Kavyamimamsa of Rajasekhara (Study)

by Debabrata Barai | 2014 | 105,667 words

This page relates ‘Poetic conventions regarding to the Naga and Sarpa’ 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 7.19 - Poetic conventions regarding to the Nāga and Sarpa

In poetic convention, the description of Nāga and Sarpa is considered as identical.

In ancient times snakes are divided into two groups i.e.

  1. Nāga and
  2. Sarpa.

The snakes are adorn the crest lock of Lord Śiva are Sarpas and the snakes like Śeṣa, Vāsuki etc. are considered as Nāga.

In the Kāvyamīmāṃsā illustrate this as:

he nāgarāja bapumasya nitambabhāgaṃ bhāgena gāḍhamabhiveṣṭaya mandārādroḥ |
soḍhāviṣahyavṛṣavāhanayogalīlāparyaṅkabandhanavidhestava ko'tibhāraḥ || ”

- Kāvyamīmāṃsā of Rājaśekhara: Ch-XVI, Pp- 88

Here, this śloka brought the identity between Nāga and Sarpa.

These are the Rājaśekhara’s view about various poetic conventions. However the follower ālaṃkārikas of Rājaśekhara does not agree with his Svargīya and Pātālīya poetic conventions, but he was the pioneer of poetic conventions. Therefore in the last of his description about poetic convention he also advices the poets that, they should imagine about other differences themselves.

Thus the kavi-samaya (poetic convention) which seems to be sleep in poetic conventions has been reawakened to out intellect.


so'yaṃ kavīnāṃ samayaḥ kāvye supta iva sthitaḥ |
sa sāmpratamihāsmabhiryathābuddhi vibodhitaḥ || ”

- Kāvyamīmāṃsā of Rājaśekhara: Ch-XVI, Pp- 89

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