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Dandin on Alankaras

Updated: Mar 30, 2022

On Alankaras:

Alankaras means figures of speech. It renders Kavyas attractive. The old masters have shown the following figures of speech:

1. Realistic expression- also called jati or group description is the first alankara . It describes the actual forms of different conditions of an object. It is supreme in the fields of sciences (sastras) also desired in the field of literature (Kavyas).

2. Simile- any kind of similarity felt in anything.

3. Metaphor- simile itself where the difference is implicit. There are 2 types of metaphors

i) metaphors stating similarity

ii) metaphors stating contrasts

4. Light- if by remaining in one place a word indicates the genus, action, quality or the subject matter

5. Repetition- the repetition of a word, the repetition of meaning, the repetition in both; all these three are desired in the place of light.

6. Objection- is a statement of denial. By the division of time, it is divided into three.

7. Illustrative citation- the citation of another object which is capable of conveying the same meaning as in the original object.

8. Differentiation- when the similarity between two objects has been suggested or expressed in words a differentiating statement is formed.

9. Cause- after denying generally accepted causes, another cause is stated. It may be considered natural or attributed.

10. Terseness- Having in mind a certain object, the statement about another object which is similar to it is because of its making for concise expression.

11. Hyperbole- Expression transgressing the limits of usage about a particular thing.

12. Conceit- When the condition or action of an animate or inanimate object is in a particular manner and it is fancied by the poet in a different manner.

13. Reason- constitutes the best alankaras of words.

14. Subtlety- Where the meaning is expressed through facial gestures or the condition of the body.

15. Minuteness- constitutes the best alankaras of words.

16. Sequence

17. Felicity

18. Provoking sentiment

19. Vigour

20. Paraphrase- without stating directly a particular meaning, for the accomplishment of that very meaning what is told in another manner.

21. Unison- when a person is about to commence a piece of work, he gets an additional ally for the accomplishment of that object by good fortune.

22. Sublimity- Expression of the pre-eminent greatness of a person either in the qualities of his heart or in his riches.

23. Denial- where something is denied and another meaning is made clear.

24. Paronomasia- a group of words that have one form but various meanings.

25. Speciality- when the quality, genus, predicate etc., an alteration or variation is shown, that makes for the pointing out of its speciality.

26. Equation- where for the sake of praising or blaming a thing, a statement is made making equal with things possessing the particular quality pre- eminently.

27. Direct praise- where opposed objects are mentioned together with a view to emphasise their specialities, then it is considered Opposition and where the praise of an object with which one is not concerned is made then it is indirect praise.

28. Concealed praise- the praise in the form of despair. Here virtues appear in the form of vices.

29. Conjunctive expression- the statement conjunctively of the qualities and actions of things.

30. Exchanges- where there is an exchange of things.

31. Benediction- where the object desired is extolled.

32. Confusion- there are two modes

i) where there is a relationship of part and whole between the figures of speech.

ii) where there is no interdependence among the figures of speech.

33. Expressiveness


Indian Literary Criticism- Theory and Interpretation- G. N. Devy- 2002

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