Vishnudharmottara Purana (Art and Architecture)

by Bhagyashree Sarma | 2021 | 59,457 words

This page relates ‘Elements of Drama (f): Dramatic Style’ of the study on the elements of Art and Architecture according to the Vishnudharmottara Purana: an ancient text whose third book deals with various artisan themes such as Architecture, Painting, Dance, Grammar, etc. Many chapters are devoted to Hindu Temple architecture and the iconography of Deities and their installation rites and ceremonies.

1.3. Elements of Drama (f): Dramatic Style

Dramatic style is generally referred to by the word vṛtti in the Viṣṇudharmottarapurāṇa. There are four kinds of vṛttis i.e., dramatic styles accepted in the Viṣṇudharmottarapurāṇa.

These are,

  1. Bhāratī,
  2. Sāttvatī,
  3. Kauśikī and
  4. Ārabhaṭī.[1]

The way or style of delivering speech or dialogues in a Drama is regarded as Bhāratī-vṛtti.[2] The Sāhityadarpaṇa also agrees on it.[3] According to the Viṣṇudharmottarapurāṇa, Sāttvatī-vṛtti mainly displays vīrarasa and Ārabhaṭīvṛtti exhibits raudrarasa.[4] The Sāhityadarpaṇa agrees on it.[5] Because, according to the Sāhityadarpaṇa, Sāttvatī-vṛtti is associated with the qualities of power, heroism, leaving, forgiveness and straightness[6] and the vīrarasa is seen to be delineated by these qualities.[7] Abhinavagupta states that Sāttvatī-vṛtti is the action of mind and Ārabhaṭī-vṛtti is the action of body.[8] The state of utsāha is the sthāyībhāva of vīrarasa.[9]

It increases energy and excitement to mind and projects the heroic sentiment through the sañcāribhāvas i.e., transitory feelings of mind like:

  1. dhṛti i.e., firmness[10] ,
  2. mati i.e., intellect[11] ,
  3. garva i.e., pride[12] ,
  4. smṛti i.e., memory[13] ,
  5. tarka i.e., speculation[14] and
  6. romāñca i.e., horripilation[15] .[16]

On the other hand, krodha is the sthāyībhāva of raudrarasa and it is all about the actions of body.[17] So if the view points of the Viṣṇudharmottarapurāṇa and Abhinavagupta are compared, it can be noticed that Sāttvatī-vṛtti which exhibits vīrarasa remains as the action of mind and Ārabhaṭī-vṛtti which exhibits raudrarasa remains as the action of limb. Kauśikī-vṛtti is associated with the sentiment of love i.e., śṛṅgāra.[18]

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

bhāratī sātvatī caiva kauśikyārabhaṭī tathā/ catastro vṛttayaḥ proktā….// Viṣṇudharmottarapurāṇa, 3.20. 56

[2]:

vākyapradhānā tu bhāratī/ Ibid., 3.20.56

[3]:

bhāratī saṃskṛtaprāyo vāgvyāpāro naṭāśrayaḥ/ Sāhityadarpaṇa, 6.21

[4]:

tathā vīarasaprāyā vijñeyā sātvatī nṛpa/ tathā raudrapracārā ca bhavatyārabhaṭī sadā// Viṣṇudharmottarapurāṇa, 3.20.57

[5]:

……..vīre sāttvatyārabhaṭī punaḥ/rase raudre ca…….// Sāhityadarpaṇa, 6.122

[6]:

sātvatī bahulā sattvaśauryatyāgadayārjavaiḥ/ Ibid., 6.128

[7]:

atha vīro nāma uttamaprakṛtirutsāhātmakaḥ…sthairyaśauryadhairyatyāgavaiśāradyād…/ Nāṭyaśāstra, p.262

[8]:

manovyāpārarūpā sātvikī sāttvatī/ teṣāmiyamārabhaṭī kāyavṛttiḥ/ Abhinavabhāratī, p.16

[9]:

uttamaprakṛtirvīra utsāhasthāyibhāvakaḥ/ Sāhityadarpaṇa, 3.232

[10]:

V.S Apte, The Student’s Sanskrit English Dictionary, p.275

[11]:

Ibid., p.418

[12]:

Ibid., p.184

[13]:

Ibid., p.629

[14]:

Ibid., p.231

[15]:

Ibid., p.472

[16]:

sañcāriṇastu dhṛtimatigarvasmṛtitarkaromāñca/ Sāhityadarpaṇa, 3.234

[17]:

muṣṭiprahārapātanabikṛtacchedāvadāraṇeścaiva/ saṃgrāmasaṃbhramādyairasyoddīptibhavet prauḍā// Ibid., 3.228

[18]:

śṛṅgāre kauśikī……/ Ibid., 6.122

Let's grow together!

I humbly request your help to keep doing what I do best: provide the world with unbiased sources, definitions and images. Your donation direclty influences the quality and quantity of knowledge, wisdom and spiritual insight the world is exposed to.

Let's make the world a better place together!

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: