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Pada or pāda is the Sanskrit term for "foot" (cognate to English foot, Latin pes, Greek pous), with derived meanings "step, stride; footprint, trace; vestige, mark". The term has a wide range of applications, including any one of four parts (as it were one foot of a quadruped), or any sub-division more generally, e.g. a chapter of a book (originally a section of a book divided in four parts).

In Sanskrit metre, it is the term for "metrical foot".

As a measure of length, a pada amounts to 12 or 15 fingers' breadth, or 1/2 or 1/3 or 3/7 of a Prakrama.

In Sanskrit grammar, a pada is any inflected word (noun or verb).

In Buddhist tradition, pāda is the term for a symbolic "Buddha's footprint". Buddha’s footprints symbolized his presence, and his image and iconography developed several centuries after he had died. There are also several landmarks venerated as "footprints" (pāda, also pādamudrā) of Hindu deities. For example, Sri Pada is a rock formation in Sri Lanka venerated as the footprint of Buddha in Buddhist tradition, the footprint of Shiva in Hindu tradition, and the footprint of Adam in Muslim tradition.

See also


  • Monier-Williams (1899)
  • Dictionary of Hindu Lore and Legend (ISBN 0-500-51088-1) by Anna Dallapiccola


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