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...



This verse illustrates dhvanis arisen from padāṃśas, specifically: prakṛti (word base), pratyaya (suffix), upasarga (prefix), and vacana (number):

mā kuru mānini mānaṃ suhṛdāṃ vacanaṃ praveśaya śravaṇe |
gokula-mahendra-tanayo bhavatu sa-nāthaḥ prasādam āsādya ||

kuru—don’t do; mānini—O girl in māna; mānam—pique; suhṛdām—of the friends; vacanam—the advice; praveśaya—cause it to enter; śravaṇe—in Your ears; gokula-mahā-indra—of the king of Gokula; tanayaḥ—the son; bhavatu—let Him become; sa-nāthaḥ—one who has a master (You); prasādam—[Your] mercy; āsādya—having obtained.

[A gopī speaks to Rādhā]: O youthful woman in māna, don’t do māna! Make the advice of Your friends enter Your ears: Let the son of the king of Gokula obtain Your mercy and become Your servant. (Alaṅkāra-kaustubha 3.47)

atra mā kurv iti kṛter aicchikatvena tvan-mānas tad-adhīna eva, tena nirhetuko’yam iti kṛñ-prakṛter vyaṅgyam. tvam eva haṭhaṃ vihāya cet suhṛd-vacanaṃ svīkaroṣi tadaiva tat sakalam iti ṇic-pratyayasya, sādaratayā hṛdayāntas tad vidhāraya tenaiva tava hitam iti propasargasya, sarvokty-anādare tava nābhīṣṭa-siddhir iti suhṛdām iti bahu-vacanasya ca.

Here the verbal root [ḍu]kṛ[ñ] (to do) is suggestive. Since the action, in mā kuru (don’t do), involves volition, the gist is: “Your māna is only dependent on Your desire.” The following is implied from it: “This pique of Yours is causeless.”

The causative suffix [ṇ]i[c] in praveśaya (make it enter) is suggestive of this: “If You give up Your obstinacy and accept what Your friends say, only then will all that happen.”

The prefix pra (eminently) in praveśaya implies the following: “You will have benefit only if You attentively ponder over this within Your heart.”

The plural in suhṛdām (of the friends) suggests this: “If You disregard everything that we say, You will not achieve Your goal.”


Since the action in mā kuru (don’t do) involves volition, the verbal root kṛ (to do) signifies that Her pique is dependent on Her desire. According to Kavikarṇapūra, the first padāṃśa implies an alaṅkāra. He says the verbal root kṛ (to do) suggests the vibhāvanā ornament (an effect without a normal cause) because the verb ‘do’ in “don’t do” means Her pique is simply intentional, without any external cause, since Kṛṣṇa did not commit an offense.[1]

Moreover, sometimes a prefix is meaningless because its purpose is to fill the meter,[2] but here praveśaya is in the second line of an āryā meter, therefore pra is meaningful and signifies prakarṣeṇa (eminently). Another outstanding example of a dhvani arisen from a prefix is in Bhāgavatam 10.1.4, where Viśvanātha Cakravartī interprets the prefix upa in upagīyamānāt in its dictionary meaning of adhika (superior) and extrapolates an idea from that.

Although these four dhvanis, which arise from four padāṃśas, are one alaṅkāra-dhvani and three vastu-dhvanis, they are asaṃlakṣyakrama because they are very subtle. Each one of those dhvanis is a form of literary eminence, thus as a whole they enhance the relish of the composition about Rādhā’s pique, a variety of vipralambha.

Footnotes and references:


atra kṛñ-prakṛtyā kṛter aicchikatvam, tena tan-māna-karaṇaṃ tvad-iṣṭādhīnam eva, na tu sāhajikatvam, tasyāparādhābhāvāt, tena vibhāvanālaṅkāraḥ (Alaṅkāra-kaustubha 3.47).


dhātv-arthaṃ bādhate kaścit kaścit tam anuvartate, tam eva viśinaṣṭy anyo’narthako’nyaḥ prayujyate, “Some prefixes block the meaning of the verbal root, some carry the meaning of the verbal root, others specify a meaning of the verbal root, and others are used in a useless way (to fill the meter)” (Prayuktākhyāta-mañjarī 3.4.12).

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