Dasarupaka (critical study)

by Anuru Ranjan Mishra | 2015 | 106,293 words

This page relates ‘Vithi rules’ 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 3-6 - Vīthī rules

The rules of the Nāṭyaśāstra:

As per the rules of the Nāṭyaśāstra (XX.109-111,124b, 125a and XXI.44),

1) Vīthī should contain a single act, with one or two characters. The characters may be noble (uttama), middle (madhyama) or low (adhama).

2) Vīthī should contain all types of sentiments (rasa) and thirteen types of ancillaries of vīthī (vīthyaṅgas), i.e. accidental interpretation (udghātyaka), continuance (avalagīta), re-interpretation (avasyandita), enigma (nālikā), incoherent chatter (asatpralāpa), repartee (vākkeli), compliment (prapañca), mildness (mṛdava), out vying (adhivala),deception (chala), triple explanation (trigata), humorous speech (vyāhāra) and abrupt remark (gaṇḍa).

3) It should have two junctures (sandhi), i.e. opening (mukha) and conclusion (nirvahaṇa)and the verbal style as in the Prahasana, Aṅka and Bhāṇa.

4) Like Nāṭaka, Bhāṇa and Prahasana types of a drama, a Vīthī should have gentle dance (lāsyas).

5) It should have actions and emotions as in a Prakaraṇa.

Rules of the Daśarūpaka–

According to the Daśarūpaka (III.68-70),

1) Vīthī should contain gay-style (kaiśikīṛtti) and other characteristics, i.e. Junctures (sandhi), Subdivisions such as ancillaries of vīthī (vīthyaṅgas), gentle dance (lāsyas) and Acts should be like in the case of Bhāṇa.

2) Also Vīthī contains erotic (śṛṅgāra) sentiment as the main and other sentiments will be subordinate to it. Further, Vīthī contains thirteen types of ancillaries of vīthī.

3) There should be only one or two characters in the drama.

Difference between the rules of the Nāṭyaśāstra and those of the Daśarūpaka –

1) The Nāṭyaśāstra states that Vīthī should have one or two characters. These characters may be noble, middle or low. The Daśarūpaka agrees with the number of characters but does not agree with their division as noble, middle or low.

2) The Nāṭyaśāstra also states that Vīthī should be in verbal style (bhāratīvṛtti), but the Daśarūpaka does not agree with this and states that it should be in gay style (kaiśikīvṛtti).

3) Further, the Nāṭyaśāstra states that Vīthī should use all the sentiments; however, the Daśarūpaka states that Vīthī should have erotic (śṛṅgāra) sentiment as main and other sentiments as subordinates.

Rules followed by the play–

1) Rāmapāṇivāda’s Līlāvatīvīthī contains one act and two characters, i.e. Vidūṣaka (Vaihāsika) and the king Vīrapāla, which are noble types of characters.

2) The Līlāvatīvīthī is a one-act playand it consists of two junctures (sandhi), i.e. opening (mukha) and conclusion (nirvahaṇa).

3) The Līlāvatīvīthī further contains the sentiments like the erotic (śṛṅgāra), which is the main sentiment and terrible (bhayānaka), heroic (vīra), pathetic (karuṇa) and marvellous (adbhuta), which are subordinate.

4) The Vīthī consists of gay style (kaiśikīvṛtti), because the erotic (śṛṅgāra) sentiment and erotic descriptions require the same. The gay style (kaiśikīvṛtti) is indicated through the costume, ornaments, dance and songs. However, the Līlāvatī Vīthī does not contain dance and songs, the amenities of Vīthī are expressed through their behaviour. Gay style (kaiśikīvṛtti) is divided into four kinds, i.e. pleasantry (narma), outburst of affection (narmasphurja), first symptom of love (narmasphoṭa) and concealing of affection (narmagarbha). Out of these four types of ancillaries, the Līlāvatīvīthī uses only two types, i.e. pleasantry (narma) and first symptom of love (narmasphoṭa).

The pleasantry (narma) contains mainly laughter (hāsya), which comes through jealousy, anger, greed, use of prohibited words and insult to oneself:

irṣyākrodhaprayāsopālambhavacanānuviddhaṃca, ātmopakṣepakṛtam sa vipralambham smṛtam narma
–(Nāṭyaśāstra, XXII.50).

The pleasantry (narma) is employed in the Līlāvatīvīthī, as Vidūṣaka has to know that a cobra has entered into the palace and he embraces the king with fear and says;

bho vayasya! duṣṭaviṣadharajihvāyugalāntarapatitam………kākodarakarālakākolajalanidhau patatu
  –(Līlāvatīvīthī, Trivandrum Univ. Pub., pp.17-18).

This sentence brings pure-laughter (viśuddha-hāsya). Therefore, it is pleasantry (narma) type of gay style (kaiśikīvṛtti).

The Līlāvatī employes the first symptom of love (narmasphoṭa) as an ancillary when small quantity of sentiment is indicated by the part of various virtuous emotions, the resultant ancillary is first symptom of love (narmasphoṭa).

vividhānām bhāvānām lavairlavairbhūṣito bahuviśeṣaḥ, asamagrakṣiptaraso narmasphoṭastu vijñeyaḥ.”
  –(Nāṭyaśāstra, XXII.52).

The description of Kelimālā indicates how Līlāvatī is restless thinking about the king, which is the example of first symptom of love (narmasphoṭa). Here the delusion of Līlāvatī about the rays, which come from the hole of the moon, as the shadow of poison and as forest fire, to the scented air, arising from the sweet-smelling ketakī flower, indicates the love towards the king. It is a type of vipralambha śṛṅgāra. Therefore, it is called first symptom of love (narmasphoṭa).

The ancillaries of vīthī are important aspects of Vīthī. They are thirteen in number.

Since the story of Līlāvatīvīthī is very small, it has covered only few ancillaries of vithī, i.e.

  1. continuance (avalagita),
  2. abrupt dialogue (udghātyaka),
  3. enigma (nālikā),
  4. deception (chala) and
  5. abrupt dialogue (gaṇḍa).

Continuance (Avalagita) –

When the involvement of another person brings success in one’s own work, it is called continuance (avalagita).

yatrānyasmin samāveśya kāryamanyatprasādhyate, taccāvalagitam nāma vijñeyam nāṭyayoktṛbhiḥ.”
  –(Nāṭyaśāstra. XX.113-14).

For instance in the Līlāvatīvīthī, uniting the king Vīrapāla and Līlāvatī through the magical power of Yoginī Siddhimatī, by Vidūṣaka, is continuance (avalagita).

Abrupt dialogue (Udghātyaka) –

The use of additional words in the original sentence to make it appear is abrupt dialogue (udghātyaka).

padāni tvāgatārthāni yattarām (ye narāḥ) punarādarāt, yojayanti padairanyaistadudghātyakamucyate.”
  –(Nāṭyaśāstra, XX.112-13).

For instance, in the Līlāvatīvīthī, the dreaming of the king Vīrapāla about a beautiful girl in the sleep and desire for her in the wakeful situation and praising of the beauty of an unknown girl by Viduṣaka, is abrupt dialogue (udghātyaka).

Enigma (Nālikā) –

The making of fun of others through some mysterious speech is called enigma (nālikā).

hāsyenopagatārthā prahelikā nāliketi vijñeyā.”
  –(Nāṭyaśāstra, XX.115).

For instance, in the Līlāvatīvīthī, when Kalāvatī comes to know about the love between the king and Līlāvatī, from the love letter, she orders Kandalikā to read the love letter in front of the king. Here, the way of ordering to read the letter, is enigma (nālikā).

Misinterpretation (Chala) –

The act of covering up the matter, by deceit, i.e. praising, is misinterpretation (chala).

anyārthameva vākyam chalamabhisandhānahāsyaroṣakaram.”
  –(Nāṭyaśāstra, XX.120).

For instance, in the Līlāvatīvīthī, when the love affair of the king and Līlāvatī, is disclosed to the queen, the king tries to cover up the matter by praising her, but actually only thinking of Līlāvatī, is called misinterpretation (chala).

Abrupt remark (Gaṇḍa) –

The verse or speech, which is intended to refer to something, but refers to something else, is called abrupt remark (gaṇḍa).

bahuvacanākṣepakṛtam gaṇḍam pravadanti tattvajñāḥ.”
  –(Nāṭyaśāstra. XX.123).

For instance, in the Līlāvatīvīthī, [the following verse...]:

rājahaṃsa mama paṅkajinyā darśayitvā kṣaṇamātmavilāsam,
sāmpratam punarghanotkalikām me kevalam karoṣi yuktamidam te.”

[...] which is supposed to be referring to Rājahansa, but which actually refers to the king, is abrupt remark (gaṇḍa).

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