praśna प्रश्न

Definition: Denotes generally enquiry’ or ‘disputed question,’ the phrase praśnam eti having the sense ‘ he asks a person for the decision of a disputed point ’ in the Taittirīya Samhitā and elsewhere. Thus Praána comes to have the definite meaning of ‘ decision ’ in the Aitareya Brāhmana. In the list of victims at the Puruṣamedha (‘ human sacrifice ’) in the Yajurveda4 are included the Praśnin, the Abhi-praánin, and the Praśna-vivāka; it is quite likely that here the three parties to a civil case are meant—the plaintiff, the defendant, and the arbitrator or judge (Madhyamaśī).

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