Jivanandana of Anandaraya Makhin (Study)
by G. D. Jayalakshmi | 2019 | 58,344 words
This page relates ‘Analysis of Hasya-rasa’ of the study on the Jivanandana (in English) which is a dramatic play written by Anadaraya Makhin in the 18th century. The Jivanandana praises the excellence of Advaita Vedanta, Ayurveda (medical science) and Dramatic literature as the triple agency for obtaining everlasting bliss.
Analysis of Hāsya-rasa
This sentiment, handled by the dramatist in this play has helped the viewer and the reader to ease the mind. Otherwise the plot of the play is quite serious with Advaitic and Ayurvedic concepts.
(i) The conversation between Kāsa and Chardi (Act II), each trying to tease the other by giving the description of their respective names as reflective of their characters and Kāsa’s plight between his two wives raises laughter in the audience (II.5/6; p.73):
kāsaḥ—(vihasya) chardikā khalu tvaṃ prakṛtya | tata kuto na prakāśayasi |
chardiḥ—(vihasya) bhasaṇasīlassa kukkurassyeva tava jāyā khava-ham |
(ii) In the third Act, which begins with Śuddha Viṣkambhaka, Gada, a spy of the Yakṣma side, stealthily enters the hero’s capital in the guise of a mendicant. The alert police arrests him with the help of a Kiṅkara-servant. The conversation of these three characters provides an opportunity for Hāsya.
(iii) In the Śuddha Viskambhaka of fifth Act, again, the author brings a situation for the viewers and readers to enjoy this sentiment.
(iv) The entire soliloquy of Vidūṣaka, at the beginning of Act IV is a fine instance of Hāsyarasa.
1. He has just now had a sumptuous meal. His stomach which was rotund since it had been filled to satisfaction, has now (after a muhurta), become flat like a mat made of grass. (p.179):
āho muhūrtāt pūrvaṃ khāditaṃ mātuluṅgaphalapramāṇānāṃ modakānāṃ śatamapi jīrṇaṃ jātam | yat tasmin samaye dhānyakumbhīpīnottuṅgo mama picaṇḍaḥ sthitaḥ | idānīṃ punastṛṇakṛtakaṭa iva tanūbhavati |
2. The varied smell that comes from the kitchen of the palace fills Vidūṣaka’s nostrils; his mouth is watering and his stomach is burning with hunger like Laṅkā burnt by Hanumān (p.181):
... bahuvidhabhājanaviśeṣaiśca pariśobhamānasya mahānasasya visṛmaro gandhaḥ | ghumaghumāyate me nāsābilam | silasilāyate tālurasanāmūle sunirgatvaraṃ lālājalam | prajvalatīva hanumadvālāgralagnāgniśikhāgṛhītagṛhaparamparaṃ laṅkāpuramiva bubhukṣāturaṃ me udaram |
3. His entire conversation with the king and the minister focusses around food. Even when kings of various countries wait for the audience of king Jīva, and when Jīva enquires about their well-being (kuśalatā), Vidūṣaka wonders how Jīva is not able to understand his (Vidūṣka’s) akuśalam (IV.7/8; p.193):
mantrī—ete svāminaḥ kuśalapraśnena kṛtārthāḥ smaḥ iti vadanti |
vidūṣakaḥ—(svagatam) bubhukṣitasya mamākuśalamiti na jānāti vayasyaḥ |
4. Again, his description of his dinner at the hands of the queen and his declaration that those people who eat elaborately at every meal are the most fortunate ones raises laughter (IV.26):
pṛthvāyāmi vitatya gāruḍamaṇiśyāmaṃ kadalyā dalaṃ śālyannaṃ ghṛtapakkaphāṇitamayāpūpaiḥ sahātrārpitam |
dhanyā eva hi sūpapāyasamadhukṣīrājyadadhyanvitaṃ nānāśākayutaṃ phalaiśca madhurairevaṃ sadā bhuṣjate ||
5. His misunderstanding of the poem recited by a Ceṭi and his declaration that he is a past master in understanding all these and it is not surprising, since he is able to understand his wife’s mutterings well (IV.43/44; p.242):
vidūṣakaḥ-āmātya, kimupahasasi mām | etacchṛṇotu bhavān | vānaryā iva mama gṛhiṇyā āpi ānakṣaraiva vāk | tasyā āpi mamārthabodho bhavati |
(v) In the sixth Act he brings in some comic relief by his blabberings and ignorance when the war between the sides is seriously carried on; but the king has fallen a prey to Atibubhukṣā (VI. 34-36; pp.329-35).
Vidūṣaka feels that he alone can help the king in his serious predicament of excess hunger; he is the best man to cure this disease and not the minister (p.331):
āhamapi etasmin kārye tava sahāyatve dakṣo bhavāmi | jālmena tu vijṣānena bhavān mitabhojane sarvadā śikṣyate | tena vijṣapto'pi tvaṃ tasya vacanaṃ mā kuru |
Again, when Jīva is feeling very ill due to Atibubhukṣā Vidūṣaka’s declaration that only Jīva is caught by the apathyatā-piśācikā and not he, since he (Vidūṣaka) is a ṣaḍveda-brāhmaṇa and the minister’s retort that the use of the word ṣaḍveda by itself shows the deep Vedic knowledge of the Vidūṣaka, creates laughter in the auidence (VI.55/56; p.370):
vidūṣakaḥ—dṛḍhaṃ khalu gṛhīto'si tvametayā āpathyatāpiśācikayā | āhaṃ punaḥ ṣaḍvedo brāhmaṇo bhavāmīti sādhvasenānayā visarjito'smi |
mantrī—(vihasya) ṣaḍbedā ityanayā saṃkhyayaiva sūcitaṃ saṃkhyeyavedavijṣānam |
(vi) Kuṣṭha and his Kiṅkara are employed in searching for a spy and they accidentally come across Matsara.
Matsara stands still and the servant is unable to identify him properly since it is night time. The Kiṅkara declares the static Matsara to be only a pillar, since there is no movement and no limbs like hand and feet; this raises laughter in the audience (V.5):
paśyāmi na karacaraṇaṃ na cātra paśyāmi calanamapi kiṣcit |
vaiśiṣṭyamūrdhvatāyāḥ paśyāmi sthaṇurayamato bhavati ||
This speech produces a funny situation and results in Hāsya. When Matsara is identified by Kuṣṭha, the description of Matsara’s guise as a Kāpālika raises laughter. Yakṣmā’s team is full of various serious diseases, and in a fighting mood. The clever author finds suitable situations to present this Hāsyarasa even with these characters.
All these instances cited above, especially Vidūṣaka’s soliloquy in Act IV, illustrate the natural sense of humour of the poet.