Satirical works of Kshemendra (study)

by Arpana Devi | 2017 | 60,954 words

This page relates ‘Educational Life’ part of the study on the Satirical works of Kshemendra: an 11th century poet from Kashmir, who composed three satirical works. Kshemendra himself says that in composing the satirical works his only motive is to reform the mindset of the people.—He exposes all the vices and follies prevailing in the society with the intention to reform it.

Kṣemendra had his education under the supervision of the best teachers of his time. His own works are informative in this regard. In the Aucityavicāracarcā[1], Kṣemendra is mentioned as a sarvamanīṣiśiṣya, which indicates that he was the disciple of different scholars. Kṣemendra himself states that in order to learn something one should have willingness to be a student of any individual.[2] He studied many subjects with his honourable teachers. Kṣemendra mentions that he studied sāhitya from the great ācārya Abhinavagupta, the author of the Vidyāvivṛti.[3] Ahbinavagupta was a renowned philosopher who was revered for his profound exposition of the Kashmirian Philosophy of Śaivism, and a great poet and critic of extraordinary acumen.[4] Dr. Kane recognises the depth and intensity of Kṣemendra’s intimacy with his teacher, Abhinavagupta.[5]

Kṣemendra also mentions the name of another Gaṅgaka as his Upādhyāya[6]. In the Aucityavicāracarcā, he quotes one verse from the work of Gaṅgakopādhyāya[7]. But the name of his work is not known, nor does Kṣemendra mention the name of the book.

Besides these teachers, Kṣemendra in his Bṛhatkathāmañjarī[8] indicates that he has also another teacher named Somācārya. He shows his great reverence for ācārya Soma, who is a follower of Vaiṣṇavism.

Kṣemendra also introduces one Devadhara in his Bṛhatkathāmañjarī[9] Devadhara held an important position in the Brāhmaṇa community. He is stated as sarvajña. Most probably, Kṣemendra used the word sarvajña to mean Devadhara’s vast knowledge. Kṣemendra says that Devadhara instructed him to compose the said work.[10] Scholars like Prof. Levi names Devadhara as one of Kṣemendra’s friends.[11] According to Dr. Suryakanta, he was probably Kṣemendra’s teacher.[12] However, it is to be mentioned that which subject or subjects Kṣemendra learned from him and whether he was a teacher of Kṣemendra or not, are not mentioned clearly. But, it becomes clear that Devadhara occupied a special place in the life of Kṣemendra.

In the Introduction to the Bauddhāvadānakalpalatā[13] Somendra speaks about one Vīryabhadra, whom he calls a ācārya. Vīryabhadra is mentioned to be an up-holder of Buddhist philosophy, with the help of whom Kṣemendra was enriched by the knowledge of Buddhist philosophy.

Kṣemendra exhibits his great respect to all his teachers. He says that in order to earn scholarship, one must try his best and should always serve his teacher.[14]

 

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

tasyātmajaḥ sarvamanīṣiśiṣyaḥ śrīvyāsadāsāparapuṇyanāmā/
Aucityavicāracarcā ,Upasaṃhāra,3

[2]:

vyutpattai sarvaśiṣyatā/
Kavikaṇṭhābharaṇa ,II.4

[3]:

śrutvābhinavaguptākhyāt sāhityaṃ bodhavāridhe/
ācāryaśekharamaṇervidyāvivṛtikāriṇaḥ// Bṛhatkathāmañjarī ,Upasaṃhāra,7

[4]:

Sankaran, A., Some Aspects of Literary Criticism in Sanskrit, p.91

[5]:

ibid.p.18

[6]:

yathā asmadupādhyāyagaṅgakasya/
Aucityavicāracarcā , p.63

[7]:

sa ko’pi premārdraḥ praṇayaparipākapracalito vilāso’kṣaṇāṃ deyāt sukhamanupamaṃ vo mṛgadṛśāṃ/
yadākūtaṃ dṛṣṭvā pidadhati mukhaṃ tūṇavivare nirastavyāpārā bhuvanajayinaḥ pañca viśikhāḥ// ibid., pp.63-64

[8]:

śrīmadbhāgavatācāryasomapādābjareṇubhiḥ dhanyatāṃ yaḥ paraṃ yātaḥ nārāyaṇaparāyaṇaḥ// Bṛhatkathāmañjarī ,Upasaṃhāra,8

[9]:

sa śrīdevadharākhyasya dvijarājyapadasthiteḥ/
sarvajñasyājñayā cakre kathāmetām vinodinīṃ// ibid.,Upasaṃhāra,11

[10]:

sarvajñasyājñayā cakre kathāmetāṃ vinodinīṃ// ibid. Upasaṃhāra,11

[11]:

Dattary, Rajatbaran, A Critical Survey of The Life and Works of Kṣemendra, p.91

[12]:

Suryakanta, Dr., Kṣemendra Studies, p.15

[13]:

athābhyetya svayaṃ tasya gṛhaṃ prajñāprakāśavān/
ācāryo bīryabhadrākhyaḥ prakhyātasukṛtojjvalaḥ//. jinaśāsanaśāstreṣu pariniṣṭhitamānasaḥ/
gambhīrāgamamārge’smin yayau ratnapradīpatāṃ // Bauddhāvadānakalpalatā , Introduction,12-13

[14]:

a. vidyodyogī gatodvegaḥ sevayā toṣayed guruṃ/
Cārucaryā , 43 b. gurumārādhayed bhaktyā vidyāvinayasādhanaṃ/
ibid., 67

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