Dramaturgy in the Venisamhara

by Debi Prasad Namasudra | 2016 | 70,412 words

This page relates ‘Description of Vithi’ of the study dealing with the Venisamhara of Bhatta Narayana and its practical application of Sanskrit Dramaturgy. The Veni-Samhara is an extraordinary drama in Sanskrit literature which revolves around the great war of Mahabharata within six Acts. This study deals with the author, background and the technical aspects, reflecting the ancient Indian tradition of dramaturgy (Natya-Shastra).

Vīthī is a one-act play[1] with a fictious plot. Altough the rulling sentiment is erotic; other suitable sentiments could nevertheless be introduced. It contains only two junctures, the Opening and the Conclusion; all the same, it evinces within its short compass all the sources of the plot (Arthaprakṛtis), the germ, the drop, the episode and others[2]. It contains a regular Induction (Prastāvaṇā) and gets introduced with an abrupt dialogue (Udghatyaka). The characters are only a few, preferably one or two, who would manage the conversation on the stage anticipating replies through speeches from void. According to Kohala it is supposed to have all sorts of characters, both high and low[3]. Gentle Dance (Lāsyaṅgas) in this play is essential according to Bhojarāja whereas it is optional according to Kohala[4]. Vīthī has its own thirteen sub-divisions known as Vithyanagas. These Vithyanagas as subdivisions of the Vīthī which also serves as one of the elements of the Bhāratī Vṛtti should be essentially adopted in the preliminary frame-work of the Induction of a play. They could also be freely used by the playwrights at almost all the places as and when needed. The title, “Vīthī” itself signifies that it is like an avenge open for all kinds of shows and could profitably be used in all the junctures.

Footnotes and references:


Sāhityadarpaṇa VI-135b; Rasārṇava-sudhākara I-282b.


Daśarūpaka II-58. Sāhityadarpaṇa VI-136a;


Nāṭaka-lakṣaṇa-Ratnakośa 1365-6.


Rasārṇava-sudhākara i-283.

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