Kavyamimamsa of Rajasekhara (Study)

by Debabrata Barai | 2014 | 105,667 words

This page relates ‘Poetic conventions regarding to the Colours’ 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 7.11 - Poetic conventions regarding to the Colours

In poetic conventions there are various types of colours are described. In the works of Kālidāsa uses very much description on this convention.

In the Kumārasaṃbhava Kālidāsa says the Śveta (white) rays of the moonlight are equal to gaura colour as:

lāṅgūlavikṣepavisarpiśobhairitastaścandramarīcigauraiḥ |
yasyā'rthayuktaṃ girirājaśabdama ku rvalti bālavyajainaścamaryaḥ || ”

- Kumārasambhava of Kālidāsa: Canto-I/13

And in the Raghuvaṃśa he describes the (white) Śveta colour bull of Śiva is identical with colour of gaura Kālidāsa as:

kailāsagauraṃ vṛṣamārarukṣoḥ pādārpaṇānugrahapūtapṛṣṭham |
avehi māṃ kiṃ karamaṣṭamūrteḥ ku mbhodaraṃ nāma niku mbhamitram || ”

- Raghuvaṃśa of Kālidāsa: Canto-II/ 35

Here in the both śloka Kālidāsa seems to follow the identification of two colours as convention. In the Kāvyamīmāṃsā, the description of identity between dark and blue colours, dark and green colours, dark and śyāma colours, yellow and gaura colours are described under the poetic conventions.

(1) Poetic conventions relating to the white colour:

In poetic convention do not recognize the formless substances to describe as colourful. But in a poetic composition the poets are attribute different colours to various things which have not having any colours. i.e. the white colour attributed to laughter and fame, darkness generally attributed to infame and sin, red colour are attributed for anger and love in a poetical description.

In the Meghadūta, Kālidāsa white describing the Kailāśa Mountain says about the peaks of the mountain seems to be the mirror of female Gods and occupying the sky with its peacks as like lotuses if it were the laugh of Lord Śiva.

C.f.

gatvā cordhvaṃ daśamukhabhujocchvāsitaprasthasaṃgheḥ
  kailāsasya tridaśavanitādarpaṇasyātithiḥ syāḥ
|
śṛṅgocchrayaiḥ ku mudaviśaderyo vitatya sthitaḥ khaṃ
  rāśībhūtaḥ pratidinamiva trambakasyāṭṭahāsaḥ
|| ”

- Meghadūta of Kālidāsa: Purvamegha/ 61

In this śloka, both of the Kailāśa and the laughter of Śiva are seem to be same as white.

Rājaśekhara illustrate about this convention as:

aṭṭahāsacchalenāsyādyasya phe naighapāṇḍu rāḥ |
jagatkṣaya ivāpītāḥ kṣaranti kṣīrasāgarāḥ || ”

- Kāvyamīmāṃsā of Rājaśekhara: Ch-XV, Pp- 83

Therefore, Kālidāsa described the Kunda flowers of spring is same to the laughter of sweet maidans as:

ku ndaiḥ savibhramavadhūhasitāvadātairuddayotitānyupavanāni manoharāṇi |
cittaṃ munerapi haranti nivṛttarāgaṃ prāgeva rāgamalināni manāṃsi yūnām || ”

- Ṛtusaṃhāra of Kālidāsa: Canto-VI/ 25

In the description of Pārvatī smile is seen just like the white pearl as:

puṣpaṃ pravālopahitaṃ yadi syānmuktāphalaṃ vā sphu ṭavidrumastham |
tato'nuku ryādviśadasya tasyāstāmrauṣṭhaparyastarucaḥ smitasya || ”

- Kāvyānuśāsana (of Hemacandra) of Kālidāsa: Canto-I/ 44

In the Śiśupālabadha describe the words of Lord Kṛṣṇa is white i.e.

dyotitāntaḥsabhaiḥ ku ndaku ṅgalāgratahaḥ smitaiḥ |
snapitevābhavattasya śaddhavarṇā sarasvatī || ”

