Dasarupaka (critical study)

by Anuru Ranjan Mishra | 2015 | 106,293 words

This page relates ‘Conclusion’ 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)

Vatsarāja was the court poet and the minister in the administration of Paramardideva and Trailokyavarman. He has written many rare types of dramas belonging to Ḍima, Īhāmṛga, Prahasana and Samavakāra. Vatsarāja’s Rukmiṇīharaṇa is the best example of Īhāmṛga type of drama.

The Mahābhārata is the source of the Rukmiṇīharaṇa. Though it has borrowed the basic story from the epic Mahābhārata, many matters are imaginary in the plot of the Rukmiṇīharaṇa. Thus, it is the mixture of well-known and imaginary. The story describes the fighting between Śiśupāla and Kṛṣṇa for Rukmiṇī.

Vatsarāja’s Rukmiṇīharaṇa has followed almost all the rules of Īhāmṛga prescribed by Bharata and Dhanañjaya. However, Vatsarāja has accepted Dhanañjaya’s view that there should be mere reflection of erotic (śṛṅgāra) sentiment in the Īhāmṛga and the same should not be applied as the predominant sentiment. Thus, in the drama Rukmiṇīharaṇa, the erotic (śṛṅgāra) sentiment is just reflected. The heroic (vīra) sentiment is the dominant sentiment in the Rukmiṇīharaṇa.

According to the rule of the Nāṭyaśāstra and the Daśarūpaka, Ihāmṛga should have some haughty charactersand both hero and heroine should be divine beings. Thus, in the Rukmiṇīharaṇa, the hero Kṛṣṇa and the heroine Rukmiṇī are the divine characters. Vatsarāja has also incorporated some new characters, such as Tārkṣya and Subuddhī, which are the imagination of the poet, along with more than twenty characters suitable to the drama of the Rukmiṇīharaṇa.

Bharata contradicts himself by saying that Īhāmṛga is without gay style (kaiśikīvṛtti). While prescribing the rules of Īhāmṛga, he states that in the plot of Īhāmṛga, the erotic (śṛṅgāra) should be the dominant sentiment. Now, if the gay style (kaiśikīvṛtti) is not there, how erotic (śṛṅgāra) sentiment could be used, because erotic (śṛṅgāra) sentiment is based on the gay style (kaiśikīvṛtti). Here Dhanañjaya’s view is more practical. In his view, in Īhāmṛga, the erotic sentiment is reflected. Therefore, the Īhāmṛga should be composed with the low gay style (kaiśikīvṛtti). The Rukmiṇīharaṇa is full of violence. There is anger, challenge, argumentsand the alliance, which are the characteristics of grand style (sāttvatīvṛtti) and violent style (ārabhaṭīvṛtti). Further, the verbal style (bhāratīvṛtti) is applied in the prologue of the drama. That is why, the drama of the Rukmiṇīharaṇa has applied all the three styles, i.e. verbal style (bhāratīvṛtti), grand style (sāttvatīvṛtti) and violent style (ārabhaṭīvṛtti); and gay style (kaiśikīvṛtti) is just reflected. Īhāmṛga consists of the sentiments like heroic (vīra), laughter (hāsya), erotic (śṛṅgāra), furious (raudra), terrible (bhayānaka) and marvelous (adbhuta). It is contradictory that Bharata states that erotic (śṛṅgāra) will be dominant sentiment in the Īhāmṛgaand again, states that Īhāmṛga should apply the same erotic (śṛṅgāra) sentiment as in the Vyāyoga. However, Vyāyoga does not consist of erotic (śṛṅgāra) sentiment. There are only some excited sentiments like heroic (vīra), marvellous (adbhuta) and furious (raudra) in Vyāyoga. However, Dhanañjaya is non committal and does not stipulate that Ihāmṛga should apply the same sentiments as in Vyāyoga. He does not even accept the view that the erotic (śṛṅgāra) sentiment should be in the Īhāmṛga. Thus, Vatsarāja has accepted Dhanañjaya’s view and applied all the excited sentiments like furious (raudra), marvellous (adbhuta) and heroic (vīra) and erotic (śṛṅgāra) sentiment.

It should be noted that Vatsarāja has applied three junctures by combination of actions and elements, as prescribed by both Bharata and Dhanañjaya. According to Bharata and Dhanañjaya, the interlude scene (viṣkambhaka) must occur in the first act of a drama. However, Vatsarāja does not follow this rule, as he does not incorporate the scene (viṣkambhaka) in the first act of his drama. We do also notice a monologue occurring after prologue in this drama. It would have been better if this monologue had been converted into an interlude scene.

At the time of Vatsarāja, the society was moderate and peace loving; however, it was disturbed due to the disturbance created by enemy kings and people were living with fear. However, Candel kings tried their level best to make people happy. In this period, people belonging to many religious sects were living together; but the society was dominated by the Hindus. People were allowed to do all kinds of job, though the society was following the “cāturvarṇya” system. Further, People celebrated various traditional festivals and enjoyed each other’s company.

Since Candel kings were quite liberal, they had not restricted women from any activity. Women were even allowed to select their husbands. In arranged marriages, both sides exchanged pictures of bride and groom before selecting their match. The groom usually went to the house of bride to get married. It should be noted that Women were educated in various streams and they pursued varied goals of life.

It can be observed now that the Rukmiṇīharaṇa incorporates almost all the characteristics prescribed by Bharata and Dhanañjaya.

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