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...

विषय्य्-अन्तः-कृतेऽन्यस्मिन् सा स्यात् साध्यवसानिका ॥ २.११cd ॥

viṣayy-antaḥ-kṛte'nyasmin sā syāt sādhyavasānikā ||2.11cd||

viṣayī—by the āropyamāṇa (the thing being superimposed) (the standard of comparison); antaḥ-kṛte—is absorbed (“was put inside”); anyasmin—when the other (the viṣaya, the subject of the superimposition, i.e. the object upon which the thing is superimposed); —that (Indication) (or sāropā lakṣaṇā); syāt—is; sa-adhyavasānikā—it has an introsusception (sa-adhyavasānikā = sa-adhyavasānā).[1] Sāropā lakṣaṇā becomes sādhyavasānā lakṣaṇā (it has an introsusception) when the subject of the comparison is subsumed by the standard of comparison.

viṣayiṇāropyamāṇenānyasminn āropa-viṣaye’ntaḥ-kṛte nigīrṇe saiva sādhyavasānocyate. yathā “gaur evāyam” ity-ādau. gaveha vāhīko’ntar-nigīrṇaḥ. evam “amṛtam evedam” ity-ādau ca, asmin bheda-dvaye saty api bhede tādrūpya-pratītiḥ sarvathābhedāvagamaś ca phalam.

When the subject upon which a thing is superimposed (anyasmin = āropa-viṣaye) is swallowed (antaḥ-kṛte = nigīrṇe) by the thing being superimposed (viṣayī = viṣayiṇā = āropyamāṇena) (the standard of comparison), the Indication is called sādhyavasānā (it involves an introsusception). An example is: gaur evāyam (the ox). Here the outsider was swallowed by the ox. Another instance is: amṛtam evedam (the nectar).

The purpose (the implied sense) of sāropā gauṇī-lakṣaṇā (such as “The outsider is an ox”) is the perception of a similarity of identity, when there is a difference. And the purpose of sādhyavasānā gauṇī-lakṣaṇā (“the ox”) is the understanding of a nondifference in every way.


Sādhyavasānā is the seed of the first variety of the atiśayokti ornament (introsusception) (2.16). For the most part, sādhyavasānā corresponds to metonymy.

Moreover, these terms are synonymous: gauṇī-vṛtti (the rhetorical function called gauṇī), gauṇī vṛtti (the qualitative rhetorical function), guṇa-vṛtti (the rhetorical function that relates to a quality), gauṇī-lakṣaṇā (Indication called gauṇī), gauṇī lakṣaṇā (qualitative Indication), and gauṇa-lakṣaṇā (qualitative Indication). The same scheme applies to other terms, such as mukhyā vṛtti (the main rhetorical function) and mukhyā-vṛtti (the rhetorical function called mukhyā).

Footnotes and references:


The word adhyavasāna literally means “ascertainment” and “effort”, but in poetics it has the sense of “the absorption of one thing into another.”

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