Dasarupaka (critical study)

by Anuru Ranjan Mishra | 2015 | 106,293 words

This page relates ‘Technical Aspects of 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 11 - Technical Aspects of a Prakaraṇa

Yaśaścandra has applied very few technical things in the Mudritakumudacandra, such as:

  1. Benediction (nāndi),
  2. Prologue (prastāvanā),
  3. Intimation scene (nepathya),
  4. Interlude scene (viṣkambhaka),
  5. Monologue (ākāśabhāṣita),
  6. Aside (svagata or ātmagata),
  7. Aloud (prakāśa) and
  8. Personal address (janāntika).

Benediction (nāndī) –

The Benedictory prayer comes at the beginning of the drama and is known as nāndī. It is the part of preliminaries (pūrvaraṅga) performed before the enactment of the drama.

The pūrvaraṅga consists of nineteen items.

Out of nineteen, [the following nine items are performed behind the curtain]:

  1. pratyāhāra,
  2. avataraṇa,
  3. ārambha,
  4. āśrāvaṇā,
  5. vaktrapāṇi,
  6. parighaṭṭanā,
  7. saṃghoṭanā,
  8. mārgāsārita and
  9. āsārita.

[...] and another [following nine items, are presented on the stage, for the spectators]:

  1. utthāpana,
  2. parivartana,
  3. nāndī,
  4. śuṣkāvakṛṣṭā,
  5. raṅgadvāra,
  6. cāri,
  7. mahācāri,
  8. trigata and
  9. prarocanā;
  10. and prologue (prastāvanā), the 19th item.

Nāndī is the third part of the presented items of the pūrvaraṅga, which is the statement of blessings for the success of dramatic performance. Furthermore, in the performance, the actors and spectators should not face any type of obstacles, which could be troublesome for both the actors and audiences. Nāndī is recited either by the Sūtradhāra or by any Brahmin, on the stage.

In the Mudritakumudacandra, the author prays the god to fulfill the wishes of the people of the three worlds:

śreyaḥ kuḍmalamāṃsalām……muktāmaṇiśreṇayaḥ”.

Prologue (prastāvanā)

The Prologue comes after the recitation of the benedictory verses. It starts with the sentence, i.e.

nāndyante tataḥ praviśati sūtradhāraḥ.”

Sūtradhāra conducts the Prologue with his wife (naṭī) or establisher (sthāpaka or pāripārśvika) or Jester (vidūṣaka). However, sometimes Sūtradhāra alone conducts the Prologue. He informs the audience about the history of the author, name of the play and about the play by means of the humorous conversation with his companion. At the end, the actor enters the stage. In the Mudritakumudacandra, the author has applied and used Sūtradhāra, Pāripārśvika and Naṭī in the Prologue. Sūtradhāra and Pāripārśvika discuss the author and the history. However, Sūtradhāra and Naṭī discuss the theme of the play indirectly. Then Sūtradhāra describes the spring season and afterwards all of them exit from the stage and the two characters, i.e. Pārśvadeva and Śobhana enter the stage.

Intimation scene (nepathya) –

The Intimation scene is also called cūlikā, which is the part of the intermediate scenes (arthopakṣepaka), i.e. interlude scene (viṣkambhaka), introductory scene (praveśaka), intimation scene (cūlikā), anticipatory scene (aṅkāsya) and continuation scene (aṅkāvatāra). The actors from behind the curtain present the intimation scene, as it is void. The intimation scenes are employed in the beginning or in the middle and sometimes before the end of an act. In the Mudritakumudacandra, the scenes are employed very little. It has used intimation scene only five times in the drama.

Interlude Scene (viṣkambhaka) –

The interlude scene is also the part of the intermediate scene (arthopakṣepaka), such as praveśaka and cūlikā, as mentioned before. The interlude scene discusses the future incidents, related to the plot, which would happen in the next act. It is of two kinds, i.e. pure interlude scene (śuddha viṣkambhaka) and mixed interlude scene (miśra viṣkambhaka). In the pure type of interlude scene, two middle type of characters describe the incident in Sanskrit. However, the mixed type of interlude scene consists of middle and low types of two characters who speak in Sanskrit and Prakrit respectively to describe the incident. The interlude scene always comes at the beginning of the act. In the Mudritakumudacandra, all the acts consist of pure type of interlude scene, where the characters speak in Sanskrit.

Monologue (ākāśabhāṣita) –

When a character on the stage speaks looking up to the sky, addressing someone, it is called monologue. Usually, such a monologue is employed in the Bhāṇa and Vīthī types of dramas. However, in some cases, other types of dramas also employ monologue. In the Mudritakumudacandra, the author has employed such monologues twice, in the first and the fourth acts through the characters, Bandī and Śrīpāla respectively.

Aside (svagata or ātmagata) –

The speech, inaudible to others, spoken by a character is aside. It is his own feelings, does not want to share the matter with anyone. This technical aspect is commonly employed in every drama. In the Mudritakumudacandra, the author has employed in various places.

Aloud (prakāśa) –

The matter, which is audible to the audience, is called aloud. This technical aspect is also applied frequently in every drama. In the Mudritakumudacandra, the author has applied this aloud in some places, though not frequently.

Personal Address (janāntika) –

The speech is made audible to the the particular person to whom it is addressed is called janāntika. However, it is indicated with a special handgesture, which is called “tripatākā”. Janāntika is applied but not frequently in every drama. In the Mudritakumudacandra, it is applied once in the fifth act for the judge Śilāṅka, by the king Jayasiṃha.

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: