Sahitya-kaumudi by Baladeva Vidyabhushana

by Gaurapada Dāsa | 2015 | 234,703 words

Baladeva Vidyabhusana’s Sahitya-kaumudi covers all aspects of poetical theory except the topic of dramaturgy. All the definitions of poetical concepts are taken from Mammata’s Kavya-prakasha, the most authoritative work on Sanskrit poetical rhetoric. Baladeva Vidyabhushana added the eleventh chapter, where he expounds additional ornaments from Visv...

वृत्तस्य हतत्वम् अप्राप्त-गौरवान्त-लघुत्वं रस-प्रतिकूलत्वं लक्षणानुसरणोऽप्य् अश्रव्यत्वं च. क्रमेणोदाहरणानि.

vṛttasya hatatvam aprāpta-gauravānta-laghutvaṃ rasa-pratikūlatvaṃ lakṣaṇānusaraṇo'py aśravyatvaṃ ca. krameṇodāharaṇāni.

(5) The fault called hata-vṛtta (violation of the metrical pattern) is threefold: (A) The last syllable of a line is short although it should be long, (B) The meter is not in conformity with the rasa, and (C) The meter is unmelodious although it conforms to the definition.

Examples are shown in order. This illustrates the first variety:

śaśi-mukhi sakhi rādhike’dhikāsi guṇa-vibhavena samasta-sundarībhyaḥ |
tvayi nihata-manā manāg api śrī-vraja-pati-sūnur upaiti nānya-pārśvam ||

O sakhī Rādhikā, O moon-faced girl, owing to the grandeur of Your qualities You are superior to all the beautiful women. The beautiful prince of Vraja is so devoted to You that He does not go to any other girl, even for a minute. (Alaṅkāra-kaustubha 10.80)

atra prathama-pādānte’sīti laghu-varṇa-vinyāso vṛttasya hatatvaṃ bandha-śaithilyād vyanakti. “pādānte laghur gurur vā” iti vākyena[1] laghor api yad gurutvaṃ tat sarvatra dvitīya-caturtha-pāda-viṣayaṃ prathama-tṛtīya-pāda-viṣayaṃ tu vasanta-tilakādāv eveti bodhyam. tena sīty atra tvam iti yuktam. evam āryāsu cokta-gaṇa-virodhāt prekṣyam.

At the end of the first line here, the short syllable si breaks the meter because of the slackness of the construction. The topic is to be understood as follows: The rule: pādānte laghur gurur vā, “A syllable at the end of a line can be either short or long,” applies in all meters in the second and fourth lines, but it applies to the first and third lines only when the meter is vasanta-tilakā and so on. Therefore, “rādhike’dhikāsi” in the first line should be replaced by “rādhike’dhikā tvaṃ.” It should be seen in this way in the āryā meters as well, on account of a contradiction between the gaṇas.

Commentary:

In this verse, the short syllable at the end of the first line is faulty only because the meter is puṣpitāgrā (12-13-12-13).[2] Moreover, the above citation is from Gaṅgādāsa.[3] However, his statement was made in the section on the gaṇas, not in reference to akṣara-vṛtta meters (qualitative meter).

Dr. Brahmānanda Trīpāṭhī comments:

jātiṣu tu laghoḥ guroś ca gurutvaṃ vikalpena bhavatīti siddhāntaḥ,

“The conclusion is that a short syllable is optionally considered long only in quantitative meters (āryā)” (Viśeṣa-ṭīkā 1.11).[4]

Still, Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa’s statement is in conformity with the usage.

The āryā meters are categorized by the count of moras (prosodial instants) (mātrā-vṛtta), not by the count of syllables (akṣara-vṛtta). A cluster of three syllables is called a gaṇa. In Mammaṭa’s example of a contradiction between gaṇas, the sa-gaṇa (characterized by these three moras: short, short, long) is followed by bha-gaṇa (long, short, short) (Kāvya-prakāśa, verse 216). A short syllable is one mora, and a long syllable is two moras. The varieties of long syllables are enumerated in the above footnote on Gaṅgādāsa.

Still, the most recurrent instance of a violation of the meter is a plain irregularity in the meter. For instance, the sixth syllable in these lines of anuṣṭup meter should have been long: (1) śyāmo’bhirāmo ramaṇaḥ (7.54), (2) pādau prakṣālya vidhinā (7.80), and (3) tvaṃ ca pañceṣu-sadṛśaḥ (7.82).

Vāman Shiv-Rām Apte expounds: “anuṣṭubh (also called śloka): There are several varieties of this meter, but that which is most in use has eight syllables in each quarter, but of variable quantity. Thus the fifth syllable of each quarter should be short, the sixth long, and the seventh alternatively long and short (and any other syllable is optionally long or short): śloke ṣaṣṭaṃ guru jñeyaṃ, sarvatra laghu pañcamam | dvi-catuḥ-pādayor hrasvaṃ, saptamaṃ dīrgham anyayoḥ ||.”[5]

Another example is the third line of Bhāgavatam 2.2.26: satyasya satyam ṛta-satya-netraṃ, where the fifth syllable should have been long, in conformity with the indra-vajrā meter. The Bhāgavatam abounds in all sorts of metrical irregularities.

Sometimes, if a short syllable occurs where it should be long, it is made long even though this is against the grammatical rules. An example is sparaśa, used instead of sparśa (Bhāgavatam 10.16.36). Conversely, a long syllable is made short (such as nirujam, instead of nīrujam, in Bhāgavatam 10.5.26). And that new syllable is not considered faulty, rather it is called poetic license,[6] because it is in conformity with the meter. However, this method is not used when the meter is anuṣṭup. Many literary faults occur because poets could not properly make their words fit in the meter.

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

vākye na (Kāvya-mālā edition).

[2]:

Commenting on the same passage in Sāhitya-darpaṇa, Śeṣarāja Śarmā writes: prathamatṛtīya-pāda-viṣayaṃ prathama-tṛtīya-pādau viṣayau yasya tat, tādṛśaṃ laghor gurutvaṃ tu vasantatilakāder eva vṛttasya, na tu puṣpitāgrāder iti bhāvaḥ (Candrakalā 7.8).

[3]:

sānusvāraiś ca dīrghaś ca visargī ca gurur bhavet, varṇaḥ saṃyoga-pūrvaś ca tathā pādānta-go’pi vā, “A vowel with an anusvāra (); a long vowel; a vowel with a visarga (); and a vowel before conjunct consonants are gurus (long). A short vowel at the end of a line is optionally guru (long)” (Chando-mañjarī 1.11).

[4]:

Chando-mañjarī of Gaṅgādās, Caukhambā Surabhāratī Granthamālā, Varanasi, India, 2008, p. 7.

[5]:

Apte, Vaman Shiv-Ram, The Practical Sanskrit-English Dictionary, Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Private Limted, Delhi, India (1920) [1890], p. 1036.

[6]:

āṛsatvāc chando-bhaṅgādoṣaḥ (Laghu-vaiṣṇava-toṣaṇī 10.10.1).

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