From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Prakāra literally means ‘mode’.

This is a technical term used in some philosophical works of Nyāya[1] and Mīmānsā.[2] A prakāra is that which distinguishes something from the common group. For instance, dravya or a substance is stated to be of nine types. Pṛthvi,[3] one of them is a prakāra or mode of that dravya. In the phrase ‘daṇḍavān puruṣah’[4] daṇḍa or stick is the prakāra or mode that distinguishes him from others. Implication and similarity are other senses in which the word is used.


  1. Nyāya means logic.
  2. Mīmānsā means Vedic ritualism.
  3. Pṛthvi means earth.
  4. Daṇḍavān puruṣah means the person with the stick.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore