Mudrarakshasa (literary study)

by Antara Chakravarty | 2015 | 58,556 words

This page relates ‘Use of Bhayanakarasa (terrible sentiment)’ of the English study on the Mudrarakshasa: an ancient Sanskrit dramatic play (Nataka) authored by Vishakhadatta which deals with the life of king Chandragupta. This study investigates the Mudra Rakshasa from a literary perspective, such as metrics, themes, rhetorics and other poetical elements. Chandragupta ruled the Mauryan Empire during the 4th century BCE, hence this text can also be studied as a historical textbook of ancient India.

3.4. Use of Bhayānakarasa (terrible sentiment)

In the very first act, Cāṇakya gets information from his spy about the three culprits in the city who are conspiring against Candragupta. One of them is Candanadāsa. Therefore, Cāṇakya summons Candanadāsa for a talk.

On this occasion, Candanadāsa becomes very much afraid and says to himself that even the heart of innocent person becomes afraid of untimely call from Cāṇakya due to his heartlessness, what can he say of himself being a criminal. Cf.—

cāṇakyenākaruṇena sahasā śabdāyitasyāpi janasya/
nirdoṣasyāpi śaṅkā kiṃ punarmama jātadoṣasya//

This is a beautiful delineation of Bhāyanakarasa the source of which is Candanadāsa.

After this, Candanadāsa gets frightened again by Cāṇakya’s threatening

bhoḥ śrestin, śirasibhayamatidūre tatpratikāraḥ.[2]

“O merchant, the danger stands over your head and the remedy is very far”

Candanadāsa knew that he is the main culprit for Cāṇakya because he has given shelter to the family of Rākṣasa, who is Cāṇakya’s foremost enemy the consequence of which leads to Candanadāsa’s execution. As a result, out of fear

Candanadāsa thinks like the following, Cf.—

upari ghanaṃ ghanaraṭitaṃ dūre dayitā kimetadāpatitam
himavati divyauṣadhayaḥ śīrṣe sarpaḥ samāviṣṭaḥ

This verse having Bhayānakarasa has its own charm. Because, here there is a tint of Śṛṅgārarasa also.

Footnotes and references:


Ibid., I. 21


Ibid., p. 84

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