Dasarupaka (critical study)

by Anuru Ranjan Mishra | 2015 | 106,293 words

This page relates ‘Introduction to the Ihamriga type of Drama’ 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)

Introduction to the Īhāmṛga type of Drama

Īhāmṛga is a drama peculiar to Indian tradition. Western tradition does not record any drama comparable to Īhāmṛga. Even the western rhetoricians and dramatists are not able to conceive a drama of Īhāmṛga type with number of characters.

H. H. Wilson (1898, Dramas, p.24) states that:

“this entertainment must have been popular, as it was addressed more to the eye than to the ear, because this type of drama needs encounter, battle, abusive language. The colourful dresses, precious jewelery and other things make them different from the real world.”

In Indian classical drama, Īhāmṛga is one of the ten divisions of drama, which is a bold (uddhata or āviddhā) and energetic type of drama like Samavakāra and Ḍima. It has many characters like Samavakāra and the plot extends over many days.

Abhinavagupta states that:

“It is called Īhāmṛga, because it shows the desire (īhā) and action (ceṣṭā) for a woman who is like a dear (mṛga), which is not easy to get”—(Abhinavabhāratī.XVIII.83).

It has a limited theme. The characters are divine beings and their conversations are intelligent and clever. The main theme of Īhāmṛga is fight for a woman.

G. K. Bhat (1985, Sanskrit Drama, P.340) states that:

“In the Īhāmṛga, the obstacles are set aside with fight. However, women are capable of enduring hardships and therefore, the story need not involve any avasthās of hope and despair alternating frequently. The dramatic action, with appropriate remedies used, can lead towards achievement of goal.”

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