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By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Adhikarana, AdhikaraNa, Adhikarana

Adhikaraa literally means ‘ground or support’.

The word is generally used in the sense of a base, ground or support. For instance, in the phrase: ‘This is a blue lotus with a sweet smell,’ the lotus flower forms the ‘adhikaraṇa’ for the blue color and the sweet smell.

In the Mimāmsā philosophy, it is used as a technical term and indicates the section of a work dealing with a particular topic. It consists of five parts :

  • Viṣaya - subject of discussion
  • Viśaya or sarnśaya - doubt
  • Pṅrvapakṣa - prima facie view
  • Uttara - Answer
  • Siddhānta or Nirṇaya - final conclusion


  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore