Dasarupaka (critical study)

by Anuru Ranjan Mishra | 2015 | 106,293 words

This page relates ‘Styles (vritti) of the Bhana’ 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 8 - Styles (vṛtti) of the Bhāṇa

According to the rules of the Nāṭyaśāstra, the Bhāṇa should consist of verbal style (bhāratīvṛtti) and it should be composed without gay style (kaiśikīvṛtti). However, Dhanañjaya states that Bhāṇa can also consist of the verbal style with the gay style, which is indicated by the word “generally” (bhūyasā). Even Dhanañjaya has allowed applying the erotic sentiment or heroic sentiment. In the Ubhayābhisārikā, Vararuci has applied the gay style, because his Bhāṇa is full of the erotic sentiment. There is no use of the heroic sentiment in the Ubhayābhisārikā. However, Vararuci has applied the verbal style, only in the prologue (sthāpanā) of the drama.

The verbal style is classified into four types, i.e.

  1. propitiation (prarocanā),
  2. preface (āmukha),
  3. garland (vīthī) and
  4. the farce (prahasana).

Both vīthī and prahasana have been included in the ten types of the drama and prarocanā is the part of āmukha. The āmukha is the prelude of the drama, conducted by the Śūtradhāra with Naṭī, Viduṣaka or Pāripārśvika. They discuss their personal matter or the matter related to the plot and this matter includes the ancillaries of the vīthī and the ancillaries of the āmukha.

These ancillaries of āmukha are of five kinds, i.e.

  1. abrupt dialogue (udghātyaka),
  2. story caught up (kathodghāta),
  3. excess of representation (prayogātiśaya),
  4. entrance (pravṛttaka) and
  5. continuance (avalagita).

According to the Nāṭyaśāstra, in the prologue, poet should apply at least one of these ancillaries of the āmukha (XXI.35). In the Ubhayābhisārikā, Vararuci has applied the variety called “entrance” (pravṛttaka). When pravṛttaka is used in the prologue, a character enters after the prologue through the observation of Sūtradhāra who was describing a season. In the Ubhayābhisārikā, Viṭa enters when the Sūtradhāra was describing the spring season that at the beginning of the spring season when the tree called “lodhra” was losing its beauty, still stands like a poor Viṭa to help the rich friend (vasantapramukhe kāle lodhravṛkṣo gataprabhaḥ………viṭa iva sthitaḥ). Since the prologue of the Ubhayābhisārikā is very short, therefore it has not used any vithyaṅgas.

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