Kavyamimamsa of Rajasekhara (Study)

by Debabrata Barai | 2014 | 105,667 words

This page relates ‘Rajashekhara’s concepts on Kavyartha (theme of poetry)’ 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 4.5 - Rājaśekhara’s concepts on Kāvyārtha (theme of poetry)

After discussing the various ācāryas views about poetic theme he is concentrated about the divided the meaning of poetry into two i.e.

  1. Muktaka-kāvya and
  2. Prabandha-kāvya.

Muktaka-kāvya is dispressed, free and simple poetry and Prabandha-kāvya is a long and known as Mahākāvya.

Therefore the both types of Kāvya are again five types-

  1. Śuddha,
  2. Citra,
  3. Kaṭhottha,
  4. Saṃvidhānakabhū and
  5. Ākhyānakauāna.


sa punardvidhā | muktakaprabandhaviṣayatvena | tāvapi pratyekaṃ pañcadhā | śuddhaḥ, citraḥ, kathotthaḥ, saṃvidhānakabhūḥ, ākhyānakavāṃśca [ iti ] |”

- Kāvyamīmāṃsā of Rājaśekhara: Ch-IX, Pp- 46

The meanings of poetry devoids of history is Śuddha, to describe it in detail is Citra, the old tales or historically related meaning of poetry is Kathottha. In the poetry where the incidents are possible thus known Saṃvidhānkabū and the meaning of poetry with the history is imaginated is Ākhyānakavāna.


tatra mukte tivṛttaḥ śuddhaḥ | sa eva saprapañcaścitraḥ | vṛttetivṛttaḥ kathotthaḥ | sambhāvitetivṛttaḥ saṃvidhānakabhuḥ | parikalpitetivṛttaḥ ākhyānakavān |”

- Kāvyamīmāṃsā of Rājaśekhara: Ch-IX, Pp- 46

Then he gives all the example of five sub-types of both kāvya with an illustration. There after his advices to the poets that, they should compose all the language of poetry, not only in Sanskrit but also Prākṛta and others depending on his mental disposition. They also be always mind and aware of the relation between sound and sense in their various functions.

In this way the poets with the wisdom of his poetic power can achieve the popularity and spreads fame the entire world.


saṃskṛtavatsarvāsvapi bhāṣāsu yathāsāmartthaṃ yathāruci yathākautukaṃ cāvahitaḥ syāt | śabdārthayoścābhidhānābhidheyavyāpārapraguṇatāmavabudhyeta |”

- Kāvyamīmāṃsā of Rājaśekhara: Ch-IX, Pp- 46

Help me keep this site Ad-Free

For over a decade, this site has never bothered you with ads. I want to keep it that way. But I humbly request your help to keep doing what I do best: provide the world with unbiased truth, wisdom and knowledge.

Let's make the world a better place together!

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: