Aesthetics of art and literature is one of the finest contributions of human culture and with reference to this context of literary aesthetics classical rhetoric has been accepted as a fascinating subject of study for the poets, scholars and critics. In this handbook, the present author has tried to make a critical and comparative study, in brief, of all the rhetorical figures in Sanskrit as defined, explained and illustrated by the distinguished rhetors in their treatises written over a period of about two thousand years. For each figure generally one, but sometimes more than one examples and their metrical English version have been supplied, and in most of the cases, the illustrations have been explained for justification. This study was primarily conducted by the author under the scheme of Minor Research Project sponsored by the University Grants Commission and completed with the publication entitled Alamkarakosa (An encyclopedia of the Figures of Speech in Sanskrit) by the Sanskrit Sahitya Prisad, Calcutta in 1992.
Long before the introduction of the present system of educational curriculum in India in the western method of Sanskrit poetics was an indispensible subject along with philosophy and logic for the teacher and the taught. It has also been included by all Indian universities in the graduate and post-graduate level. Therefore such a book like this was a long desideratum and it is rightly expected that it will serve as a guide to the students and teachers of Sanskrit language and literature.
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