The backdrop of the Srikanthacarita and the Mankhakosa

by Dhrubajit Sarma | 2015 | 94,519 words

This page relates “Rasa (4): Hasya or the sentiment of humour” 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 2d - Rasa (4): Hāsya or the sentiment of humour

Hāsya, in which the permanent mood is hāsa or mirth, is according to the imagination of the mythologists, is of white colour and the attendants of Śiva are its presiding deities. It may arise from the fun of distorted shapes, words, dresses, gestures etc. Whatever a person laughs at, when he sees it, distorted in case of form, speech or gesture, this they call the ālambana and the gestures thereunto pertaining, is held to be the uddīpana. Among its anubhāvas are, closing of the eyes, smiling of the countenance etc. and the vyabhicāribhāvas may be drowsiness, indolence, dissembling etc.[1] Maṅkhaka is endowed with wit and humour and he employs the sentiment of comic in his poem successfully.

In the very first canto, in the verse, ūrdhvāṇḍādapyupari[2] ….., the beauty of employment of Hāsyarasa catches one’s eye, wherein it is nicely stated that Brahmā’s contemplation becomes interrupted, as the swans, His mount get restless due to the jingling sound of anklets, tied to the ankle of Caṇḍikā, during Her performance of dance. Actually, the swans, on hearing the sound of the anklets of Caṇḍikā, mistaken that sound, as it were, created by some other swans and they begin to move and at this, the meditation of Brahmā interrupts, who feared of falling down from His mount.[3] This scene is sure to produce laughter.

In canto II, there are some verses where, satiric humour is found to be conspicuous. The verses are, viz. avadyajambāla[4]....., aśikṣitā yā[5] …, dṛḍhaprarūḍhā[6] ….., satāṃ batāsādhu[7] ….., ekaḥ punardurjana[8]...…. In these verses, through satirical humour, Maṅkhaka mentions about the complex nature of dishonest persons as well as ridiculous and futile efforts of foolish poets, for the creation of poetry. The poet compares the fault-finders in the compositions of great poets, with that of buffalos, who try to find out clay, even in the divine Ganges[9]. The poet again, describes a minor poet, who is not even accustomed to write in a normal style or prakṛtamārga, faces a stumbling block, when he, all of a sudden tries to compose poetry in vakra style.[10] Besides, this sentiment is relished in khalīkṛtā yasya[11] ….., pārśvopaviṣṭahari[12] ….. also.

In canto VIII, it is found that the young divine male wishes to be born as trees, just to get embrace of celestial damsels, busy in plucking flowers.[13] It is to be noticed here that, this instance of witty humour, ultimately enhances the charm of the erotic sentiment.

Again, there are some other similar examples of satiric humour to be found in canto XII, in the verses, viz. matkāryasiddhyai tava[14]….., saṃspṛśya taṃ[15] ….., kena krameṇa[16] ….., sa eva kastūrika[17] ….., anatyayaṃ śaityamupetya[18] ….., nakhānakhi prastuta[19].….. These were the instances, where a female character rebukes a lady go-between, where satiric humour is combined with that of erotic sentiment.

In canto XIII, in the verses, viz. dayite vilokayati[20].….and itarā nisarga[21]….., there is witty humour, in reference to a young maiden and her counterpart.

Likewise, in canto XIV, in the verses, pṛthubhāṇḍato[22] ….., maṇikuṭṭimapratimitaṃ[23]..…, taruṇāḥ puraḥ[24] ….., kāpyāsta stimitaiva[25]....., as well as in canto XV, viz. in the verses, ācchidya kañcukamayaṃ[26] ….., vastraṃ haratsu[27] …., lajjāvatī parijahāra[28] ….., tanvī athā[29] ….., kācittathā[30] ….., śṛṅgāriṇo’ratha[31] ….., dhautāsipaṭṭa[32] ….., also, in cantos XVI (9, 42, 58), XVII (13), XXIII (33), XXIV (66), XXV (12), there is the sentiment Hāsya can be relished.

Some of the fine examples of the excellent situation of humour can be enjoyed in the canto XX. Maṅkhaka presents an unmatched scope of humour even in between heroic sentiment. He gives the reaction of Uccaiḥśravas, the horse and a buffalo, both the vehicles of Indra and Yama respectively, when the latter have been yoked to the chariot of Śiva, in the form of horses.[33] Their glances towards their master, really makes one laugh, out of fun. Again, there is another situation of comedy at the sideglances of female Kinnaras towards Kubera, their master, in the same way yoked to the chariot of Śiva.[34] This way, Maṅkhaka employs the sentiment of humour in his poem; however this rasa plays as an auxiliary rasa, sometimes to Vīra and sometimes to Śṛṅgāra and others.

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

vikṛtākāravāgveṣaceṣṭādeḥ kuhakādbhavet /
hāsyo hāsasthāyibhāvaḥ śvetaḥ pramathadesivataḥ/
vikṛtākāravākceṣṭaṃ yamālokya hasejjanaḥ/
tamatrālambanaṃ prāhustacceṣṭoddīpanaṃ mataṃ/
anubhāvo’kṣisaṅkocavadanasmeratādayaḥ/
nidrālasyāvahitthādyā atra syurvyabhicāriṇaḥ//
Sāhityadarpaṇa., III. 214-216

[2]:

ūrdhvāṇḍādapyupari paritaḥ prodgatastāṇḍaveṣu premotkarṣaṃ racayatu satāṃ caṇḍikādaṇḍapādaḥ/
yanmañjīradhvananakalayākṛṣyamāṇā japasthaṃ brahmāṇaṃ drāgvahanavihagāḥ saṃvidaścālayanti//
Śrīkaṇṭhacarita., I. 46

[3]:

Jonarāja comments—nūpuraśabde haṃsaśabdabhramādvāhahaṃseṣu caliteṣu patanabhayādbrahmā niravadhānaḥ saṃpanna ityarthaḥ /
Ibid., I. 46, page 11

[4]:

avadyajambālagaveṣaṇāya kṛtodyamānāṃ khalasairibhāṇāṃ/
kavīndravāṅnirjaranirjhariṇyāṃ saṅjāyate vyarthamanorathatvaṃ //
Ibid., II. 10

[5]:

Ibid., II. 15

[6]:

Ibid., II. 17

[7]:

Ibid., II. 18

[8]:

Ibid., II. 22

[9]:

Ibid., II. 10

[10]:

Jonaraja writes, regarding this—yaśca paṅgū rājapathe’pyaśikṣito vakre saṅkaṭādau mārge pravartate sa krame krame skhalati/
Ibid., II. 15, page 17-18

[11]:

Ibid., III. 61

[12]:

Ibid., V. 19

[13]:

prasabhaṃ parirebhire tathā tā adhiroḍhuṃ varaśākhinaṃ sumukhyaḥ/
atha tatra yathā dyusadyuvāno drumajanmapraṇidhānameva cakruḥ//
     Ibid., VIII. 41

[14]:

Ibid., XII. 87

[15]:

Ibid., XII. 88

[16]:

Ibid., XII. 89

[17]:

Ibid., XII. 90

[18]:

Ibid., XII. 91

[19]:

Ibid., XII. 92

[20]:

dayite vilokayati kāpi kucau hṛyametya kañculikayā pidadhau/
amṛtaṃ vavarṣa tu tadunnatitastruṭimetya sāpi bata tasya dṛśoḥ//
     Ibid., XIII. 32

[21]:

Ibid., XIII. 33

[22]:

Ibid., XIV. 4

[23]:

Ibid., XIV. 11

[24]:

Ibid., XIV. 52

[25]:

Ibid., XIV. 66

[26]:

Ibid., XV. 14

[27]:

Ibid., XV. 18

[28]:

Ibid., XV. 34

[29]:

Ibid., XV. 35

[30]:

Ibid., XV. 36

[31]:

Ibid., XV. 37

[32]:

Ibid., XV. 38

[33]:

vigāhamānasturagatvamindraḥ sākūtamuccaiḥśravasā luloke/
yamo’aśvamūrtirdadṛśe ca vāhavāhadviṣā roṣakaṣāyitena//
Ibid., XX. 20

[34]:

īkṣāṃbabhūve śravaṇāntagaistairvilocanairaśvamukhījanena/
maheśvarasyandanadhuryatāyai hayākṛtiḥ kiṃpuruṣādhirājaḥ//
Ibid., XX. 21

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