Pramana (Skt. pramāṇa; Tib. tsema; Wyl. tshad ma) is a Sanskrit term, the primary meaning and most common translation of which is 'valid cognition', meaning the correct knowledge of a particular object. A valid cognition can either be
- a direct perception (Skt. pratyakṣa ; Wyl. mgnon sum) or
- an inference (Skt. anumāna; Wyl. rjes dpag)
As a consequence, the term is also used to refer to the corpus of Buddhist teachings on epistemology (the science of cognition, i.e. how do we know things) and ontology (which investigates the nature of existence), as these two are inextricably linked in Buddhism. The pioneers of these teachings are the Indian masters Dignaga and Dharmakirti. Pramana is taught in all shedras since it is the basis for debate, an important learning tool in traditional monastic universities. In this context the term is sometimes translated as 'Buddhist logic'.
- Examining What is Observerd (Skt. Ālambana-parīkṣā; Wyl. dmigs pa brtag pa),
- Compendium of Logic (Skt. Pramāṇa-samuccaya; Wyl. tshad ma kun las btus pa)
- Dharmakirti, Seven Treatises on Valid Cognition (Skt. Pramanavartikadisapta-grantha-samgraha; Wyl. tshad ma sde bdun)
- Logic & epistemology
- Prime cognition
- Verifying cognition
- Marcus Perman, Tshad Ma Literature: Towards a History of Tibetan Buddhist Epistemology, unpublished M.A. thesis, 2006.
- Ringu Tulku, The Ri-me Philosophy of Jamgön Kongtrul the Great (Boston & London: Shambhala Publications, 2006), pages 60-64.