Seven treatises on pramāṇa

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Seven treatises on pramāṇa (T. tshad ma sde bdun ཚད་མ་སྡེ་བདུན་) is the name for a collection of treatises on pramāṇa ("instruments of knowledge") written by the Indian scholar Dharmakīrti.[1][2][3]

The seven works are:[2][3]

  1. Pramāṇavārttika (T. ཚད་མ་རྣམ་འགྲེལ་) - Commentary on Pramāṇa
  2. Pramāṇaviniścaya (T. ཚད་མ་རྣམ་ངེས་) - Ascertainment of Pramāṇa
  3. Nyāyabindu (T. རིགས་ཐིགས་) - Drops of Reasoning
  4. Hetubindu (T. གཏན་ཚིགས་ཐིགས་པ་) - Drops of Logic
  5. Saṃbandhaparīkṣā (T. འབྲེལ་བ་བརྟག་པ་) - Inquiry into Relations
  6. Vādanyāya (T. རྩོད་པའི་རིགས་པ་) - Reasoning of Debate
  7. Saṃtānāntarasiddhi (T. རྒྱུད་གཞན་གྲུབ་པ་) - Proof of Other Minds

Order of composition of the works

Tom Tillemans states:

Leaving aside the question of dates, Frauwallner (1954) did most likely pin down the order in which Dharmakīrti composed five of his seven works, namely, and in this order, the Pramāṇavārttika, Pramāṇaviniścaya (“Ascertainment of Epistemology”), Nyāyabindu (“Drop of Reasoning”), Hetubindu (“Drop of Logical Reasons”), and Vādanyāya (“Logic of Argumentation”). The two minor works, the Sambandhaparīkṣā (“Analysis of Relations”) and Saṃtānāntarasiddhi (“Proof of Other Minds”), are more difficult to place in the sequence. There is also an autocommentary to the Pramāṇavārttika, the Pramāṇavārttikasvavṛtti.[4]

Editions and translations of the seven works

An ongoing bibliography of editions and translations of Dharmakīrti’s seven works and those of other major Buddhist authors on epistemology and logic is presented on the site:


  1. Buswell & Lopez 2014, s.v. Dharmakīrti.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Buswell & Lopez 2014, s.v. tshad ma sde bdun.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Tillemans 2000, p. xiii.
  4. Tillemans 2021.


Further Reading

  • Freedom through Correct Knowing: On Khedrup Jé’s Interpretation of Dharmakīrti, edited by Geshe Tenzin Namdak and Ven. Tenzin Legtsok (Wisdom Publications, 2022)
  • John D. Dunne, Foundations of Dharmakirti's Philosophy, Wisdom Publications, 2004, p.7 n.12
  • TH. Stcherbatsky, Buddhist Logic Volume 1, p37