By Swami Harshananda
Ādhāra literally means ‘support’.
One of the questions discussed frequently in metaphysical works is the relationship between God, the creator and the created world. It is a general view that God creates the world, sustains and supports it and dissolves it at the end of the cycle of creation. The created world cannot exist unless it is supported and sustained by him. He is thus, the ādhāra, the ground and the support, of this world. The world itself is ādheya, ‘that which is not supported’. The relationship that exists between them is called ‘ādhara-ādheya-bhāva.’ The relationship between the ground and a jar kept on the ground gives us some idea of this ‘ādhāra-ādheya-bhāva.’
In the works on yoga, the word is used to indicate certain centers in the body like the navel, the heart or the middle of the eyebrows which act as a support to prāṇa (life-force).
In Sanskrit grammar the word is used to indicate the sense of the locative case.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore