Vyakthi Viveka: (Bharatheeya Kavyasastra: Part XII)
- V S Bhaskara Panicker
C/o e-mail: jayraj@darpana.com


March 17, 2007

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

Mahima Bhatta (1015 to 1100 AD)
Mahima Bhatta was a critic of very high calibre in poetics. He has set up a model of strong and aggressive style of criticism which evokes high enlightenment in the field of poetical studies. He lived in Kashmir. He was a scholar of very high standard in Vyakarana, Niruktha, Nyasa, Mimamsa, Kavya, etc. His style being abstruse, scholars look upon him with caution. He had no hesitation in pointing out errors even in Kalidasa.

The only book by him traced so far is Vyakthi Viveka. It is a refutation of Dhwany. He held the view that Dhwany could always be reduced to inference (Anumana).

Vyakthi Viveka
Kavya is that infallible poetical endeavour of combining Vibhavas and expressing Rasa. Kavyas are of two types, one for representation on the stage, and the other not intended for it. The purpose of both is the same - what to be done and what not to be done. Kavyas are composed keeping in view the ability to understand by those who are intended to use it. Natya and Sasthra also serve the same purpose.

Kavya - Through the story of the renowned Rama and villainous Ravana, it is described as to what is to be accepted and what to be rejected.

Natya - In Nataka these guide lines are expressed through Abhinaya (representation on the stage). In Kavya these are illustrated through verbal description, and Nataka is the process of exhibiting it in another attractive style using music and other accompaniments.

The princes, who are gentle, reluctant to deep study, prone to be joyous, always deserve the first (Kavya). Along with them those who are less intelligent have not got enlightened by the mere reading of Kavya. For their benefit, as also for those who are interested in women, dance and Vadya (instruments, just in the manner of making the patients take medicines with sugar put on their tongues), keeping the objects in front, making them feel and enjoy the rasa, are attracted to Natya based on stories. They cannot be enlightened otherwise. Those who look for the purpose of Kavya making have to accept the Rasa concept, as the means for their endeavour. Those who call Kavya, Dhwany also say so on this basis.

The proposition that on account of the special qualities of Rasa, Kavya would also become special is incorrect. There are Aviapthi doshas. In that case a Kavya with a particular Rasa could be called Dhwanykavya, and another with a different rasa is not reckoned so, because it may not have the said quality. But that too remains a Kavya.

Mahima Bhatta is Anumithivadin. They hold the view that Rasa oriented Sabdartha is Kavya. For Vyakthivadins, Rasa is the suggestive aspect of Vakyartha that is Vyanjana, and even in the absence of Rasa, Kavya becomes attractive with Dhwany, Guna and Alankara. They also speak of three types of Dhwany - Vasthudhwany, Alankaradhwany and Rasadhwany. Kavyas with Rasadhwany are the best ones. The definition for Kavya is therefore hit by Aviapthi dosha as it is not all-pervasive.

Another argument of the Vyakthivadins is that even if the Kavya is rasa-based, it assumes Vysishtya (superiority) through the theme (Vasthumathra). Vasthumathra are Vibhavas. These are considered to be the hethu (cause) for the expression of Rasa. These are Vyanjaka (ingredients for inference). Their beauty cannot be attributed to Vyangya (that which is inferred). The 'cowness' cannot be decided on the basis of colour. Even if Vaisishtya (especial state) is accepted when both or even one, becomes Vyangya, Dhwany may occur, but that Dhwany may not be transmitted to Rasa, in the rasa-based Kavya for the reason that there is nothing special in it. The Dhwany principle can be accepted there. Then Dhwanitha has to be attributed to riddles too.

In these circumstances Samasokthi (compound words) has also to be reckoned as Dhwany. Similarly only two variations can be accepted for suggestive meaning (Prathiyamana). The third one, namely, Rasa Adi would be obtained from the Kavyathua of Kavya. It cannot be called its Anga, as it has been accepted as Angi. It is, therefore, evident that Dhwany can be applied to Kavya in a general sense, and it does not deserve any other special attribute.

Further when there is ample scope for dependable higher Rasa-content objects, there is no need for making use of one with only secondary aspects (gouna).

He proceeds to give a revised definition for Dhwany. "Where Vachaya or a meaning inferred by it gives another meaning on account of any connection, there is Kavyanumithi. This is of Anumana, and the difference is only in name."

The artha that is termed as Rasa is the Sabda of Kavya. There is no difference of opinion in accepting this. The dispute is in the handling of the term Dhwany.

Kavyartha Rasa: Scholars should not treat the conditions in Kavya and ordinary life in an identical manner. The absolute position is that the enjoyment of Rasa becomes real only when Bhava are experienced through the course of Vibhavas. None other than the Sahridaya would get that experience. Bharatha has said that "Rasa is produced with the combination of Vibhava, Anubhava and Sancharibhavas."

There are even other explanations. "The true meaning of Kavya is Rasa itself. Its true nature is the experience of enjoyment. It is considered Vyangya due to the mixing up of Bhavas. It is sensed in that form through knowledge that is transcendental".

In ordinary life it is not possible to have Bhavas and Vibhavas. Hethu may occur in life. Hethu and Vibava cannot be reckoned identical. Their attributes are different. The constant special conditions like Rathi and in Rama are termed as Bhavas in Kavya / Natya for the reason that they are superimposed upon them by poets for decorative description, and the Nata for Abhinaya. The enjoyment of the respective rasa is, therefore, being done. Bharatha has said, "By the varied Abhinaya of the Nata, these states repeatedly offer Rasa." Thus these have assumed the name Bhava.

Sitha and others, who are instruments (Hethu) for these, assume the status of Vibhavas, on the basis of the derivation "Bhavas become Vibhavitha." Bharatha makes it clear "Vibhava is the cause. Taking Abhinaya as means, several gestural, verbal Bhavas are generated."

When the effectual aspects like facial glow etc are expressed in Kavya, Anubhavas are formed, according to the derivation "Anubhava of Bhava." The Anubhavas of the meaning is attained with the Abhinaya, by, word, body organs and mind. As such Anubhava is the combination of word, organs (angas) and Upangas. - Bharatha.

These Bhavas remaining as the cause (Hethu), the erratic states of the mind coming up like waves, when expressed through the concerned Vibhava and Anubhava assume the name Vyabhichari (derivation, Viseshena, Anuroopa, Samchalitha). "Vyabhicharis are emotional changes, that throb in a manner agreeable to Rasa." - Bharatha.

It is stipulated that there are eight sthayibhavas, eight Sathwika Bhavas, and thirty three Vyabhichari Bhavas, and thus forty nine Bhavas. In the absolute sense all these are Vyabhicharis. On the basis of certain distinct features, different names were given to them. Constancy is the nature of the Sthayibhavas alone. It is not stipulated so in the case of Vyabhichari and Sathwika. Movability is there only in Vyabhichari, and not in others. In Sathwika alone, there is emotional expression. Sthayis can assume Vyabhichari and Sathwika aspects, but others remain as they are.

The aspects of Sthayibhava detailed in the 7th chapter of Natyasasthra are those when they are in the Vyabhichari state. A definition otherwise would be futile. Rasa is the imitation of Sthayi. The definition of Rasa covers Sthayibhava also. The inner essence of Rasa and Sthayi is Bimba-Prathibimba (object and reflection) type, Nirveda is Vyabhichari and not Sthayi. Here, the attempt is to impose Rasa on the Anukarya, (the act of imitation - bimba) and the Anukartha, the imitator (Prathibimba). Rasa is the subjective inspiration of the Samajika, and the argument is opposed to the general conception.

Thus an artificial conception of Vibhavas and its causes take place. This is not in agreement with that of Kavya as also ordinary life, the Bhavas of Rathi etc of Vibhavas appear as a suggestion. It being suggestive, it could be called Pratheeyamana or Gamya Mukha. The contact with this Prathithi is the enjoyment of Rasa. This is natural. Rasa is artificial and its enjoyment is natural. Rasa is Bhranathi (illusion) and its enjoyment is Prama (real).

An object when presented by poetical force would assume extra ordinary potential to make the Samajika identified with it. Such objects would possess the force for graceful inspiration, while other objects observed direct would be bereft of this quality. (The perception through inference being indirect is not enjoyable). Even if they are directly perceived, the enjoyability is an indirect process, that is inference. This force is Kavisakthi. It flows into the heart of the Samajika and cause the aforesaid identification - Rasa.

The objects inferred through Vibhavas are more graceful than those inferred through Hethu. Similarly the Vachya (artha) expressed through Abhidha would not be as much graceful as those done through Anumithi. Dhwanykara says that an essential object when expressed otherwise than through its Vachaka Sabda emits fine colours. Inference (Anumithi) is the essence of Kavya. Students get the awareness of what and what not by this. Illusion remains real till the connection with it remains. Through a hole, the glow of a lamp or perhaps a diamond is perceived. Two persons run for it on the assumption that it is a diamond. Till the time they reach the spot, on the assumption that it is diamond, they enjoy the identity with it. The Bhrama experienced till the dawn of knowledge is joyful. Rasa is illusory, but it leads to the enjoyment of Ananda, and is therefore, acceptable, though practically illusive. In Kavya, this illusory aspect cannot be rejected.

This search after the truth or fallacy of Gamya and Gamaka (aim and effort) is futile. In Kavya matters, deliberations on truth or untruth behind Vachya, Vyangya and inference are without any benefit. It would remain a mere fantasy as in the case of other Sasthras. In ordinary life the inference of actual objects is done with the help of actual objects as Hethu. There they are intelligible, without any trace of Vyangya. No trace of a pleasurable enjoyment of Rathi is therefore found in them. This enjoyment is far more in Kavya when compared to ordinary life. The ornamentation with Vyangya would not help the enjoyment of Rathi etc (which is the Gamya). The Padartha (word and meaning) in Kavya is primarily of two types, Vachya and Gamya.

The Guneekrithartha (secondary meaning) for Sabda is never possible, because its very formation is for Artha. "Water bag is for water."

Vakyasworoopa
Vakya is of one type only. A verb should be there.

Artha are of two types - Vachya and Anumeya. The Artha produced through Sabda is Vachya. This is the primary one. That which is signified by hearing is the Mukhyartha. When the significance is brought out with effort, it is Amukhya.

Anumeya/Artha and its divisions
Anumeyartha is that by the inference of which the Vachyartha is formed or any other meaning obtained by inference from the said Vachyartha. These are of three types - Vasthu, Alankara and Rasadi. Of these, the first two, namely Vasthu and Alankara would also be Vachya. The last Rasadi would be Anumeya only. (The Artha inferred by the Sabda would either be Sabdartha or Vakyartha). The meaning inferred from Pada would be Padartha, which may not contain the expressed Sadhyasadhana Bhava (purpose and its process). They are Vachya without parts (Niramsa) and not to be inferred.

Vakyartha Bheda
Segmentation is attributed in the meanings expressed by Vakyas. Some segments would be imperative and a few inferential. Imperatives are of two types, some Sidha (achieved) and the other Sadhya (asidha - to be achieved). Sidha does not require description, and the other requires further elucidation. In the process of elucidation, the relation between Sadhya (what is to be known) and Sadhana (means adopted for it) becomes intelligible in the same manner the object and Alankara remains to be inferred. Also where the rasabhava also likewise to be inferred, the order of Gamya Gamaka Bhava also remains elusive. On the presumption that the inference of both is simultaneous, the Vyangya Vyanjaka aspect has been arrived. Actually these are only secondary, as these are neither real nor of primary importance. The prime factor is to create Chamathkara in the Sahridya.

Decorative Vyangya for Vasthu Alankara is not possible
The arrangement of the first two (Vasthu and Alankara) is clear. There is no need to attribute Vyangyathua to them. So in the words with Dhwany, the Artha which emanates as SPOTA in the end, cannot be connected in the Vyangya Vyanjaka aspect. The Dhwany concept in Sabdartha Kavya for the mere similarity of Vyanjakathua (Dhwany word) is not correct.

Sthayibhva and Vakyartha are simultaneous
The experience is that the inference of Sthayibhava takes place simultaneously with that of the Vakyartha which are the Vibhavas. The inference of Rathi etc is the inference of Rasa. Vyangya Vyanjaka aspect is to be accepted in it, primarily. According to Khada deepa nyaya also it is possible. (The pot becomes visible when the lamp is lighted as also the lamp). Vyanjakathua is the lamp and it continues to make the pot visible (Artha) till another Artha is brought in. Vachya would not fade out when the Vyangya is inferred because that inference is connected to Vachya.

But there is an order in their projection. It is not stated anywhere that Vibhavas etc are Rasa. When these Vibhavas etc are alluded, Rasa becomes inferred, and as such there is a cause and effect connection between them. A Krama (order of occurrence) is therefore inevitable. This is not understood, and it is argued that Rasa is of Alakshyakrama (with a sequence) and Vyangya. In the same manner there is a sequence in the Vachaka-Vachya process, as also Vachya-Vyangya arrangement, as in cause and effect.

Dhwany involves Anumana
Linga-Lingi-Bhava is applicable in the case of Vachya and suggestive meaning. Linga is Hethu, cause. It suggests the hidden meaning (Leena). Eg. Parvatho Vahniman -Hethu Dhooma (on the mountain there is fire - reason, smoke). This is Linga. This is inference (anumana). Dhwany is Anumana, and it has wider scope. Anumana is word based.

Abhidha Sthapana
Sabda has got only one power - Abhidha. In Artha there is only one Lingatha. In both there is no Vyanjana (suggestion).

In the process of comprehension beyond Artha, Sabda becomes irrelevant. The theory that in Kavya, Guneebhootha Vyangya adds to the grace is also not correct, as bestowing a secondary importance to Sabda and Artha is irrelevant. It only adds to the grace of Vachya, and nothing else.

Where on account of the Vachyartha, inference of another Artha becomes plausible, there, no matter the Vachya is important or secondary Kavya is generated.

Between Vakya and its known meanings, there is no Vyangya-Vyanjaka connection. Their allusion does not take place simultaneously as in the case of pot and lamp. It is appropriate to accept inference in such contexts.

Sabda is used for the benefit of others to goad them to action, and its usage should be logical. The Sadhya Sadhana Bhava should be present in the use of words. The three factors in the process are Vasthu, Alamkara and Rasa. The first two are subjects of Sabda and Anumana. The last, namely Rasa is abstract. To call it Vyangya is only Lakshana usage. These are the characteristics of Padartha. The actual enjoyment is that which is expressed through the Sabda of a proficient poet.


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