Alaṅkāra-sudhānidhi – Contents

This article is part 4 of 4 in the series Alaṅkāra-sudhānidhi

Let us now examine some of the salient features of Poetics expounded by Alaṅkāra-sudhānidhi.

4.2. Poet and Poetry

The Indian aesthetic tradition holds rasa as the raison d’être of poetry. However, it sees no difference between the joy and education that rasa provides.[1] Alaṅkāra-sudhānidhi agrees with this view but considers education as an additional benefit derived out of enjoying rasa. Using a memorable example, it says: “Deriving upadeśa from poetry, which is primarily meant for enjoyment, is like being paid to savour sugarcane”–

यथा वेतनवित्तस्य लाभः पुण्ड्रेक्षुभक्षिणाम्।

तथोपदेशलाभोऽपि रसास्वादविधायिनाम्॥ 1.31

Among the prerequisites of a poet Sāyaṇācārya counts only śakti (pratibhā) and vyutpatti. Unlike Mammaṭa he subsumes abhyāsa under vyutpatti. He holds śakti as the primary prerequisite—an innate talent that is the very seed of poetry—without which a person cannot become a poet however learned s/he might be:

शक्तिः कवित्वबीजं हि प्राक्तनी कापि संस्क्रिया।

यया विना न प्रसरेत्काव्यं शिक्षावतामपि॥ 1.35

He further states: “If an untalented person attempts to compose poetry spurred on by his scholarship, his work will surely be a laughing-stock”:

व्युत्पत्तिगौरवबलाद्यदि किञ्चित्कथञ्चन।

प्रसारितं परं तच्च हास्यमेव न संशयः॥1.36

In the next verse the author describes pratibhā as “the bosom-friend of daivī vāk embodied in the Vedas”:

पराया जीवितसखीं देव्या वाचस्त्रिधातनोः॥ 1.37

This tells us that Sāyaṇācārya had the highest respect for pratibhā. The image is unique and appropriate, for the person who created it is the author of commentaries on all the Vedas!

Alaṅkāra-sudhānidhi accepts three kinds of vyutpatti: śāstra-vṛtta-jñāna, loka-vṛtta-jñāna and abhyāsa. It describes abhyāsa as the training a student receives from masters of the art, and extends its meaning to the constant and dedicated practise of versification:

काव्यं कर्तुं विवेक्तुं च ये जानन्ति त एव हि।

काव्यज्ञास्तैस्तदभ्यस्येदुपदिष्टेन वर्त्मना॥ 1.57

उपदिष्टेन काव्यज्ञैरेवंरूपेण वर्त्मना।

मुहुर्मुहुः समभ्यस्येत्तैः समं काव्यनिर्मितिम्॥ 1.58

Quoting the views of Vāmana and Ānandavardhana, Sāyaṇācārya outlines some important tenets of structure—such as śabda-pāka and harmony between sound and sense—that a poet must bear in mind.

The author lays special emphasis on loka-vṛtta-jñāna or knowledge of worldly affairs, bereft of which a poet becomes a butt of ridicule like the naïve Ṛṣyaśṛṅga:

अज्ञातलोकवृत्तो यः शास्त्रकाव्यविदप्यसौ।

ऋष्यशृङ्ग इवाशेषैर्घुष्यते मुग्धसंसदि॥ 1.42

We know that Sāyaṇācārya was a minister who held his thumb over the pulse of worldly affairs, and thus it is small wonder he emphasizes worldly knowledge. 

The author advises poets to study śāstras, purāṇas and kāvyas individually, devoting exclusive attention to each, and cautions that knowledge of one does not lead to knowledge of the others:

अन्या हि गतिरश्वस्य गतिरन्या खरोष्ट्रयोः।

मदक्लिन्नकपोलस्य गतिरन्या हि दन्तिनः॥ 1.52

लोकशास्त्रपुराणानां रीतयो हि पृथक्पृथक्।

रीतिरन्यैव काव्यानां लोकोत्तरपदस्पृशाम्॥ 1.53

Following the lead of Kṣemendra, Sāyaṇācārya exhorts budding poets to study the works of master poets such as Kālidāsa:

लोकशास्त्रविशेषज्ञः काव्यनिर्माणकौतुकी।

काव्यानि कालिदासादेः सततं परिशीलयेत्॥ 1.50

तस्मादालोचिताशेषलोकशास्त्रेण धीमता।

कर्तव्यं कालिदासादेः काव्यानां परिशीलनम्॥ 1.55

He places Kālidāsa’s compositions on par with the Vedas and recommends them to neophytes seeking instruction in their craft:

इतः कविभ्यः कालिदासस्य वैशिष्ट्यं तद्वाक्यानां वेदवत्प्रामाण्यं च भट्टाचार्यपादैः प्रतिपादितम्। यथा—

“कवयः कालिदासाद्याः कवयो वयमप्यमी।

पर्वते परमाणौ च पदार्थत्वं व्यवस्थितम्॥” इति।

Drawing from his extensive first-hand knowledge of the Vedas, Sāyaṇācārya cites several mantras and assigns the highest place to the poet:

कवीनां लोकोत्तरत्वं वेदेऽपि विशिष्टदेवतावाचकत्वेन “अनन्तमव्ययं कविम्”, “कविं कवीनामुपमश्रवस्तमम्”, “कविं सम्राजमतिथिं जनानाम्” इत्यादौ प्रतिपादितत्वात्। व्यासवाल्मीकिप्रभृतिषु ब्रह्मणो मुखेन प्रतिपादनात् क्रान्तदर्शिनां कवीनां लोकोत्तरत्वम्।

Despite being a devout adherent of the Vedas and śāstras, the author upholds the autonomy of poetry by enlisting the unique gifts it offers:

रसभावगुणौचित्यघटनालङ्क्रियादयः।

काव्यादन्यत्र दृश्यन्ते कुत्र वा वेदशास्त्रयोः॥ 1.54

Alaṅkāra-sudhānidhi defines poetry in the following manner:

लोकोत्तरगतावर्णवर्णनानिपुणः कविः।

तस्य कर्म भवेत्काव्यं रसभावनिरन्तरम्॥[2] 1.60

It is difficult to grasp the exact import of this cryptic kārikā. Taking the help of the ensuing vṛtti, we attempt to explain: A poet is one who is endowed with the talent and skill to create über-worldly, unblemished descriptions. His creation, poetry, is a composition laden with rasa. The term ‘rasa-bhāva-nirantara’ refers to rasādi as propounded by Ānandavardhana. It connotes a complex of ‘personal feelings’ and ‘art emotions,’ semblances of these, the advent and decline of personal feelings, their segue from one to another and ultimate admixture – all evoked through poetic suggestion. Further, the term ‘kāvya’ means the inseparable compound of form (śabda) and content (artha). Aestheticians such as Bhāmaha, Vāmana, Kuntaka and Bhaṭṭa-nāyaka posit different reasons for the uniqueness of such kāvyaalaṅkāra (figures of speech), rīti (style), vakrokti (oblique expression) and bhoga-kṛttva (aesthetic relish).

Sāyaṇācārya uses the template set by Ruyyaka at the beginning of Alaṅkāra-sarvasva in drawing up a conspectus of Alaṅkāra-śāstra that had developed till his time.[3] He devotedly follows the stand of Ānandavardhana and Abhinavagupta. (He addresses these savants in the plural, along with the honorific Ācārya, but names all other scholars in the singular.) Further, he justifies and adheres to Mammaṭa’s definition of poetry.[4]

4.3. Guṇa and Doṣa

Sāyaṇācārya sees a direct connection between guṇa and rasa by alluding to qualities such as śaurya that reside in the human soul:

शौर्यादय इवात्मानं ये धर्मा अङ्गिनं रसम्।

उत्कर्षयन्ति नियतस्थितयस्ते गुणा इह॥ 1.111

नयन्ति नित्यमुत्कर्षं समवायाद्रसं गुणाः।

शौर्यादय इवात्मानं शरीरेषु शरीरिणाम्॥ 1.113

He clearly upholds the rasa-dharmatva of guṇas and denounces those who limit their influence to śabdārtha-dharmatva

इत्थं रसैकधर्मत्वं गुणानामुपपादितम्।

भ्रान्त्यैव केवलं प्राहुरज्ञाः शब्दार्थधर्मताम्॥ 1.115

Further, he says guṇas are inherent in and inseparable from the body of poetry (samavāya, 1.113) and contrasts them with alaṅkāras, which he holds are appurtenances separable from the body (saṃyoga, 1.114). 

Following Bhāmaha, Ānandavardhana, Mammaṭa and Bhaṭṭa-gopāla, Sāyaṇācārya accepts only three guṇas: mādhurya, ojas and prasāda

माधुर्यौजःप्रसादाख्यास्त्रय एव गुणा इह॥ 1.122

He follows Mammaṭa closely in jettisoning the ten guṇas pertaining to śabda and artha as propounded by Vāmana. He gives the following reasons for explaining these away: (1) some can be subsumed under mādhurya, ojas and prasāda; (2) some are not guṇas per se but are only the absence of doṣas; (3) some are demonstrably not guṇas and can even be considered doṣas –

अन्ये ये वामनाद्युक्ता अत्रैवान्तर्भवन्ति ते।

अनन्तर्भाविनो दोषत्यागाद्दोषाश्च संश्रिताः॥ 1.126

Sāyaṇācārya’s definitions of mādhurya, ojas and prasāda bear a close resemblance to Mammaṭa’s statements. He says:

Mādhurya is the quality that melts the mind; we experience it predominantly in śṛṅgāra and come under its spell in karuṇa, vipralambha and śānta in the ascending order:

आनन्दकृत्त्वं माधुर्यं शृङ्गारे द्रावयन्मनः।

करुणे विप्रलम्भे तच्छान्ते चाधिक्यवत्क्रमात्॥ 1.123

Ojas is the quality that expands the mind by account of its brilliance. We experience it mainly in vīra, bībhatsa and raudra in the ascending order:

ओजो दीप्त्यात्मविस्तारकारणं समुदाहृतम्।

वीरबीभत्सरौद्रेषु क्रमेणैतत्प्रकर्षति॥ 1.124

Alaṅkāra-sudhānidhi echoes Ekāvalī (5.5) when it says the effect of ojas is starkly heightened in the depiction of bhayānaka

किञ्चिन्मग्नमनोवृत्तिस्वभावेऽपि भयानके।

दीप्तत्वेन विभावस्य भजत्योजः परां भुवम्॥

Prasāda is the quality that pervades the mind instantaneously; it is like fire that consumes a dry piece of wood; it manifests equally well in all rasas (Ekāvalī, 5.6) –

यश्चित्तं व्यश्नुतेऽह्नाय शुष्केन्धनमिवानलः।

स प्रसादो गुणः सर्वरससाधारणस्थितिः॥

Sāyaṇācārya holds that rīti / saṅghaṭanā depends on and varies with guṇas. He enlists various letters of the Sanskrit alphabet that are conducive to the three guṇas; he even tailors them to different rasas.  Because he believes guṇas are evoked by suitable letters, Sāyaṇācārya considers it wrong to attribute them to either śabda or artha exclusively. Interestingly, he reserves a huge chunk of the text, quite disproportional to the treatment of other concepts, to dismiss the views of Vāmana (1.122–157). 

Coming to doṣa, Sāyaṇācārya defines it as ‘mukhyārtha-vyāhati’ – anything that obstructs or obfuscates rasa:

मुख्यार्थव्याहतिर्दोषो रसो मुख्यस्तदाश्रयात्। 1.110

As it is a factor detrimental to the delineation of rasa, doṣa relates only to it and not any other concept. In holding this view Sāyaṇācārya is indebted to Mammaṭa (Kāvya-prakāśa, 7.1).

Following Kāvyādarśa (1.7) Alaṅkāra-sudhānidhi says, “Even a small blemish can mar the quality of poetry, just like a tiny leprous spot is enough to sully the human body” (1.118).

Although the concept of doṣas is not fully worked out by Sāyaṇācārya, we gather that he accepts four main kinds (1.110 vrtti) –

  1. Śabda-doṣa such as cyuta-saṃskāra
  2. Vākya-doṣa such as pratikūla-varṇatva
  3. Ubhaya-doṣa such as śruti-kaṭu
  4. Rasa-doṣa such as sva-śabda-vācyatva

4.4. Alaṅkāra

Examining the compositional structure of Alaṅkāra-sudhānidhi we gather that its third chapter is devoted to the concept of alaṅkāras. Since this chapter is available only as a fragment, we cannot get a complete picture of Sāyaṇācārya’s treatment of alaṅkāras. He seems to have followed Mammaṭa and his commentator Bhaṭṭa-gopāla in elucidating this poetic concept. In fact, the third chapter opens with a lengthy quotation from Sāhitya-cūḍāmaṇi, Bhaṭṭa-gopāla’s commentary on Kāvya-prakāśa.

We have noted in the discussion on guṇa that Sāyaṇācārya counts alaṅkāras as external ornaments that beautify the body of poetry. The actual verse is:

ये त्वङ्गभूतशब्दार्थद्वारा तं सन्तमेकदा।

अलङ्कुर्वन्त्यलङ्कारा हाराद्या इव ते पुनः॥ 1.112

The text includes alaṅkāras under the citra variety of poetry in which the suggested meaning is not distinct:

तस्यास्फुटत्वेऽलङ्कारप्राधान्ये काव्यमिष्यते।

चित्रशब्दार्थविषयमधमं चित्रमित्यपि॥ 1.100

The two varieties of alaṅkāras, śabda and artha, are discussed under the eponymous heads of citra. Following Bhaṭṭa-gopāla, Sāyaṇācārya enlists six types of śabdālaṅkāra: vakrokti, anuprāsa, yamaka, śleṣa, citra and punaruktavad-ābhāsa. Although the author was familiar with Kuntaka’s conceptualization of vakrokti as an all-encompassing poetic concept, he has restricted it only to śabdālaṅkāra.

In the case of arthālaṅkāras, the text as it stands now discusses only three: upamā (fully along with its varieties), ananvaya and upameyopamā (cursorily). In explaining the divisions of upamā such as śrautī and ārthī, the author has followed the model of Mammaṭa and not those of Ruyyaka, Hemacandra and Bhoja. Ruyyaka exercised a potent influence on later aestheticians in the classification of alaṅkāras; nonetheless, Sāyaṇācārya does not follow him. The reason for this is perhaps the influence of Ekāvalī, a text of the ‘praśasti’ type after which Alaṅkāra-sudhānidhi is modelled.



[1] Ref: Abhinavagupta’s unequivocal proclamation: न चैते प्रीतिव्युत्पत्ती भिन्नरूपे एव, द्वयोरप्येकविषयत्वात्। (Locana, 3.14)

[2] Evidently, Sāyaṇācārya had Bhaṭṭa-tauta’s famous verses in mind in framing this definition: “…तदनुप्राणनाजीवद्वर्णनानिपुणः कविःतस्य कर्म स्मृतं काव्यम्॥” (Quoted in Kāvyānuśāsana, 1.3).  Likewise, he is indebted to Daṇḍī for the pregnant phrase ‘rasa-bhāva-nirantara’ (Kāvyādarśa, 1.18)

[3] इह हि तावद्भामहोद्भटप्रभृतयश्चिरन्तनालङ्कारकाराः प्रतीयमानमर्थं वाच्योपस्कारकतयालङ्कारपक्षनिक्षिप्तं मन्यन्ते। तथा हि—पर्यायोक्त-अप्रस्तुतप्रशंसा-समासोक्ति-आक्षेप-व्याजस्तुति-उपमेयोपमा-अनन्वयादौ वस्तुमात्रं गम्यमानं वाच्योपस्कारकत्वेन “स्वसिद्धये पराक्षेपः परार्थं स्वसमर्पणम्” इति यथायोगं द्विविधया भङ्ग्या प्रतिपादितं तैः। रुद्रटेन तु भावालङ्कारो द्विधैवोक्तः। रूपक-दीपक-अपह्नुति-तुल्ययोगितादावुपमाद्यलङ्कारो वाच्योपस्कारकत्वेनोक्तः। उत्प्रेक्षा तु स्वयमेव प्रतीयमाना कथिता। रसवत्प्रेयःप्रभृतौ रसभावादिर्वाच्यशोभाहेतुत्वेनोक्तः। तदित्थं त्रिविधमपि प्रतीयमानमलङ्कारतया ख्यापितमेव। वामनेन तु सादृश्यनिबन्धनाया लक्षणया वक्रोक्त्यलङ्कारत्वं ब्रुवता कश्चिद्ध्वनिभेदोऽलङ्कारतयैवोक्तः। केवलं गुणविशिष्टपदरचनात्मिका रीतिः काव्यात्मत्वेनोक्ता। उद्भटादिभिस्तु गुणालङ्काराणां प्रायशः साम्यमेव सूचितम्। विषयमात्रेण भेदप्रतिपादनात्। सङ्घटनाधर्मत्वेन शब्दार्थधर्मत्वेन चेष्टेः। तदेवमलङ्कारा एव काव्ये प्रधानमिति प्राच्यानां मतम्। वक्रोक्तिजीवितकारः पुनर्वैदग्ध्यभङ्गीभणितिस्वभावां बहुविधां वक्रोक्तिमेव प्राधान्यात्काव्यस्य जीवितमुक्तवान्। व्यापारस्य प्राधान्यं च काव्यस्य प्रतिपेदे। अभिधानप्रकारविशेषा एवालङ्काराः। सत्यपि त्रिविधे प्रतीयमाने व्यापाररूपा भणितिरेव कविसंरम्भगोचरा। उपचारवक्रतादिभिः समस्तो ध्वनिप्रपञ्चः स्वीकृतः। केवलमुक्तिवैचित्र्यजीवितं काव्यं न व्यङ्ग्यार्थजीवितमिति तदीयं दर्शनं व्यवस्थितम्। भट्टनायकेन तु व्यङ्ग्यव्यापारस्य प्रौढोक्त्याभ्युपगतस्य काव्यांशत्वं ब्रुवता न्यग्भावितशब्दार्थस्वरूपस्य व्यापारस्यैव प्राधान्यमुक्तम्। तत्राप्यभिधाभावकत्वलक्षणव्यापारद्वयोत्तीर्णो रसचर्वणात्मा भोगापरपर्यायो व्यापारः प्राधान्येन विश्रान्तिस्थानतयाङ्गीकृतः। ध्वनिकारः पुनरभिधातात्पर्यलक्षणाख्यव्यापारत्रयोत्तीर्णस्य ध्वननद्योतनादिशब्दाभिधेयस्य व्यञ्जनाव्यापारस्यावश्याभ्युपगम्यत्वाद्व्यापारस्य च वाक्यार्थत्वाभावाद्वाक्यार्थस्यैव च व्यङ्ग्यरूपस्य गुणालङ्कारोपस्कर्तव्यत्वेन प्राधान्याद्विश्रान्तिधामत्वादात्मत्वं सिद्धान्तितवान्। (Alaṅkāra-sarvasva, 1.1 vṛtti)

[4] तददोषौ शब्दार्थौ सगुणावनलङ्कृती पुनः क्वापि॥(Kāvya-prakāśa, 1.4)

References

 

  1.     A Descriptive Catalogue of the Sanskrit Manuscripts in the Government Oriental Manuscripts Library, Madras (Vol. 22; Ed. Kuppuswami Sastri, S). Madras: Superintendent, Government Press, 1918
  2.     Annual Report of the Mysore Archaeological Department. Mysore, 1908
  3.     Annual Report of the Mysore Archaeological Department. Mysore, 1914–15
  4.     Annual Report of the Mysore Archaeological Department. Mysore: University of Mysore, 1933
  5.     Beginnings of Vijayanagara History. Heras, Henry. Bombay: Indian Historical Research Institute, 1929
  6.     Contribution of Andhra to Sanskrit Literature. Sriramamurti, P. Waltair: Andhra University, 1972
  7.     Descriptive Catalogue of Sanskrit Manuscripts (Vol. VIII; Ed. Malledevaru, H P). Mysore: Oriental Research Institute, 1982
  8.     Early Vijayanagara: Studies in its History and Culture (Proceedings of S. Srikantaya Centenary Seminar; Ed. Dikshit, G S). Bangalore: BMS Memorial Foundation, 1988
  9.     Epigraphia Carnatica (Vol. 6; Ed. Rice, Lewis B). Mysore Archaeological Series, 1901
  10.     Epigraphia Indica (Vol. 3; Ed. Hultzsch, E). Calcutta: Office of the Superintendent of Government Printing, 1979 (Reprint)
  11.     History of Sanskrit Poetics (2 volumes). De, Sushil Kumar.  Calcutta: Firma K L Mukhopadhyay, 1960
  12.     History of Sanskrit Poetics. Kane, P V. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1971
  13.     Jayadāman. Ed. Velankar, H D. Bombay: Haritosha Samiti, 1949
  14.     Karnāṭakadalli Smārta-brāhmaṇaru: Nele-Hinnele (Kannada; Ed. Anantharamu, T R). Bengaluru: Harivu Books, 2023
  15.     Kṛṣṇa-yajurveda-taittirīya-saṃhitā (with Sāyaṇa-bhāṣya). Pune: Ananda Ashram, 1900
  16.     Mādhavīyā Dhātuvṛtti (Ed. Shastri, Dwarikadas). Varanasi: Prachya Bharati Prakashana, 1964
  17.     Mysore Gazetteer (Vol. 2, Part 3; Ed. Rao, Hayavadana C). Delhi: B R Publishing Corporation, 1927–30
  18.     New Catalogus Catalogorum (Vol. 1; Ed. Raghavan, V). University of Madras, 1968
  19.     Pañcadaśī-pravacana (Kannada). Sharma, Ranganatha N. K R Nagar: Vedanta Bharati, 2003
  20.     Parāśarasmṛtiḥ (with Mādhavācārya’s commentary; Ed. Candrakānta Tarkālaṅkāra). Calcutta: The Asiatic Society, 1974
  21.     Puruṣārtha-sudhānidhi (Ed. Chandrasekharan, T). Madras: Government Oriental Manuscripts Library, 1955
  22.     Sayana. Modak, B R. New Delhi: Sahitya Akademi, 1995
  23.     South Indian Inscriptions (Vol. 4; Ed. Sastri, Krishna H). Madras: The Superintendent, Government Press, 1923
  24.     Subhāṣita-sudhānidhi (Ed. Krishnamoorthy, K). Dharwar: Karnatak University, 1968
  25.     Taittirīya-brāhmaṇa (Vol. 3; Ed. Godbole, Shastri Narayana). Pune: Ananda Ashram, 1979
  26.     Uttankita Sanskrit Vidya-Aranya Epigraphs (Vol. 1, Vidyaranya). Bombay: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, 1985
  27.     Vibhūti-puruṣa Vidyāraṇya (Kannada). Ganesh, R. Hubli: Sahitya Prakashana, 2011
  28.     Vidyāraṇyara Samakālīnaru (Kannada). Gundappa, D V. Hubli: Sahitya Prakashana, 2023

To be continued.

 

Author(s)

About:

Dr. Ganesh is a 'shatavadhani' and one of India’s foremost Sanskrit poets and scholars. He writes and lectures extensively on various subjects pertaining to India and Indian cultural heritage. He is a master of the ancient art of avadhana and is credited with reviving the art in Kannada. He is a recipient of the Badarayana-Vyasa Puraskar from the President of India for his contribution to the Sanskrit language.

About:

Shashi Kiran B N holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and a master's degree in Sanskrit. His interests include Indian aesthetics, Hindu scriptures, Sanskrit and Kannada literature and philosophy.

Prekshaa Publications

Among the many contributions of ancient Indians to world thought, perhaps the most insightful is the realisation that ānanda (Bliss) is the ultimate goal of human existence. Since time immemorial, India has been a land steeped in contemplation about the nature of humans and the universe. The great ṛṣis (seers) and ṛṣikās (seeresses) embarked on critical analysis of subjective experience and...

One of the two great epics of India and arguably the most popular epic in the world, the Ramayana has enchanted generations of people not just in Greater India but the world over. In less than three hundred pages The Essential Ramayana captures all the poetic subtleties and noble values of the original and offers the great epic in an eminently readable form that will appeal to the learned and...

The Bhagavad-gītā isn’t merely a treatise on ultimate liberation. It is also a treatise on good living. Even the laity, which does not have its eye on mokṣa, can immensely benefit from the Gītā. It has the power to grant an attitude of reverence in worldly life, infuse enthusiasm in the execution of duty, impart fortitude in times of adversity, and offer solace to the heart when riddled by...

Indian Perspective of Truth and Beauty in Homer’s Epics is a unique work on the comparative study of the Greek Epics Iliad and Odyssey with the Indian Epics – Rāmāyaṇa and Mahābhārata. Homer, who laid the foundations for the classical tradition of the West, occupies a stature similar to that occupied by the seer-poets Vālmīki and Vyāsa, who are synonymous with the Indian culture. The author...

Karnataka’s celebrated polymath, D V Gundappa brings together in the sixth volume of reminiscences character sketches of prominent public figures, liberals, and social workers. These remarkable personages hailing from different corners of South India are from a period that spans from the late nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth century. Written in Kannada in the 1970s, these memoirs go...

An Introduction to Hinduism based on Primary Sources

Authors: Śatāvadhānī Dr. R Ganesh, Hari Ravikumar

What is the philosophical basis for Sanātana-dharma, the ancient Indian way of life? What makes it the most inclusive and natural of all religio-philosophical systems in the world?

The Essential Sanātana-dharma serves as a handbook for anyone who wishes to grasp the...

Karnataka’s celebrated polymath, D V Gundappa brings together in the fifth volume, episodes from the lives of traditional savants responsible for upholding the Vedic culture. These memorable characters lived a life of opulence amidst poverty— theirs  was the wealth of the soul, far beyond money and gold. These vidvāns hailed from different corners of the erstwhile Mysore Kingdom and lived in...

Padma Bhushan Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam represents the quintessence of Sage Bharata’s art and Bhārata, the country that gave birth to the peerless seer of the Nāṭya-veda. Padma’s erudition in various streams of Indic knowledge, mastery over many classical arts, deep understanding of the nuances of Indian culture, creative genius, and sublime vision bolstered by the vedāntic and nationalistic...

Bhārata has been a land of plenty in many ways. We have had a timeless tradition of the twofold principle of Brāhma (spirit of wisdom) and Kṣāttra (spirit of valour) nourishing and protecting this sacred land. The Hindu civilisation, rooted in Sanātana-dharma, has constantly been enriched by brāhma and safeguarded by kṣāttra.
The renowned Sanskrit poet and scholar, Śatāvadhānī Dr. R...

ಛಂದೋವಿವೇಕವು ವರ್ಣವೃತ್ತ, ಮಾತ್ರಾಜಾತಿ ಮತ್ತು ಕರ್ಷಣಜಾತಿ ಎಂದು ವಿಭಕ್ತವಾದ ಎಲ್ಲ ