adhikaraṇa

(‘ground or support’)

The word is generally used in the sense of a base, ground or support. For instance, when we say, ‘This is a blue lotus with a sweet smell,’ the lotus flower forms the ‘adhikaraṇa’ for the blue colour as also the sweet smell.

In the Mīmāṁsā 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 saṁśaya (doubt), pūrvapakṣa (prima facie view), uttara (answer) and siddhānta or nirṇaya (final conclusion).