Dasarupaka (critical study)

by Anuru Ranjan Mishra | 2015 | 106,293 words

This page relates ‘technical aspects of a 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 11 - The technical aspects of a Bhāṇa

Since Bhāṇa is a one-act play, the technical aspects are less applicable to it.

The Ubhayābhisārikā of Vararuci, has technicalities like;

  1. prologue (prastāvanā or sthāpanā),
  2. conversation with imaginary persons (ākāśabhāṣita),
  3. dialogues from the off-stage (nepathya) and
  4. epilogue (bharatavākya).

Prologue (sthāpanā) -

In the Ubhayābhisārikā, the prologue is called sthāpanā and it is very short. It is conducted only by the stage-manager (sūtradhāra), who enters as usual after the completion of the invocation (nāndyante tatah praviśati sūtradhāraḥ). However, there is no benedictory verse. Sūtradhāra comes for a short period. He just enters and recites the introductory verse. There is no information about the author or the play. The co-actor (naṭi) does not enter the stage. The stage manager is disturbed just after the greeting verse. The noise comes from behind the curtain. Someone says that poor Viṭa is in a hurry because of the affair of his friend.

Off stage conversation (nepathya) -

Off stage conversation is the part of intermediate scene (arthopakṣepaka), also called the intimation scene or cūlikā as the same is an explanation of a matter by persons stationed behind the curtain. This off stage conversation or nepathya is used only once at the beginning of the prologue, which declares that viṭa is about to enter, who is in a hurry because of his friend’s work.

The aerial conversation with the imaginary person (ākāśabhāṣita) -

The aerial conversation with the imaginary person is an important part of Bhāṇa, because the entire drama runs by the medium of this conversation only. It proceeds through the questions and answers.

The epilogue (bharatavākya) –

The epilogue is an auspicious verse recited by an actor, as the last technical part of the drama. In the Ubhayābhisārikā, the epilogue is used for the prosperity of the people. For instance, it states: The earth, rivers and mountains should serve the people, producing crops, water and wealth respectively and the king should rule the whole earth peacefully.

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