Kavyamimamsa of Rajasekhara (Study)

by Debabrata Barai | 2014 | 105,667 words

This page relates ‘Meaning and changibality of the term Sahitya’ 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 1.2 - Meaning and changibality of the term Sāhitya

In the history of Sanskrit poetics Rājaśekhara possibly the first ālaṃkārika who logically uses the both word ‘kāvya’ and ‘sāhitya’ in synonymous way and implying equal prominence. In his magnum-opus Kāvyamīmāṃsā he uses the new term ‘Sāhityavidyā’ in the place of Alaṃkāraśāstra.

Rājaśekhara think that, the proper studies the co-extension of śabda (words) and artha (meanings) is constitute Sāhityavidyā. i.e.

śavdārthayoryathāvatsahabhāvena vidyā sāhityavidyā |”

- Kāvyamīmāṃsā of Rājaśekhara: Ch-II, Pp- 5

The term ‘sāhitya’ is constituted by the word ‘sahita’ with ‘aṇ’ prattaya (suffiexes). The word ‘sahita’ means combind or join. R ājaśekhara think that the term Sāhitya is the similar with the word kāvya. Thus he uses in his Kāvyamīmāṃsā ‘Sāhitya-vidyā’ in the place of ‘Kāvya-śāstra’.

In later times of Rājaśekhara, the use of this word is abundant and variegated in Sanskrit poetics. In the Śṛṅgāraprakaśa, Bhojadeva has given explanation about the term ‘sāhitya’ as:

kiṃ sāhityam yaḥ śavdārthayoḥ samvandhaḥ |
sa ca dvādaśadhā — abhidhā, vivakṣā, tatparyam, pravibhāgaḥ, vyapekṣā, sāmartham, anvayaḥ,
ekārthībhāvaḥ, doṣahānam, guṇopādānam, alaṃkārayogaḥ rasāviyogaśceti
|”

- Śṛṅgāraprakāśa of Bhoja

These twelve types relation is known asSāhitya’. There the first eight is the subjects of ‘Vyākaraśāstra’ and the later four are the subjects of ‘Sāhitya-vidyā’ or literary criticism.

Therefore, Mahākavi Kālidās also uses this in his Raghuvaṃśa as:

vāgārthaviva sampṛktau vāgarthapratipattaye |
jagataḥ pitarau vande pārvatīparameśvarau || ”

- Raghuvaṃśa of Kālidāsa: 1/1

Further ācārya Kuntaka in his Vakroktijīvita elaborately described the term of the ‘Sāhitya’ as both word and meanings are to be embellished and their embellishment lies in their obliqueness.

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