Debate System

Healthy debate enables a society to keep evolving, adopting new innovations and adjusting to chaning times. As we say -- change is only guaranteed, hence a society which refuses to change, will suffer in the long run. We will review the Six Pramanas that are considered correct means of accurate knowledge/ truths, in scripture section. We will just list these here: (1) Pratyakṣa (perception), (2) Anumāṇa (inference), (3) Upamāṇa (comparison and analogy), (4)  Arthāpatti (postulation, derivation from circumstances), (5) Anupalabdhi (non-perception, negative/cognitive proof) and (6) Śabda (word, testimony of past or present reliable experts).

Debate is a technique where participants use logic and intelligence to prove their point. Once point was proven, it would be accepted by all and society would adopt it. [Very close to modern decision making process -- discuss pros and cons as much as you like until decision is made, once decision made whole organization accepts the decision].

Stakes were quite high in some of the debates. A few examples:

  1. Ashtavakra and Acharya Bandi Debate
  2. Gargi – Yagyavalkya Samvad
  3. Yajnavalkya and Maitreyi Samvad
  4. Buddha and Somdand debate
  5. Adi Shankaracharya and Shri Mandan Mishra Shrastarth: English and Hindi 

The stakes in the debate of Ashtavakr & Arachry Bandi, Buddha & Somdnad and Adi Shankarcharya & Shir Mandan Mishra are so high -- death, loser leaves his path and follows the path of the winner.  In such a situation, intellect is very important. A society with such traditions is bound to find many many ways to reach the truth.

One of reason for applying tilak at the point of sahasrar chakra [between the eye-borws] is to celebrate the supremacy of intellect.