The backdrop of the Srikanthacarita and the Mankhakosa

by Dhrubajit Sarma | 2015 | 94,519 words

This page relates “Alamkara (7): Upama or simile” as it appears in the case study regarding the Srikanthacarita and the Mankhakosa. The Shrikanthacarita was composed by Mankhaka, sometimes during A.D. 1136-1142. The Mankhakosa or the Anekarthakosa is a kosa text of homonymous words, composed by the same author.

Part 5g - Alaṃkāra (7): Upamā or simile

The figure Upamā[1] is the resemblance between two things expressed in a single sentence and unaccompanied with the statement of difference. In the Śrīkaṇṭhacarita, there is found, some fascinating instances of Upamā.[2] In the verse, aśikṣitā yā prakṛte’pi[3] ……., it has been said that one who is not familiar even with the simple style, if treads on the vakramārga, finds difficulty, likewise a physically challenged person, who is not acquainted with the main road, falls at every step, if he tries to follow a vakra or difficult path. Here, the similarity of a petty poet and a physically challenged person has been shown with the help of the particle iva. The skhalanaṃ or falling down is the common property (sādhāraṇadharma) between the object of comparison (upameya) and the standard of comparision (upamāna). Therefore, the stanza stands as an instane of Pūrṇopamā[4], wherein all the four ingredients of Upamā are present. Maṅkhaka makes use of some imaginary or artificial Upamā i.e. Kalpitopamā. Herein this type of Upamā, the upamāna is imaginary.[5] Some of them are-XI. 10; XIII. 9[6] ; XVII. 63; XXV. 46. Again, the poet employs Upamopakramotprekṣā also in his poem.[7] It appears that Maṅkhaka is more inclined towards Utprekṣā than Upamā, as his employment of Upamā proper is less than that of Utprekṣā, however his Upamās, though scanty in quantity, but outstanding in quality.

Footnotes and references:


sāmyaṃ vācyamavaidharmyaṃ vākyaikya upamā dvayoḥ// Sāhityadarpaṇa., X. 14


cf. Śrīkaṇṭhacarita., II. 13, 14, 15, 21, 36, 50, 58; VI. 11; VIII. 33; IX. 33; XVII. 19, 35; XIX. 10, 32; XXI. 7; XXIV. 30, 32; XXV. 10, 12, 15.


aśikṣitā yā prakṛte’pi mārge vāgīhate vakrapathapravṛttiṃ/
pade pade paṅgurivāpnuyātkimanyadvinā sā skhalitopaghātāt// Śrīkaṇṭhacarita., II. 15


sā pūrṇā yadi sāmānyadharma aupamyavāci ca/
upameyaṃ copamānaṃ bhavedvācyaṃ// Sāhityadarpaṇa., X. 15


kalpitena kalpitopamā/
Alaṃkāraratnākara, sūtra 8


Jonarāja comments-kalpitopameyaṃ/
Śrīkaṇṭhacarita., XIII. 9, page 185


Ibid., I. 31; III. 7; VI. 64; IX. 32; X. 16; XII. 2, 56, 62; XIV. 5; XV. 42

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