The Agni Purana

by N. Gangadharan | 1954 | 360,691 words | ISBN-10: 8120803590 | ISBN-13: 9788120803596

This page describes Description of the embellishment of sense (artha-alankara) which is chapter 344 of the English translation of the Agni Purana, one of the eighteen major puranas dealing with all topics concerning ancient Indian culture, tradition and sciences. Containing roughly 15,000 Sanskrit metrical verses, subjects contained in the Agni-Purana include cosmology, philosophy, architecture, iconography, economics, diplomacy, pilgrimage guides, ancient geography, gemology, ayurveda, etc.

Chapter 344 - Description of the embellishment of sense (artha-alaṅkāra)

Fire-god said:

1-2a. The embellishment of sense [i.e., artha-alaṅkāra] is said to be the beautifying of senses. Even the beauty of words is not charming without that. The goddess of speech is just like a widow without the embellishment of sense.

2b-3a. It is of eight kinds—svarūpa [svarūpam] (natural form), sādṛśya [sādṛśyam] (similarity), utprekṣā (fancy), atiśaya (exaggeration), vibhāvanā (imagination), virodha (contradiction), hetu (cause) and sama [samam] (evenness).

3b-4. The very nature of things is said to be the natural form. It is said to be twofold such as, innate and adventitious. The innate (is) natural and the adventitious is occasional.

5. Similarity is (the presence of) common attributes. It is indeed fourfold: Upamā (simile), Rūpaka [Rūpakam] (metaphor), Sahokti (description of the common action of two different objects as coexisting) and Arthāntaranyāsa (corroboration).

6-9a. It is named as Upamā (simile), in which, there exists a standard of comparison and a subject of comparison. The course of affairs proceeds by taking even a slight identity and the separate entity exists although possessing internal similitude. It is of two kinds—by compounding or not compounding the counter-parts (of comparison). The compounded (arises) from the compounding of the correlated expression and the latter is otherwise. The compounded is threefold—by (the compounding of) the word indicative of simile, (of) the word (expressive) of the subject of comparison and (of) both of these. The last one is of three kinds.

9b. Eighteen kinds of simile are distinguished.

10. The Dharma (attribute) and Vastu (object) -upamā is that where the common attribute is expressed or implied, (depending) on the prominence of dharma (attribute) or vastu (object).

11-12. Where the two (objects) having the (common) attribute are compared reciprocally, it would be Parasparopamā (mutual simile). When their (comparison) is reversal of what is well known, it would be Viparītopamā (reversed simile). Niyamopamā (restrictive simile) is that in which (the resemblance) is restricted (to one excluding others). Aniyamopamā (unrestrictive simile) would be from (the resemblance found) in others as well.

13-14. Samuccayopamā (cumulative simile) consists of the mention of multitude of other attributes. When difference is indicated in spite of similarity of many attributes, it is (known as) Vyatirekopamā (simile of contrast), because distinction is spoken of. It is the Bahūpamā (multiple simile) in which there is comparison with many similar (objects).

15. When the attributes are different for each standard of comparison it is indeed Mālopamā (garland of simile). If comparison is made by modifying the standard of comparison, (it is known as) Vikriyopamā (simile of modification).

16. That is well known as the Adbhutopamā (hypothetical simile) in which comparison is made by the poet by superimposing something non-existent in all the three worlds on the standard of comparison.

17. It is Mohopamā (illusive simile) in which, the subject of comparison is declared as identical with the standard of comparison, after imposing the standard of comparison on the subject of comparison. (It has) a mistaken statement.

18. Saṃśayopamā (simile by doubt) (arises) from the uncertainty of the real nature of both the entities having common attributes. Niścayopamā (determinative simile) (arises) from determining the subject of comparison after having doubted it.

19. Vākyārthopamā (simile of the sense of the sentence) arises from a comparison of verily the meaning of the sentences. Asādhāraṇopamā (absolute simile), (which is) extraordinary, (occurs) when there is a comparison of a thing with itself.

20. When a subject of comparison is (a standard of comparison) of another it is considered as Anyasyopamā (simile of another). It is (known as) Gamanopamā[1] (simile of succession) when the subject of comparison of a thing becomes the standard of comparison of another in regular succession.

21. Upamā (simile) is again known to be of five kinds: praise, censure, fancied, similar and little similar.

22-23a. It is known by the name Rūpaka (metaphor), in which the subject of comparison is identified with the standard of comparison after the perception of the similarity of attributes. Or, Rūpaka is indeed Upamā itself in which the difference (between the standard and subject of comparison) is concealed.

23b. Sahokti (connected description) (arises) from the description (of objects) having similar attributes as being simultaneous.

24a. Arthāntaranyāsa (corroboration) arises when there is a posterior similarity (of a preceding statement to the succeeding one).

24b-25a. It is said to be Utprekṣā (poetic fancy) where the condition of a sentient being or otherwise, which occurs in one way, is conceived (as occurring) differently.

25b-26a. It is named as Atiśayokti (hyperbole) wherein the attribute of an object, that has passed beyond ordinary limits, is described. It is twofold on the basis of possibility and impossibility.

26b-27a. That is said to be Viśeṣokti (special utterance) where the imperfection in the quality, genus, action and the like (of an object) are perceived just for the purpose of showing (its) speciality.

27b-28a. That is Vibhāvanā (presumption) where a different cause or naturalness is presumed excluding a well known cause.

28b-29a. It is said to be Virodha (contradiction) where there is realisation, by adjustment, of congruity between two incongruous things, with a previous contradiction.

29b-32. Hetu (cause) is that which accomplishes the object desired to be accomplished. It is produced in two (ways) such as kāraka (efficient) and jñāpaka {indicative). The efficient cause occurs before and (the other) afterthe production of an effect. These two kinds known as the precedent and antecedent arise from the controlling relation of cause and effect or identity. There is difference in the indicative one such as the perception of a flooding river. The rule of inseparable connection arises from the perception of inseparable connection.

Footnotes and references:


The printed text wrongly reads Gaganopamā.

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