Kavyamimamsa of Rajasekhara (Study)

by Debabrata Barai | 2014 | 105,667 words

This page relates ‘Divisions of Pratibha (poetic genious)’ 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 3.3b - Divisions of Pratibhā (poetic genious)

Rājaśekhara devotes considerable space to the discussion in his Kāvyamīmāṃsā on the making of a poet gives classification of pratibhā.

He divided pratibhā (poetic genius) as two types i.e.

  1. Kārayitrī (creative talent) and
  2. Bhāvayitrī (appreciative talent).


sā ca dvidhā kārayitrī bhāvayitrī ca |”

- Kāvyamīmāṃsā of Rājaśekhara: Ch-IV, Pp- 12

1) Kārayitrī pratibhā:

Kārayitrī pratibhā (creative talent) is generally beneficial to the kavi (poet).

This is also three sub-types i.e.

  1. Sahajā (inborn talent),
  2. Āhārya or Abhyāsiki (Talent acquired by practice) and
  3. Aupadeśikī (talent acquired by other means like charms) etc.


kaverupaku rvāṇā kārayitrī |
sā'pi trividhā sahajā''hāryyaupadeśikī ca

- Kāvyamīmāṃsā of Rājaśekhara: Ch-IV, Pp- 12

Kārayitrī pratibhā (creative talent) of the poet creates the world of poetry. The connoisseur of poetic art required Bhāvayitrī Pratibhā (appreciative talent) to appreciate niceties expressed in the poetic composition by the poet. Bhāvayitrī pratibhā (appreciative talent) possess the mental power, without grasping of ideas and enjoying the sentiments which is expressed in poetry are not possible. So a real connoisseur possesses the appreciative talent.

It completes the poet’s meaning and certainly brings forth the poetic imagination, without this talent a poetic composition appears fruitless.

tayā khalu phalitaḥ kavervyāpārataruḥ| anyathā so'vakośī syāt |”

- Kāvyamīmāṃsā of Rājaśekhara: Ch-IV, Pp- 13

Under the three sub-division of Kārayitrī pratibhā (creative talent), Sahajā is inborn and inherited from pior birth and Āhāryā is acquired to poet by the practice of Śāstra’s and Kāvya’s.

Third one Aupdeśika is obtaining by the blessing of others and a deep study of Maṇṭras-taṇṭras. C.f.

janmāntarasaṃskārāpekṣiṇī sahajā | janmasaṃskārayonirāhāryā | mantratantrādyupadeśaprabhavā aupadeśikī || ”

- Kāvyamīmāṃsā of Rājaśekhara: Ch-IV, Pp- 12

Sahajā-Kārayitrī pratibhā being temporal and innate is manifested as the natural disposition seen after birth. Āhārya-Kārayitrī pratibhā requires extensive practice and Aupadeśikī-Kārayitrī pratibhā is acquired by charms and secret divinations in this world itself. It is not congenital. If we can hardly deny utility of scriptural knowledge we see that it acquired through extraneous means and it is not natural, it may be produced by scholarship and hard work.

Rājaśekhara says that:

ta ime trayo'pi kavayaḥ sārasvata, ābhyāsika, aupadeśikaśca |
janmāntarasaṃskārapravṛttasarakhatīko buddhimānsārasvataḥ |
iha janmābhyāsodbhāsitabhāratīka āhāryabuddhirābhyāsikaḥ |
upadeśita(śa)darśitavāgvibhavo durbuddhiraupadeśikaḥ |”

- Kāvyamīmāṃsā of Rājaśekhara: Ch-IV, Pp- 12-13

Depending on the three types of Kārayitrī-pratibhā, poets are also divided into three types: Sārasvata, Abhyāsika and Aupadeśika. Sārasvata are buddhimāna kavi (discriminating poet), who manifest an innate, natural wisdom or learning (Sarasvatī). The Abhyāśika poets are gained the wisdom (Sarasvatī) from the exercise and practices of their life. However, the Aupadeśika poets can meager intellect by express with instruction, practice and exercise.

Rājaśekhara’s mentions three sub-types of Kārayitrī pratibhā, of which the first two types Sahajā and Āhārya are accepted to most of the rhetoricians in Sanskrit Poetics. But the third types of Kārayitrī pratibhā, named Aupadeśikī is not accepted by major of Sanskrit poeticians.

Ancient Āchāryās think that ‘Both of the poet Sārasvata and Ābhyāsika do not require the power of maṇṭra-taṇṭra, just as grape-juice, the natural disposition of which is sweet does not become sweeter on being cooked with sugary syrup.

nahi prakṛtimadhurā drākṣā phāṇitasaṃskāramapekṣate” ityācāryāḥ |”

- Kāvyamīmāṃsā of Rājaśekhara: Ch-IV, Pp-13

But Rājaśekhara does not agree about this concept, he holds a different view. He says that:

na” iti yāyāvarīyaḥ | ekārthaṃ hi kriyādvayaṃ dvaiguṇyāya sampadyate |”

- Kāvyamīmāṃsā of Rājaśekhara: Ch-IV, Pp- 13


“If for the same causes two means are adopted, the effect is also be doubted.”

There also Śyāmadeva throws his views and says, the third poet is better than the second while the first poet is the best all of them.

teṣāṃ pūrvaḥ pūrvaḥ śreyān” śyāmadevaḥ | yataḥ

sārasvataḥ svatantraḥ syādbhavedābhyāsiko mitaḥ |
upadeśakavistvatra valgu phalgu ca jalpati || ”

- Kāvyamīmāṃsā of Rājaśekhara: Ch-IV, Pp- 13

Because, an Sārasvata poet composes his work independently, an Abhyāsika poet composes his poetry in a measured way but an Aupadeśika poet composes poetry attractive but unsubstantial compositions.

Rājaśekhara also hold that,

“Eminence or superiority is always preferable and that the eminence can be achieved with the combination of several excellences (qualities) brings forth eminence.”


utkarṣaḥ śreyān” iti yāyāvarīyaḥ | sa cānekaguṇasannipāte bhavati |”

kiñca —

buddhimattvaṃ ca kāvyāṅgavidyāsvabhyāsakarma ca
kaveścopaniṣacchatkistrayamekatra durlabham
kāvyakāvyāṅgavidyāsu kṛtābhyāsasya dhīmataḥ |
mantrānuṣṭhānaniṣṭhasya nediṣṭhā kavirājatā || ”

- Kāvyamīmāṃsā of Rājaśekhara: Ch-IV, Pp- 13


“Superiority is always preferable because sagacity, poetry and its various subsidiaries, abhyāsa (practice) and śakti (poetic power) are very rarely found together. A poet comes nearer to being a kavirāja if he becomes proficient in kāvya (poetry) and its various subsidiaries, discriminating and with a faithful follower of mantra.”

Here is a prevalent about the matter of kavi (poets) is:

ekasya tiṣṭhati kavergṛhaeva kāvyamanyasya gacchati suृhadbhavanāni yāvat |
nyasyāvi(syadvi)daghdhavaneṣu hadāni śaśvatkasyāpi sañcarati viśvaku tūhalīva || ”

- Kāvyamīmāṃsā of Rājaśekhara: Ch-IV, Pp- 13


“The poetry of some poets remain confined within the four walls of his own house, some other poet’s poetry travel to their friend’s home. There few of the poetry travel and trample upon the face of well read and unlettered people with their words like one eager to see the world.”

Pratibha (Poetic Genius)

Pratibhā (Poetic Genious); Kārayitrī; Bhāvayitrī; Sahajā; Āharya; Aupadeśikī; Sārasvata poet; Abhyāsika poet; Aupadeśika poet; Arocaki; Matsari; Tattvabhinivesi [Tatvābhiniveśi]; Strnabhyvahari [Sṛtaṇābhyavahārī]; Natural; Induced.

2) Bhāvayitrī pratibhā:

There another division of pratibhā is Bhāvayitrī pratibhā (Appreciative talent). It’s favours of Bhāvaka or connoisseur and which operates the connoisseur perceives the picture presented in the kāvya (poetry) with the help of word’s and understands or identified himself with the experience of the kavi (poet) who has been expressed it through words. In this way, Bhāvayitrī pratibhā (appreciative talent) impels the connoisseur to appreciate for composing poetry.

bhāvakasyopaku rvāṇā bhāvasitrī | sā hi kaveḥ śramamabhiprāyaṃ ca bhāvayati | tayā khalu phalitaḥ kavervyāpārataruḥ | anyathā so'vake śī syāt |”

- Kāvyamīmāṃsā of Rājaśekhara: Ch-IV, Pp- 13

Here it is noticeable that Rājaśekhara divided pratibhā i.e. Kārayitrī and Bhāvayitrī based on the views of kavi (poet) and Bhāvaka (connoisseur). However, there is a newcity in the Sanskrit poetics but there is no special originality.

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