Kavyamimamsa of Rajasekhara (Study)

by Debabrata Barai | 2014 | 105,667 words

This page relates ‘Classification of Sahridaya (critic or reader)’ 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 3.5 - Classification of Sahṛdaya (critic or reader)

In Indian poetics has not been given importance to the Sahṛdaya (critic or reader) anywhere. There gives very respects for kavi (poet), who composes a poem by his inner urge, feelings which have been taken off from his heart. But if anyone cannot read and enjoy the poem, what is the use for this creation. Kāvya (poetry) can fulfillment when it goes to establishes in the heart of a Sahṛdaya.

Thus Abhinavagupta feels that,

sarasvatsātvaṃ kavisṛhadayākhaṃ vijayate |”

- Dhvanyāloka-Locana of Abhinavagupta


“The kavi (poet) and the Sahṛdaya (critic or reader) are both constituents of the same literary principle and it is the combination of both these alone that constitutes kāvya (poetry)”

For the purpose of composing kāvya (poetry) an aspirant kavi (poet) always be needed for encouragement. If there are none welcome an aspirant kavi’s (poet’s) work warmly, thus his enthusiasm may subside and his poetic composition may even cease. A Sahṛdaya (critic or reader) poetic satisfaction or sympathy may be pushes up the wick of poetic creativity or imagination and it burn brightly. Because, Sahṛdaya is one who has a similar heart of kavi (poet). Thus, he reading kāvya (poetry) his heart also throbs in tune with the poet’s heart. He also sharing the poets experience, imagination and understand the kavi’s (poet’s) intension and implication.

To feel the nature of Sahṛdaya Abhinavagupta says:

yasyām kāvyānuśīlanavasāt viśadībhūte manomuku re varṇanīyatanavībhāvanayogyatā tehṛdayasamvādabhāgāḥ sṛhadayaḥ |”

- Dhvanyāloka-Locana of Abhinavagupta


“he Sahṛdaya’s mind like a mirror, which have become clear on account of the study of kāvya (poetry) and who thus possess the ability to become absorbed in the thing being described.”

In the Kāvyamīmāṃsā, Rājaśekhara when go to classification of Sahṛdaya (critic or reader) he at first cited the views of Ācārya Maṅgala as:

te ca dvidhā | arocakinaḥ sṛtaṇābhyavahāriṇaśca” iti maṅgalaḥ |

- Kāvyamīmāṃsā of Rājaśekhara: Ch-IV, Pp- 14


Sahṛdaya (critic or reader) are two types–arocakī (discontented) and sṛtaṇābhyavahārī (feeding on grass).”

The first types of Sahṛdaya (critic or reader) have the feeling of right and wrong but the second types have not those types of qualities. The follower of Vāmana also posits the same view by saying:

kavayo'pi bhavanti” iti vāmanīyāḥ |

- Kāvyamīmāṃsā of Rājaśekhara: Ch-IV, Pp- 14

But Rājaśekhara does not agree with the views of Maṅgala and the follower of Vāmana and him think that the Sahṛdaya’s are divided into four types:

caturddhā” iti yāyāvarīyaḥ “matsariṇastattvābhiniveśinaśca |”

- Kāvyamīmāṃsā of Rājaśekhara: Ch-IV, Pp- 14


“Four types of Sahṛdaya’s are Arocakī, Stṛnābhyvahārī, Matsarī and Tatvābhiniveśi.”

Sahridaya (critic or reader)

Sahṛdaya (Critic or Reader); Arocakī; Stṛnābhyavahārī; Matsarī; Tattvābhiniveśi; Naisargikī; Jñānayoni.

Rājaśekhara think that, Arocakī (discontented) are those who possess their innate disinterestedness. They are also two types- (i) Naisargikī (naturally disinterested) and (ii) ānayoni (induced). The Naisargikī Sahṛdaya never interested in poetic composition. But the ānayoni’s interest may be generated by an excellent poetic creation. The Stṛnābhyvahārī types Sahṛdaya (critic or reader) are ordinary in nature. They have not enthusiasm; they are always ready with words for any composition. These Sahṛdaya (critic or reader) have indiscriminate imagination so they cannot distinguish between excellences and blemishes. They are always take away and try to leave from in poetic composition.

The Matsari Sahṛdaya (critic or reader) never wish to express the excellences of others. They are existence of an excellent Sahṛdaya (critic or reader) who is not Jealous. This type of Sahṛdaya (critic or reader) is rare.

To characterize this type of Sahṛdaya (critic or reader) Rājaśekhara says:

yaḥ samyagvivinakti doṣaguṇayoḥ sāraṃ svayaṃ satkaviḥ
  so'sminbhāvaka eva nāstyatha bhaveddaivānna nirmatsaraḥ
|| ”

- Kāvyamīmāṃsā of Rājaśekhara: Ch-IV, Pp- 14


“An able poet always able to understand the excellence and faults of a composition himself is not a critic. If he is, then he is not without envy.”

There are other rare types of Sahṛdaya known as Tatvābhiniveśi, they are found one among the thousand. To define the Characteristics of this types of Sahṛdaya’s (critic or reader) Rājaśekhara says, a poet’s heart is grief-stricken due to the lack of this types of critic or reader, they always exults at the poetic fancies, enjoy the aesthetic charm of poetic composition and find to the found the proper meaning of poetry. Thus Rājaśekhara say this of Sahṛdaya (critic or reader) is like the mater, friend, pupil and a teacher.


svāmī mitraṃ ca mantrī ca śiṣyaścācārya eva ca |
kaverbhavati hī citraṃ kiṃ hi tadyanna bhāvakaḥ || ”

- Kāvyamīmāṃsā of Rājaśekhara: Ch-IV, Pp- 15

There Rājaśekhara also posits Sahṛdaya’s as their appreciation through words, others through the essence of poetry and by the mental and physical effort.


vāgbhāvako bhavetkaścitkaściddhṛdayabhāvakaḥ |
sāttvakairāṅgikaiḥ kacśidanu bhāvaiśca bhāvakaḥ || ”

- Kāvyamīmāṃsā of Rājaśekhara: Ch-IV, Pp- 15

In the fifth chapter of Rājaśekhara’s Kāvyamīmāṃsā, deals with the Kāvya-pāka-kalpa (vyutpatti and maturity in poetic expression) with mellowed expression in kāvya (poetry) and different types of kavi (poet).

In this chapter begins by Rājaśekhara with the definition of vyutpatti by the ancient ācāryas. C.f.

‘vahuñjatā vyutpattiḥ’ ityācāryaḥ |

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


“Knowledge of various subjects is called vyutpatti.”

There the kavi (poet) words reach out on all sides. So it can say that, speech cannot be expressive in describing subjects without vyutpatti.

Poetic expression is a description of known and unknown subjects matter by means of words.

sarvatodikkā hi kavivācaḥ taduktam —

prasarati kimapi kathañcana nāthyaste gocare vacaḥ kasya |
idameva taktavitvaṃ yadvācaḥ servatodikkāḥ || ”

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

In the history of Sanskrit poetics first time Ācārya Vāmana in his Kāvyālaṃkārasūtra-vṛtti gives the subject matter of vyutpatti. i.e.

śavdasmṛtyabhidhāna — kośachandoviciti — kalākāmaśāstra — daṇḍanītipūrvā vidyāḥ || 3 ||
śabdasmṛteḥ śabdaśuddhiḥ || 4 ||
abhidhānakośātpadārthaniścayaḥ || 5
chandovicitervṛttasaṃśayacchedaḥ || 6 ||
kalāśāstrebhyaḥ kalātatvasya saṃvit || 7
kāmaśāstrataḥ kāmopacārasya || 8 ||
daṇḍanīternayāpanayayoḥ || 9 ||
itivṛttakuṭilatvaṃ ca tat || 10
|| ”

- Kāvyālaṃkārasūṭra-vṛtti of Vāmana: Ch-I/3/3-10


“The science of language, lexicons, metrics, fine arts, erotic’s and politics. Knowledge of all these is necessary for a kavi (poet). The science of language helps him to find out whether the form of word his employing is flawless. It also helps him to distinguish the correct form from incorrect one. The knowledge of lexicons removes his doubt concerning exact meaning of the terms. Such doubts can cause serious threat of hindrance to composition of poetry. Removal of such doubts helps the kavi (poet) to arrive at exact import of words. The science of metrics dispels doubts pertaining to the nature of different metres. The science concerning fine arts, like music, dance, painting etc. leads to the knowledge of these arts and makes the kavi (poet) competent to introduce these into his poetic works. The subject-matter of poetry sometimes includes abundant descriptions of passions and emotions. Knowledge of these passionate or emotive moods helps a kavi (poet) to depict them effectively in his poetic creation. Knowledge of these passionate and emotive moods is derived from erotics. The plot of the poetic composition is sometimes made complex and attractive through application of principles of politics or economics. Consequently knowledge of these principles becomes necessary on the part of an aspiring poet.”

The knowledge of these subjects is known as vyutpatti and it is an essential factor in the composing poetry.

Ācārya Daṇḍin in his Kāvyādarśa has been acknowledged about this matter by the saying:

naisargikī ca pratibhā śrutañca vahunirmalam |
amandaśyābhiyogo'syāḥ kāraṇaṃ kāvyasampadaḥ || ”

- Kāvyādarśa of Daṇḍin: Ch- 1/103


“Natural genius, extensive and clear knowledge of scriptures and constant application of mind to the art of poetic composition form the causes of abundant rich poetry.”

However, there Daṇḍin does not directly refer the term vyutpatti, there he indirectly indicating the vyutpatti by the similar word by the:

śrutañca vahunirmalam |’

In the Kāvyaprakāśa, Ācārya Mammaṭa defines vyutpatti as ‘rnipuṇatā’, but he does not give there any explanations about this matter.


śaktirnipuṇatā lokaśāstrakāvyādyavekṣaṇāt |
kāvyañjaśikṣayā'bhyāsa iti hetustadudbhave || ”

- Kāvyaprakāśa of Mammaṭa: I /3


“All the three factors of poetics intuition, proficiency and practice conjointly form the causes of poetry.”

But Abhinavagupta, holds a different views regarding the subjects of vyutpatti. According to him, vyutpatti is the aid to pratibhā.

śaktiḥ pratibhānam | varṇanīyavastuviṣayanutanollekhaśālitvam | vyutpattistadupayogisamastavastupaurvāparyaparāmarśa kauśalam |”

- Dhvanyāloka-Locana of Abhinavagupta

Vyutpatti lends power of discretion is arranging the material in the poetic composition. Which incident should precede, which should succeed, which should get more space, which should get cursory treatment, which style should suit the sentiment expressed, which flaws are avoidable and which are inevitable, all these question can be settled only by poet’s own discretionary power. There Abhinavagupta’s point of view seems to be very logical and near perfection.

But we seem that, Yāyāvarīya Rājaśekhara does not agree about the most of the ancient ācāryas views about Vyutpatti.

There he follows the views of Rudraṭa and characterizes it as the ‘ucitānucitavivekaḥ’ [ucita-anucita-viveka] C.f.

chandovyākaraṇakalālokasthitipadapadārthaviñjānāt |
yuktāyuktaviveko vyutpattiriyaṃ samāsena || ”

- Kāvyālaṃkāra (of Bhāmaha) of Rudraṭa: Ch-I/18


“Metrics, grammar, art, observation of the world, knowledge of word and its sense and description regarding propriety or impropriety can be called Vyutpatti.”

There Rājaśekhara inclined to take the matterloka, vidyā, prakīrṇakaetc. as the source of kāvyārtha’ or the theme of poetry, but it is not the causes of poetry. So he says that the faculty of discrimination between desirable and undesirable things or ideas is known as Vyutpatti.


‘ucitānucitaviveko vyutpatti’ iti yāyāvarīyaḥ |

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

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