Dasarupaka (critical study)

by Anuru Ranjan Mishra | 2015 | 106,293 words

This page relates ‘concise nature of the Dasharupaka’ of the English study of the Dasarupaka of Dhananjaya: an important work on Hindu dramaturgy (Natya-shastra) from the tenth century dealing with the ten divisions of Sanskrit drama (nata), describing their technical aspects and essential dramaturgical principals. These ten types of drama are categorised based on the plot (vastu), hero (neta) and sentiment (rasa)

The concise nature of the Daśarūpaka

[Distinction and Peculiarity of the Daśarūpaka]—Dhanañjaya has called the treatise as “Daśarūpaka” [daśarūpakam], because he has described only the essential things of the ten Rūpakas in it. That is why the Daśarūpaka is concise, not vast like the Nāṭyaśāstra and involves the description of the ten Rūpakas (daśarūpānukāreṇa…… -I.2 and daśarūpametat…… -VI.86). The Daśarūpaka is very different from the Nāṭyaśāstra, in the matters of style and method. It describes the opinions of the Nāṭyaśāstra in a radical way and in many places establishes its own opinions emphatically. For example, Dhanañjaya has not explained about the origin of the styles (vṛtti) as Bharata. He defines them in the straightway that the styles are the actions (vyāpāra) of the hero (nāyaka), i.e. verbal, psychological and physical.

[The concise nature of the Daśarūpaka]—Bharata has given many definitions of the Nāṭya. According to him, nāṭya or drama is a representation of the state of the three worlds (trailokasyāsya sarvasya nāṭyam bhāvānukīrtanam–Nāṭyaśāstra.I.107). Again, a drama involves description of human nature with joys and sorrows in it, by means of representation through the gestures and the like, i.e. words, costume and temperament (yo’yam svabhāvo lokasya sukhaduḥkhasamanvitaḥ, so’ṅgādyabhinayopeto nāṭyamityabhidhīyate –Nāṭyaśāstra.I.119). Further, drama is an imitation of actions and conducts of people with various emotions and it depicts different situations (nānābhāvo-pasaṃpannam nānāvasthāntarātmakam, lokavṛttānukaraṇam nāṭyam–Nāṭyaśāstra.I.112). Again, drama is the imitation of the seven divisions of world (saptadvīpānukaraṇam nāṭyam–Nāṭyaśāstra.I.117).

Dhanañjaya in the Daśarūpaka has always tried to make descriptions of matters very concise. At the beginning, he has pointed out that nāṭya is not different from rūpa and rūpaka. His definition of nāṭya is “avasthānukṛtirnāṭyam” (Daśarūpaka.I.7)and it means that what imitates the situations of the world constitutes nāṭya (Daśarūpaka.I.7). This definition of nāṭya is different from that of Bharata. Here, Bharata has provided a number of views to define nāṭya, whereas Dhanañjaya has taken only three words to define it (nāṭya).

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