Amarakoshodghatana of Kshirasvamin (study)

by A. Yamuna Devi | 2012 | 77,297 words | ISBN-13: 9788193658048

This page relates ‘Drama and the Elements of a Dramatic play’ of the study on the Amarakoshodghatana of Kshirasvamin (in English) which represents a commentary on the Amarakosha of Amarasimha. These ancient texts belong the Kosha or “lexicography” category of Sanskrit literature which deals with the analysis and meaning of technical words from a variety of subjects, such as cosmology, anatomy, medicine, hygiene. The Amarakosa itself is one of the earliest of such text, dating from the 6th century A.D., while the Amarakoshodghatana is the earliest known commentary on that work.

Drama and the Elements of a Dramatic play

Amarakośa after enumerating the words relating to music proceeds to list the words relating to drama such as the various characters in play, sentiments and those related to emotions.

(a) Characters in play:

Amarakośa lists a large number of characters to be played like:

  1. gaṇikā,
  2. bhaginī,
  3. āvutta,
  4. janaka,
  5. yuvarāja,
  6. rāja,
  7. bhartṛdārikā,
  8. devī,
  9. bhaṭṭinī,
  10. rāṣṭriya,
  11. ambā,
  12. attikā and
  13. āryaḥ.

Some of these as analysed by Kṣīrasvāmin are presented below: Gaṇikā (I. 6. 12; p. 50)–A courtesan: Gaṇikā and ajjukā are two words for a courtesan.

Kṣīrasvāmin explains the term gaṇikā as the one who always contemplates on God and that she is also called vāramukhyā

gaṇayatīśvaśan īśvaro gaṇaḥ peṭako'styasyā vā gaṇikā vāramukhyā |
ājjukā āsatprakṛtipratyayavibhāgā
deśīyapadaprāyā |

Devī (I. 6. 14; p. 51)–Queen: Amarakośa mentions that a crowned queen is addressed as devī, while an un-crowned queen or the other queens of the king are addressed as bhaṭṭinī. Kṣīrasvāmin cites Vāsavadattā and Padmāvatī as examples for each respectively.

These famous characters from Bhāsa’s play Svapnavāsavadatta make it easy to understand the terms better–

śrīmahādevyāṃ vāsavadattādau | ākṛtābhiṣekarājñīmadhyādekaikā bhaṭṭinī padmāvatyadiḥ |

Attikā (I. 6. 15; p. 51)–

[Elder sister:]

Amarakośa gives the word attikā for eldest sister and Kṣīrasvāmin says that the eldest sister is like a mother–āttā mātevāttikā |

(b) Niṣṭhā (I. 6. 16; p. 51)–

[Denoucement:]

Of the pañcasandhis, Amarakośa gives only the final sandhi, and mentions niṣṭhā and nirvahaṇa as its synonyms.

Kṣīrasvāmin explains it as conclusion and mentions it as one of the components of the five sandhis viz., mukha, pratimukha, garbha, avamarśa and nirvahaṇa in drama–

niyataṃ sthanaṃ niṣṭhā | niḥśeṣeṇa vahanaṃ samāptirnirvahaṇam | mukhapratimukhagarbhāvamarśanirvahaṇāravyā hi pañcasandhayaḥ |

(c) Rasa (I. 6. 18; p. 51)–

[Sentiment:]

Amarakośa enumerates the eight rasas[1] and Kṣīrasvāmin explains the term rasa as the combination of vibhāva, anubhāva and vyabhicāribhāva and enumerates the sthāyībhāvas. Kṣīrasvāmin explains rasa or the sentiment as the experience of the onlooker who sees and relishes the emotions which are kindled by the depictions of the actors.

Kṣīrasvāmin makes a note that vātsalya, the affection towards children is only an aspect of rati; hence it is not read as a rasa.

Also, Kṣīrasvāmin further remarks that śānta, the ninth rasa is not listed by Amarakośa for it is extraordinary or alaukika.

ratyadayo bhāvā ānukriyamāṇāḥ sāmājikaiḥ | rasyanta iti rasāḥ | yadāhuḥ—
vibhāvairanubhāvaiśca yukto'tha vyabhicāribhiḥ |[2]
āsvādyatvātpradhānatvātsthāyyeva tu rasībhavet |
śāntastvalaukikatvānnoktaḥ ca śabdātsaṃgṛhīto vā |
vatsalaḥ putrādisnehātmā
ratibheda eva |

Śṛṅgāra (I. 6. 18; p. 51)–

[Love:]

This rasa alone is given some importance by Kṣīrasvāmin.

Explaining the words śṛṅgāra, śuci and ujjvala, Kṣīrasvāmin particularly mentions that śuci and ujjvala are not synonyms of śṛṅgāra but its characteristic features[3]

śṛṅgāraḥ śucirujjvalaḥ lakṣaṇametanna tvetau śṛṅgāraparyāyau |

(d) Sthāyibhāva (I. 6. 19; p. 52):

Amarakośa lists the sthāyibhāvas and the bhāvas. In this context Kṣīrasvāmin adds his comment that sthāyibhāvas project as rasa.

Interestingly he further quotes the Nāṭyaśāstra (VI. 17), with some changes and cites Bharata as his source.

The point of interest here to be noted is that he not only includes śama as the sthāyibhāva of śānta rasa but also remarks that sthāyibhāvas evoke the relishable rasas

sthayyeva tu rasībhavediti bhāvarasayoḥ paryāyatvena dhvanati |
te ca—
ratirhāsaśca śokaśca krodhotsāhau bhayaṃ tathā |
jugupsāvismayaśamāḥ sthayībhāvā rasodbhavāḥ ||

Amarakośa mentions that these words denoting the moods are used in all three genders[4]. Kṣīrasvāmin makes it clear that the words from adbhuta to ugra numbering 14 are generally used in masculine gender to denote the sentiment and in other cases they take all three genders with reference to the context.

Kṣīrasvāmin also gives the opinion of Nārāyaṇa according to whom the words denoting rasas are always in neuter gender

raudrādikaṃ tu rase napuṃsakamiti nārāyaṇaḥ |ādbhutādyā ugrāntā raseṣu pulliṅgāḥ | tadvati triliṅgāḥ |

(e) Bhāva (I. 6. 22; p. 53):

Bhāva is explained by Kṣīrasvāmin as the variant moods or psychological states of the mind (cetaḥ) and also it brings about the rasa and Kṣīrasvāmin supplements this by citing Nāṭyaśāstra (VII. 3):

cetasā bhāvyate sukhādiḥ svakāraṇādbhavati vā cittavṛttiviśeṣo bhāvaḥ |
bhāvayati karoti
rasānvā |
yadbharataḥ—
nānābhinayasaṃbaddhānbhāvayanti rasānimān |
yasmāttasmādamī
bhāvā vijñeyā nāṭyoktṛbhiḥ |

(f) Anubhāva (I. 6. 22; p. 53)

Anubhāva is explained by Kṣīrasvāmin as that which is expressed through words and gestures–

ānubhāvastu ābhinayaḥ paścādarthaprakāśanam |

(g) Vyabhicāribhāvas:

Amarakośa describes the vyabhicāribhāvas and some noteworthy remarks of Kṣīrasvāmin are as follows:

Mandākṣam (I. 6. 24; p. 53)–

[Bashfulness:]

Amarakośa gives five words to denote bashfulness of which mandākṣam and vrīḍā are specially commented upon by Kṣīrasvāmin.

He cites an example wherein the word mandākṣam is used as mandāsya

vrīḍāvanamravaktrenduriti svotthalajjāvaśādvivakṣuravanamati mukhamiti mandāsyamityeke |

The word vrīḍā, Kṣīrasvāmin opines is also used in masculine gender as in the example–

vrīḍādamuṃ devamudīkṣyeti puṃsyapi |

Abhidhyā[5] (I. 6. 25; p. 53)–

[Coveting another's property:]

Amarakośa gives the word abhidhyā in the sense of coveting anothers property.

Kṣīrasvāmin explains it as coveting another's property employing magical spells or in harmful manner. He also gives the view of Kātya according to whom it is seeking some favours from others–

ābhicāreṇa dhyānamabhidhyā parasvaviṣayaspṛhetyeke doṣacintāpūrvaṃ parasve lipsetyarthaḥ, yat kātyaḥviṣayaprārthanābhidhyā |

Akṣāntiḥ (I. 6. 25; p. 53)–

[Detraction:]

Amarakośa gives the word akṣāntiḥ and īrṣyā as synonyms to detraction.

Kṣīrasvāmin explains the term b etter with a contextual example. He says that īrṣyā is one’s intolerence of his wife being seen by others. He also gives another view where it is taken to be one’s jealousy or intolerence at the growth or prosperity of others:

bhāryādeḥ paradarśanāsahane rūḍhā'kṣāntirīrṣyā, āyaṃ tu parotkarṣāsahanaṃ mātsaryamīrṣyā manyate ya īrṣyuḥ paravitteṣvitivat |

Manyu (I. 6. 26; pp. 53-4)–

[Grief:]

Amarakośa gives manyu as ‘grief’ or ‘sorrow’. Substantiating this Kṣīrasvāmin quotes Śāśvata (376) who mentions that it also has the meaning of ‘rage’.

The word manyu is in neuter gender; and the same word in masculine gender denotes both ‘grief’ and ‘sacrifice’—

manyate manyurdainyamiha, yacchāśvataḥ nigadanti krudhaṃ manyuṃ manyuradhvaradainyayoḥ |

Manyu is very popularly employed in the sense of ‘anger’ and hence Kṣīrasvāmin justifies this usage of Amarakośa

Unmāda (I. 6. 27; p. 54)–

[Madness:]

In explaining the word unmāda Kṣīrasvāmin says it is the abnormality of mind caused by the possession of evil spirits–

cittānavasthitirbhūtādyāveśāt |

Dohada (I. 6. 28; p. 54)–

[Desire:]

Kṣīrasvāmin adds manogavī for desire in addition to Amarakośa's 11 words for the same.

Ādhyāna (I.6.30; p.54)–

[Recollection:]

In the context of explaining the word ādhyāna Kṣīrasvāmin quotes Kāśikā and says that it is missing something and remembering it with sorrow or longing–

yatkāśikā -ādhyānamutkaṇṭhāpūrva-kasmaraṇam ||

Hāva, līlā, helā

Explaining these terms relating to sports or amusements which are reflections of the śṛṅgāra rasa, Kṣīrasvāmin quotes extensively from Nāṭyaśāstra (XXIV. 4, 7, 11-13) which explains how these are various stages of the  sentiment of love.

Nāṭyaśāstra (XXIV. 7) succintly defines them as physical graces that arise from one another and are different aspects of sattva:

bhāvo hāvaśca helā ca parasparasamutthitāḥ |
satvabhedā bhavantyete
śarīre prakṛtistathā ||

Vyāja (I. 6. 34; p. 55)–

[Pretense:]

Explaining the term vyāja as concealing one' s real form, Kṣīrasvāmin illustrates the same with an example from Nāgānanda (1-1) which is the benedictory verse addressed to lord Śiva in deep contemplation whom Pārvati criticises indirectly of thinking of the Ganges

vyajyata iti vyājo'tra svarūpācchādanaṃ yathā—dhyāna—vyājamupetya cintayasi kām |

Pralaya[6] (I. 6. 34; p. 56):

Amarakośa mentions that pralaya signifies ‘loss of consciousness’.

Kṣīrasvāmin explains it as the end of all activities, state of unconciousness or fainting and quotes from an unknown source that the unconcious state is denoted as stambha and pralaya is death where the body falls on the ground with all the five elements failing–

pralīyate kriyātra pralayaḥ sāttviko bhāvaḥ mūrcchetyarthaḥ yadāhuḥ—
stambhe vicetanatvaṃ
pralaye gatacetanatvamata eva |
sahasaiva nipatanaṃ bhuvi mahābhūtaśaithilyāt ||

(h) Nānārtha varga on some concepts of drama:

Kṣīrasvāmin mentions that the beauty of drama is enhanced by music. The rituals performed before the presentation of the drama is called pūrvaraṅga; the introduction of the theme of the play is prastāvanā or mukha:

prayogārthaṃ saṅgītakaṃ guṇikā | prāṅ nāṭyāt pūrvaraṅgaḥ syāt | nāṭyārthopakṣepaḥ pūrvaṃ prastāvanā mukhaṃ ca syāt |

Vṛttiḥ (III. 3. 73; pp. 286-87)–

[Style of composition:]

Amarakośa mentions that kaiśikī and others are the vṛttis. Kṣīrasvāmin lists all the four as kaiśikī, bhāratī, sātvatī and ārabhaṭī

kaiśikī—bhāratīsātvatyarabhaṭyaḥ |

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

śṛṅgāra-vīra-karuṇā'dbhuta-hāsya-bhayānakāḥ | bībhatsa-radrau ca rasāḥ |

[2]:

Cf. Nāṭyaśāstra (VI. 7)–
vibhāvānubhāvavyabhicārībhāvasaṃyogāt rasaniṣpattiḥ |

[3]:

The explanation of the words śuci and ujjvala are same in Sudhā, Pārijāta and Vivṛti; but the later three mention these two as synonyms of śṛṅgāra.

[4]:

raudraṃ tūgramamī triṣu |

[5]:

ābhidhyā tu parasya viṣaye spṛhā |

[6]:

pralayo naṣṭaceṣṭatā |

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