Adhishthana, Adhiṣṭhāna: 10 definitions


Adhishthana means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, the history of ancient India, Marathi. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

The Sanskrit term Adhiṣṭhāna can be transliterated into English as Adhisthana or Adhishthana, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Shilpashastra (iconography)

Source: Wisdom Library: Śilpa-śāstra

1) Adhiṣṭhāna (अधिष्ठान) refers to a “plinth”, “pedestal” or “molded base”.

2) Adhiṣṭhāna can also refer to an “object on which something stands”. According to the Mayamata, an adhiṣṭhāna may be optionally provided with an upapīṭha (sub-structure), but according to the Pādmasaṃhitā this is mandatory.

According to the Mayamata, Adhiṣṭhāna has the following synonyms: Masūraka, Vāstvādhāra, Kuttima, Tala; while the Kāmikāgama extends this lists with: Dharātala, Ādhāra, Dharaṇi, Bhuvana, Pṛthvī, Bhūmi and Ādyaṅga.

3) Adhiṣṭhāna (‘plinth’) represents a part of the trivarga structure, where it is also known as upāna.

Shilpashastra book cover
context information

Shilpashastra (शिल्पशास्त्र, śilpaśāstra) represents the ancient Indian science (shastra) of creative arts (shilpa) such as sculpture, iconography and painting. Closely related to Vastushastra (architecture), they often share the same literature.

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Vastushastra (architecture)

Source: Wisdom Library: Vāstu-śāstra

Adhiṣṭhāna (अधिष्ठान) refers to the “plinth” or “base” of a temple (prāsāda or vimāna). It is considered the first part in the ṣaḍvarga structure.

Source: Shodhganga: Development of temple architecture in Southern Karnataka

The term adhiṣṭhāna is derived from the Sanskrit root ‘adhiṣṭha’ meaning ‘to stand upon’. As such, etymologically, adhiṣṭhāna denotes an object on which something stands.

The main mouldings of the adhiṣṭhāna are:

  1. upāna,
  2. jagati,
  3. kumuda,
  4. gala,
  5. kapota or paṭṭikā or both,
  6. prati.

Kāśyapaśilpa mentions only five major mouldings for the adhiṣṭāna. They are the upāna, jagati, kumuda, kampa (paṭṭi) and paṭṭikā. This is called as the pañcavarga. It is also mentioned that, those adhiṣṭānas which have the pañcavarga are the best adhiṣṭānas.

Vastushastra book cover
context information

Vastushastra (वास्तुशास्त्र, vāstuśāstra) refers to the ancient Indian science (shastra) of architecture (vastu), dealing with topics such architecture, sculpture, town-building, fort building and various other constructions. Vastu also deals with the philosophy of the architectural relation with the cosmic universe.

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In Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Source: WikiPedia: Tibetan Buddhism

The Sanskrit term adhiṣṭhāna is the name for initiations or blessings in Vajrayāna Buddhism. In Tibetan Buddhism adhiṣṭhāna blessings are an important part of the pointing-out instruction received from the Guru and lineage. Receiving these blessings is dependent on the student having proper motivation, aspiration and intentionality (bodhicitta) and sufficient “devotion” (Sanskrit: bhakti).

The term adhiṣṭhāna is also used to describe the transformative power of the Buddha. According to D. T. Suzuki: “The Buddha is creative life itself, he creates himself in innumerable forms with all the means native to him. This is called his adhiṣṭhāna, as it were, emanating from his personality.”

Tibetan Buddhism book cover
context information

Tibetan Buddhism includes schools such as Nyingma, Kadampa, Kagyu and Gelug. Their primary canon of literature is divided in two broad categories: The Kangyur, which consists of Buddha’s words, and the Tengyur, which includes commentaries from various sources. Esotericism and tantra techniques (vajrayāna) are collected indepently.

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India history and geogprahy

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary

Adhisthāna.—(CII 1), cf. dharm-ādhisthāna, dharm- ādhiṣṭhāna, ‘the establishment of morality’. Note: adhisthāna is defined in the “Indian epigraphical glossary” as it can be found on ancient inscriptions commonly written in Sanskrit, Prakrit or Dravidian languages.

See also (synonyms): Adhiṣṭhāna.

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Adhiṣṭhāna.—(IE 8-3; EI 24, 28, 31; LL), the capital or headquarters of an administrative unit; a city or town; the chief city. See abhisthāna. (EI 9), probably, residence. (EI 8), same as sthāna. (EI 24), cf. adhiṣṭhānam, ‘under the supervision of’. (SITI), the base of the vimāna in a temple; a seat. Note: adhiṣṭhāna is defined in the “Indian epigraphical glossary” as it can be found on ancient inscriptions commonly written in Sanskrit, Prakrit or Dravidian languages.

India history book cover
context information

The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as royal dynasties, rulers, tribes, local festivities and traditions and regional languages. Ancient India enjoyed religious freedom and encourages the path of Dharma, a concept common to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

[«previous (A) next»] — Adhishthana in Marathi glossary
Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

adhiṣṭhāna (अधिष्ठान).—n (S) Abiding, residing, or staying in: inhering, lying, or being in. 2 The place, seat, subject &c. of indwelling. 3 fig. Sitting in restraint at a person's door;--in order to enforce compliance with some demand. 4 Ostentatious display (of piety or sanctity, of learning, opulence &c.)

Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English

adhiṣṭhāna (अधिष्ठान).—n Abiding, inhering.

context information

Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.

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Sanskrit-English dictionary

[«previous (A) next»] — Adhishthana in Sanskrit glossary
Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Adhiṣṭhāna (अधिष्ठान).—[adhi-sthā-lyuṭ]

1) Standing or being near, being at hand, approach (sannidhi); अत्राधिष्ठानं कुरु (atrādhiṣṭhānaṃ kuru) take a seat here.

2) Resting upon, occupying, inhabiting, dwelling in, locating oneself in; प्राणाधिष्ठानं देहस्य (prāṇādhiṣṭhānaṃ dehasya) &c.

3) A position, site, basis, seat; त्र्यधिष्ठानस्य देहिनः (tryadhiṣṭhānasya dehinaḥ) Ms.12.4; इन्द्रियाणि मनो बुद्धिरस्याधिष्ठानमुच्यते (indriyāṇi mano buddhirasyādhiṣṭhānamucyate) Bg.3.4, 18.14 the seat (of that desire.)

4) Residence, abode; नगरं राजाधिष्ठानम् (nagaraṃ rājādhiṣṭhānam) Pt.1.; so धर्म° (dharma°); a place, locality, town; सर्वाविनयाधिष्ठानतां गच्छन्ति (sarvāvinayādhiṣṭhānatāṃ gacchanti) K.16; कस्मिंश्चिदधिष्ठाने (kasmiṃścidadhiṣṭhāne) in a certain place.

5) Authority, power, power of control, presiding over; अनधिष्ठानम् (anadhiṣṭhānam) H.3.83. lose of position, dimissal from a post (of authority); समर्थस्त्वमिमं जेतुमधिष्ठानपराक्रमैः (samarthastvamimaṃ jetumadhiṣṭhānaparākramaiḥ) Rām.; ययेह अश्वैर्युक्तो रथः सार- थिनाऽधिष्ठितः प्रवर्तते तथा आत्माधिष्ठानाच्छरीरम् (yayeha aśvairyukto rathaḥ sāra- thinā'dhiṣṭhitaḥ pravartate tathā ātmādhiṣṭhānāccharīram) Gaudapāda; महाश्वेताकृताच्च सत्याधिष्ठानात् (mahāśvetākṛtācca satyādhiṣṭhānāt) K.346 appeal or reference to truth.

6) Government, dominion.

7) A wheel (of a car &c.) अधिष्ठानं मनश्चासीत्परिरथ्या सरस्वती (adhiṣṭhānaṃ manaścāsītparirathyā sarasvatī) Mb.8.34.34; 5.178.74.

8) A precedent, prescribed rule.

9) A benediction. cf. अधिष्ठानं चक्रपुरप्रभावाध्यासनेष्वपि (adhiṣṭhānaṃ cakrapuraprabhāvādhyāsaneṣvapi) | Nm.

1) Destruction (?); अमित्राणामधिष्ठानाद्वधाद् दुर्योधनस्य च । भीम दिष्ट्या पृथिव्यां ते प्रथितं सुमहद्यशः (amitrāṇāmadhiṣṭhānādvadhād duryodhanasya ca | bhīma diṣṭyā pṛthivyāṃ te prathitaṃ sumahadyaśaḥ) || Mb.9.61.14.

11) Couch, seat, bed; साधिष्ठानानि सर्वशः (sādhiṣṭhānāni sarvaśaḥ) Rām.6.75.19.

12) A butt (for an allurement.) तस्माद् ब्राह्ममधिष्ठानं कृत्वा कार्ये चतुर्विधे (tasmād brāhmamadhiṣṭhānaṃ kṛtvā kārye caturvidhe) | Kau. A.1.1.

Derivable forms: adhiṣṭhānam (अधिष्ठानम्).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary

Adhiṣṭhāna (अधिष्ठान).—(regularly) nt. (= Pali adhiṭṭhāna; see 6 below for forms of other genders; from adhitiṣṭhati, q.v.), (1) basis, as in Sanskrit (BR s.v. 1); special usage, SP 405.8—9 (a Buddha of old preached the SP at length) Sarvasattvapriyadarśanaṃ bodhisattvaṃ…adhiṣṭhānaṃ kṛtvā, making (his disciple) the Bodhisattva S. the basis, i.e. with special regard to him, or for his special benefit; (2) (mental) firm basis = determination, resolve, resolution, vow, = Pali (cetaso) adhiṭṭhāna (see CPD); rare in BHS: (a Bodhisattva is about to burn his body to honor the SP and the Buddha who revealed it to him; having purified, adorned, and scented his body) svakam adhiṣṭhānam akarot SP 407.6, he made his resolution, firm mental determination; followed by svakam adhiṣṭhānaṃ kṛtvā svaṃ kāyaṃ prajvālayām āsa; buddhān bhagavataḥ sākṣiṇaḥ kṛtvā teṣāṃ purataḥ satyādhiṣṭhānaṃ (q.v.) karomi: yena satyena etc., SP 413.7—8,…I make a truthful resolve… and he proceeds with an ‘act of truth’, see satyavacana; (?) LV 423.5-6 akṣaṇasattvavinayādhiṣṭhānāpratyudāvar- tyacakraṃ (said of the dharmacakra; text °dhiṣṭhāna- praty°, but see s.v. apratyudāvartya), wheel that cannot be turned back because of (the Buddha's) fixed determination to discipline creatures that are subject to bad births (? or possibly because of the Buddha's supernatural power to discipline etc.; otherwise, implausibly, Foucaux); here perhaps also the ‘four adhisthāna’ (firm resolves?) of Mvy 1580—84 (satya-, tyāga-, upasama-, prajñā-) = Pali four [Page016-a+ 71] adhiṭṭhāna, DN iii.229.18 (paññā-, sacca-, cāga-, upasama-); (3) in Sanskrit (BR s.v. 2) mastery, power; in BHS control, e.g. of a monk's own robes (compare adhitiṣṭhati 1), MSV ii.91.12 tricīvarādhiṣṭhānena; oftener supernatural, magic power: puṇyavipākādhiṣṭhānādhiṣṭhitās LV 48.21 (Apsa- rases) empowered (controlled) by the power of the ripening of merit (which enables them to disappear from their heavenly home and appear in Kapilavastu); -devatādhiṣṭhānāt LV 381.12, by the magic power of the…deity (the merchants' wagons were stopped and could not be moved); usually a Buddha's or Bodhisattva's; it may be his supernatural control over his own destiny, SP 64.13, where bodhisattvā- dhiṣṭhānena goes closely with tat paurvakaṃ caryāpraṇi- dhānam, see s.v. saṃmantrita; but it is usually control over another person, a Bodhisattva or disciple: Maitreyasya bodhisattvasyādhiṣṭhānabalena sarveṣu teṣu kūṭāgāreṣv abhyantarapraviṣṭam ātmānaṃ saṃjānīte sma, Gv 512.13- 14, by the force of the supernatural power of Maitreya (Sudhana) fancied that he had entered into each one of those palaces; buddhānāṃ…adhiṣṭhānena LV 163.9—10 (text adhisthān°; when the women were making music for the Bodhisattva) by the supernatural power of the Buddhas verses of exhortation to him came forth (in 163.14 āveśa, q.v., or v.l. ādeśa, replaces adhi°); similarly 182.3; adhi- ṣṭhānena buddhānām anubhāvād (another near-synonym) vikurvitaiḥ Samādh 22.19 (the body of the Buddha can be seen); other like cases Laṅk 2.10; LV 31.3, 6; 237.18; 368.12; in 415.16, the dharmacakra is sarvabuddhādhiṣ- ṭhānāvilopitam, unbroken thru the supernatural power (influence) of all the Buddhas; for Laṅk 100.6 and Mmk 56.24 see s.v. adhitiṣṭhati (2); etaṃ…samādhiṃ samā- pannasyādhiṣṭhānam: lokadhātuvijñaptiṣu adhiṣṭhānam, etc., long series of locs. each with adhi° repeated, stating the spheres of the mastery obtained, Gv 98.15 ff.; mamā- dhiṣṭhānabalādhānam SP 316.1, my assumption of the force of supernatural (magic) power (here causes people to believe that the earthly life of Śākyamuni, which was unreal, is real); but the corresponding verse, 323.13, has adhiṣṭha- hāmi in the sense of I make appear by magic (see adhitiṣ- ṭhati 3), and possibly adhiṣṭhāna may be concrete here (and in sadādhiṣṭhānaṃ mama etad īdṛśaṃ SP 324.11, resuming the same subject), exhibition of supernatural (magic) power = magical appearance or transformation; this latter is certainly the meaning in LV 379.3, see adhitiṣṭhati (3), and perhaps in Prabhūtaratnasya tathāgatasya…etad adhiṣṭhānam abhūt SP 241.8, this was the adhiṣṭhāna of the Tathāgata P. (there follows a quotation of his words: Let this stūpa of my remains appear whenever the SP is preached). Does this adhiṣṭhāna mean this exhibition of supernatural power, viz, the making of the stūpa to appear? Or is it this fixed determination, resolution (2, above)? Near synonyms are āveśa, (Sanskrit) anubhāva, adhimukti; compare also Laṅk 292.13 and 15, where one of the sources of abhijñā is ‘from adhiṣṭhāna’ (adhiṣṭhānān, so read in 13 for text °nāṃ, abl., before n-), which means from the controlling power of the Buddhas and is paraphrased in 15 by buddhaprasādataḥ, from the grace of the Buddhas. Suzuki, Transl. of Laṅk passim, renders sustaining power; I think rather controlling power. Even Bodhisattvas are at times dependent on Buddhas and need their control; (4) in architecture, Sanskrit (see Acharya, Dict. Hindu Arch. s.v.), basement, foundation of building or base of a pillar. Here in Mvy 5591 = Tibetan lan kan gyi rten ma, prop (i.e. base) of a railing; so Chin. Whatever it means here is certainly meant also in Divy 221.9, 10 adhiṣṭhānam, and Mv i.195.1 ff.; iii.227.8 ff., adhiṣṭhānakam, where the context is the same as in Mvy 5591; see sūcī, sūcikā; (5) see pādādhiṣṭhāna; (6) m., n. of a (mythical) samādhi: Gv 451.26. In this curious passage, 451.25—452.6, the word adhiṣṭhāna is further used predicatively in a series of equational sentences, varying in gender like an adjective [Page016-b+ 71] with different subjects. Bhadrottamā says to Sudhana: ahaṃ kulaputrā 'nālayamaṇḍalaṃ nāma dharmaparyāyaṃ jānāmi deśayāmy, adhiṣṭhānaś ca me samādhiḥ pratilab- dho; na tatra samādhau kasyacid dharmasyā 'dhiṣṭhānam; adhiṣṭhānaṃ tatra sarvajñatācakṣuḥ pravartate, 'dhiṣṭhā- naṃ sarvajñatāśrotram, adhiṣṭhānaṃ sarvajñatāghrāṇam, adhiṣṭhānā sarvajñatājihvā, 'dhiṣṭhānaḥ sarvajñatākāyo, 'dhiṣṭhānaṃ tatra sarvajñatāmanaḥ pravartate, 'dhiṣṭhānā sarvajñatormir, adhiṣṭhānā sarvajñatāvidyud, adhiṣṭhānāḥ sarvajñatāvegāḥ pravartante jagadrocanāmaṇḍalāḥ; etam ahaṃ kulaputrā 'nālayamaṇḍalaṃ dharmaparyāyaṃ jā- nāmi.(Punctuation introduced by me.) There is no further light from the context. I am not sure what meaning the author attributed to the word adhiṣṭhāna: presumably something like either basis or controlling power.

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Adhisthāna (अधिस्थान).—[ is read for adhiṣṭhāna, q.v., in LV 163.10 (acc. to Lefm. with all mss.) and 182.3 (here v.l. -ṣṭh-).]

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Adhiṣṭhāna (अधिष्ठान).—n.

(-naṃ) 1. Abiding, resting; 2. Site, situation. 3. Prescribed rule, fixed practice. 5. A town. 6. A wheel. 7. Dignity. E. adhi, sthā to stand, and lyuṭ aff.

context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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