Padartha Lakshana: Meaning, Derivation Of Padartha

By Prof. Vd. Rangaprasad Bhat
The word Padartha can be divided into two.
Pada – word
Artha – meaning.
So, the comprehensive meaning that a word carries is called Padartha.
The logic scientific system to understand the meaning of words and sentences is known as Padartha Vijnana.

  1. “The one, which is being denoted or being spoken of (abhidhEyatva) is the general characteristic of padArtha”. – Tarka dIpikA.
  2. “The knowledge gained through proof (pramiti) about a substance, is padArtha”. – SaptapadArthI.
  3. “The explanation of a word depicting its meaning is padArth”. – TAtparyaTIkA.
  4. “The one that which denotes the meaning of a word or a phrase or a line of verse is referred as padArtha.” – Sushruta uttaratantra

Example of Padartha – 
By the word “pot” a spherical vessel which can hold water, is understood

Importance of knowing Padarta:
Ayurvedic text books are written thousands of years ago. While understanding those complex matters explained in poetic Sanskrit, it is very important to know the context of each verse, what they actually mean.

Sometimes, without knowing the context, if a line is read, it may give very wrong meaning.
For example, the word Rasa may mean taste at some context, it may mean mercury in other.

So, to understand true knowledge of words, study of Padarth or padartha Vigyan is very important.

All the padartha should possess 3 common principles.
1. Abhideyatva – they should have a name. Eg: a pot has a name.
2. Astitva – they should be present. Eg: A pot is present
3. Jneyatva / Gyeyatva – knowability. They should be have explorable knowledge hidden in them.  Eg: Pot has a function, its own colour, material it is made of etc knowledge in it.

Ayurveda explains six types of Padartha: 
1. Dravya – matter
2. Guna – qualities
3. Karma – functions
4. Samanya – Similarity / generality / aggravating factor
5. Vishesha – dissimilarity / particularity / depleting factor
6. Samavaya – co-existence.

The above six are also called Bhava Padartha. – existing substance / entitites.
There is another concept of Abhava Padartha. – Non existence. It is categorized as –

1. Prak Abhava / Pragabhava – absence before existence. Eg: absence of curd, while milk is present.
2. Pradhwamsa Abhava – absence after destruction. Eg: absence of milk, after it is curdled.
3. Atyanta Abhava – absence forever.
4. Anyonya Abhava – absence due to presence of other object. Eg: In a cup, absence of air, due to the presence of water in it.

Prof.Vd.A.Rangaprasad Bhat
Padmanilayam”, (Ayurveda & Non Conventional Marma Chikitsa Clinic) 49/46, Kanagaraya Malaiyappan St, Raja Annamalaipuram, Mandavelipakkam, Chennai- 600028.

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