Natyashastra (English)

by Bharata-muni | 1951 | 240,273 words | ISBN-13: 9789385005831

The English translation of the Natyashastra, a Sanskrit work on drama, performing arts, theater, dance, music and various other topics. The word natyashastra also refers to a global category of literature encompassing this ancient Indian tradition of dramatic performance. The authorship of this work dates back to as far as at least the 1st millenn...

Chapter I - Origin of Drama (nāṭya)


1. With a bow to Pitāmaha[1] (Brahmā) and Maheśvara[2] (Śiva) I shall relate the Canons of Drama[3], as these were uttered by Brahmā.

Sages question.

2-5. Once in the days of yore, high-souled sages such as, Ātreya[4] and others who had subdued their senses, approached the pious Bharata[5], the master of dramatic art during an intermission of studies. He (Bharata) then just finished the muttering [of Mantras] and was surrounded by his sons. The high-souled sages who controlled their senses, respectfully said to him, “O Brahmin, how did originate the Nāṭyaveda[6] similar to the Vedas, which you have properly composed? And for whom is it meant, how many limbs does it possess, what is its extent[7] and how is it to be applied? Please speak to us in detail about it all[8]”.

Bharata Answers.

6. Hearing these words of the sages, Bharata spoke thus in reply about the Nāṭyaveda:

7-12. “Get yourselves cleansed, be attentive and hear about the origin of the Nāṭyaveda devised by Brahmā[9]. O Brahmins, in the days of yore when the Golden Age (Kṛtayuga) passed with the reign of Svāyambhuva [Manu], and the Silver Age (Tretāyuga) commenced with the career of Vaivasvata Manu, and people became addicted to sensual pleasures[10], were under the sway of desire and greed, became affected with jealousy and anger and [thus] found their happiness mixed with sorrow, and Jambudvīpā[11] protected by the Lokapālas (guardians of the worlds) was full of gods, Dānavas, Gandharvas, Yakṣas, Rākṣasas and great Uragas (Nāgas), the gods with the great Indra as their head, [approached] Brahmā and spoke to him, “We want an object diversion, which must be audible as well as visible. As the [existing] of Vedas are not to be listened to by those born as Śūdras, be pleased to create another Veda which will belong [equally] to all the Colour-groups[12] (varṇa).”

13. “Let it be so,” said he in reply and then having dismissed the king of gods (Indra) he resorted to yoga[13] and recalled to mind the four Vedas.[14]

14-15. He then thought: “I shall make a fifth[15] Veda on the Nāṭya with the Semi-historical Tales (itihāsa),[16] which will conduce to duty (dharma),[17] wealth (artha) as well as fame, will contain good counsel and collection [of traditional maxims], will give guidance to people of the future as well, in all their actions, will be enriched by the teaching of all authoritative works (śāstra) and will give a review of all arts and crafts.”[18]

16. With this resolve the Holy One from his memory of all the Vedas, shaped this Nāṭyaveda compiled from the four of them.

17-18. The recitative (pāṭhya) he took from the Ṛgveda, the song from the Sāma[veda], the Histrionic Representation (abhinaya) from the Yajur[veda] and Sentiments (rasa) from the Atharvaveda, [and] thus was created the Nāṭyaveda connected with the Vedas principal and subsidiary (vedopaveda),[19] by the holy Brahmā who is omniscient.

19-20. After the creation of the Nāṭyaveda, Brahmā said to Indra (lit. the lord of the gods), “Semi-historical Tales[20] have been composed by me; you are to get them [dramatized and] acted[21] by gods. Pass on this Nāṭyaveda to those of the gods who are skilful, learned, bold in speech and inured to hard work.”

21-22. At these words of Brahmā, Indra bowed to him with folded palms and said in reply, “O the best and holy one, gods are neither able to receive it and to maintain it, nor are they fit to understand it and to make use of it; they are unfit to do anything with the drama.

23.[22] “The sages who know the mystery of the Vedas and have fulfilled their vows, are capable of maintaining this (Nāṭyaveda) and putting it into practice.”

Brahmā’s command and Bharata’s instruction to his sons

24. On these words of Śakra (Indra), Brahmā said to me; “O the sinless one, you with your one hundred sons will have to put it (the Nāṭyaveda) to use.”

25. Thus ordered I learnt the Nāṭyaveda from Brahmā and made my able sons study it as also [learn] its proper application.

Names of Bharata’s one hundred sons

26-33.[23] [Names of my sons are] Śāṇḍilya, Vātsya, Kohala,[24] Dattila,[25] Jaṭila, Ambaṣṭhaka, Taṇḍu, Agniśikha, Saindhava, Pulomā, Śāḍvali, Vipula, Kapiñjala, Bādari, Yama, Dhūmrāyaṇa, Jambudhvaja, Kākajaṅgha, Svarṇaka, Tāpasa, Kedāri, Śālikarṇa,[26] Dīrghagātra, Śālika, Kautsa, Tāṇḍāyaṇi, Piṅgala, Citraka, Bandhula, Bhallaka, Muṣṭika, Saindavāyana, Taitila, Bhārgava, Śuci, Bahula, Abudha, Budhasena, Pāṇḍukarṇa, Kerala, Ṛjuka, Maṇḍaka, Śambara, Vañjula, Māgadha, Sarala, Kartā, Ugra, Tuṣāra, Pārṣada, Gautama, Bādarāyaṇa,[27] Viśāla, Śabala, Sunābha, Meṣa, Kāliya, Bhramara, Pīṭhamukha, Muni, Nakhakuṭṭa,[28] Aśmakuṭṭa,[29] Ṣaṭpada, Uttama, Pāduka, Upānat, Śruti, Cāṣasvara, Agnikuṇḍa, Ājyakuṇḍa, Vitaṇḍya, Tāṇḍya, Kartarākṣa, Hiraṇyākṣa, Kuśala, Duḥsaha, Lāja, Bhayānaka, Bībhatsa, Vicakṣaṇa, Puṇḍrākṣa, Puṇḍranāsa, Asita, Sita, Vidyujjihva, Mahājihva, Śālaṅkāyana, Śyāmāyana, Māṭhara, Lohitāṅga, Saṃvartaka, Pañcaśikha,[30] Triśikha, Śikha, Śaṅkhavarṇamukha, Ṣaṇḍa, Śaṅkukarṇa, Śakranemi, Gabhasti, Aṃśumālī, Śaṭha, Vidyut, Śātajaṅgha, Raudra and Vīra.

39-40. [Thus] at the command of Brahmā and for the benefit of the people I assigned to my sons different roles suitable to them.

Performance begins with the three Styles

41. O Brahmins, I then prepared to give a performance (prayoga) in which was adopted the dramatic Styles (vṛtti) such as the Verbal (bhāratī),[31] the Grand (sāttvatī), and the Energetic (ārabhaṭī).

42-43. I then went[32] [to Brahmā and] after bowing, informed him [of my work]. Now Brahmā (lit. the guru of gods) told me to include the Graceful (kaiśikī) Style also [in my performance], and he asked me to name materials conducive to its introduction.

43-45. Thus addressed by the master I replied, “Give me instruments (lit. materials) necessary for putting the Graceful Style into practice. At the time of Nīlakaṇṭha’s[33] (Śiva) dance I have seen his Graceful Style appropriate to the Erotic Sentiment, and this requires beautiful dresses and is endowed with gentle Aṅgahāras[34] and has Sentiments (rasa), States (bhāva)[35] and action as its soul.

Creation of Apsarasas for the Graceful Style

46-47. This Style cannot be practised properly by men except with the help of women.” Then the powerful Lord (Brahmā) created from his mind nymphs who were skillful in embellishing the drama,[36] and gave them over to me [for helping me] in the performance.

47-50. [Their names[36] are]: Mañjukeśī, Sukeśī, Miśrakeśi, Sulocanā, Saudāminī, Devadattā, Devasenā, Manoramā, Sudatī, Sundarī, Vidagdhā, Sumālā, Santati, Sunandā, Sumukhī, Māgadhī, Arjunī, Saralā, Keralā, Dhṛti, Nandā, Supuṣkalā and Kalabhā.

Svāti and Nārada engaged to help Bharata

50-51. And by him (Brahmā) Svāti[37] together with his disciples was employed to play on musical instruments, (lit. drums) and celestical musicians (gandharva) such as, Nārada[37] and others were engaged in singing songs.[38]

Bharata meets Brahmā again

51-53. Thus after comprehending the dramatic art (nāṭya) which arose out of the Vedas and their [different] limbs, I along with my sons as well as Svāti and Nārada approached Brahmā (lit. lord of the worlds) with folded palms and said that the dramatic art has been mastered, and prayed for his command.

The Banner Festival of Indra and the first production of a play

53-55. On these words. Brahmā said, A very suitable time for the production of a play has come: the Banner Festival[39] of Indra has just begun; make use of the Nāṭyaveda now on this occasion.”

55-58. I then went to that festival in honour of Indra’s victory which took place after the Dānavas and the Asuras (enemies of the gods) were killed. In this festival where jubilant gods assembled in great numbers I uttered for their satisfaction the holy[40] Benediction (nāndī) containing blessings with words in their eightfold[41] aspects (aṣṭāṅga, lit. of eight limbs). Afterwards I devised an imitation of the situation in which the Daityas were defeated by gods [and], which represented [sometimes] an altercation and tumult and [sometimes] mutual cutting off and piercing [of limbs or bodies].

The pleased gods reward Bharata’s party.

58-61. Then Brahmā as well as the other gods were pleased with the performance and gave us all sorts of gifts[42] as a token of joy that filled their mind. First of all the pleased Indra (Śakra) gave his auspicious banner, then Brahmā a Kuṭilaka[43] and Varuṇa a golden pitcher, Sūrya (the sun-god) gave an umbrella, Śiva Success and Vāyu (the wind-god) a fan. Viṣṇu gave us a lion-seat, Kuvera a crown and the goddess Sarasvatī gave visibility as well as audibility.[44]

62-63. The rest of the gods, and the Gandharvas, the Yakṣas, the Rākṣasas and the Pannagas (Nāgas) who were present in that assembly and were of different birth and merit, gladly gave my sons speeches suited to their different roles [in the play]. States (bhāva),[45] Sentiments, [good physical] form, [proper] movement [of limbs] and strength as well as beautiful ornaments.

Anger of the Daityas

64-65. Now when the performance relating to the killing of the Daityas and Dānavas began, the Daityas who came there [univited] instigated by the Vighnas (malevolent spirits) with Virupāksa as their leader, said, “we shall not see in this manner this dramatic; performance come forward”.

66. Then the Vighnas (evil spirits) together with the Asuras resorted to magical power and paralysed the speech, movement as well as memory of the actors.

67-68. Seeing this injury to them, Indra sat in meditation to ascertain the cause of break in the performance and found out that, surrounded on all sides by the Vighnas (evil spirits), the Director (sūtradhāra) together with his associates (actors) had been rendered senseless and inert.

69-70. Then with eyes turning in anger he adorned with all bright jewels rose and took up that best banner staff. With this Jarjara, Indra smashed to pulp the Asuras and the Vighnas who were hanging about the stage [for mischief].

71-73. Then all the Vighnas together with the Dānavas having gone, the gods said in joy, “O [Bharata,] you have got a divine weapon with which all destroyers of a play have made jarjara (beaten to pulp). Hence it will have the name of Jarjara.[46]

73-75. The jealous Vighnas too who may come to do violence to actors will go away on seeing the Jarjara.” To the gods Śakra (Indra) then said with pleasure, “Let this be so; this Jarjara will be the protection of all the actors.”

75-76. [And afterwards], when the play was ready and Śakra’s (Indra’s) festival was going on in full force, the jealous Vighnas began to create terror for the actors.

76-78. Having noticed these attempts caused by the insult of the Daityas I, along with my sons, approached Brahmā [and said], “O holy one and best of gods, the Vighnas (the evil spirits) are determined to spoil this dramatic performance; so enlighten me about the means of its protection.”

78-79. “O the high-souled one,” said Brahmā then to Viśvakarmā,[47] “build carefully a playhouse of the best type.”

79-81. After constructing it according to this instruction he (i.e. Viśvakarmā) went with folded palms to Brahmā’s court [and said], “O god, please have a look at the playhouse which has [just] been made ready.” Then Brahmā, along with Indra and all other gods, went to have a view of the playhouse.

82-88. On seeing it Brahmā said to the rest of gods, “You ought to co-operate in the protection of the playhouse in its several parts [and of the objects relating to dramatic performance]: Candra (the moon-god) to protect the main building; the Lokapālas (guardians of the worlds) its sides, the Maruts its four corners, Varuṇa the space [within the building], Mitra the tiring room, Agni the stage, clouds the musical instruments, deities of four Colour-groups the pillars, the Ādityas and the Rudras the space between the pillars, the Bhūtas (spirits) the railing [of seats =dhāraṇī ], the Apsarasas its rooms, the Yakṣiṇīs the entire house, the ocean-god the ground, Yama the door, the two Nāga kings (Ananta and Vāsuki) the two blades of the door[48] (dvārapatra), the Rod[49] of Yama the door-frame, [Śivas’] Pike the top of the door.

88-93. Niyati and Yama (mṛtyu) were made two doorkeepers, and the great Indra himself stayed by the side of the stage. In the Mattavāraṇī was placed Lightning which was capable of killing Daityas, and the protection of its pillars was entrusted to the very strong Bhūtas, Yakṣas Piśācas and Guhyakas. In the Jarjara was posted Thunder (vajra) the destroyer of Daityas, and in its sections (parva) were stationed the best and powerful gods. In the topmost section was placed Brahmā, in the second Śiva, in the third Viṣṇu, in the fourth Kārtikeya and in the fifth great Nāgas such as Śeṣa, Vāsukī and Takṣaka.”

93-94. Thus for the destruction of the Vighnas, gods were placed in different parts of the Jarjara, and Brahmā himself occupied the middle of the stage. It is for this reason[50] that flowers are scattered there [at the beginning of the performance].

95. Denizens of the nether regions such as, the Yakṣas, the Guhyakas and the Pannagas were employed to protect the bottom of the stage.

96. Let Indra protect the actor who assumes the role of the Hero, Sarasvatī[51] the actress assuming the role of the Heroine, Oṃkāraḥ[52] the Jester, and Śiva the rest of the characters.

97. He (Brahmā) said that the gods who were employed to protect it (i.e. the play) would be its guardian deities.

Brahmā pacifies the Vighnas.

98-99. In the meanwhile gods in a body said to Brahmā, “You should pacify the Vighnas by the conciliatory method (sāma). This (method) is to be applied first, and secondly the making of gifts (dāna), and [these proving futile] one should afterwards create dissension (bheda) [among the enemies], and this too proving unsuccessful punitive force (daṇḍa) should be applied [for curbing them[53]].

100. Hearing these words of the gods, Brahmā called the evil spirits and said, “Why are you out for spoiling the dramatic performance?”

101-103. Questioned thus by Brahmā, Virūpākṣa[54] together with the Daityas and the Vighnas, said these conciliatory words: “The knowledge of the dramatic art which you have introduced for the first time at the desire of the gods, has put us in an unfavourable light, and this is done by you for the sake of the gods; this ought not to have been done by you who is the first progenitor (lit. grandfather) of the world, from whom came out alike gods as well as Daityas.”

104-105. These words being uttered by Virūpākṣa, Brahmā said, ‘Enough of your anger, O Daityas, give up your grievance (lit. sorrow), I have prepared this Nāṭyaveda which will determine the good luck or ill luck of you as well as of the gods, and which will take into account acts and ideas of you as well as of the gods.

Characteristics of a drama

106. In it (nāṭya) there is no exclusive representation of you or of the gods: for the drama is a representation of the States (bhāvānukīrtana) of the three worlds.[55]

107. [In it] sometimes there is [reference to] duty, sometimes to games, sometimes to money, sometimes to peace, and sometimes laughter is found in it, sometimes fight, sometimes love-making and sometimes killing [of people].

108-109. This teaches duty to those who go against duty, love to those who are eager for its fulfilment, and it chastises those who are ill-bred or unruly, promotes self-restraint in those who are disciplined, gives courage to cowards, energy to heroic persons, enlightens men of poor intellect and gives wisdom to the learned.[56]

110. This gives diversion to kings, and firmness [of mind] to persons afflicted with sorrow, and [hints of acquiring] money to those who are for earning it, and it brings composure to persons agitated in mind.

111-112. The drama as I have devised, is a mimicry[57] of actions and conducts of people, which is rich in various emotions, and which depicts different situations. This will relate to actions of men good, bad and indifferent, and will give courage, amusement and happiness as well as counsel to them all.

113. The drama will thus be instructive[58] to all, through actions and States depicted in it, and through Sentiments, arising out of it.

114-115. It will [also] give relief to unlucky persons who are afflicted with sorrow and grief or [over]-work, and will be conducive to observance of duty as well as to fame, long life, intellect and general good, and will educate people.

116. There is no wise maxim, no learning, no art or craft, no device, no action that is not found in the drama.

117-118. Hence I have devised the drama in which meet all the departments of knowledge, different arts and various actions. So [O Daityas] you should not have any anger towards the gods; for a mimicry of the world with its Seven Divisions (sapta dvīpa)[59] has been made a rule of, in the drama.

119. Stories taken out of the Vedic lore as well as Semi-historical Tales [so embellished that they are] capable of giving pleasure, in the world, is called drama.

120. A mimicry of the exploits of gods, Asuras, kings as well as house-holders in this world, is called drama.

121. And when human nature with its joys and sorrows, is depicted by means of Representation through Gestures, and the like (i.e. Words, Costume and sattva) it is called drama.”

Offering Pūjā to the gods of the stage

122-123. Then Brahmā said to all the gods, “Perform duly in the playhouse a ceremony (yajana) with offerings, Homa,[60] Mantras[61], (sacred) plants, Japa[62]: and the offerings in it should consist of eatables hard as well as soft (bhojya and bhakṣya)[63].

124. Thus you all will have a happy adoration among the mortals. A dramatic spectacle (prekṣā)[64] should not be held without offering Pūjā[65] to the stage.

125. He who will hold a dramatic spectacle without offering the Pūjā, will find his knowledge [of the art] useless, and he will be reborn as an animal of lower order.

126. Hence [producers of a play] should first of all offer by all means, Pūjā to the [presiding] deity of the stage,[66] which is similar to the [Vedic] sacrifice.

127. The actor (nartaka) or his wealthy patron (arthapati) who does not offer this Pūjā or does not cause it to be offered, will sustain a loss.

128. He who will offer this Pūjā according to the rules and the observed practice, will attain auspicious wealth and will [in the end] go to heavens.”

129. Then Brahmā with other gods said to me, “Let it be so, offer Pūjā to the stage.”

Here ends Chapter I of Bharata’s Nāṭyaśāstra, which treats of the Origin of Drama (nāṭya).

Footnotes and references:


Pitāmaha (the Grand-father) is a Purāṇic epithet of the Vedic god Brahmā. For the Pitṛs (the Fathers) such as Aṅgiras, Bhṛgu, Dakṣa and Marīci and others, whose descendants peopled this earth, were his progeny. In the later literature and religion of India, Brahmā gradually recedes in the background and practically vanishes. His place is taken by Śiva, and Viṣṇu.


Maheśvara (the Great God) is another name of Śīva, who is originally a pre-Vedic deity. Salutation to Śiva along with Brahmā, is very rare in Indian literature.


By drama’ in this connexion is to be understood any play in its theatrical and literary character. For on this point Ag. (I. p. 7) says that the NŚ. is meant for the producer (of a play) as well as the poet (=playwright).


Ātreya—There are two Ātreyas. One is a disciple of Yājñavalkya (Mbh.) and another that of Vāmadeva (Brahma P.), See Vidyalankar, Jīvanīkoṣa, sub voce.


Purāṇas, except the Matsya (34.28-30) are silent on this Bharata.


Nāṭyaveda—The ‘Nāṭyaveda’ according to Ag, is a synonym for the ‘Nāṭyaśāstra’, and is no Vedic work.


pramāṇa= extent. Ag. takes the word in the sense of proof (pramāṇam atra niścaya-janakatvam), but he cites another view as well, which takes the word to mean ‘number’,


From the five questions put in here, it is not to be assumed that the treatment of subjects mentioned will follow the order of these.


The reference here is to the Nāṭyaveda alleged to have been composed by Brahmā in about 36000 ślokas. See Preface to NŚ. (B.) pp. 6-7., also Ag. (I, p. 8).


grāmyadharma—Ag. explains the word differently.


