Malatimadhava (study)

by Jintu Moni Dutta | 2017 | 52,468 words | ISBN-10: 8120813057 | ISBN-13: 9788120813052

This page relates ‘Shringara Rasa (Erotic Sentiment)’ from the English study on the Malatimadhava of Bhavabhuti:—A Prakarana type of Drama in ten acts revolving around the love-story of Malati (from Padmāvatī) and Madhava (from Vidarbha). This study discusses the history of its author and the literary, social, religious, historical and cultural aspects of the Malatimadhava.

Part 1.3a - Śṛṅgāra Rasa (Erotic Sentiment)

In the Nāṭyaśāstra it is opined that the Śṛṅgāra rasa or Erotic sentiment proceeds from the permanent mood of love. It has a bright attire for whatever in this world is pure, bright and beautiful.The Śṛṅgāra or Erotic sentiment is so named on account of its usually being associated with a bright and elegant attire. This sentiment is rich in pleasure, connected with desired objects, enjoyment of seasons, garlands and similar other things, and it relates to the man and woman.[1]

The Śṛṇgāra or Erotic sentiment arises in connection with favourable seasons, garlands, ornaments, enjoyment of the company of beloved ones, music and poetry and going to the garden and roaming there. It is represented by means of serenity of the eyes and the face, and by sweet and smiling words.[2] In regard to Śṛṅgāra rasa, Viśvanātha Kavirāja opines that when a man of higher dignity has erotic dalliances, it becomes a case of Śṛṅgāra. In the case of Śṛṅgāra rasa the ālambanavibhāvas are the heroines excluding another’s wife and a courtesan if not honestly enamoured and the heroes impartial. The moon, Sandal wood ointment, the humming bees etc. are held to be its uddīpanavibhāvas. Motions of the eyebrows and side glances etc are found as its anubhāvas. And its vyabhicāribhāvas may be of any kind except sternness, death, indolence and disgust. The permanent mood of this rasa is love.[3]

Śṛṅgara rasa is of two types namely the Saṃbhoga in union and the Vipralaṃbha i.e. love in separation.[4] When the two lovers are in the enjoyment of each other’s company, engaged in looking to each other, kissing each other it is called Saṃbhoga śṛṅgāra. The Saṃbhoga śṛṅgāra is asserted to one only by the learned. There may be six seasons with their several persuasive to bring fondness, the Moon and the Sun and so to their rising and setting, sports in the water, rambling in groves, the morning, drinking of nectar, the night,27 ointments and adornments etc whatever else is pure and fair.[5] Whereas, the hero and heroine though possessing love for each other but can not get united it is called Vipralambha śṛṅgāra.[6]

Vipralambha śṛṅgāra is of four types namely:

  1. pūrvarāga,
  2. māna,
  3. pravāsa and
  4. karuṇa.30

It has ten stages of love viz.,

  1. abhilāṣa,
  2. cintā,
  3. smṛti,
  4. guṇakathana,
  5. udvega,
  6. saṃpralāpa,
  7. unmāda,
  8. vyādhi,
  9. jaḍatā and
  10. maraṇa.[7]

Dhanañjaya says that Śṛṅgāra rasa is of three types viz.,

  1. the Ayoga,
  2. the Viprayoga and
  3. the Saṃbhoga.[8]

The Ayoga variety of the Śṛṅgāra is said to occur when the lovers, though attached deeply to each other, can in no way, be united due to being dependent upon others, or due to some effects of ill luck.[9] Viprayoga is same with Vipralaṃbha which is also said to be existing in the case of a pair of lover being separated after union.[10] Dhanañjaya, also gives the same view in case of Saṃbhoga śṛṅgāra.[11]

The sthāyibhāva of the Śṛṅgāra is rati (love), the ālambanavibhāvas are the hero and the heroine. The natural scenario of spring season, madana garden, flowers, trees, the moon, darkness, the wind are described as uddīpanavibhāva. The side-glances, twisting of the limbs, yawning, knitting of the brows etc, are the anubhāvas, trāsa (shedding fright), ālasya (sloth) and jugupsā (disgust) and all others are vyabhicāribhāvas of this rasa. All the above factors combined together help to experience the erotic sentiment.

In the Mālatīmādhava, Śṛṅgāra rasa with both the varieties are found. Bhavabhūti has also described the different stages of Vipralambha Śṛṅgāra through the speech of the characters of this Prakaraṇa.

In the 1st act of the Mālatīmādhava beautiful delineation of Saṃbhoga śṛṅgāra is found where Mādhava describes the beauty of Mālatī after seeing her in the temple of god of love. He says that Mālatī is a guardian deity of the treasure of beauty, the abode of the store of the essence of loveliness.[12] He also says that Mālatī causes extreme delight to his eyes like a pencil formed of nectar, entirely drew his heart to her just as a magnetic needle attracts iron37.While she was going, her side glance sleeped in nectar was planted deep in his heart.He described her having eyes with graceful eye-lashes and whose face with the neck repeatedly turned backwards resembled a lotus with its stem twisted.[13] Again in the same act Mālatī’s first attraction of love in her heart at the sight of Mādhava is known from the speech of Kāmandakī when she says that Mālatī beheld Mādhava again and again and her desire grew intensely and her limbs were extremely languished. So she had drawn a portrait of Mādhava.[14]

In the 2nd act it is known from the speech of Kāmandakī that Mālatī has enjoyed the union with her lover pictured by her mind. [15] As a consequence of influence of love many changes manifest in Mālatī viz., the knot of her lower garment tied around her slender waist is loosening slowly, her lips are trembling, drops of perspiration have appeared on her delicate body, her dark eyes in soft abandonment have become moist and languid, limbs become firmly fixed, the bud like breasts are trembling, cheeks are quivering with thrill of delight in the form of goosepimples and also she is half conscious and half unconscious.[16] This description of Mālatī suggests the delineation of Saṃbhoga śṛṅgāra.

In the 3rd act the delineation of Saṃbhoga śṛṅgāra is found in love-distraction of Mādhava due to Mālatī where he takes no delight in the moon or in affectionate persons, his limbs are naturally darkish like priyāṅgu, he has a body gracefully palish and extremely emaciated and appears charming[17] .

Moreover, in the 4th act the love affair between Madayantikā and Makaranda is known from the speech of Lavaṅgikā that they are enjoying delight of mental union by an interchange of looks. This description verily suggests the delineation of Saṃbhoga śṛṅgāra.[18]

The love in union that is Saṃbhoga śṛṅgāra finds place in the 6th act where Mālatī discloses her love for Mādhava. Mālatī embraces Mādhava having thought as Lavaṅgikā while he was standing at Lavaṅgikā’s place.[19]

In the 7th act love-lorn Madayantikā while confessing her love for Makaranda, narrates how she experiences physical intimacy with Makaranda in her dreams. Moreover, she says the passionate actions of her lover which she saw in her dreams like his pulling her clothes, holdind her firmly in his arms, kissing her and asking her to yield to his passions.[20] Hence this description also suggests the delineation of Saṃbhoga śṛṇgāra.

Again in the very beginning of the 8th act the delineation of Saṃbhoga śṛṅgāra is found when Mādhava was pleading his love to Mālatī.[21] Thus it has been seen that in the Mālatīmādhava, Saṃbhoga śṛṅgāra pervaded in all acts.

In the Mālatīmādhava, Bhavabhūti has given an exquisite picture of Vipralambha śṛṅgāra as well as its different stages. In the 1st act the beautiful delineation of Vipralambha śṛṅgāra is found through the speech of Makaranda by which he describes the love longing of Mādhava for Mālatī[22] which is held smṛti [23] stage of Vipralambha śṛṅgāra. Similarly, the verse tāmindusundaramukhīṃ ………… etc[24] is smṛti stage of Mādhava. Another stage of Vipralambha śṛṅgāra viz., jaḍatā[25] is manifested in the verse yadvismayastimitamastamitānyabhāva………..etc[26] where Mādhava’s heart benums with astonishment from which every other feeling has vanished and which has stupefied with joy as if from a plunge into nectar.The verse paricedātītaḥ sakalavacananāmaviṣaya ……………….etc[27] is another example of udvega 53 stage of [28] Vipralambha śṛṅgāra where Mādhava becomes unable to discern the correct object and his mind being void of fixity wanders about and presents visionary objects.

Bhavabhūti presents another stage of love which is known as unmāda [29] stage in the speech of Mādhava where he says that he has seen Mālatī having a countenance resembling a golden lotus, pretty and blown up and with eyes directed to him and turned slantingly away, moving here and there before him, inside and outside of him and all round. [30] In the same act Mādhava also tells about his love-lorn condition to Makaranda[31] which is regarded as the vyādhi [32] stage of Mādhava .

In the 5thact in the verse premārdrāḥ praṇayaspṛsaḥ ……............................etc[33] Mādhava wishes to witness the several actions of Mālatī under the influence of the different feelings worked up in her by different stages of love viz., an affection produced at first sight, growing into love and finally developing into intense affection owing to familiarity. This verse is an instance of abhilāṣa [34] stage of Vipralambha śṛṅgāra, where a desire for union or a love is not yet consummated by union or thwarted by separation. Again the verse lineva prativimviteva likhitevaotkīrṇarupeva ca ……… …………[35] etc reveals the extreme longing of Mādhava for Mālatī due to separation which may be treated as examples of Vipralambha śṛṅgāra.

Again, in the 9th act Bhavabhūti puts many beautiful verses in the speech of Mādhava to suggest Vipralambha śṛṅgāra. It has been known from the speech of Saudāminī that having separated from Mālatī and unable to bear the sight of familiar spots Mādhava stays with his friends in a region full of large valleys, hills and woods.[36] In the same act Mādhava says that his heart anguishes intensely and bursts but does not split in twain, his languid frame suffers stupefaction but parts not with consciousness, the fire inflames within the body but does not reduce it to ashes entirely, fate strikes cutting at the vital parts but cuts not off life on account of not getting Mālatī.[37] In this act the intensity of love-suffering is found where Mādhava suffers mental and bodily torment on account of separation from his beloved. Here Mādhava addresses a cloud in touching terms and asks the cloud deliver his massage to his beloved in case it saw her and to tell her about his sufferings.[38] Afterwards, he sees the form of Mālatī apportioned in the forest, goes on addressing his prayers for news about her to peacocks, cuckoos, monkeys but finds them unheeded.[39] This very condition of Mādhava duly suggests the delineation of Vipralambha śṛṅgāra.

In the 10th act the painful picture of Mādhava when Mālatī has been recovered by him in an unconscious condition can be held as an example of Vipralambha śṛṅgāra.[40]

Footnotes and references:


tatra śṛṅgāro nāmo ratisthāyibhāvaprabhavaḥ /
ujjalaveṣātmakaḥ yatkiñcitlloke śuci medhyaṃujjvalaṃ darśanīyam vā tadśṛṅgāreṇo pamīyate /
yastāvadujjvalaveṣaḥ sa śṛṅgāravānityucyate /
evameṣa ācārasiddho hṛdyojjalaveṣātmakatvātśṛṅgāro rasaḥ /
Nāṭyaśāstra, VI.pp. 300-301


sukhaprāyeṣu sampannaḥ ṛtumālyādisevakaḥ /
puruṣaḥ pramadāyuktaḥ śṛṅgāra iti saṃgitaḥ/apicātrasūtrārthanuvidveāryebhavataḥ//
ṛitumālyaṅkāraiḥpriyajanagāndharvakāvya sevābhiḥ upavanagamanavihāraiḥ śṛṅgārarasah samudbhavati/
nayanavadanaprasādaiḥsmitamadhuravācodhṛtipramodaiścamadhuraścāṅ gavihārais tasyābhinayaḥ prayoktavyaḥ //


śṛṅgaṃ mammathodbhedastadāgamanahetukaḥ /
uttamaprkṛtiprāyo rasaḥ śṛṅgāra iṣyate //
paroḍhām varjayitvā tu veśyāṃ cānanurāgiṇīm /
ālambanaṃ nāyikāh syurdakṣinādyāś ca nāyakāḥ //
candracandanarolambarūtādyuddīpanaṃ matam /
bhrūvikṣepakaṭākṣādiranubhāvaḥ prakīrtitaḥ //
tyaktvaugrayamaraṇālasyajugupsā vyabhicāriṇaḥ/
sthāyibhāvo ratiḥ śyāmavarṇo’yam viṣṇudaivataḥ //
Sāhityadarpaṇa,III.183 -185


vipralambho'tha saṃbhoga ityeṣa dvividho mataḥ / Ibid.,III.186


darśanasparśanādīni niṣevete vilāsinau /
yatrānurktāvanyonyaṃ saṃbhogo’yamudāhṛtaḥ//
saṃkhyātumaśakyatayā cumbanaparirambhanādibahubhedāt /
ayameka eva dhīraiḥ kathitaḥ saṃbhoga śṛṅgāraḥ//
tatra syādṛtuṣaṭakaṃ candrādityau tathodayāstanmayaḥ/
jalakelivanavihāraprabhātamadhupāna yāmino prabhṛtiḥ //
anulepanabhūṣādyā vācyaṃ śuci medhyamanyacca //
Ibid., III.210 - 212


yatra tu ratiḥ prakrṣṭā nābhīṣṭamupeti vipralambho'sau /
Ibid.,III.18730 sa ca pūrvarāgamānapravāsakaruṇātmakacaturdhā syāt /


abhilāṣaścintāsmṛtiguṇakathanodvegasaṃpralāpāśca /
unmādo'tha vyādhirjaḍatā mṛtiriti daśātra kāmadasāḥ //
Ibid., III.190


ayogo viprayogaśca saṃbhogaśceti sa tridhā
Daśarūpaka, IV.58


tatrāyogo'nurāge'pi navayorokacitayoḥ /
parātantryeṇa daivādvā viprakarṣādasaṅgamaḥ //
Ibid, IV. 59


viprayogastu viśleṣo rudhavisrambhayordvidhā /


anukūlau niṣevete yatrānyonyaṃ vilāsinau /
darśanasparśanādīni sa saṃbhogo mudānvitaḥ //Ibid.,IV.79


sā rāmaṅīyakanidheradhidevatā vā /
saundaryasārasamudāyaniketanaṃ vā //
tasyāḥ sakhe niyatamindusudhāmṛṇāla /
jyotsnādi kāraṇambhūnmadanaśca vedhāḥ //
, I.2137 sā punarmama prathamadarśanātprabhṛtyamṛtavartiriva cakṣuṣorniratiśyamānandamutpādayantyayas kāntamaṇiśalākeva lauhadhātumantaḥkaraṇamākṛṣṭavatī sarvathā //


yāntyā muhurvalitakandharamānanaṃ tad /
āvṛttavṛntaśatapatranibhaṃ vahantyā //
digdhoamṛtena ca viṣeṇa ca pakṣmalākṣyā /
gāḍhaṃ nikhāta iva me hṛdaye kaṭākṣaḥ //


bhūyo bhūyaḥ sabidhanagarīrathayā paryaṭantam /
dṛṣṭvā dṛṣṭvā bhavanavallabhītuṅgavātāyanasthā //
sākṣātkāmaṃ navamiva ratirmālatī mādhavaṃ yad /
gāḍhotkaṇṭhā lulitalulitairaṅgakaistāmyatīti //
Ibid., I.15


niyatamanayā saṃkalpanirmitaḥ priyasamāgamonubhūyate /


nīvīvandhochvasanamadharaspandanaṃ dorviṣādaḥ /
svedaścakṣurmasṛṇamadhurākekarasnigdhamugdham //
gātrastambhaḥ stanamukulayorutprabandhaḥ prakampo /
gaṇḍābhogo pulakapaṭalaṃ mūrchanā cetanā ca //


yadindāvānandaṃ praṇayini jane vā na bhajate /
vyanaktyanantastāpaṃ tadayamatidhīroapi viṣamam //
priyaṅguśyāmāṅgaprakṛtirapi cāpāṇḍumadhuraṃ /
vapuḥ kṣāmaṃ kṣāmaṃ vahati ramaṇīyaśca bhavati //


bhagavatiyathetehṛdayabharitodhrthavismayānandasundarandolayamanadhīrat vama noharāḥ paryasyanti madayanti kāmakarandayordalitanīlotpaladama
sadrkshah kaṭākṣa vikṣepāstathā tarkayāmi manorathanirvṛtta samāgama vetāviti //
Ibid., IV.p.87


iyamāliṅgāmi …………./ Ibid.,VI.p.131


saṃkalpasvapnāntareṣu ca manorathonmādamohitā prekṣe taṃ janam …………/


niśchotante sutanu kavarīvindavo yāvadete /
yāvanmadhyaḥ stanamukulayornādrabhāvaṃ jahāti //
tāvadgāḍhaṃ vitara sakṛidapyaṅkapālīṃ prasīda //
Ibid.,VIII.2 jivayanniva samūḍhasādvasasvedabinduradhikaṇṭhama pyartām /
vāhuraindavamayūkhacumbitasyandicandramaṇi hāravibhramaḥ //
Ibid.,VIII. 3


gamanamalasaṃ śūnyā dṛṣṭihḥ śarīramsoṣṭhavam /
śvasitamadhikaṃ kiṃ nvaitatsyātkimanyaditoatha vā//
bhramati bhuvane kandapārjñā vikāri ca yovanam /
lalitamadhurāste te bhāvāḥ kṣipanti ca dhīratām // Ibid.,I.17


dveṣo yatrā’nyakāryeṣu tadekāgraṃ ca mānasam /
śvāsairmanorathaiścāpi ceṣṭāstā smṛtirucyate //
Sāhityadarpaṇa of Viśvanātha Kavirāja, ed. by Kṛṣṇamohan Śāstrī with
Lakṣmī c ommentary, p.188


tāmindusundaramukhīṃ suciraṃ vibhāvya /
cetaḥ kathaṃ kathamapi vyaparvartate //
lajjāṃ vijitya vinayaṃ vinivārya dhairyam /
unmathya mantharavivekamakāṇḍa eva //


jaḍatā hīnaceṣṭatvamaṅgānāṃ manasastathā //


tatsannidhau tadadhunā hṛayaṃ madīya/
maṅgāracumbitamiva vyathamānamāste //


parichedātītaḥ sakalavacanānāmaviṣayaḥ /
punarjanmanyasminnnanubhavapathaṃ yo na gatavān//
vivekapradhvaṃādupacitamahāmohagahano /
vikāraḥ ko’apyantarjaḍayati ca tāpaṃ ca kurute //


yasminramyamaramyaṃ vā na ca harṣāya jāyate /
pradveṣaḥ prāṇitavye’api sa udvego’bhidhīyate //


unmādaścāparichedaścetaneṣvapi /


paśyāmi tāmita itaḥ purataśca paścād /
antarbahiḥ parita eva vivartamānām //
udbuddhamugdhakanakāvjanibhaṃ vahantīm /
āsaktatiryagpavartitadṛṣṭi vaktram //


prasarati parimāthī koapayaṃ dehadāha /
stirayati kāraṇānāṃ grāhakatvaṃ pramohaḥ //
raṇaraṇakavivṛdhviṃ vibhradāvartamāna /
jvalati hṛdayamantastanmayatvaṃ ca dhatte //
Ibid., I. 41


vyādhistu dīrghaniḥśvāsapāṇḍutākṛśatādayaḥ /


premārdrāḥ praṇayaspṛsaḥ paricayādudgāḍhaarāgodayās/
tāstā mugdhadṛśo nisargamadhurāśceṣṭā bhaveurmayi //
yāsvantahkaraṇasya vāsyakaraṇavyāpāra rodhī kṣnā /
dāśaṃsāparikalpitāsvapi bhavatyānandasāndro layaḥ //
, IV.7


abhilāṣaḥ spṛhā /


līneva prativimviteva likhitevotkīrṇarupeva ca /
pratyapteva vajralepaghaṭitevāntarnikhāteva ca //
sā naścetasi kīliteva viśikhaiścetobhuvaḥ pañcabhi /
ścintāsamtatitantujālanibiḍasyūteva lagnā priyā //


mālatīvirahiṇaḥ samstutapradeśadarśanāsahiṣṇoḥ samstyāyaṃ parityajya
saha suhṛdvargeṇa bṛhadroṇīśailakāntārapradeśamadhitiṣṭhato mādhavasyā
dhunāntikaṃ prayāmi //


dalati hṛdayam gāḍhodvegam dvidhā tu na bhidyate /
vahati vikalaḥ kāyo moham na muṅcati cetanām //
jvalayati tanūmantardāhaḥ karoti na bhasmasāt /
praharati vidhirmarmachedī na kṛtanti jīvitam //


daivātpaśyerjagati vicarannichayā matpriyāṃ ce /
dāśvāsyādau tadanu kathayermādhavīyāmavasthām //
āśātanturna ca kathayatātyantamuchedanīyaḥ / prāṇatrāṇaṃ kathamapi karotyāyatākṣyāḥ sa ekaḥ //
Ibid., IX.26


kekābhirnīlakaṇṭhasthirayati vacanaṃ tāṇḍavāduchikhaṇḍaḥ /
kāntāmantaḥ pramodādabhisarati madbhrāntatāraścakoraḥ /
golāṅgūlaḥ kapolaṃ chūrayati rajasā kausumena priyāyāḥ //
kaṃ yāce yatra tatra dhruvamanavasaragrasta evārthibhāvaḥ //
Ibid., IX.30


eṣā pravāsaṃ kathamapyatītya /
yātā punaḥ saṃśayamanyathaiva //
ko nāma pākābhimukhasya jantor /
dvārāṇi daivasya pidhātumiṣṭe //
Ibid., X.13

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