Dramaturgy in the Venisamhara

by Debi Prasad Namasudra | 2016 | 70,412 words

This page relates ‘Description of Apavarita and Janantika’ 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).

Description of Apavārita and Janāntika

Bharata, next, defines Apavārita [Apavāritam] and Janāntika [Janāntikam] thus. Apavārita is concealed speaking and is related to screcy. When out of necessity persons, standing close by, are supposed not to hear what is spoken to some one else, this constitutes Janāntika. Janāntika and Apavārita should be indicated by a “Tripatakhand covering the speaker and the persons by whom it is not to be heared.

Abhinavagupta tries to draw a distinction between Apavāritam and Janāntikam which is not very clear. In his view, in Apavārita the matter is concealed by all and only one person hears in it. In Janantikam the matter is talked to one close by and is concealed from one. He refers to the view of others in whose opinion both kinds are Janāntikam.

Dhanañjaya states that Janāntikam is mutual conversation in the presence of other persons by shutting out the others in the middle of the story by the hand with three fingers raised. Dhanika explains that the person, who is not to hear it, is screened by means of a twisted slanting plam with first three fingers raised by the speaker by means of curving his third finger inward. This it is a sort of personal address.

In Apavārita a secret is told to another by turning around. It is understood to be heard only by the person addressed. This is a talk in confidence.

In the view of Bharata, words in a play connected with secrecy should be spoken in one’s ears. Without making any mistake one should resort to Ākāśabhāṣita [ākāśabhāṣitam], Jañānitikam [janāntika?], Apavārita and Ātmagata [ātmagatam] etc.

Thus these are the modes of presenting the matter in a play. Dhanika writes in his commentary that some have stated other Nāṭyadharmas also like first Kalpa etc., but as they are not Bhāratīya, are only famous in name and some are included in dialects and are devoid of Nāṭyadharma, so they are not stated.

Thus we see that a plot consists of many dramatic devices artifices, embellishments, qualities and figures of speech which have been dealt at length by Bharata. We need not go into such detail. Suffice it to say that a Plot is generally divided into two, main and subsidiary. It mainly consists of five Avasthās, five Arthaprakṛtis and five Saṅdhis. All these things help in the plot. A Plot consists of many events, some are extraneous but necessary, some are important. Events necessary for the story but lengthy, uninteresting or the like are indicated by the explanatory devices, while the presentable events having sentiments and the like are presented into Ankas. A plot contains conversations of all types to present the matter. Thus, Plot is a very important principle of Dramaturgy.

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