Sahithya Darpana: (Bharatheeya Kavyasastra: Part XVI)
- V S Bhaskara Panicker
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July 29, 2007

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

Viswanatha Kavirajan (1325 -1390 AD)
He was a scholar from Kalinga. He knew as many as eighteen languages and his Prasantha Rathnavali is a Karambaka in sixteen languages. He has written eight books in all and Kavyaprakasa Darpana is another book on Kavyasastra.

KAVYA LAKSHANA: Mammata defines Kavya as “Sabda and Artha without Dosha, and possessing Guna, and decorated with Alankaras. There is no harm if in any place Alankara is inadequate.”

DOSHA: It is well-neigh impossible to keep away Doshas from Kavya completely. Dosha in a minimal way will not render the profound qualities of Kavya otherwise. Its Kavyathua is not impaired. It may perhaps be classified as first rate.

GUNA: The stipulation in the definition “Sabdarthou Sagunou” is also not fully correct. Guna is in Rasa, and not in Sabdartha (Kavyaprakasa). “Sagunou Sabdartha” means only that Guna would add to the beauty and not that it would contribute to the Swaroopa of Kavya.

ALANKARA: Alankara has also got the same importance. It also adds to the grace, but does not constitute the body aspect of the Kavya. It is stated therefore, that even if the Alankara is Asputa (unclear) it would not affect the Kavyaswaroopa.

Dhwany is the soul of Kavya - Ananda Vardhana. Dhwany is actually the soul factor - Vasthu, Alankara, or Rasa (the whole or the last one namely Rasadhwany). In Prahelika, there is Vasthudhwany but it is not Kavya. There is no harm in accepting Rasadhwany as the soul of Kavya. In Kavya, even if there are portions devoid of Rasa, the Rasa content of the whole Kavya would make such contexts useful, if there are indications of Rasa.

“Rithi is the soul of Kavya” - Vamana. This concept is not correct. Rithi is merely the style of construction, which corresponds to the arrangements of organs of the body and not the life aspect. Athma is different from the body. Artha (meaning) has two faces, Vachya and Pratheeyamana. To say that Vachya also constitutes the Atma is contradictory in itself. Then what is the correct definition of Kavya (Lakshana) - “Vakyam Rasathmakam Kavyam.”

RASA SWAROOPA: Rasatmaka means ‘sara' and being the most essential, it is the life giving soul. Rasyatha ithi Rasa - by this Yogartha all that is tasted and enjoyed is Rasa.

RASOTHKARSHA HETHU: Guna, Alankara and Rithi are the factors which develop Rasa.

KAVYA PURPOSE: Even the less intelligent ones too get easily the purpose of the four Purusharthas through Kavya.

Kavya gives instructions that we should get ourselves engaged in good deeds like Rama and avoid vicious actions as Ravana used to do and it also shows the ways to practice them. It is also said that by learning Kavya we achieve the Purusharthas, as also get proficient in arts like Nrithya, and music. Fame and pleasure to the heart are the other benefits.

Kavya adores the glories of Bhagwan Narayana. It paves the way for Dharma. “A word that it understood and used properly is Kama-dhenu in this world as also in heavens.” Those who make Kavya get Artha from the kings and others. Artha brings Kama. By renouncing the benefit derived from Dharma, Moksha is attained.

KAVYA BHEDA: Kavya that is to be listened is Sravya. It will be prose or poetry.

PADYA MAYA: Those written are Padya. Mukthaka is that with a self containing meaning and stands detached from other verses. When the Vakya is in two slokas, it is Yugmaka. Those with three are Sandanika or Viseshaka; with four Kalpaka and more than four, Kalaka.

MAHAKAVYA: Those which are divided into Sargas are Maha- Kavyas. Devas or those of noble birth would be the hero of Kavya. There are also Kavyas with more than one hero. The Angi Rasa would be Sringara, Karuna or Santha. The other Rasas are also brought in as Anga (secondary aspect). The Sandhi arrangements should be strictly followed. The story may be from Ithihasas or those from noble traditions. The consummation should stress on Purushartha. Kavya should begin with invocation or indication of the subject. The sargas should not be less than eight in number. Each Sarga should be in a particular Vritha. The following objects or situations should be described in detail - dawn and dusk, sun, moon, day time, night, darkness, hunting, hills, seasons, forest, ocean, meeting of lovers and their separation etc.

VAKYAS: Vakyas are word combinations. The Vakyas should be constructed in such a way that the aspect of Akamksha prevails (anxiety for the next word is retained at each stage). The word combinations should be graceful. The objects presented according to context should have a continuity.

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