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pratyakṣa (T. mngon sum tshad ma མངོན་སུམ་ཚད་མ་; C. xianliang 現量), or direct perception, is defined as "an unmistaken non-conceptual cognition".[1]

The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism states:

[Pratyakṣa is] cognition that is unmistaken in the sense that it correctly apprehends qualities such as shape and color, and is nonconceptual, in the sense that it does not perceive its object through the medium of an image, as does thought (kalpanā).[2]

According to pramana tradition of Dignaga, pratyakṣa is one of two forms of valid cognition (pramana), the other being valid inference (anumāna).[3]

Four types of direct perception

Four types of direct perception are enumerated:[2]

  1. sensory direct perception (indriya pratyakṣa)
  2. mental direct perception (mānasa pratyakṣa)
  3. direct perception of self-awareness (svasaṃvedanā pratyakṣa)
  4. yogic direct perception (yogi pratyakṣa)


  1. རྟོག་བྲལ་མ་འཁྲུལ་པའི་ཤེས་པ་, rtog bral ma 'khrul pa'i shes pa
  2. 2.0 2.1 Buswell & Lopez 2014, s.v. pratyakṣa.
  3. Westerhoff 2018, Chapter 5.


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