Sahitya-kaumudi by Baladeva Vidyabhushana

by Gaurapada Dāsa | 2015 | 234,703 words

Baladeva Vidyabhusana’s Sahitya-kaumudi covers all aspects of poetical theory except the topic of dramaturgy. All the definitions of poetical concepts are taken from Mammata’s Kavya-prakasha, the most authoritative work on Sanskrit poetical rhetoric. Baladeva Vidyabhushana added the eleventh chapter, where he expounds additional ornaments from Visv...

अथ प्रयोजनवती विभज्यते,

atha prayojanavatī vibhajyate,[1]

Purposeful figurative usage (prayojanavatī lakṣaṇā) is subdivided:

sva-siddhaye parākṣepaḥ parārthaṃ sva-samarpaṇam |
upādānaṃ lakṣaṇaṃ cety uktā śuddhaiva sā dvidhā ||2.10||

sva-siddhaye—for its accomplishment (for the accomplishment of the meaning of it in the sentence); para-ākṣepaḥ—an indication of another; para-artham—for the sake of another; sva-samarpaṇamgiving itself up (it gives up its own meaning); upādānam—called upādāna; lakṣaṇam—called lakṣaṇā; ca—and; iti—thus; uktā—said; śuddhā—pure; eva—only; —that [lakṣaṇā named śuddhā]; dvidhā—twofold.

Pure figurative usage (śuddhā) has two varieties: Upādāna-lakṣaṇā (Inclusive Indication) and lakṣaṇa-lakṣaṇā (Exclusive Indication). When a word indicates something else to make sense of itself in the sentence, that is upādāna-lakṣaṇā (also called ajahat-svārthā). But when a word gives itself up for the sake of something else, that is lakṣaṇa-lakṣaṇā (also called jahat-svārthā).

kuntāḥ praviśanti” ity-ādau kuntādibhiḥ sva-praveśa-siddhaye sva-sambandhinaḥ puruṣāḥ upasthāpyante. evaṃ “veṇur gāyati” ity atra veṇunā sva-gīti-siddhaye sva-vādakasya harer ākṣepaḥ. mukhyārthasyāpy atropādānād iyam upādāna-lakṣaṇā, kuntādīnām atigahanatvādi phalam.

yatra tv avinā-bhāvo’rthāpattir vā tatra neyaṃ lakṣaṇā rūḍhi-phalayor abhāvāt. yathā “gaur anubandhyaḥ” iti śruti-coditam[2] anubandhanaṃ me kathaṃ syād iti jātyā vyaktir ākṣipyate, “viśeṣyaṃ nābhidhā gacchet kṣīṇa-śaktir viśeṣaṇe” ity-ukteḥ, na tu śabdenocyate. evaṃ kriyatām ity atra kartā, kurv ity atra karma, praviśa piṇḍīm ity-ādau gṛhaṃ, bhakṣvety-ādi ca, avinā-bhāvo hy ākṣepaḥ, “pīno devadatto divā na bhuṅkte” ity atra rātri-bhojanam arthāpattyaiva labhyate, na tu lakṣyate. asiddhyartha-dṛṣṭyā sādhakānyārtha-kalpanaṃ hy arthāpattiḥ.

gaṅgāyāṃ ghoṣaḥ” “mañcāḥ krośanti” ity-ādau taṭādīnām ghoṣādhāratvādi-siddhaye[3] gaṅgādi-śabdāḥ svārthaṃ tatrārpayantīti paropalakṣaṇād eṣā lakṣaṇa-lakṣaṇā. dvidhā ceyaṃ śuddhaiva, upacāreṇāmiśratvāt. sādṛśyena sambandhena pravṛttir bhedena pratītayor aikyāropo vopacāraḥ.

In an example like “The spears enter,” the men who have a connection with the spears are indicated by them for the sake of accomplishing their entering. Similarly, in “The flute plays,” Hari, who is playing it, is indicated by ‘the flute’ for the sake of accomplishing its playing. This kind of figurative usage is called upādāna-lakṣaṇā because it includes the main meaning. The result (the purpose, the implied meaning) of “The spears enter” is the notion of the compactness of the phalanx of spears.[4]

However, when a statement takes place by avinā-bhāva (a necessary connection, like supplying a common word to make a complete sentence) or by arthāpatti (presumption), there is no Indication at all because there is neither a conventional usage nor an implied sense. An example of that is as follows. Someone thinks, “The Vedas enjoin: gaur anubandhyaḥ, “Oxness (literally: an ox) should be tied to a sacrificial post,” but how I am supposed to carry out that injunction?” Then he ascertains (by avinā-bhāva) that an individual ox (vyakti) is indicated by the category (jāti), from the passage: viśeṣyaṃ nābhidhā gacchet kṣīṇa-śaktir viśeṣaṇe, “Once its power has been used up as regards the qualifying characteristic (the jāti), abhidhā does not reach the individual (lit. that which is qualified by it),” but it is not that the individual is stated by the word.[5]

Similarly, there is avinā-bhāva when it is said: (1) kriyatām, “[It] should be done.” Here the subject of the verb (“it”) needs to be supplied, and (2) kuru, “[You] should do.” Here an object of the verb should be supplied (only by avinā-bhāva, not by lakṣaṇā). Other examples in this matter are: (A) “praviśa” (enter): the object gṛham (the house) is to be added, and (B) “piṇḍīm” (the mass of food): the verb bhakṣva (eat) has to be supplied. Avinā-bhāva is ākṣepa (the necessary connection).[6]

In the sentence: “Fat Devadatta does not eat in daytime,” the sense of “He eats at night” is obtained by arthāpatti (presumption, i.e. making an assumption based on a fact that is otherwise inexplicable), not by Indication. Arthāpatti takes place when, by looking at a meaning for which there is no substantiation, a person conceives of another meaning to make sense of it.[7]

In an example such as “the cowherd settlement on the Ganges,” to accomplish the meaning of ‘shore’ as the foundation, the word Ganges gives up its own meaning in the sentence (jahat-svārthā). The example mañcāḥ krośanti (the beds scream, i.e. the babies on the beds scream) is similar: The word mañcāḥ (beds) gives itself up to accomplish the sense of ‘underlying basis’ in that sentence. This kind of figurative usage is called lakṣaṇa-lakṣaṇā because of the partial indication of another (lakṣana = para-upalakṣaṇa) [after the literal meaning of the word gives itself up].[8]

Thus Pure Indication (śuddhā-lakṣaṇā) has two varieties. It is pure since it is not mixed with upacāra (figurative superimposition). Upacāra is defined either as a usage due to a similarity, which is the connection, or as the superimposition of oneness on two things that are perceived as different.


Mammaṭa only said that Inclusive Indication and Exclusive Indication are pure because they do not involve upacāra: ubhaya-rūpā ceyaṃ śuddhā, upacāreṇāmiśritatvāt (Kāvya-prakāśa 2.10). Ahead, he uses the word upacāra in a different sense (2.15). Above, Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa defines the word upacāra, but his twofold interpretation variously applies. The first explanation of upacāra signifies gauṇī-vṛtti (qualitative figurative usage),[9] a type of upacāra based on similarity (sādṛśya). The second explanation of upacāra (2.15) is simply a fancy term for metaphorical usage (superimposition or introsusception). The first meaning of upacāra is peculiar to poetics whereas the second meaning is universal.

There are six categories of Indication:

upādāna-lakṣaṇā (Inclusive Indication): It is devoid of both kinds of upacāra,
lakṣaṇa-lakṣaṇā (Exclusive Indication): It is devoid of both kinds of upacāra,
gauṇī sāropā (qualitative superimposition): It involves both kinds of upacāra,
gauṇī sādhyavasānā (qualitative introsusception): It involves both kinds of upacāra,
śuddhā sāropā (pure superimposition): It involves the universal upacāra (metaphorical usage), and there is no gauṇī-vṛtti (qualitative Indication),
śuddhā sādhyavasānā (pure introsusception): It involves the universal upacāra (metaphorical usage), and there is no gauṇī-vṛtti.

For the respective examples, consult Commentary 2.16.

According to Kavikarṇapūra, however, Inclusive Indication and Exclusive Indication are pure only because there no universal upacāra (metaphorical usage).[10] According to him, there is gauṇī-vṛtti in an example like “the cowherd settlement on the Ganges” because there is a similarity between the qualities of the Ganges and the qualities of its shore. Kavikarṇapūra’s explanation is that the Ganges imparts its qualities to its shore.[11] The traditional understanding is that the relation between the Ganges and its shore is the factor called sāmīpya (nearness) (2.11).[12] Still, Kavikarṇapūra’s interpretation makes sense. The point is that the categories of Indication are not etched in stone. For instance, in Viśvanātha Kavirāja’s system of Indication, a qualitative variety (gauṇī) of lakṣaṇa-lakṣaṇā is possible.[13] Kavikarṇapūra’s interpretation of “the cowherd settlement on the Ganges” falls in that category.

Outside of poetics, for the most part the term upacāra is used to denote figurative usage that is neither conventional nor purposeful. In grammar, for instance, upacāra is defined as follows: upacārata iti, avyāpāre vyāpāravattvam upacāraḥ, “When something that does not have a particular function is made to have that function, that is called upacāra (figurative usage)” (Amṛta commentary on Hari-nāmāmṛta-vyākaraṇa 627). An instance is mañcāḥ krośanti (the beds scream). Jīva Gosvāmī writes: gaṅgā-kūlaṃ pipatiṣatīty ādy-upacārāt, “Examples like “The bank of the Ganges wants to collapse” are valid by upacāra” (Hari-nāmāmṛta-vyākaraṇa 580).

When Indication is neither conventional nor purposeful, the term aupacārika is used instead of lākṣaṇika. For example:

sac-cid-ānanda-sāndratvād dvayor evāviśeṣataḥ |
aupacārika evātra bhedo’yaṃ deha-dehinoḥ ||

“The difference between the body and the possessor of the body is figurative (aupacārika) since there is no difference, insofar as both of them are real and are condensed consciousness and bliss” (Laghu-bhāgavatāmṛta 1.5.341).

Footnotes and references:


This preliminary is not in Kāvya-prakāśa.


śrutinoditam (Kāvya-mālā edition).


gaṅgāyāṃ ghoṣa ity atra taṭasya ghoṣādhikaraṇatva-siddhaye gaṅgā-śabdaḥ svārtham arpayati (Kāvya-prakāśa 2.10).


The result of “The flute sings” is the idea that the song is amazing to the point that the flute seems to be alive. The same applies to the expression veṇu-gītam (the song of the flute).


Abhinavagupta interprets that citation differently: dvayos tāvan na yugapad vācyatā na krameṇa viramya vyāpārābhāvāt, “viśeṣyaṃ nābhidhā gacchet” ity-ādinābhidhā-vyāpārasya viramya vyāpārāsambhavābhidhānāt, “It is not that two meanings are literal simultaneously, nor sequentially, because of the absence of a rhetorical function after it has been used up, on account of the mention of the impossibility of the usage of the rhetorical function called abhidhā after it ceases (after it has been used used up one time), by the rule: viśeṣyaṃ nābhidhā gacchet and so on” (Locana 1.4).


This is not the ākṣepa (indication) which is mentioned in the above kārikā and is the central aspect of lakṣaṇā-vṛtti, although originally there was a similarity because ākṣepa is a technical term in Karma-mīmāṃsā and Kumārila Bhaṭṭa invented the concept of lakṣaṇā. In like manner, avinā-bhāva has two meanings, as explained in the text: The first usage of avinā-bhāva is this: A vyakti is automatically understood from the jāti. Another instance of the second application is the addition of the verb prativasati (is located) in the classic example gaṅgāyāṃ ghoṣaḥ (the cowherd settlement on the Ganges) (2.11).


