Dramaturgy in the Venisamhara

by Debi Prasad Namasudra | 2016 | 70,412 words

This page relates ‘Hasya Rasa (humorousness)’ 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).

Humorousness develops into a comic sentiment. The object of ridicule is ālambaṇa of this sentiment. The untoward movements, the unbridled speech and the absurd activities promote laughter. Smile, tickled appearance, exhibition of teeth and similar features are the ensuants. Contempt and disturbance (udvega) are the auxiliary feelings.

According to Bharata, Hāsya-rasa is of two kinds: Subjective (ātmastha) or Objective (parastha). When one laughs himself, it belongs to the former type; and when one makes another laugh it is of the latter type. He further observes that generally the Comic sentiment is found among the low characters and among women at large. Yet a humorous character may be a high personage at times, a middling or a base person. The mode of expressing humour is, therefore, bound to differ in nature. For this reason, humour is said to be capable of being expressed in six ways: Smile and gentle laugh (smita and hāsita) are the two ways in which humour is expressed by the upper class of characters. Laugh and loud laugh (vihasita and upahasita) are the two ways in which the middling characters express their humour. Peals of laughter and cachinnation (apahasita and atihasita) are the two modes in which the mirth of the low chareacters is said to burst out.[1]

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

Nāṭyaśāstra of Bharata p. 74, line 9 to page 75, line 16 (Kasi S. S.).

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