Dramaturgy in the Venisamhara

by Debi Prasad Namasudra | 2016 | 70,412 words

This page relates ‘Major findings and Concluding observations’ 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).

Chapter 5 - Major findings and Concluding observations

Veṇīsaṃhāra is the great dramatic creation of Bhaṭṭanārāyaṇa, the plot of which is taken from the Sabhāparvan of the great epic Mahābhārata. The author left no stone unturned to make the drama a charming as well as fullfledged one. Bhaṭṭanārāyaṇa showed his great skill in the application of law of Sanskrit dramaturgy as laid down by the great dramatists like Bharata, Viśvanatha and others. The drama Veṇīsaṃhāra belongs to the class of “Rūpaka” which is known as “Nāṭaka”. It covers the use of compound words, Alaṃkāras and other important poetic elements.

Chapter I

The first chapter of this work starts with an introduction which is divided into three sections such as: Life and date of Bhaṭṭanārāyaṇa; Study conducted on Veṇīsaṃhāra and Purpose of the study. In the first section it is discussed about the life and date of Bhaṭṭanārāyaṇa. It is a great problem in respect of almost all the Sanskrit poets regarding their personal history. Bhaṭṭanārāyaṇa is also a dramatist, who has no distinct communication in this regard. Nothing is found about himself expect the title Kavimṛgarāja in the prelude of the drama Veṇīsaṃhāra. Though, there are no sufficient references in the concerned text but some references available in other sources, one comes to know that Bhaṭṭanārāyaṇa was of Śāndilya family. He originally belong to Kānyakubja or Kanouj as narrated in “Kṣitiśavaṃśāvalicarita” of Bengal where it is clearly mentioned that Bhaṭṭanārāyaṇa was one of the five Brāhmins brought to Bengal with special request of king Ādisura. It is also believed that he is the predecessor of the illustrious Tagore family of Calcutta. He is known to be the leader of Sāraśvat settlers and thus he became the founder of Gauḍa Sāraśvata Brāhmanism in the province. The Kṣitiśavaṃśāvalicaritam indicates Bhaṭṭanārāyaṇa as Kṣatriya. In the prelude of Veṇīsaṃhāra the very word “Mṛgarājalakṣma”, which means one whose surname of family name is Mṛgarāja or Siṃha or Siṅha which is usually found to the names of Kṣatriyas such as Pratap-Siṃha or Siṅha, Jaya-Siṃha and others. That is why Bhaṭṭanārāyaṇa was a Kṣatriya. But there are positive evidences to believe that Bhaṭṭanārāyaṇa was a Brāhmana by Caste. The word “Bhaṭṭa” clearly proves that he was a Brāhmana. Kṣṭriyas are never designated in this way as Bhaṭṭa. There are some points in the Veṇīsaṃhāra which clearly indicate that its author was Brāhmana–for instance, the character of the Vidūṣaka brings in the comic or lighter sentiments in a Sanskrit drama and as he is always a Brāhmana. The author did not delineated Vidūṣaka in his drama. So Bhaṭṭanārāyaṇa is a Brāhmiṇ by caste. The author with a sense of showing his superiority of caste in the Veṇīsaṃhāra which is obviously focused in the 3rd Act of the drama where it is seen that Rudirpriya, a demon remarked with fear that Brāhmana -blood burn when drunk. Such a remark only can come out from the mouth of a Brāhmaṇa writer. In the 3rd Act it has been also noticed that superiority of Aśvathāmān and mean mindedness and back-biting of Karṇa while the quarrels occurs in them. In the ending part of the battle i.e. in the 6th Act of the drama though the situation is not favourable for hospitality but Yudhiṣṭhira and Draupadī have shown their duty as a Kṣṭriya by showing honour to a Brāhmaṇa. Moreover, the benedictory verse of the drama also exhibits that Bhaṭṭanārāyaṇa was a devotee of Lord Śive and Lord Hari. He had profound knowledge of Purāṇas, different branches of philosophy and in the science of Karma Mīmāṃsā. Therefore Bhaṭṭanārāyaṇa is no doubt is a Brāhmaṇa by caste.

It is shrowed in mistry regarding the date of Bhaṭṭanārāyaṇa. The different sources opine different opinion regarding the date of the author. But some authors give clear hints particularly their dates. Such as, Bhāsa has been mentioned as of 3rd century B.C. in his introductory chapter of Svapnavāsavadattam. The date of Bāṇabhaṭṭa falls in between 606-647 century A.D. i.e. 7th century A.D. like this, the date of Bhavabhūti is found to be first part of 8th century A.D. The other source proves that Bhaṭṭanārāyaṇa was either posterior or contemporary of Bāṇabhaṭṭa.

Vāmana, the author of Kāvyālaṅkārasūtra exemplified from Bhaṭṭanārāyaṇa’s usage. Scholars place Vāmana in between 750 A.D. to 800 A.D. It is evident from this fact that Bhaṭṭanārāyaṇa attained certain degree of popularity by 750 A.D. It is said that Bhaṭṭanārāyaṇa might be a contemporary of Daṇḍī, who flourished in the second half of the seventh century A.D. and Daṇḍī could not make it refer Bhaṭṭanārāyaṇa because of geographical distance and unavailability of the text before hand. The later rhetoricians like Viśvanātha Kavirāja and Ānandavardhana quoted from Veṇīsaṃhāra. Ānandavardhana, the author of Dhvanyāloka flourished in between 840 A.D. to 870 A.D. quoted several verse from Bhaṭṭanārāyaṇa’s work. Dhanañjaya, the author of Daśarūpaka who flourished in and around950 A.D. and Bhojarāja, the author of Sarasvatī Kanthābharaṇa who flourished in between 1005-1054 A.D. also referred and quoted verses from Veṇīsaṃhāra of Bhaṭṭanārāyaṇa. Kṣemendra, the author of Aucityavicāracarcā and Kavikanthābharaṇa, who flourished in between 1025-1075 A.D. also referred to Bhaṭṭanārāyaṇa. The author of Kāvyaprakaśa, Mammaṭa flourished in between 1050 A.D. to 1100 A.D. also exemplified from Veṇīsaṃhāra Kṣirosvāmi, the happy commentator of Amarakośa also quoted Bhaṭṭanārāyaṇa.

According to Cunningham the Sena dynasty reigned in Bengal in between 650 and 1108 A.D. That means Ādisūra was reigning the later half of the 7th century A.D. consequently Bhaṭṭanārāyaṇa may also be considered to belong to same period of Ādisura. All these references cited above give a clear hint that Bhaṭṭanārāyaṇa’s date is about second half of 7th century A.D.

The second section i.e. Study conducted on Veṇīsaṃhāra is as follows–

Maurice Winternitz in his “History of Indian Literrature” Vol–III. has mentioned the main source of the drama Veṇīsaṃhāra and briefly given a clear picture of the drama till the war description at the end.

M. Kṛṣṇamachariar in his “History of classical Sanskrit Literature” has mentioned that the drama is taken from the incident of Sabhāparvan of Mahābhārata.

Arthur A. Mac Doneel in his “A History of Sanskrit Literature" has highlighted the theme of Veṇīsaṃhāra and explained there how Duḥśāsana dragged Draupadī in the assembly hall and so on.

Sushil Kumar Dey in his “Treatment of love in Sanskrit Literature” has referred that Vennismahara is the second drama which does not delineate love sentiment, the other drama is Mudrārākṣasam.

“The cultural Heritage of India” Vol–V, languages and literature also mentioned about Veṇīsaṃhāra.

Ratnamayai Devi Diksit in her work “Women in Sanskrit Dramas” discussed the female characters of Veṇīsaṃhāra in detail.

Dr. Swapna Devi, in his work “The concept and treatment of Dream in Sanskrit Literature” discusses the dream episode of Bhānumatī in Veṇīsaṃhāra.

Gaurināth Śāstri in his treatise “A consise History of classical Sanskrit Literature” has referred Bhaṭṭanārāyaṇa and mentioned the probable date of the dramatist to be 8th century A.D.

Bhaṭṭanārāyaṇa” a book by Asoke Chatterjee Sastri which very elaborately discussed Veṇīsaṃhāra of Bhaṭṭanārāyaṇa.

“A companion to Sanskrit Literature” is a book authored by Suresh Chandra Banarji where the author discusses Bhaṭṭanārāyaṇa as the author of Veṇīsaṃhāra.

In the “The theory of Rasa in Sanskrit Drama” by Hariram Mishra, the author discusses the Rasa in Veṇīsaṃhāra.

Prof. Bhagirathi Biswas in his book “Sociology of Sanskrit Drama” discusses about the sociological aspects of Veṇīsaṃhāra.

The third section of this first chapter i.e. Purpose of the study. The dramatist has chosen the most crucial portion of Mahābhārata. The Kurukṣetra was along with its precursors and successive events. As it is known to all that Kurukṣetra war was being fought in between Kiths and Kins all the closests of relations were messed in those eventualities. The drama also delineated very compatible relation of two pairs of spouse, one that is of Bhīmasena and Draupadī and the other pair is of Duryodhana and Bhānumatī. It may again be mentioned that Bhaṭṭanārāyaṇa’s Veṇīsaṃhāra is the only Sanskrit work where character of Bhānumatī is portrayed with so much of attention and care. Even the concern of Bhīma sena to Draupadī is though a theme of Mahābhārata is very wel-portrayed in the drama. The drama is also appealing on the ground that the author has been very successful in creating Pathos in the fourth act and brilliant heroic sentiments in the earlier Acts. The technicalities, sociological aspect, character delineations and deviations from the original story make the drama an interesting subject of style. The paucity of substantial research works on this work also make it a major point of attraction. Hence the present study is being carried out on Veṇīsaṃhāra.

Chapter II

Chapter–II of the work deals with the Nature and classification of Sanskrit drama. The Sanskrit drama or Nāṭya belongs to the Dṛśya Kāvya. Drama or Nāṭya in the reproduction of certain situations so as to induce in the spectators a sense of identification with hero and other characters by the way the actor render them. Bharata defines representation as that art of an actor by means of which he re-creates the sentiment (rasa) inherent in the original situation forming the theme of the drama under enactment. The Nātya is also technically known as Rūpa or a show because it is a scene. Accordingly it is called a Rūpaka. There are ten kinds of Rūpakas which are known as Nāṭaka or Drama, Prakaraṇa, Bhāṇa, Vyāyoga, Samavakāra, Dima, Ihāmṛga, Utsrtanka, Vīthī and Prahasana, of the types Nāṭaka or Drama and Prakarṇa are popular among playwrights.

Nāṭaka is the depiction of some event or events in the life of a distinguished prince of saintly character (Prakhyāta Rājarṣi). The person chosen as the hero of a Nāṭaka should be either Dhīra-lalita, Dhirodhātta or Dhirośānta. Bharata directs that a Nāṭaka should end with the achievement of such objects as pertaining to piety (dharma) sensual enjoyments (kāma) or wealth (artha) by the hero. The fourth object of life, namely liberation is included in the generic terms of piety or righteousness. Viśvanātha also admits the several vibūtis such as piety (dharma), wealth (artha), pleasure (kama) and absolution (mokṣa). A Nāṭaka or Drama should contain either heroic (vīra) or erotic (Śṛṅgāra) of course, there would be other subordinate sentiments as well, which are to be manifested occasionally. Bharata states that a Nāṭaka is full of activities and displays divers sentiments and feelings. It consists of five sandhis.

The second type of Rūpaka is Prakaraṇa where the poet plans the entire plot of the play and creates out of his imagination its hero and other characters a well. The originality of the plot is the main feature of a Prakaraṇa which alone distinguishes it from the Nāṭaka group. The hero of a Prakaraṇa is generally Dhīra-śānta or Dhīrodātta character. The Prakaraṇa deals with an account of a Brāhmaṇa, a minister or a Vaiśya. The hero of this type of shows (Rūpaka) would generally be of Dhīra-śānta or Dhīrodātta character. The heroine may be a married lady i.e. wife of the hero, or may be a courtesan. But such a blending of hero types of heroines in a Prakaraṇa finds less importance with Bharata. Prakaraṇa, on the other hand is divided into three types, namely, Simple (Suddha), Artifical (Dhūrta), and Mixed (Miśra) accordingly to the types of the heroine it contains.

Bhāṇa or a monologue is a one-act play. Wherein the hero speaks for himself as well as for other characters who are imaginary and supposed to speak in absentia. The plot of the play is purely a creation of the poet’s own imagination. The body of the play measures to a single act only, and as such, it has only the opening (Mukha) and the Conclusion juncture (Nirvāhana) Sandhi. By virtue of predominance of the Bhāratī Vṛtti, various sub-divisions of humour (Prahasan) find place in a monologue. In other particulars it borrows the pattern from the Nāṭaka.

Vyāyoga or a Military Sectacle is a type of shows wherein several characters disagree with one another. A Vyāyoga deals with a particular topic and its chief characters are also Well-known (Khyāta). The body of the play is shorn of two junctures, the development and Pause, and is made up of only three junctures, the opening, the Progression and the Conclusion. The hero of the play is invariably Dhīrodātta nature mostly having in a sober way or the Sāttvatī Vṛtii. Bharata, however, directs that a hero of a Vyāyoga should not be a divine figure, nor a king nor a sage.

Samavakāra is a dramatic representation in which there is fusion of several types of actions, characters, and motifs. It is a peculiar in its composite elements and differs from an average show in several respects. The hero of Samavakāra could be one from among gods and demons. Viśvanātha, on the other hand, observes that they should be gods and men. It has only four junctures, namely, the opening, the Expansion, the Pause and the conclusion; it has the absence of Catastrophe or the Vimarśa Sandhi. Duration of action displayed in the first act is expected to take the longest time i.e. six muhūrtas. And the entire action will endure nine muhūrtas or eighteen nāḍikās. The sentiment of the play should be erotic. Bharata holds up that it always contains three types of horror, three types of passion and three types of deception. The metres employed in a Samavakāra should be mostly irregular, generally consisting of six or seven syllables in a foot.

Ḍima has only four acts and four junctures omitting the Pause (garbhasandhi). It has sixteen principal characters, one more vehement than the other. They are mostly Gods, Yakṣas, Rākṣasa, Piśācas, and other infernal beings (Pretas). There are no introductory scenes like the Viṣkambhaka or the Praveśaka, and the duration extends to a period of four days spread over four acts of the play. The plot of a Ḍima should included be well-known (Khyāta).

Īhāmṛga is a one-act play or a play in four acts. The hero is a vehement (Uddhata) characters whether a divine or a human being. The plot of the play is of a mixed kind. It is necessary to bring the leaders of the episode (Patākā Nāyaka) on the stage. They could be mortal or divine, but ever-ready to rise to the occasion and help the hero. According to Viśvanātha the member of such auxiliaries should be ten, making a total of twelve characters in all.

Utsṛṣṭaṅka depicts a well-known story. It contains pathetic sentiment (Karuṇa-Rasa); and there is a total absence of strife and affrays. It has profuse lament actions of bewailing women and speeches full of remorse and sorrow, but the end is never tragic.

Vīthī is a one-act play with a fictious plot. Although the rulling sentiment is erotic, other suitable sentiments could nevertheless be introduced. It contains only two junctures, the opening and the conclusion. It contains a regular Induction (Prastāvanā) and gets introduced with an abrupt dialogue (Udghātyaka). The characters are only a few, preferably one or two, who would manage the conversation on the stage. According to Kohala it is supposed to have all sorts of characters, both high and low. The title, “Vīthī” itself signifies that it is like a avenge open for all kinds of shows and could profitably be used in all the junctures.

The 10th type of Rūpaka i.e. Prahasana is a farce with comic characters. It contains all the ten sub-division of Vīthī. It is presented in costumes suited for comic scenes like the motley dress; and the language is also light so as to tickle to the audience to laughter. The Prashasana is of tow kinds: regular (Śuddha) and irregular (Saṅkrirṇa). Śiṅga Bhūpāla details the different elements of a Prahasana, which are ten in number and could be generally employed in all types of shows. In regard to the particulars, the junctures and the modes of behaviour, it follows the pattern of Bhāṇa.

These are the ten principal varities of shows to which may be added a Mahānāṭaka, a play of Nāṭaka pattern with ten or more acts like the Bālarāmāyṇa or the Hanuman Nāṭaka there are also a few minor Varities called upa-rūpakas.

Chapter III

The third chapter of the thesis is–Veṇīsaṃhāra: an Introduction. The chapter starts with the Nāndī Verse addressed to Lord Kṛṣṇa and Lord Hari. Then enters angry Bhīma sena followed by Sahadeva in the stage. Bhīma becomes angry and expresses his strong disapproval of the negotiation set on foot by Kṛṣṇa. Sahadeva tries to console Bhīma and follow the path of his elder brother, Yudhiṣṭhira. Bhīma consoles his wife Draupadī and vows to kill Duryodhana and others and to tie up her hair with his hand wet with blood. The war drum then beaten and all chiefs are asked to prepare for battle. Bhīma and Sahadeva take leave of Draupadī and depart to take part in the battle.

In the Act II, the war has progressed for a few days and Bhīṣma and Abhimanyu are slain. Then one morning Duryodhana is distracted to find his wife gone away form the chamber without taking his leave as usual. He sends the Kañcukin to see where she is and when he comes up scolds him for expressing his disapproval of killing of Abhimanyu and makes a solemn declaration which by a slip of tongue meant just the opposite of what he actually wanted to say. He then asks Kañcukin to lead him to where Bhānumatī was. On going there he finds her conversing with her friend and maid and, therefore, makes up his mind to overhear them. The disucussion was on some evil dream that Bhānumatī had that morning in pacification of which she was observing fasting from the same day. Owing to the double meaning words in the talk and his ignorance of the context, Duryodhana misunderstood the whole talk and accused his wife of infidelity and incest with Nakula (mongoose). Fourtunately, however, he did not act on his impulse at this stage and was glad to realize that was all a dream that she was talking about.

In the Act III, in the interlude thousands of warriors on either side are killed, principal among being–Dhṛṣṭadyumna, Bhagadatta, Drupada, Matsyarāja, Somdatta, and others. Hiḍimbā (Bhīma’s wife) has ordered that a Rākṣasa is be constantly with Bhīma, who has vowed to drink Duḥśāsana’s blood. The Rākṣasa is to enter Bhīma’s body and drink it for him. All this information is conveyed through the interlude at the end of which it is told Droṇa is being killed by Dhṛṣṭadyumna and that Aśvatthāma is coming up with his sword drawn.

In the fourth Act, Duryodhana is laid in a swoon by injuries sustained in battle, and his charioteer drives his ear into the cool shade of a remote banyan tree. On regaining his senses Duryodhana comes to know of the slaughter of Duḥśāsana by Bhīma and he is lost in grief. Then Sundaraka with a long letter from Karṇa comes to Duryodhana. He has got details of the battle and the death of Vṛsasena, the son of Karṇa from the latter. The repentance of Duryodhana for the death of his Kith and Kin seen in this act.

In the fifth Act of the drama Dhṛtarāṣṭra, Gāndarī and Sañjaya try to make peace with Pāndavas but Duryodhana refuses. Thereafter, Duryodhana hears the news of death of Karṇa, he becomes helpless and ready to depart for the field. At that moment Bhīma and Arjuna searching Duryodhana appeared there and they have shown their courtesy to elders.

The Act VI of the drama opens with the appearance of Yudhiṣṭhira worrying over Bhīma’s promise for battering Duryodhana’s thigh the same day and sending orders for a close search for Duryodhana. Yudhiṣṭhira orders the attendant to inform Sahadeva that there should not leave any place for searching Duryodhana, who concealed himself in a pond. However by a messenger Śrī Kṛṣṇa sends a massage to make prepare for coronatioin etc. because Duryodhana is found. While Yudhiṣṭhira is busy in the arrangement for the coronation, Cārvāka, the spy of Duryodhana reported that Bhīma and Arjuna are killed by Duryodhana. Yudhiṣṭhira and Draupadī felt very grief and resolve to die in a fire. Accordingly when both Yudhiṣṭhira and Draupadī attempt to jump into the fire, suddenly Bhīma came with his blood-red hand and tied up the disheavelled hair of Draupadī. Kṛṣṇa announces the arrival of all for Yudhiṣṭhira’s coronation. The Rākṣasa is exposed and is punished by Nakula and after the usual manner the play ends with the Bharatavākya. Vāsudeva wished well and all exit.

The second part of the chapter is “Veṇīsaṃhāra as a Drama” where the Nāndī and the Prasthāvanā of the drama Veṇīsaṃhāra is described. Here Bhaṭṭanārāyaṇa is described as the best of poets. The poet is very successful in introducing the main points of the plot. The first Act starts with the war between the Pāndavas and the Kauravas.

The war began and the Kauravas were defeated miserably by the Pāndavas which is mentioned in the 6th Act of the drama.


Chapter IV of the thesis is Dramaturgy in Veṇīsaṃhāra. In this chapter it is discussed about the dramatic technicalities like, Arthaprakṛtis, Vṛtti, RasaVṛtta, Arthopakṣepakas, Hero and Heroine, Patākāsthānaka, Language and Sandhi.

Bharata, the father of Nātyaśāstra lays down five elements of plot known as the Artha-Prakṛtis which form the very substrata of the dramatic story. They differ from the Kāryavasthas inasmuch as they represent subjectively what is displayed by the latter objectively these elements are germ (bīja), the drop (bindu), the episode (Patākā), the incident (Prakarī) and the denounement (Kārya).

Germ (bīja) is defined as the course of denounement which is manifested at outset in very small form, but gradually expands in manifold ways as the action proceeds. This is, therefore, called the very seed of the dramatic theme. For example, the enthusiasm of Yudhiṣṭhira ignited by Bhīma’s wrath in the Veṇīsaṃhāra or Cānakya’s zeal to win Rākṣasa for Chandragupta, his protege in the Mudrā-Rākṣasa may be cited as the illustrated of the germ in a dramatic plot. Bīja is, therefore, the source of action which is always placed minutely at regular intervals and culminates into the fruition of action.

When sudden drop caused by some animate more or an action of a character in a play is called “Bindu” which is defined by Bharata as “the cause of resuming the main purpose of play. When it gets interrupted.”

The third element of the plot is the Patākā, and the fourth one is the Prakarī which are discussed under the heading of the subsidiary plot. The Patākā and the Prakarī are considered to be enternal (nitya) or necessary limbs of the dramatic action and they are advised to be inserted as far as possible (yathā yogam). Authors like Śiṅga Bhupāla and Viśvanātha insists on the use of these elements in a drama unless it becomes almost impracticable to have them. Yet there are off-quoted expression found in different glosses which declare that the elements of the Patākā and Prakarī are of optional use.

The fifth element of the plot is the denounement (kārya) which depicts the cause or the motif of the play. It is the Kārya of which the attainment is desired, for which all efforts are directed and the achievement of which closes the action. The objects of achievement which constitute the denouncement of a play are the three object of human existence; and the Kārya is said to be simple if it deals with one of them (śuddha) or mixed (miśra) if it is associated with one or more objects.

The mode of behaviour of the principal character is called his bearing (Vṛtti) and varies with the nature of sentiment that has prepossessed his mind for the time being. According to the Sāhitya-darpaṇa the demeanour of the heroine or the counter-hero, if equally conspicuous, may as well be considered under the heading of the Vṛttis.

In this paper the Kaiśikī, Sāttvatī, Āravatī and Bhāratī Vṛttis are discussed. Kaiśikī is that mode of conduct which is Gay and which is associated with delightful vivacity and full of charming expressions of love by means of songs, dance and coquetry. According to Abhinava Guptapāda it is the most charming Vṛtti. It has four sub-divisions, namely, (i) Pleasantry (Narma) (ii) Bloom of pleasantry (Narma-sphūrja), (iii) Overture of Pleasantry (Narma-sphoṭa) and (iv) Covert Pleasantry (Narma-garbha).

Sāttvatī is that mode of bearing, which is characterized with noble qualities and rightousness and is free from grief. According to Abhinava Bhāratī, it essentially pertains to the mental action (mano-vyāpāra) expressed by means of verbal expressions. In the opinion of Bharata it belongs to Vīra, Raudra, and Adbhūta rasas. It has also four sub-divisions namely, (i) Discourse (Sanllāpaka), (ii) Challenge (Utthāpaka), (iii) Disintegration (Saṅghātya) and (iv) Change of action (Parivartaka).

Ārabhaṭī is that mode of conduct which is full of fierce fights, varied struggle and outrageous deeds. The horrific bearing is generally conspicuous in the form of bodily activities and Abhinava Guptapada specifically calls it to consist in physical movements (Kāya-Vyāpāra). It has also four sub-divisions which are (i) Compression (Sankṣiptika), (ii) Reconitre (Sampheta), (iii) Tumult (Avapta) and (iv) Production of matter (Vastutthapana).

Bhāratī Vṛtti essentially differs from the previous ones; for they deal with the procedural aspect of hero’s activities whereas it deals mainly with declamation and takes into account only the mode of speech. It is called Bhāratī or the eloquent bearing after the actors who are in generic sense called Bharatas. It has four sub-divisions: Prarocanā, Vīthī, Prahasana and Āmukha. Here all of the four Vṛttis are discussed differently.

It reveals that the drama Veṇīsaṃhāra contains some of the Rasas like, Vīra Rasa, Sṛngāra Rasa, Bhayānaka Rasa, etc. and so on.

Nāṭya is the representation of every day life which is full of diverse activities prompted by different desires, longings and yearnings of a human being. The ordinary state of human nature is compared of passion which makes a man long for the attainment of the desired object with a consequent success or failure. This usual mental state of being depends upon the three fundamental elements of Nature (prakṛti) noted by psychologists as Sāttva, rajas and tamas. They are seldom found to be operating in their pure individual form. Generally, it is an admixture on any two or even at times of all three that functions the entire machinery of human mind. These three elements in their admixed state generally behave in a compromising manner with the effect that one usually remains dominant at a particular moment and the other or others remain subservient to it. As a result of their operation, a large number of mental states are formed which become visible in the actions of mind, speech and body of human being.

Rasa contains Sāttvika Bhāvas. It is the combination of some elements, namely, (1) Perspiration (Sveda), (2) Stupefaction (Stambha), (3) Tremour (Kampa), (4) Tears (Aśru), (5) Horripilation (Romānca), (6) change of Voice (Svara-beda), (7) Swoon (Pralaya), (8) Pallor (Vaivarnya).

The Sthāyī Bhāvas also have some elements like, (i) Prema, (ii) Sneha, (iii) Mana, (iv) Praṇaya, (v) Rāga etc.

The other type of Bhāva is Vyābhicarī-bhāvas or transitory states, for they are susceptible to any major feeling or emotion of longer duration.

It appears that Rasa Carana has a special role in the drama.

The very connotation of the term Rasa is that which can be relished.” Effect of the relish of the Rasa, metaphorically called flavour, is very wonderful. It creates an ecstatic joy in the heart of the enjoyer and leaves upon him an impression of wonder (camatkāra), which is the source of uncommon delight (lakottara-ānanda). It is compared to the bliss enjoyed by a yogin when he is in unison with self. The relish of Rasa creates a concentrated state of mental harmony (sattvodreka) unadulterated with any other element of human nature; and for this reason, irrespective of the nature and substratum of a particular type of rasa which is relished, there is an outcome of joy to a sensible person (sahṛdaya). That is why even Karuṇa-rasa or Bibhatsa-rasa with grief and disgust as their basic features produce a state of jubilance in the mind of the enjoyer, and elevate him to the realm of total bliss. It is so possible for the simple reason that an enjoyer in course of his cognition (bhāvanā) of a rasa feels that his individual existence in this world which is subjected to diverse disabilities by virtue of his birth, caste, status, wealth and other circumstances sinks, and he is full sympathy with the sentiment which is an expression of Self.

It reaveals that there is the presence of Rasa–Vyākti in the Veṇīsaṃhāra.As stated above Bhāva and Rasa are the objects of suggestion and not of denotation. They should not be directly expressed by manifested through such words and sense (and accents when read) as being out the suggestion. The expression in such cases becomes the vehicle of suggestion, for the expression is the means and the suggestion is the end. All the same, wonder (camatkāra) is, in fact, common to both inasmuch as even the expression can be embellished in a variety of ways by the article of the poet, and posses a charm which may be of its own kind. In a piece of composition, therefore, there may be a charm (camatkṛti) in expression (vācya) as well as in suggestion (vyāngya). No doubt the type of wonder would differ and there amy be a keen struggle between the two, where both remain present. In such a case the wonder may vary in degress; and relative appreciation will abide by the rule of quantum meruit. For instance, when a feeling or an emotion is suggested, there is wonder in it as such; and suppose the mode of expression there, is also creative of wonder, then there is duality of wonder which presents a threefold possibility: (i) wonder in suggestion surpassing in merits the wonder in expression, (ii) the latter subduing the former, and (iii) both of them ranking pari passu.

It may be noted in this connection that the Vyābhīcāribhāva may, in this way, belong to both the types; and according to its prominence, it may either be a subordinated suggestion or a dominant one. Similarly, an emotion (sthāyin) may also be a sub-ordinate or a dominant suggestion. In its sub-ordinate capacity, it may have two forms: one, where it is secondary to the wonder in expression (vācya-camatkāra) like any other feeling; and the second, where it may be sub-ordinate to any other feeling suggested there. In the latter case, an emotion may subserve a feeling even though it may dominate over the charm of expression. In both these alternatives, where the emotions manifests itself as sub-ordinate either to the charm of expression or the charm of suggestive feeling, the emotion remains only as emotion, a sthāyin” but does not ripen into that mellow form of a charm known as rasa, which is the transcendent characteristic of poetry. It is, therefore, to be clearly understood that the manifestation of rasa is always a dhvani, for it always excels all charms presented by denotation or suggestion of another feeling. Rasa knows subordinate to none, but in its own group may permit one of its own kind to lead the trend of the composition and behave as its best ally and foster its development in a play to its summum magnum.

It appears that Śṛṅgāra or Adya–Rasa, prevails in the drama Veṇīsaṃhāra.

The emotion of amor (rati) develops into the erotic sentiment, Śṛṅgāra or Adya-rasa. The indirect causes (ālambana) of this sentiment are a man and a woman, who love each other in pursuit of conjugal pleasures. It is promoted by various exciting factors which may be broadly classifies into two categories: one, internal which pertains to ālambana, and the other, external which refers to the outside world. The age of a damsel attracts only at particular stages.

They are:

(i) Adolescence (Vayas-saṅdhi) is the age, growing from childhood to youth–say, the age between fourteen to eighteen years.

(ii) Fresh youth (nava-yauvana) which ranges from eighteen to twentytwo years is an age marked with slight development of breast, lovely smile, sprightly looks and modest influence of Love.

(iii) Blooming youth (Vyākta-yauvana) is conspicuous with prominent breast, linear waist, and gay apprearance and dolphin looks.

(iv) Full youth (Purṇa-yauvana) is characterized by fascinating bright limbs, slim waist, corpulent hips, amplitude of breasts and tapering thighs.

Age has much to do with attraction more in a woman than in a man so far as personal charms are concerned.

The second physical charm of a damsel is her personal lineaments, and consists in her natural grace adoring the body without the use of any ornament or decoration.

Lāvanya or loveliness is that glaze on the skin which glisters like the luster of a pearl.

Saundarya or beauty consists in the proper growth of every limb and its joints, and symmetrical constitution of the body which at one attracts even at a casual sight.

Abhirūpatā or comeliness is that quality or every limb which attains a hall-mark of beauty. It equals or surpasses the accepted standards of comparison, e. g. the set of teeth like a rosary of crystals, face like petals of rose, hair like a string of bees and so on.

Mādhurya or sweetness is an inextollable charm mainly consisting of uniformity and ever-fresh attraction.

Mārdava or delicacy is incapacity to bear a contact with any thing calling for hardihood. It is again of three degrees, high delicacy, the middling delicacy and the standard delicacy. High delicacy may be illustrated by reference to the night and found the flowers unfaded in the morning, but her body scarred with callus here and there. The middling delicacy may be seen in a body rubbed red by a flirting contact with a fringe of silk muslin worn by her. Face assuming a copper colour, fatigued, and perspiring even in contact with early sunbeams, and panting after a few hāsty steps on a level ground is the norm of a female delicacy.

It appears that neither Vipralambha nor Sambhoga is present in Veṇīsaṃhāra.

Śṛṅga, in accordance with the situation of love, is two-fold: Love-inseparation or Vipralambha -Sṛṅga; and the other, love-in-union or SambhogaSṛṅga.

Vipralambha is that sentiment of love which subsists between the loving couple when theya re not united either physically or emotionally. Sambhoga on the other hand, is a love-in-union. It should be expressly understood that union is a state of mental agreement. The co-existence or even the juxta-position of the two lovers cannot warrant the situation of love-in-union. Even if they live together there is no love-in-union or experience of the Sambhoga-Śṛṅgārra in case either of them suffers from perverseness of attitude. Sambhoga-Śṛṅgārra is a very delicate situation, and it prevails only when the couple are ad idem in toto in their amorous pursuits. In the amatory demesne, it is the Vipralambha that has a longer course to run, and is to be met with in two stages of the erotic carrer. Firstly, it prevails in the nature of want of union before love is, in fact, accomplished; and secondly, it is in the nature of disunion after love is once accomplished. The latter one is more due to circumstances which do not permit a close contact between the couple, but this stage only tends to heighten the affection and lends charm to the long-awaited union. The well-known maxim does every inch bear truth when Bharata says, “Without disunion, love does not ripen and become delicious, just as the cloth does not bear a faster coulour unless it is once tinged.”

The Vipralambha Śṛṅgāra which is due to love in its unaccomplished stage is called Pūrva-rāga or love-in-longing.

It may conveniently be called Love-in-courtship or the wooing love. It is defined as the love awakened in the hearts of the yearning couple and lasts upto the stage of consummation. It is aroused by various means: the first is the very first sight of the object of interest. The visual contact may be personal or real.

The Prauḍha type of Pūrva-rāga prevails easily among the adult lovers whose leanings are fairly developed so that the moment it sprouts, it becomes effective and arrests the yearning heart. It starts with a strong passion (lālasā), resulting in eagerness (autsukya) and impatience (capalatā) and heavy breaths.

The next tupe of Pūrva-rāga is the the balanced one (sāmañjasa), which is mostly experienced by the adolescent lovers whose sense of amor is not boisterous, and develops in a steady way. The balanced type of Pūrva-rāga is said to progress in the ten stages.

Separation is equally possible even after love is accomplished and union is one affected. The activities of life and tendencies of human nature are so varied in fact, that they cannot help presenting a plurality of reasons for causing subsequent separation. The most ordinary reason which may place a couple at distance is journey. Either of the pair may be required to leave the spot and go elsewhere on purposes of emergency. Residence at a distant place may again be voluntary or involuntary. Voluntary sojourn is the one wherein a spouse is away to a short or long distance on some business. During this state almost all the Vyābhīcāri except joy, pride, intoxication and bashfulness may prevail in the minds of the separated couple.

In fine, Vipralambha is of three types: one due to Āyoga, or pre-union separation, and the other two are the forms of Viprayaga or post-union separation, resulting from distant situation or perverseness. Yet Viśvanātah has a one more type, namely, Karuṇa-Vipralambha which is pathetic love-inseparation, and contemplates of a situation where the lovers are separated–may be before union or after it–and one of them knows or believes that his partner has passed away from this world but has been given an assurance by some supernatural power that he will soon be re-united with the lost partner. That is why, grief reigns there as a stationary emotion to give rise to Pathetic sentiment (karuṇa), yet it is temporary because revival is to take place.

Since the tragic end is conventionally averted, the state of Vipralambha cannot prolong to an unreasonable length, and is to be got over at length. The means and course of ending of Vipralambha are bound to vary according as its origin differs. For the Vipralambha due to āyoga in the Pūrva-rāga ends in the physical union or the consummation of marriage. Vipralambha due to Pravāsa ends no sooner than the lover or the beloved returns home from the sojourn. If it is in the nature of śāpa, then it will end only with the period of śāpa. Generally such malediction is provided with some means of redemption which may become possible only after lapse of some time or by fulfillment of some condition prescribed in the behalf or by fulfillment of some condition prescribed in that behalf. In fact, it is more or less automatic that sapaja Vipralambha comes to an end. But mana is the one delicate type of circumstance in Vipralambha, and the expedients for securing relief from it require a clever and sagacious use before they can bring in success. The natural mana cannot dwell for long, for deep-rooted affection can hardly permit such a mental attitude to prevail beyond a certain length of time.

Love untouched by Vipralambha in any shape whatsoever, and in course of which the spouse enjoys complete harmony of mind, is the substratum of the sambhoga-sṛngāra. With the variety of amorous sports and sensual pleasures that the couple can invent for enjoying the mutual company, sambhoga Śṛṅgāra can be of countless designs and presents no scope for generalization and classification. Yet for the reason that every enjoyment can present a distinction in the shape of degrees, and more so, in case of union which follows some kind of separation or the other, and is sure to vary in form and extent.

Grief (Śoka) arising from the loss of a kindred, or huge wealth, or from some insurmountable difficulty assumes the form of the Pathetic sentiment, Karuṇa Rasa when manifested by means of its Vibhāvas, Anubhāvas and the Sañcārī-bhāvas.

The substrata (the ālambhan vibhāvas) of the pathetic sentiment are the deceased kinsman, the lost object or the worst calamity on the one hand, and the sufferer on the other.

It is aroused by some reference to the lost person’s merits, some talks about him, the sight of the articles of his use, a visit to his residence, the occasion where his presence is missed, the days of anniversary, offering libations to him, and similar commemorating scenes. These are some of the facts which serve as the excitants (uddipanā) of the pathos.

The squalor of the sufferer, his shedding or tears, shouting, dullness and choking of throat are the consequences (anubhāvas).

Disgust, swoon, sadness, anxiety, uneasiness, moroseness and stupor are the ancilliary feelings that prevail in the Karuṇa-rasa.

Paleness, shiver, change of voice and stupefaction are the self-existent states that become visible on the person of the aggrieved.

The emotion of wrath (krodha) assumes the form of Raudra rasa when suggested by its relative factors which are as follows:

(i) The ālambana of the Raudra-rasa is the person who has done the wrong.

(ii) His offensive deed, arrogant appearance, insolent behaviour awaken the sentiment and act as the exciting (uddipanā) agents.

(iii) Reddened eyes, smattering teeth, heated talk, handling of weapons, offereing a duel fight are the ensuant features.

(iv) Anger (amarsha), agitation (kṣobha), acrimony (capalatā) are the auxiliary feeling which promote the sentiment.

(v) Change of voice, perspiration are the Sāttvika-bhāvas.

The predominant emotion of zeal or utsaha develops into Vīra-rasa when manifested by means of the suggestive factors in a dramatic composition. The ancients have observed that such a zeal appears running in four channels of human mind and thus presents four patterns when viewed objectively. Their suite of suggestive factors also varies accordingly. They are -(i) Munificent heroism (Dāna-vīra), (ii) Sympathetic Heroism (Dayā-vīra), (iii) Bellicose Heroism (Y udddha-vīra) and (iv) Righteous Heroism (Dharma-vīra).

Humorousness develops into a comic sentiment (Hāsya). The object of ridicule is ālambana 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 (parasthā). 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 hasita) 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.

A predominating state of fear when suggested in a piece of composition develops into the Terrific sentiment (Bhayānaka). The object which frightens is the ālaṃbana, e.g. horrific place, the appearance of wild beasts, the shrieks of jackals and foxes, the howling of owls and the miserable plight of one’s own relations. Loneliness of the spot, want of company, unarmed condition, narration of horrific incidents and the roaring noise often excite the sentiment. Trembling, shrieking, pallid looks, bloodless appearance, shouting for help and scared face are the after-effects of fear. Stupefaction, choking of voice, horripilation, and quiver are the Sāttvika-bhāvas. Suspicion, swoon, agitation, inconstancy, uneasiness, epilepsy and even apprehension of the loss of life are the auxiliary feelings that promote the Terrific sentiment.

Disgust transforms into the Loath some sentiment (Bibhatsya) when brought out by means of the suggestive factors. The ugly object or the horrid scene is the ālaṃbana. It is generally aroused by filthy descriptions, obscene sights and talks. Squalor of body, turning of face, conspuing at the sight, making wry faces are the anubhāvas. Agitation, capilepsy (apasmāra), retching sensation, disease and apprehension of death are some of the feelings that remain acilliary to the emotion of disgust.

The mental state of surprise develops into Marvellous sentiment (Adbhuta). The wonderful object or an unexpected incident or performance of the impossible, like the feats of jugglers becomes the ālaṃbana of the marvelous sentiment. The circumstances surrounding such an object or incident excite the feeling. The unwinking gaze, broadening of eyes, use of interjections, twisting of fingers are some of the expressions that ensure from the rise of the adbhuta-rasa. Stupor, perplexity, dumb foundedness, and flurry are the ancilliary feelings that support the sentiment. It is generally followed by such self-existent states as stupefaction, flow of tears, horripilation and choked voice.

“These are eight sentiments which are said to prevail in a dramatic composition,” says, Bharata.

In addition to the eight rasas the later canonists propound that Quietistic (Śānta) is also the ninth sentiment[1] which develops from Nirveda or Sāma, the tranquility of mind, which forms the permanent attitude (sthāyī bhava) according to them. The universe realized as unsubstantial becomes the ālaṃbana. The study of the Upaniṣadic texts, the visit to the penance-groves, meeting with sages and seers excite the sentiment. Disinterest in the sensual pleasures (tṛṣṇākṣya), indifference to friends and foes alike, meditation and steadfastness and Unmāda are the ancilliary feelings. The Śānta-rasa causes horripilatton, perspiration, cool tears and change of voice which are its Sāttvika-bhāvas.

It appears from the dram that there is a great inter-ralation of Rasas in the play Veṇīsaṃhāra.

Incidentally, it is necessary to discuss very briefly the relationship of the different phases of Rasas, for an analytical study of the nature of these sentiments evinces that some of them present light moods, wheras others cause a serious attitude of mind. For instance, the comic and the erotic sentiments give rise to gay and jolly attitude, but the furious and the heroic do not do so. Then again, the pathetic and the quietistic do not admit of light-heartedness at all. The state of consternation and wonder cannot but cause a person to be beside himself. Thus it becomes evident that the various types of sentiments essentially differ from one another in respect of their nature, composition and after-effects. As the very constitution of this Universe bears the stamp of pleasure and pain blended together, any cosmic relation causing a physical or mental contact with a mundane phenomenon is sure to yield sometimes joy and at others course misery.[2] An unadulterated happiness is, in ordinary course of human life, an alien feature in a mortal society unless some psychological or mystic device is there to raise a human being above the infirmities of flesh and blood.

Technically a Vṛtta may be compsed of monosyllabic or bisyllabic quarters, still Bharata has not recognized a Vṛtti with less than a hexa-syllabic quarter. The play wrights and the classical poets too have not patronized meters of shorter pattern than the octo-syllabic ones, though their genius could have conveniently permitted them to do so. For this reason the shorter Vṛttas are not dealt with here.

A variety of Vṛttas is formed on account of the combination of four quarters, which may be either all uniform or may be dissimilar. On this ground, Vṛttas become capable of a major classification, and are accordingly divided into three categories:

1. Regular meters (Sama-vṛttas) are those which contain all the four quarters of equal measure both in respect of number of syllables and the order of their succession.

2. Semi-regular meters (Ardha-sama Vṛttas) are those which are partially uniform inasmuch as they contain quarters of two types which may differ from one another both in the number of syllables and their order of succession as well. This is again possible in three ways: (i) the first and the third quarter agreeing with the second and the fourth one respectively, the scheme of combination being in the aa bb form; (ii) the first quarter agreeing with the fourth one and the second quarter agreeing with the third one, the scheme of agreement being in ab ba form; (iii) and lastly, one hemistich[3] agreeing with the other hemistich, the sheme of composition being in the aa bb form. Out of these three forms, the first and the third are more in vogue.

