Kavyamimamsa of Rajasekhara (Study)

by Debabrata Barai | 2014 | 105,667 words

This page relates ‘Vakroktijivita of Kuntaka’ of the English study on the Kavyamimamsa of Rajasekhara: a poetical encyclopedia from the 9th century dealing with the ancient Indian science of poetics and rhetoric (also know as alankara-shastra). The Kavya-mimamsa is written in eighteen chapters representing an educational framework for the poet (kavi) and instructs him in the science of applied poetics for the sake of making literature and poetry (kavya).

Part 10 - Vakroktijīvita of Kuntaka

[Post-Dhvani Theory of Sanskrit Poetics (3): The Vakroktijīvita of Kuntaka (11th century A.D.)]

The Vakroktijīvitakār Kuntaka is very well known originator of the Vakrokti school of Sanskrit literary criticism. Which follow the tradition of Bhāmaha’s Vakrokti and develops a system of Vakrokti of his own, with all of concepts of Dhvani and Rasa.

To him Vakrokti as:

ubhāvetāvalaṅkāryau tayoḥ punatalaṅkṛtiḥ |
vakroktire va vaidagdhyabhaṅgībhaṇitirucyate || ”

- Vakroktijīvita of Kuntaka: I/10

He occupies at the time when Sanskrit literary theory in India was acquiring a great sophistication. Kuntaka’s originality of critical persuasions acquires a special significance in Sanskrit poetics and his Vakrokti theory of poetry which perceives poetry essentially in terms of the language of its expression. C.f.

śavdārthau sahitau vakra - kavivyāpāraśālini |
vandhe vyavasthitau kāvyaṃ tadvidāhlādakāriṇi || ”

- Vakroktijīvita of Kuntaka: 1/ 7

Kuntaka conceives Vakrokti as a peculiar turn to an expression by the imaginative faculty of a poet and declaring this charming mode of expression as the essence of poetry and gives the poetic genius of the poet.[1] It seems that the poetic language as the language of metaphor and suggestive communication. So it is see that how much Kuntaka knew about the language of poetry, rigors of logic and also the argument his own writing.

Kuntaka propose an alternative poetic scheme independent from Dhvani doctrine. To him, Vakrokti or Vaichitra, consisting in the strikingness of expression is the essence of poetry.

vakroktiḥ kāvyajīvitam”.

- Vakroktijīvita of Kuntaka: I/ 10

This Vakrokti is a deviation from the ordinary linguistic pattern capable of providing sound and sense with a unique charm which giving aesthetic delight to sahṛdayas.

Then he divided Vakrokti in six-fold. i.e.

kavivyāpāravakraktaprakārāḥ sambhavanti ṣaṭ |
pratyekaṃ bahavo bhedāsteṣāṃ vcchittiśobhinaḥ ||

varṇavinyāsavakratvaṃ padapūrvārdha vakratā |
vakratāyāḥ paro'pyasti prakāraḥ pratyayāśrayaḥ || ”

- Vakroktijīvita of Kuntaka: I/ 18-19

i) Varṇavinyāsa-vakratā, ii) Padapūrvārdha-vakratā, iii) Paryaya-vakratā, iv)Vākyavakratā, v) Prakaranana-vakratā and vi) Prabandha-vakratā.

Footnotes and references:


Vakroktijīvita of Kuntaka: 1/ 10 vṛtti.

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