Dasarupaka (critical study)

by Anuru Ranjan Mishra | 2015 | 106,293 words

This page relates ‘Technical Aspects of a Vithi’ 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 - Technical Aspects of a Vīthī

It must be noted here that the Līlāvatīvīthī includes all the required technical things like:

  1. benedictory (nāndī),
  2. prologue (prastāvanā),
  3. conversation with imaginary person (ākāśabhāṣita),
  4. aside (svagata),
  5. aloud (prakāśa),
  6. interlude scene (viṣkambhaka),
  7. intimation scene (nepathya),
  8. personal address (janāntika) and
  9. epilogue (bharatavākya).

Benediction (Nāndī): -

Benediction is necessary in any poetry or drama, at the beginning, to complete the work without any obstacle. The Līlāvatīvīthī contains benedictory verse (tatpādayugalam girikanyakāyām………kiśoramayūkhalekhāḥ), before the prologue, which is the praise and prayer of the goddess Pārvatī. The benedictory verse is read by Vidūṣaka, either before or at the beginning of the prologue. In the Līlāvatīvīthī, the benedictory verse (tatpādapadmayugalam…………kiśoramayūkhalekhā) is read before the prologue.

Prologue (Prastāvanā): -

The prologue is the variegated conversation between Naṭī, Viduṣaka, Pāripārśvika and Sūtradhāra about related matters of the drama. In the Līlāvatīvīthī, Naṭī and Sūtradhāra conduct the prologue.

For instance, Sūtradhāra says that this Vīthī will be enacted out by the learned persons, under the king Devanārāyaṇa. Sūtradhāra also speaks about the poet,

asti maṅgalagrāmavāstavyasya rāghavapāṇighasya bhāgineyo rāmo nāma pāṇivādaḥ.”

Then Naṭī narrates the story of Līlāvatīvīthī through the tale of her own niece (sister’s daughter),

mama bhaginyā raṅgamallikāyā duhitā raṅgalakṣmīrnāma………tayoranyonyasaṅghaṭanarūpam me varam pratipādayiṣyanti.”

After this, Sūtradhāra indicates the coming of Vidūṣaka. At the end, Vidūṣaka enters, after the exit of Naṭī and Sūtradhāraand the Vīthī starts.

Aloud or Openly (Prakāśa) and Aside (Svagata): -

The aloud and aside are used so many times. The aloud is heard by all and the aside is not to be heard by all.

Personal address (Janāntika): -

The personal address is the mutual conversation between the two, in the presence of the other persons not to hear spoken to someone else. It is done by the hand gesture with three fingers raised. In the Līlāvatīvīthī, twice the king and Vidūṣaka use it, when the queen says about the dream and declares the marriage of the king with Līlāvatī.

Speaking to the Sky (Ākāśabhāṣita): -

The conversation with imaginary person or speaking to the sky, generally happens in Vīthī, like in Bhāṇa. Vīthī also consists of two characters, viz. one situated off the stageand another situated on the stage. In the Līlāvatīvīthī, both the king and Vidūṣaka represent the characters like Kalāvatī, Līlāvatī, Kelimālāand Siddhimatī from the stage.

Interlude scene (Viṣkambhaka): -

The interlude scene is the part of intermediate scenes (arthopakṣepakas), which explains the past and future matters that have happened or that are to be happened. In the Līlāvatīvīthī, it occurs after the prologue (prastāvanā). In it, Vidūṣaka explains that he is busy to unite the king Vīrapāla with Līlāvatī. In order to achieve the goal, he appoints a Yoginī called Siddhimatī.

Intimation scene (Cūlikā or Nepathya): -

The intimation scene is the description of events from behind the curtain. It (nepathya or cūlikā) is found in all types of drama. Thus, we find the intimation scene used a number of times in the Līlāvatīvīthī.

Epilogue (Bharatavākya): -

The epilogue is the general expression of wish by one of the actors on the stage regarding the welfare of the king and the people. In the Līlāvatīvīthī, the epilogue is an advice to the people that by leaving jealousy, anger and similar things, they should live friendly and peacefully.

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