Definition: separation of a compound word into its component elements as shown in the Pada-Pāṭha of the Vedic Saṁhitās. In the Padapāṭha, individual words are shown separately if they are combined by Saṁdhi rules or by the formation of a compound in the Saṁhitāpāṭha; e.g. पुरोहितम् in the Saṁhitāpāṭha is read as पुरःsहितम्. In writing, there is observed the practice of placing the sign (ऽ) between the two parts, about which nothing can be said as to when and how it originated. The AtharvaPrātiśākhya defines अवग्रह as the separation of two padas joined in Saṁhitā. (A. Pr. II.3.25; II.4.5). In the recital of the pada-pāṭha, when the word-elements are uttered separately, there is a momentary pause measuring one matra or the time required for the utterance of a short vowel. (See for details Vāj. Prāt. Adhāya 5). (2) The word अवग्रह is also used in the sense of the first out of the two words or members that are compounded together. See Kāśikā on P.VIII.4.26; cf. also तस्य (इङ्ग्यस्य) पूर्वपदमवग्रहः यथा देवायत इति देव-यत. Tai. Pr. I. 49. The term अवग्रह is explained in the Mahābhāṣya as 'separation, or splitting up of a compound word into its constitutent parts; cf. छन्दस्यानङोवग्रहो दृश्येत पितामह इति ।(M. Bh. on IV.2.36); also cf. यद्येवमवग्रहः प्राप्नोति । न लक्षणेन पदकारा अनुवर्त्याः। पदकारैर्नाम लक्षणमनुवर्त्यम् । यथालक्षणं पदं कर्तव्यम् (M. Bh. on III.1.109) where the Bhāṣyakāra has definitely stated that the writers of the Padapāṭha have to split up a word according to the rules of Grammar. (3) In recent times, however, the word अवग्रह is used in the sense of the sign (ऽ) showing the coalescence of अ (short or long) with the preceding अ (short or long) or with the preceding ए or ओ e.g. शिवोऽ र्च्यः, अत्राऽऽगच्छ. (4) The word is also used in the sense of a pause, or an interval of time when the constituent elements of a compound word are shown separately; cf. समासेवग्रहो ह्रस्वसमकालः (V. Pr. V.1). (5) The word is also used in the sense of the absence of Sandhi when the Sandhi is admissible.