- Śiśupālabadha of Magha: Canto-II/ 7

Beside those types of descriptions in poetic compositions poets are used the fame as white, though it does not have any colour. Rājaśekhara say about as:

stemaḥ stoko'pi nāṅge śvasitamavikalaṃ cakṣuṣāṃ saiva vṛttirmadhyekṣīrābdhi
  magnāḥ sphu ṭamatha ca vayaṃ ko'yamīdṛkprakāraḥ
|
itthaṃ digbhittirodhakṣatavisaratayā māṃsalaistvadyaśobhiḥ
  stokāvasthānaduḥsthestrijagati dhavale vismayante mṛgākṣaḥ
|| ”

- Kāvyamīmāṃsā of Rājaśekhara: Ch-XV, Pp- 83

Here king fame is describes to the whiteness of milky ocean. In this way in poetic composition poets are describes some auspicious duties in white colour, though they have not in this form.

(2) Poetic conventions relating to the black or dark colour:

In poetry the poets describe infame and sin is black colour.

Thus Rājaśekhara illustrated about darkness of ill-fame as:

prasaranti kīrttayaste tava ca ripūṇāmakīrttayo yugapat |
ku valayadalasaṃvalitāḥ pratidinamiva mālātīmālāḥ || ”

- Kāvyamīmāṃsā of Rājaśekhara: Ch-XV, Pp- 83

Here the fame of the king is like the white Mālatī flowers and the infame is described as dark blue lotuses. Then about the darkness he also says:

utkhātaniramalamayūkhakṛpāṇalekhāśyāmāyitā tanurabhūddhayakandharasya |
sadyaḥprakopakṛtake śavavaṃśanāśasaṅkalpasaṃjanitapāpamalīmaseva || ”

- Kāvyamīmāṃsā of Rājaśekhara: Ch-XV, Pp- 83

Therefore in the Gītagovinda also describe the sin as dark viz.

bahiriva malinataraṃ tava kṛṣṇa mano'pi bhaviṣyati nūnam |
kathamatha vañcayase janamanugatamasamaśarajvaradūnam || ”

- Gītagovinda of Jayadeva: VIII/ 7

(3) Poetic conventions relating to the equal treatment of black, blue and green colours:

In poetic conventions the black, blue and green colours are described as same.

Rājaśekhara illustrated about black and blue colours as:

nadīṃ tūrṇaṃ karṇopyanusṛtapulināṃ dākṣiṇātyāṅganābhiḥ
  samuttīrṇā varṇāmubhayataṭaca(ta)lābaddhavānīrahārām
|
taṭe sadyasyoccaiḥ svasalilanivaho bhāti nīlaḥ sa yasyāḥ
  priyasyāṃse pīne lulita iva ghanaḥ ke śapāśaḥ suke śyāḥ
|| ”

- Kāvyamīmāṃsā of Rājaśekhara: Ch-XV, Pp- 84-85

Then the he says about black and green colours as:

marakatasadṛśaṃ ca yāmunaṃ sphaṭikaśilāvimalaṃ ca jāृhavam |
tadubhayamudakaṃ punātu vo hariharayoriva saṅgalaṃ vapuḥ || ”

- Kāvyamīmāṃsā of Rājaśekhara: Ch-XV, Pp- 85

And between darkness with deep blue colours as:

etatyundari nandanaṃ śaśimaṇisnigdhālavāladrumaṃ
  mandākinyabhiṣiktamauktikaśile merostaṭe nandati
|
yatra śyāmaniśāsu muñcati milanmandapradoṣānilāmuddāmāmarayoṣitāmabhirataṃ
  kalpadrumaśaścandrikām
|| ”

- Kāvyamīmāṃsā of Rājaśekhara: Ch-XV, Pp- 85

(4) Poetic conventions relating to the equal treatment of yellow and red colours:

In the poetry the poets are describes the yellow and red colour as same identical in some cases though they are different in colour.

Rājaśekhara illustrate this as:

lekhayā vimalavidrumabhāsā santataṃ timiramindurudāse |
daṃṣṭrayā kanakabhaṅgapiśaṅgyā maṇḍa, bhuva ivādivarāhaḥ || ”

- Kāvyamīmāṃsā of Rājaśekhara: Ch-XV, Pp- 85

The moon with its softly shining moonshine overthrows the darkness like the Primordial Boar; with his shining yellow tusks bore the earth out of water. Here the red tusks of the adivarah (Primordial Boar) are described as presenting a yellow luster.

(5) Poetic conventions relating to the red colour:

In poetic convention some of the things are describe into red colour. This red colour is the symbol of love, anger, prowess and heat etc.

In the Gītagovinda Joydeva describe the redness of Caksarasa spread in the chest of Lord Kṛṣṇa in his internal love for Gopīs. i.e.

tavedaṃ paśyantyāḥ prasaradanurāgaṃ bahiriva priyāpādālaktacchu ritamaruṇadyotiृhadayam |
mamādya prakhyātapraṇayabharabhaṅgena kitava! tvadālokaḥ śokādapi kimapi lajjāṃ janayati || ”

- Gītagovinda of Jayadeva: VIII/ 10

Rājaśekhara illustrate this in his Kāvyamīmāṃsā as:

guṇānurāgamiśreṇa yaśasā tava sarpatā |
digvadhūnāṃ mukhe jātamakasmādarddhaku mam || ”

- Kāvyamīmāṃsā of Rājaśekhara: Ch-XV, Pp- 83

Here redness is describes for love. Therefore the red colour for anger is discussed by Rājaśekhara as:

āsthānaku ṭṭimatalapratibimvitena kopaprabhāprasarapāṭalavigraheṇa |
bhaimena mūrcchitarasātalaku kṣibhaijā bhūmiścacāla calatodavarttineva || ”

- Kāvyamīmāṃsā of Rājaśekhara: Ch-XV, Pp- 83

In this śloka Narakāsura is described blushy out of his anger. Therefore, the Kunda buds are also uses for the non-description of redness.

Because there is also some reddish shadow on bids, this is not described in poetry. Viz.

dyotitāntaḥsabhaiḥ ku ndaku ṅgalāgrataḥ smitaiḥ |
snapitevābhavattasya śaddhavarṇā sarasvatī || ”

- Śiśupālabadha of Magha: Canto-II/ 7

In this śloka avoided the redness on Kunda buds and described it as white colour.

(6) Poetic conventions relating to the different colours of eyes:

In poetic convention the poets are describe about some different colour for eyes i.e. white, red, and black etc. About the whiteness Rājaśekhara says:

tiṣṭhāntyā janasaṅku le'pi sudṛśā sāyaṃ gṛhaprāṅgaṇe
  taddvāraṃ mayi niḥsahālasatanau vīṅkhāmṛdu preṅkhati
|
hīnamrānanayaiva lolasaralaṃ niḥśvasya tatrāntare
  premārdrāḥ ṣaṣikhaṇḍapāṇḍimamuṣo muktāḥ kaṭākṣacchaṭāḥ
|| ”

- Kāvyamīmāṃsā of Rājaśekhara: Ch-XV, Pp- 85

Then, the deep blue colour describes as:

atha pathi gamayitvā ramyaklṛptopakārye katicidavanipālaḥ śarvarīḥ śarvakalpaḥ |
punaraviśadayodhyāṃ maithilīdarśinīnāṃ ku valayitagavākṣāṃ locanairaṅganānām || ”

- Kāvyamīmāṃsā of Rājaśekhara: Ch-XV, Pp- 85

Thereafter the Kālidāsa describe the eyes as dark colour in his Meghadūta as:

pādanyāsaiḥ kvaṇitaraśanāstatra līlāvadhūtai
  ratnacchāyākhacitavalibhiścāmaraiḥ klāntahastāḥ
|
veśyāstvatto nakhapadasukhānprāpya varṣāgrabndu
  nāmokṣyante tvaci madhukaraśreṇidīrghānkaṭākṣān
|| ”

- Meghadūta of Kālidāsa: Purvamegha/ 38

Then he also says about multi-colour complexion as:

tāmuttīrya vraja paricitabhrūlatāvibhrabhāṇāṃ
  pakṣmotkṣepāduparivilasatkṛṣṇaśāraprabhāṇām
|
ku ndakṣepānugamadhukara śrīmuṣāmātmabimbaṃ
  pātrīku rvandaśapuravadhunetrakautuhalānām
|| ”

- Meghadūta of Kālidāsa: Purvamegha/ 50

Those all are the Bhauma Kavi-samaya. Beside this Rājaśekhara also recognizes Svargīya and Pātālīya Kavi-samaya. They are illustrates in the following:

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