Alamkaras mentioned by Vamana

by Pratim Bhattacharya | 2016 | 65,462 words

This page relates ‘Definition of Vyajokti 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”)

24: Definition of Vyājokti Alaṃkāra

Vyājokti gets recognition as a prominent arthālaṃkāra mainly in the later treaties of Sanskrit rhetoricians.

Vāmana is the pioneer to define and illustrate this figure of speech. He defines vyājokti as—

vyājasya satyasārūpyaṃ vyājoktiḥ/
  —Kāvyālaṃkārasūtravṛtti (of Vāmana) 4.3.25.

—When the pretended thing is spoken of as similar to real, it is called vyājokti.

In the following vṛtti he clarifies this definition as—

vyājasya chadmanaḥ satyena sārūpyaṃ vyājoktiḥ/
  —Kāvyālaṃkārasūtravṛtti (of Vāmana) 4.3.25.

He also points out that this figure of speech is also known as ‘māyokti’—

yāṃ māyoktirityāhuḥ/
  —Kāvyālaṃkārasūtravṛtti (of Vāmana) 4.3.25.

The Kāmadhenu commentator has simplified Vāmana’s definition as—

asatye satyatvavacanaṃ vyājoktiriti lakṣaṇārthaḥ/
  —Kāmadhenu, Kāvyālaṃkārasūtravṛtti (of Vāmana) 4.3.25.

Vāmana illustrates vyājokti with the help of the following verse—

śaraccandrāṃśugaureṇa vātāviddhena bhāmini/
kāśapuṣpalavenedaṃ sāśrupātaṃ mukhaṃ kṛtam//

  —Kāvyālaṃkārasūtravṛtti (of Vāmana) 4.3.25.

—Oh Lady! The kāśa flowers, white like the rays of the autumn-moon and blown with the wind, have made your face appear to be filled with tears.

Here the proper reason of sorrow which has made the lady to be in tears has been concealed by the artful assertion of the speaker. The Kāmadhenu commentator has clearly justified this verse as an appropriate example of vyājokti[1] .

Mammaṭa is the next rhetorician who deals with this figure. He defines this figure as—

vyājoktiśchadmanodbhinnavasturūpanigūhanam/
  —Kāvya-prakāśa (of Mammaṭa) 10.184.

—When a certain thing which was concealed is partially revealed by some cause and then is again concealed by some pretention, the figure of speech is called vyājokti.

Mammaṭa asserts this view in his following vṛtti

nigūḍhamapi vastuno rūpaṃ kathamapi prabhinnaṃ kenāpi vyapadeśena
yadapahnūyate sāvyājoktiḥ/

  —Kāvya-prakāśa (of Mammaṭa) 10.184. (vṛtti).

Ruyyaka has followed Mammaṭāin his treatment of the figure. He delineates the figure as—

udbhinnavastunigūhanaṃ vyājoktiḥ/
  —Alaṃkārasarvasva (of Ruyyaka) p-175.

In the vṛtti he explains this definition in an explicit manner—

yatra nigūḍhaṃ vastu kutaścinnimittadudbhinnaṃ prakaṭatāṃ prāptaṃ sadvastvantaraprakṣepeṇa nigūhyate apalapyate sāvastvantaraprakṣeparūpasya vyājasya vacanād vyājoktiḥ/
  — Alaṃkārasarvasva (of Ruyyaka) p-175.

—When an object which has to be concealed is suddenly revealed for a certain reason and is again tried to be concealed by referring to some other circumstance, the figure is called vyājokti.

Vāgbhaṭa II has also pursued his predecessors in evaluating the figure—

udbhūtavastunaśchadmanānigūhanaṃ vyājoktiḥ/
  — Kāvyānuśāsana (of Vāgbhaṭā II) Ch-III, p-44.

Jayadeva terms it as—

vyājoktiḥ śaṃkamānasya chadmanāvastugopanam/
  —Candrāloka (of Jayadeva) 5.110.

Vidyādhara’s definition is much more detailed—

yatrodbhinnaṃ kiñcidvastu kutaścinnigūhyate bhūyaḥ/
vastvantaranikṣepād vyājoktiṃ tāmuśantetām//

  —Ekāvalī (of Vidyādhara) 8.70.

—This definition is further clarified in the vṛtti

atra nigūḍhaṃ vastu kutaścitkāraṇādudbhinnaṃ prakaṭatāṃ prāptaṃ sadvastvantaraniveśanena nigūhyate gopyate/ ataeva vastvantaraniveśarūpasya vyājasyoktirvacanamiha vartata ityasyāḥ sārthakamabhidhānam/
  —Ekāvalī (of Vidyādhara) 8.70. (vṛtti).

—According to Vidyādhara, the title of the figure vyājokti is very much significant because in this figure the thing that has come out is concealed by a pretext in the form of resorting to another circumstance.

Vidyānātha describes the figure in accordance to Ruyyaka—

vyājoktiḥ sāsamudbhūtaṃ vastu yatra nigūhyate/
  —Pratāparudrayaśobhūṣaṇa (of Vidyānātha) Chapter-VIII, p-412.

—Vidyānātha also states that the ‘nigūhana’ or concealment imparted in the figure must be driven by similarity—

yatra prakāśaṃ vastu sāmyagarbhatvena nigūhanārhatvāt kenacitvyājena pracchādhyate sāvyājoktiḥ/
  —ibid.

Viśvanātha defines vyājokti as the artful concealment of a thing which was previously discovered—

vyājoktirgopanaṃ vyājādudbhinnasyāpi vastunaḥ/
  — Sāhitya-darpaṇa (of Viśvanātha) 10.130.

Appayya Dīkṣīta describes the figure as the dissimulation of the appearance of a thing by attributing to a different cause—

vyājoktiranyahetūktyāyadākārasya gopanam/
  — Kuvalayānanda (of Appayyadīkṣīta) 153.

Kavikarṇapūra uses the word ‘aniṣedhabhāk’ in his definition to distinguish the figure from apahnuti[2] .

Vyājokti is different from the popular figure vyājastuti. In vyājastuti the concealment or pretention is done to praise something while in vyājokti the purpose of concealment is to indicate the truth or reality in effort to conceal it again. Again in apahnuti, the sense of negation is the leading issue while in vyājokti the concealment is the dominating factor though there is an underline sense of negation in it. Ruyyaka has stated that Udbhaṭāhas not accepted a separate figure called vyājokti and has included it in apanhuti[3] .

Jayaratha, in his commentary ‘Vimarśinī’, has distinguished the two figures as—

apanhutau hi prakṛtamevotkarṣayitumaprakṛtasyopādānam/ iha tūdbhinnaṃ sat
prakṛtaṃ vastu vastvantareṇāprakṛtena nigūhyate ityanayormahān bhedaḥ/

  —Vimarśinī, Alaṃkārasarvasva (of Ruyyaka) p-175.

—In apahnuti the real nature of the ‘prakṛta’ is denied and the nature of ‘aprakṛta’ is asserted in its place. The object of this assertion is to magnify the excellence of the ‘prakṛta’. On the other hand, in vyājokti the ‘prakṛta’ which was intended to be concealed is revealed and then it is again hidden by the ‘aprakṛta’.

Mammaṭa also distinguishes the figures as—

na caiṣāpanhutiḥ prakṛtāprakṛtobhayanisṭhasya sāmyasyehāsambhavāt/
  —
Kāvya-prakāśa (of Mammaṭa) 10.184. (vṛtti).

—The two figures apahnuti and vyājokti cannot be confounded as in apahnuti the goal of the speaker is to stitch similarity between the ‘prakṛta’ and the ‘aprakṛta’ by means of denial of the real object and affirmation of another in its place. Whereas in vyājokti the denial is the chief object of the speaker and though there is no similarity between the ‘prakṛta’ and the ‘aprakṛta’ there is a similarity between the cause of denial and the cause of affirmation.

Vidyādhara also supports this view[4] .

From the treatise of Sanskrit rhetoricians the chief characteristics of the figure of speech vyājokti can be put forth as—

i) Vyājokti is an artful concealment of reality.

ii) In vyājokti a poetic statement is made to conceal a matter that has been discovered already. So in vyājokti an object whose actual nature has been manifested is shown as something else in a charming fashion.

Vāmana’s terse definition of the figure has conveyed the essence of the figure successfully.

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

candraṃśugaureṇetyanena candrikāyāṃ kāśapuṣpalavasyāvivecanīyatā sūcitā/ vātāviddhenetyanenāprasaktiśaṅkānirākṛtā/atra satyena sāttvikabhāvena kṛtoaśrupātaḥ puṣpalavena kṛta ityasatyasya satyatoktiḥ /
  —Kāmadhenu, Kāvyālaṃkārasūtravṛtti (of Vāmana) 4.3.25.

[2]:

prakṛtasthaganaṃ vyājoktiraniṣedhabhāk/
  — Alaṃkāra-kaustubha (of Kavikarṇāpūra) 8.262.

Also—

apanhutistu niṣedhapūrvāiyastu na tathetyaniṣedhabhāgityuktam /
  —Alaṃkāra-kaustubha (of Kavikarṇāpūra) 8.262. (vṛtti).

[3]:

udbhaṭasiddhāntāśrayeṇottaratroktam/ na hi tanmate vyājoktyākhyamalaṃkaraṇamasti/
  — Alaṃkārasarvasva (of Ruyyaka) P-175.

[4]:

yatra sādṛśyāya prakṛtamapanhūyate tatrāpanhutirjāgartti/ yatra
punarapanhavāya sādṛśyamupanivadhyate tatreyam/

  — Ekāvalī (of Vidyādhara) 8.70. (vṛtti).

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