Alamkaras mentioned by Vamana

by Pratim Bhattacharya | 2016 | 65,462 words

This page relates ‘Definition of Samahita 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”)

28: Definition of Samāhita Alaṃkāra

We come across the figure samāhita first in the doctrines of Bhāmaha. He has not furnished any definition of the figure but he has illustrated it as follows—

samāhitaṃ rājamitre yathākṣatriyayoṣitām/
rāmaprasaktyai yāntīnāṃ puro'dṛśyata nāradaḥ//

  —Kāvyālaṃkāra (of Bhāmaha) 3.10.

This is an illustration from the work Rājamitra. It means that the sage Nārada appeared in front of the damsels who went along to associate with Rāma. This illustration indicates that the arrival of the sage was unexpected help for the damsels who were seeking the association of Rāma. This reveals that the figure is based on causal relation.

Daṇḍin is the next rhetorician who deals with the figure. He defines it as—

kiñcidārabhamāṇasya kāryaṃ daivavaśāt punaḥ/
tatsādhanasamāpattiryātadāhuḥ samāhitam//

  —Kāvyādarśa (of Daṇḍin) 2.298.

—After the commencement of a particular work if by good fortune an additional help for the accomplishment of the work is achieved, the figure is called samāhita.

Bhoja further elongates the view of Daṇḍin in his treatment of the figure. He defines it as—

kāryārambhe sahāyāptirdaivādaivakṛteha yā/
ākasmikībuddhipūrvobhayīvātat samāhitam//

  —Sarasvatī-kaṇṭhābharaṇa (of Bhoja) 3.34.

Bhoja furnishes different varieties of this figure according to the nature of ‘sahāyāpti’ or apt assistance. The sahāyāpti is first divided into daivakṛtā (by good fortune) and adaivakṛtā (not helped by good fortune) and then each of these two varieties is sub-divided into two types—ākasmikī (sudden or unexpected) and buddhipūrvā (acquired by intelligence). There are also two more varieties of daivakṛtā and adaivakṛtā which are both ākasmikī and buddhipūrvā. Vāgbhaṭa I (VKL. 4.110.) and VāgbhaṭāII (Kāvyānuśāsana (of Vāgbhaṭā II) Chapter-III, p-42) have defined the figure similarly in accordance to Daṇḍin. Vāgbhaṭa II, though giving the same example of the figure as VāgbhaṭāI, has called the figure samīhita. Keśavamiśra (13th marīci, p-35) has also followed Daṇḍin in the treatment of the figure.

Later rhetoricians like Mammaṭā(Kāvya-prakāśa 10.192.), Ruyyaka (Alaṃkārasarvasva p-163.), Jayadeva (Candrāloka 5.98.), Vidyādhara (Ekāvalī 8.59.), Vidyānātha (Pratāparudrayaśobhūṣaṇa Chapter-VIII, p-459.), Viśvanātha (Sāhitya-darpaṇa 10.85.), Appaya Dīkṣīta (Kuvalayānanda 118), Jagannātha (Rasa-gaṅgādhara Chapter-II, p-492.) etc. have all designated this figure as samādhi. Bhoja (Sarasvatī-kaṇṭhābharaṇa 4.44.) has also recognised a figure called samādhi. He considers it as an ubhayālaṃkāra. The features of this figure put forth by him differ widely from the features of the well-known figure samādhi furnished by rhetoricians like Mammaṭa etc. Bhoja (Sarasvatī-kaṇṭhābharaṇa (of Bhoja) 4.45.) also observes that another popular figure mīlita is identical with the figure samādhi.

There is another school of thought among Sanskrit rhetoricians led by Udbhaṭa who consider samāhita as a rasālaṃkāra (figure of speech involving sentiments).

Udbhaṭa defines the figure samāhita as—

rasabhāvatadābhāsavṛtteḥ praśamabandhanam/
anyānubhāvaniḥśūnyarūpaṃ yattat samāhitam//

  —Kāvyālaṃkārasārasaṃgraha (of Udbhaṭā) 4.7.

—The figure samāhita occurs when sentiments or emotions are depicted as completely ceased.

Ruyyaka also accepts this figure as a figure relating to rasa

rasabhāvatadābhāsatatpraśamanānāṃ nibandhanena rasavatpreya ūrjasvisamāhitāni/
  —Alaṃkārasarvasva (of Ruyyaka) p-185.

He describes samāhita as ‘parihāra’ or abundance of the bustling emotional activities[1] . Viśvanātha (Sāhitya-darpaṇa (of Viśvanātha) 10.95.) also treats the figure in a similar manner.

Vāmana’s conception of the figure samāhita is altogether different from all his predecessors and followers in Sanskrit Poetics. He defines the figure as—

yatsādṛśyaṃ tatsampattiḥ samāhitam/
  —Kāvyālaṃkārasūtravṛtti (of Vāmana) 4.3.29.

—If a certain thing suddenly becomes transformed into that to which it is depicted as being similar, the figure is called samāhita.

He illustrates the figure with the help of a verse taken from Kālidāsa’s play Vikramorvaśīya (4.66.)—

tanvīmeghajalārdravalkalatayādhautādharevāśrubhiḥ
śūnyevābharaṇaiḥ svakālavirahādviśrāntapuṣpodgamā/
cintāmohamivāsthitāmadhulihāṃ śabdairvinālakṣyate
caṇḍīmāmadhūya pādapatitaṃ jātānutāpeva sā//

—This slender creeper with leaves drenched with rain appears like Urvaśīwith her lips washed with tears; the creeper being devoid of flowers because of the absence of its native season resembles Urvaśīwho is devoid of her ornaments; there is no sound of humming bees around the creeper which resembles Urvaśī dumb in anxiety; the creeper looks like the offended Urvaśīwho is now repentant over having repelled me in her anger though I fell suppliant at her feet.

Here the speaker is king Pūruravā. He saw similarity of his beloved Urvaśīin the slender creeper and uttered this verse. This creeper actually became Urvaśīon being touc hed by the king. So, the above mentioned verse is an example of the figure samāhita.

Vāmana justifies this view in his vṛtti as—

atra pūruravaso latāyāmurvaśyāḥ sādṛśyaṃ gṛhṇataḥ saiva latorvaśī saṃpanneti/
  —Kāvyālaṃkārasūtravṛtti (of Vāmana) 4.3.29. vṛtti.

It is thus seen that there has been difference of opinions in Sanskrit Poetics regarding the nature of the figure samāhita. Vāmana seems to follow a completely different school of thought in this matter. His opinion about the figure is quite unique and it has not received any support from his predecessors and followers.

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

samāhitaṃ parihāraḥ/ sa ca prakṛtatvāduktabhedaviṣ ayaḥ praśamāparaparyāyaḥ/
  —Alaṃkārasarvasva (of Ruyyaka) p-186.

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