Kavya Prakasa: (Bharatheeya Kavyasastra: Part XIV)
- V S Bhaskara Panicker
C/o e-mail: jayraj@darpana.com


May 18, 2007

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

Mammata Bhatta (1090 - 1160 AD)
In the history of Kavyasastra, Mammata is a luminous star, remembered with respect and adoration. The general belief is that the study of Kavyasasthra would not be complete without the study of Kavya Prakasa. The studies on Kavyasastra from Bharatha to Bhoja are beautifully explained in Kavya Prakasa. Sabda Vichar is his other book.

Kavya Prakasa
KAVYA - Purpose: Kavya brings fame and wealth. It gives the sense of life in the world, forbids everything unpleasant (to the student, listener and spectator), offers supreme pleasure along with learning, and gives advices on dos and don'ts like a loving wife.

Apart from fame and wealth, it gives instructions on appropriate behaviour in social life, with different types of people. The most important benefit is the enjoyment of Rasa, which is the inspired stage of ultimate pleasure, untouched by sensuousness. Keeping aloof the Sabda Pramana (Vedas etc) with the aid of the secondary aspect of Sabda and Artha (Guneebhava) and importance of the process of suggestion (Vyanjana), the Sahridayas are given advices, through the profound descriptive style of the proficient poet, to follow Rama and keep away Ravana.

KAVYA KARANA: The cause (Karana) for the evolution of Kavya is combination of, firstly the natural intellectual power of the poet, secondly the faculty attained through the study of the Sasthras, on both spiritual and world matters, and last the training under the direction of the Guru, well versed in the style of construction of Kavya and its critical study.

The cultural basis of poetical talents is the force of intellectual ingenuity, (Prathibha) without which Kavya would not take shape, and even if produced in any other manner it would remain a mockery. The other requirement is knowledge acquired through exhaustive studies. He should have a thorough understanding about the mundane world. He should also be conversant with the principles of prosody, grammar, vocabulary arts, warfare, works of other great poets as also the Ithihasas. The intellectual faculty and the knowledge thus accrue, along with the training (Abhyasa) under the guidance and advice of those who are proficient in making and revising Slokas . All these three in combination cause the construction and development of Kavya (Kavya Hethu, Prathibha, Vyuthpathi and Abhyasa)

KAVYA LAKSHANA: Sabdartha devoid of Dosha, combined with Guna (normally with Alankara) and sometimes without Alamkara, is Kavya.
Sabda and Artha with Alankara should be present throughout, but in certain contexts it would explicitly remain as understood (in the case of Vyangya and Rasadi) and there too the Kavya aspects remain unaffected.

When Vyangyartha (suggested meaning) is more graceful than the Vachyartha, the Kavya assumes superiority. These are called Dhwany Kavyas.

The grammarians used the word Dhwany to denote Vyangya (suggestion) primarily of Spota nature. Then in the course of time, critics accepted them and started terming such Sabda and Artha as Dhwany (which rendered Vachyartha secondary), and potential enough to express Vyangyartha.

Mammata's argument is that the word dhwany was known to grammarians. Dhwanyvadins like Ananda Vardhana started using that word in Kavya. His idea is “Dhwanyanthi spotam vyanakthi ithi dhwany” whereby Dhwany means words which express Spota. In Pathanjali, dhwany is Sabda. Dhwany is the word expressing Vyangya which is Spotaroopa. Spota is obtained by the audible syllable or Dhwany.

When Vyangyartha (suggestive) is secondary to Vachyartha, it is Guneebhootha Vyangya and the Kavya is Madhyama. And the total absence of Vyangyartha makes the Kavya Adhama.

SABDARTHA PRAKARANA: Vachaka, Lakshanika and Vyanjaka are the three types of words used in Kavya. These also carry the meanings - Vachya, Lakshya and Vyangya in the respective order. There is also a fourth kind, Thathparya (significaation). Vachaka is the real technical meaning expressed as Abhidha.

ABHIDHA: Abhidha is the technical meaning in relation to Jathi (group or classification). Abhidha is the main meaning. The process that takes place in the Sabda to make this Artha comprehensible is Abhidhasakthi.

LAKSHANA: The word force by virtue of which another meaning is aimed at, and that one, which is superimposed is Lakshana. It happens by any particular signification in the Mukhyartha, or that is in any connected to the Mukhyartha or by Roodhi.

ROODHI AND LAKSHANA: (PRAYOJANAVATH) In Roodhi, Lakshana has no Vyangya aspect. But it indicates Prayojana (that is in vyangya). The purpose in Lakshana can be comprehended only through the Vyanjana process. It may either be abstruse or clear. In the context of Lakshana this would be of three types - Avyangalakshana, Goodhavyayanga and Agoodhavyanga.

LAKSHANA SABDA AND ITS USAGE: The word with Lakshana is called Lakshanika. The Prayojana (purpose aspect) is the Vyangya in it, so the process of its comprehension is Vyanjana (suggestion). It is not inference but suggestion which is inherent in it. Abhidha does not come into play, because the second meaning is technically (Jathi) different.

VYANJANA ASPECT OF ABHIDHA: Abhidhamoola Vyanjana: When the Vachakathua (statement) of the words carrying different meanings is centred on one particular meaning (Rama + Arjuna = Parasurama) the allusion of the meaning other than the Vaachyartha is done through suggestion (Abhidhamoola Vyanjana).The word in which this Vyanjana process takes place is Vyanjaka. The other meaning which this Mukhya Sabda suggests is also Vyanjaka.

ARTHEE VYANJANA: The means employed in the process of conveying another meaning is known as Arthee Vyanjana. These are Vaktha (speaker), Bodhya (speech), Kaku (intonation), Vakya (sentence), Vachya (artha), Annyasannidhi (presence of others), Prasthava (statement), Desa (place), Kala (time), Cheshta (gestures).

Kavyadosha
DOSHA - GENERAL ASPECTS: Dosha is that with the presence of which the Mukhyartha (Rasa) becomes degraded. Rasa is the primary meaning. Being dependent on it (Rasa) the degradation of the decorative Vachyartha would also affect the former. This is Artha dosha. It is through Sabda that the Rasa and Vachyartha become comprehensible. Dosha occurs through Sabda. This is Pada dosha.

DOSHA - SPECIAL ASPECTS: 1) Sruthikatu 2) Chyutha Samskara (opposed to grammar) 3) Aprayuktha (not acceptable to poets) 4) Asamartha (not forceful enough to express the meaning) 5) Nihathartha (though Vachaka for two meanings, used only in the rare sense) 6) Anuchithartha 7) Nirarthaka 8) Avachaka (the intended meaning is not expressed through Vachaka) 9) Asleela (three types) 10) Sandigdha 11) Apratheetha (technical words used otherwise) 12) Gramya 13) Neyartha (word based and samasa based) 14) Klishta (meaning deduced with difficulty) 15) Avamrishta Vidheyamsa (not prominently indicated) 16) Virudhamathi krith (giving opposite meaning).

Guna Niroopana
GUNALAKSHANA: Just like the characteristics as courage etc. for the inner being, the inevitable glorification of Rasa (soul of kavya) is Guna.

GUNA BHEDA: The Gunas are three - Mathurya, Ojas, and Prasada. That which promotes the liquefaction of the mind, and the pleasure of evoking the sense of Sringara is Mathurya. Though mainly in Sambhoga Sringara, it becomes attractive in Karuna. In Vipralambha and Santha this is suitable. The glow that causes the enlargement of the heart in Vira is Ojas. Its abundance in Beebhathsa and Roudra also produces special grace. Prasada like fire on dried fuel normally spreads in the heart and permeates all Rasas. Though primarily Guna is the Dharma of Rasa, in a secondary aspect its presence is accepted in Sabda and Artha.

VYANJAKA OF GUNA: The vyanjakas (factors of expression) of the three Gunas are Varna (syllable and words), Samasa, (word combination) and Rachana (construction, Vakyas etc).

Alankara Niroopana
BHEDA - GUNA AND ALANKARA: The Angi Rasa that the Kavya contains is developed through the Angas of Sabda and Artha, the Sabdalangara and Arthalankara, which ornate as a garland does for the body.

Rasa Niroopana
RASA: That which is the cause, effect and auxiliaries for Sthayeebhava in ordinary life, when used in Kavya or Natakas are Vibhavas, Anubhavas, and Vybhicharibhavas in the respective order. These Vibhavas of Alambana and Uddeepana, when combined with the cause, effect and auxiliaries manifest the Sthayibhava - that is the Rasa.

UTHPATHI VADA: From Vibhavas (the cause for the Alambana and Uddeepana of Rasa - woman - Alambana Bhava and Garden -Uddeepana Bhava) the Sthayibhava Rathi is generated. Its sprouting is made perceptible through the Anubhavas of (effect) of eye-movements and throwing of hands, and developed through the auxiliary aspects of Vyabhichari like Nirveda. That which primarily appears in the imitated Rama, the Nata who imitates them (superimposed on him) is the Rasa.

ANUMITHI VADA: Anumana is inference. In an object subjected to direct perception, another object may appear to be present, as explained in the Chithra Thurga Nyaya. This perception has got varied aspects. Seeing the Nata on the stage, spectator assumes 1) He is Rama himself (Samyak Pratheethi) 2) He is not Rama (Middhya pratheethi) 3) Is he Rama? (Samasyathmaka Pratheethi) 4) He is like Rama (Sadrisya Prathithi). There is also a fifth perception that is Anumithi, which intrinsically stands separate from the first four perceptions and the very same is the impression that the mind assumes on seeing the picture of a horse. Though artificial, the process of assumption is natural. The vibhavas are actually created ones, the mind through Anumithi accepts them as correct for the moment. It happens on account of the experience that has been gained through practice for the Nata as well as the spectator or listener of Kavya. Rasa is the experience of such a cultivated cultured mindset.

BHUKTHI VADA: It is believed that Bhattanayakas Bhukthivada is based on Samkhya Yoga. Sukha, Dukha (pleasure and pain) are the nature of the mind. It is not the dharma of the Athma. Purusha having been connected to Anthakarana, these are reflected in him. In the same manner Samajika, also experiences them.

Through the mediation of the actor (as imitator) the inference of Rasa takes place, and not its actual generation as such. But through the Abhidha in Vakya and Vibhava in Natya, it is being experienced in the same manner as a spiritual aspirant during his period of Sadhana gets glimpses of Anubhoothi. He consumes it and this is in short the concept of Bhukthi.

ABHIVYAKTHI VADA: Vibhavana is the process through which Sthayibhavas are made enjoyable. Anubhava tends to create mental vibrations in the process of enjoyment and Vyabhicharana is the process of transferring this throughout the body. In Kavya and Nataka the cause and effect ingredients are ignored by the Sahridaya and he adopts Vibhavana. In such a mindset the personal involvement becomes redundant. The experience is akin to the realization that it is his own Athmabhava. Rasa remains as pure and free enjoyment itself. This is it by itself, and not the effect of any extraneous factor. It ceases to exist on removal of the Vibhava. It is also not known as the experience is completely a new one. Rasa is thus not an effect nor is it knowledgeable. It is quite transcendental; the absolute sense though presents itself of having come to stay through Vibhavas.

It is not Nirvikalpa as Vibhavas are unavoidable ingredients. It is not Savikalpa because it corresponds to the unworldly Ananda stage. It is safe to conclude that it is an unworldly experience.


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