Nyāya (Sanskrit: न्याय, nyā-yá), literally meaning “justice”, “rules”, “method” or “judgment”, is one of the six astika schools of Indian philosophy

This school’s most significant contributions to Indian philosophy were systematic development of the theory of logic, methodology, and its treatises on epistemology

Ancient Mithila University was famous for Nyaya Shastra teaching

Nyaya school’s epistemology accepts four out of six Pramanas as reliable means of gaining knowledge – Pratyakṣa (perception), Anumāṇa (inference), Upamāṇa (comparison and analogy) and Śabda (word, testimony of past or present reliable experts)

In its metaphysics, Nyaya school is closer to the Vaisheshika school of Hinduism than others

It holds that human suffering results from mistakes/defects produced by activity under wrong knowledge (notions and ignorance)

Moksha (liberation), it states, is gained through right knowledge

This premise led Nyaya to concern itself with epistemology, that is the reliable means to gain correct knowledge and to remove wrong notions

False knowledge is not merely ignorance to Naiyyayikas, it includes delusion

Correct knowledge is discovering and overcoming one’s delusions, and understanding true nature of soul, self and reality

Naiyyayika scholars approached philosophy as a form of direct realism, stating that anything that really exists is in principle humanly knowable

To them, correct knowledge and understanding is different from simple, reflexive cognition; it requires Anuvyavasaya (अनुव्यवसाय, cross-examination of cognition, reflective cognition of what one thinks one knows)

An influential collection of texts on logic and reason is the Nyāya Sūtras, attributed to Aksapada Gautama, variously estimated to have been composed between 6th-century BCE and 2nd-century CE

Nyaya school shares some of its methodology and human suffering foundations with Buddhism; however, a key difference between the two is that Buddhism believes that there is neither a soul nor self; Nyaya school like other schools of Hinduism believes that there is a soul and self, with liberation (moksha) as a state of removal of ignorance, wrong knowledge, the gain of correct knowledge and unimpeded continuation of self