Padartha means an object or meaning derived through an aphorism (sutra) or a term (pada). It is described as an entity that reflects the meaning of one, two, or many words. Ayurveda follows Vaisheshika's philosophy while describing padartha for disease prevention and treatment. It does not include non-existence (abhava). Sankhya and Vaisheshika state that any object denoted by a word ‘(pada)’ is termed as ‘padartha’. Therefore, all the substances, qualities, actions, specialities, mutual relations, and negations fall under ‘Padartha’.[K.V.L Narasimhacharyulu, Padartha Vijnana p.29] It is thus the group of alphabets that has the power to denote the meaning of any object. The padartha vijnana is a particular branch incorporated by Ayurveda and philosophical sciences to obtain specialized knowledge of all knowable objects. Padartha are described as entities that exist (astitvam), are knowable (jneyatvam), and are denoted with a name (abhidheyatva). [SAT A.115] Padartha translates as substance or matter in the perspective of contemporary science. However, the substance is a material that possesses physical properties. It is the matter or material entity having definite characteristics. However, Ayurveda explores the entity of padartha as a broad term. It refers to every entity with a specific derived and applied meaning in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. This article describes the concept of padartha according to Ayurveda and its utilities.
|Authors||Bhojani M. K. 1, Joglekar A. A.2|
|Reviewers||Jamdade Y.3 Basisht G.4|
1 Department of Sharira Kriya, All India Institute of Ayurveda, New Delhi, India
2Department of Samhita Siddhant, All India Institute of Ayurveda, New Delhi, India
3 Department of Samhita Siddhant, College of Ayurveda and Research Centre, Nigdi, Pune, India
4 Rheumatologist, Orlando, Florida, USA5 Department of Kayachikitsa, G.J.Patel Institute of Ayurvedic Studies and Research, New Vallabh Vidyanagar, Gujarat, India
|Publisher||Charak Samhita Research, Training and Development Centre, I.T.R.A., Jamnagar, India|
|Date of first publication:||May 27, 2022|
Derivation and meaning
The term ‘padartha’ comprises two terms namely ‘Pada’ and ‘Artha’. Pada refers to any object, a word or an inflected word or the stem of a noun in the middle cases, and before some taddhitas (derivative noun or an affix forming nouns from other nouns)[Monnier Williams dictionary], a portion of a verse, quarter, or line of a stanza, pretext or part or portion of subject.
The term 'artha’ refers to aim, purpose or meaning.[Monnier Williams dictionary] Thus, the term ‘Padartha’ denotes the meaning of any specific term. Padartha corresponds to a thing, material, man, object, purpose. He also explains it as category, subject, and predicament. [Monnier Williams dictionary]
Charaka has listed padartha under the heading of tantra yukti. [Cha.Sa.Siddhi Sthana 12/41] Chakrapani has elaborated this concept as a means to understand the meaning of a single term or group of terms. He explains that the term Ayurveda is the combination of two terms Ayu and Veda. The meaning of Ayu is life, and Veda refers to science. [Chakrapani on Cha.Sa.Siddhi Sthana 12/41]
The meaning of one word, two words, and more than two words is collectively called as ’padartha’. [Su.Sa.Uttara Sthana 65/10] It denotes the word's exact meaning that is understood after relating it with previous or subsequent words in the context or sentence. For instance, when the word ‘vedotpatti’ is mentioned in the first chapter of 'Sutra Sthana of Sushruta Samhita, the term ‘Veda’ is understood as Ayurveda and not Rigveda or Atharvaveda as context of the word is related to Ayurveda.
According to Saptapadarthi, all the knowable things are termed as padartha. [K.V.L Narasimhacharyulu, Padartha Vijnana p.29]
Characteristics of padartha
Prashashtapada, a commentator on Sankhya philosophy describes three main characteristics of padartha as below:
- Independent existence (Astittva)
- Which can be named (Abhidheyatwa)
- Which can be known or comprehended (Dneyatva)
Classification of padartha
All padartha in the universe are classified as existent (bhava) or non-existent (abhava) termed as sat and asat, respectively. [Cha.Sa.Sutra Sthana 11] However, Charaka has not elaborated in detail regarding the abhava padartha in comparison to Vaisheshika philosophy. Hence it is not included among the six karana mentioned in the first chapter of Sutra Sthana.
The six padartha are divided into two categories as below [Chakrapani on Cha.Sa.Sutra Sthana 1]
a) Bhati Siddha: Samanya, Vishesha, Samavaya., These are inferential or possess indirect existence. These cannot be physically demonstrated. These are also known as ‘ashrayeepadartha’ (which take abode of others).
The classification and number of padartha according to a different school of thoughts can be summarised in the table given below:
|Number of padartha||Author||Name of padartha|
|2||Charaka [Cha.Sa.Sutra Sthana 11/17]||Bhava Padartha, Abhava Padartha|
|Chakrapani [Chakrapani on Cha.Sa.Sutra Sthana 11/17]||Satta Siddha, Asatta/Bhati Siddha|
|Bhavaprakasha||Dravyagata 5 Padartha- Dravya, Rasa, Guna, Vipaka, Shakti|
|Vedanta [K.V.L Narasimhacharyulu, Padartha Vijnana p.13, 34]||Atma, Anatma|
|3||Ramanuja Nimbakacharya||Chitta, Achitta, Ishwar|
|5||Kumaril Bhatt||Dravya, Guna, Karma, Samanya, Abhava|
|Murari Mishra||Bramha, Dharmivishesha, Dharmavishesha, Aadharvishesha, Pradeshavishesha|
|Vaisheshika. Charaka (does not directly mention these as padartha)||Dravya, Guna, Karma, Samanya, Vishesha, Samavaya|
|7||Jain Darshana||Ashrava, Bandha, Sanvara, Nirjara, Moksha, Jeeva, Ajeeva|
|Navya Nyaya Darshana, Saptapadarthi||Dravya, Guna, Karma, Samanya, Vishesha, Samvaya, Abhava|
|8||Prabhakar Mimans||Dravya, Guna, Karma, Samanya, Vishesha, Samavaya, Shakti, Sadrishya, Sankhya|
|10||Madhavacharya [K.V.L Narasimhacharyulu, Padartha Vijnana p.13, 34]||Dravya, Guna, Karma, Samanya, Vishesha, Vishita, Anshi, Shadrisha, Shakti, Abhava|
|16||Nyaya ||Pramana, Prameya, Sanshaya, Prayojana, Drishtant, Siddhanta, Avayava, Tarka, Nirnaya, Vaada, Jalpa, Vitanda, Hetvabhasa, Jaati, Chala, Nigrahasthana|
|25||Sankhya ||Basic realms or components of the evolution of the universe, namely the Avyakta, Purusha, Mahat, Ahankara, Tanmatra, Ekadasha Indriya, Panchamahabhuta|
|26||Yoga ||25 components put forth by sankhya along with Ishwar component|
Shad (six) padartha theory
The origin of the concept of shad padartha traces back to the period of the propagation of Ayurveda on the earth. The sages desirous of long life and concerned about the well-being of creatures, visualised the six padartha to achieve life's goals. This is considered as the results of the first research developed on the basis of experiential knowledge of sages. [Cha.Sa.Sutra Sthana 1/28] Both Charaka Samhita and Vaisheshika philosophy describe these six padartha, but with alterations in the sequence. Charaka Samhita being a medical texts focuses more on the clinical aspect of the concept. Hence there is mention of samanya-vishesha before the dravya. Vaisheshika philosophy states dravya as the foremost padartha. [Cha.Sa.Sutra Sthana 1/29] As equilibrium of body components (dhatusamya) is considered as the ultimate aim of Ayurveda, samanyavishesha principles have been given immense importance amongst the six padartha. The six padartha namely dravya (material substances), guna (attributes), karma (action), samanya (similarities), vishesha (dissimilarities) and samavaya (inseparable concomitance) are the tools to achieve the equilibrium of body components (dhatusamya).
Padartha- a type of tantra yukti
Tantra yukti are tools to decipher and understand the texts. These are cannons of exposition meant for a deep understanding of concepts in the text. Padartha is described as one of the 36 types of tantra yukti. [Chakrapani on Cha.Sa.Siddhi Sthana 12/41-45] It is intended for any object or word's specific or technical meaning. [Cha.Sa.Siddhi Sthana 12/41-45] For instance, the meaning of Kashaya in the context of Ayurveda pharmacology is referred to as a type of rasa (taste) or a type of clothing worn by the student or five types of forms of medicines (panchavidha kashaya kalpana)
Padartha- Infinite and innumerable entity
There are innumerable padartha in the world having vast utility depending on their various action and application. [Su.Sa.Uttar Sthana 65/10] This imparts utility of every padartha or object in the universe for the purpose of therapeutics and application in daily practice.
Importance of concept of padartha
Padartha is primarily used to clinically and theoretically evaluate the application of any context of any concept according to Ayurveda.[Dalhana on Su.Sa.Kalpa Sthana 8/141-143] While describing the syntactical excellence (vakyaprashansa) [Cha.Sa.Vimana Sthana 8/55] criteria termed as adhigatapadartha (comprehensible and understandable term). The panchamahabhuta, medicinal plants (aushadhi dravya), components of ayu namely shareera (body), indriya (sense organs), sattva (mind), atma (soul), their properties, actions are all one or another form of padartha. Hence are immensely important in the prevention and treatment of diseases, according to Ayurveda. [Cha.Sa.Sutra Sthana 1/26]
Padartha as cause for all the actions
Padartha are causes (karana) for the occurrence of all the types of activities, especially equilibrium of components (dhatusamya) or the maintenance of health. [Cha.Sa.Sutra Sthana 1/53] These padartha are the basis on which the rationale of treatment of Ayurveda is executed and planned. Hence these are rightfully quoted as the cause of all the happenings in the universe. According to Ayurveda, it is the basis of cause-effect relationship (karya-karana bhava). [Cha.Sa.Sutra Sthana 1/137]
Padartha, according to western philosophy
According to the western philosophy, padartha can be understood as a category or mode of apprehension to know reality. Aristotle has rightly described the ten categories that are similar to the concept of padartha in Ayurveda. These can be enumerated as below:
|2||Quantitas||Quantity (parimana )|
|5||Ube||Place, Sthana (desha)|
1) Upadhyaya D., Dwivedi B.K. have described the clinical application of the shadapardatha with special reference to samanyavaada (theory of samanya padartha).
2) Vaibhav Dadu explained the interrelationship between Vaisheshika philosophy and six categories of padartha.
3) Dadu V.et.al. have conducted an extensive review of shadpadartha as mentioned in the Jalpakalpataru commentary of Gangadhar Roy.
5) Sonam Jain, Rani Singh in their article on the applied aspect of Karma in Ayurveda, have stated Karma as an important constituent amongst the Shad Padartha or Shat Karana and its application in understanding the basic concepts of Ayurveda.
6) In the article dealing with the importance of concept of disha in Ayurveda, Tanvi S et.al. have considered the disha amongst nine important causal elements (karana dravya) that have wide applicability in different fields of Ayurveda. The study of every padartha can be done using the methodology as depicted in the said review.
- K.V.L Narasimhacharyulu, Padartha Vijnana, Chapter 1, Padartha Lakshana, Sixth edition, 2015, Chaukhamba Krishnadas Academy, Varanasi.
- Basic principles of Ayurveda Padartha Vijnana, Yogesh Chandra Mishra, fore worded and edited by Jyotirmitra Acharya, Chapter 3, Pada and Padartha, Reprinted 2011, Chaukhamba Sanskrit Sansthan, Varanasi, Page no-57
- Substance.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/substance. Accessed 9 May. 2022.
