Kavyamimamsa of Rajasekhara (Study)

by Debabrata Barai | 2014 | 105,667 words

This page relates ‘Aucitya theory and position of the Kavyamimamsa’ 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 6 - Aucitya theory and position of the Kāvyamīmāṃsā

Among the numerous schools of Sanskrit poetics Aucitya is another important school. Aucitya means poetic harmony. In the Aucityavicāracarcā, Kṣmendra puts forwards the novel doctrine of Aucitya (Propriety or appropriateness) is the soul of poetry. Kṣmendra is known as the founder of Aucitya School in Sanskrit poetics.

According to Kṣmendra, the adaptation of parts of the verse to each other and to whole or in other words, a certain poetic harmony or fitness of things. C.f.

ucitaṃ prāhurācāryāḥ sadṛśaṃ kila yasya yat |
ucitasya hi yo bhāvastadaucityaṃ pracakṣate || ”

- Aucityavicāracarcā of Kṣmendra: VII

Means:

“What is suited to a certain things is called proper or appropriate and therefore its abstract idea is called propriety or Appropriateness.”

pade vākye prabandhārthe guṇe'laṅkaraṇe rase |
kriyāyāṃ kārake liṅge vacane ca viśeṣaṇe || ”
upasarge nipāte ca kāle deśe ku le vrate |
tattve satve'pyabhiprāye svabhāve sārasaṅgrahe || ”
pratibhāyāmavasthāyāṃ vicāre nāmnyathāśiṣi |
kāvyasyāṅgeṣu ca prāhuraucityaṃ vyāpi jīvitam || ”

- Aucityavicāracarcā of Kṣmendra: VIII/ 10

In the presentation of emotional moods poetry made charming, which is ensured by the principle of Aucitya. As regards the function of Alaṃkāras (poetic figures) and guṇas (poetic quality) Kṣmendra contends that it has no capacity of its own to heighten the poetic expression. Alaṃkāra is a beautifying principle of poetry only when this is inserted properly and Guṇa when introduced in poetry than it acquires the status of a real Guṇa.

To establish his concepts he draws our attention to the practical world of experience where it becomes a matter of ridicule. C.f.

kaṇṭhemekhalayā nitamvaphalake tāre ṇahāre ṇa vā
pāṇau nupūravandhanena caraṇe ke yūra pāśena vā,
śauryeṇa praṇateripau karuṇayā nāyānti ke hāsyatām
aucityena vinā ruciṃ pratanute nālaṅkṛtirnoguṇāḥ
|| ”

- Aucityavicāracarcā of Kṣmendra: VI (example)

Means: when a girdle is placed on the neck or a necklace is displayed on the waist, as also when velour is shown to a person who has taken refuge or compassion is demonstrated to an enemy. So, in poetry Aucitya is prime importance and underlying principle of all poetic concepts and which thus resembles to soul or life force that is felt in all the limbs of a body.

To emphasize the importance of Aucitya, Kṣmendra says in the preamble that kāvya (poetry) is enlivened only by Aucitya and such this is the life of kāvya (poetry) itself.

Then he noticed that Alaṃkāra is simply a decorative device and Guṇa is merely a quality like velour, honesty or anything of this sort, but Aucitya infuses life to the expression and says:

alaṅkārāstvalaṅkārā guṇā eva guṇāḥ sadā |
aucityaṃ rasasiddhasya sthiraṃ kāvyasya jīvitam || ”

- Aucityavicāracarcā of Kṣmendra: V

ucitasthānavinyāsādlaṅkṛtiralaṅkṛtiḥ
aucityādacyutānityaṃ bhavantyeva guṇāḥ
|| ”

- Aucityavicāracarcā of Kṣmendra: VI

In the Nāṭyaśāstra, Bharatamuni also says about the aucitya (appropriateness) for Nātyadharmīn as:

vayohanurupaḥ prathamastuveṣo veśānurupaśca gati-pracāraḥ |
gatipracārānugataṃ ca pāṭh yam pāṭh yāhanurupahabhinayaśca kāryā || ”

- Nāṭyaśāstra of Bharata: XII/ 251

Means: firstly customs of protagonist must be based on the character’s age, depend on character customs gives the appropriate role. Further, selecting the proper speech for the suitable character.

Bharatamuni also says about the customs of protagonist as:

ādeśajo hi veṣastu na śobhāṃ janayiṣyati |
mekhalorasi vandhe ca hāsyāyaivopājāyate || ”

- Nāṭyaśāstra of Bharata: XII/ 251

In this way we see that Bharatamuni is seems to founder Ācārya of Aucitya, which he was used in his dramaturgy in dramatic angel. Further Bhāmaha also used this concept on Aucitya and utilized in his poetical work, Kāvyālaṃkāra (of Bhāmaha).

Than the following rhetorician Daṇḍin was very much know about Aucitya, because he says that:

guṇadoṣānaśāstrañjaḥ kathaṃ vibhājate janaḥ |
mukhamiṣṭārthasaṃsiddhau kiṃ hi na syāt kṛtātmanām || ”

- Kāvyādarśa of Daṇḍin: I/ 8

And,

kavibhāvakṛtaṃ cihnamanyatrāpi na duṣyati |
mukhamiṣṭhārthasaṃsiddhau kiṃ hi na syāt kṛtātmanām || ”

- Kāvyādarśa of Daṇḍin: I/ 30

Any person not versed in Alaṃkāraśāstra discriminate the merit and demerits in kāvya (poetry). Because, a blind man have the capacity or eligibility in ascertaining verities of different colour. Some author i.e. Bhāmaha saying that the sing (cihna) done by the poet’s intuition ‘kavibhāvakṛti’ is not sound without incurring any Do ṣa. And the beginning, for fruition of the sequel may be anything and everything for one of trained intellect: so characteristics as regards the beginning are also undesirable.

Further Rudraṭa in his poetical work Kāvyālaṃkāra (of Rudraṭa), gives some of the indication about Aucitya. He says, in the kāvya at first must be able to know about Aucitya further anyone go to the vṛttis.

Bhāmaha also noticed in his Kāvyālaṃkāra (of Rudraṭa) about the anuprāśa’s acceptance and rejecting for their necessity of Aucitya:

etāḥ prayatnādadhigamya samyagaucityamālocya tathārthasaṃstham |
miśrāḥ kavīndrairaghanālpadīrghāḥ kāryāmuhuścaiva gṛhītamuktā || ”

- Kāvyālaṃkāra (of Rudraṭa) of Rudraṭa: II/ 32

The necessity for Aucitya in the development of Rasa has already been pointed out by Ānandavardhana.

He held that the absence of Aucitya is the one impediment to the realization of aesthetic pleasure. C.f.

anaucityādṛte nānyadrasabhaṅgasya kāraṇam |
prasiddhaucityavandhastu rasasyopaniṣatparā || ”

- Dhvanyāloka of Ānandavardhana: III/ 30

Kṣmendra reversed that Ānandavardhana’s opinion and said the presence of rasas contributes to Aucitya or poetic harmony. He extended this principle not only to the alaṃkāras and guṇas but also too many other elements of poetic expression i.e. word, sentence, case, verb, gender, number etc. Kṣmendra’s conception about Aucitya is very much comprehensive and he clearly shows that how all the different principles of poetry expounded by earlier writers could be brought under his poetic harmony. His illustration of the various kinds of Aucitya are very intelligent for the classification of Rasa, which is also recognized by Dhvanikāra Ānandavardhana and Abhunavagupta into nine including Śānta.

However Rājaśekhara in his work Kāvyamīmāṃsā not directly touches the concepts about Aucitya but if we deeply study his other poetry there we see that the concepts of Aucitya. There he willingly or unwillingly gives us the sufficient knowledge about Aucitya or poetic appropriateness.

In the drama Bālarāmāyaṇa we can see these types of descriptions C.f.

saptaḥ purīparisare hapi śirīṣamṛdvī, sītā javāt tricaturāṇi padānigatvā |
gantavyamadya kiyadityasakṛd vravāṇā rāmāśruṇaḥ kṛtavatī prathamāvatāram || ”

- Bālarāmayaṇa of Rājaśekhara: VI/ 34

By this stanza of Bālarāmāyaṇa, Rājaśekhara possibly try to indirectly described to the reader’s that, when Rāmacandra [Ramachandra] with Lakṣmaṇa and Sītā are going to the forest from Ayodhyā city than after giving few steps Sītā asked to Rāmacandra continuously how many far is forest. By hearing this type’s speech of Sītā Rāmacandra becomes sorrowful and his tear from his eyes. Here we found that this type of description is the Rājaśekhara’s indirect concepts about aucitya and anaucitya. Where it is not uses to proper appropriateness. Because where Sītā is agree to live painful life with Rāmacandra for a long times in a forest so how she can says after giving few steps to his starting painful life.

However, in this same description also given by Tulsidāsa Goswamī in his Kavitāvalī but his description style gives him out of those types of Anaucitya doṣa. Where he described this as:

pura te nikasīṃ raghuvīra vadhū, dhari dhīra deya maga meṃ ḍagaivda,

jhalakī bharibhāla kanī jala kī, puṭa sūkhi gaye madhurādhalaiva|
phira vūjhati hai calatano aba ke tika, parṇaku ṭī karihauṃ kitainha,
tiya kī lakhi āturatā piya kī, akhiyāṃ ati cāru calī jalacvaiṃ
|| ”

- Kavitavalī of Tulsidāsa: Kāṇḍa- 11

Here Sītā is fully tired and asked to Rāmacandra how many far is the forest. Because there Sītā’s question for Rāmacandra just for information to know that how many more times is have to go in their destination place.

In the Kāvyamīmāṃsā, Rājaśekhara says vyutpatti as:

ucitānucitaviveko vyutpatti |”

- Kāvyamīmāṃsā of Rājaśekhara: Ch-V, Pp- 16

Means:

“Analysis of proper and improper known as vyutpatti.”

So we may realize that from the Rājaśekhara’s concepts about vyutpatti is the same as Aucitya. But he only uses the same concepts in different name. However in the matter of Aucitya, Rājaśekhara does not give any direct interpretation but we can seem his deep knowledge about Aucitya on the analysis of vyutpatti.

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