Upama, aka: Upamā; 12 Definition(s)


Upama 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.

In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Upamā (उपमा).—The Goddess in Brahmakṣetra.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 59. 130.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
Purana book cover
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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.

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Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Upamā (उपमा, “simile”) refers to one of the four “figures of speech” (alaṃkāra), used when composing dramatic compositions (kāvya), according to Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 17.

There are five kinds of upamā defined:

  1. simile of praise (praśaṃsā),
  2. simile of censure (nindā),
  3. simile of conceit (kalpitā),
  4. simile of uniqueness (sadśṛī),
  5. simile of partial likeness (kiṃcit sadṛśī).
Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

Upamā (उपमा, “simile”).—One of the four alaṃkāra, or “figure of speech”;—Description of upamā: When in a poetical composition anything is compared on the basis of some similarity, it is an instance of Simile (upamā). It relates to quality and form.

Source: archive.org: Natya Shastra

Upamā (उपमा, “simile”) refers to a type of Alaṃkāra (figure of speech).—The figure Upamā is the resemblance between two things expressed in a single sentence and unaccompanied with the statement of difference. In the Śrīkaṇṭhacarita, there is found, some fascinating instances of Upamā.

Source: Shodhganga: Mankhaka a sanskrit literary genius (natya)

Upamā (उपमा) refers to one of the 93 alaṃkāras (“figures of speech”) mentioned by Cirañjīva Bhaṭṭācārya (fl. 17th century) in his Kāvyavilāsa and is listed as one of the 89 arthālaṃkāras (figure of speech determined by the sense, as opposed to sound).—Upamā is at the root of a large number of alaṃkāras and has been treated as a figure from the very beginning. Ālaṃkārikas like Bharata (N.Ś. XIV/12), Bhāmaha (230), Daṇḍin (214), Vāmana (421), Mammaṭa (X/P. 540), Ruyyaka (A.S, P. 25), Viśvanātha (X/14) and Jagannātha (P. 204) have treated upamā. Bharata speaks of upamā first. Appayyadīkṣita has mentioned the importance of upamā in his Citramīmāṃsā.

Cirañjīva defines upamā as follows—“upamā yatra sādṛśyalakṣmīrūllasati dvayoḥ”.—“That in which the grace of similarity between the two is expressed is known as upamā”. In this definition the word dvayoḥ indicates the thing compared to (upamāna) and the thing compared (upameya). The similarity between these two should have to be clearly expressed. When the two objects are different and still they have most of the attributes in common then the similarity exists between these two objects.

Cirañjīva classifies upamā into two varieties—

  1. pūrṇopamā,
  2. luptopamā.

An example of upamā where the four requisites, i.e., upameya, upamāna, words suggestive of similarity and common attribute are present, is known as pūrṇā and where anyone or two or three of the four requisites are not mentioned, it is known as luptā.

Source: Shodhganga: The Kavyavilasa of Ciranjiva Bhattacarya (natyashastra)
Natyashastra book cover
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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).

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Vyakarana (Sanskrit grammar)

Upamā (उपमा).—A well-known term in Rhetorics meaning the figure of speech ' simile ' or ' comparison '. The word is often found in the Nirukta in the same sense; cf. अथात उपमाः (athāta upamāḥ) | 'यत् अतत् तत्सदृशम् (yat atat tatsadṛśam)'इति गार्ग्यः । (iti gārgyaḥ |) Nir III.13. Generally an inferior thing is compared to another that is superior in quality.

Source: Wikisource: A dictionary of Sanskrit grammar
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Vyakarana (व्याकरण, vyākaraṇa) refers to Sanskrit grammar and represents one of the six additional sciences (vedanga) to be studied along with the Vedas. Vyakarana concerns itself with the rules of Sanskrit grammar and linguistic analysis in order to establish the correct context of words and sentences.

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Ayurveda (science of life)

Upama (उपम) refers to the classification of medicinal drugs (auṣadhi) and substances (dravy) according to “simile, analogy or resemblance”, as defined in the 13th-century Raj Nighantu or Rājanighaṇṭu (an Ayurvedic encyclopedia). Accordingly, “these seven [eg., Upama] are the everlasting sources of the names i.e. names spoken in different regions or countries such as Kāśmīraja, Kāmbojī, Magadhodbhavā or Vālhikā”.

Source: Wisdom Library: Raj Nighantu
Ayurveda book cover
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Āyurveda (आयुर्वेद, ayurveda) is a branch of Indian science dealing with medicine, herbalism, taxology, anatomy, surgery, alchemy and related topics. Traditional practice of Āyurveda in ancient India dates back to at least the first millenium BC. Literature is commonly written in Sanskrit using various poetic metres.

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Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

Upama in Pali glossary... « previous · [U] · next »

upama : (in cpds.) like; similar; having the qualities of. || upamā (f.), simile; parable; comparison.

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Upama, (adj.) (compar. -superl. formation fr. upa, cp. Lat. summus fr. *(s)ub-mo) “coming quite or nearly up to”, i.e. like, similar, equal D. I, 239 (andha-veṇ°); M. I, 432 (taruṇ° a young looking fellow); A. IV, 11 udak° puggala a man like water); Pv. I, 11 (khett° like a well cultivated field; = sadisa PvA. 7); PvA. 2, 8 etc.—Note. ūpama metri causa see ū° and cp. opamma & upamā. (Page 145)

— or —

Upamā, (f.) (f. of upama in abstract meaning) likeness, simile, parable, example (cp. formula introducing u. S. II, 114; M. I, 148); Sn. 705 (cp. Dh. 129, 130), 1137 (= upanidhā sadisaṃ paṭibhāgo Nd2 158); It. 114; Vism. 341, 478, 512, 582 sq. , 591 sq.; PvA. 29, 112 (dhen°); SnA 329, 384; Sdhp. 29, 44, 259.

—vacana expression of comparison (usually applied to part. evaṃ) SnA 13, 472; KhA 185, 195, 208, 212; PvA. 25. (Page 145)

Source: Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary
Pali book cover
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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.

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Marathi-English dictionary

upamā (उपमा).—f (S) corruptly upama n A simile; the object adduced in illustration. 2 Resemblance, similitude. 3 A resemblance (as a picture, an image, an effigy, a figure).

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upama (उपम).—n A simile &c. v . See under upamā.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

upamā (उपमा).—f A simile. Resemblance.

Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
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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.

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Sanskrit-English dictionary

Upama (उपम).—a. Ved.

1) Highest, uppermost.

2) Most excellent, best, eminent, first.

3) Nearest.

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Upamā (उपमा).—2 P., 3, 4. Ā.

1) To compare, liken; तेनोपमीयेत तमालनीलम् (tenopamīyeta tamālanīlam) Śi.3.8; स्तनौ मांसग्रन्थी कनककलशावित्युपमितौ (stanau māṃsagranthī kanakakalaśāvityupamitau) Bh.3.2.

2) To give, grant (Ved.).

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Upamā (उपमा).—

1) Resemblance, similarity, equality; स्फुटोपमं भूतिसितेन शम्भुना (sphuṭopamaṃ bhūtisitena śambhunā) Śi.1.4,17.69; Ki.6.23; इहोपमा सताम् (ihopamā satām) Pt.2.8 the same is the case with the good.

2) (In Rhet.) Comparison of two objects different from each other, simile, comparison; साधर्म्यमुपमा भेदे (sādharmyamupamā bhede) K. P.1; or सादृश्यं सुन्दरं वाक्यार्थोपस्कारकमुपमालंकृतिः (sādṛśyaṃ sundaraṃ vākyārthopaskārakamupamālaṃkṛtiḥ) R. G.; or उपमा यत्र सादृश्यलक्ष्मीरुल्लसतिः द्वयोः । हंसीव कृष्ण ते कीर्तिः स्वर्गङ्गायवगाहते (upamā yatra sādṛśyalakṣmīrullasatiḥ dvayoḥ | haṃsīva kṛṣṇa te kīrtiḥ svargaṅgāyavagāhate) || Chandr.5.3; Kāv.2.14; उपमा कालिदासस्य (upamā kālidāsasya) Subhāṣ. (Daṇdin mentions 32 varieties of upamā; see Kāv.2.15-5; as to words expressive of upamā see 2.57-65); see K. P.1 ad loc also.

3) The standard of comparison (upamāna); यथा दीपो निवातस्थो नेङ्गते सोपमा स्मृता (yathā dīpo nivātastho neṅgate sopamā smṛtā) Bg.6.19; (आत्मानमुपमां कृत्वा स्वेषु दारेषु रम्यताम् (ātmānamupamāṃ kṛtvā sveṣu dāreṣu ramyatām) Rām.5.21.8; see °द्रव्य (dravya) below; mostly at the end of comp., 'like', 'resembling'; बुबुधे न वुधोपमः (bubudhe na vudhopamaḥ) R.1.47; so स्वर्गोपम, अमरोपम, अनुपम (svargopama, amaropama, anupama) &c.

4) A likeness (as a picture, portrait &c.

5) Heresy, irreligious doctrine; विधर्भः परधर्मश्च आभास उपमा छलः । अधर्मशाखाः पञ्चेमा धर्मज्ञोऽधर्मवत्त्यजेत् (vidharbhaḥ paradharmaśca ābhāsa upamā chalaḥ | adharmaśākhāḥ pañcemā dharmajño'dharmavattyajet) || Bhāg.7.15.12.

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
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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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Relevant definitions

Search found 122 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

Nirupama (निरुपम).—mfn. (-maḥ-mā-maṃ) Unequalled, having no resemblance or likeness. E. nir, an...
Luptopamā (लुप्तोपमा) refers to one of the two varieties of Upamā: one of the 93 alaṃkāras (“fi...
Pūrṇopamā (पूर्णोपमा) refers to one of the two varieties of Upamā: one of the 93 alaṃkāras (“fi...
Raśanopamā (रशनोपमा).—a variety of the figure उपमा (upamā); it is 'a string or series' of compa...
Samānopamā (समानोपमा).—a kind of Upamā; सरूपशब्दवाच्यत्वात् सा समानोपमा यथा । बालेवोद्यान- माले...
Utprekṣitopamā (उत्प्रेक्षितोपमा).—A kind of उपमा (upamā).Utprekṣitopamā is a Sanskrit compound...
Arthopamā (अर्थोपमा).—a simile dependent on sense and not on sound; see under उपमा (upamā). Art...
Praśaṃsopamā (प्रशंसोपमा).—one of the several kinds of उपमा (upamā) mentioned by Daṇḍin; ब्राह्...
Mālopamā (मालोपमा).—a variety of Upamā or simile, in which one Upameya is compared to several U...
Samopamā (समोपमा).—a kind of Upamā or simile. Samopamā is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the...
Sahopamā (सहोपमा).—a kind of Upamā. Sahopamā is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms sah...
Pratiṣedhopamā (प्रतिषेधोपमा).—one of the several kinds of Upamā mentioned by Daṇḍin. It is thu...
Vikriyopamā (विक्रियोपमा).—a kind of Upamā mentioned by Daṇḍin; see चन्द्रबिम्बादिवोत्कीर्णं पद...
Virodhopamā (विरोधोपमा).—(in Rhet.) a comparison founded on opposition; शतपत्रं शरच्चन्द्रस्त्व...
Upamādravya (उपमाद्रव्य).—any object used for a comparison; सर्वोपमाद्रव्यसमुच्चयेन (sarvopamād...

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