are man made texts. A
Indological scholar specially researcher of Sanskrit literature begins his search from Vedas.
Although all scriptures Vedic or post Vedic or classical equally authentic for research work but
the Vedas are more authentic as these are revealed text. All these texts are original sources for
the research purpose and means of valid knowledge.
The reasoning is not a independent means of valid knowledge because we can not present
actual method merely on the basis of reasoning. For example in the Ka—hopani–ad it has been
stated that the knowledge of self cannot be acquired only through reasoning.3 For the sake of
knowledge a thing must be made an object. There are mainly three ways of acquiring
knowledge, sense experience, reasoning and intuitive apprehension. Through senses we know
outer nature of objects colour, shape etc. The data supplied by the senses are then starts
working by the hypothetical reasoning which supply us the conceptual picture of the material
world by analysis and synthesis. The knowledge acquired through the application of logical
intellect or mind is indirect and symbolic in character. It depends for its accuracy in the
correctness of perceptions as well as on the growth and experience of human mind. Although it
is useful but not sufficient to give us an adequate apprehension of the real nature of things.4
The ƒa×karacÈrya has rejected the reasoning in his commentary of BrahmasÊtra (2-1-11)5
and Bhart‚hari in VÈkypadÏya 6 has tried to proved that reasoning is useless
The reasoning is proved futile not only in the context of Ègama but also in the society.
The proficient logician like great ÿ–i Kapila etc. whatever attempted to prove through their valid
arguments the same were proved contrary by refutation on the basis of solid arguments by other
great ÿ–i like Ka‡Èda etc. by way of refutation on other solid arguments . Kapila has proved
that PradhÈna is the original source of visible or material universe. On the other hand Ka‡Èda
has accepted the same atom as main cause of the universe. In the contrariety of each argument of
these two the reasoning could not be succeed in propounding the truth of reality on application
of a conclusive argument. But it means it is not that the reasoning is always only insufficient of
authority or invalid. Bhart‚hari admits the utility of inference and reasoning in day to day life.
He states that even perception has no validity without inference. It is quite difficult to observe
all properties of a thing, we can merely observe some of things rest of properties can be infer
through the reasoning.7 We can perceive the complete meaning of the words with the help of
inference and reasoning. Even the meaning of the Vedas can not be apprehend without help of
reasoning. The two objects related to ritual and the Ultimate reality can not be understand
without applying the reasoning to the words. The applying of reasoning should be constructive
for grasping the actual meaning. This type of reasoning is the eye of those who are not able to see
the really in another manner. It is not the against of the basic teaching of the Veda as its main
objective is to grasp that basic teaching. The apprehension of the meaning of all kinds of words,
the words of eternal scripture or of human composition, depends upon reasoning.8 The Various
paribhÈ–Ès acknowledged validity of the Pȇinian system, to describe reasoning is to reveal the
meaning of the sÊtras of Pȇini.9 Reasoning is absolutely related with the power of the words
themselves. It is matter of fact, the main objective of the reasoning to decide the exact nature of
the words. with cotextual text.
At the outset, the statement of scriptures should be presented in the form of evidence
prior to the apprehension of reasoning and after that solid arguments should be presented for the
refutation of those statements which do not accept scriptures as a means of valid knowledge,
and it may be prove that verbal testimony is the more authentic means of valid knowledge than
inference. It means the credibility of reasoning or inference is not always contrariety and
useless evidence . It is also not mean that the reasoning is not any useful source for knowing
the real form of property, but it is independent means of source of knowledge which supports
the evidence.
The objective of reasoning is to examining or observing quite minutely by the act of
hearing (ƒrava‡a), thinking and concentration (profound and repeated meditation). This is to be
admitted as evidence for the examination of the subject matter. The researchers, first of all
should collect all the source matterials scattered here and there, and the required informations
related to his proposed research work by preceptor of reality, such as expert of the subject,
called guide (GurÊ) etc. After that he should think about that, and thereafter he should engaged
in his research on the basis of evidence of his self observance through the reasoning with solid
arguments by profound and repeated meditation.
The reasoning is facilitating in ascertaining the reality, it means it assists in acquiring
the knowledge. Therefore VÈtsyÈyana has stated in his BhÈ–ya that
pramȇÈnÈmanugrÈhkaÌtarkaÌ. As the lamp is co-oparative cause for eyes the reasoning is
also co-operative cause for means of valid knowledge. This origination is due to cause of
perishing or indestructible cause or unforeseen cause.10
When these kinds of doubts arise then in the thoughts of expected cause and effects
reasoning starts originating that if the birth would have been because of destructive cause then
there will be eradication of being due to destruction of cause. And if it will be completed
through indestructible cause then the eradication of birth will be impossible because of absence
of cause. If the casual cause is accepted then due to sudden eradicating of birth being is again
not possible. The eradication of birth will not be possible due to not being accomplishment. In
this way, about the reasoning the birth is cause of action, this can be proved through means of
valid knowledge, in this fulfilment the reasoning assists in obtaining the object of reality by
being supportive cause. Reasoning performs double jobs the establishment of meaning and
refutation. A Researcher is suppose to present his conclusive view and to establishes his
proposed subject by denial or refutation of presented theories by other scholars on the ground of
solid reasoning and the object of self observance.
The NyÈyasÈstra is also called TarkasÈstra, the science of reasoning which deals with the
philosophical system specially the objects of material world. This is the illuminative of all kinds
of knowledge and remedy for Vedic and common deeds, it means it assists as servant etc. and
base are all kinds of activities.11 Bhart‚hari has attempted to prove the reasoning as futile due
to radical faith in scriptures. Although, the Scriptures have mentioned that the reality can not
be accepted without thinking whether it is statement of a credible person or Scriptures. Reasoning
which does not go against the Vedas and the „Èstra is authority for those who can not see. The
meaning of a sentence does not become clear from its mere form.12 Reasoning based on
human intelligence is also ultimately the strength of words. Argument not based on words
among those who have no written tradition, is really without any basis.13.
The Buddhists have done great job in the regard of this reasoning. The Vedic scholars
stated the credibility of reasoning as fallible by accepting scriptures as real authority. But,
Buddhists provoked them and when they (Buddhists) initiated their refutation through the
reasoning then they opened their eyes and again became constrained for hypothetical
reasoning. And in the consequences, even Vedic scholars involved themselves in the debate and
discussion about scriptures through the hypothetical reasoning. And because of this vivid kinds
of new treatises have been originated. The Researcher, investigating the object of reality should
admit essentially the role of reasoning on his intellectual state of mind
In Buddhist tradition, Di×nÈga and his followers are called the Vij¤ÈnavÈdins of the
logical tradition (nyÈyÈnusÈri‡o vij¤ÈnavÈdinaÌ), as distinguished from the Vij¤ÈnavÈdins of
the Scriptural tradition (ÈgamÈnusÈri‡o vij¤ÈnavÈdinaÌ), by which appellation the older
teachers of the YogÈcÈra - Vij¤ÈnavÈda School are called.14 Di×nÈga does not admit the
unconditional authority of Scripture. According to him the words of the Buddha must be
subjected to critical test before they are accepted as valid. This critical attitude he inherited
from the Buddha, who used to exhort . His disciples not to accept any of his words merely out
of reverence but to examine them carefully, just as people examine the purity of gold by
burning it in fire, cutting it, and testing it on a touchstone.15
The hypothetical reasoning is the substratum of the thinking, who does not think can not
be a logician. A logician can not be stay even a moment without thinking. After the abandonment
from thinking one may become illogical in a moment. Therefore the scholars have define the
word atÈrkika : k–a‡ÈdÊrdhvamatÈrkikÈÌ .
At the time of ascertaining the utility and importance of reasoning we have to think on
its nature that it is how much valuable for a research work. Reasoning is an intellectual act
which contributes to the ascertainment of reality by means of adducing logical grounds in favour
of one of the alternative possibilities when the reality is unknown in its real nature.16 Is it so ? Is
it not so ? The process of thinking on these two deffrent alternatives seem to be equally possible
with respect to a specific point of enquiry and the mind oscillates between them, the reasoning
in support of one of them helps to resolve the indecisiveness. Although it is not Pramȇa but
simply an aid to Pramȇa. An individual dependent upon reasoning obtained the reality of
truth of objects through analytical mind and analyses them by his intellect. Therefore all
scriptures, deeds and activities come under the analysis of intellect. The inquisitive of research in
the process of his analysis apprehends that it is there or it is not there. In this situation he
apprehends through the hypothetical reasoning for the ascertainment of the reality.
The scholars desirous to make effort for research should follow the instruction given by
famous logician Jayant Bhatta .17
First of all, the collection of scattered subject materials of the propounded research work
is necessary . The primary duty of the researcher is to collect the materials already done on the
proposed subject by other scholars. The secondary step is to examine thoroughly the available
works in other language, written by other scholars. The third stage is that if the materials or
some of the materials are not available on related to some sections or sub sections of his proposed
work then he should depicts own ideas on them through basis of his self observance by way of
presenting hypothetical reasoning on solid grounds. The reasoning has significant role in the
completion of these three essential stages for Research methodology.
The original foundation of the Research Methodology is based upon the scripture
(statements of credible persons), reasoning and the intellect of self observance. This is not
merely means for exploring the thoughts by general composition but the statements should be
supported by valid evidences.. According to the scholars the propounded theory on the subject
matter with valid evidences should be fully analysed, demonstrated and continuous
argumentative through reasoning. In this way the direct and indirect forms of the scientific
methodologies of the research is distinctly visible.

1. na dak–i‡È vicikite na savyÈ na prÈcÏnamÈdityÈ nÏta pa„cÈ,

prÈkkayÈ cit vasavo dhÏryÈ cidyu–mÈnÏto abhayaŠ jyotira„yÈm - ÿgveda 2-27-11


2. 'nÈnupalabdhearthe na nir‡Ïtearthe nyÈyaÌ pravartate kintarhi saŠ„ayitearthe' -
NyÈyabhÈ–ya 1-1-1.
3. nai–Ètarkena matirÈpaneyÈ - Ka—hopani–ad
4. One Hundred and Twelve Upani–ads and their Philosophy - Dr. A.N.Bhattacarya Parimal Publications, Delhi
1987,pg.62
5. 'tarkÈprati–—hÈnÈdapi, anythÈnumeyamiti cet, evamapyavimok–aprasa×Ì - BrahmasÊtra - 2.1.11
6. yatnenÈnumitoapyarthaÌ ku„alairanumÈt‚bhiÌ,
abhiyuktarairanyathaivopapÈdyate VÈkyapadÏya - I / 34
7. durlabhaŠ kasyacilloke sarvÈvayavadar„anam,
kai„cittvavayavaird‚—airarthaÌ k‚tsnoanumÏyate - VÈkyapadÏya II - 34
8. Veda„ÈstrÈvirodhÏ ca tarka„cak–urapa„yatÈm,
rÊpamÈtrÈdhi vÈkyÈrthaÌ kevalÈnnÈvati–—hate - VÈkyapadÏya - I 127 (135)
9. for detail discussion please see Bhart‚hari K.A. Subramania Iyer, Poona 1969, pg.84-8610. kimidaŠ janma
k‚take na hetunÈ nivartyate ?
Èhosvita k‚takena athÈkasmikamiti -

11. pradÏpaÌ sarvavidyÈnÈm upÈyaÌ sarvakarman‡Èm - NyÈyabhÈ–ya - 1-21


12. „abdÈnÈmeva sÈ „aktistarko yaÌ puru–È„rayaÌ - VÈkyapadÏyaI - 137
13. veda„ÈstrÈvirodhÏ ca tarka„cak–urapa„yatÈŠ,
rÊpamÈtrÈdhi vÈkyÈrthaÌ kevalÈnnÈvati–—hite - (VÈkyapadÏyaI-135)
14. The Sublime Science of the Great Vehicle to Salvation - Obermiller, p.99
15. tÈpÈc chedÈc ca nik–Èt suvar‡am iva pa‡ÇitaÌ
parÏk–ya bhik–avo grÈhyaŠ mad-vaco na tu gauravÈt - TSP, p.12.19-20, see also Stcherbatsky,
Buddhist Logic.,I77; Mookerjjee, The Buddhist Philosophy of Universal Flux,pp.xl ff. and also DignÈga, On
Preception, Pramȇasamuccaya trans & annoted by Masaaki Hattori Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard
University Press, 1968, pg.73
16. avij¤Ètatattvearthe kÈra‡opapattitastattvaj¤ÈnÈrthamÊhastarkaÌ -NyÈyasÊtra 1-1-40
17. saŠgrahÈt viprakÏr‡ÈnÈŠ kvÈpyuktasyopapÈdanÈt,
niruktakathanÈt kvÈpi saphaloayaŠ„ramo mama - NyÈyÈm‚ta