Dasarupaka (critical study)

by Anuru Ranjan Mishra | 2015 | 106,293 words

This page relates ‘Vararuci—The author and the date of the play (Ubhayabhisarika)’ 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 1 - Vararuci—The author and the date of the play (Ubhayābhisārikā)

Vararuci was the author of the Ubhayābhisārikā. However, the play does not mention anything about the author.

M. Ramakrisnakavi (1922, Caturbhāṇī, Introduction, p.i-ii) states that:

“Vararuci was the contemporary and co-pupil of Pāṇini and was assigned to the last of the Nandas of the Magadha. While still young, Vararuci lost his father and Vyadi first introduced him to his preceptor Upavarṣa. This fact is supported by the statement in the Avantisundarī-kathāsāra that Vararuci was born on the bank of Godāvarī. His mother was Satrayanī, the daughter of Kātyāyana.”

The scholar like R. C. Majumdar (1970, The Classical Age, p.23) states

“Vararuci was a poet in the period of Kumāragupta, the Magadha ruler and the son of the king Candragupta II., whose probable date is 415 A.D.”

The Ubhayābhisārikā was the creative work of Vararuci. Scholars like Keith and Thomas believe that the Ubhayābhisārikā was written in the time of Harṣa or in C1000 A. D.; but De does not think soand states that it is earlier. Scholars like Motichandra (1959, Caturbhāṇi, Bhūmikā, p.8) think that the most trusted time of Vararuci is the period of Kumāragupta, which is explained in the Ubhayābhisārikā (p.12). It is also much later than the Vaiśeṣika philosophy (probably date is 500 B.C.) and the Nāṭyaśāstra (not later than 300 A.C.), known from the description of Vaiśeṣika theory and Nāṭya theories like four types of acting, eight types of sentiments, thirty-two types of hastamudrā etc. in the drama Ubhayābhisārikā. Thus, it can be assumed that the Ubhayābhisārikā may have been written in the fifth century A.D.

Besides the Ubhayābhisārikā, Vararuci wrote several works on Grammar, Astrology and Dharmaśāstra. Among other creative works, a kāvya called Sarasvatī Kaṇṭhābharaṇa and Cārumati are note-worthy.

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