Kavya Prakasha – Dr. Shivakumar (Partial Video)

Kavya Prakaasha KSOU MA Contact class 2016 conducted by Dr. Shivakumar Swamy

First Ullasa


Two important works in Alamkaara Shastra are Ananda Vardhana’s Dhvanyaaloka and Mammata’s Kavyaprakasha. Ananda Vardhana brought forth the concept of Dhvani for the first time though it was present and called by different names like अवगमार्थ, भिन्नार्थ, etc. prior to his times.

 Poetry’s  Lakshanaa

काव्यलक्षणविचारः  – https://sa.wikisource.org/s/7×2

Author Lakshana Grantha Soul Highlight Time
Bharata Muni Naatya Shaastra Rasa काव्यस्य आत्मा रस: |
इति वृत्तम् तु काव्यस्य शरीरम् |
रसात्मकं काव्यम् |
500 BC
Bhaama Kaavyaalamkaara Alamkara काव्यस्य आत्मा अलंकार: |
शब्दार्थौ सहितौ काव्यम् |
700 AD
Dhandi Kaavyaadharshana, Kaavyadarpanaa 10 Gunas दश गुणा: एव काव्यस्य आत्मा |

शरीरं तावदिष्टार्थ व्यवछिन्ना पदावली”

Vaamana Kaavyaalankaara Sutra Vrutti Reeti (way of expression) रीतिरात्मा काव्यस्य |

काव्यशब्दोयं गुणालंकारसंस्कृत्योः शब्दार्थयोः वरर्तते |

800 AD
Anandavardhana Dhvanyaaloka Dhvani काव्यस्य आत्मा ध्वनि: | 10th  AD


Kaavya Prakaasha (Kaavya Lakshanam) तददोषौ शब्दार्थौ सगुणावनलंकृती पुनः क्वापि 12th
Kuntaka Vakrookti Jivitam Vakrotti
(crooked speech)
काव्यस्य आत्मावक्रोत्ति: |  


Saahitya Dharpana Ukti


वाक्यं रसात्मकं काव्यम् |
उक्तिविषेशः काव्यम् |

Shabda and the Artha (Vaachyaa and lakshanaa) are the body. The Kavya Lakshana is generally given in 3 different ways – one giving importance to words, the other giving importance to meaning, and the last one giving importance to both word and meaning.

Dandhi also spoke about only shareeram and not the atma – “शरीरं तावदिष्टार्थ व्यवछिन्ना पदावली – It is a collection of words that give some charming meaning.  Vishwanatha says in his Saahitya Dharpana – वाक्यं रसात्मकं काव्यम् – the sentences that convey meaning that is filled with Rasaa is Kaavya. He gives importance to the meaning.

काश्मीरनिवासिनो भामह काव्यालङ्कारग्रन्थ – “शब्दार्थौ सहितौ काव्यम्” | सहितयोः भावः साहित्यम् | But always Shabda and Artha are inseparable. The reason for mentioning the term sahitau was clarified later by Kuntaka. The beauty of one should be enhanced by the other. They should compete within themselves to create the charm. Here the importance is given to both word and meaning.  कुन्तकाचार्यः “वक्रोक्तिजीवितम्” – “शब्दार्थौ सहितौ वक्रकविव्यापारशालिनि। बन्धे व्यवस्थितौ काव्यं तद्विदाह्लादकारिणि ।।” He includes all the concepts.  ततोऽरुणपरिस्पन्दमन्दीकृतवपुः शशी । दध्रे कामपरिक्षामकामिनीगण्डपाण्डुताम् ।। In this example cited by Kuntaka, there is saundarya of the shabda due to anupraasaa or alliteration. Before sunrise, all the flowers are dull and they look like the face of the kaamini who misses her lover. Due to the upamaa Alamkaara, there is beauty in the meaning. Thus, there should be beauty in both the word and the meaning. Vaamana explains in the Kaavyaalankaara Sutra Vrutti – काव्यशब्दोयं गुणालंकारसंस्कृत्योः शब्दार्थयोः वरर्तते – the term kavya refers to the word-meaning that is endowed with Guna and Alamkaara.

The vengyaartha or the Dhvani which is given by shabda or artha is the soul of poetry according to Ananda Vardhana.


The prominence is given to vengyaartha.   चारुत्वात् प्राधान्यम् | When the suggested meaning is more charming than the denoted and the indicated meanings, it is called Dhvani.  There were other concepts like rasa, bhaava, alamkara, guna, reeti, vritti, etc.  Dhvanya loka created a new era in Alamkaara shashtra. He linked other concepts like rasa, bhaava, alamkara to Dhvani. Mammatta and Abhinava Gupta strengthened this concept of Dhvani.

Mammatta’s Kaavya Prakaasha is based on Dhvani Siddhanta only. He consolidated the earlier concepts and created a work (प्रकरण ग्रन्थ) as a textbook. He is a samanvaya aacharya. He accepted the earlier concepts. He agreed that Alamkara could enhance the poetry in certain cases. He agreed that reeti could also enhance poetry when these concepts come to support Dhvani.


Mammata was a Kashmiri Shaivite. He was considered as Vaakdevataa avataara.  There are more than 50 commentaries. It is one of the work with the most number of commentaries like the Bhagavad Gita.

Mangala Shloka

नियतिकृतनियमरहितां ह्लादैकमयीमनन्यपरतन्त्राम्  ।
नवरसरुचिरां निर्मितिमादधती भारती कवेर्जयति  ॥ कारिका १ ॥

The mangala shloka could be addressed to the Ishta Devataa (favourite deity) or the samuchchitaa  Devataa (appropriate or proper deity) or the Samuchchiteshta समुचितेष्टदेवता (favourite and proper deity). ग्रन्थकृत् परामृशति – he recollects and remembers the deity. He invokes the deity.

अपारे काव्यसंसारे कविरेव प्रजापतिः | यथास्मै रोचते विश्वं तथेदं परिवर्तते ||

नियतिकृतनियमरहिता = a creation which has no limitations imposed by the laws of nature.   नियति – creation is a concept or tattva among the concepts in shaivism.  Brahman’s creation is of a form fixed by the power of the laws of nature.

ह्लादैकमयी = full of pleasure alone;  Brahman’s creation has aspects of pleasure (sattva), pain (rajas) and delusion (tamas).

अनन्यपरतन्त्रा = independent of other’s help;  Brahman’s creation is dependent on material causes like the atoms and auxiliary causes like action. Upaadaana kaarana – mud is required for making pot. Nimitta Kaarana  or sahakaari kaarana – the potter and the wheel.

नवरसरुचिरा = Charming with nine rasas; Brahman’s creation has only six relishes and it is not necessarily enjoyable. नवरसः च  रुचिरा च |

निर्मितिम् आदधती = (kavi’s vaani poet’s speech) gives this creation.

कवेः भारती  जयति | prostration is implied by jayati.

The nirmiti of Brahma is the upamaana. The nirmiti of Kavi is the upameya. उपमानात् उपमेयस्य आधिक्यम् अस्ति | This is Vyatireka Alamkaara Dhvani as the upameya is superior to upamaana.

Purpose of Poetry

In the ancient times, there was this idea “काव्यालापां च वर्जयेत्” | Don’t do the alaapana of Kaavya.  Plato considered Poetry to be a waste of time. Aristotle did not agree with that.  Mammatta shows the importance of Poetry.

काव्यं यशसेऽर्थकृते व्यवहारविदे शिवेतरक्षतये  ।
सद्यः परनिर्वृतये कान्तासंमिततयोपदेशयुजे  ॥ कारिका २ ॥

काव्यं यशसे = There is no evidence for the stories attributed to Kalidasa. He is famous for his works only.  Poetry gives Yashash.

अर्थकृते = Dhaavaka sold his work Ratnaavali to Sri Harsha. Poetry procures wealth.

व्यवहारविदे = the viveka or the knowledge required to conduct one self. From the poetry, the people can know how to conduct themselves in the presence of a king, amongst officials, priests, etc.  Dharmashaastra also teaches this.

शिवेतरक्षतये  =  removes the inauspicious. Mammatta’s uncle, Mayura got leprosy as he had described a woman. By writing Surya Shataka he was cured of it.

सद्यः परनिर्वृतये = causes happiness as soon as it is read. The Kaavya comprises of Vibhaava, Anubhaava, and Viyabhichaari Bhaava. In nataka or drama, it is shown. In kaavya, it is written.  On sensing the Rasa, instantaneously there is the attainment of the pleasure.  सकलप्रयोजनमौलिभूतं = This is the most important among all purposes.

कान्तासंमिततया उपदेशयुजे  = Prabhu sammita (order. Eg. Veda says do certain soma yaaga if you want svarga praapti – one can’t question that  – importance is for word),  mitra sammita ( suggestion.  Eg Friends’ advice. Can be adhered to or ignored – importance is for meaning) , and Kaantaa sammita (Sweet Persuasion. Eg Lover’s words are carried even without realizing that one is being persuaded to do something – importance is for the message). रामादिवद्वर्तितव्यं न रावणादिवदित् – One should live like Rama and not Ravana. Rama created a gold idol and did the ashvamedha yaaga.  He was the only person who was eka-pati vrata.

Equipment of the poet

शक्तिर्निपुणता लोकशास्त्रकाव्याद्यवेक्षणात् ।
काव्यज्ञशिक्षयाभ्यास इति हेतुस्तदुद्भवे  ॥ कारिका ३ ॥

The saamagri required to compose poems.

  1. Shakti – prathibha
    1. It is a samskaara that comes over the ages. संस्कारविशेषः
    2. काव्यं तु जायतेजातु कस्यचित्प्रतिभावतः – Bhaama – kaavyaalamkaara – Only from a person with Prathibha only, the poem can arise.
    3. यां विना काव्यं नप्रसरेत् – Not possible to write poetry without this.
    4. प्रसृतं वा उपहसनीयं स्यात् – If it happens to be created without prathibha, it will be ridiculed.
  2. Nipunata – vyutpatti – shaashtragnaana, kaavya gnaana
    1. Kalidasa demonstrated the knowledge of other shashtras in his works.
    2. नैषदं विद्वतौषदम् – to understand naishadeyacharita, the knowledge of the other shashtras would be required.
  3. Abhyaasa – adhyayana
    1. Practice writing as per the chandas
    2. There are shikshaa granthas that explain how it is to be written.
    3. काव्यं कर्तुं विचारयितुं च ये जानन्ति ते काव्यज्ञाः | Learn under knowledgeable people who can write and be a critic of poetry.

These three together is the single cause. हेतुः न तु हेतवः | Dandhi says नैसर्गिकी च प्रतिभा श्रुतं च बहुनिर्मलम् । अमन्द पूवाभियोगोस्या: कारणं काव्य सम्पदा | He says in Kaavyaadarsha that in case prathibha is not present, but the other two are present, in certain cases, one might get some blessings to create poetry – श्रतेन यत्नेन च वागुपासिताध्रुवं करोत्येव कमप्यनुग्रहम् |

Kavya’s Lakshana

Mamatta defines Kavya in this way – तददोषौ शब्दार्थौ सगुणावनलङ्कृती पुनः क्वापि । He states that the word-meaning devoid of faults endowed with Guna and Alamkaara is kaavya. But he adds that there is no compulsion (अनुरोधः) that there should be Alamkaara when there is prominence of Rasa.  यत्र सर्वत्र शब्दार्थौ सालंकारौ स्यातां, यत्र रसस्य प्राधान्यमस्ति तत्र स्पष्ट-अलंकारस्य अनुरोधः मास्तु | In his words, he says यत्सर्वत्र सालङ्कारौ क्वचित्तु स्फुटालङ्कारविरहेऽपि न काव्यत्वहानिः | He cites this example.

यः कौमरहरः स एव हि वरस्ता एव चैत्रक्षपास्ते
चोन्मीलितमालतीसुरभयः प्रौढाः कदम्बानिलाः ।
सा चैवास्मि तथापि तत्र सुरतव्यापारलीलाविदौ
रेवारोधसि वेतसीतरुतले चेतः समुत्कण्ठते ॥१॥

The wife says “The nights of spring are the same, the fragrance of the malathi flowers are the same. I am the same. My heart longs for amorous sports”. Here, there is no alamkaara. But since the Rasa is dominant, it is ok for the verse to be devoid of Alamkaara. Though not apparent, there could be Alamkaara in this verse also. Vibhaavanaalamkaara – कारण अभावेपि कार्योत्पत्तिः विभावना. Visheshokti – कारणसत्वेऽपि कार्य-अभावः – The causes are present but the effect is not seen.The rasa is more predominant that these alamkaaras.

Classification of Kavya

Prior to Dhvanyaaloka, the classification was Dhrushya (Naataka) and Shravya (Gadya – kathaa and Aakyaayikaa, Padya – Kanda kavya, mahaa kavya, shataka, …  and Champu). From the point of view of Dhvani, the classification has been made. If Dhvani or Vyangyaartha is more predominant than the Vaachyaartha or Lakshanaartha, it is Dhvani Kaavya. It is called Uttama Kaavya.

Where the suggested meaning is subordinate to Vaachya, it is called Guniboota vyangya. अतादृशि गुणीभूतव्यङ्ग्यम् | Even if both have equal importance in bringing out the beauty, it comes under this category only. This poetry is called Madhyama Kaavya.

Eg. ग्रामतरुणं तरुण्या नववञ्जुलमञ्जरीसनाथकरम् । पश्यन्त्या भवति मुहुर्नितरां मलिना मुखच्छाया ॥३॥ In this, the literal meaning is that the brightness of the young woman’s face becomes acutely faded when she sees the youthful villager who carries in his hand a bunch of fresh Vanjula flowers”. Here the suggested meaning is that she did not go to the meeting point even though she had promised to meet her lover there. Since the denoted meaning is more charming, in this example, the suggested meaning is subordinated to the denoted meaning.

When the poetry is enjoyable due to the shabdaalamkaara or the arthaalamkaara, it is called Shabda Chitra and Artha Chitra respectively. He calls it Avyangyam. The poem cannot be devoid of vyangyaartha – but just that it is not prominent. Dhvani is the soul. There cannot be any poem without it. But just as the servant who is visited by the king during his marriage still gains importance over the king as it is his special day, in these chitra kaavyas, vyangyaa seems to lose its importance. This poetry is called as Adhama Kaavya. Kuntaka raises an objection on classifying a poem to be inferior.

इदमुत्तममतिशयिनि व्यङ्ग्ये वाच्याद्ध्वनिर्बुधैः कथितः  ॥ कारिका ४ ॥

This is an example of shabda chitra
स्वच्छन्दोच्छलदच्छकच्छकुहरच्छातेतराम्बुच्छटा     मूर्छन्मोहमहर्षिहर्षविहितस्नानाह्निकाह्नाय वः ।
भिद्यादुद्यदुदारदर्दुरदरीदीर्घादरिद्रद्रुम    द्रोहोद्रेकमहोर्मिमेदुरमदा मन्दाकिनी मन्दताम् ॥४॥
Here the point is “May Gangaa quickly destroy your lethargy” – मन्दाकिनी मन्दताम् भिद्यात् |

This is an example of artha chitra
विनिर्गतं मानदमात्ममन्दिराद्भवत्युपश्रुत्य यदृच्छयापि यम् । ससंभ्रमेन्द्र्रद्रुतपातितार्गला निमीलिताक्षीव भियामरावती ॥५॥ (मेण्ठकृतं हयग्रीववधम्)
When Indra hears that Hayagriva has exited from his residence, the gates of Amaraavati are instantly closed and that city appears to be closing her eyes out of dread. There is utprekshaalamkaara in the words निमीलिताक्षीव.  The upamaa’s feature of eyes is superimposed on the city, though city does not have eyes.

वाच्यात् व्यङ्ग्ये अतिशयिनि सति इदम् उत्तमं काव्यम् द्ध्वनिः इति बुधैः कथितः | In Dhvanyaaloka, he says “suribhih kathitah”. Here “budaih” he refers to vaiyaakaranas – बुधैर्वैयाकरणैः because प्रथमे हि विद्वांसः वैयाकरणाः | All aalamkaarikas are basically vaiyaakaranas. स्फोट – flashes instantaneously. Sphota is explosion. An ideal form of a word is Dhvani.

The grammarians state that the word disappears immediately as soon as it is said. While saying ka – ma – la, the images of the initially uttered ka and ma are retained in the memory until the last letter is uttered. Then the whole word brings out a meaning. This ideal form of the word is vyangyaa or sphota or Dhvani. The grammarians use the term Dhvani even to refer to the letters in the word as it conveys a meaning. पूर्व पूर्व वर्नानुभावाहित संस्कार सचिवेन अन्त्यवर्णानुभवेन अभिव्यज्यते स्फोटः | i.e., अन्त्यध्वनिना सह स्फोटशब्दः अभिव्यज्यते । तस्मिन्नेव समये पूर्वपूर्वध्वनयः संस्काररूपेण सहकुर्वन्ति। In this case, the prominent vyangya in the form of Sphota, the vyanjaka are the letters and the vyangya are called Dhvani by the grammarians.

First we understand the Vaachyaartha. The sahrudayaas will only be able to understand the Vengyaartha. There could be vyanjakatvam of the word and the vyanjakatvam of the meaning. When Vyangya is prominent, the vyanjaka are both the word and the meaning and those are also called as Dhvani by the Alamkarikas.

Five different meanings for the term Dhvani are given in Dhvanyaaloka and Mammata accepts them. (1) The vyanjaka word is Dhvani अर्थं व्यज्यति इति ध्वनिः | व्यनक्ति इति व्यञ्जकः | Here meaning is supplementary (2) The vyanjaka meaning is Dhvani व्यञ्जयति इति ध्वनिः | here the word is supplementary (3) ध्वन्यते इति ध्वनिः the suggested meaning is Dhvani (4) The vyanjana vyaapaara is Dhvani व्यङ्ग्यार्थं प्रतिपादयति इति व्यञ्जन व्यापारोऽपि ध्वनिः | (5) यत्र ध्वनेः प्रादान्यमस्ति तत्र काव्यमपि ध्वनिः | The kaavya where suggestion is predominant, is Dhvani.

Encyclopedia of India Literature by Amaresh Data: The term Dhvani is suggested by the grammarian’s doctrine of “sphota”, according to which the dhvani suggests the sphota which is the meaning it bears. The words and their senses that are capable of manifesting the suggested sense are called Dhvani. Thus, suggestive words and senses are called dhvani. The additional activity of the speaker involved in imparting to the sounds produced by him in a manner or shape such as fast, slow, etc., is called Dhvani. Similarly it is not the ordinary significative functions of words, viz., primary (abhidha) and secondary (lakshana) that manifest the suggested sense, but a third activity inherent in words and different from the two previous ones, known as suggestion (vyanjana). This is also called Dhvani. But lastly the poetry where all these, the suggestive words and ideas, suggestion and suggested ideas, are found is also called Dhvani. It is evident that the term dhvani, which is used in all the five different senses stated above is borrowed and adopted from the terminology of the grammarians. According to Abhinavagupta, the word dhvani can stand for five different meanings, viz., (1) the suggestive meaning (vyanjakartha), (2) the suggestive word (vyanjakashabda), (3) the function of suggestion (vyanjanavyapara), (4) the suggested content (vyangya) and (5) poetry as a whole (samudayakavya).

Example of Vyangyaartha – the naayaki has sent has her friend as a messenger to the naayaka. But the friend herself has a nice time with the naayaka and returns. The naayaki finds out by looking at the evidences on her friend’s body. “वापीं स्नातुमितो गतासि न पुनस्तस्याधमस्यान्तिकम्” The word “adhama” meaning wretched that is used to refer to her naayaka suggests the opposite meaning “तस्य अन्तिकम् एव गतासि न वापीं स्नातुम्”

Second Ullasa

Three types of words and meanings

क्रमेण शब्दार्थयोः स्वरूपमाह | There are three types of words and meanings. वाचकः, लाक्षणिकः, and व्यञ्जकः | स्याद्वाचको लाक्षणिकः शब्दोऽत्र व्यञ्जकस्त्रिधा  । वाचक-तः वाच्यार्थः | लक्षण-तः लक्ष्यार्थः | व्यञ्जक-तः व्यङ्ग्यार्थः |  A few other like Naiyaayikaas and the Bhaatta Meemaamsakaas mention about a fourth type called तात्पर्यार्थः | There are 3 functions of the words namely अभिधा वृत्तिः, लक्षणा वृत्तिः and व्यञ्जना वृत्तिः | They add a fourth one called तात्पर्या वृत्तिः | तात्पर्यार्थोऽपि केषुचित् |

Abhihitaanvayavaada and Anvitaabhidhaanavaada

There are two  मतs of meemamsakaas. The first one is कुमरील bhatta’s mata called Bhaatta mata. Taatparyaartha accepted by Naiyaayikaas and Kumareela Bhatta. The other mata is Prabhakara’s mata called Guru mata. प्रभाकर Bhatta  was Kumareela Bhatta’s student. They consider Vachyaartha to be Taatparyaartha

There are two vaadaas regarding taatparyaartha. One is Abhihitaanvayavaada of Bhatta. In this, a new meaning other than the meaning of the individual words in the sentence is present. First Abhidaa meaning is taken. Then another meaning comes. The other vaada is Anvitaabhidhaanavaada of Prabhaakara.

आकाङ्क्षायोग्यतासंनिधिवशाद्वक्ष्यमाणस्वरूपाणां पदार्थानां समन्वये तात्पर्यार्थो विशेषवपुरपदार्थोऽपि वाक्यआर्थः समुल्लसतीत्यभिहितान्वयवादिनां मतम् ॥

आकाङ्क्षा or Expectancy is defined as पदस्य पदान्तर-व्यतिरेक-प्रयुक्त+अन्वय+अननुभावकत्वम् आकांक्षा by Naiyaayikaas. One word expects more words to be included to provide a complete meaning. योग्यता  or compatibility ensures that there is no abhaadaa of meaning  – अर्थाभादा योग्यता | Eg. अग्निना सिञ्चति |  संनिधि or proximity of utterance of words is अर्थानां अविलम्बेन उच्चारणम् | A new meaning for the vakyaa is obtained. The shaabda boda for घटम् आनय is घटरूप कर्मता निरूपित आनयनक्रिया |

Anvitaabhidhaanavaadin do not want the complication of the additional meaning. They prefer to take the लाखव simple path rather than the गौरव higher path. A child learns the language by hearing the words repeatedly being used in the sentences that are formed.  So this group claims वाच्य एव वाक्यार्थ इत्यन्विताभिधानवादिनः ॥६॥ that the denoted meaning of the words itself is the meaning of the sentence.

Suggestiveness of different meanings

All the three meanings could have suggestiveness in them. सर्वेषां प्रायशोऽर्थानां व्यञ्जकत्वमपीष्यते ।  Example of the suggestiveness of the denoted meaning: “Mother, provisions are not present in the house. What should be done? Day light will not stay like this for long”. Here, it is suggested that the daughter wants to roam freely.

For Lakshana, there should be mukhyaartha baada. In Lakshana, there is roodi and prayojavathi lakshana. In prayojavathi, there has to be some purpose for mentioning the words having the indicated meaning. In case of gangaayaam goshah, the purpose is to indicate the chillness and the sacredness. Eg. “O friend, you have been subjected to exertion in persuading my lover. You have shown your good nature and friendship”. Here the indicated meaning is that you have become my enemy by entertaining my lover. The suggested meaning is that her lover has committed an offense and she wants to express it.

Example of suggestiveness of the suggested meaning is “See the white crane is shining on the lotus leaf still and motionless …”. Here, motionless crane suggests security of the place, by that is suggested the absence of people and that they could meet there or that you could not have come here earlier. There would be one Vaachyaartha and there could be multiple vengyaartha. When different people here that “sunset is happening”, based on their profession or condition, it could provide different suggested meaning.


Vaacaka is that which directly denotes the conventional meaning.  साक्षात्संकेतितं योऽर्थमभिधत्ते स वाचकः  ॥ कारिका ७ ॥  Conventional meaning or Sanketa is defined in this way – अस्माच्छब्दात् अयमर्थो बोद्धव्य इति ईश्वर इच्छा संकेतः  |  इह+अगृहीत-संकेतस्य शब्दस्य-अर्थप्रतीतेः अभावात् संकेतसहाय एव शब्दोऽर्थविशेषं प्रतिपादयतीति यस्य यत्राव्यवधानेन संकेतो गृह्यते स तस्य वाचकः ॥७॥  There is no possibility of comprehension of meaning of a word if the convention related to the meaning is not grasped.

Vaachyaartha is called as mukhyaartha, primary meaning, and expressed sense. According to grammarians there are four types of conventional meaning. According to both the bhaatta and Guru meemaamsakaas, there is only one type which is the Jaati and then by aakshepa, they extend the meaning to specific person – eg. अयं मनुष्यः | Meemaamsakas were interested in understanding the Vedas. They took only the jaati artha.  सङ्केतितश्चतुर्भेदो जात्यादिर्जातिरेव वा  । The conventional meaning is four-fold i.e., Jaati (genus) etc.; or, it may be only one, i.e., Jaati.  If the word cow indicates each individual cow, then there are infinity of objects that it indicates. Hence it has to be taken to indicate the genus of cows. But when we say पशुः अनुबन्द्यः – to say that the animal to be sacrificed is tied to the post, the entire Jaati of pashu is not being sacrificed and here the word points to only an individual being. तदुपाधावेव संकेतः । The convention is to be made in the Upaadhi or a concept or an adjunct.

There are two kinds of Upaadhi. उपाधिश्च द्विविधः  वस्तुधर्मो वक्तृयदृच्छासंनिवेशितश्च । First is the thing’s nature वस्तुधर्मः and the other is the name, say Ditta, given arbitrarily by the speaker वक्तृयदृच्छासंनिवेशितः | वस्तुधर्मोऽपि द्विविधः सिद्धः साध्यश्च । A thing’s nature can be of two types (1) that which is always an accomplished entity and (2) that which has to be accomplished. A thing which comes into being is the Siddha called Guna like the color of the cow being white. All actions will always be in the avashtha of Saadhya. Only while it is walking, we say गच्छति | सिद्धोऽपि द्विविधः पदार्थस्य प्राणप्रदो विशेषाधानहेतुश्च । The siddha is of two types (1) that which gives the very life to the object — praanaprada (jati – genus) and (2) that which adds a special feature or property – Visesaadhaanahetu (guna – quality). न हि गौः स्वरूपेण गौर्नाप्यगौः । गोत्वाभिसंवन्धातु गौः | It is said in Vaakyapadeeya that “a cow is neither a cow nor a non-cow by its very existence. It is a cow due to its invariable relation to cowness”.

  • Upaadhi
    • Vastudharma
      • Siddha
        • (1) Praanaprada
          • (jaati – genus)
        • (2) Viseesaadhaanahetu
          • (Guna – quality)
        • (3) Saadhya
          • Kriyaa – action
        • (4) Vaktruyadrucchaasanniveshita
          • Yadruchchaa – arbitrary name

The grammarians say that there is only jaati. Suklatva or whiteness is a jaati on the basis of which there is a common awareness of “white”. Similarly for action also, the jati is the cause of usage. The meemaamsaka say that even Ditta can be taken as a jaati as different speakers – child, old man, parrot and so on say it differently. The third group says that we need both jaati and vyakti. The specific cow that has the cowness – गोत्व विशिष्टः गौः | तद्वान् (like जातिमान्) – one who possesses that – suggested by Nyaaya school. Next, according to Buddhists, nothing is permanent. Everything is temporary. They say that the movement of the earth is not felt. In the same way, the objects exist only during that specific moment. But due to the continuity of the existence of different entities (considering that each moment the person is changing), we feel its continuous presence. They call it अपोह – apoha – negation of the different. Omitting all that is different from this, whatever remains is the indicated object.


मुख्यार्थबाधे तद्योगे रूढितोऽथ प्रयोजनात् । अन्योऽर्थो लक्ष्यते यत्सा लक्षणारोपिता क्रिया  ॥ कारिका ९ ॥ The conditions for Lakshana to occur (1) incompatibility of the primary meaning (मुख्यार्थबाध) and (2) a relation (तद्योग) of the other meaning should be with the primary meaning – this should be on the basis of usage or purpose – रूढितः or  प्रयोजनात् | It is a function imposed आरोपिता on the word.

Eg. कर्मणि कुशलः – for कुशलः the original meaning is कुशान् लाति – he who carries with him the kusha or dharba grass. The relationship between the meaning of expert and one who carries kusha is विवेकचित्वात् संबन्ध. There is incompatibility as carrying kusha does not have anything to do with work. And there is a relationship between an expert and one carrying kusha as both indicate the alertness. Here this is on the basis of Roodhi i.e., usage.

Eg. Gangaayaam ghosah. There is incompatibility with the meaning of stream for Gangaayaam. The related meaning that is indicated is the banks of the Ganges due to closeness सामीप्य संबन्धः. Here this is on the basis of purpose of indicating chillness, sacredness, etc.

The function that brings out the meaning of chillness and sacredness is not Abhidaa since Ganga literally does not mean these qualities. नाभिधा समयाभावात् | The meaning is not Lakshana also since the conditions do not apply for taking the Lakshanaa to indicate chillness, sacredness, etc.  न लक्षणा  मुख्यार्थबाधादिहेतुत्रितयाभावात् । अतः व्यञ्जना एव अत्र व्यापारः | This is called Lakshanaa mula vyanjanaartha.  These two types called abhidhaa mula vyanjanaartha and Lakshanaa mula vyanjanaartha comes in 4th chapter.

अनेकार्थस्य शब्दस्य वाचकत्वे नियन्त्रिते  । संयोगाद्यैः+अवाच्यार्थ-धीकृत्+व्यापृतिः+अञ्जनम्  ॥ कारिका १९ ॥

When the denotative power of a word having several meanings is restricted by means of Samyoga (physical contact), etc., the function which brings about the non-denoted meaning is Vyanjana (suggestion). Abhidhaa niyantrana is required for the words which have denotative power so that one meaning is restricted to one specific meaning.

संयोगो विप्रयोगश्च साहचर्यं विरोधिता ।  अर्थः प्रकरणं लिङ्गं शब्दस्यान्यस्य संनिधिः ॥
सामर्थ्यमौचिती देशः कालो व्यक्तिः स्वरादयः । शब्दार्थस्यानवच्छेदे विशेषस्मृतिहेतवः ॥

संयोगः (contact), विप्रयोगः (separation), साहचर्यं (association) विरोधिता (enmity) अर्थः (purpose, aim) प्रकरणं (context) लिङ्गं (peculiar feature), अन्यस्य शब्दस्य संनिधिः (proximity of another word),  सामर्थ्यम् (ability) औचिती (propriety) देशः (place), कालः (time) व्यक्तिः (gender) स्वरादयः (accent, etc.) become the causes of bringing into memory the intended meaning when there is uncertainty regarding the meaning of a word.

Hari has different meanings like Vishnu, Monkey, Lion, Horse, etc. सशङ्खचक्रो हरिः – Here due to the presence of Conch and the discus, the meaning is restricted to Vishnu. अशङ्खचक्रो हरिः –  Only Vishnu can be without his possessions and hence here also it indicates Vishnu. रामलक्ष्मणौ – Due to association of Lakshmana, it is Dasaratha raama. रामार्जुनौ – Parasurama and Kartavirya Arjun – due to enmity. स्थाणुं भज भवच्छिदे – Here due to the purpose, sthanu indicates shiva and not a pillar.

भद्रात्मनो दुरधिरोहतनोर्विशाल वंशोन्नतेःकृतशिलीमुखविग्रहस्य । यस्यानुपप्लुतगतेः परवारणस्य दानाम्बुसेकसुभगः सततं करोभूत् ॥१२॥

An example is given here where the verse could mean both a king and an elephant belonging to the jaati of Bhadra. From the context, since it is about the King, the meaning meant for the King is to be taken first. The other meaning is taken to be Vyanjana. (Side Note: Jagannaata does not agree that with this. He says that the second meaning should also be taken as the vaachyaartha. He agrees only in certain specific cases. Even Ananda vardhana does not say that. But Abhinava Gupta gives this in his vyaakyaanaa.  The Elephant can be taken to be the upamaana and hence the alamkara of Upama comes. So this becomes Upama Dhvani. The shabda shakti mula Dhvani can only be alamkara Dhvani and it can never be vastu roopa Dhvani says AnandaVardhana).

Third Ullasa

 Arthavyanjakata – suggestiveness

यत्र शब्द-व्यञ्जकता अस्ति अत्र अर्थोऽपि व्यञ्जकः सहकारितया | i.e., In shabda shakti mula Dhvani, where there is suggestiveness of the word, there will be suggestiveness of the meaning also in a supplementary way. Similarly, in artha shakti mula Dhvani, where there is suggestiveness of the meaning, there will be suggestiveness of the word also in a supplementary way.   यत्र अर्थ-व्यञ्जकता अस्ति अत्र शब्दोऽपि व्यञ्जकः सहकारितया |

वक्तृबोद्धव्यकाकूनां वाक्यवाच्यान्यसन्निधेः  ॥ कारिका २१ ॥

प्रस्तावदेशकालादेर्वैशिष्ट्यात्प्रतिभाजुषाम्  । योऽर्थस्यान्यार्थधीहेतुर्व्यापारो व्यक्तिरेव सा  ॥ कारिका २२ ॥

The function of the word, which is the cause of the cognition of another meaning (different from the denoted meaning) to those who have imagination (prathibhaa) on the basis of the specialty of the speaker वक्तृ, the person spoken to बोद्धव्य, intonation काकू, sentence वाक्य, the denoted meaning वाच्य the presence of another person अन्यसन्निधिः, the context प्रस्ताव, the place देश or the time and so on कालादि is only the Vyanjanaa.

Example from Venisamhaara is given for intonation.
तथाभूतां दृष्ट्वा नृपसदसि पाञ्चालतनयां  वने व्याधैः सार्धं सुचिरमुषितं वल्कलधरैः ।
विराटस्यावासे स्थितमनुचितारम्भनिभृतं  गुरुः खेदं खिन्ने मयि भजति नाद्यापि कुरुषु ॥

Having seen Draupadi in that pitiable condition, and havin seen how we lived for a long time in the forest wearing bark clothes, and also having observed our life in the residence of Viraata in which we took up the most inappropriate professions, my elder brother is embarrassed about me even today, and not at all angry on the Kauravas. Here it is suggested by variation of tone that it is wrong for Yudhistira to be angry on Bhima, but right to be so on Kauravas.

Fourth Ullasa

Types of Dhvani


  • Dhvani
    • अविवक्षितवाच्यध्वनिः – lakshanaa mula Dhvani
      • अर्थान्तरसङ्क्रमितवाच्यध्वनिः – किञ्चित् विवक्षिता
      • अत्यन्ततिरस्कृतवाच्यध्वनिः – अविवक्षित
    • विवक्षितान्यपरवाच्यध्वनिः – abhidhaa mula Dhvani

नञ् means full absence and also little presence. So अविवक्षित is not विवक्षिता and also किञ्चित् विवक्षिता.

Rasanispatti – Rasasutra

In the worldly affairs, whatever is called as Kaarana or cause, in Kavya and naataka, that is referred to as Vibhaava; and Kaarya or action is referred to as Anubhaava; and the sahachaari kaarana or supplementary causes are referred to as Sanchaari Bhaava or Vyabhichaari Bhaava. Bharata in his Rasa Sutra states that by the combination of these three factors, there will be the nispatti of the Rasa. He states विभावानुभावव्यभिचारि संयोगाद्रसनिष्पत्ति: |

For Rati or love, the cause is Rama and Sita. They are called as Aalambana Vibhaavas. The additional supporting factors like the moon-rise, cool breeze, etc. are Udveepana Vibhaavas. The expressions shown in the face indicating the feeling that a person has inside are all called anubhaavaas in Kavya which are the actions or Kaaryaas in the normal world. The temporary feeling which comes along with Vibhaavas and Anubhaavas and vanishes is the Vyabhichaari Bhaava or sanchaari bhaava. व्यभिचरन्ति इति व्यभिचारिभावाः | Vyabhicharati means leaving without being committed.

When these factors come together, there will be the nispatti of the rasa.  i.e., the inherent feeling in the person called Sthaayibhaava gets well-nourished and results in the enjoyment of the Rasa. In naatya Shaastra there are 8 sthaayi bhaavaas. In this, there are 9. There are others who include more up to 14 including others like Bhakti. In Kaavya Prakaasa there are four arguments. (Side Note: Jagannatha Panditha in Rasa Gangaadhara puts forth more arguments). The sthaayi bhaava is kindled by the vibhaava. The biggest debate is “In whom is the the Sthaayi bhaava present?” The person who experiences the rasa is ultimately the Sahrudaya, though the kavi and the actors could also experience the feelings.

Here Mammata clarifies what is Samyoga and what is nishpatti. Rasa Nishpatti means experiencing the Rasa or the aesthetic experience. How this happens? What is the relationship between the samyoga and the nishpatti.

Bhatta Lollata puts forth the Utpatti vaada saying Rasa is the utpaadya and the Vibhaava, Anubhaava, Vyabhichaara bhaavas are the utpaadakas. Samyoga is the Utpaadya-utpaadaka-bhaava sambanda. That is how rasa is related with those three factors. Nishpatti is the Utpatti of Rasa. Lollata says that the Rasa is experienced by the character (say Rama) and the actor who is assuming the character. (Side note: This is not possible since the actor will not be able to act if he really starts experiencing those feelings. Bharata has clearly stated that sumanasah rasam anubhavanti – the sahrudayaas experience the rasa. Lollata has written commentaries on Bharata’s Naatyashaastra. It is not possible for the audience to feel happy by looking at the experience of the actors).

The second one Srisankuka or Sankuka puts forth the Anumiti vaada. He says that vibhaavaadis are the anumaapakas and the rasa is the anumaapya and they are related by the anumaapya-anumaapaka-sambanda. By Anumaana or inference, the audience experiences the joy. He says that Nishpatti is Anumiti. The sentiment of love, etc., is inferred by looking at the actor. (Side note: That is not possible by inference. They should experience it directly to feel the joy).

Then Bhattanaayaka’s vaada is Bhukti vaada. BhattaNaayaka says that along with Abhidhaa vyaapaara, there are two other functions namely Bhaavakatva vyaapaara and Bhojakatva vyaapaara that are required for Rasa Siddhi. By Bhaavakatva vyaapaara, Saadaarani karana or generalization / universalisation happens. The experience is not considered as being Rama’s experience or the actor’s experience or my experience. The sahrudaya experience this saadaarani kruta vibhaavaadis. By the bhojakatva vyaapaara, the sahrudaya relishes this rasa – रसं भुङ्ग्ते | Here it is bhoojya-bhoojaka-bhaava sambanda. The nishpatti is called Bhukti.

The fourth is by Abhinavagupta which is the Vyakti Vaada. Abhinava Gupta says that there is no need for two functions as both are together doing the function of Vyanjana. By the vyanjanaa vyaapaara, both saadaarani karana and bhukti happen. Here vengya-vyanjaka-bhaava sambanda is there.  Vengya is rasa. Vyanjakas are the Vibhaavaadis.

Fifth Ullasa

In this chapter, Guneebhuta vyangya kaavya is explained. There are 8 types with specific description. Mammatta mentions to the point in this work. His work has the maximum number of commentaries as the subject could be elaborated further based on what he has mentioned. In the later part of the fifth ullasa, Mammatta speaks about Dhvani Sthaapanaa.

Sixth Ullasa

In this sixth ullasa, Mammatta explains Shabda Chitra and Artha Chitra Kaavyas. Where there is shabdaalamkaara, it is shabda chitra. Where there is arthaalamkaara, it is artha chitra.


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