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...

आनन्दयति श्यामां रसिकान् नयनानि च स्व-धामनि यः ।
विस्मापक-दामोदर-लीलो’वतु नः स गोविन्दः ॥

ānandayati śyāmāṃ rasikān nayanāni ca sva-dhāmani yaḥ |
vismāpaka-dāmodara-līlo’vatu naḥ sa govindaḥ ||

May Govinda protect us. In His abode, He delights Śyāmā, the rasikas, and the eyes (nayana). His pastimes as Dāmodara are astounding.


As an implied sense, Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa eulogizes the line of his guru, Rādhā-Dāmodara Gosvāmī. The ascending order is: Rādhā-Dāmodara Gosvāmī, Nayanānanda Gosvāmī, Rasikānanda Murāri, Śyāmānanda Paṇḍita, [as well as Hṛdaya-caitanya Ṭhākura, Gaurīdāsa Paṇḍita, Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Īśvara Purī, Mādhavendra Purī, and so on up to Madhvācārya, Vyāsadeva, Nārada Muni, Brahmā, and Śrī Kṛṣṇa].

Furthermore, another noteworthy ornament is Jayadeva’s atyukti (hyperbole). He shows this example: “When you give in charity, O king of kings, beggars become wish-fulfilling trees!”[1] Most likely, Jayadeva reasons that in this example, the charm lies more in the exaggeration than in the contradiction (virodha).

This verse by Jīva Gosvāmī is another example:

bhogyānām uta bhogyānāṃ saṅkhyā saṅkhyā-vatām api |
saṅkhyānāya na kalpeta kalpe tatrāpayāty api ||

“No one, not even the pandits, could count how many goodies there were on that occasion, even if the counting were to go on for a day of Brahmā” (Gopāla-campū 2.35.79).

The verse also features punar-uktavad-ābhāsa (semblance of a repetition) and yamaka (word rhyme).

The following verse is Paṇḍita-rāja Jagannātha’s example of the tiraskāra ornament (censure), which is the opposite of the anujñā ornament (11.49).

Jagannātha defines tiraskāra as a strong dislike for something well known as a quality, on account of a connection with a specific fault,[2]

śriyo me mā santu kṣaṇam api ca mādyad-gaja-ghaṭā-
nimagnānāṃ yāsu draviṇa-rasa-paryākula-hṛdāṃ
  saparyā-saukaryaṃ hari-caraṇayor astam ayate

“May I never have wealth, which is charming like mellifluous music when bees are hovering over the fluid on the temples of ruttish elephants,[3] because of those whose hearts are immersed in the enjoyment of luxury, the ease of obtainment of service to Hari’s feet is lost” (Rasa Gang).

Footnotes and references:


atyuktir adbhutātathya-śauryaudāryādi-varṇanam |
tvayi dātari rājendra yācakāḥ kalpa-śākhinaḥ || (Candrāloka 5.116) (Kuvalayānanda 163)


doṣa-viśeṣānubandhād guṇatvena prasiddhasyāpi dveṣas tiraskāraḥ (Rasa-gaṅgādhara, KM p. 510).


The bees are the eyes, and the fluid on the frontal lobes of a ruttish elephant is the sweat on a woman’s chest. This is the atiśayokti ornament (introsusception).

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