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Dasaroopaka: (Bharatheeya Kavyasastra: Part X)
- V S Bhaskara Panicker
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January 31, 2007

(This is the tenth part of the research paper that Mr. V S Bhaskara Panicker would like to share with narthaki readers)

Dhananjaya and Dhanika (975 to 999 AD)

Dhananjaya was a renowned authority in literature. Dhanika was his elder brother. Dasadeepika is the only book written by Dhananjaya. Avaloka was Dhanika's commentary of it. Actually Avaloka is a supplementary commentary of Dasaroopaka. Dasaroopaka is mainly a Natya composition. After Bharata's Natyasastra, the acceptability and greatness of Dasaroopa remained unparalleled. Natyasastra is the encyclopedia of Natya. Its treatment of other subjects is more elaborate than the exposition of the matters connected with Natya. It is actually difficult to acquire full knowledge about the special subject connected to Natya as also the import of the terms, from the basic treatise. Dhananjaya has therefore compiled Dasaroopa embodying all matters connected to the Roopaka.

Dasaroopaka is compiled in Karika form. Karikas are 300 in all. It is divided into four Prakasha.


NATYA SWAROOPA: Natya is the imitation of a particular state, mood, etc. That which is in Natya form is Roopaka, because there is a sort of imaginative representation. Natyas which depend upon Rasa are ten in number.

Natya is the representation through gesticulatory, verbal, dressy and temperamental (Angika, Vachika, Aharya and Sathwika) Abhinaya, the profoundly large, high, simple and serene nature of the hero, heroine and other characters as described in Kavya. Avasthanukarana (imitation of situation or state) is the attainment of identity with the character, of the actors through the representation or imitation of their deportment, dress, talk and other life-activities. Natya is drisya, that which could be seen. It is roopa. As it is subjected to the process of seeing, it is Roopa. In Roopakalankara, Mukhachandra we superimpose the moon on the face. In the same manner in Natya, the state of the characters like Sri Rama is superimposed on the Nata, and it is therefore called Roopaka. The words, Natya, Roopa and Roopaka are used in the same sense.

ROOPAKA BHEDA: Nataka, Prakarana, Bana, Prahasana, Dima, Vyayoga, Samavakara, Veedhi, Anga, Ihamriga.

NRITHYA AND NRITHA: Nrithya is based on Bhava, and Roopaka is Rasa based. Nritha depends on Thala and Laya. Nritha based on vocal recitation is Margi, and others Desi.

Natya develops Rasa to the full, by depicting the characters in the most perfect fashion, which is the ultimate developed stage of Bhava, whereas in Nrithya, Bhavas are just indicated. In Natya the story has to be enacted. In Nrithya by mere movements of the body organs, Bhavas are indicated. In music, Thala is the quantum of swara (notes) and in Nritha it is mathra, limited to foot movements.

Nrithya and Nritha are sub-divided into 1) Lasya and 2) Thandava. These are employed in Natakas.

BASIS OF ROOPAKA BHEDA: If Roopakas are imitations, how is one differentiated from another? The following factors make them different from one another. Vasthu, Netha and Rasa. Vasthu Bheda; Vasthu has two aspects 1) Mukhya (Adhikara) and 2) Prasangika.

In Roopaka, like Nataka, the main story is known as Adhikarika. In Kavyas like Ramayana, the story of Rama and Sita is adhikarika. The subsidiary story which remain as part of the Adhikarika story are called Prasangika. The stories of Sugriva and Vibhishana are Prasangika.

Assuming authority over the result is Adhikara. The overlord of the result is Adhikari. The story that leads to the final result is the Adhikari Vasthu.

The story while remaining auxiliary to the Adhikara Vasthu, incidentally achieve its own result is Prasangika. Prasangika may be supplementary in character. When the story is confined to a certain distance, it is Pathaka and limited to a place it is Prakari. Thus the story structure would be Adhikarika, Pathaka and Prakari combined. Another classification is, Prakhyatha, Uthpadya, and Misra. Prakhyatha is famous having been taken from Puranas, Uthpadya made by the poet, and Misra, combination of the first two. Another classification is Divya, Marthya and Divyadivya.

In Nataka, Beeja, Bindu, Prakari, Pathaka, and Karya are the Arthaprakrithi (Karyalakshana = Artha Prakrithaya). The difference between Arthaprakrithi and Avastha are not clear. Bija etc (Arthaprithi) may be the generative cause. This can be called the material of the Vasthu. Where these exist, the shape of the Vasthu can be constructed.

Arambha, Yathna, Prathyasa, Niyathapthi and Phalagama are the five Avastha (This may perhaps be related to the mindset of the hero, Arthaprakrithi may be physical division and Avastha the psychological division.)

Mukha, Prathimukha, Garbha, Avamarsa (Vimarsa) and Upasamhrithi are the Sandhis.

NETHA: The qualities of the hero are as follows-
Amiable, sweet-tempered, service minded, efficient, soft-spoken, happy nature, pure and neat, good speaker, noble-born, stable-minded. He should also be intelligent, enterprising, with good memory power, alert, lover of arts, respectable, brave, firm, graceful, righteous and should also possess a good knowledge of Sasthras.

RASA: Through Vibhava, Anubhava, Sathwikabhava, Vyabhichari Bhava, the Sthayibhavas like Rathi are made enjoyable and it is Rasa.

The Sthayibhava through the process of Vibhava, Anubhava, Vyabhicharibhava, Sathwikabhava by usage in Kavya and exposition in Nataka by Abhinaya, become enjoyable or sensually perceptible in the heart of the listener or spectator are conceived as Rasa. This enjoyability in Kavya and Nataka is the unique pleasure-oriented living spirit, in its aspects. Rasika is the one who imbibes the enjoyability of this Rasa. He is otherwise known as the Samajika. Sravya Drisya Kavyas are Rasavath, because these expose this unworldly spirit of pleasure.

VIBHAVA AND ITS SUB DIVISIONS: The derivation of the word Vibhava is "Vibhayathe ithi." This Vibhava develops Sthayibhava and converts it into Rasa. This has got two aspects, Alambana and Uddeepana.

The characters of Rama and Sita are presented in exaggerated description in Kavya, and on the stage by the actor in a particular way through Abhinaya. The listener in Kavya and the spectator in Nataka carry the impression that Rama or Sita would be like it. The re-creation of the characters would not be in full agreement with the world conception. It also would not be as in Prathyaksha. (Prathyaksha is the perception through the Indriyas) In Kavya, perception is conceptual in content. It is not Vyakthigatha but Jathigatha (general). It is termed as Sadharaneekarana. In Kavya Vibhavas, Rama and Sita assume a general form. They have become Vibhavitha and hence Vibhavas. They are presented in the Alamba aspect and the Uddeepana aspect like garden make this conception intensified. The objects disappear and the general conception prevails.

ANUBHAVA: The emotion which indicates the Sthayibhava is Anubhava, that it gives an impression (anubhava) of the Sthayibhava. Sthayibhava is awakened and Anubhava is its signal. In a sense it is the effect of Sthayibhava, the cause being Vibhava.

STHAYIBHAVA: Sthayibhava transforms all other Bhavas and make them one with it. Sthayibhavas are not relegated by other Bhavas, no matter such Bhavas are in tune with them or not. Bhavas will become mutually opposed in two ways. One is Sahanavastha, that they do not remain together at the same place and the other, that one Bhava affects the suggestion of another Bhava (Badhya Badhaka Bhava). But it has to be remembered that if they are generated in the same manner they would not remain opposed. Such mutual disagreement would not occur between Sanchari and Sthayibhavas, because they exist together. In the general sense it is seen that Vyabhichari Bhava like thinking process continues to exist uninterruptedly in a man who possesses Sthayibhava such as Rathi. While spinning a garland, different kinds of flowers are interlaced in the thread, according to Sraksoothranyaya. The same principle can be applied in the case of Bhavas of imitated Rama and Sita and the process of its experience would not be different from our experience. A sort of identity in our mind with that of Rama is established. Through the poetical process the generation of Bhava and Sanchari Bhava in the imitated Rama becomes feasible. In order to awaken the unworldly consciousness of Rasa, the identity of our mind with that of the Rama already established would remain helpful. The juxtaposition of Sthayi and Sanchari Bhavas in "Rama" and their description generate Rasa in our mind. It is evident therefore that these two exist together and there is nothing inapt in such combinations.

After Sahanavastha, Badhya Badhaka Bhava is the other factor for the antagonistic aspect. This aspect comes to play when one Bhava completely rejects the other, leaving no trace at all. This negation is not possible in the case of Vyabhichari Bhava. Each Bhava has got its own recognized Sanchari Bhava and they are interconnected with the concerned Sthayibhava, and as such they are not affected by the extraneous factors; Sanchari Bhava always remains as a part (Anga) of the Sthayi. Thus the description of one bhava after another would not have any antithetic effect.

In Vakyas with two or more inherent connotations (slesha etc), the Virodha aspect would not come into play, because each meaning is free and the flow is separate. The streams of meanings are followed and as such there is no chance of interaction and the consequent Virodha. This is also applicable in the case of Upameyopamana cases.

Thus it is established that in the arrangement of Sthayibhava there is no scope for Virodha. The use of words like Rathi (name of a Bhava) in Kavya would not arouse the Thathparya as Bhavas are generated with Vibhavas and not through the direct usage of words.

Sthayibhavas are only eight in all - Rathi, Uthsaha, Jugupsa, Krodha, Hasya, Vismaya, Bhaya, and Soka. The ninth one, Sama has not been reckoned by Bharatha as Sthayibhava.

Difference of opinion prevails among scholars about Santha Rasa. Many do not accept it as a Rasa at all. Bharatha stipulates only eight Rasas. He has not specifically made any mention about its Vibhavas.

A few others do not accept its presence even in worldly life. Their argument is that for the generation of Santha, annihilation of Raga and Dwesha is the pre-requisite. The total effacement of Raga-dwesha is impossible in worldly life. Then how would Santha rasa be generated and developed? A few others agree Sama as the serene mental set up. But it cannot be elevated to the state of free and unfettered Sthayibhava. Beebhathsa and Veera contain Sama elements. Abhorrence to mundane life is an aspect of Sama. Beebhathsa and Veera involve it. Thus Santha cannot be classified as a separate Rasa.

Whatever the counter argument might be, Sama/Santha are quite unsuitable in Roopakas, because these are Abhinaya based. In Sama all the worldly actions cease to exist. In this state Abhinaya becomes impossible.

The argument that in Harsha's Nagananda, Santha is the predominant Rasa factor also does not stand to reason. The main trend of the story is the love between Malayavathi and Jeemootha Vahana. How can Sama be reckoned as the Sthayibhava in such a story content? In Nagananda, Veera is the Rasa with Uthsaha as the Sthayibhava, Sringara remains as the Anga rasa. Its Phalaprapthi is the attainment of emperorship. The Sthayibhava Uthsaha is not opposed to Sringara and the Phalaprapthi.

Yet another conception by a few scholars is the suitability of reckoning "Nirveda" as a Rasa. They argue that Rasa is called so because it is susceptible to taste. Nirveda also possesses the qualitative aspects suitable for being tasted. It can also, therefore, be classified as Rasa. They also put forward other Rasas in the same manner.

Sthayibhavas are not fragmented by agreeing and disagreeing Bhavas. They assimilate such factors. Nirveda does not possess this quality. Nirveda may make Kavya and Nataka graceful, but they produce only Vyrasya instead of Rasa. Another argument in favour of Nirveda is that its final end is fruitlessness. Certain Bhavas like Hasya are also of the same character. Hasya offers pleasure only and not any other mundane or other-worldly benefit. A close study would show that Nirveda itself is not totally fruitless. Nirveda has also got a fruitful end. There is no rule that fruitless Bhavas are not Sthayibhavas. Sthayibhava is that which cannot be negated by the influence of other agreeing and disagreeing Bhavas. Nirveda does not stand this test.

MEEMAMSA ON SANTHA RASA: It has earlier been stated that Santha Rasa cannot be expressed by representation on stage. Sama is a state of the mind beyond Sukha, Dukha, Chintha, Raga and Dwesha. Its Prakarana (essence-rasa) defies all descriptions. It is suggested by Muditha, Maithri, Karuna and Upeksha. The accepted definition of Santha rasa is as follows: "Bharatha Muni has said that where there is no sorrow, happiness, contemplation, hatred or affinity, it is Santha Rasa. Sama is the most important Sthayibhava."

These being the attributes, Santha Rasa can be achieved only in Moksha. This is Athmaroop, the structure or shape of which cannot be formulated. It is defined in Sruthi as "nethi nethi." In as much as it is distraction from mundane subjects, the worldly minded Sahridaya would not derive any Ananda. That being the nature, some formal assessment alone is being done here. Its Upaya (means) is the four Vrithis of the mind, namely Muditha, Maithri, Karuna and Upeksha. These are the reflections of the four Bhoomikas (backgrounds) of the mind, namely, Vikasa, Visthara, Kshobha and Vikshobha (unfolding, enlargement, agitation and vibration.).

V S Bhaskara Panicker has been writing mainly in Malayalam language. He has offered his research paper on Bharatheeya Kavyasastra to

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