Sushruta Samhita, Volume 6: Uttara-tantra

by Kaviraj Kunja Lal Bhishagratna | 1916 | 113,078 words

This current book, the Uttara-tantra (english translation) is the supplementary part of the Sushrutasamhita and deals various subjects such as diseases of the eye, treatment of fever, diarrhea, diseases resulting from superhuman influences, insanity, rules of health etc. The Sushruta Samhita is the most representative work of the Hindu system of m...

Chapter LXV - The Technical terms used in the treatise

Now we shall discourse on the chapter which deals with the technical terms used in this treatise (Tantra-Yukti-Nama-Adhyaya). 1.

Names of the technical terms:—

There are thirty-two technical terms in this Treatise. They are—

  1. Adhikarana,
  2. Yoga,
  3. Padartha,
  4. Hetvartha,
  5. Uddesha,
  6. Nirdesha,
  7. Upadesha,
  8. Apadesha,
  9. Pradesha,
  10. Atidesha,
  11. Apavarga,
  12. Vakya-shesha,
  13. Arthapatti,
  14. Viparyaya,
  15. Prasanga,
  16. Ekanta,
  17. Anekanta,
  18. Purva-paksha,
  19. Nirnaya,
  20. Anumata,
  21. Vidhana,
  22. Anagata-vekshana,
  23. Atikranta-vekshana,
  24. Samshaya,
  25. Vyakhyana,
  26. Sva-samjna,
  27. Nirvacana,
  28. Nidarshana,
  29. Niyoga,
  30. Samuccaya,
  31. Vikalpa,
  32. and Uhya. 2.


What is the necessity of the use of these technical terms (Tantra-Yukti)? The answer is—For connecting words together, i.e., making up sentences and giving a sense or meaning to them. 3.

Memorable verses:—

By the use of technical terms in a scientific treatise the points of argument of the opposite party are frustrated and the points of one’s own argument are established. The meanings of the words, whether clearly used or not, whether direct or indirect, or partially used, if there is any such, in the treatise are also made distinct (by the use of the technical terms). Just as the sun shows a cluster of lotus and a lighted lamp (the inside of) a room at their best, so the technical terms used in a treatise clearly show i.e., explain the intended meaning. 4.

Of these terms Adhikarana is the subject about which something is spoken of. For example—on (the subject of) Rasa or on (the subject of) Dosha. 5.

The term “Yoga” is the union of words or sentences together. For example—an oil duly cooked with Amrita-valli, Nimba, Himsra, Abhaya, Vrikshaka, Pippali, the two kinds of Bala and with Deva-daru should be prescribed for drinking as being efficacious in all cases of Gala-ganda. Here the main idea is ‘Siddham pivet’ i. e. should be cooked and taken internally; but the word ‘Siddham’ is used in the first half of the second hemistich, far away from the word ‘Pivet’ in the sentence. This combining together of the different words, however distant in a sentence, is called a Yoga. 6.

The term “Padartha” is the meaning implied by a word or an aphorism (i.e. a sentence). Padarthas are innumerable. For example—Sneha, Sveda, or Anjana, when used in a sentence, would each imply two or three meanings; but only one meaning which tallies with the use of the previous or subsequent word (in the text) should be understood in each case. Thus, in the sentence “Vedotpattim Vyakhya syamah” i.e. we shall discourse on the origin of the ‘Veda’, the use of the word “Veda” would put the hearer at a loss to understand which of the Vedas is going to be discoursed on, for there are several Vedas, vis, Rigveda, etc. But when we try to understand the expression in connection with the previous or subsequent use of the expression—for the root ‘vid’ may mean either ‘Vicharana’ (discussion) or ‘Vindati’ (to get)—we can afterwards come to the conclusion that the subject to be discoursed upon is the origin of Ayurveda. This is what is meant by the term Padartha. 7.

Hetvartha is the meaning indirectly implied by a word. For example—as earth is moistened by water, so an ulcer is moistened (and consequently secretes) by (the taking of) Masha- pulse, milk, etc. 8.

Uddesha is the statement in brief. For example—Shalya (ordinarily any foreign matter but secondarily implying any obstructing matter in the body). 9.

Nirdesha is the statement in detail. For example—“Salya” is of two kinds “Sharira” (idiopathic) and “Agantu” (traumatic). 10.

Upadesha is an instruction for the doing of a thing in a particular way. For example—one should not sit up at night and one should give up sleep at the day time. 11.

Apadesha is the statement of reason. For example—it has been specified that Sleshma is increased by the use of the articles of sweet taste. 12.

Pradesha is the determination of a present action from past events. For example—Devadatta’s Salya has been extracted by this person, hence Yajnadatta’s Shalya will also be extracted by him. 13.

Atidesha is the determination of some future event from some present event. For example—one’s bodily Vayu courses upwards by such and such an action, hence one may get (an attack of Vataja) Udavarta by such an action. 14.

Apavarga is the extraction—i.e., exception of (something) from something more comprehensive or extended, that is to say, it is an exception to the general rule. For example—fomentation should not be applied to persons suffering from the effects of poisoning excepting those suffering from insect-poison. 15,

Vakya-shesha is the word the absence of the use of which does not make the sentence incomplete. For example—when we say of the head, the hands, the legs, the sides, the back, the abdomen (Udara) and the chest” it becomes evident that these (parts) of a ‘person’ are intended. 16.

Arthapatti (presumption) is the term used when the sense (of a sentence), though not specifically mentioned, can yet be indirectly presumed or deduced. For example[1]—when one says to another ‘this rice (solid food) can be taken,’ it becomes evident that he is not willing to drink a (liquid) Yavagu or gruel. 17.

Viparyaya (reverse) is the term used when, the words used (in a sentence) convey quite a different or opposite sense. For example,—when it is said that ‘emaciated, weak and frightened persons are very difficult to be medically treated’, the opposite sense becomes evident, viz., that strong, and such-like persons are very easy to be medically treated. 18.

Prasanga (connected reasoning) is the term used when a different subject is introduced at the end. It is also the term used when the same sense is repeated in different words in different places (in the same topic). For example—it is said in the chapter on Vedotpatti (Chapter I, Sutra-Sthana) that “Purusha” (living organism) is the sum-total of the “Maha-bhutas” (or the five primary elements—viz., earth, water, fire, air and ether) and the Shariri (or the soul), that medical treatment should be made of him (Purusha) and that he is the subject matter of every action); and it has been repeated in the chapter on Bhuta-vidya (demonology) that the Purusha has therefore been said to be the combination of the five Maha-bhutas and the soul and that he is the subject-matter of all sorts of medical treatment. 19.

Ekanta is the term used to denote a thing which is certain in every case. For example Trivrit causes purgation, and Madana -fruit produces vomiting. 20.

Anekanta is the term used to denote certainty in some cases and uncertainty in some other cases. For example—many authorities hold that ‘Dravya’ or the thing itself is the principal factor, some hold the Rasa’ or taste (in a thing) to be the principal factor, some again hold the “Viryya” or potency to be the principal factor and others hold “Vipaka” or digestive reaction to be the principal factor. 21.

Purva-paksha is (the putting of) a question with an apparent objection. For example—(the question why are the four kinds of Vataja-Prameha incurable. 22.

Nirnaya is the reply to a Purva-paksha or question. For example—the (bodily) Vayu affects i. e. spreads over the (whole) body and then forces the urine through (the passage with the (vitiated bodily) Vasa (grease), Medas (fat) and Majjan (marrow). The Vataja cases (of Prameha) are, therefore, incurable. As has been said—the (bodily) Vayu affects i e. spreads over the whole body and coming in contact u ith the (bodily) Medas (fat), Majjan (marrow) and Vasa (grease) becomes vitiated and courses downward. The Vataja cases (of Prameha) are, therefore, incurable. 23.

Anumata is the term used when an opinion of another is (quoted but) not refuted. For example—some authorities hold that there are seven Rasas or tastes. (Now, as this is not refuted it is said to be Anumata or sanctioned by the author). 24.

Vidhana is the act of mentioning, at the beginning, the fact to be established. For example—the vulnerable or vital parts (Marmans) in the thigh are eleven in number, and this has already been stated to be established. 25.

Anagatavekshaua is the term u-ed when something in the future is referred to in such terms as ‘this will be dealt with hereafter’. For example—it can be said in the Sutra-sthana ‘it will be dealt with in the Chikitsita-sthana’. 26.

Atikrantavekshana is the term used when something in the past is referred to. For example—it can be said in the Chikitsita-sthana ‘it has already been said in the Sutra-sthana’. 27.

Samshaya is the term used when examples of two opposite and dissimilar subjects are cited. For example—hurt to the Tala-Hridaya (Marmans in the hands and legs) is fatal; amputation of the hand and of the leg is not fatal. 28.

Vyakhyana is the description or explanation of the details. For example—Purusha as the twenty-fifth factor has been dealt with in this book. While only the twenty-four factors constituting this body have been dealt with in other works 29.

Sva-samjna denotes the specific terms specially used in any work and not in common with any other work. For example-the term ‘Mithuna’ (in medical works) means the two things, viz., honey and clarified butter. 30.

Udaharana[2] is the example of what is well-established or well-known in the world. For example—cooling measures should be had recourse to to guard against warmth. 31.

Nirvacana is the derivation of a term. For example—Ayus (life) is the subject-matter of this work, and a man gets (the means of) Ayus (longevity) from this work and hence it is called Ayurveda. 32.

Nidarshana is the term used when the meaning (of a word or sentence) is supported by examples. For example—just as the (digestive) fire in the Koshtha (abdomen) increases in contact with (the local bodily) Vayu, so also an ulcer increases when assisted by the (bodily) Vayu, Pitta and Kapha. 33.

Niyoga is the enjoining of something to be done as a duty. For example—only what is beneficial (Pathya) should be taken. 34.

Samuccaya is the joining (of two or more connected but independent ideas) as such and such. For example—in the group of flesh, (those of) Ena and Harina (two kinds of deer), Lava and Tittira (two kinds of birds) and Saranga (spotted deer) are the principal ones. 35.

Vikalpa is the term used when something is said to be this or that, i. e., when alternatives are used. For example—either meat-soup or Yavagu (gruel) cooked with clarified butter (should be used in such and such a case). 36.

Uhya is the term used when something more can be understood by an intelligent man, though not definitely used. For example—it has been said in the chapter on Anna-pana-vidhi (Chapter XLVI, Sutra-Sthana) that Anna (food) is of four kinds, vis.,

  1. Bhakshya a (masticable) or the solid food that has to be bitten with the teeth before eating,
  2. Bhojya (edible) or the solid food proper i. e., which has not to be bitten with the teeth,
  3. Lehya (lambative) or the semi-liquid food that has to be licked like an electuary,
  4. and Peya (drink) or the liquid food proper that has to be drunk;

but of these four kinds, two kinds only (viz., Anna and Paniya) have been mentioned (in naming the chapter). Here it is (said that the other two kinds) are) understood. For, when only two arc mentioned in respect of food and drink, the inclusion of all the four therein is easily comprehended. And why? Because the term ‘Bhakshya’ is included in the term ‘Anna’—both being of the same kind, viz., solid food; and the term ‘Lehya’ is included in the term ‘Peya’—both being of the same kind, viz, liquid. And the articles of food, though they are really of four kinds, are usually spoken of in the common language as being of two kinds only (viz., solid and liquid). 37.

Here have been fully described by me the thirty-two technical terms for the investigation into the essence of this Tantra (work). The intelligent man who is fully conversant with these technical terms—which work like lights, as it were,—is to be regarded as the greatest physician and to be held in great esteem.—This is what the Sage Dhanvantari says. 38.


Thus ends the sixty-fifth chapter of the Uttara-Tantra in the Sushruta-Samhita which deals with the technical terms used in this work

Footnotes and references:


The common example of an Arthāpatti (presumption) in Sanskrit philosophy is ‘Pino Devadatto divā na bhumkte,’ (i.e., Fat Devadatta does not eat at day-time), from which it is evident that he certainly eats at night, otherwise he could not have become fat.


Udāharana has been recognised here as a technical term. But it should not have been recognised as such, since it has not been included in the list (see para 2). Had it been so, the number would have been 33 and not 32. Dallana prefers to regard the portion “yathoṣṇabhayāt” etc. as an interpolation and adding a “va” after the sentence “loke prathitamudāharaṇam” takes if in continuation of the example of “khasaṃjñā” in the previous para. His meaning is that the word “mithuna” being not found in the sense referred to in para. 30, the reader is asked to find out a popular example.

Let's grow together!

I humbly request your help to keep doing what I do best: provide the world with unbiased sources, definitions and images. Your donation direclty influences the quality and quantity of knowledge, wisdom and spiritual insight the world is exposed to.

Let's make the world a better place together!

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: