Tantrayukti (तन्त्रयुक्तिः)

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Tantrayukti (Samskrit : तन्त्रयुक्तिः) means the methodology of composing shastra works. The ancient Indians were widely and rightly known for their assiduous pursuit of knowledge (ज्ञानम्) which is considered to be the most sacred thing in the world. They laid down the rules in construction of a shastra, approaching it in an orderly manner, defining all aspects (lakshanas) of a given subject, referring previous literature about a particular topic, presenting new thoughts and theories thereby establishing a comprehensive methodology of composing and interpreting the shastras. Such methods are seen in the modern day scientific compositions and treatises.[1]

परिचयः|| Introduction

Samskrit literature abounds with hundreds of treatises pertaining to ancient Bharatiya Vijnana shastras of which more than 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.

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 ancient methodology for composing scientific theories have 95 constituents, as given by various scholars, which can be classified under the following heads[1]

  • 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 shastra rachana paddhatis contain various elements of writing and presentation of shastras, and of them the most important, Tantrayukti will be undertaken in this topic. It may be noted that many modern day scholars including those in the West have studied about Tantrayukti in different perspectives. Tantra yuktis are also discussed extensively in Vyakarana, Nyaya, Mimamsa, and Vedanta darshanas to explain the respective theories. Here in this context Ayurveda usage of Tantra yuktis are more applicable.

व्युत्पत्तिः|| Etymology

Tantrayukti (तन्त्रयुक्तिः), an uncommon word, yet practically applied by all Bharatiya shastrakaras, includes a set of research tools for the composition of shastras. तन्त्रयुक्तिः is comprised of two words तन्त्र (tantra) and युक्तिः (yukti).

तन्त्रम् || Tantra

The word tantra is derived from the samskrit root or dhatu तनु विस्तारे | tanu vistāre in the meanings of 'to stretch', to expand, to diffuse, spread. It is also defined as सिद्धान्तः (siddhanta), ओषधिः (Oshadhi), श्रुतिशाखाविशेषः, हेतुः, उभ-यार्थप्रयोजकम् इतिकर्त्तव्यता इति मेदिनी | śrutiśākhāviśeṣaḥ, hetuḥ, ubha-yārthaprayojakam itikarttavyatā iti medinī as per Medini kosha.

It is also expressed in the meaning of 'to compose', 'to write' as per The Student's Sanskrit English Dictionary by V. S. Apte. The traditional definition of the word tantra given in Sarvatantra siddhanta padarthalakshana sangraha by Bhikshu Gaurishankara[1]is as follows

तनोति विपुलानर्थान् तत्वमन्त्रसमन्वितान् | त्राणं च कुरुते यस्मात् तन्त्रमित्यभिधीयते ||

tanoti vipulānarthān tatvamantrasamanvitān | trāṇaṁ ca kurute yasmāt tantramityabhidhīyate ||

Thus tantra is that which holds the diffused elements or the expanse of a subject; it is one in which are interwoven different thoughts and theories concerning a scientific subject.[1]

Tantra can be termed as that which discusses and details subjects and concepts and also that which protects.[2]

Charaka samhita gives the list of synonyms of the word tantra as तत्रायुर्वेदः शाखा विद्या सूत्रं ज्ञानं शास्त्रं लक्षणं तन्त्रमिति... | tatrāyurvedaḥ śākhā vidyā sūtraṁ jñānaṁ śāstraṁ lakṣaṇaṁ tantramiti... Tantra is used synonymously with Ayurveda, a branch of veda, vidya (education), sutra (aphorism), jnana (knowledge), shastra, lakshana (definition).[2]

Tantra used as a synonym for Shastra (in this context means theory, subject) 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. Many scholars and poets including Mahakavi Kalidasa have used the word tantra to mean 'a scientific work' as mentioned by Prof. W. K. Lele. [1]

युक्तिः || Yukti

Yukti (युक्तिः) is a derivative of the the dhatu युज् in the meaning 'to unite', 'join','to employ' etc. The word yukti is an application, an arrangement, a usage, a means, a device etc.[1] Sharma has offered an explanation of yukti (युक्तिः) as follows

युज्यन्ते सङ्क्ल्प्यन्ते सम्बध्यन्ते परस्परमर्थाः सम्यक्तया प्राकरणिकेऽभिमतेऽर्थे विरोधव्याघातादिदोषमपास्यानया इति युक्तिः | युज् योजने तस्मिन् यक्तिरिति रूपं भवति |

yujyante saṅklpyante sambadhyante parasparamarthāḥ samyaktayā prākaraṇike'bhimate'rthe virodhavyāghātādidoṣamapāsyānayā iti yuktiḥ | yuj yojane tasmin yaktiriti rūpaṁ bhavati |

Meaning : Yukti is one that removes the imperfections like impropriety, contradiction from the intended meaning and thoroughly unites the meanings (in writings or compositions).Yuj is used to mean 'to arrange'.


तन्त्रस्य युक्तयस्तन्त्रयुक्तयः | tantrasya yuktayastantrayuktayaḥ |

A yukti thus means an inevitable tool, a scientific one, an indispensable device employed in composing a scientific treatise.[1] Tantrayukti, is therefore, a device of the tantra (shastra). Dr. Jayaraman mentions the various terms in which scholars, both Indian and Western have rendered tantrayukti as follows[2]

  1. Methodology in Sanskrit texts on Science - K. V. Sharma
  2. Forms of scientific argument - S. C. Vidyabhushana
  3. Plan of a treatise - Shamasastry
  4. Method of treatment, maxims for the interpretation of textual topics - Esther Solomon
  5. Formal elements which gave form to a scientific work - Gerhard Obberhammer
  6. Methodology of theoretico-scientific treatises in Sanskrit - Dr. W. K. Lele
  7. Methodology and technique, which enable one to compose and interpret scientific treatises correctly and intelligently - N. E. Muthuswamy
  8. An expedient in the writing of science - Surendranath Mittal

Works such as Charaka Samhita, Sushrutasamhita, Ashtangahrdaya and Arthashastra employed tantrayuktis as devices either for diagnostic purposes or for explanation of technical aspects to understand the texts respectively.[3] Thus we see above from the etymological and conventional usages that Tantra denotes a systematic work of literature (on any subject) and yukti is an aid in the composition of such a work to convey the intended concepts with clarity.

तन्त्रयुक्तिः॥ Tantrayukti

Tantrayukti (तन्त्रयुक्तिः) 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. A treatise is comprised of a large number of paragraphs, chapters, sections, sub-sections, explanations, concepts etc as such a scientific writer is required to use a large number of ways to put forth his concept. Tantrayuktis, are many in number and aid the author to present his concept in a lucid and systematic manner.

Number of Tantrayuktis

Based on each shastrakara, we see that there are about 36 generally accepted tantrayuktis, though different texts propose a varying numbers of such yuktis ranging between 32 to 41.[1][4] Below is the list of four important sources of these yuktis.

S.No. कौटल्य चरक सुश्रुत विष्णुधर्मोत्तरपुराण
1 अधिकरणम् || adhikaraṇam अधिकरणम् || adhikaraṇam अधिकरणम् || adhikaraṇam अधिकरणम् || adhikaraṇam
2 विधानम् || vidhānam योगः || yōgaḥ योगः || yōgaḥ योगः || yōgaḥ
3 योगः || yōgaḥ हेत्वर्थः || hētvarthaḥ पदार्थः || padārthaḥ पदार्थः || padārthaḥ
4 पदार्थः || padārthaḥ पदार्थः || padārthaḥ हेत्वर्थः || hētvarthaḥ हेत्वर्थः || hētvarthaḥ
5 हेत्वर्थः || hētvarthaḥ प्रदेशः || pradēśaḥ उद्धेशः || uddhēśaḥ उद्धेशः || uddhēśaḥ
6 उद्देशः || uddeśaḥ उद्धेशः || uddhēśaḥ निर्देशः || nirdēśaḥ निर्देशः || nirdēśaḥ
7 निर्देशः || nirdēśaḥ निर्देशः || nirdēśaḥ उपदेशः || upadēśaḥ उपदेशः || upadēśaḥ
8 उपदेशः || upadēśaḥ वाक्यशेषः || vākyaśēṣaḥ अपदेशः || apadēśaḥ अपदेशः || apadēśaḥ
9 अपदेशः || apadēśaḥ प्रयोजनम् || prayōjanam प्रदेशः || pradēśaḥ प्रदेशः || pradēśaḥ
10 अतिदेशः || atidēśaḥ उपदेशः || upadēśaḥ अतिदेशः || atidēśaḥ अतिदेशः || atidēśaḥ
11 प्रदेशः || pradēśaḥ अपदेशः || apadēśaḥ अपवर्जः || apavarjaḥ अपवर्गः || apavargaḥ
12 उपमानम् || upamānam अतिदेशः || atidēśaḥ वाक्यशेषः || vākyaśēṣaḥ वाक्यशेषः || vākyaśēṣaḥ
13 अर्थापत्तिः || arthāpattiḥ अर्थापत्तिः || arthāpattiḥ अर्थापत्तिः || arthāpattiḥ अर्थापत्तिः || arthāpattiḥ
14 संशयः || saṁśayaḥ निर्णयः || nirṇayaḥ विपर्ययः || viparyayaḥ प्रसङ्गः || prasaṅgaḥ
15 प्रसङ्गः || prasaṅgaḥ प्रसङ्गः || prasaṅgaḥ प्रसङ्गः || prasaṅgaḥ एकान्तः || ēkāntaḥ
16 विपर्ययः || viparyayaḥ ऐकान्तः || aikāntaḥ एकान्तः || ēkāntaḥ अनैकान्तः || anaikāntaḥ
17 वाक्यशेषः || vākyaśēṣaḥ नैकान्तः || naikāntaḥ अनेकान्तः || anēkāntaḥ पूर्वपक्षः || pūrvapakṣaḥ
18 अनुमतम् || anumatam अपवर्गः || apavargaḥ पूर्वपक्षः || pūrvapakṣaḥ निर्णयः || nirṇayaḥ
19 व्याख्यानम् || vyākhyānam विपर्ययः || viparyayaḥ निर्णयः || nirṇayaḥ विधानम् || vidhānam
20 निर्वचनम् || nirvacanam पूर्वपक्षः || pūrvapakṣaḥ अनुमतम् || anumatam विपर्ययः || viparyayaḥ
21 निदर्शनम् || nidarśanam विधानम् || vidhānam विधानम् || vidhānam अतिक्रान्तावेक्षणम् || atikrāntāvēkṣaṇam
22 अपवर्गः || apavargaḥ अनुमतम् || anumatam अनागतावेक्षणम् || anāgatāvēkṣaṇam अनागतावेक्षणम् || anāgatāvēkṣaṇam
23 स्वसंज्ञा || svasaṁjñā व्याख्यानम् || vyākhyānam अतिक्रान्तावेक्षणम् || atikrāntāvēkṣaṇam संशयः || saṁśayaḥ
24 पूर्वपक्षः || pūrvapakṣaḥ संशयः || saṁśayaḥ संशयः || saṁśayaḥ अतिव्याख्यानम् || ativyākhyānam
25 उत्तरपक्षः || uttarapakṣaḥ अतीतावेक्षा || atītāvēkṣā व्याख्यानम् || vyākhyānam अनुमतम् || anumatam
26 एकान्तः || ēkāntaḥ अनागतावेक्षा || anāgatāvēkṣā स्वसंज्ञा || svasaṁjñā स्वसंज्ञा || svasaṁjñā
27 अनागतावेक्षणम् || anāgatāvēkṣaṇam स्वसंज्ञा || svasaṁjñā निर्वचनम् || nirvacanam निर्वचनम् || nirvacanam
28 अतिक्रान्तावेक्षणम् || atikrāntāvēkṣaṇam ऊह्यम् || ūhyam निदर्शनम् || nidarśanam दृष्टान्तः || dr̥ṣṭāntaḥ
29 नियोगः || niyōgaḥ समुच्चयः || samuccayaḥ नियोगः || niyōgaḥ नियोगः || niyōgaḥ
30 विकल्पः || vikalpaḥ निदर्शनम् || nidarśanam विकल्पः || vikalpaḥ विकल्पः || vikalpaḥ
31 समुच्चयः || samuccayaḥ निर्वचनम् || nirvacanam समुच्चयः || samuccayaḥ समुच्चयः || samuccayaḥ
32 ऊह्यम् || ūhyam संनियोगः || ऊह्यम् || ūhyam ऊह्यम् || ūhyam
33 - विकल्पनम् || vikalpanam - -
34 - प्रत्युत्सारः || pratyutsāraḥ - -
35 - उद्धारः || uddhāraḥ - -
36 - सम्भवः || sambhavaḥ - -

Tantrayukti in Literature

All Bharatiya shastras, have been composed based on the tantrayukti system. One can see the application of Tantrayuktis in the composition of scientific literature such as Nyaya, Mimamsa, Vyakarana, Arthashastra, Ayurveda, Alankarashastra and Kamashastra. Such a study of methodological application is relevant to modern day studies, experiments and sciences. Here a few applications of tantrayuktis in ancient shastras is described.[1][3]

  1. Charaka Samhita (Ayurveda) is the first recorded evidence where Tantrayukti is dealt with. A seminal work on Ayurveda, it comprises of eight Sthanas containing 9295 sutras, of which the eighth sthana called as siddhisthana, has enumerated about 36 tantrayuktis as given in the table given above.
  2. Sushruta Samhita (Surgical Medicine), a renowned text on Sastrachikitsa (Surgery) composed by Sushruta, has about six sthanas with 8300 sutras in total. Thirtytwo tantrayuktis are detailed in the sixtyfifth adhyaya by Sushruta.
  3. Ashtangasangraha (Ayurveda) written by Vagbhata (a second text called Ashtangahrdaya) mentions 36 tantrayuktis in the 50th adhyaya if the Uttarasthana. Ashtangahrdaya also mentions Tantrayuktis.
  4. Vishnudarmottara Purana, enumerates 32 tantrayuktis in the sixth adhyaya of the third kanda.
  5. Kautilya's Arthashastra (Governance), an oldest available Tantrayukti-s list of 32 devices is from Arthashastra. Kautilya's Arthashastra, an ancient authoritative work on governance, diplomacy, economy, politics and statecraft, defines and illustrates Tantrayuktis in the fifteenth अधिकरणम् (Adhikarana).
  6. Tantrayuktivichara by Nilamegha (Ayurveda Practitioner from Kerala), a later day text considers 36 tantrayuktis in detail, based on Vagbhata's exposition.
  7. Nyayasutra bhashyam, by Vatsayana, also mentions about a tantrayukti called Anumata, while discussing the fourth sutra of the first ahnika in the first chapter of Gautama's Nyayasutras.[2]

Tantrayukti Salient Features

Almost all aspects required for writing a systematic and compact treatise are discussed by yuktis. A few illustrations presented by Dr. Jayaraman, in his paper[2] are given here.

Basic Structure of a Treatise

Tantrayuktis such as the following aid the author to format a template, into which the content or the subject matter of choice could be constructed. It forms the foundation on which all aspects of the treatise will stand.[1][2]

  • प्रयोजनम् ॥ Prayojana - defines the main objective, object or aim of the treatise
  • अधिकरणम् ॥ Adhikarana - gives the topic or topics
  • विधानम् ॥ Vidhana - defines the arrangement of the topics
  • उद्देशः ॥ Uddesha - a brief statement, introduces a topic to the reader, a prerequisite for Nirdesha
  • निर्देशः ॥ Nirdesha - a detailed and long statement, provides the reader all subtopics

For example, Vidhanam, a yukti is used in Arthashastra. It is defined by Kautilya as शास्त्रस्य प्रकरणानुपूर्वी विधानम् to mean 'Treatment of topics in their inherent order'.[1] Kautilya applies this yukti in his own text, Arthashastra, where प्रकरणाधिकरणसमुद्देशः lists the sections of the work. The subtopics start with विद्यासमुद्देशः (Chapter about Knowledge) वृद्धसंयोगः (Chapter about company of learned elders), इन्द्रियजयः (Chapter about conquering senses), अमात्योत्पत्तिः (Chapter about recruiting ministers) are placed in their natural sequence.

Panini's Ashtadhyayi is another exemplary illustration of this yukti, for it is the masterpiece of most orderly writing. Ancient poeticians (Bhamaha, Vamana, Dandi, Rajashekhara, Hemachandra to name a few) have used this yukti expertly in their works.

In the modern days, this yukti is similar to the outline or table of contents, an arrangement which facilitates the conception of all major and minor topics of a scientific work, their interpretation and enumeration.

Stating Theories and Rules

Any treatise, literary or scientific, would lay down some specific principles, theories and rules on the basis of research and observation. Some tantrayuktis help codify the observations on which rules are framed. A few are[2]

  • नियोगः ॥ Niyoga - an invariable rule
  • अपवर्गः ॥ Apavarga - an Exception to the general rule
  • विकल्पः ॥ Vikalpa - an optional rule
  • उपदेशः ॥ Upadesa - directives, advice (of do's and dont's)
  • स्वसंज्ञा ॥ Svasamjna - a technical term

Sushruta gives an example of Apavarga in the context of prescribing medication for poisonous bites. अस्वेद्या विषोपसृष्टा अन्यत्र कीटविषादिति । The rule is - Fomentation should not be applied in the case of poisoning, except those suffering from insect poisoning (exception).

Explanation of Concepts

A mere statement of rules, concepts, principles, observations may be unconnected and abstract. Yuktis provided the author to explain his concept or theory clearly with examples, analogies, comparisons and illustrations.[2]

  • निर्वचनम् ॥ Nirvachana - outlines the etymology of terms
  • पूर्वपक्षः ॥ Purvapaksha - preliminary objections (a provisional view)
  • अनुमतम् ॥ Anumata - accepting the view of others
  • उत्तरपक्षः ॥ Uttarapaksha - final answers (decisions)
  • दृष्टान्तः ॥ Drshanta - Use of analogy, illustration to aid in explanation of the concept

Style of Expression and Diction

A treatise loses its focus when the language is verbose distracting the reader away from the intent of the author. A crisp, unambiguous presentation is essential for any scientific work or even while presenting an abstract concept. An author familiar with the following Tantrayuktis will be well guided to present an orderly and crisp work.

  • वाक्यशेषः ॥ Sentence completion
  • अर्थापत्तिः ॥ Presumption
  • समुच्चयः ॥ Collection
  • अतिक्रान्तावेक्षणम् ॥ reference to a past statement
  • अनागतावेक्षणम् ॥ reference to a future statement

Thus in the above four instances we see the apt usage of tantrayuktis, as efficient tools in the creation of treatises and scientific texts.

Tantrayuktis with Illustrations

In this section we present the list of tantrayuktis with at least one definition (though each yukti has other meanings given by different scholars), their explanation in English with one illustration of the concept (mostly from poetry and ayurveda).[1]

