Hanuman Nataka (critical study)

by Nurima Yeasmin | 2015 | 41,386 words

This page relates ‘Padalalitya in the Hanumannataka’ of the English study on the Hanuman-nataka written by Shri Damodara Mishra in the 11th century. The Hanumannataka is a Mahanataka—a fourteen-act Sanskrit drama dealing with the story of Rama and Hanumat (Hanuman) and presents the events in the lifes of Rama, Sita, Ravana and Hanuman (the son of Anjana and Vayu—the God of the Winds) based on the Ramayana story.

8. Padalālitya in the Hanumannāṭaka

The term Padalālitya (elegance of words) is a much uttered one in classical Sanskrit literature. But as there is not found any clear or definite exposition of the word in any work on rhetorics, it becomes somewhat difficult to show the very significance or the meaning of the term Padalālitya. On the other hand, the term Padalālitya indicates only the loveliness or gracefulness or elegance of words used in a literary piece. The oft-quoted line, viz. naiṣadhe padalālityaṃ indicates the fact that the word Padalālitya stands for the alliteration of soft sound caused by the Vṛtti called Upanāgarikā or Lāṭikā.

There are three varieties of the Vṛtti (style of composition), which are found to be mentioned by Udbhaṭa in his Kāvyālaṃkāraṣārasa ṃgraḥ (Kāvyālaṃkārasārasaṃgraḥ of Udbhaṭa). These three types of the Vṛtti are known as the Paruṣā, the Upanāgarikā and the Grāmyā. These three Vṛttis come only because of the setting or selection of sound in composition. Among the three Vṛttis, the Upanāgarikā[1] one is defined by Udbhaṭa in his Kāvyālaṃkārasārasaṃgraḥ of Udbhaṭa It is explained by the commentator Pratihārendurāja by saying that whenever there exist reduplicated consonants like Kka, Ppa, Cca and the like, or if there exist mutes in the form of conjuncts with the last sound of the Varga and if such reduplicated sounds are employed more than once, then that piece of literary work is considered to be marked with the Vṛtti called the Upanāgarikā. Another important rhetorician, Abhinavagupta termed this Upanāgarikā as the Lālitāvṛtti. According to Abhinavagupta, the alliteration of soft sounds causes the Vṛtti called the Upanāgarikā which goes by the denomination ‘Lālitā’ also. This notion of Abhinavagupta is found in his famous Locana[2] commentary on the Dhvanyāloka of Ānandavardhana. The modern scholars also agree that Padalālitya can be recognized in the cases in which there exists the Vṛtti called Lālitā. It can be said in this context that the ten verses starting from the navālatā[3]... to the marullalat[4] … of Canto I of the Naiṣadhacarita (Naiṣadha-carita) contain the illustration of this Upanāgarikāvṛtti or the Lalitāvṛtti. These verses are said to possess Padalālitya. These and such other verses in Śrīharṣa’s work, have paved the ground for the oft-quoted saying viz., naiṣadhe padalālityaṃ.

On the basis of this notion, it can be said that Padalālitya, exists in alliteration of softer sounds. The term can be explained as–lalitasya bhāvaḥ = lālityaṃ, padagataṃ lālityaṃ = padalālityaṃ. Hence we may conclude that padalālitya [padalālityaṃ] is a quality (guṇa)[5] of a Kāvya like other guṇa, viz. Upamā (alaṃkāra) and arthagaurava (gravity of words), which speaks of the charm of alliterated words. The author of the Hanumannāṭaka is also a master in handling it. In the verse dviḥ śaraṃ[6] …………………...…, rāme syāme sakāme[7] …………………………..……. gāḍaṃ[8] …….,madanadahana[9] …, śaṅke śaśāṅke[10] … etc. there are found Padalālitya.

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

sarūpasaṃyogayutaṃ mūrddhnivargāntayogibhiḥ sparśairyutāṃ ca manyante upanāgarikāṃ budhāḥ Kāvyālaṃkārasārasaṃgraḥ of Udbhaṭa, 1.5

[2]:

maṣṛnānuprāsā upanāgarikā lalitā nāgarikayā vidagdhayā upamiteti kṛtvā. Dhvanyāloka,Vol. I, p.30

[3]:

navā latā gandhavahena cumbitā karambitāṅgi makarandaśikaraiḥ/
dṛśā nṛpeṇa smitaśobhikudmalā dārādarābhyāṃ darakampinī pape. Naiṣadha-carita, I.85

[4]:

marullalatpallavakaṇṭakaiḥ kṣataṃ
samucchalaccandanasārasaurabhaṃ
sa vāranārikucasaṃkocitopamaṃ
dadarśa māluraphalaṃ pacelimām—Naiṣadha-carita, I.87

[5]:

upamākālidāsasya, p.131

[6]:

dviḥ śaraṃ nābhisaṅdhatte dviḥ sthāpayati nāśritān/
dvirdadāti na cārthibhyo rāmo dvirnābhibhāṣate// Hanumannāṭaka,I. 48

[7]:

rāme śyāme sakāme spṛśati janakajāpāṇipadmaṃ pradattaṃ
pitra netrālipadme pravarapuravadhūmaṇḍalānāṃ muhūrte /
tatpāṇisparśasaukhyaṃ paramanubhavatī saccidānandarūpe
tatrāsīd bāṇabhinnā ramaṇaratipateryoganidrāṃ gateva// ibid., I. 57

[8]:

gāḍaṃ gāḍaṃ kamalamukulam puṇḍarīkākṣavakṣaḥ pīṭhaṃ kāṭhinyamapi kucayorjānakī mānakīrṇā/
pūrṇā kāmaiḥ śithilamanilasyāgamāyācakāra nītaṃ sphītaṃ sadayahṛdayaṃ svamināliṅgya matvā// ibid., II.11

[9]:

madanadahanaśuṣyatkāntakāntākucānta rhṛdi malayajapaṅke gāḍabadhākhilāṅghriḥ/
upari vitatapakṣo laksyate’lirnimagnaḥ śara iva kusumeṣoreṣa puṅkhāvaśeṣaḥ// ibid., II.16

[10]:

śaṅke śasāṅke jaguraṅkameke paṅkaṃ kuraṅgaṃ pratibimbitaṅgam/
dhūmaṃ ca bhumaṇḍalamuddhatāgnerviyogajātasya mama priyāyāḥ// ibid., V.21

Let's grow together!

I humbly request your help to keep doing what I do best: provide the world with unbiased sources, definitions and images. Your donation direclty influences the quality and quantity of knowledge, wisdom and spiritual insight the world is exposed to.

Let's make the world a better place together!

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: