Kavyamimamsa of Rajasekhara (Study)

by Debabrata Barai | 2014 | 105,667 words

This page relates ‘Desha-vibhaga and Kala-vibhaga’ 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 9 - Deśa-vibhāga and Kāla-vibhāga

[Full title: Rājaśekhara’s contribution on Deśa-vibhāga and Kāla-vibhāga (divisions of geographical regions and time)]

An aspirant poet must be aware about the geographical regions and different times of any part of the country. Because, an aspirant poet who learns the divisions of region and time he does not remain devoid of the ability to see or understand meaning.

deśaṃ kālaṃ ca vibhajamānaḥ kavirnārthadarśanadibhi daridrāti |”

-Kāvyamīmāṃsā of Rājaśekhara: Ch-XVII, Pp- 89

If a poet have not proper knowledge about any region, so he has unable to describe on this region in his poetry (Kāvya). In this same way a poet must be aware about the treatment of different seasons (kālas). But Sanskrit poetics ignorance about those matter, only some kinds on this topic we can find in Bharata’s Nāṭyaśāstra and Vāmaha’s Kāvyālaṃkāra (of Bhāmaha)

But Yāyāvarīya Rājaśekhara’s Kāvyamīmāṃsā contains information on ethnic and linguistic geography of India, which have prove to useful to the aspirant poet in Indian cultural context. However, it is remarkable that Rājaśekhara’s description is primarily based on and similar as Purāṇa, Mahābhārata, Vṛhatsaṃhitā, Manusmṛti, Kauṭilya Arthaśāstra and various description’s of Greek and Chinese visitor. Yāyāvarīya Rājaśekhara is the first Ālaṃkārika in Sanskrit poetics, who divided India into five parts based on different geographical regions. Then he described the pen-picture of tradition, custom, ethnic, linguistic, dress, languages, hills, river and women style of different parts in details.

Yāyāvarīya Rājaśekhara was influenced by the Vāyupurāṇa and he starts this kālavibhāga part with the stanza of Vāyupurāṇa:

kāṣṭhā nimeṣā daśa pañcaicava triṃśacca kāṣṭhāḥ kathitāḥ kaleti |
triṃśatkalaścaiva bhavenmuhurttastestiṃśatā rātryahanī sametau || ”

-Kāvyamīmāṃsā of Rājaśekhara: Ch-XVIII, Pp- 98


Fifteen nemeses make one kāṣṭha, thirty kāṣṭha one kāla, thirty kālas one muhūrta and thirty muhūrtas a day and night. In the two months of Caitra and Aśvina the days and nights are equal that is fifteen muhūrtas for days and fifteen muhūrtas for night.”

In the kāla–vibhāga part Rājaśekhara wrote about six seasons, which starts from rainy season (Varṣā kāla) and rotationally end with summer season (grīṣma kāla):

tatra nabhā nabhasyaśca varṣāḥ, iṣa ūrjaśca śarat, sahaḥ sahasyaśca hemantaḥ,
  tapastapasyaśca śiśiraḥ, madhurmādhavaśca vasantaḥ, śukraḥ śuciśca grīṣmaḥ

-Kāvyamīmāṃsā of Rājaśekhara: Ch-XVIII, Pp- 99

The in the six seasons are divided into four steps: i. Ṛtu-sandhi (meeting events of incoming and outgoing seasons), ii. Ṛtu-śaisava (infancy), iii. Ṛtu-praudhi (maturity) and iv. Anuvṛtti (continuity to the next).

caturavasthaśca ṛturupanibandhanīyaḥ| tadyathā — sandhiḥ, śaiśavaṃ, prauḍhiḥ, amuvṛttiśca |”

-Kāvyamīmāṃsā of Rājaśekhara: Ch-XVIII, Pp- 108

However it is the general indication for the poet, because he always frees to write whatever he likes to write. It is not to be only guideline for an aspirant poet but it also traditionally appreciated by poets and literatures may be honored.

So we can hesitatelessly says that Yāyāvarīya Rājaśekhara description about Deśavibhāga and Kāla-vibhāga is the great contribution and the ideal gift for not only Sanskrit Poetics but also the whole Sanskrit literature.

Let's grow together!

For over a decade, this site has never bothered you with ads. I want to keep it that way. But I humbly request your help to keep doing what I do best: provide the world with unbiased truth, wisdom and knowledge.

Let's make the world a better place together!

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: