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Arthantaranyasa – Figure Of Speech In Sanskrit

Arthantaranyasa is a figure of speech (relating to the meaning – arthalankara) in Sanskrit. The word nyasa means ‘to keep’ or ‘to corroborate’. When a general proposition is strengthened by a particular proposition, or a particular proposition is strengthened by a general proposition through similarity or dissimilarity, arthantaryasa arises. The figure is so called because an instance is brought in to corroborate a generalization, for example –

To those with impure darkness. Just then someone sang your (the king’s fame), and she fearlessly went on to meet her lover. Don’t you protect your subjects everywhere?

Here the general proposition is similar to the particular. In arthantaranyasa, the proposition to be supported is generally placed first and the proposition that supports is place next.

It is possible to have further varieties of this figure. But as Ruyyaka observes, there is not much charm in such division. Hence, Mammata does not go in for them. Early poeticians like Bhamaha and Udbhata refer to these characteristics of arthantaranyasa in their definition. Visvanatha mentions four more varieties of arthantaranyasa. According to him, this figure also occurs when an effect is supported by a cause of vice-versa.

This figure occurs very frequently in Sanskrit literature. The Satakas of Bhartrhari contain many charming examples. Kalidasa also is very fond of this figure of speech.