Tripurā Sundari Saundaryalahari 2a
Text as the Metaphoric Body: Incorporation of Tripurā in Saundaryalaharī – II

The significance and centrality of the divine body in Saundaryalaharī is vivid, particularly in the second part, where the limbs and ornaments of the goddess are recounted.

Encountering the Divine Body of Bliss

The significance and centrality of the divine body in SL is vivid, particularly in the second part, where the limbs and ornaments of the goddess are recounted. Reading SL thus engages multiple strategies of grounding the sacred within the body. The author draws upon a wide range of aesthetic tools and concepts in developing this paper. In order to analyze the literary tropes that are at the center of this composition, I am primarily using three commentaries: Lakṣmīdharā (LD), Aruṇāmodinī (AM), and Saubhāgyavardhinī (SV). Because it is not possible to analyze all the verses in this short paper, I will limit myself to a comparison of ten select verses. However, the literary tropes and suggestion are common throughout the text.

It is not difficult to find examples in SL for discussing the integration of the aesthetic and mystical, as this fusion is present in every single verse of the text. The very first verse clearly elucidates this point:

śivaḥ śaktyā yukto yadi bhavati śaktaḥ prabhavitum |

na ced evaṃ devo na khalu kuśalaḥ spanditum api ||

atas tvām ārādhyāṃ hariharaviriñcyādibhir api |

praṇantuṃ stotuṃ vā katham akṛtapuṇyaḥ prabhavati || 1 ||


If Śiva is associated with Śakti, [he] is able to become the Lord/to come into being. If this is not [the case], Śiva [lit. (Mahā-)deva] is not even capable of pulsation. Hence, how can one bow on or pray to you without having earned virtue, as you are to be served even by the gods of creation, sustenance, and re-absorption?


There are two central problems in translating this text. One, commentators attribute multiple meanings to this single verse,19 and any literal translation will necessarily fail to fathom all these meanings in a single translation. Two, the meaning of the text, or what the text refers to and suggests, is not confined to its conceptual references alone. Meaning is embedded within the text, and this cannot be dissociated from its Sanskrit language. Throughout the text, suggestion (dhvani) is crucial not only for aesthetic presentation but also for esoteric designation. Commentators often use the terms ‘indicated’ (sūcita)20 or suggested (dhvanita) in order to imply this esoteric meaning. In this process of unpacking meaning, the terms or the entire passage of the text refer simply to another term or a single letter of a mantra. For instance, LD derives śrīcakra as one of the designated meanings of this verse, Saubhāgyavardhinī (SV) derives Prāsāda, Anuttara, Vāgvādinī, the Śiva mantra of five letters, and the three letter Pāśādi mantra. Besides deriving the śrīyantra from this verse, AM finds fourteen different meanings of the verse which are related to deriving mantras through suggestion.

Some of these meanings are purely analytical. The first and second meanings of the verse suggested in AM follow the Advaita and Sāṅkhya paradigms. However, other meanings are speculative and one can derive those meanings only through assigning words or letters to the specific letters of a mantra. For instance, the tenth, eleventh, and twelfth meanings given in AM relate to the Kādi and Hādi mantras of Tripurā.

AM suggests that there are two literary tropes of ‘insinuator’ (parikara) and the ‘seed of insinuator’ (parikarāṅkura) in this verse because all the terms applied here suggest that Śiva has hidden intentions. Gerow (1971: 203) summarizes this trope as “a figure in which the adjectival qualifications or epithets of a thing are multiplied with a view to re-enforcing the distinctiveness of that thing.” When the attributes used in the epithet suggest the specific action for which the subject is being invoked, these tropes are found.21 What is meant, in this trope, is suggested through the attribute. Through the allusion of the eternal bond of Śiva and Śakti, the rasa of śṛṅgāra (meaning) is suggested (pratīti), and within this, another trope of ‘model metaphor’ (samāsokti) is nested. In this metaphor, the character of one is ascribed to another based on action, sex, or attribute.22 Gerow (1971: 316) defines this as “a figure in which the descriptive qualifications of an explicit subject suggest an implicitly comparable object to which they likewise apply.” Since there is a cause-and-effect relation between the lines 1-2 and 3-4, designated by the term ‘therefore’ (ataḥ), commentaries suggest that two further literary tropes of kāvyaliṅga and śleṣa23 can be found in this verse. When the meaning of a term refers to a second meaning, this is the literary trope of kāvyaliṅga. For instance, the term trinetra refers to Śiva, but if it is used to indicate fire, as Śiva has fire in his third eye, the trope there will be kāvyaliṅga.24 According to Gerow (1971: 174), this trope is “a figure in which a metaphorical relation of cause and effect is expressed conventionally either as intention or rationale.” Paronomasia (śleṣa) refers to “the expression of more than one meaning by words naturally, or literally, bearing one signification,”25 that is, a play on words particularly a pun.

AM also points out that there are three types of suggested meaning (dhvani) in this first verse. The first kind, the suggestion of an idea (vastu) refers to evocation derived from the literal meaning (DĀ 1.4). This suggestion of an entity may be of a prohibition, an injunction, a fact, or a situation (Ingalls 1990, 82:18-19). Also, the suggestion generated by alaṅkāra falls under the category of primary indication. In the case of alaṅkāra, ‘what is suggested seems to be a figure of speech’ (Ingalls 1990, 82:21-22). The highest mode of suggestion is when rasa is derived through suggestion (dhvani). The perfect embrace of Śiva and Śakti designates aesthetic beauty (śṛṅgāra) through suggestion.

The following verse relates to the Ardhanārīśvara form of Śiva. This is quite a common image wherein the divine couple is depicted in a single body, with the right half as Śiva and the left half as Śakti:

tvayā hṛtvā vāmaṃ vapur aparitṛptena manasā |

śarīrārdhaṃ śambhor aparam api śaṅke hṛtam abhūt ||

yad etat tvadrūpaṃ sakalam aruṇābhaṃ trinayanam |

kucābhyām ānamraṃ kuṭilaśaśicūḍālamakuṭam || 23 ||


Having not been content with your appropriation of the left half of Śiva’s body, I suppose you appropriated also the remaining half of it. This is because your entire form is shining red, endowed with three eyes, slightly bent with your breasts, and the crown on your hair has the crescent moon.


The commentary Saubhāgyavardhinī (SV) points out that this verse has a trope that highlights within it another trope, that of concealment (apahnuti).26 In this poetic device, what is real is denied and what is fancied is ascribed.27 The suggestion that the remaining half of the body be that of the goddess is thus congruent with this interpretation. The shift in the form of goddess depicted here, from a goddess with two eyes and wearing a crown to a goddess with three eyes and wearing a crescent moon, indicates the fusion of the attributes of Śiva within the body of the goddess. SV suggests that there is no explicit concealment to be derived literally. Therefore, this alaṅkāra has been derived through suggestion (dhvani). There is also the suggestion of an entity (vastu), the condition of being identical with Śiva through the identity with the goddess. This suggestion rests on meaning, as this comes from the conclusion of the transformation of the body of Śiva to that of Śakti.

Not all commentators agree in the assignment of specific tropes to each of the verses. This distinction primarily rests on the ways the tropes are described by different aesthetes. AM suggests that the literary trope in this verse is that of fancy (utprekṣā).28 In general, ‘fancy’ relates to imagining an object within the character of another.29 This verse explicitly highlights the appropriation of the other’s properties. Following AM, this trope is supported by another literary device of kāvyaliṅga, discussed above (verse 1). ĀG, on the other hand, suggests that this is not just fanciful (utprekṣā), as the properties of Śiva are in fact actualized by the goddess and so this is ‘real’ (vāstava); this aligns with SV in identification of the poetic device.

This verse is an example for how the poetic device functions in describing the mystical experience. The passage presents that the goddess has appropriated Śiva’s body. The commentary SV suggests the possibility of the practitioner’s intimate union with Śiva through his union with the goddess.30 According to the commentary LD, this verse propounds the Uttara-Kaula doctrine following which there exists no category that transcends Śakti.31 In any case, it is not possible to fathom the suggested meaning of the primacy of the goddess without recognizing the literary device.

The fusion of physical and aesthetic ‘ornaments’ is vivid in verse 42 where the golden diadem of the goddess is described applying multiple tropes.

gatair māṇikyatvaṃ gaganamaṇibhiḥ sāndraghaṭitaṃ |

kirīṭaṃ te haimaṃ himagirisute kīrtayati yaḥ ||

sa nīḍeyacchāyācchuraṇaśabalaṃ candraśakalaṃ |

dhanuḥ śaunāsīraṃ kim iti na nibadhnāti dhiṣaṇām || 42 ||


Daughter of the snow mountain! He who sings [the glory] of your golden crown bedecked with the gems of the sky transformed to jewels, will have a doubt whether the crescent moon, spotted by the dazzling light of the gems32 is [in fact] the bow of Indra.


The description of the golden diadem of the goddess in verse 42 utilizes four different literary devices of fancy (utprekṣā),33 concealment (apahnava), doubt (sandeha), and hyperbole (atiśayokti).34 By referring to the bow of Indra (also ‘rainbow’) as the crescent moon, the writer utilizes metaphorical fancy (utprekṣā). This same metaphor also falls under the device of hyperbole (atiśaya), as it employs the crescent moon to describe the bow of Indra as having an excessive nature. Through rejecting the crescent moon and referring to the bow of Indra, this also indicates the device of concealment (apahnava). By creating doubt as to whether this is the crescent moon or the bow of Indra, the metaphor also functions as doubt (sandeha). The AM commentary also identifies the trope of commixture (saṅkara).

Following the commentators, two phonetic and corporeal bodies of the goddess are depicted in this verse. While the meticulous choice of words functions at the aesthetic level to suggest literary tropes, the same words also indicate esoteric mantras. Just a few examples from the commentaries upon this verse will suffice to demonstrate that the text SL can be considered as a hypertext, with parallel readings possible. At the esoteric level, the commentary SV extracts the Kirīṭa mantra from this verse, saying: “With this, the Kirīṭa mantra, “haimakirīṭāya sahasrādityatejase namaḥ,” is deciphered. The specific Kirīṭa mantra should be learned through the mouth of the preceptor.” 35

Ānandagiri, in his commentary, identifies two different mantras and justifies his reading as follows:

“The verse refers to the Vāgīśvarī mantra with a single syllable. Accordingly, [within the term] himagirisute, [the letter] ‘ha’ stands for [the word ‘ha’ that means] ‘for sure.’ Aiṃ [refers to] the seed syllable [identified as] vāgvabha. . . What is the character of the mantra? This is the kirīṭa or the crown of all the mantras.”36

Ānandagiri further explains:

“The esoteric meaning of the verse [starting with] gatairmāṇikya [is as follows]: [The word] gagana refers to [the letter] ‘ha’. [The word] māṇikyatvaṃ [refers to] ‘ra.’ ‘Maṇibhiḥ’ [suggests] ‘ī.’ ‘Sāndram’ [refers to] the anusvāra or the phoneme ‘.’ ‘himagirisute’ [relates to] ‘nityaklinne.’ ‘yacchāyāchhuraṇaśabalaṃ’ [refers to] ‘madadrave.’ ‘Candraśakalam’ [refers to the word] ‘svāhā.’ Here those who come in the lineage [of Tripurā] understand the words [in the SL] as mantras by convention. Śaṅkarācārya, who is a siddha with the mastery [over both poetry and mantras] has the proficiency [and] after making a reference (saṅketana) [to this], hid the terms [of the words] and also the [specific] letters related to mantras for the grace of the disciples. You should have no doubt here. This indication has come following the lineage. This is not to be reached by intellect. What the guru has said is as [I have] written.”37

Following the commentary AM, the verse also refers to the thousand petalled lotus in the body of the practitioner. The implicit meaning is that the description of the limbs of the goddess correlates to the corporeal limbs of the practitioner. The examples above have highlighted the mantra body of the goddess. What is explicit in the passage, the divine body, becomes one among many other understandings that are implicit, and according to Ānandagiri, this hidden meaning emerges from the lineage. Just as the carnal presence of the goddess depends upon her exotic limbs and her blissful nature relies upon the aesthetic qualities of her beauty, so also does her mantra body require the presence of mantras embedded within her limbs. Just as multiple literary devices play together in describing the ornament, a series of suggestions are at work that bring the esoteric meaning to the understanding of the reader. Following this maxim, commentators decipher the mantras of the associate deities when explaining the verses that describe the limbs and ornaments of the goddess.

Verse 47:

bhruvau bhugne kiñcid bhuvanabhayabhaṅgavyasanini |

tvadīye netrābhyāṃ madhukararucibhyāṃ dhṛtaguṇam ||

dhanur manye savyetarakaragṛhītaṃ ratipateḥ |

prakoṣṭhe muṣṭau ca sthagayati nigūḍhāntaram ume || 47 ||


Umā! Fond of removing fear in the world! I think of your slightly curved eye-brows as the bow of Kāma which he carried in his left arm,38 [and as if] the string [is] fixed by your eyes that shine like bees. [It is as if Kāma] hides the bowstring below the elbow and [the middle of the bow] into the fists.


This verse extols the beauty of the eyebrows of the goddess. In his poetic imagination, the poet sees a parallel between the eyebrow of the goddess and the bow of Kāma, the god of passion. The verse actually says very little of this in a literal sense. What is suggested is what matters. For instance, Kāma carries the bow made out of sugarcane, not so useful for real warfare. LD identifies the literary trope of metaphor (rūpaka) in this presentation of the eyebrow.39 Here, although the particular adjective is identified as something that exaggerates the receiver of the qualities, neither the number nor the gender matches between the source and the target of the metaphor. The two eyebrows are compared with the single bow of Kāma. LD states that number and gender rules can be violated in an analogy and gives example of ‘mukhaṃ candraḥ’ (face is like the moon) as an example of gender violation. In this example, the target possesses the neuter gender and the source is in masculine gender. In another example, ‘kalaśaḥ stanau’ (breasts are like the vase), although the vase refers to both breasts, the term itself is singular, a clear violation of an agreement in number. LD compares the nose of the goddess to the left arm of Kāma that carries the bow, since her eyebrows are compared with the bow. With this comparison, LD indicates the literary trope of hyperbole (atiśayokti), suggesting that the nose of the goddess is so beautiful that it functions as an arm for the god of desire. LD also identifies the blend of different literary devices, which in itself demonstrates the trope of ‘commixture’ (saṅkara).

Kāmeśvara, in his commentary AM, identifies the first type of the literary trope of fancy in this case, as what is being compared is expressed and is explicit.40 The eyebrows and the nose of the goddess are explicitly compared to the bow and arm of Kāma. What has been suggested here is that the glance of the goddess functions as the bow of Kāma to arouse the passionate desire of Śiva. AM also argues that there is a suggestion resting on entity (vastu- dhvani), alluding to the power of the glance of the goddess in destroying obstacles. Ānandagiri, on the other hand, points out that the basic perception of the eyebrows of the goddess is abandoned in the process of suggesting it as a bow and so this verse is applying the trope of concealment (apahnuti).

Verse 48:

ahaḥ sūte savyaṃ tava nayanam arkātmakatayā |

triyāmāṃ vāmaṃ te sṛjati rajanīnāyakatayā ||

tṛtīyā te dṛṣṭir daradalitahemāmbujaruciḥ |

samādhatte sandhyāṃ divasaniśayor antaracarīm || 48 ||


Your right41 eye gives rise to the day, since it is of the nature of the sun. Your left [eye] creates night, since it is [the moon,] the master of the night. Your third eye with the glow of a slightly opened golden lotus gives rise to the intermediate time between day and night.


Verse 48 of SL describes the eyes of the goddess, linking their function of causing day, night, and the intermediate states of dusk and dawn to successively her right, left, and third eye. Lakṣmīdhara considers this as the most perfect kāvya because it suggests that the deity transcends time and is beyond the cycle of birth and death through this evocative metaphor with an application of suggested meaning (dhvani).42 The third eye is compared to a barely opened golden lotus, suggesting its potentiality. Lakṣmīdhara identifies this supporting dhvani as intermediate level poetry (madhyama kāvya) that allows the highest level poetry to manifest through relying only on suggestion. He thus finds a blend of two different kinds of suggestion (dhvani).43

The author of SV also locates literary suggestion (dhvani) in this verse and attributes it instead to a different construction. He finds that the description of three eyes being parallel to the sun, moon, and fire establishes the identity of the goddess with Śiva. Kāmeśvara, on the other hand, finds this verse as an example of suggesting an entity (vastudhvani) through literary ornamentation (alaṅkāra). The transcendence of the goddess and her identity with Śiva are both suggesting the facts, one aspect of vastudhvani.

At the esoteric level, the sun, moon, and fire not only describe the three channels of prāṇa in the subtle body but also identify the triadic body of Tripurā. Śivānanda praises the goddess as:

“The supreme goddess! the radiance in your yonī [possesses] the glow of molten gold; in the heart is the brilliance of lightening, and in the ājñā is the hue of the moon.”44

The poetic devices utilized here not only describe the corporeal beauty of the goddess, they are also the tools that point towards its esoteric meaning, in this case, the distinct channels and distinct manifestations of the goddess to be found in different corporeal centers of the practitioner. In this way, the target, the body of the goddess that is described with the use of multiple literary tropes, itself becomes the source to describe the body of the aspirant.

Verse 50:

kavīnāṃ sandarbhastabakamakarandaikarasikaṃ |

kaṭākṣavyākṣepabhramarakalabhau karṇayugalam ||

amuñcantau dṛṣṭvā tava navarasāsvādataralau |

asūyāsaṃsargād alikanayanaṃ kiñcid-aruṇam || 50 ||


Your [third] eye in the forehead is somewhat red due to envy, having seen two baby bees [lit. eyes], stretched due to the side glance [up to] the pair of ears that is lustful only to the nectar of the blossoms of the reference of the poets, [and thus] drunk with the taste of nine rasas.


This verse glorifies the third eye of the goddess. In this depiction, the third eye is jealous, as the wide eyes of the goddess almost touch her ears that are enjoying the aesthetic bliss of rasas by listening to the poetry. Lakṣmīdhara states that this depiction embodies the suggestion of an entity (vastudhvani). He then points out ‘hyperbole’ (atiśayokti), since in this depiction, the eyes of the goddess are presented as enjoying the aesthetic bliss. He also indicates the trope of concealment (apahnava) when using the phrase, ‘baby bees’ (bhramarakalabha), since the phrase ‘baby bees’ in the passage substitutes for the eyes, denying that they are eyes but rather baby bees. In addition, Lakṣmīdhara also points out the application of the device of metaphor (rūpaka),45 with the depiction of her eyes suggested by her glance (kaṭākṣa). Although a bee and a lotus are not related in terms of enjoying the pollen, as it is the bee that enjoys the pollen, they are depicted as both enjoying in a metaphoric sense. Through establishment of this relation, there is also the device of hyperbole (atiśayokti).

The SV commentary indicates that the literal meaning, the glow of the eyes of the goddess, becomes subordinated through the application of literary devices that are used in the process of revealing suggested meaning. The two tropes applied here, following SV, are metaphor (rūpaka) and reason (hetu), and the trope of concealment (apahnuti) is found through suggestion.46 Kāmeśvara maintains that there is a literary device of suggestion resting on literary tropes (alaṅkāra dhvani) in this verse, saying that the description gives the appearance of concealing of the natural glow of the third eye of the goddess.

Although commentators offer no further interpretations of poetic license found in this verse to imply that the third eye of the goddess is jealous, the poet is clearly applying suggestion (dhvani). By indicating that the third eye of the goddess is reddish, this verse evokes the third eye of Śiva, and through establishment of the identity between Śiva and Śakti by means of describing the reddish third eye, the poet is placing himself to the position of Cupid. As he would not like to be burnt down, the third eye of the goddess is depicted only as ‘somewhat red’ (kiñcid-aruṇa).


  1. The commentary AM gives fourteen meanings of this verse. This reflects a classical tendency to write commentaries that go beyond the literal meaning (bhāvārtha) of the text. Between the commentarial literature, ṭīkā generally describes the literal interpretation and the bhāṣya stands for an exposition. In the case of SL, some ṭīkās such as Lakṣmīdharā or Aruṇāmodinī provide lengthy (and mostly creative on the part of the commentator) exposition while others, such as Padārthacandrikā or Kaivalyavardhinī, provide only the literal meaning.
  2. For instance, AM uses the term sūcita 12 times in a single verse (verse 6), along with terms such as pratīyate, or abhiprāya, all suggesting indirect meaning.
  3. Jayadeva defines parikara as: alaṅkāraḥ parikaraḥ sābhiprāye viśeṣaṇe | sudhāṃśukalitottaṃsas tāpaṃ haratu vaḥ śivaḥ || Candrāloka 5.39. For further discussion, see Sāhityadarpaṇa 57.
  4. Jayadeva defines samāsokti as: samāsoktiḥ parisphūrtiḥ prastute’prastutasya cet | ayam aindrīmukhaṃ paśya raktaś cumbati candramāḥ || Candrāloka 62. For discussion, see Sāhityadarpaṇa 10.56.
  5. The commentary AM also outlines the kaiśikī vṛtti and vaidarbhī rīti in this verse.
  6. For discussions on kāvyaliṅga, see CĀ 5.38; SD 10.62.
  7. SD 10.57, translation by Ballantyne and Mitra 1994, 401.
  8. Gerow (1971: 109) translates apahnuti as ‘denial’ and defines it as “a figure in which the object of comparison is affirmed in place of the subject of comparison.”
  9. For discussion on apahnuti, see SD 10.38-39. Jayadeva gives four varieties of apahnuti. See CĀ 5.24-28.
  10. Gerow (1971: 131) translates utprekṣā as ‘ascription’ and defines it as “a figure in which a property or mode of behavior is attributed to a subject literally incapable of sustaining that property, whereby an implicit simile is suggested whose subject (upameya) is the subject receiving the attributed property and whose object (upamāna) is the real basis of that property.”
  11. There are many varieties of utprekṣā. First based on explicit (vācya) or understood (pratīyamāna), this is divided into two, and they are further analyzed into fifty-six and thirty-two (collectively 88) varieties. This is further multiplied by two, based on whether or not the subject of the fancy is mentioned. SD, thus, describes a total of 176 varieties of utprekṣā. For discussion, see SD, chapter 10, verses 40-45.
  12. tvatsāyujyam eva śivasāyujyam iti dhvaniḥ | SV in SL 23.
  13. yad vā uttarakaulasiddhāntapratipādako ’yaṃ ślokaḥ | uttarakaulasiddhānte śaktitattvād anyat śivatattvaṃ nāsti | ataś ca śivatattvaṃ śaktitattva antarbhūtam iti tadevopāsyam iti prastutam | LD in SL 23.
  14. I am translating nīḍeya as ‘gems,’ relying on Lakṣmīdhara’s (in SL 42) interpretation of the term as ‘. . . nīḍaṃ golaṃ tatra khacitaṃ nīḍeyaṃ ratnajātam. . .’ Aruṇāmodinī’s commentary explains the term nīḍa as: nīḍaṃ rathasthāpanārthaḥ kulāyaḥ golakam iti yāvat | Even this interpretation supports the same understanding.
  15. For discussion on 64 varieties of utprekṣā, see SD 10.40-46.
  16. See the commentary of Lakṣmīdhara on SL, verse 42. 12
  17. etāvatā haimakirīṭāya sahasrādityatejase nama iti kirīṭamantra udāhṛtaḥ | kirīṭamantraviśeṣo gurumukhād avagantavyaḥ | SV on SL, verse 42.
  18. athavaikākṣaravāgīśvarīmantraparatayā padyam | tathā himagirisute ha iti niścaye | aiṃ vāg-bhavabījam . . . kiṃ lakṣaṇaṃ mantraṃ, kirīṭaṃ sakalamantramakuṭabhūtam | Ānandagirīyā, SL 42.
  19. gatair māṇikyeti padyasya rahasyārthaḥ – gatair iti | gagana ha, māṇikyatvaṃ ra, maṇibhir īkāraḥ, sāndraṃ anusvāraghaṭitaṃ, himagirisute nityaklinne, yacchāyāchuraṇaśabalaṃ madadrave candraśakalaṃ svāhā | atra paraṃparāgatānāṃ saṅketamantrapadagrahaṇam | nanu vyutpattyā svatantrasiddhaḥ śaṅkarācāryaḥ svayaṃ saṅketanaṃ kṛtvā padānām anabhivācyānāṃ ca śiṣyānugrahāyācīkḷpat | tava nātra kvāpi śaṅkā | paraṃparāsamāgato hy ayaṃ saṅketaḥ | na tu buddhigamyaḥ | gurūktaṃ yathālikhitam eva | Ānandagirīyā, SL 42.
  20. The term savya is used in Sanskrit for both right and left. In here, I am following the commentaries: ‘savyo dakṣiṇas taditaro vāmaḥ sa cāsau karaś ca’ (Lakṣmīdhara), and ‘savyo dakṣiṇas taditaro vāmaḥ karaḥ | dhanur hi vāmakareṇaiva dhriyate|’ (Ānandagiri).
  21. Classical aesthetes do not agree on the varieties of rūpakas found in this verse. While Jayadeva identifies only four kinds (CĀ 5.18-21), the commentaries Kāvyaprakāśa and Sāhityadarpaṇa give eight varieties. Kuvalayānanda, on the other hand, names six varieties. Sarasvatīkaṇṭhābharaṇa expands the scope of rūpakas by identifying fifteen varieties.
  22. Between the two vācya and pratīyamāna varieties of utprekṣā, this falls under vācyotprekṣā.
  23. While the term savya is used to designate both right and left and there is a possibility to read the passage as ’savya, I am simply following the reading suggested by the commentators.
  24. bhagavatyā avayavaviśeṣeṇa . . . kālotpattikathanāt bhagavatyāḥ kālāvacchedyatvaṃ dūrata evāpāstam iti dhvanyate | idam uttamaṃ kāvyam | LD in verse 48.
  25. ayam anuprāṇanātmakaḥ madhyamottamakāvyaprayojakadhvanyoḥ saṃsṛṣṭiḥ | saṃsṛ- jyamānaṃ vyaṅgyadvayaṃ pradhānadhvaninā aṅgāṅgibhāvena saṅkīryata iti dik | LD in verse 48.
  26. yonau kanakapuñjābhaṃ hṛdi vidyucchaṭojjvalam | ājñāyāṃ candrasaṅkāśaṃ mahas tava maheśvari || Saubhāgyahṛdayastotra, verse 6.
  27. Gerow (1971: 239) translates rūpaka as a literary device having the form of metaphorical identification. He defines it as “a figure in which the subject of comparison is identified with its object by a specific process of grammatical subordination.” For a varieties of rūpaka, see Gerow 1971, 239-259.
  28. Kavikṛtavastukṛtasaundaryayor abhedādhyavasāyād atiśayoktyor anuprāṇyānuprāṇaka- bhāvasaṃbandhaḥ | apahnavas tu aṅgāṅgibhāvena saṅkīrṇaḥ | SV in verse 50.

The paper was first published in Zeitschrift für Indologie und Südasienstudien 32 (2015) and has been republished with author’s permission.

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