Dasarupaka (critical study)

by Anuru Ranjan Mishra | 2015 | 106,293 words

This page relates ‘Sentiments (rasa) used in a monologue (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 9 - Sentiments (rasa) used in a monologue (Bhāṇa)

Bharata is totally silent about the sentiment to be used in a monologue (Bhāṇa); but he mentions the bhāratī as the vṛtti and it indicates the use of heroic (vīra) as the sentiment in a Bhāṇa. However, the Daśarūpaka suggests two types of sentiments, which can be used in the monologue.

According to Dhanañjaya, one can use [either of the following as sentiment by means of description of valour and beauty]:

  1. heroic (vīra) or
  2. erotic (śṛṅgāra).

However, all the earlier monologues used erotic as the main sentiment (śṛṅgāra pradhāna).

S. K. De (1926, A Notes on Monologue play, JRAS, p.67) states that:

“It is somewhat surprising, however, that the comic aspect of the Bhāṇa is not brought into relief either by Bharata or by Dhanañjaya although this is probably implied by the fact that Bhāṇa in its nature is closely allied to the Prahasana (farce) and is associated with characters capable of “low comedy”. Therefore, it is necessary, that Bhāṇa should describe comic facts in the plot.”

Even Abhinava Gupta opines that Bhāṇa should have comic sentiment (hāsya) with pathetic (karuṇa) and marvelous (adbhuta) sentiments (bhāṇastu karuṇahāsyavismayapradhānatvād rañjakarasapradhānaḥ, Nāṭyaśāstra, xviii.110).

The Ubhayābhisārikā of Vararuci also consists of a type of plot, which has very less comic (hāsya) sentiment but more of erotic (śṛṅgāra) sentiment. Bharata has restricted the use of graceful style (kaiśikīvṛtti) in a Bhāṇa, which is the main source of erotic (śṛṅgāra) sentiment. However, Vararuci has allowed the use of graceful style (kaiśikīvṛtti) by saying that the word “bhūyasā” indicates graceful style (kaiśikīvṛtti) in the Bhāṇa. However, it must be noted that when Vararuci wrote Ubhayābhisārikā, the Daśarūpaka was not composed and hence scholars have doubt regarding the use of erotic sentiment (śṛṅgāra) in the Bhāṇa. The Ubhayābhisārikā is totally based on erotic sentiment (śṛṅgāra), which manifests in every conversation of Viṭa with harlots. Then erotic sentiment (śṛṅgāra) becomes apparent due to number of harlots being used in the plot and without using harlots, Bhāṇa will be incomplete. The compositions of Vararuci speak volumes of success in the erotic play writing. His description of various harlots is full of erotic sentiment (śṛṅgāra). For instance, consider the description of:

Anaṅgadattā -

daśanapadacitritoṣṭham ……… suratavibhramavilulitaraśanāguṇapritam

“Her face has eyes languid and unsteady with sleepinessand lips decorated with the marks of his teethand her loins are surrounded by the girdlestrings disordered in the excitement of lovemaking”

Mādhavasenā –

na glānam vadanam ………vyākulā mekhalā

“The face is not tired; the hair is not bereft of the luster of its flowers; the lower lip is not at all made soft (pale) in luster by being drunk up when taken possession of by teeth (of the lover); the slopes of her breasts have avoided close embraces and consequently the beauty of the cosmetic powder is not spoilt; the girdle is not disarranged on the loins (or buttocks), having been made loose by the continuous love-making of (real) passion”

Then the comic sentiment is applied only one place when Viṭa meets with Vilāsakauṇḍinī, a wandering female mendicant.

The conversation is very interesting, which compares seven substances (padārthas), with the nature of a wandering female mendicant, like:

dravyam te tanurāyatākṣi ………yogaste taruṇairmanobhi laṣitairmokṣo’pyaniṣṭājjanāt

“Large-eyed lady, your body is the “substance”; your beloved beauty, etc. are the qualities; your youth is the “common property” (universal); young men praise your “actions”. O lady, people desire “combination” (inherence) with you, because there is a “distinction (“particular”, “discrimination”) found in you. Your “union” is with youths who are to your heart’s liking; and you have “liberation” (emancipation, the final goal which the knowledge of the padārthas is expected to lead to) from people whom you do not like”

(Above translations are taken from the Ubhayābhisārikā, translated by T. Venkatacharya).

Again, when Vaiśikācala introduces himself to a wandering female mendicant and says,

bhagavati vaiśikācalo’hamabhivādaye, kim bravīṣi….na vaiśikācalena prayojanam, bhavedvaiśeṣikācalena, iti.”
  –Caturbhāṇī, Ubhayābhisārikā, p.6.

“My lady! I Mr. Vaiśikācala. I greet you.” Then Vilāsakauṇḍinī replies him, “We have no use for Vaiśikācala” (immovable harlotry!). We might have Vaiśeṣikācala (i.e. one who is acala or firm in his belief) in the system of Vaiśeṣika philosophy.

According to Bharata, conclusion juncture (nirvahaṇa saṃdhi) consists of marvelous (adbhuta) sentiment, (Nāṭyaśāstra, xx.45).

In the Ubhayābhisārikā, it manifests when hero Kuberadatta and heroine Nārāyaṇadattā met each other unexpectedly near the house of Viśvavasudatta, the vīṇā teacher, without bearing their separation any more:

Tatastena gītakena …………samāsāditavān
  –Caturbhāṇī, Ubhayābhisārikā, p.14.

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: