Shastra Rachana Paddhati (शास्त्ररचनापद्धतिः)

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Samskrit literature abounds with hundreds of treatises pertaining to ancient Bharatiya Vijnana shastras of which more than half a dozen books provide us the information detailing how a scientific or methodical structure of a shastra is composed. Every shastra, irrespective of its subject matter, has been built using the principles of methodology of those shastra compositions, of which the teachers and students, the critics who expounded theoretical works on subjects, were required to be familiar with.

परिचयः|| Introduction

A number of devices relating to words, structures and meanings related to the composition of a shastra are described in authoritative and famous texts as given below,

  • Vishnudharmottara Purana, contains discussions on sundry topics like poetics, arts, sculpture
  • Panini Maharshi's Ashtadhyayi, a world famous grammar treatise
  • Kautilya's Arthashastra, a work on polity and statecraft
  • Charaka Samhita, greatest extant work on Ayurveda
  • Sushruta Samhita, a renowned work on surgery
  • Vagbhata's Ashtangasangraha and Ashtangahrdayam, books on Ayurveda
  • Neelamegha's Tantrayuktivichara, a medical treatise

All these works, belonging to divergent disciplines, portray the depth of Indian thinkers, who looked at the scientific treatises from all possible angles, critically examined the various conceptual aspects of the scientific works along without neglecting the subtle aspects. The lesser known fact is that these great Indian thinkers after a thorough research, in-depth comprehensive study of the shastras available to them, formulated a methodology for building scientific theories having 95 constituents, namely

  • तन्त्रयुक्तयः (tantrayuktayaḥ) ॥ 36 Tantrayuktis
  • व्याख्यानि (vyākhyāni) ॥ 15 Vyakhyas
  • कल्पनाः (kalpanāḥ) ॥ 7 Kalpanas
  • आश्रयानि (āśrayāni)॥ 20 Ashrayas
  • ताच्छील्यानि (tācchīlyāni)॥ 17 Taatchilyas

A brief introduction of the above given various elements of writing and presentation of shastras will be undertaken in this topic.[1]


Tantrayukti (तन्त्रयुक्तिः), an uncommonly used word, refers to the methodical elements and devices (Yuktis) of Tantra (theory) that are involved into making of a theory, the structural aspects as well as the interpretation. There are about 36 such generally accepted tantrayuktis, though different texts propose a varying numbers of such yuktis ranging between 32 to 41.[1][2]

Again a word of wide import, Tantra used as a synonym for Shastra (in this context means theory) is that which holds the various aspects of a subject, into which are interwoven different thoughts, objectives, observations and proposals covering the vast expanse of the subject


  1. 1.0 1.1 W. K. Lele (2006) Methodology of Ancient Indian Sciences Varanasi : Chaukhamba Surbharati Prakashan
  2. Singh, Anuradha (2003) Tantra Yukti Method of Theorization in Ayurveda, Ancient Science of Life, Vol : XXII(3) January 2003 Pages 64-74