Kavyamimamsa of Rajasekhara (Study)

by Debabrata Barai | 2014 | 105,667 words

This page relates ‘different Schools of Sanskrit Poetics (Introduction)’ 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).

The different Schools of Sanskrit Poetics (Introduction)

In the history of Sanskrit Poetics there are six major schools, which are in a chronological order are kept under the visions of Rasa, Alaṃkāra, Rīti, Dhavni, Vakrokti, and Aucitya School.

Due to the different opinions regarding kāvyāsyātmā (soul of poetry) [=kāvyātmā?] they are being divided into six different schools. i.e.

  1. Rasa School,
  2. Alaṃkāra School,
  3. Rīti School,
  4. Dhvani School,
  5. Vakrokti School,
  6. Aucitya School.

It is true that every school does not stand contrary to other schools but they are fulfilling each other. In the vision of Rājaśekhara’s Kāvyamīmāṃsā is having a self realization theory of his own, where he propagated by the ancient ācāryas views of his times. Rājaśekhara have tried to present it in a special shape of all the previous thinkers and established his own realizations. For an example, rasa is accepted by almost all the ācāryas and the essence of vakrokti was accepted by the Bhāmahas, but Kuntakas provided it the large scope and gives highest position. Though Ānandavardhan is accepted as the chief ācārya of Dhvani School, but he also has given immense importance to rasa-dhvani. Even he (Ānandavardhan) has not neglected the importance of alaṃkāra, moreover he has accepted it as a alaṃkāra-dhvani.

In his Dhvanyāloka he recognized the alaṃkāras by the saying:

tatra vācya: prasiddho ya: prakārairupamādibhiḥ |
bahudhā vyākṛta : so'nya: kāvyalakṣaṇavidhāyibhiḥ | tato nehapratanyate || ”

- Dhvanyāloka of Ānandavardhana: I/ 3


“Of these, the denotative meaning which is well known has been variously through varieties (figure of speech) like ‘Simile’ etc. by other rhetoricians, so it is not discussed here at length. However it was discussed by the ancient earlier rhetoricians so he does not elaborated it too much.”

In this way, Ānadabardhana has also delineated the essence of Aucitya by saying:

anaucityādṛtenānyat rasabhaṅgasya kāraṇam |
prasiddhaucityavandhasttu rasasyopaniṣat parā || ”

- Dhvanyāloka of Ānandavardhana: III/ 30


“There is no other ground for causing handicap against aesthetic realization than the sense of impropriety. The key to aesthetic realization lies in acting up to the letter and spirit of the creed of propriety.”

From this concept of Aucity, further Kṣmendra has flourished the essence of Aucitya in his work Aucityavicāracarcā. In this chapter we can discussed and compared of Rājaśekhara’s view regarding every Schools of Sanskrit Poetics.

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