The backdrop of the Srikanthacarita and the Mankhakosa

by Dhrubajit Sarma | 2015 | 94,519 words

This page relates “Rasa (2): Shringara or the sentiment of love” 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 2b - Rasa (2): Śṛṅgāra or the sentiment of love

The word Śṛṅgāra originates from the term śṛṅga, which literally means a ‘horn’ that grows from the head of a bull, as a plant sprouts from the ground. Thus, it means the budding of love, at the advent of Kāmadeva or Cupid, the god of love. When a man of higher dignity has erotic dalliances, it becomes a case of Śṛṅgāra. Herein Śṛṅgāra, the heroines excluding another’s wife and a harlot, if not honestly enamoured as well as the heroes impartial are the ālambanavibhāvas, again the uddīpanavibhāvas are the moon, sandalwood ointment, the humming of bees etc. whereas, motions of the eye-brows and side-glances etc. are found to be the anubhāvas and its vyabhicāribhāvas may be anything except sternness, death, indolence and disgust. Here the sthāyibhāva or permanent mood is love. The mythologists imagine that the colour of this rasa i.e. Śṛṅgāra, is black. Its presiding deity is Viṣṇu, who in His incarnation as the amorous Kṛṣṇa was celebrated for the darkness of His colour.[1] Regarding Śṛṅgāra, the rasa, Bharata opines that the Śṛṅgāra is that wherein, the permanent mood is rati.[2] Dhanañjaya[3] holds that when a pair of young man and woman feels mutual longing due to favourable place, time, dress, sports etc., that feeling is called rati or love and this rati, being fully experienced through various graceful actions, attains the status of the sentiment called Śṛṅgāra.

Viśvanātha[4] as well as Mammaṭa[5] is of the opinion that Śṛṅgāra is of two fold viz. Saṃbhoga (love in union) and Viparalambha (love in separation). According to Dhanañjaya, there are three divisions of it, viz. Ayoga, Viprayoga and Saṃbhoga.[6] In Vipralambha, though possessing love for each other, the hero and the heroine cannot get united.[7] In fact, it is equivalent to the Viprayoga,[8] which is also said to exist in case of a couple of lovers, being separated after union. The Ayoga[9] variety of Śṛṅgāra, which arises due to the dependent position of one or other of the lovers, though deeply attached to each other, cannot in any way be united, through distance or the intervention of ill-luck, has ten stages of love i.e. daśa kāmadaśā. This Ayoga type of Śṛṅgāra may be regarded as a subvariety or the broader class of Vipralambha or Viprayoga. The Saṃbhogaśṛṅgāra[10] takes place, when the hero and the heroine are in the enjoyment of each other’s company, engaged in love-making through sight, touch, kissing etc. Dhanañjaya[11] is also of the same observation, regarding Saṃbhoga type of Śṛṅgāra. It may be mentioned here that Paṇḍitarāja Jagannātha, in his Rasagaṅgādhara, while dividing Śṛṅgāra into two varieties, terms Saṃbhoga as to be Saṃyoga, the other one being Vipralambha.[12] This Saṃbhoga, by the learned, is asserted to be only one, because in consequence of its many varieties of kissing, embracing etc., it would not be possible that these should be separately reckoned. Moreover, the natural phenomenon, like the rising of the sun and the moon, the six seasons, with their charm and gaiety, sports in water, forest, the morning, black bees and the night contribute much in the context of realization of Saṃbhoga.[13]

Śṛṅgārarasa has been employed in the Śrīkaṇṭhacarita, as an auxiliary sentiment. It serves the purpose of augmenting the effect of the predominant sentiment. For this, it acts just like a backdrop, which is favourable as well as charming. This sentiment of love is felt all through the poem. Again, it begs an important position over all other subordinate sentiments. Sometimes, this sentiment is seen in a combined form with that of the main sentiment also. Thus, it becomes an indispensable part of the main stream of the poem. As it is known, the main theme of the poem is the destruction of the Tripuras by Lord Śiva, so it encompasses within it, the life and activities of the Lord. In the descriptions of the amusements of the husband and the consort, in portraying the conjugal life of Śiva and Pārvatī (Gaurī), the poet employs this erotic sentiment. Thus, though this sentiment is suggested in the subsidiary descriptions of amorous activities of the hero and the heroine as well as others, however the poet Maṅkhaka, tactfully connects it with the main theme of the poem and hence, it becomes an inseparable entity, deep rooted in the very soul of the poem.

Saṃbhogaśṛṅgāra or the love in union has been relished in the very first canto of the poem. Herein, there is the description of Ardhanārīśvara or the combined form of Lord Śiva and Gaurī.[14]

In the fourth canto, there are numerous instances of Saṃbhogaśṛṅgāra, such as Gaurī’s closely embracing Śiva[15], Śiva’s bowing down to Her feet in order to abate Her anger.[16]

Again, in canto VII, named dolākrīḍāvarṇana, there is the delineation of love sports of Hara and Gaurī. Here Śiva encourages Gaurī to behold the beauty and grandeur of the spring, on the mountain Kailāsa.[17] Similarly, Śiva through His erotic speech, persuades Gaurī to enjoy the swinging sports as well.[18] Gaurī too responds to the inspiring words of Her husband. She casting aside Her bashfulness, slowly rides on the swing.[19] Moreover, there is a grand description of the swinging sports.[20]

Canto VIII is also enriched with some instances of Saṃbhogaśṛṅgāra. It is found here that Gaurī retires from the swing, being fatigued and then Śiva hugs Her, as and when She gets down.[21] Not only that, Śiva removes sweats from the face of His wife.[22]

Canto IX is full of descriptions of water-sports.[23]

Canto XVI is also marked by Saṃbhogaśṛṅgāra. Here, there is the description of walking of Hara and Gaurī, at the dawn and also there is a sequence of Gaurī’s pulling of the hair of Śiva, just for fun.[24]

The Saṃbhogaśṛṅgāra is also found to be delineated in the loving behaviours of united couples at the outbreak of the spring season[25], in the plucking of flowers (VIII), as well as in the water-sports of the divine damsels. Besides, the departure of the abhisārikās, to meet their lovers, at the evening (XI) and morning-twilight (XII), use of cosmetics by the celestial females (XIII), drinking of liquor by the divine youths (XIV) etc. are couched up with the flavour of erotics. Actually, all these scenes of Saṃbhogaśṛṅgāra facilitate in the subsequent development and intensifying the main sentiment of the poem which is heroic.

The Vipralambhaśṛṅgāra is depicted in the pathetic conditions of the separated lovers in different cantos of the Śrīkaṇṭhacarita. Maṅkhaka delineates the misery and plight of the persons staying away from their beloveds, which reminds one of the love-lorn conditions of the imaginary yakṣa in Kālidāsa’s Meghadūta[26] Maṅkhaka portrays the sufferings of the lovers, at the advent of the spring season.[27]

In canto VI, he gives a picturesque description of that scene in the some verses.[28] Again, the poet also depicts the condition of the love-smitten females, as the evening is approaching them, in canto X.[29] The appearance of the moon at the sky, increases the sadness of separated lovers and this situation has been reflected in the verse 61 of canto X[30] as well as in the verses 3-8 of canto XI of the poem. The females hold the moon responsible for their misery and reprimand the moon for that in the stanzas 52-61of canto XI.

Moreover, in canto XII (2534), there is a heart-rending description of the suffering of a love-lorn female[31], who is at the verge of death, due to excessive mental anguish and grief. This condition of the love-lorn lady resembles the condition of yakṣapatnī in the Meghadūta, which would cause even an inanimate cloud, to shed tears in the form of new water.[32]

Footnotes and references:


śṛṅgaṃ hi manmathodbhedastadāgamanahetukaḥ/
uttamaprakṛtiprāyo rasaḥ śṛṅgāra iṣyate/
paroḍhāṃ varjayitvā tu veśyāṃ cānanurāgiṇīṃ/
ālambanaṃ nāyikāḥ syurdakṣiṇādyāśca nāyakāḥ/
candracandanarolambarutādyuddīpanaṃ mataṃ/
bhrūvikṣepakaṭākṣādiranubhāvaḥ prakīrtitaḥ/
tyaktvaugryamaraṇālasyajugupsā vyabhicāriṇaḥ/
sthāyibhāvo ratiḥ śyāmavarṇo’yaṃ viṣṇudaivataḥ//
     Sāhityadarpaṇa., III. 183-185


tatra śṙṅgāro nāma ratisthāyibhāvaprabhāvaḥ/ Nāṭyaśāstra., VI, page 300


pramodātmā ratiḥ saiva yūnaranyonyaraktayoḥ/
prahṛṣyamāṇaḥ śṛṅgāro madhurāṅgaviceṣṭitādyaiḥ// Daśarūpaka., IV. 48


vipralambho’tha saṃbhoga ityeṣa dvividho mataḥ/ Sāhityadarpaṇa., III. 186


tatra śṛṅgārasya dvau bhedau saṃbhogo vipralambhaśca/ Kāvyaprakāśa., IV. page 84


ayogo vipralambhaśca saṃbhogaśceti sa tridhā/
Daśarūpaka., IV. 50


yatra tu ratiḥ prakṛṣṭā nābhīṣṭamupaiti vipralambho’sau/ Sāhityadarpaṇa., III. 187


viprayogastu viśleṣo ruḍhavisrambhayordvidhā śṛṅgāra/ Daśarūpaka., IV. 57


tatrāyogo’murāge’pi navayorekacittayoḥ/ Ibid., IV. 50-51


darśanasparśanādīni niṣevete vilāsinau/
yatrānuraktāvanyonyaṃ saṃbhogo’yamudāhṛtaḥ// Sāhityadarpaṇa., III. 210


anukūlau niṣevete yatrānyonyaṃ vilāsinau/
darśanasparśanādīni sa saṃbhogo mudānvitaḥ// Daśarūpaka., IV. 69


tatra śṛṅgāro dvividhaḥ saṃyogo vipralambhaśca/
rateḥ saṃyogakālāvacchinnatve prathamaḥ/
viyogakālāvacchinnatve dvitīyaḥ //
     Rasagaṅgādhara., page 41


saṃkhyātumaśakyatayā cumbanaparirambhaṇādibahubhedāt/
ayameka eva dhīraiḥ katitaḥ saṃbhogaśṛṅgāraḥ/
tatra syādṛtuṣaṭkaṃ candrādityau tathodayāstamayaḥ/
anulepanabhūṣādyā vācyaṃ śuci medhyamanyacca // Sāhityadarpaṇa., III. 211-212


i)saṅdhyāstotravidhau bhavatyuditabhīryatreśvaro yatra ca trasyatyadrisutā sakhīḥ prati raho visrambhasaṃbhāṣaṇe/
āste yatra ca cittabhedaviduṣāṃ no paiśunoktiklama-stadbhūyācchivayoḥ śivāya rabhasādekībhavadvo vapuḥ// Śrīkaṇṭhacarita., I. 48
ii)truṭyatsāṭopajūṭatridaśataṭavatīvāripūrābhirāmaṃ kāmāreścāruvakṣaḥsthalamiha mahate vibhramāyāstu tadvaḥ/
yatra svacchandalīlāviharaṇahariṇī sarvadaivādrikanyā vinyasyāṅgāni saṅgādatanu vitanute kāni na krīḍitāni// Ibid., I. 51


i)avagūḍho dṛḍhaṃ devyā paulastyabhujanartite/
yatra kṣaṇaṃ vibhurlebhe dolākelirasajñatāṃ// Ibid., IV. 21 ii) Ibid., IV. 51


Ibid., V. 38-39


Ibid., VII. 10-43


Ibid., VII. 54-60


iti vacanamanīcodañciromañcasūcī-sacivavapurumā tadvyāhṛtaṃ vallabhena/
śrutipathamupanīya prītikallolitākṣī ciraviralitalajjā tāṃ śanairadhyarukṣat// Ibid., VII. 61


Ibid., VII. 62-66


cirakhelanakhedavadbhiraṅgairavarūḍhā virahayya kelidolāṃ/
rabhasādapi sādhibāhuyantraṃ giriputrī jagṛhe maheśvareṇa// Ibid., VIII. 1


Ibid., VIII. 12


Ibid., IX. 45-56


Ibid., XVI. 57-58


Ibid., VI. 29, 56, 57 etc.


tasya sthitvā kathamapi puraḥ kautugādhānaheto rantarbāṣpaściramanucaro rājarājasya dadhyau/
megāloke bhavati sukhino’pyanyathāvṛtticetaḥ kaṇṭhāśleṣapraṇayini jane kiṃ punardūrasaṃsthe// Meghadūta, I. 3


śanaiḥ śanairmānavatīkavoṣṇaśvāsormibhiḥ sārdhamavardhatāhaḥ/
niśīthinī kārśyadaśāṃ viyogijīvāśayā sārdhamapi prapede// Śrīkaṇṭhacarita., VI. 7


Ibid., VI. 7, 12, 20-24


abhyuddhṛto rajanivallabhabimbabhaṅgyā rātryā tadā dhruvamanaṅganidhānakumbhaḥ/
yattatra maṇḍalitavigrahakālarakṣā-sarpadyutirvirahiṇīradaśatkalaṅkaḥ// Ibid., X. 45; also 22, 25 etc.


Jonarāja, in his commentary of the verse writes—candraṃ dṛṣṭvā virahiṇyo dahyante…. /
Ibid., XI. 61, page 145


kucasthale sā bisakāṇḍatantubhirvivṛṇvatī hāralatāparigrahaṃ/
vyanakti labdhuṃ madanādavadhyatāṃ dhṛtopavītāmiva dehakandalīṃ//
Ibid., XII. 28


sā saṅnyastābharaṇamabalā peśalaṃ dhārayantī śayyotsaṅge nihitamasakṛdduḥkhaduḥkhena gātraṃ/
tvāmapyastraṃ navajalamayaṃ mocayiṣyatyavaśyaṃ prāyaḥ sarvo bhavati karuṇāvṛttirārdrāntarātmā//
Meghadūta, II. 331

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