The backdrop of the Srikanthacarita and the Mankhakosa

by Dhrubajit Sarma | 2015 | 94,519 words

This page relates “Rasa (1): Vira or the sentiment of heroism” as it appears in the case study regarding the Srikanthacarita and the Mankhakosa. The Shrikanthacarita was composed by Mankhaka, sometimes during A.D. 1136-1142. The Mankhakosa or the Anekarthakosa is a kosa text of homonymous words, composed by the same author.

Part 2a - Rasa (1): Vīra or the sentiment of heroism

Vīra[1] or the sentiment of heroism belongs to the noblest men. It is generated from utsāha or energy, which is its sthāyibhāva or the permanent mood. It is said to be of the colour yellow and Indra, the king of the gods is its presiding divinity. Here, the ālambanavibhāvas are the persons to be vanquished and the uddīpanavіbhāvas are their heroic utterances, advances and appropriate situations. Again, taking up of the arms and the like by the rivals are the anubhāvas and the vyabhicāribhāvas are the firmness, resolution, pride, reminiscences, reasoning and horripilation.[2] It may be mentioned here that utsāha[3] is that mood, by which one is encouraged to perform a particular act.

The principal rasa of the Śrīkaṇṭhacarita is Vīra. The very theme of the poem i.e. the annihilation of the Tripuras itself guarantees that. Again, in the poem, the hero i.e. Śiva Himself announces about the main sentiment, as to be Vīra, by saying that He would display His valour.[4] Moreover, various other indications are there in the poem, which claims that Vīra is its predominant rasa. As for example, the first stanza of the Śrīkaṇṭhacarita, glorifies the fire of the Śiva’s third-eye, that burnt to ashes Kāmadeva, the god of love. Similarly, there are plenty of references of the past deeds of bravery of the hero; such as the killing of Gajāsura, Andhakāsura etc. and deeds of other gods[5] as well. By these references to the heroic activities of the hero and other gods, the rasa has been developed gradually. There is the description of the preparation and marching of the soldiers with Lord Śiva, to fight with the demons, in the cantos from XIX up to XXI. The udyama or utsāha of the Gaṇas, which is the permanent mood of the sentiment Vīra, is to be noticed while marching.[6] There is also delineation of preparation of the enemies[7] of the gods, in canto XXII. Besides, there is depiction of fierce fight between the army of both the rival troops in cantos XXIII and XXIV.

The poet combines Śṛṅgāra and Raudra with that of Vīra, thereby tries to heighten the charm of the rasa Vīra. As for example, Maṅkhaka employs the sentiment of love, in the parting scene of the soldiers from their beloveds.[8] Another instance of mixing these two sentiments is found, when the gallant soldiers of the demons, express their determination to fight till their win or death, with the hope to get the celestial damsels either by victory or by death.[9] Sometimes, the sentiment of love plays an important role by creating a favourable background for the sentiment of heroism. As for instance, there are some supplementary descriptions in cantos VI-XV. These descriptions are that of the spring season, plucking of flowers, water sports, swinging sports and so on, which no doubt nourish the attractiveness of Vīrarasa. However, in some places, it tends to overpower the principal sentiment. The example of this tendency, where the subordinate surpasses[10] the main, is to be found in XXIII. 25, 44; XXIV.1, 2 etc. Except these over enthusiastic delineation, which is a blemish on his part, Maṅkhaka is successful in combining various sentiments in a pleasing manner. Regarding the descriptions of the Gaṇas in canto XVIII and that of the demons in canto XXII also, the poet blends Raudra with Vīra nicely.

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

i)uttamaprakṛtirvīra utsāhasthāyibhāvakaḥ/
mahendradaivato hemavarṇo’yaṃ samudāhṛtaḥ//
     Sāhityadarpaṇa., III. 232
ii) vīraḥ pratāpavinayādhy avasāyasattva mohāviṣādanayavismayavikramādyaiḥ/
utsāhabhūḥ sa ca dayāraṇadānayogāt tredhā kilātra matigarvadhṛtipraharṣāḥ//
     Daśarūpaka., IV. 72

[2]:

ālambanavibhāvāstu vijetavyādayo matāḥ/
vijetavyādiceṣṭādyāstasyoddīpanarūpiṇaḥ/
anubhāvāstu tatra syuḥ sahāyānveṣaṇādayaḥ/
sañcāriṇastu dhṛtimatigarvasmṛtitarkaromāñcāḥ/
sa ca dānadharmayuddhairdayayā ca samanvitaścaturdhā syāt//
Sāhityadarpaṇa., III. 233-234

[3]:

kāryārambheṣu saṃrambhaḥ stheyānutsāha ucyate/
Ibid., III. 178

[4]:

mama vīraraso dūrmāskandya syandanagrahaṃ/
dviṣāṃ lalāṭato mārṣṭu bhramadbhrūbhaṅgakālikāḥ//
Śrīkaṇṭhacarita., XIX. 43

[5]:

upaplavarajastatra sthitimeti kiyacciraṃ/
īśate brahmaṇo yatra kuśāgrajalavipruṣaḥ//
Ibid., XIX. 15; also, XVI. 28, 33-37; XVII. 36, 38, 42, 44; XIX. 15, 16, 17, 25

[6]:

athābhyamitrīṇamavekṣya śarvarīkuṭumbalekhābharaṇaṃ gaṇāvalī/
itastataḥ saṃnahanodyamakramādanargalavyāpṛtatāmagāhata//
Ibid., XXI. 1

[7]:

nartayannari kareṇa kaścana vraścanāya paripanthināṃ babhau/
ātmano yamapathapravṛttaye sajjayannavarathakriyāmiva//
     Ibid., XXII. 10; also, XXII. 12-15, 17, 19-21, 26, 27, 38-42, 44-47, 49-53, 58 etc.

[8]:

Ibid., XXI. 20-29

[9]:

hanmaścetsamaremaravrajamatho hanyāmahe tena vā dyāmāsādya padaṃ raterubhayathāpyetadvadhūrāpnumaḥ/
dhyāyaṃ dhyāyamiti prakāmavikasacchṛṅgāravīrormayaḥ kecittatra surārayo bahurayotsāhodayaṃ niryayuḥ// Ibid., XXII. 53

[10]:

samaraparihṛtāsoḥ kasyacinnākanāryā samajani ratikeliścumbanollāsamātraḥ/
tadadharaparipītasphītapīyūṣapūraiḥ punarapi hi sa sadyo jīvitavyaṃ prapede// Ibid., XXIII. 44

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