Dasarupaka (critical study)

by Anuru Ranjan Mishra | 2015 | 106,293 words

This page relates ‘Elements (arthaprakriti)’ 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)

Part 10 - The Elements (arthaprakṛti)

Before discussing the Junctures (sandhi), the five elements (arthaprakṛti) and the five stages of action (avasthā) should be discussed, for, the same stages of action and the elements, constitute the Junctures.

These are:

  1. Seed (bīja),
  2. Drop (bindu),
  3. Episode (patākā),
  4. Incident (prakarī) and
  5. Denouement (kārya).

1) Seed (Bīja) –

The Daśarūpaka states that “the Seed is the cause of denouement (kārya). In the beginning, it appears to be very small, but gradually it expands according to the proceedings of the action, (svalpoddiṣṭastu taddheturbījam vistāryanekadhā–Daśarūpaka.I.17). In the Mudrārākṣasa, the bīja is shown, when Cāṇakya gives expression to his design and has firm resolve to make efforts to force Rākṣasa to accept ministerial office under Candragupta and thereby to give stability to his rule.

2) Drop (Bindu)–

The Daśarūpaka states that ‘the Drop is the cause of continuation of the main plot up to the end, when the main plot of the drama is interrupted because of secondary matter, (avāntarārthavicchede binduracchedakāraṇam - Daśarūpaka.I.17)”. In the Mudrārākṣasa, the gaining of Rākṣasa’s signet ring by Cāṇakya, which enables him to forge a letter to entrap Rākṣasa, forms the drop (bindu).

3) Episode (Patākā)–

The Daśarūpaka states that Episode is an intervening story, which continues for a long period. (sānubandham patākākhyam– Daśarūpaka.I.13). In the Mudrārākṣasa, the report brought by Karabhaka about the false quarrel between Cāṇakya and Vṛṣala in the fourth act form an episode.

4) Episodical incident (Prakarī)–

The Daśarūpaka states that, Episodical incident is an intervening story of short period (prakarī ca pradeśabhāk– Daśarūpaka.I.13). In the Mudrārākṣasa, sixth act, the conversation between Rākṣasa and a Śreṣṭhin (the Cāṇakya’s spy) in Jīrṇodyāna forms an episodical incident.

5) Kārya (Denouement)–

The Daśarūpaka states that “the Denouement is the final assessmentand consists of three objects of human existence (trivarga), i.e. duty (dharma), wealth (artha) and pleasure (kāma); it is either single or connected with one or both of the other objects. (kāryam trivargastacchuddhamekānubandhi ca—Daśarūpaka.I.16)”. In the last part of seventh act of the Mudrārākṣasa, the duty of Cāṇakya to bring pleasure for Candragupta, forcing Rākṣasa to surrender and accept the minister-ship forms the denouement or kārya.

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