There are three types of arguments explained in Hindu philosophy – Vaada, Jalpa, Vitanda
1. Vaada – When two or more people are arguing about a topic and the objective of the argument is to get clarity over the topic and arrive at a proper conclusion, it is called Vaada. A person engaged in Vaada doesn’t have a pre-conceived notion. For the same reason, the argument is not to prove his point right, but to arrive at the Truth.
2. Jalpa – When two or more people are arguing to prove their point is right and that the other person(s) is/are wrong, it is called Jalpa. Here, the person is already convinced that he is correct and the other person is wrong. So the whole argument is an attempt to win by proving the other person(s) wrong. Needless to say, there is a pre-conceived notion in the mind.
3. Vitanda – When the purpose of argument is only to prove that the other person is wrong and the opponent who places the argument doesn’t have any specific stand of his own, it is called Vitanda. If we ask a person whose argument is like Vitanda on his opinion is about the right thing, he would say that he doesn’t have an opinion (or rather, he is not bothered about it) but he knows that the other person is wrong.
These are some understanding from our weekly Webinar sessions on Panchadasi conducted by Chinmaya International Foundation.
During any argument if we are not in the state of Vaada, it is better not to argue.