Dasarupaka (critical study)

by Anuru Ranjan Mishra | 2015 | 106,293 words

This page relates ‘five stages of action (avastha)’ 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 11 - The five stages of action (avasthā)

The five stages of action are those that are resorted to by those who strive after a result. (avasthāḥ pañca kāryasya prārabdhasya phalārthibhiḥ–Daśarūpaka.I.19). They are:

  1. Beginning (ārambha),
  2. Effort (prayatna),
  3. Prospect of success (prāptyāśā),
  4. Certainty of success (niyatāpti) and
  5. Attainment of the result (phalāgama).

1) Ārambha (Beginning) –

According to Daśarūpaka, “Beginning” is the eagerness to obtain the goal. (autsukyamātramārambhaḥ phalalābhāya bhūyase– Daśarūpaka.I.20). In the Mudrārākṣasa, the eagerness to win over Rākṣasa and to bring him on the side of Cāṇakya, forms the “Beginning”.

2) Prayatna (Effort)–

Daśarūpaka states that the “Effort” is the exertion to get the result very quickly. (prayatnastu tadaprāptau vyapāro’titvarānvitaḥ - Daśarūpaka.I.20). In the case of the Mudrārākṣasa, the effort is to get Rākṣasa quickly. Thus, Cāṇakya uses detectives everywhere to keep a watch on Rākṣasa and his whereabouts and he plans something like false quarrel with Candragupta and this activity forms “Effort”.

3) Prāptyāśā (Prospect of success)–

The Daśarūpaka states that the “Prospect of success” is the possibility of succeeding with means at hand, but also with fear of failure. (upāyāpāyaśaṅkābhyām prāptyāśā prāptisaṃbhavaḥ - Daśarūpaka.I.21). In the Mudrārākṣasa, Kṣapaṇaka creates quarrel between Rākṣasa and Malayaketu, giving false message to Malayaketu, that his father is killed by Rākṣasa through poison-maid. So, Rākṣasa looses power and Cāṇakya gets the hope of the success. But, the fear is that Rākṣasa knows that it is the deed of Cāṇakya and the result of clever plan. So, it is the “Prospect of success”.

4) Niyatāpti (Certainty of success)–

The Daśarūpaka states that the “Certainty of success” is the assurance of goal because there is the absence of risk. (apāyābhāvataḥ prāptirniyatāptiḥ suniścitā–Daśarūpaka.I.21). In the Mudrārākṣasa, Cāṇakya collects witnesses against Rākṣasa, which forced him to bow down his head and surrender to free his friend Candanadāsa, otherwise he would be the killer of the friend. So, this is the “Certainty of success”.

5) Phalāgama (Attainment of the result)–

The Daśarūpaka states that the “Attainment of the result” is to get the final goal. (samagraphalasaṃpattiḥ phalayogo yathocitaḥ–Daśarūpaka.I.22). In the Mudrārākṣasa, the act of surrendering of Rākṣasa for his friend Candanadāsa and the acceptance of the Ministership of Candragupta, as planned by Cāṇakya, constitute the “Attainment of the result or Phalāgama”.

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