Mudrarakshasa (literary study)

by Antara Chakravarty | 2015 | 58,556 words

This page relates ‘3.4a. Arthalamkaras (Alamkaras that depend upon the meanings of words)’ of the English study on the Mudrarakshasa: an ancient Sanskrit dramatic play (Nataka) authored by Vishakhadatta which deals with the life of king Chandragupta. This study investigates the Mudra Rakshasa from a literary perspective, such as metrics, themes, rhetorics and other poetical elements. Chandragupta ruled the Mauryan Empire during the 4th century BCE, hence this text can also be studied as a historical textbook of ancient India.

3.4a. Arthālaṃkāras (Alaṃkāras that depend upon the meanings of words)

The alaṃkāras that depend upon the meanings of words consisted in a kāvya, and where changing the words by their synonyms do not hamper the meaning are called the arthālaṃkāras.

There are innumerable arthālaṃkāras which can be divided following Ruyyaka into five categories thus—

1. Sādṛśyamūlaka or Sādṛṣyagarbha, which are based on similarities, such as Upamā, Rūpaka, Utprekṣā, Apahnuti, Dīpaka, Dṛṣṭānta, Sandeha, Niścaya, Bhrāntimān, Atiśayokti, Vyatireka, Samāśokti, Tullyayogitā, Nidarśanā etc.

2. Virodhamūlaka, based on the differences, such as Virodhābhāsa, Vibhāvanā, Asaṅgati, Viśeṣokti, Viṣama, Vicitra, etc.

3. Śṛṅkhalāmūlaka-Kāranamālā, Ekāvalī, Mālādīpaka, Yathāsaṃkhya, Sāra etc

4. Nyāyamūlaka, as, Kāvyaliṅga, Aprastutapraśaṃsā, Parisaṃkhyā, Samādhi etc and

5. Guḍhārthapratītimulaka such as Svabhāvokti, Vyajokti, Vyajostuti, etc.

Now let us see how Viśākhadatta is successful in using all these categories of alaṃkāras matching with the situations, theme and the sentiments of this very nāṭaka:

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