(Bharatheeya Kavyasastra: Part III)
- V S Bhaskara
June 24, 2006
(This is the third part of the
research paper that Mr. V S Bhaskara Panicker would like to share with
Dandi (600 - 750AD)
After Natyasasthra, KAVYADARSA is
the earliest composition available on Kavyasasthra. The interval is pretty
long, extending to about seven centuries. This does not mean that no effort
had been made by anybody in the field of study of Kavyasasthra. Lollada
and Sankuka who wrote commentaries on Natyasasthra belonged to this period.
Rama Varma, a scholar and poet also lived during this period. But no original
work on the subject has been traced so far. The first one available is
Dandi's Kavyadarsa. The
ancestors of Dandi came down from Punjab and settled in Nasik. Dandi was
born in Kancheepuram where his father had finally settled. Thus Dandi is
considered as a Dakshinathya. He
was an erudite scholar, poet and multi-linguist. Apart from Kavyadarsa,
the Gadyakavya, Dasakumaracharitha and Avanthi Sundarikatha and the Sargabandha
Kavya, Dwisanghana Kavya are his works. A multi-linguist, he has written
books in Sinhalese, Kannada and Tamil.
Kavya is the combination of words
denoting profound meanings. It
is on account of the blessings bestowed by the words stipulated by the
learned men of yore, that social interaction has become possible. The world
would have been in utter darkness if the light of the words did not exist.
Properly used words (Vani-Gou) is Kamadhenu fulfilling your wants, and
the profane ones indicate the bull character of the user.
Kavyas are of three types - Gadya,
Padya, and Misra. Poetry has two divisions - Vritha and Jathi.
Mahakavyas are divided into Sargas.
It opens with invocation to God (deva) or Guru or with an indication of
the subject matter dealt with.
Composition and structure
The story should be based on Ithihasas,
or if otherwise an imaginary one, it should be suitable to taste.
It should explain the aspects of Purusharthas.
The hero should be courageous and noble.
It should contain beautiful description
of cities, oceans, sunrise, moonshine, ardent play of lovers, sportive
water plays, drinking, love plays, marriage, child-birth, political intrigues,
triumphant journeys, battles, victory to the hero etc.
It should not be too brief.
Rasa and Bhava should be elaborated.
Composed in beautiful Vrithas.
Attractive for Sahridays.
Intermixed with graceful Alankaras.
The qualities of the heroes and villains
should be explained in detail to bring out the superiority of the former.
AKHYAYIKAS - LIFE STORIES: Gadya is
the collection of words without the restrictions of Padas and Vritha (Gana/Mathra)
arrangements. It has two divisions - Akhyayika and Katha. Akhyayikas are
in first person as related by the hero. Katha is in third person as told
by the hero or a third person.
MISRA KAVYA: Natake comes under this
category. Champu is another type of Misra Kavya.
The language may be Sanskrit, Prakrit,
Apabhramsa, or Misra. Sanskrit includes Thadbhava, Thadsama, or Desi. Those
in Sanskrit are called Sargabandha, when in Prakrit, Skandhaka, and in
Drisyakavya: When Drisyakavyas are presented
on stage, the following dance forms are added: a) Lasya: Sringara based
Nrithya by ladies. b) Schalitha: Male dance with Sringara and Veera: c)
Sallya: Dance with hands on the head.
MARGA - RITHI:
Vaidarbha: The style possessing the
ten Gunas namely Slashah, Prasada, Samata, Madhurya, Sukumaratha, Ardhavyakthi,
Udarata, Ojass, Kanthi and Samadhi.
Gaudeeya: Those which are bereft of
the prescribed characteristics for Vaidarbha.
Slesha: Light sounding Varnas are used
in abundance. This avoids Sidhila Dosha.
Prasada: The meaning of the words used
should be direct and well known.
Samatha: Construction should be facile
and well balanced.
Madhurya: The language should generally
be enjoyable, that it should be Rasa based.
Sukumara: Consonants which are pleasing
to the ear should be used without reserve. There is no harm in using hard
Arthavyakthi: The style should be such
that Arthas are interconnected, one unfolding another (Niyatha).
Udaratha: The Vakya should instill a
great and profound thought or message.
Ojaguna: Long combination of words with
Samasa is the life force of the prose.
Kanthi: Use of well known and commonly
accepted words would be pleasing to the reader.
Samadhi: It is superimposing the Dharma
of one object on another. It is the predominant principle in Kavya, and
best used in verse making.
SWABHAVOKTHI: An object may assume different
shapes when placed in varied circumstances. The Alankara used to express
these qualitative changes in the true form is Swabhavokthi. It is also
When two objects assume similarity in
their projected form, their comparison is Upama.
ROOPAKA: When similarity between two
objects leads to a sense of identity, it is Roopaka.
ARTHANTHARANYASA: After establishing
a meaning in the direct process, for its confirmation an extraneous
object or principle is alluded in this Alankara.
ATHISAYOKTHI: Presenting an object in
over colourful fashion, using uncommon terminology with a view to glorify
it is Athisayokthi.
PREYAS: Describing an object in a pleasing
manner is Preyas.
RASAVAD: While describing an object,
if Rasa aspect comes to play, the Alankara is Rasavad.
OORJASWI: Projecting the inner qualities
through indirect means is Oorjaswi.
UDARATHA: The unworldly superiority
of an idea or a special attribute when described is Udatha.
SESHA: Vakrokthi which adds to the grace
of objects and Alankara is Sesha (as opposed to Swabhavokthi).
Inborn imaginative intelligence (Prathibha),
extensive and unstinted studies and hard endeavour, all these together
contribute to Kavyasidhi. Even in the absence of inborn Prathibha, hard
work and consistent perseverance would definitely contribute to some achievement.
Apartha: That without a common meaning
Vyartha: That which contradicts what
is already stated.
Apakrama: Without proper arrangement.
Sabdaheena: without sound culture.
Yathibhrashta: Ignoring Vritha and Yathi.
Bhinnavritha: Non observance of the
rules of Vritha.
Visandhika: Non observance of the rules
of conjunctions (Sandhi) in compound words.
V S Bhaskara Panicker has been
an ardent writer since childhood, writing mainly in Malayalam language.
Some of his literary expulsions have seen light and many are still left
unpublished. He is 77 years old and still continuing his passion.
In June/July 2004, when he visited his son in Gujarat, he typed out his
research paper on Bharatheeya Kavyasastra.