According to ancient Indian geography, the earth was divided first into four and then into seven dvīpas (continents). Jambudvīpa is one of them. It included Bhārata-varṣa or Bharata-varṣa, known at present as ‘India’. Viṣṇu P. (ch. 1-12). See H. Lüders, Varuṇa, Goetingen, 1951, pp. 288-292 and Winternitz, Hist, of Indian Literature, Vol. I. p. 548.


This relates to the four classes such as Brāhmaṇa, Kṣatriya, Vaiśya and Śūdra.


Yoga has been defined in Patañjali’s work as cittavṛttinirodhaḥ, It however begins with the concentration of mind.


After 13, B. reads one additional couplet. But G. considers this passage to be spurious and puts it in the footnote.


In the early Indian literature the itihāsa alone was considered as the fifth Veda. See Chāndogya Up. VII.?f. and 7., and Sutta-nipāta, II, 7 (sella-sutta). Kauṭilya too gives the same position to the itihāsas. See Winternitz, Vol. I. p. 313.


On itihāsa see below.


dharma also means virtue, law and custom etc.


The word śilpa is very often synonymous with kalā. As the 64 kalās enumerated in different works include different arts and crafts, these two words may be translated as ‘arts and crafts.’ Śilpa, however, is sometimes to be distinguished from kalā, and then it may mean merely ‘a craft.’


The Vedas are all well-known, and there are at least four Upavedas, one being attached to each of the Vedas. They are as follow: the Ayurveda (the Science of Medicine) to the Ṛgveda, Dhanur-veda (the Science of Arms) to the Yajurveda, Gāndharva-veda (Musical Science) to the Sāmaveda, and Sthāpatya-śāstra (the Science of Architecture) to the Atharvaveda.


Kauṭilya in his definition of itihāsa enumerates purāṇa and itivṛtta as belonging to its contents. An itivṛtta, according to Winternitz, can only mean an “historical event” and purāṇa probably means “mythological and legendary lore.” Vol. I. p. 518. Pargiter has, however, extracted solid historical facts from some of the extant Purāṇas (See his Ancient Indian Historical Traditions, London, 1922). According to the Indian tradition itihāsa is said to be an account of events that occured in the past, carrying in it instructions about duty, wealth, enjoyment of pleasure, and salvation. The same tradition assigns the position of itihāsa to the Mahābhārata the great Indian epic. It is possibly this itihāsa that has been connected with the Nāṭyaveda by the author of the śāstra. Hence it appears that Oldenberg’s theory about the original connexion between epic and dramatic poetry, is worthy of serious consideration. Nāṭyākhyaṃ pañcamaṃ vedaṃ setihāsaṃ karomy aham (15) seems to be very significant. Ag. (I. p. 13) explains setihāsam as itihāsopadeśakarūpaṃ saprabbedam. See Winternitz, Vol. I. pp. 100 ff, 312 n,


See note on 14-15 above.


The word muni is evidently to be derived from the Pkt. root muṇa ‘to know’ which is most probably not of Sanskritic origin.


B. and G. read some of these names differently. The so-called sons of Bharata were probably authors who wrote on dramaturgy, histrionic art, dance and music etc. Śiṅgabhūpāla mentions the first four. See below notes 2-7.


Kohala has again been mentioned in XXXVI, 69. Ag. has referred to his opinion several times and quoted from his work on nāṭya (Vol. I. pp. 140, 173, 182, 183, 185; Vol. II. pp. 26, 55, 130, 133, 142, 144, 146, 147, 151, 155, 407, 416, 421, 434, 452, 458, 459). Later writers like Dāmodaragupta. Hemacandra, Śārṅgadeva, Śāradātanaya and Śiṅgabhūpāla acknowledge him as an authority on drama and music (See S. K. De, Skt. Poetics, p. 25. f. n.)


Ag. has quoted a passage from the work of one Dattilācārya (Vol. I. p. 205). He seems to be identical with this Dattila. See also note I above.


Śālikarṇa is probably identical with Śātakarṇa referred to and quoted in the commentary of the Anargharāghava (p. 7. see Lévi, II. pp. 27, 65) and the N L. (p. 47, ed. M. Dillon). Cf. Śālivāhana=Sātavāhana.


The N L. (pp. 46, 114) refers to and quotes from him.


The Nāṭakalakṣaṇa (pp. 114, 121) refers to and quotes from this authority. So does SD (294).


The N L. (pp. 4, 19, 144, 115) refers to and quotes from this authority.


In 200 B. C. one Pañcaśikha was considered to be Indra’s musician. See IHQ, XXXII (1956) p. 122.


The four Styles probably related to four tribes such as Bharata, Sāttvata, Keśika and Arabhaṭa. Among these Bharata and Sāttvata are well-known. The remaining two names might have been lost, Kaiśikī has a variant Kauśiki. See P. C. Bagchi. Bhārat-O-Madhya-asiā (Bengali) pp, 49-52.


pragṛhya (=embracing) has been taken to mean ‘going to.’


Śiva is India’s traditional god of dance. See M. Ghosh (ed.) Abhinayadarpana, Calcutta. 1957, English Translation, p. 1.


For aṅgabāras see IV. 16 ff.


For details on States see VII.


nāṭyālaṅkāra here may be taken also to mean nāṭyālaṅkāras mentioned in XXIV. 4-5.


One Svāti has been mentioned in the Viṣṇu P. Nārada is also a well-known Purāṇic sage. He is mentioned as a musician in Bhāgavata and Vāyu P. See Vidyalankar. JK. sub voce.


Ag. thinks gāna in this connexion means the playing of stringed instruments and flutes.


This festival occurred on the twelfth day of the bright half of the moon in the month of Bhādra. It was a very popular festival in ancient India. Aśvaghoṣa mentions it in his kāvyas. Maha of dhvaja-maba is simply a Pkt. form of the word makha meaning ‘sacrifice’; cf. Indra-makha.


Veda-sammita means ‘like the Veda’ i.e. ‘holy.’


The eight aspects of words are noun (nāma). verb (ākhyāta), particle (nipāta), prefix (upasarga), compound word (samāsā), secondary suffix (taddbita), euphonic combination (sandhi), case-endings and verbal suffixes (vibhakti). See XV. 4.


Making gifts to dancers, singers and actors at a performance, is a very old custom in India. Such gifts were made by rich members of the audience, while the common people enjoyed the performance without any payment. This old custom is now dying out under the influence of modern theatres which realise the price of the entertainment beforehand by selling tickets.


Kuṭilaka.—See XIII, 143-144, ‘a curved stick fit to be used by the Jester,’ In Kālidāsa’s Mālavi, occur bhuvaṅgama-kuḍila daṇḍakaṭṭha and daṇḍakaṭṭha (ed. Pandit, Bombay, 1889, IV, 150, 160). XXIII. 167-170 describes this daṇḍakāṣṭha connected with the Jester, It is to be noted that Kālidāsa does not use the conventional word for the Jestet’s staff.


From now on the numbering of couplets is wrong in B.


For details on States see VI.


This is evidently an instance of folk-etymology.


Viśvakarmā is the architect of the gods. He is very frequently met with in the Purāṇas. There was also a Vedic deity of this name. See Vidyalankar, JK, sub voce.


Such deities are nowhere to be met with.


See III. 1-8 note 5.


See V. 74.


Sarasvatī mentioned here seems to be the Vedic goddess of the same name. See Ṛk. I, 142.9 and JK. sub voce.


Oṃkāra as a deity is very rarely to be met with.


This is an ancient Indian political maxim.


This name occurs in Rām. and Mbh. and in some Purāṇas, See Vidyalankar, JK. sub voce.


A. K. Coomaraswamy has freely translated 106-109. (See MG, New York, 1936, pp. 16-17).


All these lay stress on the educative aspect of dramatic performances.


Aristotle also brings in ‘imitation’ to explain poetry and drama (See Poetics).


See above 108-109 note.


According to the later Purāṇic geography the world was divided into seven continents such as Jambu, Plakṣa, Śālmalī, Kuśa, Krauñca, Śāka and Puṣkara. Each of these continents was further subdivided into nine regions, and Bhārata (India) is a region of the Jambu continent. See note 3 on 7-12 above.


homa—offering oblations to gods by throwing ghee into the consecrated fire.


mantra—formula sacred to any deity.


japa—repeating a mantra or muttering it many times,


See Ag.


Prekṣā (Pali pekkhā) occurring in Sikkhāpadas (c. 600 B.c.).


pūjā—worshipping a deity with flowers, sweet scent, incense, music and offering of eatables.


See XXXVI.12

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