Mudrarakshasa (literary study)

by Antara Chakravarty | 2015 | 58,556 words

This page relates ‘Use of Samuccaya-alamkara’ 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.

3.22. Use of Samuccaya-alaṃkāra

[Full title: Use of Alaṃkāra in Mudrārākṣasa: Arthālaṃkāras, Nyāyamūlaka (or Nyāyamūla-varga) (2). Samuccaya]

When, nevertheless, the presence of one cause sufficient to bring about an effect, there are other causes producing the same effect in tuned with the maxim of ‘threshing floor and the pigeons’; or when two qualities, or two actions or a quality and an action are simultaneously produced, the figure there is Samuccaya.


samuccayo’yamekasmin sati kāryasya sādhake/
khalekapotikānyāyattatkaraḥ syātparo’pi cet//

The maxim of ‘threshing floor and the pigeons’ or the khalekapotikā nyāya is that, when on a threshing floor many pigeons, irrespective of age at the same time rival one another in picking up the grains lying there. Therefore, the nyāya is used to illustrate the production of an effect by the operation of many causes at the same time.

Viśākhadatta also use this alaṃkāra for beautifying the verses like this, Cf.—

Night always slips away as I keep wakeful at the beginning of the venture brooding reflect upon the adverseness, of fate and weighing the crooked policy of Cāṇakya and thereafter ruminating how all my plans have been completely frustrated remained awaking–how is this to succeed in the face of all this.”[2]

Here, the actions of one (Rākṣasa) is defused by the actions of the other (Cāṇakya). Therefore the presence of the other cause, while one cause is present for the action leads to Samuccaya.

Again, Cf.,—

“The invader being yourself, a king with an excellent army the town being devoted to Nanda, Cāṇakya being adverse due to his removal from office, Maurya being a new king, I being at your disposal whose endeavours to suggest the means will be limited to the mere pointing out the way our objects now stand, O valourous Prince, simply by your will.”[3]

Here, there are several causes for the success of the invasion is present like khalekapotikānyāya. Therefore the alaṃkāra is Samuccaya.

Over and above these, V.15,18; VII.5,15 are good examples of Samuccaya alaṃkāra in Mudrārākṣasa.

Footnotes and references:


Mudrārākṣasa, IV. 2


Ibid., IV.15

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: