Alamkaras mentioned by Vamana

by Pratim Bhattacharya | 2016 | 65,462 words

This page relates ‘Definition of Apahnuti Alamkara’ of the study on Alamkaras (‘figure of speech’) mentioned by Vamana in his Kavyalankara-sutra Vritti, a treatise dealing with the ancient Indian science of Rhetoric and Poetic elements. Vamana flourished in the 8th century and defined thirty-one varieties of Alamkara (lit. “anything which beautifies a Kavya or poetic composition”)

5: Definition of Apahnuti Alaṃkāra

Apahnuti is a prominent figure of sense and is recognised by almost all the rhetoricians.

Bhāmaha considers it to be the suppression of an existing meaning which involves a slight obscure resemblance—

apahnutirabhīṣṭāca kiṃcidantargatopamā/
bhūtārthāpahnavādasyāḥ kriyate cābhidhāyathā//

  —Kāvyālaṃkāra (of Bhāmaha) 3.21.

Udbhaṭa furnishes the same definition with a minimum modification[1] .

Out of these two definitions two basic features of the figure apahnuti can be easily traced—

  1. apahnuti is the suppression or denial of the upameya or viṣaya and
  2. upamānopameyabhāva is necessary to form apahnuti.

These two features have been regarded as integral or core element of the figure by the majority of the Sanskrit rhetoricians like Vāmana[2] , Rudraṭa[3] , Ruyyaka[4] , Mammaṭa[5] , Vāgbhaṭa I[6] , Vāgbhaṭa II[7] , Hemacandra[8] , Vidyādhara[9] , Vidyānātha[10] , Viśvanātha[11] , Jagannātha[12] etc.

Daṇḍin, however, does not admit the necessity that there should be some similarity between the thing negated and the thing asserted.

His definition of the figure is—

apahnutirapahnutya kiñcidanyārthadarśanam/
  —Kāvyādarśa (of Daṇḍin) 2.304.

—This definition clearly suggests that upamānopameyabhāva is not a necessity for apahnuti. Agnipurāṇa (345.18.) follows this definition in verbatim.

Bhoja also follows the definition but he includes apahnuti based on similarity as a variety of the figure—

apahnutirapahnutya kiṃcidanyārthadarśanam/
aupamyavatyanaupamyāceti sādvividhocyate//

  —Sarasvatī-kaṇṭhābharaṇa (of Bhoja) 4.41.

—Viśvanātha also admits a second variety of apahnuti which is not based on similarity[13] . The apahnuti based on similarity which is admitted by almost all the rhetoricians is similar to the tattvāpahnavarūpaka recognised by Daṇḍin.

Vāmana defines the figure apahnuti as—

samena vastunānyāpalāpo'pahnutiḥ/
  —Kāvyālaṃkārasūtravṛtti (of Vāmana) 4.3.5.

—The concealment or denial of one thing by another similar thing is called apahnuti.

In the following vṛtti Vāmana further explains the nature of the figure—

samena tulyena vastunāvākyārthe nānyasya vākyārthasyāpalāpo nihnavo
yastattvādhyāropaṇāyāsāvapahnutiḥ/

  —Kāvyālaṃkārasūtravṛtti (of Vāmana) 4.3.5. vṛtti.

—When one thing mentioned in a sentence is concealed or denied by another thing similar to it in another sentence, the figure is called apahnuti.

This concealment or rejection should be done with the purpose of imposing the characteristics of the latter thing mentioned upon the former thing.

A further clarification can be found in the Kāmadhenu commentary—

vākyārthabhūtenopamānenānyasya vākyārthabhūtasyopameyasyāpalāpaḥ/
atasmiṃstattvādhyāropeṇāpahnutiritilakṣaṇārthaḥ/

  —Kāmadhenu. Kāvyālaṃkārasūtravṛtti (of Vāmana) 4.3.5.

So it is clear that the apahnava or negation is to be made of the upameya in the figure apahnuti. Again Vāmana admits that there is an element of adhyāropa or super-imposition involved in the figure. This feature of the figure is also pointed out by Ruyyaka and Viśvanātha.

As according to Vāmana apahnuti features a certain kind of superimposition, it is necessary to distinguish it from rūpaka. So Vāmana asserts—

vākyārthayostātparyāt tādrūpyamiti na rūpakam/
  —Kāvyālaṃkārasūtravṛtti (of Vāmana) 4.3.5. vṛtti.

—The similarity in apahnuti is indicated by two distinct sentences but in rūpaka the similarity is comprehended in a single sentence.

The Kāmadhenu commentator adds another dimension to this distinction—

apahnutau vākyārthayorārthikaṃ tādrūpyam/ rūpake tu padārthayoḥ śābdaṃ
tādrūpyamiti bhedaḥ/-Kāmadhenu
. Kāvyālaṃkārasūtravṛtti (of Vāmana) 4.3.5.

—In apahnuti the similarity is conveyed by the meaning of the two sentences while in rūpaka the similarity is comprehended through the words used to denote the two objects.

Later rhetoricians have considered denial or concealment as the distinguishing feature of the figure apahnuti. Thus Viśvanātha has included the word ‘nirapahnave’ in his definition of rūpaka.