3. The third category is of the Viṣama or irregular Vṛttas, where no quarter agrees with the other, or one of the quarters, at least, is dissimilar to the other three quarters. It is avariety which admits of all sorts of irregularity.

So far as the dramatic literature is concerned, the Sama-Vṛttas are more popular as compared to the Ardha-sama ones of which only a few specimens have found favour with the playwrights. The stanzas of the Viṣama class present an exteme rarity.

Among the Sama-vṛttas then, the first point of distinction is by virtue of the numerical strength of the stanzaic line. From this point of view Bharata has recorded the following generic names to the different classes of Vṛttas.

ARTHOPAKṢEPAKAS: From the point of view of portrayal, the plot of a drama is again of three kinds, viz., the Indicative (Śucya), the Audible (Śravya), and the Narrative or Visible (unmeya or dṛsya).

All that is preliminary or subsidiary or lengthy or uninteresting or incapable of portrayal but needed for connecting the different episodes of a drama belongs to the Indicative class of events. There are certain recognized modes for indicating such matters relating to the plot. They are five in number and are called the Intermediary scenes or Arthopakṣepakas in as much as they set forth the subject (artha) of the play.

(i) Explanatory Scence (Viṣkambha or Viṣkambhaka): It presents before the audience those portions of the story which link the events that have already taken place and those that are yet to happen. It purpose to make a long a short of past events and acquaint the specatators with them so that they can easily pick up the yarn of the story and connect the events that are to follow. Such a scene may be monologue or a conversation between two or more characters.

(ii) Introductury Scene (Praveśaka): The second mode of indication is the use of an Introductory Scene. Its function is almost the same as that of the Viṣkambhaka, but it is presented by inferior characters in language which is not elevated (udatta). It serves the purpose of explaining matters omitted between two Acts. It is intended never to be used in the first Act, for its definition clearly prescribes that it is always to be put in between two Acts. In a Praveśaka, Bharata says, all characters should use the Prākṛta language, but Śāradātanaya and Sāgaranandin following Mātṛgupta permit the use of Sankrit also in case the Praveśaka is conducted by such characters as the ascetics, brāhmanas, sages, kañcukins and rakes (vita).

According to Bharata, the Praveśaka has a five-fold purpose to serve: (i) It is meant for indication of time including the season or the part of the day in which the action is taking place; (ii) The inner purpose of some particular move is also explained by means of the Praveśaka; (iii) A mstate of bewilderment (sambhrama) due to plurality of action or the implicit nature of some momentous acts could be brought out through a Praveśaka; (iv) Sometimes a major endeavour or the attainment of some expedients likely to help endeavour or the attainment of some expedients likely to help the consummation of the principal motif is idicated by a Praveṣaka; (v) It may also be used for introducing the nucleus of the events of the succeeding act.[4] Sagarānandin observes that a Praveśaka could also be employed of the purpose of intimating long journeys and sketching the happenings in course of such journeys. In fact, it is an effective device for condensing events ranging over a long duration of time. It is employed mostly in such cases where even at the end of an Act the argument could not be completely set forth because of multiplicity of motives and actions.

The hero and heroin are prominent in the drama Veṇīsaṃhāra. Yudhiṣṭhira is the hero and Draupadī is the Heroin are the main focus in the drama.

The essential qualifications of a hero are enumerated by Abhinava, Kālidāsa as generousity, grandeur, high birth, prudence, comeliness, valour and piety. These different qualities make him a perfect a man. He is adventurous and yet God-fearing. He is eminently regardful of his duty to himself, to his peoples, and to his religion. Without this much of personal equipment none is demed worthy of being a leading character of a play for want of imitable virtues in him. To these qualities, Siṅga Bhūpāla addss a few more characteristics, as cleaverness in conversation, sense of gratefulness, statesmanship, self-confidence, brilliance, love of art and amiability of disposition. Profundity of character, sympathetic temperament, sense of emulation and purity are a few features which are added by Śri Kṛṣṇa Kavi to the other accepted features of a hero in general. Vāgbhaṭṭa, of course, has got the longest list of qualities necessary for a hero, that comprises as many as twenty-eight covetable accomplishments;[5] but all that is required of a principal character is summed up by Viśvanātha in his text, “Munificent, cleaver, high born, handsome, youthful, enthusiastic, prompt, devoted by people, powerful and tactful is the nature of a hero.” To be possessed of the Śāstric vision is one of the essential merits of a hero according to Dhanañjaya. Gunacandra is still brief in defining a hero who is possessed of the prominent virtues, neither vicious nor befallen in calamities.

The hero or the principal character is classified into four types; namely, dhīrodātta, dhīra-lalita, dhīroddhata, and dhīrapraśānta. Though the naïve tendencies of each of these types depend mainly upon the heredity, social environment and professional career as discussed above, still for purposes of dramatic delineation, it is their mode of acquittal, their actual frame of mind, line of thought and action that determines their types according as they disclose, on the whole, the Udātta, the Lalita, the Uddhata or the Praśānta character. All the same, it becomes an essential qualification of a hero that eh shouldbe at all events dhīra, i.e. full of fortitude and courage, and should be possessed of the nerve to bear the brunt and withstand all the undulations of the billows that toss him up and down in the tidal waters of human life.

A hero is deemed to be Udātta or of gallant character if he evinces a spirit of tolerance (kṣamā), gravity of outlook (ati-gambhiratā), absence of boastfulness (avikattahānah).

The next important character is the heroine (Nāyikā) who is the very life-breath of an amatory play. It is the portrayal of this character that may be called the touchstone of the playwright’s skill of acquittal which is the vouch for the ultimate success of the dramatic art. The heroine, as in other respects too, surpasses the hero in diversity of her characteristics as well as her qualities, both personal and natural.

The types of the heroine may be, in the first place, considered from the point of view of nature of her association with the hero. She may be associated with him as his legally wedded wife, in which case she is the Śviya Nāyikā or the married consort. The heroine may not be the married consort and yet may have fallen in love with him. In such a case she is called Parakīyā as distinguished from the one who belongs to the hero. The third type of association may be of a courtesan, a dancing girl or a common harlot arresting the heart of a lascivious hero. Such a courtesab is called a commoner or a Sādhārana-stṛī. So the heroine is primarily of three types whose natural characteristics are as follows:

1. The Married consort (Śviya = Ātmiya): She is a caste lady devoted to the domestic duties, modest in behaviour and straightforward in her dealings. She is a partner both in times of weal and of woe like Sītā of Rāmacandra.

2. The Unwedded (Parakīyā): She may be a virgin or a mistress. The former is a bashful firl, blooming in youth and is without the wedlock. The latter one is an immodest adulteress seeking an association while in sojourn or in out-door frivolities, being prompted or pressed by her libidinous tendencies. Dhanañjaya holds the view that such a character should not form the substratum of the principal sentiment and be not ordinarily introduced in a play as the chief character except in case of the Farce (prahasana).

3. Commoner (Sādhārnī): She is common girl allowing free admittance to the one and all. She is always fully developed and is a self-controlled figure. She is stern in attitude a stiff in bheavious. Her love is mostly a pecuniary gamble. She is remarkable for her inconstancy and does not abhor the vicious, nor woo the meritorious. She has got a group of lick-pennis around her, rakes, fools, thieves and eunuchs who fleece her habitués who are, when robbed of all their possessions in due course, driven out the house through the agency of the grannie or the old beldam who is her marker in the art of love-making.[6] among the commoners also, some-times extremely devoted to one lover an showers genuine affection upon him.

It may be noted here that the dramatic literature has only the latter type of hetaerae who may be socially or professionally called courtesans; but virtually they are as sweet and chaste as any other type of the heroine could be expected. Of this class Urvaśī or Vasantasenā stand as instances.

Although from the view-point of the nature of their association with the hero, the heroins are thus of three types; yet, in fact, it is their behaviour that forms the crucial test for purpose of classification. Their stage of love, its development or depth is the factor to determine their type. Accordingly, each one of the above-mentioned may be of three kinds: the shy, the free, and the bold. They are defined as follows:

1. Youthful (Mugdha), 2 Adolescent (Madhya) and 3 Mature (Prāgalbha).

A Patāka-sthānaka is an indication of a matter other than what is contemplated by the mention of something which, though extraneous, tends to oblige the motif of the play. the Patākā-sthānakas are, in all, four in number which is in keeping with the Bharata’s dictum of the subject. No specific names are given to them, but they are distinguished inter se by the use of the ordinal numerals prefixed to them. According to Bharata and his followers they are verily defined as below:

1. The first (prathama) Patākā-sthānaka consists of an abrupt revelation of facts which in the acquisition of a desired object. The abruptness is the source of wonder in this case, and it amuses the visitors on account of the unexpected turn that the events take in course of the dramatic action.

2. It becomes a second (dvitīyā) type of Patākā-sthānaka where a statement is full of suggestion on account of its text being capable of giving out more than one sense.

3. The third Patākā-sthānaka presents itself at a spot where a deuplicate sense brought forth by means of a play on words suggests an idea which falls in suit with the subject-matter in discourse. This is more appreciable when it consists of an equivocal catechism, as is presented in the Chamberlian’s dialogue with Duryodhana in the second Act of the Veṇīsaṃhāra or in the dialogue of Cānakya and Siddhārthaka in the Mudrārākṣasa.

4. The fourth (caturtha) patākā-sthānaka becomes available where there is some statement full of pun which is directly related to the subject-matter of the play ad brings in suggestively the motive of the action. A suitable illustration is found in the Ratnāvalī, where by common adjectives capable of yielding dual sense, reference is made to the acquisition of yielding dual sense, reference is made to the acquisition of Ratnāvalī who is put together with Vāsavadatta’s her co-wife.

According to the oriental theory of Sanskrit drama, our play contains all the five Sandhis. The Mukha Sandhi and Pratimukha Sandhi cover Acts I and II respectively. Act III, IV constitute the Garbha Sandhi. Act V and a portion of the Act VI form the Vimarṣa Sandhi; while the Nirvāhaṇa Saṅdhi is to be found in the last act after the appearance of the blood-smeared Bhīma sena on the stage.

A Sandhi is the combination of different phases of the main action with its subsidiaries. Thus is said to mark the component divisions of the dramatic action. With regard to the constitution of these Sandhis there are two schools of option one holding that the formation of dramatic Junctures depends upon the combination of the different stages of action (avasthā) with the respective Sources of the plot Prakṛti; the other demarcating them in view of the different phases of the dramatic germ sprouting from its initial appearance to its fruition at the end.

According to the first school there are five Sandhis in a drama which respectively copulate each stage of action to its corresponding substratum of the plot. Thus where the germ (bīja) is associated with the commencement of action, it present the first Juncture known as opening or Mukha-sandhi, which may on the analogy of the Greek Drama, be termed conveniently as the Protasis of the play. In course of Mukha-sandhi the main theme is introduced, the seed of the action is shown. After the commencement of the action, it is usual that the main subject is digressed by the under-current of events which intervenes the course of development of the principal action. For such reason, there starts the stage of Endeavour which is gradually associated with Bindu or the sudden drop of such events as resume the main theme. Thus the meeting point of the stage of Endeavour with the element of Drop starts the Pratimukha Sandhi or the Expansion of the dramatic action. The third stage of action, namely, the hope of getting the objects is often associated with the episode which helps in removing impediments that stand in the way of the principal character. In this way the conjunction of Prāptyāśā with Patākā the third Juncture known as the Development of action, the Garbha-sandhi or Catastasis in a drama. The prospect of success is further put a premium to by the actions of certain minors helpers whose efforts of shorter duration known as incidents ensure the Certainly of success. Thus the stage of Niyatāpati blended with the element of Prakarī brings in the Juncture of Vimarṣa-sandhi or the Pause, which may be termed as the Epitasis in a drama. The surety of success thus anticipated, results in the fruition of the objects, and the phalāgama combines with the denouement (kārya) of the play towards its end. It presents the fifth juncture called the Nirvāhana or Upasaṃhāra Sandhi, the Consummation or the Apodosis in a drama.

The view that the Juncture are meant for catenating the five stages of action with corresponding five elements of plot is held prominently by Dhanañjaya, Siṅga Bhūpāla and Śāradātanaya,[7] who seems to base their opinion more on the strength of the Nāṭyaveda than that of Bharata’s Nāṭyaśāstra.

Their theory, which may be distinctively called as the Coambulation theory of junctures, can be clearly stated in the Following form:

Serial stage of No. Action Element of Plot Juncture
I. Ārambha + Bīja (Germ) = Mukha-saṅdhi
II. Prayatna + Bindu (Drop) = Pratimukha-saṅdhi
III. Prāptyasa + Patākā(Episode) = Garbha-saṅdhi
IV. Niyatāpti + Prakarī (Incident) = Vimarśa-saṅdhi
V. Phalāgama + Kārya (Denouement) = Nirvahana-saṅdhi

Bhaṭṭanārāyaṇa, a dramatist of great repute showed his great skill in applying the technicalities of drāmāturgy as laid down by Bharata, Ānandavardhana, Viśvanātha and others. In the drama Veṇīsaṃhāra the author has made some innovations. In spite of which, the drama occupies a place of pride in the Sanskrit literature.

Footnotes and references:


For the case of Santa for being admitted to the category of Rasas and its various Suggestive factors and the survey of the development of the thought in favour of its recognition, vide Raghavan, The Number of Rasas.


There is a good deal of controversy among the canonists in regard to their opinion about the nature of rasas: There is one school of thought represented by Ananda-vardhana, Mammata and Jagannatha who consider that in the realm of Poetry there is nothing but delight (Lokottarananda)–Rasagaṅgādhara p. 4, 9. According to them the psychological forces of cognition and fruition (bhavakatva and bhogakriva) relieve them of the miserable aspect of life and cause the mortal limitations to be sunk in the relish of the sentimental wonder (rasa-eamatkrti). It is all bliss, something akin to mystic pleasure, that an aesthetician enjoys while relishing the piquancy of dramatic sentiment. The other school of thought headed by the authors of the Natya-darpana, and of the Kanthabharana does not believe in this camouflage (Doṣa- vyapara), and thinks that rasas are both in the nature of pleasure as well as of pain.




N. XVIII–37.


K. A. Chap. V p. 62; P. R. I-II, 12.


Sāhityadarpaṇa Ibid.; Rasārṇava-sudhākara i-117. Note that Rudrata and Singabhupala do not consider it to be undramatic ot employ commoners as heroines. Vide Rasārṇava-sudhākara p. 30, LI. 13, 14.


Daśarūpaka I -22-23; Rasārṇava-sudhākara III-26”. Bhāva Prakaśa p. 207, Li. 9 10

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