Alamkaras mentioned by Vamana

by Pratim Bhattacharya | 2016 | 65,462 words

This page relates ‘Definition of Vyatireka 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”)

21: Definition of Vyatireka Alaṃkāra

Vyatireka is a figure of sense based on difference. Bhāmaha defines the figure as—

upamānavato' rthasya yadviśeṣ anidarśanam/
vyatikekaṃ tamicchanti viśeṣāpādanādyathā//

  —Kāvyālaṃkāra (of Bhāmaha) 2.75.

—A statement of difference which asserts the superiority of upameya over upamāna is called vyatireka.

Daṇḍin deals with the figure elaborately. His definition of the figure is—

śabdopātte pratīte vāsādṛśye vastunordvayoḥ/
tatra yadbhedakathanaṃ vyatirekaḥ sa kathyate//

  —Kāvya-prakāśa (of Mammaṭa) 2.180.

—When after the similarity between two objects has been suggested or expressed in words, a statement of their difference is made, the figure is called vyatireka.

Daṇḍin puts forth many varieties of the figure like:

  1. ekavyatireka,
  2. ubhayavyatireka,
  3. saśleṣavyatireka,
  4. sākṣepavyatireka,
  5. sahetuvyatireka,
  6. śabdopādānasādṛśyavyatireka,
  7. pratīyamānasādṛśyavyatireka,
  8. sadṛśavyatireka and
  9. sajātivyatireka.

He, however, has not clarified the nature of difference in vyatireka, i.e., whether the upameya is to be regarded as superior to the upamāna or vice-versa. But all his examples, when explained, show the excellence of the upameya in comparison to the upamāna. Bhoja follows Daṇḍin closely in defining and classifying the figure[1] .

Vāmana has followed his predecessors in his treatment of the figure vyatireka. His definition of the figure is—

upameyasya guṇātirekitvaṃ vyatireka/
  —Kāvyālaṃkārasūtravṛtti (of Vāmana) 4.3. 22.

—When the superiority of the upameya in terms of quality is stated, the figure is called vyatireka.

This definition has been illustrated in the following vṛtti

upameyasya guṇātirekitvaṃ guṇādhikhyaṃ yadarthādupamānāt sa vyatirekaḥ/
  —Kāvyālaṃkārasūtravṛtti (of Vāmana) 4.3.22. vṛtti

—The vyatireka is the statement of the qualitative superiority of the upameya to the upamāna.

The Kāmadhenu commentator points out that the word ‘guṇa’ used in the definition refers to the ‘dharma’ or nature of the upameya and the upamāna[2] . This ‘guṇa’ or ‘dharma’ can be of two types—‘vācya’ or expressed and ‘gamya’ or suggested. Again, the figure can be further elaborated into two variants—one where the reasons of the superiority of upameya over upamāna and the reasons of the inferiority of the upamāna to upameya are expressed and the other where these reasons are suggested.

Vāmana primarily illustrates the figure vyatireka with the following example—

satyaṃ hariṇaśāvākṣyāḥ prasannasubhagaṃ mukham/
samānaṃ śaśinaḥ kiṃtu sa kalaṅkabiḍambitaḥ//

  —Kāvyālaṃkārasūtravṛtti (of Vāmana) 4.3.22. vṛtti.

—The beautiful face of the fawn-eyed lady is really similar to the moon but the latter is corrupted by its dark spots.

Here the word ‘kalaṅkabiḍambitaḥ’ expresses the inferiority of the upamāna moon. The upameya achieves the excellence of quality through ‘akalaṅkitva’ or the absence of dark spots. So the upameya is represented as superior to upamāna because the later has ‘kalaṅkitva’ as its quality while the former excels through the quality ‘akalaṅkitva’.

The Kāmadhenu commentator thus remarks—

atra kalaṅkabiḍambitapadavācyenopamānasyāpakarṣahetunākalaṅkatvaguṇenopameyasyārthādakalaṅkitvalakṣaṇaṃ guṇātirekitvamiti vyatirekaḥ /
  —Kāmadhenu. Kāvyālaṃkārasūtravṛtti (of Vāmana) 4.3.22.

Vāmana further states that in some cases of vyatireka the quality is implicitly suggested—“kaścittu gamyamāno guṇo vyatirekaḥ /”. He illustrates this type of vyatireka with the following example—

kuvalayavanaṃ pratyākhyātaṃ navaṃ madhu ninditaṃ
hasitamamṛtaṃ bhagnaṃ svādo padaṃ rasasaṃpadaḥ/
viṣamupahitaṃ cintāvyājān mansyapi kāmināṃ
caturalalitairlīlātantraistavārdhavilokitaiḥ//

  —Kāvyālaṃkārasūtravṛtti (of Vāmana) 4.3.22. vṛtti

—(Oh lady!) By your charming and graceful oblique glances, the cluster of blue lotuses has been set aside, fresh honey has been condemned, nectar has been taunted, the highest relish has been degraded in its taste and poison, in the shape of anxiety, has been imparted in the hearts of the passionate.

Here the reason of the inferiority of the upamāna (caturalalitalīlātantratvarāhitya) is not explicitly stated but is suggested. However, the superiority of the upameya has been clearly stated in the last foot of the verse. The excellence of the upameya has been established by the quality ‘ardhavilokiteṣu caturalalitalīlātantratva’.

The Kāmadhenu commentator justifies this explanation as—

kuvalayavanamadhvādiṣu pratyākhyānanindanādibhiravagamyamānena niṣkarṣahetunācaturalalitalīlātantratvarāhityalakṣaṇena guṇenārdhavilokiteṣu caturalalitalīlātantratvarūpaṃ guṇātirekitvaṃ śābdamapi prakṛṣṭatayā pratiṣṭhāpitaṃ bhavatīti gamyamānaguṇaprayukto vyatirekaḥ/
  —Kāmadhenu. Kāvyālaṃkārasūtravṛtti (of Vāmana) 4.3.22.

The majority of Sanskrit rhetoricians have stuck to this traditional view about the figure vyatireka, i.e. the figure occurs when the superiority of the upameya only is stated. The followers of this traditional view are Kuntaka[3] , Mammaṭa[4] , Hemacandra[5] , Vidyādhara[6] , Jagannātha[7] etc. There is, however, a different school of thought about the figure which regards that the superiority of the upamāna to the upameya is also quite competent to constitute the figure.

Udbhaṭa is the first rhetorician who develops this idea. He defines the figure as—

viśeṣāpādanaṃ yat syādupamānopamānayoḥ/
nimittādṛṣṭidṛṣṭibhyāṃ vyatireko dvidhātu saḥ//

  —Kāvyālaṃkārasārasaṃgraha (of Udbhaṭā) 2.6.

—The statement of the superiority of upamāna and upameya over upameya and upamāna respectively is called vyatireka.

Rudraṭa[8] , Ruyyaka[9] , Viśvanātha[10] and Vidyānātha[11] have also noted both these types of vyatireka. The Agnipurāṇa, however, does not recognise vyatireka as a distinct figure. But it recognises a figure named ‘vyatirekopamā’ which is quite similar to vyatireka[12] .

As far as the variety of the figure is concerned, the rhetoricians have supplied numerous opinions. Rudraṭa divides the figure into four varieties. Mammaṭa has admitted twenty -four varieties of the figure. Viśvanātha has furnished forty-eight varieties. Jagannātha has stated that his predecessors have generally admitted twenty-four varieties of the figure vyatireka.

But as upamā is an important aspect of the figure, all the varieties of upamā can be applied to vyatireka also—

itthaṃ ca caturviṃśati bheda iti prācāmuktirvipulodāharaṇābhijñairyathā kathaṃcidupapādanīyā/ kiṃ copamāprabhedāḥ sarva evātra saṃbhavantītyalaṃ caturviṃśatibhedagaṇanayā/
  —Rasa-gaṅgādhara (of Jagannātha) Chapter-II, p-350.

The following features of the figure vyatireka can be highlighted from the different doctrines of the Sanskrit rhetoricians—

i) Vyatireka is a figure which states the difference between the upameya and the upamāna.

ii) It is a figure based on comparison and a sense of similitude can be also traced here.

iii) All the rhetoricians agree to the point that vyatireka asserts the superiority of the upameya to the upamāna.

iv) Some of the rhetoricians have put forth a second type of the figure in which the superiority of the upamāna to the upameya is stated.

v) In the figure, the reason of superiority can be explicitly expressed or implicitly implied.

Vāmana, being an ancient rhetorician, has adhered to the conventional view of the figure vyatireka. This traditional and time-honored view about the figure has been followed by the majority of the later Sanskrit rhetoricians. It has to be further stated that Vāmana is the first ancient rhetorician to supp ly a clear picture about the nature of the figure vyatireka as his predecessors Bhāmaha and Daṇḍin have treated the figure in a somewhat ambiguous manner.

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

śabdopātte pratīte vāsādṛśye vastunordvayoḥ/
bhedābhidhānaṃ bhedaśca vyatirekaśca kathyate//
svajātivyaktyupādhibhyāmekobhayabhidhāca saḥ/
sādṛśyādvaisādṛśyācca bhinnaḥ ṣoḍhābhijāyate//

  —Sarasvatī-kaṇṭhābharaṇa (of Bhoja) 3.32-33.

[2]:

guṇaśabdo' tra dharmamātravacanaḥ/
  —Kāmadhenu, Kāvyālaṃkārasūtravṛtti (of Vāmana) 4.3.22.

[3]:

vyatirecanamanyasmāt prastutotkarṣasiddhaye/
śabdaḥ pratīyamāno vāvyatireko'bhidhīyate//

  —Vakrokti-jīvita (of Kuntaka) 3.48.

[4]:

upamānādyadanyasya vyatirekaḥ sa eva saḥ/
  —Kāvya-prakāśa (of Mammaṭa) 10.159.

[5]:

utkarṣāpakarṣahetvoḥ sāmyasya coktāvanuktau copameyasyādhikyaṃ vyatirekaḥ/
  —Kāvyānuśāsana (of Hemacandra) 6.18.

[6]:

upamānādupameyaṃ yatrādhikyasya gocarībhavati/
sati bhedaprādhānye vyatireko'yaṃ samākhyātaḥ//

  —Ekāvalī (of Vidyādhara) 8.20.

[7]:

upamānādupameyasya guṇaviśeṣavattvenotkarṣo vyatirekaḥ/
  —Rasa-gaṅgādhara (of Jagannātha) Chapter-II, p-346.

[8]:

yo guṇaupameye syāttatpratipanthīca doṣa upamāne/
vyastasamastanyastau tau vyatirekaṃ tridhākurutaḥ//
yo guṇaupamāne vātatpratipanthīca doṣaupameye/
bhavato yatra samastau sa vyatireko'yamanyastu//

  —Kāvyalaṃkāra (of Rudraṭā) 7.86 & 7.89.

[9]:

bhedaprādhānye upamānādupameyasyādhikye viparyaye vāvyatirekaḥ/
  —Alaṃkārasarvasva (of Ruyyaka) p-79.

[10]:

ādhikyamupameyasyopamānānnyūnatāthavā/
vyatirekaḥ eka ukte hetau nokte sa ca tridhā/

  —Sāhitya-darpaṇa (of Viśvanātha) 10.52.

[11]:

bhedapradhānasādharmyamupamānopameyayoḥ/
ādhikyālpatvakathanād vyatirekaḥ sa ucyate //

  —Pratāparudrayaśobhūṣaṇa (of Vidyānātha) Chapter-VIII, p-435.

[12]:

Agnipurāṇa. 344.13-14.

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