By Swami Harshananda
Sometimes transliterated as: Alankara, AlaGkAra, Alankaara
Alaṅkāra literally means ‘embellishment’.
The word is derived from the root ‘kṛ’ (‘to do’) along with the prefix ‘alam’ (‘enough’, ‘sufficient’). It means an addition to something to make it complete. It can be a dress or an ornament.
It has acquired a more technical meaning in the field of Sanskrit literature, viz., ‘figure of speech.’ The science that deals with this subject has been designated as ‘Alaṅkāraśāstra.’
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore