Definition - What does Kutarka mean?

Kutarka is a Sanskrit word meaning “bad logician,” “sophistry,” or “fallacious argument” from ku, a root syllable meaning “deficiency,” and tarka, meaning “reasoning,” “inquiry” or “logic” or “speculation.”

In yoga and Indian philosophy, kutarka is negative logic or negative reasoning. It is the wrong logic used for the purpose of finding fault. According to Patanjali, author of the eightfold path of yoga in the Yoga Sutras, there are three types of logic, of which kutarka is the lowest form.

Yogapedia explains Kutarka

Using kutarka, the person will apply incorrect logic to reach a conclusion. For example, given the statements “God is love” and “love is blind,” the person using kutarka logic concludes that God is blind.

The other types of logic are tarka and vitarka. Tarka is sequential, logical understanding that can change as knowledge changes and is associated with scientific knowledge. Vitarka is higher logic that leads to truth – asking philosophic questions to derive spiritual knowledge. It is vitarka that aids the yogi on his path to enlightenment.

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