Tantrayuktis and their Explanation
S. No Tantrayukti Synonyms One Definition Nomenclature & Explanation Illustration
1 अतिक्रान्तावेक्षणम् || atikrāntāvēkṣaṇam अतीतावेक्षा यत्पूर्वमुक्तं तदतिक्रान्तावेक्षणम् । (Sushruta Samhita) Restrospection, to say that it has been previously stated Anandavardhana's Dhvanyaloka mentions: प्रतीयमानो ह्यर्थभेदः प्राक् प्रदर्शितः। The differences of Pratiyamana artha have been previously shown.
2 अतिदेशः || atidēśaḥ NA अन्यसम्बन्धिनां धर्माणामन्यत्रव्यवस्थापनमतिदेशः। (Tantrayukti Vichara) Extended Application, connecting or extending the properties of one to another interrelated topic. Vamana's Kavyalankarasutrani details this yukti. After discussing अश्लीलम् (impropriety) and क्लिष्टम् (difficult to understand) पददोषाः (Errors in Words), Vamana observes 'अन्त्याभ्यं वाक्यं व्याख्यातम्।' suggesting that such errors are extended in the case of Vakyas (sentences) also.
3 अधिकरणम् || adhikaraṇam NA अधिकरणं नाम यमर्थमधिकृत्य प्रवर्तते कर्ता । (Charaka Samhita) Subject or topic of discussion, subject matter of the scientific work, a topic of the chapter, section, sentence etc. Vamana's work is titled 'काव्यालङ्कारसूत्राणि', it at once suggests that काव्यालङ्कार or The Beauty of Poetry' which is the adhikarana of Vamana's whole work.
4 अनागतावेक्षणम् || anāgatāvēkṣaṇam अनागतावेक्षा, अनागतापेक्षा अनागतं भविष्यद्यत्तस्यावेक्षा यथोच्यते । (Tantrayukti) Consideration of or Reference to a future statement, enables writer to shorten the discussion of a current topic and to expand it later. Anandavardhana's Dhvanyaloka mentions: द्वितीयोऽपि प्रभेदो वाच्याद्विभिन्नः सप्रपञ्चमग्रे दर्शयिष्यते । Anandavardhana tells his readers in the above statement that he would discuss the अलङ्कारध्वनिः at a future point.
5 अनुमतम् || anumatam NA परपक्षस्य भिन्नस्याप्यङ्गीकरणमनुमतम् ।(Tantrayukti Vichara) Assent, Agreement, acceptance of the views of others. Bhamaha's Kavayalankara mentions this yukti in many instances: स्वभावोक्तिरलकार इति केचित्प्रचक्षते । Bhamaha quotes that a few accept Svabhavokti as an Alamkara.
6 अपदेशः || apadēśaḥ NA अपदेशो नाम यत्प्रतिज्ञार्थसाधनाय हेतुवचनम् । (Tantrayukti Vichara) Statement of reason or a cause of something. To quote another author's opinion on a given topic and to express one's own views. Explains the cause/s of an effect. Vagbhata mentions: काव्यं ग्राह्यमलङ्कारात् । Kavya should be understood from Alankaras.
7 अपवर्गः || apavargaḥ अपवर्जः अपवर्गो नाम सामान्योक्त्यनुप्रविष्टस्य विशेषेणाकर्षणं सोपवर्गः ।(Tantrayukti Vichara) An exception to the general rule, a special rule. Vamana's Kavyalamkarasutrani mentions this yukti very clearly : पुराणार्थमनर्थकम् । This is a general rule. न वाक्यालङ्कारार्थम् । This is an exception to the above rule.
8 अर्थापत्तिः || arthāpattiḥ NA अर्थापत्तिर्नाम यदेकस्मिन्नर्थे उच्यमाने अनुक्तस्याप्यर्थस्य बलादागमनं सार्थापत्तिः । (Tantrayukti Vichara) Implication, Suggested meaning (अापत्तिः does not mean calamity, it means 'obtaining', 'procuring'). Implied meaning is conveyed by the force of the meaning of the words used. Vamana mentions that समग्रगुणोपेता वैदर्भी । Vaidarbhi (वैदर्भी) style is full of all poetic attributes (or excellences). Here he implies that the said style is completely flawless and full of good qualities.
9 पूर्वपक्षः || pūrvapakṣaḥ NA प्रतिषेधवचनं पूर्वपक्षः। (Vishnudharmottara Purana) A statement, in the form of प्रतिषेध (denial) or objection raised by the opponent to प्रतिज्ञा (an assertion) or a particular argument or concept. Bhamaha quotes the views of other poets in his Kavyalankara and refutes them later. रूपकादिमलङ्कारं बाह्यमाचक्षते परे । ... Here ' the figues of speech like Rupaka etc are external embellishments of poetry.' is the Purvapaksha, which he refutes later.
10 उत्तरपक्षः || uttarapakṣaḥ निर्णयः तस्य निर्णयवाक्यमुत्तरपक्षः। (Arthashastra) Refutation, A determined view, a conclusion This yukti gives the author an opportunity to firmly establish his viewpoint. Anandavardhana's Dhvanyaloka provides ample examples.
11 उद्देशः || uddeśaḥ NA उद्देशो नाम सङ्क्षेपाभिधानम् । यथा वायुः पित्तं कफश्चेति त्रयो दोषाः समासतः। (Ashtangahrdaya) A brief statement of the topic to be discussed. Bhamaha introduces the five alamkaras in the short karika : अनुप्रासः सयमको रूपकं दीपकोपमे । इति वाचामलङ्काराः पञ्चैवान्यैरुदाहृताः॥ Anuprasa, Yamaka, Rupaka, Dipaka and Upama are the five figures of speech.
12 उपदेशः || upadēśaḥ NA उपदेशो नाम आप्तानुशासनं, यथा - स्नेहमग्रे प्रयुञ्जीत ततः स्वेदमनन्तरम् इत्यादि । (Charaka Samhita) Recommendatory advice in the form "Do like this". Advisory guidance from an elderly experienced person (आप्ता) whose words are advice (अनुशासनं) Anandavardhana advises the would-be poets thus : कथया .... रसबन्धोक्तमौचित्यमेव अनुसर्तव्यम् ।