Vāmana illustrates the figure apahnuti with the following verse—

na ketakīnāṃ vilasanti sūcayaḥ pravāsino hanta hasatyayaṃ vidhiḥ/
taḍillateyaṃ na cakāsti cañcalāpuraḥ smarajyotiridaṃ vivartate//

  —Kāvyālaṃkārasūtravṛtti (of Vāmana) 4.3.5. vṛtti.

—These are not the shoots of the ketakī flower which are being perceived, they are the smile of fate against people staying away from home. These are not the flashes of lightning that are being observed; they are the glittering glean of the Cupid.

Here the shoots of the ketakī flower (ketakīsūcīvilāsa) and the flashes of lightning (taḍillatāvilāsa) are upameyas and they are concealed or rejected by the upamānas smiles of fate (vidhihāsa) and glittering glean of the Cupid (smarajyotivivartana) respectively.

The Kāmadhenu commentator confirms the existence of apahnuti in this verse as—

ketakīsūcīvilāsataḍillatāvilāsayorupameyayorupamānabhūtavidhihāsasmarajyo
tivivartanādhyāropeṇa tayorapalāpadapahnutiḥ/
  —Kāmadhenu
. Kāvyālaṃkārasūtravṛtti (of Vāmana) 4.3.5.

Vāmana has not furnished any division of the figure apahnuti. Daṇḍin considers viṣayāpahnuti and svarūpāpahnuti as primary varieties of the figure.

Rhetoricians like Ruyyaka, Viśvanātha etc. have advocated apahnavapūrvaka āropa and āropapūrvaka apahnava as two basic varieties. Some of the rhetoricians have divided the figure into śabdī and ārthī varieties. When the negation is directly conveyed it is called śabdīapahnuti and when the negation is suggested by words like chala, kapaṭa, chadma, kaitava, vyāja etc. it is called ārthīapahnuti.

Appayya Dīkṣīta suggests a six -fold division of the figure into:

  1. śuddha,
  2. hetu,
  3. paryāsta,
  4. bhrānta,
  5. cheka and
  6. kaitava.

Jagannātha supplies the varieties sāvayava and niravayava which is based on a unique principle of his own.

From the various doctrines of Sanskrit rhetoricians the following key features of the figure apahnuti can be figured out—

i) Apahnuti is formed by the negation or concealment of the upameya by the upamāna.

ii) Majority of the rhetoricians have admitted that there should be a sense of similarity between the thing negated and the thing asserted in the figure. Through a variety of the figure featuring negation or concealment but without the sense of similarity has been also admitted by the rhetoricians.

iii) Apahnuti involves certain amount of super-imposition in it but it is different from rūpaka as the latter is devoid of negation.

Vāmana has furnished a comprehensive picture of the figure apahnuti in a concise manner. His idea of the figure is inspired from his predecessor Bhāmaha and it is further developed by later rhetoricians like Mammaṭa, Viśvanātha, Jagannātha etc.

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

apahnutirabhīṣṭāca kiṃcidantargatopamā/
bhūtārthāpahnavenāsyāḥ nibandaḥ kriyate budhaiḥ//

  —Kāvyālaṃkārasārasaṃgraha (of Udbhaṭā) 5.3.

[2]:

Kāvyālaṃkārasūtravṛtti (of Vāmana) 4.3.5.

[3]:

atisāmyādupameyaṃ yasyāmasadeva kathyate sadapi/
upamānameva saditi ca vijñeyāpahnutiḥ seyam//

  —Kāvyalaṃkāra (of Rudraṭā) 8.57.

[4]:

viṣayasyāpahnave'pahnutiḥ/
  —Alaṃkārasarvasva (of Ruyyaka) p-50.

[5]:

prakṛtaṃ yanniṣidhyānyat sādhyate sātvapahnutiḥ/
  —Kāvya-prakāśa (of Mammaṭa) 10.146.

[6]:

naitadetadidaṃ hyetadityapahnavapūrvakam/
ucyate yatra sādṛśyādapahnutiriyaṃ yathā//

  —Vāgbhaṭālaṃkāra (of Vāgbhaṭa I) 4.86.

[7]:

prakṛtasya sadṛśenāpalāpo'pahnutiḥ/
  —Kāvyānuśāsana (of Vāgbhaṭā II) Chapter-III, p-39.

[8]:

prakṛtāprakṛtābhyāṃ prakṛtāpalapo'pahnutiḥ/
  —Kāvyānuśāsana (of Hemacandra) 6.21.

[9]:

kalayati viṣaye'pahnavamāropyaṃ yatra bhāsate sutarām/
āhurapahnutimetāṃ bandhacchāyātrayīcāsyāḥ//

  —Ekāvalī (of Vidyādhara) 8.11.

[10]:

niṣidhya viṣayaṃ sāmyādanyārope hyapahnutiḥ /
  —Pratāparudrayaśobhūṣaṇa (of Vidyānātha) Chapter-VIII, p-

[11]:

prakṛtaṃ pratiṣidhyānyasthāpanaṃ syādapahnutiḥ/s D. 10.38.

[12]:

upameyatāvacchedakaniṣedhasamānādhikaraṇyenāropyamāṇamupamānatādātmyamapahnutiḥ/
  —Rasa-gaṅgādhara (of Jagannātha) Chapter-II, p-278.

[13]:

gopanīyaṃ kapapyarthaṃ dyotayitvākathañcana/
yadi śleṣeṇānyathāvānyathayet sāpyapahnutiḥ//s
D. 10.38.

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