Ayurvedic approach to knowledge 2

Structure of the AMN-Romania International Ayurveda Competition

Part 2


The AMN-Romania Ayurveda contest has been composed on the basis of a traditional structure that is known in the traditional works of Ayurveda, including the famous work entitled Charaka-Samhita, which is systematically studied in the AMN-Romania Ayurveda course lessons, namely on the basis of the three main pillars that the Ayurvedic tradition describes as the set of traditional ways of knowledge specific to the Ayurvedic tradition. The three basic tools of knowledge are: apta, pratyaksha and anumana. These three tools represent three basic sources of human knowledge in general.


Apta is knowledge that comes from reliable or trustworthy sources, such as the traditional works of Ayurveda. In the AMN-Romania Ayurveda Competition apta is used predominantly in the Ayurvedic knowledge test.


Pratyaksha is knowledge of a perceptual nature, directly realized through perception with the help of the five senses and the instrumental consciousness. In the AMN-Romania Ayurveda Competition pratyaksha is used as part of the perception test.


Anumana is knowledge of a deductive and rational nature, which also involves components of an intellectual nature and all derived intellectual tools, including inferential, iterative and comparative aspects. In the Ayurveda Competition, anumana is highlighted in the intelligence test.

The AMN-Romania Ayurveda competition is structured around the three main pillars traditionally known as pramana-vidhi. The AMN-Romania Ayurveda Competition provides an excellent platform for consolidating knowledge and exploring the interactions between different ways of knowing.

Participation in this Ayurveda Competition is beneficial for all those interested in the field of Ayurveda and is an opportunity for participants to improve both their knowledge and cognitive skills in a practical, dynamic, comprehensive and interactive way.

Interactions between methods of knowledge in Ayurveda

In the traditional knowledge of Ayurveda, three specific combinations of the methods of knowledge known in Ayurveda are indicated and are applied in different stages of the AMN-Romania Ayurveda Competition.

Each of these combinations of basic forms of knowledge is an example of how the interplay between theoretical knowledge (apta) and perceptual knowledge (pratyaksha) can lead to a much deeper specific understanding of reality through the tools of knowledge offered by the ancient Ayurvedic system.

These combinations include apta-pratyaksha (upamana), apta-anumana (arthapadi) and pratyaksha-anumana (anupalapti).

By knowing these combinations of modalities we will be able to better understand how, in the AMN-Romania Ayurveda Competition, participants can use both theoretical knowledge and perceptual knowledge in an integrated way to develop holistic and comprehensive knowledge and understanding.

Apta-pratyaksha (upamana)

The proper combination of prior theoretical knowledge (apta) with perceptual knowledge (pratyaksha) is called upamana.

In the AMN-Romania Ayurveda Competition this combination is illustrated in the Ayurvedic Knowledge and Perception Test. This stage involves recognising and identifying specific aspects of plants, such as botanical name, part used, taste and some therapeutic actions. When we set out to identify differences between different plant species based on taste (race), appearance or other characteristics, we find that in the process of evaluation, both relevant theoretical knowledge and direct sensory perceptions become active in the sphere of operational consciousness.

Apta-anumana (arthapadi)

The combination of theoretical knowledge (apta) with deduction (anumana) and the extension of the scope of understanding through reasoning is called arthapadi. In the stages of the AMN-Romania Ayurveda Competition, this combination is illustrated by the Ayurvedic Knowledge and Intelligence Test, especially in the multiple-choice tests. In general, when we rely on a solid source of theoretical knowledge and at the same time use our deductive abilities, we achieve a process of derived knowledge. This kind of action involves advancing a postulate or premise constructed from a combination of information obtained from sound theoretical sources and deductive or constructive elements that we add to develop a new premise.

Pratyaksha-anumana (anupalapti)

The combination of perception (pratyaksha) with deduction (anumana) into a single act of knowledge is called anupalapti. In the AMN-Romania Ayurveda Competition this combination is highlighted through the perception and intelligence test. This test involves the exercise of personal deductive and rational abilities in complementing the knowledge derived from Ayurvedic texts. The Ayurvedic tradition has called anupalapti including the complex process of knowledge which involves narrowing down the field of possibilities and demand in the case of a question with several possible answers, when we cannot rank the possible alternatives. By approaching the question in a so-called reverse way, we can use "proof by contradiction" (anupalapti) to move in a direction less exposed to the risk of not choosing the best option.

Andrei Gamulea, Ayurveda lecturer AMN-Romania

part 3 here