Read this article to learn about the Akhyativad and Viparit Khyativad!


Prabhakar has refused to admit the existence of illusion. His view is, therefore, known as Akhyativad.

According to him, illusion and knowledge are contradictory. Knowledge is self-illumined and always real. Illusion is the understanding of one- thing as another. In the illusion of rope as snake, there is contact of visual organ with rope and life resulting knowledge is that of snake.

The knowledge of snake is neither perception nor inference. It is due to memory. This arousal of memory is due to the defects of visual organ for absence of sufficient light leads to failure in the cognition of special characteristics of rope. On the other hand, the charac­teristics of snake are remembered.


While the rope is in the external world, the snake- is in the self. Rope is the object of vision while snake is that of mind. Therefore, the knowledge of both is different though real. Illusion is the confusion of both these types of knowledge. It is due to the failure in distinguishing between the two. It is not a knowledge in itself. This view about the nature of illusion is known as Akhyativad.

Viparit Khyativad:

According to Kumarila Bhatta, in illusion there is a knowledge of activity in the absence of activity. This leads to the perception of unreal as real. When one- sees snake in rope and makes the statement, ‘This is snake’, both subject and predicate of the statement are true”. Both exist in the world.

The cause of illusion here is not non-existence of either, but the conjunction of two distinct things as subject and predicate. Illusion is not there in the objects but in their relationship. This illusion leads to contradictory behaviour such as running away to escape from the snake which one sees in the rope.

Both Prabhakar and Kumarila agree that illusion influences behaviour more than knowledge. Both take illusion as exception. According to the Mimamsa philosophy, as a general rule, all knowledge is real. Our every-day life depends on our faith in the reality of knowledge. Illusion is the exception to this rule. But exceptions do not invalidate the rule.