Definition - What does Anvaya mean?

Anvaya is a Sanskrit word meaning “positive” or “affirmative,” but it is used to refer in grammar to “concordance,” or the logical connections between words that convey agreement. This includes an agreement that exists when two things are present. It is often used in conjunction with the related term, vyatireka, which refers to an agreement in the absence of two things.

Both anvaya and vyatireka are terms used by Buddhist, Hindu and Vedanta scholars to express logical reasoning. Sometimes they are used together to describe a process of reasoning known as anvaya-vyatireka.

Yogapedia explains Anvaya

In Advaita Vedanta, anvaya is used to describe the all-pervasive nature of the Absolute; however, its distinctiveness is vyatireka.

The logic follows in Vedanta that who we really are — the atman, or individual soul — exists both when the world and thoughts are present and when it is not, as in the case of deep sleep. Thus, atman is anvaya. However, thoughts, the world and the mind, which do not always exist and are subject to change, must be vyatireka. This logical process is an example of anvaya-vyatireka. It is considered a dual procedure, which signifies both “separation” and “connection.”

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