Kavya Prakasha of Mammata


This document covers the important points from the first six ullaasas of Mammata’s Kaavya Prakaasha. This has been consolidated from the various posts in the blogs on this topic which covered the sessions by Prof. Anantha Nagendra Bhat, Prof. Sivakumaraswamy, Prof. Vanitha Ramaswamy and Smt. Harini. The coverage is limited to the important aspects, based on the earlier KSOU MA exam question papers. The phrases asked in KSOU MA exam सन्दर्भquestions have been underlined with bold font (mostly along with this indicator <*>). Some additional information mentioned by the speakers during the class room sessions have been marked as “Side notes”. They may not be important from the exam point of view. They have been included either to understand the context or just for information. Here is a downloadable file which additionally includes an elaborate table of contents and a few SmartArt graphic images. kavya-prakasha-by-mammata


Type of Granthas

Granthas or Books are of two types namely Lakshya grantha and Lakshana grantha. The grantha that defines poetry is a lakshana grantha. Lakshana grantha is not a poem or a drama. There will be definitions and examples which are mostly cited from other works which are Lakshya Granthas. The examples could either be from the works of other famous poets or a poem could be written by the author himself.  Lakshya Grantha deals with some subject or vishaya and it is in the form of a poem or a drama based on a theme or plot.

Kavya Prakasha is a Lakshana grantha [that which explains about rules of poetry, etc.] written by Mammata. Starting from Bharata there have been various thinkers and writers who have propounded many theories like Alamkara, Rasa, Bhava, Guna, Reeti, Maarga, etc. while authors like Bhamaha, Dandin, Udbhata and Rudrata focused on Alamkara, Vamana emphasized the concept of Riti. However it was Anandavardhana who changed the entire course of discussion by introducing the concept of Dhvani. Dhananjaya the author of Dasharupaka, Dhanika the commentator of Dasharupaka and Mahimabhatta the author of Vyaktiviveka, firmly opposed the concept of Dhvani.

Two important works in Alamkaara Shastra on Dhvani 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 was called by different names like अवगमनार्थ, भिन्नार्थ, etc. prior to his times.

History of Kaavya Shaastra

Refer the other page with more details refer the section on History of Kaavya Shaastra in –



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

“शरीरं तावदिष्टार्थ व्यवछिन्ना पदावली”

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

काव्यशब्दोयं गुणालंकारसंस्कृत्योःशब्दार्थयोः वरर्तते |

800 AD
Anandavardhana Dhvanyaaloka Dhvani काव्यस्य आत्मा ध्वनि: | 1000 AD
Kuntaka Vakrookti Jivitam (crooked speech) Vakrotti काव्यस्य आत्मा वक्रोत्ति: |  





Kaavya Prakaasha Dhvani(Kaavya Lakshanam) काव्यस्य आत्मा ध्वनि: |तददोषौ शब्दार्थौ सगुणावनलंकृती पुनः क्वापि 1200 AD


Saahitya Dharpana Ukti


वाक्यं रसात्मकं काव्यम् |
उक्तिविषेशःकाव्यम् |


Different Opinions on Kaavya Lakshana

Shabda and Artha – Word and Meaning are the body. The Kavya Lakshana is generally given in 3 different ways – one giving importance to word alone, the other giving importance to meaning alone, 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. Bhamaha from Kashmir told in his काव्यालङ्कार thatशब्दार्थौ सहितौ काव्यम् | Word and its meaning make poetry. Here सहितयोः भावः साहित्यम् | But always Shabda and Artha are inseparable. The reason for mentioning the term सहितौ 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 say in वक्रोक्तिजीवितम् that शब्दार्थौ सहितौ वक्रकविव्यापारशालिनि। बन्धे व्यवस्थितौ काव्यं तद्विदाह्लादकारिणि । He includes all the concepts.

Let us take this example cited by Kuntaka. ततोऽरुणपरिस्पन्दमन्दीकृतवपुः शशी । दध्रे कामपरिक्षामकामिनीगण्डपाण्डुताम् ।। Before sunrise, all the flowers are dull and they look like the face of the kaamini who misses her lover. In this example, there is saundarya of the shabda due to anupraasaa or alliteration. 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 that काव्यशब्दोयं गुणालंकारसंस्कृत्योः शब्दार्थयोः वर्तते – 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. चारुत्वात् प्राधान्यम् | Due to its charm, when the suggested meaning gains prominence over the denoted and the indicated meanings, it is called Dhvani.  There were other concepts like Rasa, Bhaava, Alamkara, Guna, Reeti, Vritti, etc.  Dhvanyaloka created a new era in Alamkaara shashtra. He linked other concepts like Rasa, Bhaava, and Alamkara to Dhvani. Mammatta and Abhinava Gupta strengthened this concept of Dhvani.

The confusion and chaos that prevailed in the literary circles at that time prompted Mammata to defend the theory of Dhvani. Kavyaprakasha was written to establish a firm footing for the Dhvani theory and refute the arguments of the opponents.


In the history of Kavyasastra, Mammata is a luminous star, remembered with respect and adoration. Mammata lived in Kashmir, known as Shaaradadesha, during the latter half of 11th century and first half of 12th century (1090 – 1160 AD). Mammata was a Kashmiri Shaivite.  He had the title Raajaanaka which was generally conferred on poets particularly in Kashmir. He was also called Saraswathi avatara or Vaakdevataavataara by his admirers.

Kuvata and Kaiyata were brothers. Kaiyata’s son was Mammata. Mammata’s maternal uncle Sriharsha wrote Nashadeeya Charitam. Mammata’s two works are Kaavyapraakasa and Sabda-vyaapara-vicaara.

Mammatta’s Kaavya Prakaasha is based on Dhvani Siddhanta. He consolidated the earlier concepts and created a work (प्रकरण-ग्रन्थ) as a textbook. He is a Samanvaya Aacharya or Samanvayakaarah as he consolidated all the aspects like Alankaara, Guna, Reeti, Dhvani, Auchityam, Rasa, etc. 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.


Kaavyaprakaasa is the work of Mammata. It means “The Light of Poetry”. It covers various factors and aspects of Sanskrit Poetics. The popularity of the text can be known by its numerous commentaries.  There are more than 50 commentaries. It is one of the works with the most number of commentaries after the Bhagavad Gita. Independent authors like Ruyyaka and Viswanatha have also written commentaries. Sudhaasagara is a famous commentary written by Bhimasena Dikshitha.

The study of Kavyasasthra is considered incomplete without the study of Kavya Prakasa. The studies on Kavyasastra from Bharatha to Bhoja are beautifully explained in Kavya Prakasa.

[Side Note: The term Kaavyaprakaasha is a samasta padam. काव्यतत्त्वानां प्रकाशः काव्यप्रकाशः | It comes underमध्यमपदलोपिसमासः ]

Structure of KaavyaPrakasha

Kavyaprakasha is divided into 10 chapters called Ullaasas. (In the KSOU MA syllabus, 6 ullaasas are included). The text comprises of 142 Kaarikaas and Vrittis. कारिका is a short verse in the form of shloka. वृत्तिः is the description which also includes the Udhaaharanaani or examples.

Content of KaavyaPrakasha

The first ullaasa has the Kaavyas’ Prayojana, Kaarana and Svaroopa. The second ullaasa शब्दार्थस्वरूपनिर्णयः establishes the various forms of the words and their meaning. The third ullaasa अर्थव्यञ्जकतानिर्णयः establishes the suggestiveness of the words. The fourth ullaasa ध्वनिनिर्णयः establishes the concept of Dhvani. The fifth ullaasa ध्वनि-गुणीभूतव्यङ्ग्य-संकीर्णभेदनिर्णयः establishes the Guneebhootavyangya and explains its eight types where in Dhvani is not so prominent. The sixth ullaasa शब्दार्थचित्रनिरूपणम् explains the further inferior types of poetry called Shabda Chitra and Artha Chitra where Dhvani is not at all evident.

First Ullasa

Mangala Shloka

नियतिकृतनियमरहितां ह्लादैकमयीमनन्यपरतन्त्राम्  ।
नवरसरुचिरां निर्मितिमादधती भारती कवेर्जयति  ॥ कारिका १ ॥  <*>

नियतिकृतनियमरहिता = a creation which has no limitations imposed by the laws of nature.Brahman’s creation is of a form fixed by the power of the laws of nature. Note that नियतिor  creation is a tattva or a concept in Saivism.

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 is like the mud that is required for making pot. Nimitta Kaaranaor sahakaari kaarana are like the potter and the potter’s wheel.

नवरसरुचिरा = Charming with nine rasas; Brahman’s creation has only six relishes and not all of them are enjoyable.

निर्मितिम्आदधती = (kavi’s vaani i.e., poet’s speech) which is giving the creation (with the above mentioned specialities).

कवेःभारती  जयति= That poet’s speech is  victorious. Prostration is implied by jayati.

Summary – The poet’s speech which is giving the creation that surpasses the Brahma’s creation is victorious!

The nirmiti of Brahma is the upamaana. The nirmiti of Kavi is the upameya. This is Vyatireka Alamkaara Dhvani as the उपमेय is superior to उपमान |Here the author is trying to draw a comparison between the creations of the supreme creator Brahma and a poet. He boasts that the creation of a poet is superior to that of Brahma because it is not restricted by the laws of nature, not dependent on others, full of pleasure and is enriched with 9 rasas. Brahma’s creation is limited by the laws of nature, is dependent on other kaaranas [upadana and nimitta], has rajas [pain] and tamas [delusion] along with sattva [pleasure], and has only 6 rasas.

Since the poet is described as having an upper hand, he says Goddess Bharati [who manifests in the speech of poet] is victorious.

[Side note: The poets can create the world in the way they want. अपारे काव्यसंसारे कविरेव प्रजापतिः | यथास्मै रोचते विश्वं तथेदं परिवर्तते | ]

[Side Note: There are three types of mangala shlokas namely वस्तुनिर्देश – establishing the subject matter of the work, आशीर्वाद – conferring blessings, and नमस्कार – offering salutations. Mangalam is for the completion of the work without any hindrance. The mangala shloka could be addressed to इष्टदेवता (favourite deity) or समुचितदेवता (appropriate or proper deity) or समुचितेष्टदेवता (favourite and proper deity). In this work, Mammata invokes the समुचितेष्टदेवता | The author recollects and remembers the deity ग्रन्थकृत् परामृशति ]

Kavya Prayojanam – Purpose of a Kavya

Mammatta shows the importance of Poetry.

[Side note: In the ancient times, there was this idea “काव्यालापां च वर्जयेत्” | “Refrain from the alaapana of Kaavya”.  Plato considered Poetry to be a waste of time. Aristotle did not agree with that. ]

काव्यं यशसेऽर्थकृते व्यवहारविदे शिवेतरक्षतये  ।
सद्यः परनिर्वृतये कान्तासंमिततयोपदेशयुजे  ॥ कारिका २ ॥ <*>

Poetry (काव्यम्) brings fame (यशः);riches (अर्थ-कृत्); knowledge (विद्) of the ways of the world (व्यवहार); destruction (क्षति) of evils that are in-auspicious (शिव-इतर); instant (सद्यः) and perfect happiness (पर-निर्वृति);and counsel (उपदेश) sweet as from the lips of a beloved consort (कान्ता-संमिततया).

Explanation given in the Vritti:

Yashas: काव्यं यशसे Poetry brings fame as to Kalidasa and others (कालिदासादीनाम्इव यशः).Kalidasa was widely regarded as the greatest poet and dramatist in the Sanskrit language and he reached such heights of fame due to his poems.  There is no evidence for the stories attributed to Kalidasa. In spite of the absence of any authentic information about his life, he is still famous due to his works only.

Arthakrth: अर्थकृते Poetry brings wealth as to Dhaavaka and other poets from Sri Harsa and other kings (श्रीहर्षादेः धावकादीनाम् इव धनम्).

[Side Note: There is a story that Dhavaka got money from Sriharsha by selling his work Ratnaavali. But there are objections to this point about Dhaavaka and there is पठभेद of Kaavya Prakasha in which Baana is mentioned instead of Dhaavaka.

“According to Buhler’s letter from Srinagara, all the Kashmir Manuscripts of the Kavya-prakasha read, in the passage in question, Baana, not Dhaavaka, the latter name being  altogether unknown to the Pandits there: ‘As Mammata was a native of Kashmir, this reading is undoubtedly the correct one.’” notes Albrecht Weber in his “History of Indian Literature”.

“Sri Harsha of Kanauj” by K.M. Panikkar, published by D.B. Taraporevale Sons & Co. in 1922, states this “Though Nagoji, a very late commentator, leaving both the original and the earlier commentaries behind, explained the passage by saying that it is possible to earn money as Dhaavaka did by selling the authorship of his words to Harsha. This statement has certainly no value in as far as it was written nearly 1000 years afterwards and based entirely on hearsay”. ]

Vyavaharavidh : व्यवहारविदे Imparts knowledge about general behavior and the viveka or the discrimination 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. Poetry brings the knowledge of rights and usages proper to kings and others – (राजादि-गत-उचित-आचार-परिज्ञानम्).

Shivetarakshati : शिवेतरक्षतये Poetry removes bad afflictions, as in the case of Mayura who composed Mayurashtaka in praise of Sun God and was cured of illness. (आदित्यादेःमयूरादीनाम् इव अनर्थ-निवारणम्).

[Side Note: Mayura Bhatta wrote Surya Satakam, in the 7th-century. It was created in praise of Lord Surya. Mayura Bhatta was suffering from leprosy. He performed penance at famous Deo Sun Temple located at Deo in present day Aurangabad district, Bihar. He composed one hundred verses in praise of Lord Surya – the Sun God, and was cured of leprosy. ]

Paranirvrutti : सद्यः परनिर्वृतये: The Aesthetic bliss is obtained through poetry immediately (sadya). Poetry causes happiness as soon as it is read. The chief aim of poetry, however, (सकल-प्रयोजन-मौलिभूतम्) isthe attainment of the pure unmixed pleasure (विगलित-वेद्यान्तरम् आनन्दम्) that follows instantaneously (समनन्तरम् एव) on the sensing of Rasa (रस-आस्वादन-समुद्भूतम्).

[Side note: The Kaavya comprises of Vibhaava, Anubhaava, and Viyabhichaari Bhaava. In Naataka or drama, it is shown. In Kaavya, it is written.  On sensing the emotion, instantaneously the Staayi Bhaava or the inherent latent emotions are kindled and there is the attainment of Rasa or the aesthetic pleasure.]

Kantasammita upadeshayuk : कान्तासंमिततया उपदेशयुजे  – gives advice to the reader, sweetly like a beloved.

[Side Note:

The three types of poetry are Prabhu Sammita, Mitra Sammita and Kaantaa Sammita. Prabhu sammita is like an order as in the Vedathat orders one to do certain soma yaaga if you want svarga praapti. One can not question that. The importance is for the word.  Mitra sammita are the suggestion like a friend’s advice. It can be adhered to or be ignored. The importance is for meaning. Kaantaa sammita is Sweet Persuasion like the lover’s words that are carried out even without realizing that one is being persuaded to do something. The importance is for the message. ]

The poetry is different (विलक्षणम्) from the Vedic scriptures in which the word in the form of master’s command or Prabhu Sammita predominates (प्रभु-संमित-शब्द-प्रधान-वेदादि-शास्त्रेभ्यः); and from the Puranas and the Itihasas which are in the form of friendly counsel or Mitra Sammita (सुहृत्-संमित-अर्थवत्-पुराणादि-इतिहासेभ्यः च).

The poetry takes the aid of the secondary aspect of Sabda and Arthawhich is the Guneebhava (शब्द-अर्थयोः गुण-भावेन) and importance of the process of suggestion or Vyanjana (रसाङ्गभूत-व्यापार-प्रवणतया).Such poetry (यत् काव्यम्) is the work of poets (कवि-कर्म), clever in depicting things in a manner passing the comprehension of ordinary men (लोकोत्तर-वर्णना-निपुण), it (तत्) offers to other poets and cultured men counsel (सहृदयस्य उपदेशं करोति इति), most persuasively through the profound descriptive style of the proficient poet (कवेः यथायोगम्), like a beloved wife (कान्ता इव), by relishing the Rasa, that is brought into being instantly (सरसताआपात् अनेन अभिमुखी-कृत्य).  Poetry offers counsels like “one should behave like Rama and not like Ravana” (“रामादिवत् वर्तितव्यं, न रावणादिवत्”इति उपदेशंकरोति). As such poetry is by all means to be studied and cultivated (सर्वथा तत्र यतनीयम्).

[Side Note:  The earlier theorists on poetics – Bhamaha , Dandin and Vamana – state that the objectives of poetry are the reputation (Keerti) won by the poem and its poet; and enjoyment (Preeti) enjoyed by the readers or the listeners of the poetry. The later sets of critics add instructions (upadesha) as one of the other virtues of a good poetry.]

Kavya Hetu – Equipments required for poetry

शक्तिर्निपुणता लोकशास्त्रकाव्याद्यवेक्षणात् ।
काव्यज्ञशिक्षयाभ्यास इति हेतुस्तदुद्भवे  ॥ कारिका ३ ॥ <*>

The saamagri required to compose poems can be grouped under 3 heads.

(1) Poetic genius (शक्तिः), (2) Knowledge born of a study of the world, of sciences and of poems (लोक-शास्त्र-काव्यादि-अवेक्षणात् निपुणता), and (3) The practice of the teachings of those well-versed in writing poetry (काव्यज्ञ-शिक्षया-अभ्यासः) – these three together constitute the source of poetry (इति हेतुः तद् उद्भवे).


Prathibha:  The first aspect is the Shakthi, which is the intellectual power that could be said to be a sort of a mass of impressions serving as a seed for sprouting of poetic work (शक्तिः कवित्वबीजरूपः संस्कार-विशेषः) (after कारिका ३)<*>. This is a peculiar faculty, without which there could either be no poetical work (यां विना काव्यं न प्रसरेत्) or if there were, they would be ridiculous (प्रसृतं वा उपहसनीयं स्यात्).

[Side note: Bhaamaha stated in Kaavyaalamkaara that the poem can arise only from a person with Prathibha.]

Nipunata (vyutpatti): The second aspect is the faculty in composition, arising from a careful study of “objects”. The author lists the objects to be studied as Lokagnaana, Shaashtragnaana, Kaavyagnaana:

(1) Study of all kinds of objects, animate as well as inanimate (लोकस्य स्थावर-जङ्गम-आत्मक-लोक-वृत्तस्य),
(2) Study of the sciences, such as prosody, grammar, lexicons, fine arts, the sciences dealing with the four ends of life, and the sciences dealing with the distinguishing qualities of elephants, horses and the various weapons of warfare, (शास्त्राणां छन्दो-व्याकरण-अभिधान-कोश-कला-चतुर्वर्ग-गज-तुरग-खड्गादि-लक्षण-ग्रन्थानाम् )
[Side note: Kalidasa demonstrated the knowledge of other shashtras in his works. It is said that Naishadeyam is the penacea for the well-read people – नैषदं विद्वतौषदम् |To understand Naishadeyacharita, the knowledge of the other shashtras would be required.]
(3) Study of poems, the works of great poets (काव्यानां च महाकवि-संबन्धिनाम्). The word “aadi” implies history and the rest. (आदि-ग्रहणात् इतिहासानां च विमर्शनात् व्युत्पत्तिः)

Abhyasa: The third aspect is the frequent attempt at writing poetry (तत् पौनःपुन्येन प्रवृत्तिः इति), under the direction (उपदेशेन करणे योजने च) of men capable of writing and appreciating it (काव्यं कर्तुं विचारयितुं च ये जानन्ति).

The above three conjointly, and not singly, (त्रयः समुदिताः न तु व्यस्ताः), constitute the single source of poetry (तस्य काव्यस्यउद्भवे निर्माणे समुल्लासे च हेतुः).These are not multiple different sources, of poetry. (हेतुः न तु हेतवः ) (after कारिका ३)<*>

[Side Note: This is supported by Dandhi as he says नैसर्गिकी च प्रतिभा श्रुतं च बहुनिर्मलम् ।अमन्दश्चाभियोगोऽस्याःकारणं काव्यसम्पदः |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 Lakshanam- Definition of Kavya

तददोषौ शब्दार्थौ सगुणावनलङ्कृती पुनः क्वापि ॥ after कारिका ३ ॥<*>

तत्अदोषौ शब्दार्थौ सगुणौ अनलङ्कृती पुनः क्वापि ।  Sabdartha devoid of Dosha, combined with Guna (normally with Alankara) and sometimes without Alamkara, is Kavya. He clarifies that there is no compulsion (अनुरोधः) that there should be Alamkaara provided there is prominence of Rasa.  In his words, he says यत्सर्वत्रसालङ्कारौ क्वचित्तु स्फुटालङ्कारविरहेऽपि न काव्यत्वहानिः | He conveys this point – यत्रसर्वत्र शब्दार्थौ सालंकारौ स्यातां, यत्र रसस्य प्राधान्यमस्ति तत्र स्पष्ट-अलंकारस्य अनुरोधः मास्तु | 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॥ after कारिका ३ ॥

This is an example to prove that rasa can be predominant without alamkara. “He who stole my virginity is my beloved now, the nights of spring, the strong breezes from the Kadamba trees carrying the fragrance of malati flowers are also the same. I too am same as before. But still on the banks of Reva, under the Vetasa tree 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.

[Side note: 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 of Kaavya was Dhrushya (Naataka) and Shravya (Gadya – kathaa and Aakyaayikaa; Padya – Kanda kavya, mahaa kavya, shataka; and Champu which is a combination of Gadya and Padya). After the introduction of the concept of Dhvani by Anandavardhana, the classification is made as Uthama, Madhyama and Adhama or Avara from the point of view of Dhvani.

Uttama Kaavya

इदमुत्तममतिशयिनि व्यङ्ग्ये वाच्याद्ध्वनिर्बुधैः कथितः  ॥ कारिका ४ ॥ <*>

अन्वयः — वाच्यात्व्यङ्ग्येअतिशयिनिसतिइदम्उत्तमंकाव्यम्ध्वनिःइतिबुधैःकथितः |

Uttama kavya is also called Dhvani kavya, that which is rich in Dhvani or suggestion. The charming suggested meaning should surpass the denoted meaning, as mentioned by Anandavardhana in Dhvanyaloka.

यत्रार्थःशब्दोवातमर्थमुपसर्जनीकृतस्वार्थौ| व्यङ्क्तःकाव्यविशेषःसध्वनिरितिसूरिभिःकथितः||(ध्वन्यालोकः) १.१३ ||

Anandavardhana says “सूरिभिःकथितः”. Here by “बुधैःकथितः” he refers to vaiyaakaranas – बुधैर्वैयाकरणैः because प्रथमेहिविद्वांसःवैयाकरणाः | All aalamkaarikas are basically vaiyaakaranas. स्फोट – flashes instantaneously. Sphota is explosion. An ideal form of a word is Dhvani.

Five Definitions for the term Dhvani

Five different meanings for the term Dhvani are given in Dhvanyaaloka and Mammata accepts them.

  • The vyanjaka word is Dhvani अर्थंव्यज्यतिइतिध्वनिः | व्यनक्तिइतिव्यञ्जकः | Here meaning is supplementary
  • The vyanjaka meaning is Dhvaniव्यञ्जयतिइतिध्वनिः | here the word is supplementary
  • ध्वन्यतेइतिध्वनिःthe suggested meaning is Dhvani
  • The vyanjana vyaapaara is Dhvani व्यङ्ग्यार्थंप्रतिपादयतिइतिव्यञ्जनव्यापारोऽपिध्वनिः |
  • यत्रध्वनेःप्रादान्यमस्तितत्रकाव्यमपिध्वनिः | The kaavya where suggestion is predominant, is Dhvani.

[Side note: 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 suggestiveness or 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. ]

[Side Note: Additional info from the 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 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 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 गतासिन पुनस्तस्याधमस्यान्तिकम्॥ after कारिका ४ ॥

The word “adhama” meaning wretched that is used to refer to her naayaka suggests the opposite meaning तस्य अन्तिकम् एव गतासि न वापीं स्नातुम् |

[Side note: In Dhvani, there are various types namely Vastu Dhvani, Alamkaara Dhvani, Rasa Dhvani. In Vastu Dhvani, the object or character itself conveys some information – i.e., looking at Raavana we get certain emotions. Alamkaara by itself is not Dhvani. The suggested meaning derived out of the usage of Alamkara and the Ananda one experiences reading an Alamkaara is Alamkaara Dhvani.  In Rasa Dhvani, the suggested meaning will flash in our mind and give us happiness. This happiness will not be experienced if the information is stated in a straightforward manner. The grammarians used the word Dhvani to denote Vyangya (suggestion) primarily of Spota nature. Then in the course of time, critics accepted them and started terming such Sabda and Artha as Dhvani (which rendered Vachyartha secondary), and potential enough to express Vyangyartha. “Dhvanianti spotam vyanakti iti Dhvani” — Dhvani means words which express Spota. Dhvani is the word expressing Vyangya which is Spotaroopa. Spota is obtained by the audible syllable or Dhvani.  स्फोट indicates the profound and subtle idea which bursts or flashes in one’s mind when a sound is uttered. ]

Madhyama Kaavya

Madhyama kavya is also called Gunibhoota Vyangya. Here the suggested meaning though present does not excel. It may be equal or less charming or subordinated to the denoted meaning.


Eg. ग्रामतरुणं तरुण्या नववञ्जुलमञ्जरीसनाथकरम् ।पश्यन्त्या भवति मुहुर्नितरां मलिना मुखच्छाया ॥ after कारिका ४ ॥ 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.

Adhama Kaavya

शब्दचित्रं वाच्यचित्रम् अव्यङ्ग्यं त्ववरं स्मृतम्  ॥ कारिका ५ ॥ <*>

Adhama kavya or chitrakavya has no relishable suggested meaning. It is more of a verbal circus where the poet is interested in conveying his skills. When the poetry is enjoyable due to the shabdaalamkaara or the arthaalamkaara, it is called Shabda Chitra and Artha Chitra respectively. Mammata 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. Note that Kuntaka raises an objection on classifying a poem to be inferior.

Shabda chitra is the adornment of shabda alamkara like the repeated use of same word or rhyming words to create Alliteration. Arthachitra involves the use of arthalamkaras. While Mammata considers them at the same level, Jagannatha Pandita, the author of Rasa Gangaadhara, places Arthachitra over Shabdachitra and accordingly classifies the Kavya into four types instead of three.

Here is an example of Shabda Chitra
स्वच्छन्दोच्छलदच्छकच्छकुहरच्छातेतराम्बुच्छटामूर्छन्मोहमहर्षिहर्षविहितस्नानाह्निकाह्नाय वः ।
भिद्यादुद्यदुदारदर्दुरदरीदीर्घादरिद्रद्रुमद्रोहोद्रेकमहोर्मिमेदुरमदा मन्दाकिनी मन्दताम् ॥४॥
Here the point is “May Gangaa quickly destroy your lethargy” – मन्दाकिनी मन्दताम्भिद्यात् |

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.

Second Ullasa

Three types of words and meanings

क्रमेणशब्दार्थयोःस्वरूपमाह | There are three types of words and meanings. वाचकः, लाक्षणिकः, and व्यञ्जकः | स्याद्वाचकोलाक्षणिकःशब्दोऽत्रव्यञ्जकस्त्रिधा।वाचक-तःवाच्यार्थः | लक्षण-तःलक्ष्यार्थः| व्यञ्जक-तःव्यङ्ग्यार्थः| Word is of 3 kinds: Vachaka [denotative], Lakshanika [indicative] and Vyanjaka [suggestive]. The 3 types of words are Vaachya [denoted] Lakshya [indicated] and vyangya [suggested] respectively. The respective functions [vyaapara] of these 3 words are Abhidhaa, Lakshana and Vyanjana. A few other like Naiyaayikaas and the Bhaatta Meemaamsakaas mention about a fourth type calledतात्पर्यार्थः |

तात्पर्यार्थोऽपि केषुचित् ॥ कारिका ६ ॥<*>Refering to the Abhihitanvayavada of Bhatta school of Mimamsa, Mammata says that some say that the Tatparyartha or the meaning of a sentence is the fourth category. They add a fourth function called तात्पर्यावृत्तिः |

Vaachaka denotative Expressed or denoted meaning Abhidaa vyapara / अभिधावृत्तिः Koshaarthah, Vaachyaartha, शक्यार्थ The power of the word conveyed by the dictionary meaning
Laakshanika indicative Indicated or suppressed meaning Lakshanaa vyapara / लक्षणावृत्तिः Lakshyaarthah, Lakshanaarthah,
Some element is suppressed (The word bank is suppressed in Gangaayaam goshah – Hamlet on the banks of Ganga and not in Ganges)
Vyanjaka suggestive Suggested meaning Vyangyaa vyapara / व्यञ्जनावृत्तिः Dhvanyarthah, Vyanjanaarthah, vyangyaarthah It shows or reflects or suggests some other meaning. The tone of “Go, go!” might mean “Don’t go”


The Denoted meaning or the Vachyartha is the mukhyartha or the principal one. It is assigned to the word by Sanketa or Ishvarechcha. Since the word has a sanketa it is also called sanketita.

Opponents of Vyanjana

The opponents of dhvani theory also refute vyanjana vyapara. The Bhatta and the Prabhakara school of mimamsa do not accept vyanjana function of a word. Every word has a sanketa or a denoted meaning. The relationship between the individual word meaning and the sentence meaning as a whole has been dealt by Kumarila Bhatta and Prabhakara. The two मतs of meemamsakaas are कुमरीलBhatta’s mata called Bhaatta mata and प्रभाकर Bhatta’s mata called Guru mata. Prabhaakara Bhatta was Kumareela Bhatta’s student. Taatparyaartha accepted by Naiyaayikaas and Kumareela Bhatta. But, the followers of Prabhaaka Bhaatta consider Vachyaartha to be Taatparyaartha.

The first vaada is Abhihitaanvayavaada of Bhatta.

आकाङ्क्षायोग्यतासंनिधिवशाद्वक्ष्यमाणस्वरूपाणां पदार्थानां समन्वये तात्पर्यार्थो विशेषवपुरपदार्थोऽपि वाक्यआर्थः समुल्लसतीत्यभिहितान्वयवादिनां मतम् ॥ (after कारिका ६)

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. योग्यताor 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 |

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 called Taatparya comes.

The other vaada is Anvitaabhidhaanavaada of Prabhaakara. वाच्य एव वाक्यार्थ इत्यन्विताभिधानवादिनः(after कारिका ६) | <*>The Anvitaabhidhaanavaadins consider the meaning of the sentence to be same as the meaning of the words.

More details are provided later in Kaavya Prakasha in the fifth chapter.

[Side note – Recap from 5th ullasa — Bhatta’s Abhihita-anvaya — abhihita indicates that the word’s meaning is first got. Then anvaya or correlation of this meaning happens giving a new Taatparya meaning. Hence Abhihita-Anvaya is the correlation of the meanings of the words.

Prabhakara’s Anvita-abhidaaa — Based on the connection with other words, the meaning is understood. Anvitābhidhāna is the correlated meanings of words, where anvita = connected or correlated ; abhidhāna = denotation or denoted meaning. Words do not directly designate meaning; any meaning that arises is because it is connected with other words. ]

Suggestiveness of different meanings

All the three meanings could have suggestiveness in them. सर्वेषां प्रायशोऽर्थानां व्यञ्जकत्वमपीष्यते । (after कारिका ६)

Vyanjakatva or suggestiveness of all 3 functions of the word are accepted

  1. Suggestiveness of denoted meaning: eg.मातः गृहोपकरणं अद्य खलु नास्तीति साधितं त्वया ।तद्भण किं करणीयं एवमेव न वासरः स्थीयी ॥Mother, you proved that provisions are not available today. Tell me, what should be done? Day light will not stay like this for long. Here the denoted meaning suggests that the daughter wants to roam freely.
  2. Suggestiveness of indicated meaning: eg. साधयन्ती सखि सुभगं क्षणेक्षणे दूनाऽसि मत्कृते ।सद्भावस्नेहकरणीयसदृशं तावत्विरचितं त्वया ॥]oh friend, you have been subjected to much exertion almost every minute in persuading that handsome youth. You have definitely done what is proper for your good nature and friendship. Here the indicated meaning is that “You have become my enemy by entertaining my beloved amorously”. The suggested meaning is that the paramour of the speaker has committed an offense and she wants to express it.

[Side Note: 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.]

  1. Suggestiveness of suggested meaning: eg. पश्य निश्चलनिष्पन्दा विसिनीप्त्रे राजते बलाका ।निर्मलमरकतभाजनपरिस्थिता शङ्खशुक्तिरिव ॥See the white crane is shining on the lotus leaf still and motionless like a conch shell resting on a clean plate of emerald. Here the security of the place is suggested by the motionless crane. This in turn suggests the absence of people in that place and it being suitable for rendezvous. There can be another suggestion where the young woman is telling her lover “You are telling a lie, you did not come here”. There would be one Vaachyaartha and there could be multiple vengyaartha. When different people here गतोस्तमर्क:“sunset is happening”, based on their profession or condition, it could provide different suggested meaning.

Definitions of Vachaka, Lakshana and Vyanjana


साक्षात्संकेतितं योऽर्थमभिधत्ते स वाचकः  ॥ कारिका ७ ॥ <*>

Vaachakais that which directly denotes the conventional meaning. Conventional meaning or Sanketa is defined in this way in Tarka – 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॥ (afterकारिका ७). There is no possibility of comprehension of meaning of a word if the convention related to the meaning is not grasped. So Vaachaka is a word with reference to a meaning in which the relationship between the word and the meaning has been uninterruptedly 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 । (after कारिका ७) <*>

Sanketa or convention is of 4 types as Jati etc or just one Jati itself.

Since the words are infinite in number it is not possible to come up with a convention for each individual word. Hence a concept or Upadhi has been introduced. Convention is of 4 types.

  1. Jati – genus. It is also called Praanaprada. An eternal property which is universally one and exists in many individual things is called Jati. Eg. Gotva in all go, ghatatva in all ghata, etc. All words denoting the property of a genus belong to this group.
  2. Guna – quality. Also called visheshadanahetu. Words denoting guna or quality fall into this group. It adds a special feature like shuklatva, krishnatva etc.
  3. Kriya – action. Words denoting actions like chalanam, pachanam, etc.
  4. Vaktryadrichchasanniveshita- arbitrary name These are fixed according to the whims and fancies of a speaker. It includes proper nouns, Rama, Ravana, Diththa, etc.

The guna, kriya and yadrichasanniveshita categories all exist only in a dravya and not independently. So he says Jati etc 4 or Jati alone.

[Side note: If the word cow indicates each individual cow, then there are infinite 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. ]

स मुख्योऽर्थस्तत्र मुख्यो व्यापारोऽस्याभिधोच्यते  ॥ कारिका ८ ॥ <*>

That primary meaning which has sanketa [convention] is called Mukhyartha and the function of the word that conveys it is Abhida [denotation]


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 (3a) usage  (रूढि)or  (3b) purpose (प्रयोजन) | It is a function imposed (आरोपिता)on the word.

Eg. “कर्मणि कुशलः” इत्यादौदर्भग्रहणाद्ययोगात्  II “गङ्गायांघोषः” इत्यादौचगङ्गादीनांघोषाद्याधारत्वासंभवोत् II <*>

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 Gangesdue 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 is explained further in the 4th chapter.

Types of Lakshana

लक्षणा तेन षड्विधा  ॥ कारिका १२ ॥ <*>

Lakshana is broadly classifies into 3 types, with two in each amounting to a total of 6 types.

  1. Shuddha Lakshana: The relation between the primary and indicated meanings are not similarity but some other thing, it is called Suddha Lakshana. This is again divided into 2 types.
    1. Upadaana Lakshana – Here the primary meaning implies the secondary meaning for accomplishing its own completion. Eg.कुन्ताःप्रविशन्ति , the lances enter. Since the lances cannot enter on their own, the phrase implies the persons holding the lances. उपादानलक्षणा = उप+आदान+लक्षणा;उप = समीप; आदान = स्वीकरणम्; This is called स्वसिद्धयेपराक्षेपः I
    2. Lakshanalakshana – Here the primary meaning is given up for the sake of secondary meaning. Eg.गङ्गायांघोषः. A village where cowherds live cannot exist on the stream named Ganga. So the primary meaning is given up and the indicated meaning, namely the bank, is accepted. This is called परार्थंस्वसमर्पणम् I
  2. Saaropa Lakshana: सारोपान्यातुयत्रोक्तौविषयीविषयस्यथा II Here the the Vishaya [that on which something is superimposed] and Vishayin [that which is superimposed], both are mentioned. This is of 2 types.
    1. Gauni saaropa: Aaropa is based on relationship of similarity in guna [quality] eg. गौर्वाहीकःhere Gauh is the vishayin, the qualities of it like जाड्य(dullness), मान्द्य(laziness), etc. are superimposed on the vishaya, Vaahika [a member of the vaahika tribe]. So it is indicated that the qualities of slothfulness, stupidity, etc. seen in an ox is present in the Vaahika.
    2. Shudda Saaropa: Aaropa is based on some other relationship. Eg. आयुर्घृतम् ghee is long life. Here relationship can be explained on the basis of cause and effect. Consumption of Ghrta gives strength and ensures longevity in the consumer, hence Ayush is superimposed on ghrta.
  1. Saadhyavasana Lakshana: विषय्यन्तःकृतेऽन्यस्मिन्सास्यात्साध्यवसानिकाI Here the Vishaya on which the vishayin is superimposed is not mentioned. This is again of 2 types.
  1. Gauni Saadhyavasana: Similar to Gauni Saaropa except that the vishaya is not mentioned. Eg. गौरयम् I The term Vaahika is understood and not mentioned explicitly.
  2. Shudda Saadhyavasana: Similar to Shudda Saaropa except that the term Ghrtam is not explicitly mentioned. Eg. आयुरेवेदम् I

Mammata again classifies Lakshana on the basis of the presence of Vyanjana.

व्यङ्ग्येन रहिता रूढौ सहिता तु प्रयोजने  । (after कारिका १२ )

  1. Roodhi Lakshana: This kind has no suggested meaning in it. Just indicated meaning alone. Hence it is also called अव्यङ्ग्या I eg. कर्मणिकुशलः
  2. Prayojanavati Lakshana: This is further divided into of 2 types.
    1. गूढव्यङ्ग्या – it has hidden suggested meaning.
  1. अगूढव्यङ्ग्या – The suggested meaning is explicit.

Function of Vyanjana

Vyanjana is that function of the word which unfolds the Vyangya or the suggested meaning. The importance of Vyanjana in poetry cannot be overstated. Rasa which is the quintessence of poetry can manifest only through Vyanjana and it is the suggested sense which makes Kavya beautiful and charming.

Vyanjana is understood as (1) based on lakshana and (2) based on abhidaa.

When we say gangayam goshah, the word Ganga denotes the stream. This is the Abhidaa or denoted meaning. Further since there is an incompatibility between Ganga and gosha (hamlet), we adopt the indicated meaning [Lakshana] which helps us understand Ganga as ganga tata – the bank.  The prayojana or purpose for resorting to the indicated meaning is to highlight that the qualities of Ganga [sacredness, coolness, etc.] are present in the hamlet also due to its closeness.

The question here is if Lakshana is able to express the indicated meaning along with the prayojana then why have vyanjana separately? Mammata replies.

हेत्वभावान्न लक्षणा  ॥ कारिका १५ ॥मुख्यार्थबाधादित्रयं हेतुः ॥१५॥ <*>

It cannot be Lakshana due to the absence of the hetu [conditions] required for lakshana i.e., incompatibility of primary meaning, relation of the other sense with the indicated meaning and purpose.

प्रयोजनेन सहितं लक्षणीयं न युज्यते  ॥ कारिका १७ ॥ <*>

Lakshana or the indicated meaning does not include the prayojana.

ज्ञानस्य विषयो ह्यन्यः फलमन्यदुदाहृतम्  । (after कारिका १७)

The object of cognition is said to be different from its purpose. An example is given to explain this. When we see a pot, the object of perception is the black pot. Here the prayojana or result of perception is प्रकटता [state of being known] or संवित्तिः [consciousness]. This prakatata or samvitti, which is the prayojana, is not included in the pot.

So, (abhidaa) Ganga à (lakshana) ganga thata à(vyanjana) coolness, sacredness, etc.

Thus Vyanjana is required to realise the prayojana or phala or the intended purpose.

For example, in gangayam goshah, the special qualities which are cognised in the bank, i.e., sacredness and so on are grasped through a function which is different from abhidhaa, lakshanaa and tatparyaa. That function is called vyanjanaa, dhvananaa, dyotanaa etc. This is an example for vyanjana based on lakshana.

Suggestion based on Abhidha

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.

The next category is Vyanjanaa based on Abhidaa. There are 14 conditions in this category.

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) प्रकरणम् (context) लिङ्गम् (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.

  1. Samyoga: Contact. सशङ्खचक्रोहरिः
    Hari has different meanings like Vishnu, Monkey, Lion, Horse, etc. The meaning is restricted to Vishnu because he is known to have a contact with shankha and chakra.
  2. Viprayoga: Separation.अशङ्खचक्रो हरिरित्यच्युते
    Again we understand Hari as Vishnu because he is the only one capable of being separated from them.
  3. Saahacharya: Association. रामलक्ष्मणावितिदाशरथौ।
    Here meaning of the word Rama is restricted to son of Dasharatha due to his association with Lakshmana.
  4. Virodhita: Enmity. रामार्जुनगतिस्तयोरितिभार्गवकार्तवीर्ययोः।
    Here Rama is Parashurama and Arjuna is Kartaveeryarjuna. Their well known enmity is referred here.
  5. Artha: Purpose. स्थाणुंभजभवच्छिदेइतिहर।
    Here Sthanu can mean pole or Shiva. Here it refers to Lord Shiva due to the purpose of bhavachedana that can be attributed to him.
  6. Prakarana: Context. सर्वंजानातिदेवइतियुष्मदर्थे।
    Here the meaning is based on the context. Devah can mean God or a king. Here it refers to the person addressed to in that context.
  7. Linga: Peculiar feature. कुपितोमकरध्वजइतिकामे।
    Here makaradhwajah can mean Manmatha or the ocean. Here kopa or anger can be linked to Manmatha only.
  8. Shabdantarasannidhi: Proximity of another word. देवस्यपुरारातेरितिशंभौ।
    Here again deva can have different meanings. But due to the proximity with the word puraaraatheh, we understand Deva as Lord Shiva.
  9. Saamarthyam: Ability. मधुनामत्तःकोकिलइतिवसन्ते।
    The word madhu has various meanings liquor, nectar, honey etc. but the ability to produce intoxication in kokila exists only in vasanta ritu. So madhu here refers to the season vasanta.
  10. Auchiti: Propriety. पातुवोदयितामुखमितिसांमुख्ये |
    Here mukham can mean face, presence, beginning, etc., based on propriety here it means presence.
  11. Deshah: Place. भात्यत्रपरमेश्वरइतिराजधानीरूपात्देशाद्राजनि।
    Parameshwara can refer to God and king. The meaning here is king as the sentence is spoken in the capital city of a kingdom.
  12. Kalah: Time. चित्रभानुर्विभातीति दिने रवौ रात्रौ वह्नौ |
    Chitrabhanu means sun and fire. If the sentence is spoken during day, it refers to sun and at night it refers to fire.
  13. Vyaktih: Gender. मित्रंभातीतिसुहृदि, मित्रोभातीतिरवौ।
    Mitram in neuter gender means friend, while mitrah in masculine gender means sun.
  14. Svara: Accents used in Vedas, Udaatta Anudaatta and Svarita. इन्द्रशत्रुरित्यादौ वेदे एव न काव्ये स्वरो विषेषप्रतीतिकृत् ।
    Based on the accents, Indrashatru can mean 1. One for whom Indra will be the killer and 2. Indra’s killer. The first one is a Bahuvrihi compound and will have Purvapadaprakritiswaraor Adyodaatta. While the second is Tatpurusha compound having Antodaatta.

Role of Vyanjaka in contextual and non-contextual meanings

तद्युक्तो व्यञ्जकः शब्दो …तद्युक्तो व्यञ्जनयुक्तः

The word which has that function is called Vyanjaka. तद्युक्तmeans that which has the function of Vyanjana. So Vyanjana is that function by which the non-contextual meaning is expressed.

… यत्सोऽर्थान्तरयुक्तथा  ।अर्थोऽपि व्यञ्जकस्तत्र सहकारितया मतः  ॥ कारिका २० ॥ <*>

Since the word expresses the non-contextual meaning with the interruption of the contextual meaning, the contextual meaning is considered as suggestive in a co-operative manner सहकारितयाव्यञ्जक:

भद्रात्मनो दुरधिरोहतनोर्विशालवंशोन्नतेःकृतशिलीमुखविग्रहस्य ।यस्यानुपप्लुतगतेः परवारणस्यदानाम्बुसेकसुभगः 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.

Contextual meaning: The king has a peaceful nature, his persona is difficult to be gauged, he has the high stature due to his vamsha, he has mastered several weapons, his knowledge never goes awry, he gets rid of his foes easily, his hands are charming and always wet with the water being poured while giving gifts [daana].

Non-contextual meaning: Describes an elephant. It is of the Bhadra variety, body is so high that it is difficult to mount, backbone is large and lofty, attracts many bees, its movement never falters, it is an elephant par excellence, the trunk is beautiful and always has the liquid rut flowing.

(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 Ullaasa

Arthavyanjakata – suggestiveness of meaning

अर्थाः प्रोक्ताः पुरा तेषाम् अर्थव्यञ्जकतोच्यते  ।  before कारिका २१ ॥ <*>

अर्थाः वाच्यलक्ष्यव्यङ्ग्याः । तेषां वाचकलाक्षणिकव्यञ्जकानाम् ॥
The meanings of these have already been explained. The “meanings” mean vachya, lakshya and vyangya. “Of these” means vachaka, lakshanika and vyanjaka. Now we shall deal with suggestiveness of the meanings.

[Side note: 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, the time कालand other such factors like chesta [gesture]आदिis only the Vyanjanaa. Mammata says that the above can coexist in a given example.

Example from Venisamhaara is given for intonation.
तथाभूतां दृष्ट्वा नृपसदसि पाञ्चालतनयांवने व्याधैः सार्धं सुचिरमुषितं वल्कलधरैः ।
विराटस्यावासे स्थितमनुचितारम्भनिभृतंगुरुः खेदं खिन्ने मयि भजति नाद्यापि कुरुषु ॥ after कारिका २२ ॥

Having seen Draupadi in that pitiable condition, and having 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.

The following is an example of Karuna rasa which is not explicitly stated in the Vaakya.

तदा मम गण्डस्थलनिमग्नां दृष्टिं नानैषीरत्न्यत्र ।इदानीं सैवाहं तौ च कपोलौ न च सा दृष्टिः ॥

“Then you did not turn aside your eye fixed on my cheek. Now, I am the same, the cheeks are the same, but your look is not the same”. This actually means “O stealthy lover! You were happily looking at my friend reflected in my cheek. When she moved away, your look immediately changed.”

Fourth Ullasa

Technical Terms – Dosha, Guna, Alamkaara, Alamkaarya


Dosha is a flaw or blemish that causes suppression or hindrance of the main meaning of a kavya. Doshas can occur in pada, vakya, artha and rasa. Mammata emphasizes that the kavya has to be adoshau – blemish free. Dandin says, even a small dosha should not be neglected. It is like an ugly spot of vitiligo [shvitra] on the most beautiful body.


Guna may be understood as quality of excellence. They are the properties [dharmas] of rasa. Again Mammata says that the kavya has to be enriched with gunas – sagunau. Bharata has listed 10 gunas namely, shlehsa, prasada, samata, madhurya, sukumarata, arthavyakti, udaratvam, ojas, kanti and samadhi. Vamana says that gunas increase kavyashobha. Mammata who follows Anandavardhana has accepted only 3 gunas namely Maadhurya, Ojas and Prasaada. He defines gunas as those qualities which heighten the Rasa [utkarsha hetu] and stay with it permanently [achalasthita] माधुर्य्यौजःप्रसादाख्याः त्रयस्ते न पुनर्दश ॥ He says that the other 7 gunas are either included under the above 3 or are just absence of doshas. So they are definitely not 10 in number.


These are the properties [dharmas] of shabda and artha. Although Mammata says that alankara is optional in kavyaswaroopa, he later adds that shabda and artha should generally have alankaras. They may not be explicit always. While defining alankara Mammata saya, those factors which at times beautify the existing rasa through its limbs [anga] shabda and artha are called alankaras. They are like necklace etc [haaradivad]. Eg. Anuprasa, upama etc.

अलं पूर्णं करोति इति अलंकारः | Alankara brings about fullness to a kavya. They should be employed judiciously and should never over shadow the rasa. In the absence of rasa, alankaras are mere fanciful expressions.


Alankarya is the prominent factor that is getting embellished. Factors like guna, alankara, etc., enhance rasa, so rasa is called alankarya. In certain cases, rasa may not enjoy prominence and may be subservient to some other factor. Then it is called Rasavadalankara and it belongs to gunibhoota vyangya category.

Types of Dhvani

  • Dhvani
    • अविवक्षितवाच्यध्वनिः – lakshanaa mula Dhvani
      • अर्थान्तरसङ्क्रमितवाच्यध्वनिः–किञ्चित्विवक्षिता
      • अत्यन्ततिरस्कृतवाच्यध्वनिः–अविवक्षित
    • विवक्षितान्यपरवाच्यध्वनिः–abhidhaa mula Dhvani

नञ्means full absence and also little presence. So अविवक्षित is not विवक्षिताand alsoकिञ्चित्विवक्षिता.


अविवक्षितवाच्यो यस्तत्र वाच्यं भवेद्ध्वनौ  ।अर्थान्तरे सङ्क्रमितमत्यन्तं वा तिरस्कृतम्  ॥ कारिका २४ ॥

Avivakshitavachya is one where there is an unintended literary import of the primary meaning. It is of 2 types Arthantarasamkramita and Atyantatiraskrta.


Here the primary meaning is transformed into another suggested meaning. Eg.

त्वामस्मि वच्मि विदुषां समवायोऽत्र तिष्ठति ।आत्मीयां मतिमास्थाय स्थितिमत्र विधेहि तत् ॥२३॥(afterकारिका २४ ॥)

I am telling you this, here sits an assembly of scholars. Hence remain here keeping your mind alert. We see that in the suggested meaning, “telling” gets transformed into “advicing”.

(Side note: from Dhvanyaaloka notes – अर्थान्तरसङ्क्रमितवाच्या – e.g., A lotus will be a lotus only when it is blessed by the sun’s rays. The second time usage of lotus could mean different things like the abode of Lakshmi, sakala soundarya aakara, etc. Here some additional meaning over the derived meaning is suggested. सङ्क्रम is to go from one place to another. Here the meaning changes for one to another).


Here the primary meaning is totally rejected for the sake of the suggested meaning. Eg.

उपकृतं बहु तत्र किमुच्यते सुजनता प्रथिता भवता परम् ।विदधदीदृशमेव सदा सखे सुखितमास्स्व ततः शरदां शतम् ॥२४॥(afterकारिका २४ ॥)

You have helped me greatly what can I say? You have exhibited extremely good humaneness. O my friend! Live for a hundred years happily, doing acts of the very same kind. The entire verse is filled with irony to express one’s displeasure. Live for a hundred years happily is not intended. In fact the intended meaning is just the opposite.

एतदपकारिणंप्रतिविपरीतलक्षणयाकश्चिद्वक्ति॥२४॥(afterकारिका २४ ॥)

Here the primary meaning is total rejected and the suggested meaning adopted is actually in contrast to the primary meaning due to irony. This is called viparitalakshana.


One of the 3 factors required for adopting lakshana or secondary meaning is the relation to the other meaning. It may be nearness as in Gangayaam goshah or similarity as in mukham chandrah. Another relation is contrariness or irony. An extremely dull person may be called Brihaspathi. The indicated meaning is the opposite of the denoted meaning. This is called viparitalakshana.  (after ॥कारिका २४॥ )


विवक्षितं चान्यपरं वाच्यं यत्रापरस्तु सः  ।अन्यपरं व्यङ्ग्यनिष्ठम् । (before कारिका २५)

Vivakshitanyaparavachya is one where the primary meaning is intended to be conveyed but in such a way that it is subservient to the other [suggested] meaning.

कोऽप्यलक्ष्यक्रमव्यङ्ग्यो लक्ष्यव्यङ्ग्यक्रमः परः  ॥ कारिका २५ ॥

It is of 2 types namely, alakshyakramavyangya and lakshyakramavyanga.


Rasa gets manifested through vibhavas, anubhavas and vyabhichari bhavas. But this sequence is too subtle and happens very quickly and hence is not comprehended.

विभावानुभावव्यभिचारिण एव रसः । अपि तु रसस्तैः इत्यस्ति क्रमः । स तु लाघवान्न लक्ष्यते ॥२५॥  (after कारिका २५ ॥ )

Apart from rasa, bhava, rasabhasa, bhavabhasa, bhavashanti, bhavodaya, bhavasandhi and bhavashabalatva are considered to be alakshyakramavyangya. Alakshyakramavyangya is also referred to as Asamlakshyakramavyangya or Akramavyangya.


Lakshyakramavyangya is where the sequence is perceptible. It is of 3 types, Shabdashaktimula, Arthashaktimula and Ubhayashaktimula.

Illustration of Rasas


कारणान्यथ कार्याणि सहकारीणि यानि च ।रत्यादेः स्थायिनो लोके तानि चेन्नाट्यकाव्ययोः  ॥ कारिका २७ ॥

विभावा अनुभावास्तत्कथ्यन्ते व्यभिचारिणः ।व्यक्तः स तैर्विभावाद्यैः स्थायी भावो रसः स्मृतः  ॥ कारिका २८ ॥

There are causes, effects and auxiliary feelings of rati, etc. When they occur in a kavya or natya they are respectively called Vibhavas, Anubhavas and Vyabhicharibhavas. The permanent mood [sthayibhava] which is manifested by these vibhavas, etc., is known as Rasa.


Exciting causes (stimulus) that make the sthayibhavas relishable are called vibhavas. They are of 2 kinds Aalambana vibhaava and Uddeepana vibhaava. The person or object which is the cause of the given sthayibhava is called aalambina vibhava. E.g., a woman is the alambana vibhava for rati sthayibhava in a man. E.g., a tiger is the alambana vibhava of bhaya sthayibhava.

Uddeepana vibhavas are associated factors like moonlight, breeze, fragrance, etc., in shrngara; and darkness, shrill sounds, etc., in bhayanaka.


These are supporting factors (emotional responses) that bring the sthayibhavas within the reach of experience. Glances, change of colour of the face, etc., are anubhavas.


These are transitory feelings. They come and go like the waves in the ocean. They are also called sancharibhavas. They are 33 in number. Nirveda, glani, shanka, asuya, mada, shrama, alasyam, dainyam, chinta, moha, smriti, dhriti, vrida, chapalata, harsha, avega, jadata, garva, vishada, autsukyam, nidra, apasmara, suptam, prabodha, amarsha, avahitham, ugrata, mati, vyadhi, unmade, maranam, trasa and vitarka.


Bhavas [permanent mood or abiding emotion] which permanently exist in the mind [or antahkarana] in the form of vasana [latent imprints] are called sthayibhavas. When excited, it evokes a heightened aesthetic experience called rasa. Sthayibhavas are 9 in number namely.

रतिर्हासश्चशोकश्चक्रोधोत्साहौभयंतथा।जुगुप्साविस्मयश्चेतिस्थायिभावाःप्रकीर्तिताः॥कारिका३०॥<*>  (Note:सृङ्गारहास्यकरुणरौद्रवीरभयानकाः ।बीभत्साद्भुतसंज्ञौ चेत्यष्टौ नाट्ये रसाः स्मृताः  ॥ कारिका २९ ॥  )

Rati [love], haasa [mirth], shoka [sorrow or grief], krodha [anger], utsaaha [enthusiasm], bhayam [fear], jugupsa [disgust], vismaya [wonder] and nirveda [tranquillity] are the Sthayibhaavas.

Rasanishpatti or Rasasutra

Rasanispatti or 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.Bharata states विभावानुभावव्यभिचारि संयोगाद्रसनिष्पत्ति: |This is the Rasa Sutra.

कारणं कार्यं सहकारी are respectively विभाव, अनुभाव, सञ्चारीभाव | स्थायिभाव raises to a state where it becomes Rasa. The vishesha bhavaa or bhaavana due to which we see Shakuntala in the actress is the Vibhava. The reason or kaarana for our pleasure is this character and hence Vibhava is the kaarana. Even when the audience feels sad on seeing the suffering of Sita, they actually experience a kind of joy. Sanchaaribhaava is a temporary feeling. Rasa = रस्यते आस्वाद्यते इति रसः | The enjoyment is experienced by the mind and not by the senses. It is due to the samyoga – Vibhaava, anubhaava, vyabhichaaribhaava samyogaat | Only the Sahurdaya – samaanam hrudayam yasya – one who has the same feelings as that of the poet. Like the paanaka which is a mixture of water, jaggery, etc.,  Rasa is also a mixture. This nyaaya is called पानक-रस-न्याय. There is usually a Kaaraka and a gnaapaka.  Kaaraka is the producer and Jnaapaka is the indicator. Clay is the karaka for pot which the light is the jnaapaka. Rasa is neither. Such a thing is not seen anywhere else. So it is alaukika. Brahmaananda Sahodarah. This is kaavyaananda. Rasa’s ananda is not permanent. Brahmaananda is permanent bliss.

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 Udeepana 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 Anubhaavasand vanishes is the Vyabhichaari Bhaava or sanchaari bhaava. व्यभिचरन्तिइतिव्यभिचारिभावाः | 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 as there are only 8 rasas. In this, there are 9. There are others who include more like Bhakti, making it go up to 14. 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?

Rasa Nishpatti Vaada

Rasa Nishpatti Vaadas deal with the theories that try to explain how Rasa is conveyed to the spectators. There are four prominent theories.

Lollata – Utpatti Vaada

Lollata is from Kashmir, believed to have lived between 800AD and 840 AD.  He has written a commentary on Bharata’s Natyashastra. He was one of the earliest thinkers who attempted to explain Rasasutra of Bharata. He was a Kashimiri pandit specializing in Mimaansa मीमांसा (i.e., purva mimaansa). His theory on Rasa sutra is called utpatti vada. According to him, Rasa is in the anukarya [characters] represented on the stage. But it is conceived as existing in the actor who represents the character.

Bhatta Lollata said that the Rasa is created by the vibhaava, etc. So he calls रसः as उत्पाद्यः and the other causes विभावः अनुभावः and व्यभिचारिभावः as उत्पादकः | Samyoga is the उत्पाद्य-उत्पादक-भाव-संबन्धः | He says that the Rasa is experienced due to the मुख्यवृत्तिः or मुख्यशक्तिः | Nishpatti is the Utpatti of Rasa. अनुकर्ता – नटः,  अनुकार्यः  – रामादिः  | He said that the Rasa is created in the mula vyakti like Rama.

Rasa in primary sense belongs to the hero, i.e., Rama, etc. The spectator’s understanding of love demonstrated by the actor brings delight to them. Lollata thinks that the actor cleverly represents Rama’s activities. Vibhavas produce rasa, anubhavas make it perceivable and vyabhicharins consummate it. This cognition of rasa by the spectator gives him an unadulterated joy. A rope though not a serpent but mistaken to be one can produce fear. Similarly, shell mistaken as silver produces desire. Likewise, love of Rama for Sita is observed in the actor [who is not Rama and has no love for Sita]. Such things, although not genuine, produces aesthetic joy according to Lollata.

Argument:  How can an observer who has already seen silver mistake shell to be silver? A serpent could be seen as a rope and this can be life threatening. If rasanishpatti is actually in Rama the actor, how can the spectator enjoy it?

(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).

Sri Shankuka – Anumiti Vada

Sri Shankuka’s personal details are not known. Sri Shankuka – He was a specialist in न्यायशास्त्रम् | He says that we imagine (अनुमान) the actor to be having the feelings of the character like Rama. So रसःis अनुमितिः which is ऊहात्मकं ज्ञानम् |

सम्यङ्मिथ्यासंशयसादृश्यप्रतीतिभ्यो विलक्षणया चित्रतुरगादिन्यायेन रामोऽयमिति प्रतिपत्त्या ग्राह्ये नटे (after कारिका २८)

It can come in four ways – सम्यक्-प्रतीतिः, मित्या-प्रतीतिः, संशय-प्रतीतिः and सादृश्य-प्रतीतिः | We would feel the pain of Sita only if we imagine the actress to be the real Sita. Considering this person to be Sita is सम्यक्-प्रतीतिः | But that is not the case completely.  We also know that she is not Sita मित्या-प्रतीतिः | It is not that we doubt whether she might be Sita संशय-प्रतीतिः. It is also not Saadrushya-prateetih that we think that this person is like Sita. The experience of the viewer is not any of the above. It is a different one called सादारणीकरण | It is understood with the analogy of Citra-turaga nyaaya, i.e., the maxim of the picture of the horse. This is like the picture of a horse where we consider it to be a horse though we know that it is not the real horse.

He has criticised Lollata. He believes that the spectator infersthe rati of Rama and Sita on the basis of what is presented on the stage. Hence his theory is called anumiti vada.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.

Even though what is presented on stage is not true, he deliberately accepts them to be true. This is called “willing suspension of disbelief”. A well-trained actor imitates the hero, Rama, etc., and the spectator of the drama assumes that the actor is really Rama. From the vibhavas, anubhavas, etc., the spectator infers the sthayibhava of rati in him. This rati gets manifested as sringara rasa and the spectator relishes it.

Argument: The spectators relish rasa as a direct perception. Nobody thinks that he or she has inferred the love of Rama for Sita, but it is the transcendental joy of direct experience. What happens when one reads a poem or drama? There are no actors or imitation there. There is no basis of inference at all. But Rasanubhava is not denied there. So his theory of inference was rejected.

Bhatta Nayaka – Bhukti Vaada

Bhatta Nayaka has written a commentary on Bharata’s Natyashastra. He was an opponent of dhvani theory and wrote Hrdayadarpana to refute Anandavardhana’s theory. His main contribution is the introduction of the concept of Sadharaneekarana or the concept of universalization of vibhavas, etc.

भट्टनायकःwas an expert in साङ्ख्यशास्त्रम्. He mentioned about the function called भोगीकृत-व्यापार. The function of भावकत्व first happens and it generalizes the vibhaavas etc., and brings the sthaayibhaava to a state of relishability. Then it is relished as Rasa by means of भोग. We enjoy the Rasa.  (विभावादिसाधारणीकरणात्मना भावकत्वव्यापारेण भाव्यमानः स्थायी … भोगेन भुज्यते इति भट्टनायकः । (after कारिका २८)

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 will happen. 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.

He has accepted 3 distinct functions of poetic word which are called abhida, bhaavana and bhoga. Abhida presents the content. Bhaavana universalises the content and Bhoga brings about the aesthetic relish. A spectator cannot have rati in respect of any heroine, say shakuntala, because he knows that she is wife of Dushyanta. Hence she cannot be the alambanavibhava. Then how can the spectator relish shringara rasa? To overcome this Bhattanayaka suggested Saadharanikarana by the function of Bhavakatva. By this, dharmas like Shakuntalatva, etc., are forgotten for a moment and she is visualised just as a nayika. This helps in enjoying shringara rasa.

Argument:  No theoretical objection but Abhinavagupta rejects it because he thinks it is a burden to accept two separate functions like Bhavana and Bhoga.

[Side Note: Additional Info — An ordinary emotion may be pleasurable or painful, but a dramatic sentiment (rasa), a shared emotion transcending personal attitude and concerns, is lifted above the pleasure and pain of personal ego into pure impersonal job (ananda). This happens because one is not concerned with how the depicted actions will personally affect one; an “artistic distance” is maintained between the spectator and the portrayed emotions. Aesthetic emotions are intense, but not personal. Sita’s painful situation does not affect our lives personally, but is ours to “enjoy” free from any of the ordinary concerns. Thus, the tears one sheds while watching a drama are never tears of pain, but of sentiment.

Empathy enables the actors to merge their personality into the personality of the characters. Then, the reader or the spectator also through this faculty of empathy loses his own individuality as he merges it with that of the actors or the characters. There is an oneness of the characters, the actors and the reader or the spectator. This is what is meant by “Sadharnikaran” because of which the spectator or the reader relishes the Rasa or takes delight in witnessing or reading a particular work of art. ]

Abhinava Gupta – Vyakti Vaada

Abhinava Gupta is one of the most remarkable personalities of medieval India. He was the son of Narasimhagupta and great-grandson of Atrigupta. He lived in Kashmir in the 11th century AD. He was a prolific writer and a great teacher. Tantraaloka is his magnum opus. He also wrote commentaries named Abhinavabharati [on Natyashastra of Bharata] and Lochana [on Dhvanyaloka]. He was an authority on Pratyyabhijnadarshana. His other works include Malinivijayavartika, Paraatrimshikaavivarana and Tantralokasaara. It is through his works that we get details about Lollata, Bhattanayaka and Srisankuka. Mammata has revered him as Srimadacharya Abhinavagupta.

The fourth is by Abhinavagupta which is the Vyakti Vaada. अभिव्यक्तिः (manifestation) is the final argument that was accepted refuting the earlier arguments. He based his argument based on वेदन्तशास्त्रम् | 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.

He has put forth the theory of Vyanjana to explain the relation between vibhava, etc., and rati. He follows the footsteps of Bhattanayaka by saying that the locus of rasa is with the spectator.

According to him it is not possible to accept that the anukarya [character like Rama] is the locus because he does not exist now. Also many works have fictitious characters.

The anukarta [actor on stage] cannot be the locus because he would get carried away by the intensity of it and cannot continue to act as required. And so he rejects Srisankuka and Lollata.

Finally he changed focus on to the sahrdaya or the spectator. He says that the sthayibhavas exist in the antahkarana in the form of vasana or samskara. Poetry or drama evokes these latent sthayibhava and make it relishable.

[Side note: nishpatti = व्यञ्ज्यते or अभिव्यञ्ज्यते – flashes / manifestsby saadaaraneekarana. The rasaasvaada is experienced only by the sahrudayas. The actor only helps for the manifestation of the rasa to happen in the viewers. He says that it is अनिर्वचनीयः – inexplicable. It is a not-worldly experience – अलौकिकः – superhuman – to be experienced in the mind | स्वानुभववेद्यः – to be experienced by one’s own self. आनन्दरूपः – ब्रह्मानन्दस्वरूपम् –  रसोवै सः रसं ह्येवाऽयं लब्ध्वा आनन्दी भवति  |It is said that Kaavya Ananda is Brahmaananda sahodarah | The nava-rasa has to be experienced by one’s own self. Rasa is not an effect or कार्य. The vibhaava, etc. are kaarana. If it were the Kaarya, it would have existed after the kaaranas disappeared unlike the pot which exists even after the disappearance of the kaaranas. It is also not a Kaaranam unlike the dandaa and chakra that are used to make the pot. This is Anandaroopa –  anubhava-vedyah. Rasa is Kaavyaatma. This is given by Abhinava Gupta based on the Naatya Shaastram and Dhvanyaaloka. ]

Illustration of Rasas

Nava Rasa

सृङ्गारहास्यकरुणरौद्रवीरभयानकाः ।बीभत्साद्भुतसंज्ञौ चेत्यष्टौ नाट्ये रसाः स्मृताः  ॥ कारिका २९ ॥

Rasa Sthayibhava Vibhava Anubhava Vyabhichari
Sringara 2 types vipralambha and sambhoga Rati hero heroine with splendid dress, garlands, seasons, ornaments Skill of eye movements, eye glances, limb movements All except nirveda
Hasya Haasa Strange attire, fickleness, irrelevant talks, His crying Throbbing of lips, nose cheeks, perspiration Alasya, tandra, nidra, prabodha, asuya
Karuna Shoka Separation and loss of dear ones, burning of body Weeping, lamentation and crying Sthamba, vepathu vaivarnya, ashru
Raudra Krodha Anger, striking, abusing, false allegations, raising of weapons Reddened eyes, knitting of eyebrows, grinding the teeth. Sammoha, utsaha, avega, amarsha, chapalata, gadgada, vepathu
Vira Utsaha Heroes, great feats like crossing oceans Braveness, firmness, generosity, efficiency Dhriti, mati, garva, avega
Bhayanaka Bhaya Strange sounds, cruel animals Agitations of jackal, owls, Imprisonment of near and dear Shaking hands and feet, throbbing eyes,  change of face color Sthamba, sveda, gadgada, romancha, moha, dainya
Bhibhatsa Jugupsa Hearing or sight of ugly undesirable, unpleasant things Shrinking of limbs, contraction of face, looking slyly, vomiting Apasmara, udvega, avega, moha, marana
Adbhuta Vismaya Sight of divine beings, fulfilment of desire, vimana Dilation of eyes, seeing without winking, tears, perspiration Sthamba, gadgada, romancha, sambhrama, pralaya
Shanta Nirveda knowledge of philosophy, renunciation, Yama, niyama, adhyatma dhyana, dharana. nirveda, smriti, dhriti, sthambha



Shanta rasa was not mentioned by Bharata. Mammata follows Anandavardhana who has accepted it. He also argues that shanta is the main rasa of Mahabharata. Nirveda can be both sthayibhava and vyabhichari bhava. When it is born of tatvajnana it is permanent and is the sthayibhava of shanta rasa. Otherwise it is only a vyabhicharibhava. Some argue that shanta rasa can occur in kavya but cannot occur in nataka, as it is not possible to enact it on stage. But this argument is unacceptable as we see the successful presentation of the role of Buddha. Natakas like Prabodhachandrodaya and sankalpasuryodaya can be mentioned as examples.

वस्तुतः रसः एक एव – उपाधिभेदेन बहुधा दृश्यते | आनन्द is only one. Hence Rasa is only one. Due to its ingredients, it is seen differently.  Note that Mammata was an Advaitin. Nirveda is the staayeebhaava. From this staayibhaava, the rasa of shaantah comes. This is also called shamaa. निर्वेदस्थायिभावोऽस्ति शान्तोऽपि नवमो रसः। <*>
यथा “अहौ वा हारे वा कुसुमशयने वा दृषदि वा मणौ वा लोष्टे वा बलवति रिपौ वा सुदृदि वा। तृणे वा स्त्रैणे वा मम समदृशो यान्ति दिवसाः व्कचित्पुण्यारण्ये शिव शिव शिवेति प्रलपतः” (१.३४) ।  Here is an example describing the Sannyaasi who has nirveda. शिवः = मङ्गलकरः |  constantly mutter the God’s name. I see no different. I see all things to be equal. अहौ वा हारे वा snake or garland, कुसुमशयने वा दृषदि वा bed or rock, मणौ वा लोष्टे वा gem or sand,  बलवति रिपौ वा mighty foe, तृणे वा स्त्रैणे वा grass or things related to a lady, all are the same for the Sanyaasi.

Types of Srngaara

Two kinds of Srngaara-rasa. Sambhoga is the love in union and Vipralambha is the love in separation.

शून्यं वासगृहं विलोक्य शयनादुत्थाय किञ्चिच्छनैर्
निद्राव्याजमुपागतस्य सुचिरं निर्वर्ण्य पत्युर्मुखम् ।
विश्रब्धं परिचुम्ब्य जातपुलकामालोक्य गण्डस्थलीं
लज्जानम्रमुखी प्रियेण हसता बाला चिरं चुम्बिता ॥३०॥ (after कारिका २९ )

“She saw the residence totally empty (of all people except the two lovers), rose gently from the couch, gazed at the face of her beloved husband intently for a long time. He was feigning (pretending) sleepiness. She kissed him fearlessly but saw there was rising of hair on his cheeks, and bent her face being shy. Her beloved laughed and kissed her for a long time.”

Rasa Dhvani, Alamkaara Dhvani and Vastu Dhvani – all of these result in Ananda.

Bhaava Vichaara

रतिर्देवादिविषया व्यभिचारी तथाञ्जितः  ॥ कारिका ३५ ॥भावः प्रोक्तः …  <*>

आदिशब्दान्मुनिगुरुनृपपुत्रादिविषया । कान्ताविषया तु व्यक्ता शृङ्गारः ।

When rati is expressed in respect of God, etc., then the suggested mood is called Bhava. This includes muni [sage], guru [teacher], nrupa [king], putra [son], etc. When the love is suggested or manifested for a beloved it is termed as Sringara rasa.

Love for God, etc. and suggested mood are called Bhava. Because of the happiness experienced, we think that it is Rasa. Love is रतिः i.e., प्रीतिः |In the definition, “etc.” means sage, guru, king, son, etc. The suggested (or manifested) love for the spouse is Srungaara. Bhakti is the love towards elders like God, guru, etc. Vaatsalya is another kind of love towards those who are younger like devotee, students, child, etc. Vatsalah is the sthaayibhaava from which the bhaava of Vaatsalya comes.  According to Mammatta, Vaatsalya is not a Rasa. It is a bhaava.

Here is an example from Maaghakaavya स्सिशुपालवध for Bhakti.

हरत्यघं संप्रति हेतुरेष्यतः शुभस्य पूर्वाचरितैः कृतं शुभैः ।शरीरभाजां भवदीयदर्शनं व्यनक्ति कालत्रितयेऽपि योग्यताम् ॥४६॥ (after कारिका ३५ )

“Your sight, O Narada, destroys sins in the present, causes welfare in the future, and indicates the good deeds of the past”. This is an example of Bhakti Bhaava.

Rasaabhaasa and Bhaavaabhaasa

तदाभासा अनौचित्यप्रवर्त्तिताः(after कारिका ३५) ।तदाभासा रसाभासा भावाभासाश्च ।  <*>

Abhaasa or improper manifestation of these leads to anauchitya [impropriety]. Of these means Rasabhasa and bhavabhasa.

Rasa or bhava is considered as an aberration [abhasa] if it occurs improperly. This is called impropriety or anauchitya.

[Side note: In Meghadutam, there is personification of a thing (cloud – megha) that is not a person. Like that, here it seems like Rasa but it is not completely rasa.]

In srngara, rati is considered as improper if it occurs in the upanayaka. Love for another man’s wife especially wife of a sage, guru are also considered as anauchitya. For example, we see that in Ravana’s love for Sita. One woman having rati for many men and one sided love are also termed as Aabhasa.

In Hasya rasa, humour directed against a Guru is considered Aabhasa. Raudra or Vira against one’s own parents is Aabhasa. Bhayanaka depicted in a well-known hero like Rama is Aabhasa.

Rasabhasa and Bhavabhasa can be examples of Dhvani. Such a kavya can also be categorised as Uttama just like Rasadhvani or bhavadhvani. These are Rasaabhaasa Dhvani and Bhaavaabhaasa Dhvani.

Bhaavodaya, Bhaavashanti, Etc.

भावस्य शान्तिरुदयः सन्धिः शबलता तथा  ॥ कारिका ३६ ॥ <*>

Bhava also occurs in various stages and these stages are termed as Bhavodaya, bhavashanti etc.


Bhavodaya is the birth or rise of sentiment.

एकस्मिञ्शयने विपक्षरमणीनामग्रहे मुग्धयासद्यो मानपरिग्रहग्लपितया चाटूनि कुर्वन्नपि ।

आवेगादवधीरितः प्रियतमस्तूष्णीं स्थितस्तत्क्षणंमा भूत्सुप्त इवेत्यमन्दवलितग्रीवं पुनर्वीक्षितः ॥५१॥अत्रौत्सुक्यस्य । (after कारिका ३६ )

They were on the same bed, he mentioned the name of another wife. Her indignation was aroused, she disdained him in anger. In spite of his flattering speech, she stayed silent for a moment. Fearing that he might fall asleep she looked at him turning her neck. Here there is the rise of Utsukata or anxiety.


Bhavashanti is the subsiding of the sentiment.

तस्याः सान्द्रविलेपनस्तनतटप्रश्लेषमुद्राङ्कितंकिं वक्षश्चरणानतिव्यतिकरव्याजेन गोपाय्यते ।

इत्युक्ते क्व तदित्युदीर्य सहसा तत्संप्रमार्ष्टुं मयासाश्लिष्टा(च्x संश्लिष्टा) रभसेन तत्सुखवशात्तन्व्या च तद्विस्मृतम् ॥५०॥} अत्र कोपस्य । (after कारिका ३६ )

She said “Are you trying to conceal the marks of her sandal-painted breasts which are stamped on your chest”. I asked “where is it?” and to get those marks erased, I embraced her suddenly and she the slim one, forgot everything under the ecstasy. In this example we see anger subsiding. So this is Bhavashanti.


Bhavasandhi is the junction of 2 sentiments.

उत्सिक्तस्य तपःपराक्रमनिधेरभ्यागमादेकतःसत्संगप्रियता च वीररभसोत्फालश्च मां कर्षतः ।

वैदैहीपरिरम्भ एष च मुहुर्श्चैतन्यमामीलयन्आनन्दी हरिचन्दनेन्दुशिशिरस्निग्धो रुणद्ध्यन्यतः ॥५२॥अत्रावेगहर्षयोः । (after कारिका ३६ )

On seeing this treasure of austerities and prowess, my love for association with good people and the sudden burst of heroism attract me. On the other hand, Sita’s embrace that enlivens my soul, cool and soft like the divine sandal paste stops me, immersing me in bliss.   Here there is a conjunction of Aavega (perturbance) and harsa (joy).


Bhavashabalata is the admixture of a number of sentiments.

क्वाकार्यं शशलक्षणः क्व च कुलं भूयोऽपि दृश्येत सादोषाणां प्रशमाय न श्रुतमहो कोपेऽपि कान्तं मुखम् ।

किं वक्ष्यन्त्यपकल्मषाः कृतधियः स्वप्नेऽपि सा दुर्लभाचेतः स्वास्थ्यमुपैहि कः खलु युवा धन्योऽधरं धास्यति ॥५३॥अत्र वितर्कौत्सुक्यमतिस्मरणशङ्कादैन्यधृतिचिन्तानां शबलता ।  (after कारिका ३६ )

 “Where the flawless lunar dynasty and where this unbecoming act? May I see her again and again! I was educated so that faults would subside. But oh! Her face was so charming even in anger. What will the wise and pure say about this? I think she is not accessible even in dreams. O mind, steady yourself. But which blessed young fellow will kiss her lips!”  Here there is an admixture of vitarka (trepidation), autsukya (impatience), mati (resolve), smarana (memory), shanka (anxiety), dainya (humility), dhriti (fortitude) and chinta (reflection).

Rasa is the predominant factor in poetry. But sometimes bhavodaya, bhavashanti, etc., may gain predominance. This is compared to the importance of a servant in whose marriage the King is merely present. अङ्गित्वं राजानुगतविवाहप्रवृत्तभृत्यवत् ॥कारिका ३७ ॥All these are types of asamlakshyakrama dhvani.

Some Technical Terms – Anuranana, Virodhabhasa, Brahmana-shramana-nyaaya


Anuranana or Anusvaana means reverberation. When a sound is made near a cave it reverberates and produces echo. This is like ringing a bell. The sound does not stop at one stroke, but continues for some time. Similarly in poetry, one meaning is understood first, it then produces another meaning and that leads to another and so on. Such examples are said to have anuranana dhvani. This usually occurs in samlakshyakramavyangya. It is of three types namely shabdashakti yukta, arthashakti yukta and ubhayashakti yukta.


The figure of virodhabhasa occurs when there is an apparent contradiction, which is solved when the other meaning is grasped.

तस्या विनापि हारेण निसर्गादेव हारिणौ | जनयामासतुः कस्य विस्मयं न पयोधरौ || (After 2.22   in Dhvanyaaloka)

Here, that which has no Haara [necklace] is said to possess Haara and so there is an apparent contradiction. It is solved when we understand that the other meaning of the word HaariNau is attractive. Now the sentence means your breasts are attractive even without a necklace.


A Brahmana gets converted to Buddhism and becomes a Shramana. He is no longer a Brahmana. But people who have known him since a long time cannot forget that was a Brahmana previously and so they call him Brahmana-shramana. Similarly when figures of speech are suggested they belong to dhvani class and are not alankaras. In fact they are alankaryas or factors that get embellished. But still they are called alankaras. Here the analogy of Brahmana-shramana is utilised.

Types of Dhvani (Arthashaktimuladhvani)

शब्दार्थोभयशक्त्युत्थः त्रिधा स कथितो ध्वनिः । (after कारिका ३७ ॥<*>

Shabdashaktimuladhvani, Arthashaktimuladhvani and Ubhayashaktimuladhvani belong to the main type called Samlakshyakramavyangya  which is Abhidamuladhvani.

शब्दशक्तिमूलानुरणनरूपव्यङ्ग्यः, अर्थशक्तिमूलानुरणनरूपव्यङ्ग्यः,उभयशक्तिमूलानुरणनरूपव्यङ्ग्यश्चेति त्रिविधः ( after कारिका ३७)


Shabdashaktimuladhvani is one where the power of the shabda [words] that have more than one primary meaning plays a role [Eg. Haara means garland and attractiveness]. The words may suggest a vastu [idea] or a figure of speech [alankara].

प्रधानत्वेन स ज्ञेयः शब्दशक्त्युद्भवो द्विधा ।  (after कारिका ३८)  <*>वस्त्वेति, अनलङ्कारं वस्तुमात्रम् ।

Suggestion based on the power of word is chiefly of two types – (1) where a figure of speech is suggested; and (2) where only an idea is suggested.


In arthashaktimuladhvani, the meaning of the word plays a role in conveying the suggested idea [vastu] or figure of speech [alankara].

अर्थशक्त्युद्भवोऽप्यर्थो व्यञ्जकः संभवी स्वतः ॥ कारिका ३९ ॥

प्रौढोक्तिमात्रात्सिद्धो वा कवेस्तेनोम्भितस्य वा ।वस्तु वालङ्कृतिर्वेत्य्षड्भेदोऽसौ व्यनक्ति यत् ॥ कारिका ४० ॥वस्त्वलङ्कारमथवा तेनायं द्वादशात्मकः ।

The meaning in arthashaktimuladhvani becomes vyanjaka [suggestive]. It is of 3 types namely svatah sambhavi, kavipraudoktimatrasiddha and kavinibaddhavaktru–praudoktisiddha. Each of these 3 types is categorised as 2 on the basis of vastu and alamkara thereby making the total count 6. The 6 is again divided on the basis of vastu and alankara and we finally have 12 types of arthashaktimuladhvani.

Svatah sambhavi Kavipraudoktisiddha Kavinibaddha vaktrupraudokti siddha
Vastunavastu Vastunavastu Vastunavastu
Vastuna alankara Vastuna alankara Vastuna alankara
Alankarena vastu Alankarena vastu Alankarena vastu
Alankarena alankara Alankarena alankara Alankarena alankara

Svatah sambhavi: That which exists in the world. Not the imagination of the poet. [Side note: Valmiki or Hanuman describing Lanka in Ramayana – description of something that exists in the world]

Kavipraudokti siddha: Concepts arising from the imagination of the poet and conveyed by the poet himself. [Side note: pure imagination – something that does not exist in the world like the clouds feeling proud]

Kavinibaddhavaktru praudokti siddha: Here again it is the imagination of the poet. But it is conveyed through the speech of the character. [Side note: Some character in the work describes something that does not exist in the world]

18 Types of Dhvani

… भेदा अष्टादशास्य तत् ॥ कारिका ४१ ॥अस्येति ध्वनेः ॥४१॥

There are 18 types of dhvani [arthantarasankramita, atyantatiraskrita, rasadidhvani, 2 types of shabdashaktimula, 12 types of arthashaktimula and 1 ubhayashaktimula].

ननु रसादीनां बहुभेदत्वेन कथमष्टादशेत्यत आह ।रसादीनामनन्तत्वाद्भेद एको हि गण्यते । <*>(after कारिका ४१)

How is it that the count is just 18 when there are many rasa etc? Since the rasadis are innumerable, they have been taken as one.

Rasas are 9. Of these shringara is of 2 types, vipralamba and samboga. The permutation combination of all possible alambana and uddeepana vibhavas, anubhavas and vyabhicharins is innumerable. If this is the case with one rasa, we have 8 more rasas and then the bhavadis. Therefore they are taken as one type only considering that they have the common factor of belonging to asamlakshyakramavyangya.

Suggestion of Sentence and Word

Ubhayashaktimula dhvani शब्दार्थोभयभूरेकः| It has only one type – vastuna alankara dhvani. It occurs only in a sentence वाक्ये द्व्युत्थः …द्व्युत्थ इति शब्दार्थोभयशक्तिमूलः ॥ (After कारिका ४१)

पदेऽप्यन्येOthers, i.e., shabdashakti and arthashaktimula dhvani can occur in a word and sentence also.

अपिशब्दाद्वाक्येपि । एकावयवस्थितेन भूषणेन कामिनीव पदद्योत्येन व्यङ्ग्येन वाक्यव्यङ्ग्यापि भारती भासते । (After कारिका ४१)

Just as a beautiful woman shines more due to a jewel worn on her limb, poetic speech or idea suggested by a sentence shines more due to the suggested meaning of a word.

35 Types of Dhvani

शब्दार्थोभयशक्त्युद्भवस्तु पदप्रकाश्यो न भवतीतिपञ्चत्रिंशद्भेदाः ॥( before कारिका ४२ ).

Except Ubhayashaktimuladhvani, the rest of the 17 in these 18 can manifest either in a pada [word] or vakya [sentence]. So we have 17 x2=34. Ubhayashaktimuladhvani occurs only in Vakya because here the suggestion depends on both the word and the meaning and so it cannot have padaprakaasya i.e., having just the word as its basis. Thus the total count is 35.

Prabandha Dhvani

प्रबन्धेऽप्यर्थशक्तिभूः  ॥ कारिका ४२ ॥ <*>

Suggestion based on the power of meaning [arthashaktimula] can occur also in Prabandha. An example given is the conversation between a vulture and a jackal. It is called गृद्रगोमायुसंवाद and has been taken from the Shantiparva of Mahabharata.

यथा गृध्रगोमायुसंवादादौ ।{अलं स्थित्वा श्मशानेऽस्मिन् गृध्रगोमायुसंकुले ।कङ्कालबहले घोरे सर्वप्राणिभयङ्करे ॥९३॥न चेह जीवितः कश्चित्कालधर्ममुपागतः ।प्रियो वा यदि वा द्वेष्यः प्राणिनां गतिरीदृशी ॥९४॥इति दिवा प्रभवतो गृध्रस्य पुरुषविसर्जनपरमिदं वचनम् ॥ (after कारिका ४२ quoted from महाभारत शान्तिपर्वन् )

“Enough of your stay in the burial ground which is replete with vultures and jackals. The presence of many skeletons is horrible and can produce fear in all animals. None in this world has become alive after meeting death, whether he is a dear or a hated one. This is the way of all living beings”. This is told by the vulture, who has power only during the day, in order to send people away from that place.

आदित्योऽयं स्थितो मूढाः स्नेहं कुरुत सांप्रतम् ।बहुविघ्नो मुहूर्तोऽयं जीवेदपि कदाचन ॥९५॥

अमुं कनकवर्णाभं बालमप्राप्तयौवनम् ।गृध्रवाक्यात्कथं मूढास्त्यजध्वमविशङ्किताः ॥९६॥

इति निशि विजृम्भमाणस्य गोमायोर्जनव्यावर्तननिष्ठं च वचनमिति प्रबन्ध एव प्रथते ॥(after कारिका ४२ quoted from महाभारत शान्तिपर्वन् )

“Oh fools, the sun is still there. Show your love now. This time has many obstacles. The dead boy may possibly live. Oh fools, how can you trust the words of the vulture and abandon this boy, who has not yet attained youth and whose complexion is golden?”This has been told by the jackal which is active at night.

Neither the vulture nor the jackal cares for the boy or the feelings of other people. Each of them has the selfish motive of devouring the body. So the vulture wants them to abandon the body immediately [when there is sunlight] while the jackal wants people to wait till sun sets.

Rasaadi occurring in parts of words


Sankara is a combination of 2 or more dhvanis in one stanza or sentence and these have a mutual relationship. Based on the relationship, Sankara is of 3 types.

  1. Anugrahyaanugrahaka sankaraha: Here one dhvani assists or blesses the other dhvani.
  2. Sandeha sankaraha: Here there is a doubt as to which type of dhvani needs to be accepted.
  3. Ekavyanjakaanupravesha sankaraha: Here 2 types of dhvanis occur in one and the same suggestive expression.


Here again there are 2 or more dhvani in one stanza or sentence. But unlike sankara, in this casethere is no mutual relation or dependence.

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.

Gunibhootavyangya and Its Types


Mammata classifies kavya as Uthama, Madhyama and Adhama. Uthama kavya is one filled with dhvani or rich in suggested meaning. Madhyama kavya is one in which dhvani becomes subservient to some other factor. It is also called Gunibhootavyangya. Adhama kavya is one which is lacking of dhvani and it is also called chitra kavya.

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.

उपोढरागेण विलोलतारकं तथा गृहीतं शशिना निशामुखम् |
यथा समस्तं तिमिरांशुकं तया पुरोऽपि रागाद्गलितं न लक्षितम् || (dhvanyaloka)

उपोढ-रागेण विलोल-तारकं तथा गृहीतं शशिना निशा-मुखम् |
यथा समस्तं तिमिर+अंशुकं तया पुरः अपि रागात् गलितं न लक्षितम् ||

The twilight with twinkling stars became brightened by the moon glowing red suddenly so that the whole mass of darkness vanishing in the east due to brightness was not noticed at all.

With reference to the lady, it means “The heroine’s face with its bright pupils was kissed by the hero overcome by passion with such intense love that the black garment which she had put on slipped away even in the very front was not at all noticed due to intense love.”

It is the explicit meaning which alone remains prominent and the suggested meaning serves only as subservient to it. In this stanza, the main purport is the description of the night and the moon over which the disposition of a heroine and of a hero are ascribed to them. This attribution is secondary only.

Eight Types of Gunibhootavyangya

अगूढमपरस्याङ्गं वाच्यसिद्ध्यङ्गमस्फुटम्  ।सन्दिग्धतुल्यप्राधान्ये काक्वाक्षिप्तमसुन्दरम्  ॥ कारिका ४५ ॥ व्यङ्ग्यमेवं गुणीभूतव्यङ्ग्यस्याष्टौ भिदाः स्मृताः  ।

Mammata has mentioned 8 types of Gunibhootavyangya.

  1. अगूढम्Agoodavyangya: Not properly concealed.

The suggested meaning or dhvani has importance only when it is subtly implied and not too obvious. In this case however the subtleness is lacking and the meaning is too obvious.

  1. अपरस्याङ्गम् Aparangavyangya: Suggested meaning is subservient to something else.

Here the rasa, etc., or the reverberated meaning becomes subsidiary to another rasa or the denoted meaning.

  1. वाच्यसिद्ध्यङ्गम् Vachyasiddyanga vyangya: Suggested meaning is for the accomplishment of the denoted meaning.

Vyangya is applied for Vachya siddhi i.e., better clarity of the denoted meaning is obtained through vyangya.

  1. अस्फुटम् Asphutavyangya: <*>Unclear or obtuse.The suggested meaning is not clearly conveyed.

अदृष्टे दर्शनोत्कण्ठा दृष्टे विच्छेदभीरुता ।नादृष्टेन न दृष्टेन भवता लभ्यते सुखम् ॥१२८॥

When you are out of sight, there is a longing to see you. When you are seen there is the fear of separation. There is no happiness from you even when you are seen or not seen. Here the suggested meaning is “Do something by which you are seen and there is no fear of separation too.” This idea is not very clearly conveyed.

  1. सन्दिग्धप्राधान्यम् Sandigdhapradhanya:

There is a doubt as to which one of the 2 is prominent – the denoted meaning or the suggested meaning.

  1. तुल्यप्राधान्यम् Tulyapradhanya: Equal prominence.

Here there is equal scope for the denoted as well as the suggested meanings.

  1. काक्वाक्षिप्तम् Kaakvakshiptam:

Here the suggested meaning is implied by the tone of the speaker [kaku]. The vachyartha negates the actions but the vyangyartha affirms it.

  1. असुन्दरम् Asundara: Not beautiful.

Here the suggested meaning is not as charming as the denoted meaning. The vachyartha nourishes and enhances the rasa better and so it is more beautiful than the suggested meaning.

Abhihitanvayavada and Anvitabhidanavada

First – Abhihitaanvayavaada of Bhatta

In Kumarila Bhatta’s Abhihitanvayavada, it is taken that the meaning of the sentence is not merely the total meanings of the individual words. It is considered to be the syntactic combination on the basis of Akanksha [expectancy], Yogyata [compatibility] and sannidhi [proximity in pronounciation].

Eg: devadutta tandulam pachati. Here the individual denoted meanings are first understood as Devadutta [karta], tandulam [rice, karma] pachati [cooking present tense ekavachana]. Since these unconnected word meanings, presented by the function abhida, does not make complete sense, another function called tatparyavritti was introduced. Here with the aid of Akanksha, yogyata and sannidhi one is able to understand that “cooking of rice is going on [present tense] under the agentship singular agent named Devadutta”.

Thus the meaning of the sentence called tatparyartha is different from the individual meanings of the words known by abhida. The words denote their individual meanings and then those meanings are correlated to obtain the sentence meaning. Abhida gets exhausted after denoting the individual word meaning and so we resort to tatparyartha or tatparya vritti for sentence meaning.

[Side note: Addition explanation – abhihita-anvaya-vāda, “connection of the referents,” as Abhihita = referents = that which is being referred to by the word; and anvaya = the relation or connection.  In this view, the meaning of a sentence was understood only after understanding first the meanings of individual words. ]

Second – Anvitaabhidhaanavaada of Prabhaakara

Anvitaabhidhaanavaadindo not want the complication of the additional meaning. They say that the Vakyartha and Padartha are the same and there is no need for a separate function like tatparyartha. 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 that the denoted meaning of the words itself is the meaning of the sentence.

According to Anvitabhidaanavada, the words of a sentence do not convey unconnected meanings but always syntactically connected meanings only. As soon as the sentence is uttered, the meanings of the words are grasped in a connected way.

विशिष्टा एव पदार्था वाक्यार्थः। न तु पदार्थानां वैशिष्ट्यम्(after कारिका ४७ )

The meaning of the sentence is the correlated meanings of words and not the correlation of the meanings of the words.

Mammata’s counter argument to both

In Abhihitanvayavada and Anvitabhidanavada, the function of abhida is given prominence. This cannot explain the function of suggestion. In Arthashakthimula dhvani, the denoted meaning is only contextual. We see from many examples where the convention may be positive but however the suggested meaning is actually negative.

According to Abhihitanvayavada, the function abhida cannot even give the normal expressed meaning of the sentence, so how can it give suggested meaning which may be different or even opposite to the expressed sense?

According to Anvitabhidanavada, the denoted meanings of the words are related to each other in a general non-specific way. Eg. Each of these sentences have the word gaam [cow] with different verb. Gaam aanaya [bring the cow], Gaam naya [take away the cow] and Gaam badhaana [tie down the cow].

The relation of the meaning of the word gaam and the words aanaya, naya and badhaana are related only in a general non-specific way. When words occur in a sentence, the sanketa of each word is cognised only when the sanketa of meanings related to other meanings is grasped.

Since the number of words and number of sentences are infinite, it becomes difficult to understand the sanketa of each and every word in infinite sentences.

Also the denoted meaning itself is something correlated only in a general non-specific way with the meanings of other words. So a particular meaning of a word related to another particular meaning of another word in a sentence cannot be known by denoted meaning at all, since it has no sanketa.

Therefore the suggested meaning which is further different from the sentence meaning cannot be denoted by abhida.

Refutation of opponents of Vyanjana

Mammata establishes the role of vyanjana firmly by defeating the opponents of Vyanjana vada. 2 main theories that were proposed to oppose vyanjana are

  1. नैमित्तिकानुसारेणनिमित्तानिकल्प्यन्ते
  2. सोऽयमिषोरिव दीर्घदीर्घतरो व्यापारः | यत्परः शब्दः स शब्दार्थः |

नैमित्तिकानुसारेणनिमित्तानिकल्प्यन्ते(after कारिका ४७ )<*>

Causes are guessed from the effects.

Nimitta means cause and Naimittika is that which results from a Nimitta, i.e., effect. Nimitta is of 2 types – Kaaraka and Jnaapaka.

Kaaraka is the actual cause like mud or wheel in respect of the effect ghata and Jnaapaka could be just an indicator or illuminator like the lamp. If there is an object X, a lamp only illuminates and helps us cognise it [see it]. It does not help us to know what the object is unless we know the convention associated with it.

Something becomes known [by a word] only if a convention is established. This convention happens only when there is a correlation. So as long as the correlation of the cause and effect has not been ascertained, how can one know the effect from the cause or cause from the effect? Therefore it is not proper to accept that causes are guessed from the effects.

सोऽयमिषोरिव दीर्घदीर्घतरो व्यापारः इति यत्परः शब्दः स शब्दार्थः इति विधिरेवात्र वाच्य इति । (after कारिका ४७)<*>

Some say “that the function of a word is like the action of an arrow and so is very very long. So the meaning of the word is the sense finally desired to be conveyed.” And so Vidhi [affirmative] of the denoted meaning is what is being conveyed.

It is like saying that tatparyartha which arises on the basis of abhida or denoted meaning is the sense that is desired to be finally conveyed. [Side note: when a lady sarcastically says to her lover “go, no one is stopping you” the literal sense conveyed is that the lover is allowed to go. But in reality it is just the other way. Here the tone of the speaker suggests sarcasm. This cannot be known by the function of abhida or tatparyartha]

भूतव्यसमुच्चारणे भूतं भव्यायोपदिश्यते(after कारिका ४७)<*>

When that which is accomplished [bhuta] and that which is to be accomplished [bhavya] are both mentioned, the former is only for enjoining the later. This means that when something new is added to an already known fact, the enjoining is only for understanding the new factor. So the sentence need not be understood from scratch.

ऋत्विक्प्रचरणे प्रमाणान्तरात्सिद्धे “लोहितोष्णीषा ऋत्विजः प्रचरन्ति” इत्यत्र लोहितोष्णीषत्वमात्रं विधेयम्।

For instance, consider the Vedic statement “the red-turbaned priests move”. Here the movement of priests is already known [bhuta] and so what is enjoined here is that the priests should wear red turbans while moving [bhavya].

This is called Adagda-dahana nyaya.  Fire burns everything. But everything includes only unburned things and not ash. Therefore only that which is already not known is enjoined.

Arguments in favour of Vyanjana:

  • If comprehension of meaning of a sentence happens only on the basis of abhida, then how can one explain different emotions like happiness [when one hears that a son is born] and sorrow [when one hears that his unmarried daughter is pregnant]?
  • Both the schools of Mimamsa accept Lakshana. Mammata’s argument is why accept Lakshana when even that can be explained as a longer function of abhida?
  • Doshas are classified as nitya [permanent] and anitya [temporary]. Asaadhutva or grammatical error is a permanent dosha while Kashtatva [harshness] is a dosha in sringara and shanta rasas, but is allowed in Vira rasa. So it is classified as a temporary dosha based on the context.  Mammata says if everythings is based on abhida then why have the category of anitya dosha?
  • The phrase गतोऽस्तमर्कः (after कारिका ४७) has only one denoted meaning “the sun has set”. The suggested meaning may be any of the following. 1) This is the opportunity to attack the enemy. 2) Begin the voyage to meet your lover. 3) Your beloved has almost come. 4) Let us retire from our work. 5) Let us begin our evening rituals. 6) Don’t go far. 7) Allow the cows to enter the house. 8) No longer will the heat be here now. 9) Let the merchandise be packed. 10) My beloved has not come till now.
  • There is also a difference of time between the two because denoted meaning always flashes first and the suggested appears afterwards.
  • The Ashraya [locus] of the two functions is also different. Denotation always depends on the word while suggestion may depend on word, part of the word, its meaning, varnas or the structure [rachana].
  • Denoted meaning is known from grammar while the suggested meaning requires grammar and clarity of imagination assisted by the context, etc.
  • The effect also varies. Denoted meaning produces ordinary knowledge in every hearer while suggested meaning produces aesthetic delight in sahrdayas.
  • Vachakas [denotative words] require a meaning fixed by convention, while Vyanjakas [suggestive words] do not require it.

तत्क्वचिदपिनीलपीतादौभेदोनस्यात्।Despite the above arguments if still one believes that Vachaktva and Vyanjakatva are the same then there would be no difference between blue and yellow. With the above arguments Mammata has established that Vachakatva is not Vyanjakatva.  नवाचकत्वमेवव्यञ्जकत्वम् | (after कारिका ४७)

Refutation of Bhaaktavadins:  Mammata then proceeds to refute scholars who say that Vyanjana is nothing but Bhakti or Lakshana. Lakshana is of many types and is always regularly related to the primary meaning.

  • Unlike Lakshana which should have a relation with the primary meaning, Vyanjana (1) may have a regular relation with primary meaning;(2) may not have a regular relation with the primary meaning; or (3) may have an indirect relation.
  • Lakshana is said to be a tail of Abhida as it always depends on Abhida, while Vyanjana may or may not follow Abhida and Lakshana. In some cases suggestion depends on the varnas which have no Abhida at all. Also Vyanjana can occur from gestures like side glances where words are not at all involved.

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.

Adhama Kaavya– Chitra Kaavya

Adhama Kaavya is also a kaavya. It is not that it is bad poetry. Just that it would be so interesting when we go through it again and again, similar to the ornaments that might not seem so attractive when we see it repeatedly. While classifying Kavya, Mammata says that chitrakavya is of the Adhama category, as it is devoid of dhvani. It is of 2 types namely Shabda Chitra Adhama Kaavyam and Artha Chitra Adhama Kaavyam. शब्दार्थचित्रं यत्पूर्वं काव्यद्वयमुदाहृतम्  ।गुणप्राधान्यतस्तत्र स्थितिश्चित्रार्थशब्दयोः  ॥ कारिका ४८ ॥ The examples where Artha is prominent are present in Kuvalayaanandam. By means of the meaning only we conclude the types of Alamkaara. There is vaichitrya or importance for Artha. Mammatta says that Alamkaara is optional. Guna is important.  Rasa gives happiness every time. But these adhama kaavyas might seem good during the first reading. But it will not be so interesting that someone wants to read it repeatedly. (Side Note: We enjoy the food every day. But certain special items, though they might seem tasty, cannot be consumed on a regular basis.  The external Alamkaara to the body is also optional. The most important decoration is the guna). Example of artha-chitra is वागर्थाविव संपृक्तौ वागर्थप्रतिपत्तये। जगत: पितरौ वन्दे पार्वतीपरमेश्वरौ ।। Here the meaning gains superiority over other aspects. For shabda-chitra, the examples are the verses with Yamaka, Anupraasaa, etc. present in Bhaaravi’s Kiraartaarjuneeyam.  This is an example of सर्वथोबद्रा |

दे वाकानिनिकावादे















Guna is most important and not Alamkaara in Kaavya just as the character is most important in the person and not the ornaments.

न तु शब्दचित्रे अर्थस्याचित्रत्वमर्थचित्रे वा शब्दस्य । (after कारिका ४८) (book has it as ४२)

It is to be remembered that in shabdachitra, shabda is predominant and artha is subsidiary. Similarly in arthachitra, artha is pradhana and shabda is subordinate.

रूपकादिरलङ्कारस्तस्यान्यैर्बहुधोदितः ।न कान्तमपि निर्भूषं विभाति वनिताननम् ॥ (after कारिका ४८)<*>

Roopaka, etc., are the figures of speech. Other authors have explained them in various ways. The face of a beautiful lady does not shine, if it is totally devoid of ornamentation. The need for alankaras like rupaka, upama, etc. has been mentioned here. Some before Bhamaha had felt that the figures of speech like Rupaka are external to poetry and that the elegant nouns and verbs [saushabdya] are the real ornaments. Bhamaha had opposed this view that the ornament of poetry is the employment of proper words. He had affirmed that upama, rupaka, etc., are arthalankaras, while anuprasa, yamaka, etc. are shabdalankaras. Mammata agrees with him.

Chitrakavya can have the description of a vibhava or anubhava or vyabhicharibhava of some rasa. But this does not result in the relishment of the rasa. For example, moonrise is a well-known vibhava of sringara rasa. If the description of moon rise occurs in a kavya where the meeting of lovers is described, then it enhances the relishment of sringara rasa and becomes dhvani. If it stops at the description of moonrise as a natural occurrence then it is not dhvani.


Good – http://www.sanskritworld.in/public/assets/book/book_50dc00b0d40ab.txt

Not so good – https://sa.wikisource.org/wiki/%E0%A4%95%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%B5%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%AF%E0%A4%AA%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%B0%E0%A4%95%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%B6%E0%A4%83/%E0%A4%AA%E0%A4%9E%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%9A%E0%A4%AE%E0%A4%83_%E0%A4%89%E0%A4%B2%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%B2%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%B8%E0%A4%83

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