Kavyamimamsa of Rajasekhara (Study)

by Debabrata Barai | 2014 | 105,667 words

This page relates ‘Types of Disciples’ 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).

In the Sanskrit poetics a poet and an appreciative critic both are actually referred as an Adhikārian (Aspirant) for kāvya (poetry). An aspirant poet who wishes to write good poetry should aspire to know the Aesthetic delight and the niceties of poetic composition. Beside those an aspirant of poetry must be known about the poetic art and a well learned person.

Rājaśekhara divided disciples into three categories i.e. Buddhimāna (discriminatory), Āhārya-buddhi (of meager intellect) and Durbuddhi (ignorant). There Buddhimāna (discriminatory) are naturally always inclined to Śāstra and the Āhārya-buddhi (of meager intellect) possess Śāstras again and again under the guidance of a Guru (teacher).

So Rājaśekhara says in the Kāvyamīmāṃsā as:

yasya nisargataḥ śāstramanudhāvati buddhiḥ sa buddhimān |
yasya ca śāstrābhyāsaḥ saṃsku rūte buddhimasāvahāryabuddhiḥ |”

- Kāvyamīmāṃsā of Rājaśekhara: Ch-IV, Pp- 10

There Buddhi (intellect) is the essential to a poet. The poets are three types i.e. Smṛti, Mati and Prajñā. The Smṛti Buddhi recollects things of the past, Mati Buddhi capable recalling matters related to the present and Prajñā Buddhi is capable of looking into the future.

tridhā ca sā, smṛtirmatiḥ prañjeti | atikrāntasyārthasya smartrī smṛtiḥ | varttamānasya mantrī matiḥ | anāgatasya prañjātrī prañjeti | sā triprakārā'pi kavīnāmupakarttrī |”

- Kāvyamīmāṃsā of Rājaśekhara: Ch-III, Pp- 10

Incidentally we seem that there Rājaśekhra views in different from Vāmana’s in his Kāvyālaṃkārasūṭra-vṛtti, where he divides poets or disciples into two types as: ‘ārocaki’ and ‘satṛṇābhyavahāri’ | C.f.

ārocakinaḥ satṛṇābhyavahāriṇaśca kavayaḥ |”

- Kāvyālaṃkārasūṭra-vṛtti of Vāmana: Ch- 1/2/1

There also mentions only the first among the two types of disciples or poet is fit to receive instructions. But the Arthaśāstra of Kauṭilya also kept the similar views with Rājaśekhara and says:

vuddhimānāhāryavuddhirdurbuddhiriti putraviśeṣāḥ |
śiṣyamāṇo dharmāthāvupalabhate cānutiṣṭhati ca vuddhimān |
upalabhamāno nānutiṣṭatyāhāryavuddhiḥ | apāyanityo dharmārthadveṣī ceti durvuddhiḥ |”

- Arthaśāstra of Kauṭilya: Ch- 1/ 17

In this respects Rājaśekhara follows both of Vāmana and Kauṭilyas’ and agree about Kauṭilyas’ three types of division of poet i.e. Buddhimāna, Āhārya-buddhi and Durbuddhi. However Rājaśekhara stated that first two types poet or disciples only competent to receive instruction.

Then, about the matter of Mati and Prañjā Rājaśekhara view is differ from Bhaṭṭatota. According to Bhaṭṭatota, Mati is the Buddhi (intellect) which can capable of looking into the future and the Prañjā Buddhi is the subject of Trikāla things.


smṛtirvyatītaviṣayā matirāgāmigocarā |
vuddhistātkālikī proktā prañjā traikālikī matā || ”

- Kāvyakautuka of Bhaṭṭatota

However, Rājaśekhara and Bhaṭṭatota’s concepts differ about the Buddhi but they both are recognized that Trikāladarśitā is very much important for an aspirant Kavi (poet). Bhaṭṭatota in his Kāvyakautuka says about the Trikāladarśi Prañjā is ‘nava nava unmeṣaśālitā’ and this types of pratibhā is the principle inventor for the Kavi (poet).

prañjā navanavon meṣaśālinī pratibhā matā |
tadanuprāṇanāj jīved varṇanānipūṇaḥ kavi || ”

- Kāvyakautuka of Bhaṭṭatota

The disciples of Buddhimāna have some of the special quality. They are discrimination desire to hear, comprehend, raise doubts and provide solutions. In this process they learn some new facts. The disciple of Āhāryabuddhi also has those of the qualities but they need an able teacher to guide themselves. To revere regularly with an able teacher is a quality desirous in those both types of disciples, because reverence of a teacher is akin like a kāmadhenu for the genesis of intellect.


sā hi vuddhivikāśakāmadhenuḥ |”

- Kāvyamīmāṃsā of Rājaśekhara: Ch-IV, Pp- 10

Thus the learners are says: acquaintance with learned teachers is found to be like nectar. Firstly, it helps the wish and discerning to receive knowledge required to light up the truth of substances. Then, the mind is made capable of imagining to solve various problems and lastly the mind becomes capable of resorting to the one ultimate truth.


prathayati puraḥ prajñājyotiryathārthaparigrahe
  tadanu janayatyūhāpohakriyāviśadaṃ manaḥ
abhiniviśate tasmāttattvaṃ tadekamukhodayaṃ
  saha paricaya vidyāvṛddhaiḥ kramādamṛtāyate || ”

- Kāvyamīmāṃsā of Rājaśekhara: Ch-IV, Pp- 11

The Buddhimāna disciples (discriminatory) observes correctly, comprehends in the first instance and would be certainly enter a gurukula (where disciples stay near with their teachers) for advanced study in poetics. On the other side the disciple of Āhārya-buddhi (of meager intellect) is filled with doubt on two counts-they fails to comprehend and even after that remains doubtful. They should stay near a teacher and learn the art of poetic composition for try to remove those two types of doubts.

Beside those two types of disciples there are another types named Durbuddhi (ignorant). They can’t acquire knowledge from anywhere.

Rājaśekhara says about,

“his intellect is like a blue coloured cloth on which no other colour can show”.

There the first one is better than the last one. Viz.

sa hi nīlīmocakitasicayakalpo'nādhoyaguṇāntaratvāttaṃ
  yadi sārasvato'nubhāvaḥ prasādayati tamaupaniṣadika vakṣāmaḥ

- Kāvyamīmāṃsā of Rājaśekhara: Ch-III, Pp- 11

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