Mukula Bhaṭṭa cites “Fat Devadatta does not eat in daytime” as an instance of Inclusive Indication (Abhidhā-vṛtti-mātṛkā 3-4 vṛtti). Moreover, the difference between arthāpatti and anumāna (inference) is that in the latter the conclusion must be certain, since anumāna is one of the four most important pramāṇas (means of obtaining knowledge) (Bhāgavatam 11.19.17). In the syllogism of anumāna, the proof is a universal rule. It is not a universal rule that someone who is fat and who does not eat in daytime eats at night, because he might be fat to the extent that a two-day fast does not alter his appearance much.


Kavikarṇapūra says “The beds scream” is jahat-svārthā, also since there is a connection (sambandha) between the beds and the babies, but he says it is neither conventional Indication nor purposeful Indication: mañcāḥ krośantīty atra sva-sambandha-mātreṇa jahat-svārthaiva, neyaṃ prayojanavatī, na vā rūḍhi-lakṣaṇā (Alaṅkāra-kaustubha 2.15). Similarly, Ānandavardhana says “The beds scream” has no charming implied sense: yāpi lakṣaṇa-rūpa-guṇa-vṛttiḥ sāpy upalakṣaṇīyārtha-sambandha-mātrāśrayeṇa cāru-rūpa-vyaṅgya-pratītiṃ vināpi sambhavaty eva, yathā mañcāḥ krośantīty ādau viṣaye (Dhvanyāloka 3.33). It could be said that comparing babies to beds suggests that babies are not intelligent, yet that it is not a literary implied sense. Mammaṭa mentions “The beds scream” in another vṛtti. He only says it is figurative usage, without specifying the category of Indication: avinābhāvo’tra sambandha-mātraṃ na tu nāntarīyakatvam, tattve hi mañcāḥ krośantīty ādau na lakṣaṇā syāt (Kāvya-prakāśa 2.12).


Viśvanātha Kavirāja simplified the matter by using the term upacāra in only one way (the meaning peculiar to poetics) and by implicitly equating this upacāra with gauṇī-vṛtti: iyaṃ ca guṇa-yogād gauṇīty ucyate. pūrvā tūpacārāmiśraṇāc chuddhā. upacāro hi nāmātyantaviśa-kalitayoḥ śabdayoḥ sādṛśyātiśaya-mahimnā bheda-pratīti-sthagaṇa-mātram. yathā—agni-māṇavakayoḥ (Sāhitya-darpaṇa 2.10).


tena upādāna-lakṣaṇā, lakṣaṇa-lakṣaṇā vety arthaḥ. upacāreṇāmiśratvāt śuddhe. pṛthaktvena vartamānayor dvayor aikyāropa upacāraḥ (Alaṅkāra-kaustubha 2.25).


gaṅgāyāṃ ghoṣa ity-ādau śaitya-pāvanatvādi-sva-guṇa-samarpaṇa-lakṣaṇena lakṣaṇalakṣaṇā (Alaṅkāra-kaustubha 2.25).


tat-sāmīpyād gaṅgāyāṃ ghoṣaḥ (Mahābhāṣya 4.1.48); gaṅgādi-śabdo jala-mayādi-rūpārthavācakatvāt prakṛte’sambhavan svasya sāmīpyādi-sambandhinaṃ taṭādikaṃ bodhayati (Sāhityadarpaṇa 2.5);gaṅgāyāṃ ghoṣa ity atra sāmīpyam (Rasa-gaṅgādhara, Kāvya-mālā edition p. 146).


sādṛśyetara-sambandhāḥ śuddhās tāḥ sakalā api ||
sādṛśyāt tu matā gauṇyas tena ṣoḍaśa-bhedikā || (Sāhitya-darpaṇa 2.9-10)|

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