- Monier-Williams Sanskrit Dictionary 1899 Basic [Internet]. [cited 2022 May 7]. Available from: https://www.sanskrit-lexicon.uni-koeln.de/scans/MWScan/2020/web/webtc/indexcaller.php
- Sushruta. Sushruta Samhita. Edited by Jadavaji Trikamji Aacharya. 8th ed. Varanasi: Chaukhambha Orientalia;2005.
- Dwibedy BK. Padarthavigyana. 3rd ed. Chouwkhambha Sanskrit series office, Varanasi; 2007, p. 26
- Ravidatta Tripathi, Padartha Vignyan, third chapter, Padartha Nirupana, third edition, reprinted 2015 Chaukhamba Sanskrit Pratishthana, Varanasi, Pg.No.30-42
- Srimadsankarbhasya commentary on Bhagvagita, edited by Vasudeva Laxmanshashtri Panshikara, Adhyaya 1, Nirnaya Sagar Press, Bombay, 1936 Page No. 6
- Bhavamisra, Bhavaprakasha, with commentary by Bulusu Sitaram, Prathama Khanda, Misra Prakarana, 6/169, Volume 1, reprinted 2015, Chaukhamba Orientalia, Varanasi, Page No. 117
- Harilal R Shivahare, Padartha Vignyana, Adhyaya 1, edited 2017, Chaukhamba Surabharati Prakashana, Varanasi, Page No.20
- Vaisheshika Darshana with Prasastapadabhasya of prasastadev acharya, with hindi commentary by Acharya Dhundjiraja Sastri, Prathamadhyaya, Shlok No. 4, Chaukhamba Sanskrit Sansthan Varanasi, reprinted 2016, Page No. 1
- Annambhatta, Tarkasangraha, edited by Satkarisarma vangiya, Pratyaksha Paricheda, Shloka No. 2 , reprinted 2011, Chaukhamba Sanskrit Sanstan, Varanasi, Page No.3
- Nyaya, Nyaya Darshana, edited by Ram Sharma Acharya, Shloka Number 1, edited 1963, Sanskrit Sansthan Barailey Page No. 25
- Ishwar Krishna, Sankhyakarika with Gaudapadabhashya, Shloka No.3, Edited 2019, Chaukahamba Surbharati Prakashana, Varanasi, Page No. 11-12
- Yogacharya Krushnaji Keshav, Kolhatkar, Bharatiya Manasshastra, Sarth and Saviviran, Patanjal, Yogadarshan. P. 383
- History of logic - Aristotle | Britannica [Internet]. [cited 2022 Mar 29]. Available from: https://www.britannica.com/topic/history-of-logic/Aristotle
- Upadhyay D, Dwibedy BK. A Review on Ayurvedic Practice Through Sadapadartha Theory. Int J Res Ayurveda Pharm. 2017 Jul 18;8(3):31–5.
- Dadu DV. Philosophical Tenets of Vaisheshika and theFundamentals of Ayurveda [Internet]. WJPR [cited 2022 Mar 25]; Available from: https://wjpr.net/abstract_show/4551
- Dadu V, Vyas HA, Kamble S, Baghel AS. A comprehensive review on the Shad Padartha (Six Categories) and their utility in Ayurveda with reference to Jalpakalpataru Commentary of KavirajaGangadhar Roy, High Technology Letters, 2020;26(7):7
- Archana I .et. al. Tenets of Vaisheshika philosophy in Ayurveda, International Journal of Ayurvedic Medicine, 2013, 4(4), 245-251
- Sonam J, Archana S, The applied aspect of Karma in Ayurveda, International Journal of Research and Analytical Reviews, Volume 5, Issue 04, Page No. 998-1006
- Tanvi S et.al. A Review On Concept of Disha and Its Importance in Ayurveda, world journal of pharmaceutical and medical research, 2018,4(12), 122-125