Kavyamimamsa of Rajasekhara (Study)

by Debabrata Barai | 2014 | 105,667 words

This page relates ‘Rajashekhara’s divisions of Geographical regions and Seasons’ 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 8 - Rājaśekhara’s divisions of Geographical regions and Seasons

In the last two chapters seventeen and eighteen of Rājaśekhara’s Kāvyamīmāṃsā contains information on the (divisions of ethnic and linguistic geography) Desa-Vibhāga and Kāla-Vibhāga (divisions of seasons) as a part of the subject of Kāvya-śāstra (poetics). However the Vedas, the Upaniṣadas, the Brāhmaṇas, the Āraṇyakas, the Purāṇas, the Mahākāvyas and many other works also dealt on those topics.

In the Vedic literature we can seems an integrated concept of the geographical regions of ancient India. There the geographical notion mainly revealed by the description of the battles fought on Gods and demons and kings among themselves etc.

The Ṛgveda Veda was flourished in the northwestern side of Bhāratavarṣa (undivided India) which refers that the non-Āryans not only as dāsa-varṇa (Dāsa race), but the armies of the Dāsas, claimed to have been destroyed by Lord Indra, Kṛṣṇa-Yonī (Dark-origin).


savṛtrahendraḥ kṛṣṇaryonīḥ purandarodāsīrairayadvi |
ajanayanmanavekṣāmapaścasatrāśaṃsaṃyajamānasyatūtot || ”

- Rg. Veda: 2/20/7

In the Ṛg.Veda also contains the description of twenty one rivers, scattered in almost everywhere. The Vedic Āryans seems to perceive the non-Āryans in Punjab region as being of darker complexion. Because the Āryans are moved into the interior of Bhāratavarṣa (undivided India) and there was a gradual process of naturalization or indigenization of Āryans and Āryanization of non-Āryans.

Bharata-varsha during Rig-veda

[Bhāratavarṣa in the time of Ṛgveda;—Migration of Aryan domination in the Rig-vedic period]

In the Purāṇas, we can found the geographical description and origin of the universe, earth, oceans, mountain, rivers, and other related matters. Therefore, the many latter literary compositions i.e. epics, drama etc. are closely related and full of geographical data. In this way Yāyāvarīya Rājaśekhara dealt with geographical description in his Kāvyamīmāṃsā as a matter of poetics.

In the seventeen chapter of Kāvyamīmāṃsā, Rājaśekhara says that, a poet who is well-versed in the geographical region, space and time of the country does not suffer much in his poetic attempt.


deśaṃ kālaṃ ca vibhajamānaḥ kavirnārthadarśanadiśi daridrāti |”

- Kāvyamīmāṃsā of Rājaśekhara: Ch-XVII, Pp- 86

Here we can seem that, Rājaśekhara is very much influenced by the Vāyupurāṇa to describe in geographical divisions. However, Rājaśekhara start in this chapter for the geographical description of whole world but he gradually elaborately discusses the geography of Bhāratavarṣa (undivided India).

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