Kavyamimamsa of Rajasekhara (Study)

by Debabrata Barai | 2014 | 105,667 words

This page relates ‘Varieties of Kavya-paka’ 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).

After discussing ancient Ācārya’s views about Kāvya-pāka, Rājaśekhara clearly discusses different kinds of Kāvya-pāka with their characteristics. In the Kāvyamīmāṃsā Rājaśekhara recognizes the nine type of Pāka.

C. f.

‘sa ca kavigrāmasya kāvyamabhyasyato navadhā bhavati |’

- Kāvyamīmāṃsā of Rājaśekhara: Ch-V, Pp- 20

Means:

Kāvya-pāka is nine types or varieties for the poets i.e. Pichumanda-pāka (nimba), Badar-pāka (jujube), Mṛdvika-pāka (drākṣa, grapes), Vārttāka-pāka, Tintiḍīka-pāka [Tintiḍikā?] (tamarind), Sahakāra-pāka (āmra, mango), Kramuka-pāka (betel-nut), Trapus-pāka (cucumber), and Nārikela-pāka (coconut) etc.”

Then Rājaśekhara gives the characteristics of these nine types of Kāvya-pāka one by one as:

tatrādyantayorasvādu picumandapākam |”

- Kāvyamīmāṃsā of Rājaśekhara: Ch-V, Pp- 20

Picumanda-pāka (nimba) is which poetic compositions are insipid and dry in the beginning and the end. Under the Badar-pāka (jujube) which is the poetic composition are insipid and dry in the beginning but gradually become a little interesting till the end.

C.f.

ādāvasvādu pariṇāme madhyamaṃ badarapākam || ”

- Kāvyamīmāṃsā of Rājaśekhara: Ch-V, Pp- 20

Which poetic compositions are uninteresting in the beginning but rapidly gain interest in the end known under the Mṛdvika-pākam (drakṣa, grapes).

C.f.

ādāvasvādu pariṇāme svāduृmadvīkāpākam |”

- Kāvyamīmāṃsā of Rājaśekhara: Ch-V, Pp- 20

Which poetics compositions are moderately pleasing in the beginning but absolutely disinteresting in the end are Vārttāka-pāka. And Tintiḍīka-pāka [Tintiḍikā?] (tamarind) is which poetic compositions are sweet and pleasing both in the beginning and the end.

C.f.

ādau madhyamamante cāsvādu vārtākapākam,
ādyantayormadhyamaṃ tintiḍīkapākam
|”

- Kāvyamīmāṃsā of Rājaśekhara: Ch-V, Pp- 20

Then, the Sahakāra-pāka (āmra, mango) is that poetic composition which is moderately pleasing in the beginning but very interesting in the end. And the kramuka-pāka (batel-nut) are the poetic composition which interesting in the beginning but insipid in the end fall under it.

C.f.

ādyau madhyamamante svādu sahakārapākam,
ādāvuttamamante cāsvādu kramukapākam
|”

- Kāvyamīmāṃsā of Rājaśekhara: Ch-V, Pp- 20-21

There, Trapus-pāka (cucumber) is interesting in the beginning but moderately pleasant in the end and the Nārikela-pāka (coconut) is which poetic composition pleasing from the beginning till the end.

C.f.

ādāvuttamamante madhyamaṃ trapusapākam,
ādyantayoḥ svādu nārike lapākamiti
|”

- Kāvyamīmāṃsā of Rājaśekhara: Ch-V, Pp- 21

Among the nine-types of pāka recognizes by Rājaśekhara these may be divided into three major heads. i.e

  1. Highest types of pāka (Mṛdvika-pāka),
  2. Middle types of pāka (Sahakāra-pāka),
  3. Low types of pāka (Nārikela-pāka).

However, out of these nine pākas Rājaśekhara advises for an aspirant poets to shun the following three kāvya-pākas i.e. picumanda, vartaka and krmuka-pāka.

C.f.

teṣāṃ triṣvapi trike ṣu pākāḥ prathame tyājyāḥ |
varamakavirna punaḥ ku kaviḥ syāt |”

- Kāvyamīmāṃsā of Rājaśekhara: Ch-V, Pp- 21

Because, it is not better for a poet than a bad poet. The another three pākas i.e. Mṛdika, Sahkāra and Nārikela-pāka are to be grasped in poetic composition to a poet. Because, these three kāvya-pāka’s have with a pure natural disposition, it do not need improvement. A bead does not become more lustrous on refinement.

C.f.

svabhāvaśuddhaṃ hi na saṃskāramapekṣate |
na muktāmaṇeḥ śāṇastāratāैyaprabhavati
|”

- Kāvyamīmāṃsā of Rājaśekhara: Ch-V, Pp- 21

In poetic composition, there have an irregular distribution. The Kapitha-pāka (apple tree) is interestingly of places while at others are moderately so and prosaic in still other parts.

C.f.

anavasthitapākaṃ punaḥ kapitthapākamāmananti |”

- Kāvyamīmāṃsā of Rājaśekhara: Ch-V, Pp- 21

It is just like as on beating the husk, one gets only a grain or two similarly, and in a poetic composition on Kapitha-pāka one can find a sūkti here and there. So Rājaśekhara says: it is better not to be a poet than a bad poet. Because to write bad types of kāvya (poetry) is a matter of unhappiness and it would be like a death.

C.f.

varamakavirna punaḥ ku kaviḥ syāt |
ku kavitā hi socchvāsaṃ maraṇam || ”

- Kāvyamīmāṃsā of Rājaśekhara: Ch-V, Pp- 21

In this way an aspirant and intelligent poet should be first distinguish between the kinds of kāvya-pāka to be grasped and the one’s to be forsaken. So an aspirant poet must be practicing property with Kavi-pāka of his poetic composition is of nine kinds.

Thus we see the voice of Rājaśekhara as:

samyagabhyasyataḥ kāvyaṃ navadhā paripacyate |
hānopādānasūtreṇa vibhajettaddhi vuddhimān || ”

- Kāvyamīmāṃsā of Rājaśekhara: Ch-V, Pp- 21

However Rājaśekhara’s concepts on Kāvya-pāka are differ from his ancestor and rhetoricians. Among the earlier erotic of Rājaśekhara, Ācārya Bhāmaha in his Kāvyalamkara mentions a pāka, called Amakapittha-pāka:

aृhadyamasunirbhedaṃ rasavattve'pyapeśalam |
kāvyaṃ kapitthamāmaṃ yatke ṣāñcitsadṛśaṃ yathā || ”

- Kāvyālaṃkāra (of Bhāmaha) of Bhāmaha: Ch-V/62

Means:

“In the type of Kāvya (poetry) which is unpleasing and difficult to analyses is ugly though it may possess Rasa. The composition of some people is like the unripe wood apple.”

And Vāmana in his Kāvyālaṃkārasūṭra-vṛtti speaks two types of Kāvya-pāka i.e. (i) Cuta (amra, sahakara)–pāka and (ii) Vrntaka-pāka by saying:

guṇasphu ṭatvasākalye kāvyapākaṃ pracakṣate |
cūtasya pariṇāmena sa cāyamupamīyate || ”

- Kāvyālaṃkārasūṭra-vṛtti of Vāmana: Ch-III/2/15

The follower rhetoricians of Rājaśekhara also recognize only two Pākas i.e. Mṛdvika-pāka (drākṣa, graps) and Nārikela–pāka (coconut) is the best. Which are the most famous or familiar ones. Again, between the two Kāvya-pākas, the former-pāka is superior to the later-pāka.

In the sixth-chapter entitled as Pada-Vākya-Viveka deals with the matter of utility of pada (word) as well as Vākya (sentences) in composing kāvya (poetry). These both topics also related with the subject matter of Pada-Vākya-Viveka. Vaiyākaraṇas (grammarians) also justifies a pada (śabda) grammatically viable construct by the Vyākaraṇa-smṛti. They think that the proper uses of a pada (śabda) get blessing to in this world and heavenly word. There is the composer of Smṛti Śāstra also believes that, Smṛti-Śāstra (Science of Dharma) can blessing these two worlds. Rājaśekhara think that the Vyākaraṇaśāstra also posits in same place as Smṛti śāstra.

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