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...

यथा वा,
यत्र पतत्य् अबलानां दृष्टिर् नियताः पतन्ति तत्र शराः ।
तच् चाप-रोपित-शरो धावत्य् आसां पुरः स्मरो मन्ये ॥

yathā vā,
yatra pataty abalānāṃ dṛṣṭir niyatāḥ[1] patanti tatra śarāḥ |
tac cāpa-ropita-śaro dhāvaty āsāṃ puraḥ smaro manye ||

yatra—where; patati—falls; abalānām—of women; dṛṣṭiḥ—the glance; niyatāḥ—invariable; patanti—fall; tatra—there; śarāḥ—the arrows [of Cupid]; tat—therefore; cāpa—on the bow; ropita—are fixed; śaraḥ—[Cupid,] whose arrows; dhāvati—runs; āsām—of these women; puraḥ—in front; smaraḥ—Cupid; manye—I think.

Sharp arrows fall wherever the glances of women fall, therefore I think that Cupid is running in front of women, with arrows on his bow. (Sāhitya-darpaṇa 10.63)

jñāpako hetur anumānasya viṣayaḥ, niṣpādakas tu kāvya-liṅgasya, utprekṣāyām aniścitā pratītiḥ, iha tu niściteti bhedaḥ.

In anumāna, the reason is a jñāpaka-hetu (subtly informative cause, as in “Where there is smoke there is fire”) whereas in kāvya-liṅga the reason is a niṣpādaka-hetu (effective cause: It engenders something) (Sāhitya-darpaṇa 10.62). Further, the difference between utprekṣā and anumāna is that in anumāna, the assumption is doubtless.


The word manye (I think) is a term that was said to be expressive of utprekṣā (fanciful assumption), but the verse is only in the scope of anumāna because the idea is not that “It’s as if Cupid is running in front of them with arrows on his bow,” since it was stated that sharp arrows fall wherever the glances of women fall. The ascertainment is certain, poetically speaking.

In the verse, the sādhya is mentioned after the sādhana. The pakṣa (item under discussion) is women, the sādhya (the idea to be proved) is that Cupid is running in front of them with arrows on his bow, and the sādhana (the logical reason) is that sharp arrows fall wherever the glances of women fall.[2] It is a universal rule that arrows are shot from a bow. The difference between kāvya-liṅga and anumāna is that in kāvya-liṅga the explanatory reason is not a universal rule and a word such as “because” or “therefore” is not used.

Footnotes and references:


niśātāḥ (Sāhitya-darpaṇa): This reading is taken in the translation.


“Here the sādhya is Cupid’s running in front of the women with a strung bow; the sādhana is the falling of arrows in the form of the glances of the women; and the pakṣa is women.” (Kane, P.V. (1995), The Sāhitya-darpaṇa, p. 227).

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