Dasarupaka (critical study)

by Anuru Ranjan Mishra | 2015 | 106,293 words

This page relates ‘Application of the Junctures (sandhi) in a Prakarana’ 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 10 - Application of the Junctures (sandhi) in a Prakaraṇa

The drama consists mainly of two aspects. The first aspect is juncture (sandhi) and the second aspect is action (avasthā). The junctures are five in numbers. They divide the plot into five divisions according to the actions. Another important aspect is the elements (arthaprakṛti), which have also important roles to construct junctures. Both actions and elements are useful in achieving the goal of junctures. Again, each juncture is divided into sixty-four sub-divisions. However, these sub-divisions are treated as the ornamental parts of the descriptions.

Here Dhanañjaya states that the juncture is the relation between intermediate acts and events, though there is difference (between the events):

avāntarāthasaṃbandhaḥ sandhirekānvye sati
  –(Daśarūpaka, I.23).

The drama should not lose the proper sequence, of the matters in the acts. The juncture always connects them with each other. Again, there is no limitation as to how many events are to be connected by the junctures. A juncture may involve any number of events and acts because different dramas consist of different number of acts.

According to Bharata (Nāṭyaśāstra.XXI.41), a Prakaraṇa consists of all the five types of junctures, i.e.

  1. opening juncture (mukhasandhi),
  2. progression uncture (pratimukhasandhi),
  3. development juncture (garbhasandhi),
  4. pause juncture (vimarśasandhi) and
  5. concluding juncture (nirvahaṇasandhi).

1) Opening juncture (mukhasandhi) –

The opening juncture originates from the seed and produces various objectives and sentiments:

mukha bījasamutpattirnānārtharasasaṃbhavā
  –(Daśarūpaka.I.24).

The Opening juncture is produced by the combination of seed (bīja) and the beginning (ārambha).

The seed always is minute; but it pervades everything and produces the result at the end:

alpamātram samutsṛṣṭam bahudhā yadvisarpati, phalāvasānam yaccaiva bījam tat parikīrtitam
  –(Nāṭyaśāstra.XXI.21).

Again, the beginning is meant to obtain the result:

autsukyamātramārambhaḥ phalalābhāya bhūyase
  –(Daśarūpaka.I.20).

In the Mudritakumudacandra, the seed is found at the very first act, when Māṇikya, a pupil of

Devasūri, says that the principal aim of the debate is the liberation of women, who are confined with the naked people:

nagnairniruddhā taruṇījanasya yanmuktiratra prakaṭam rahasyam
  –(I.34).

Here, the opening juncture has the purpose of liberation of women. The opening juncture occupies the first act completely. The act contains the sentiments like heroic, furious and tranquility.

2) Progression juncture (pratimukhasandhi) –

In the progression juncture, the seed is developed according to its quality but it is sometimes perceptible and sometimes not perceptible:

lakṣālakṣa ivodbhedastasya pratimukham
  –(Daśarūpaka.I.30).

The progression juncture is produced by the combination of drop (bindu) and effort (prayatna).

The drop (bindu) helps to take the plot up to the end, when it is almost in the final position:

prayojanānām vicchede yad vicchedakāraṇam,
yāvat samāptirbandhasya sa binduḥ parikīrtitaḥ
  –(Nāṭyaśāstra.XXI.22).

Again, the effort (prayatna) constitutes striving hard, when the result is not obtained:

prayatnastu tadprāptau vyāpāro’titvarānvitaḥ
  –(Daśarūpaka.I.20).

In the Mudritakumudacandra, the progression juncture has covered the entire second act. In the second act, both friends, i.e. Makaranda, a pupil of Kumudacandra and Aśoka, a pupil of Devasūri, discuss the possible winner in the debate. It is uncertain that who would win. They have faith in Devasūri, because he is really good, but Kumudacandra is an arrogant person, who merely thinks as the winner of the debate, defeating the defendants like Śāṅkaras, Kāpilas and Bhāṭṭas. Aśoka believes in astrology (śakuna), because he has seen some signs, with the possibility of win over Devasūri.

Thus, astrology (śakuna) increases his hope, which is also perceptible:

yadi śakunāni pramāṇam tadā vijayī śrīśvetāmbaraśiromaṇiḥ”.

Thus, here the hope through the astrology (śakuna) is the drop (bindu), which takes the plot up to the end.

Again, Makaranda diminishes the hope of Aśoka by saying that Kumudacandra has already won over many defendants and hence the chance of winning extremely difficult and unlikely.

nirvyūḍhānekāntavādivijayakelidurlalitastatrabhavān kumudacandraḥ
  –(p.19).

3) Development juncture (garbhasandhi) –

In the development juncture also, the seed is searched again and again, though sometimes observed and sometimes not (garbhastu dṛṣṭanaṣṭasya bījasyānveṣaṇam –Daśarūpaka.I.36). The development juncture is produced by the combination of prospect of success (prāptyāśā) and minor episode (patākā). The prospect of success can also be termed as the uncertainty of success.

It seems that the result is achievable, but at times there is also the fear of failure:

upāyāpāyaśaṅkābhyām prāptyāśā prāptisaṃbhavaḥ
  –(Daśarūpaka.I.21).

The minor episode is the part of the main plot but it helps the main plot

yad vṛttam tu parārtham syāt pradhānasya upakārakam pradhānavat ca kalpyeta sā patāketi kīrtitā
  –(Nāṭyaśāstra.XXI.23).

In the third act of the Mudritakumudacandra, both the fear of loss and the hope of success are observed through the characters i.e. Thāhaḍa and Nāgadeva, the attendants of Devasūri. Nāgadeva fears that anything might happen in the debate, because Kumudacandra could make anyone silent through the black magic called “mukhabandhavidyā”. However, Thāhaḍa reminds him about the previous debate, where Devasūri defeated Guṇacandra, who was also an expert in “mukhabandhavidyā”. Therefore, such hope and loss create the uncertainty, which is the main characteristic.

Again, in the same act, the conversation between Devasūri and Gāṅgila constitutes the minor episode, the part of the main plot. However, the topic of purity of the Śvetāmbaras is totally independent and different from the main plot. The juncture has covered the entire third act.

4) Pause juncture (avamarśasandhi) –

The pause juncture provides pause of reflection; and it may be because of anger or passion or temptation.

However, the seed is necessary for giving rise to the result:

krodhenāvamṛśed yatra vyasanādvā vilobhanāt,
garbhanirbhinnabījārthaḥ so’vamarśa iti smṛtaḥ
  –(Daśarūpaka.I.43).

The juncture is produced by the combination of certainty of success (niyatāpti) and episodical incident (prakarī).

The certainty of success assures the achievement without any risk:

apāyābhāvataḥ prāptirniyatāptiḥ suniścitā
  –(Daśarūpaka.I.21).

It should be noted that the purpose of the episodical incident is unrelated to the main plotand indicates the pause of the theme:

phalam prakalpyate yasyāḥ parārthāyaiva kevalam,
anubandhavihīnatvāt prakarīm tām vinirdiśet
  –(Nāṭyaśāstra.XXI.24).

The fourth act of Mudritakumudacandra deals with the success of Devasūri. According to him, the debate is just like “mahīmīnalāñchana” but defendant is the winner. Again, the conversation of Śrīpāla and Devasūri forms an episodical incident, which is not related to the main theme. It is just the conversation between Devasūri and Śrīpāla that the king is worried about. The king believes that it is his fault because he has not examined them properly. The juncture covers the entire fourth act.

5) Concluding juncture (nirvahaṇasandhi) –

The concluding juncture brings out the result of the seed shown in the opening and continued in other junctures:

bījavanto mukhādyarthā viprakīrṇā yathāyatham,
ekārthyamupanīyante yatra nirvahaṇam hi tat
  –(Daśarūpaka.I.48-49).

The seed is seen first in the opening juncture and then it is continued in other junctures. In the concluding juncture, it is brought together for producing the result. The concluding juncture is produced by the combination of the attainment of the result (phalāgama) and the denouement (kārya).

The attainment of the result is to accomplish the final result totally:

samagraphalasaṃpattiḥ phalayogo yathodita
  –(Daśarūpaka.I.22).

Again, the denouement is the final action of the main plot, developed from the beginning and described in the other junctures and stages:

yadādhikārikam vastu samyak prājñaiḥ prayujyate,
yadarthaśca samārambhastat kāryamparikīrtitam
  –(Nāṭyaśāstra.XXI.25).

In the fifth act of the Mudritakumudacandra, the result of victory comes at the end, as Maharṣi declares that the debate is ended, because Śvetāmbera has won and Digambara has lost in the debate:

samāptā vādakathā, jitam śvetāmbareṇa, hāritam digambareṇa”.

Even Kumudacandra accepts that Devasūri is victorious and “mahānvādī”. The Śvetāmbaras thus become very happy. They get a new lease of life. Their country is saved because of Devasūri; otherwise, Śvetāmbara rule would have been thrown out of Gurjaradeśa. Now Digambaras have to leave the country and Śvetāmbaras could live peacefully.

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