Role of Tantrayuktis

Charaka aptly summarizes the role of tantrayuktis as follows

यथाऽम्बुजवनस्यार्कः प्रदीपो वेश्मनो यथा ॥ 46

प्रबोध (न) प्रकाशार्थास्तथा तन्त्रस्य युक्तयः । एकस्मिन्नपि यस्येह शास्त्रे लब्दास्पदा मतिः॥ 47

स शास्त्रमन्यदप्याशु युक्तिज्ञत्वात् प्रबुध्यते ।

yathā'mbujavanasyārkaḥ pradīpo veśmano yathā ॥ 46

prabodha (na) prakāśārthāstathā tantrasya yuktayaḥ । ekasminnapi yasyeha śāstre labdāspadā matiḥ॥ 47

sa śāstramanyadapyāśu yuktijñatvāt prabudhyate ।

Meaning : Just as the sun causes a bed of lotuses to blossom, just a a lamp lights up a house, so also the tantrayuktis shed light on the meanings of the scientific subjects. He who gains a thorough knowledge of a shastra along with these tantrayuktis can quickly gain knowledge of another discipline too because of युक्तिज्ञत्वम् । knowledge of yuktis.

Chakrapanidatta further refines Charaka's views by adding that along with bringing out the full exposition of the scientific topic, tantrayuktis also throw light on the hidden meaning of the content. By learning these, a medical practitioner not only saves himself from injudicious handling but also saves the life of the patient.

Sushruta, clearly states that the purpose of tantrayuktis is two-fold namely, the arrangement of the sentences and the organization of the meanings.[1] It should be noted that according to the shastra discipline the meanings of these Tantrayuktis may be varied.


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 W. K. Lele (2006) Methodology of Ancient Indian Sciences Varanasi : Chaukhamba Surbharati Prakashan
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Mahadevan, Jayaraman (2008) Paper Presentation : The Doctrine of Tantrayukti at University of Hyderabad, Department of Sanskrit Studies
  3. 3.0 3.1 The Role of Tantrayuktis in Indian Research Methodology by Komatineni Surendra and J.S. R. A. Prasad in Academia
  4. Singh, Anuradha (2003) Tantra Yukti Method of Theorization in Ayurveda, Ancient Science of Life, Vol : XXII(3) January 2003 Pages 64-74