Alamkara, aka: Alaṅkāra, Alaṃkāra, Alankara, Alam-kara; 14 Definition(s)
Alamkara means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Buddhism, Pali, Marathi. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.
Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)
1) Alaṃkāra (अलंकार) refers to the “figures of speech” in dramatic compositions (kāvya), according to Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 17.
There are four alaṃkāras defined:
- upamā (simile),
- rūpaka (metaphor),
- dīpaka (condensed expression),
2) Alaṃkāra (अलंकार) refers to the “ornaments” of six kinds, according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 19:
- ucca (high),
- dīpta (excited),
- mandra (grave),
- nīca (low),
- druta (fast),
- vilambita (slow)
3) Alaṃkāra (अलंकार, “decoration”) refers to one of the categories of nepathya, or “costumes and make-up”, according to Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 23. The perfection of Nepathya forms the main concern of the Āhāryābhinaya, or “extraneous representation”, a critical component for a successful dramatic play.
Alaṃkāra (‘decoration’) is of three different types:
- mālya (flower-garlands),
- ābharaṇa (ornaments),
- vāsas (drapery).
4) Alaṃkāra (अलंकार “ornaments”) refers to the “grace of a young women”, according to Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 24. It supports the use of sentiments (rasa) in a drama and consist of changes in respect of their faces and other limbs.
It is of three kinds:
- change of limbs (aṅgaja) is of three kinds,
- the natural (sahaja) change of ten kinds,
- involuntary (ayatnaja) change, of seven kinds.
5) Alaṃkāra (अलंकार) refers to “embellishments” of songs, according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 29. The alaṃkāras depend upon the four kinds of varṇas, which is a specific order, or sequence, of musical notes (svara).
The thirty-three alaṃkāras are:
According to the Nāṭyaśāstra, “these alaṃkāras attached to songs of seven forms, should be known to the wise. These however are not generally used (lit. desired) in the dhruvās, because of their giving prominence to the varṇas of jātis which are not used there”.(Source): Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra
The six ornaments (alaṁkāra) comprise the use of:
- highpitched sounds (ucca),
- deep and colourful sound (dīpta),
- the use of descending (mandra)
- and especially low pitches (nīca),
- and an emphasized speed (druta)
- or slowness (vilambita) of recitation.
Alaṃkāra (अलंकार) refers to the “the figures of speech”.—The word alaṃkāra stands for a thing of beauty. The rhetoricians deal with the alaṃkāras in detail and the poets use them profusely in their works. Alaṃkāra has an ancient origin. Vāmana (Kāvyālaṃkārasūtravṛtti 1.1.1) is of the opinion that poetry should be accepted from the perspective of alaṃkāra. Daṇḍin also uses the word in a broader meaning. Mammaṭa (Kāvyaprakāśa VIII.67) defines alaṃkāra briefly as strikingness. When this strikingness relates to sound only, it is called śabdālaṃkara, when it relates to sense only, it is termed as arthālaṃkāra and when it relates partly to sound and partly to sense, and it is then called the ubhayālaṃkāra.
According to Viśvanātha Kavirāja (Sāhityadarpaṇa X.1), alaṃkāra increases the impressiveness of a poem, as like the ornaments such as bracelets, anklets, ear-rings etc. enhance the beauty of an individual. Viśvanātha mentions that the alaṃkāra benefits rasa or sentiment.The alaṃkāras are the transitory attributes of a word and its sense and they are like the parts of human body. They are said to be the cause of excellence of rasa. According to Bharata (Nāṭyaśāstra XVII.43), four alaṃkāras are there in literature viz. Upama, Dīpaka, Rūpaka and Yamaka.(Source): Shodhganga: Mankhaka a sanskrit literary genius (natya)
Alaṃkāra (अलंकार) refers to “figures of speech” as defined by Cirañjīva Bhaṭṭācārya (fl. 17th century) in his Kāvyavilāsa.—Cirañjīva defines alaṃkāra in a very simple fashion without much intricacy. He says that those elements by which the body of poetry is adorn and without which poetry appears as devoid of beauty are known as alaṃkāras like ornaments of women. Cirañjīva has not clearly mentioned the connection of alaṃkāras with rasa. Rhetoricians like Ānandavardhana, Mammaṭa and Viśvanātha etc. have directly stated the connection of alaṃkāras with rasa.
The number of alaṃkāras has developed gradually. Bharata, the earliest known rhetorician has admitted only four alaṃkāras—
Cirañjīva has admitted 93 alaṃkāras of which the number of śabdālaṃkāras is four. He has given a long list enumerating all these alaṃkāras.
The four śabdālaṃkāras are—
The 89 arthālaṃkāras are—
Natyashastra (नाट्यशास्त्र, nāṭyaśāstra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition (śāstra) of performing arts, (nāṭya, e.g., theatrics, drama, dance, music), as well as the name of a Sanskrit work dealing with these subjects. It also teaches the rules for composing dramatic plays (nataka) and poetic works (kavya).
Alaṅkāra (अलङ्कार).—Depend on varṇa, sthānayoga and nāṭya Three places of origin—neck, head and mind: 4 varṇas, eight vikalpas, and sixteen deities: Different kinds of, described:1 300 varieties distinguished.2(Source): Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.
Mīmāṃsā (school of philosophy)
Alaṅkāra (अलङ्कार, “rhetoric”) refers to one of the various tools used by authors displaying their skill in the art of writing.—Rhetoric (alaṅkāra) is the art or technique of persuasion through speech or writing. Rhetoric in literature is called alaṅkāra or “decoration” because of the use of many symbolic and colorful forms of speech, none of which need to be taken literally but understood terms of the theme under discussion.(Source): Srimatham: Mīmāṃsa: The Study of Hindu Exegesis
Mimamsa (मीमांसा, mīmāṃsā) refers to one of the six orthodox Hindu schools of philosophy, emphasizing the nature of dharma and the philosophy of language. The literature in this school is also known for its in-depth study of ritual actions and social duties.
Alaṃkāra (अलंकार) or Laṅkaka was one of the brothers of Maṅkhaka (or Maṅkha or Maṅkhuka): the author of the Śrīkaṇṭhacarita and the Maṅkhakośa.(Source): Shodhganga: Mankhaka a sanskrit literary genius
Kavya (काव्य, kavya) refers to Sanskrit poetry, a popular ancient Indian tradition of literature. There have been many Sanskrit poets over the ages, hailing from ancient India and beyond. This topic includes mahakavya, or ‘epic poetry’ and natya, or ‘dramatic poetry’.
Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)
Alaṅkāra (अलङ्कार) or Alaṅkārāgama refers to one of upāgamas (supplementary scriptures) of the Sahasrāgama which is one of the twenty-eight Siddhāntāgama: a classification of the Śaiva division of Śaivāgamas. The Śaivāgamas represent the wisdom that has come down from lord Śiva, received by Pārvatī and accepted by Viṣṇu. The purpose of revealing upāgamas (eg., Alaṅkāra Āgama) is to explain more elaborately than that of mūlāgamas (eg., Sahasra-āgama) and to include any new idea if not dealt in mūlāgamas.(Source): Shodhganga: Iconographical representations of Śiva
Shaiva (शैव, śaiva) or Shaivism (śaivism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshiping Shiva as the supreme being. Closely related to Shaktism, Shaiva literature includes a range of scriptures, including Tantras, while the root of this tradition may be traced back to the ancient Vedas.
Nirukta (Sanskrit etymology)
Alaṃkāra (अलंकार).—The word alaṃkāra is derived as alaṃ kṛ ghañ. This suffix ghañ can be used in bhāva as well as karaṇa (ghañ ca bhāvakaraṇayaḥ). According to the famous lexicographer Amara Siṃha, the author of the Amarakoṣa, the word alam has three different types of meaning, it may denote (a) bhūṣaṇa that is to adorn; in this sense it is always associated as a nominal suffix with the verb kṛ. (b) vāraṇa—that is to forbid; it is used as an adverb with instrumental case and (c) paryāpta—that is to be sufficient; it is also used as an adverb in which case the use of deity is prescribed by the grammarian.(Source): Shodhganga: The Kavyavilasa of Ciranjiva Bhattacarya (nirukta)
Nirukta (निरुक्त) or “etymology” refers to the linguistic analysis of the Sanskrit language. This branch studies the interpretation of common and ancient words and explains them in their proper context. Nirukta is one of the six additional sciences (vedanga) to be studied along with the Vedas.
Languages of India and abroad
alaṅkāra : (m.) 1. decoration; 2. an ornament.(Source): BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary
Alaṃkāra, (fr. alaṅkaroti, cp. Vedic araṅkṛti) “getting up” i. e. fitting ont, ornament, decoration; esp. trinkets, onaments D.III, 190; A.III, 239; 263 sq.; J.VI, 368; PvA.23, 46, 70 (-° adj. adorned with), 74; Sdhp.249. (Page 79)(Source): Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary
Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.
alaṅkāra (अलंकार).—m (S) Ornament (of dress); jewels, trinkets &c.: (of language); figures, tropes, rhyme, alliteration, inversion, comparison &c. Three comprehensive genera are enumerated, each including many species; viz. śabdālaṅkāra, arthālaṅkāra, ubhayālaṅkāra. 2 Ornament gen., that which adorns or becomes: a trinket, a jewel, a virtue. Ex. kṣamā hī samarthāsa a0 hōya jaśīṃ citrēṃ hīṃ bhintīsa a0.(Source): DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary
alaṅkāra (अलंकार).—m Ornament. Jewels. Figures of speech.
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aḷaṅkāra (अळंकार).—, &c. See alaṅkaraṇa, &c.(Source): DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.
1) Decoration, act of decorating or ornamenting.
2) An ornament (fig. also); अलंकारः स्वर्गस्य (alaṃkāraḥ svargasya) V.1; अनुत्सेकः खलु विक्रमालंकारः (anutsekaḥ khalu vikramālaṃkāraḥ) ibid.
3) A figure of speech of which there are three kinds : -शब्द°, अर्थ° (śabda°, artha°), and शब्दार्थ° (śabdārtha°); शब्दार्थयोरस्थिरा ये धर्माः शोभातिशायिनः । रसादी- नुपकुर्वन्तोऽलंकारास्तेऽङ्गदादिवत् (śabdārthayorasthirā ye dharmāḥ śobhātiśāyinaḥ | rasādī- nupakurvanto'laṃkārāste'ṅgadādivat) || S. D.631; उपकुर्वन्ति तं सन्तं येऽङ्गद्वारेण जातु चित् । हारादिवदलंकारास्तेनुप्रासोपमादयः (upakurvanti taṃ santaṃ ye'ṅgadvāreṇa jātu cit | hārādivadalaṃkārāstenuprāsopamādayaḥ) || K. P. 8. cf. also काव्यशोभाकरान् धर्मानलंकारान् प्रचक्षते । अलंकरिष्ण- वस्ते च शब्दमर्थमुभौ त्रिधा (kāvyaśobhākarān dharmānalaṃkārān pracakṣate | alaṃkariṣṇa- vaste ca śabdamarthamubhau tridhā) ||.
4) The whole seience of Rhetoric. अलंकारः शास्त्रभेदे मण्डने (alaṃkāraḥ śāstrabhede maṇḍane)... ()| Nm.
Derivable forms: alaṃkāraḥ (अलंकारः).
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Alaṃkāra (अलंकार).—&c. see separately below.
Alaṃkāra is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms alam and kāra (कार). See also (synonyms): alaṃkṛ.(Source): DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.
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Search found 13 books and stories containing Alamkara, Alaṅkāra, Alaṃkāra, Alankara or Alam-kara. You can also click to the full overview containing English textual excerpts. Below are direct links for the most relevant articles:
Brihad Bhagavatamrita (by Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī)
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The Natyashastra (by Bharata-muni)
Part 7 - Data of India’s Cultural History in the Nāṭyaśāstra < [Introduction, part 1]
Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra (by Gelongma Karma Migme Chödrön)
I. Establishing in the six perfections < [Part 3 - Establishing beings in the six perfections]
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The Mañjuśrī-avadāna < [Chapter XII - Unhindered Mind]
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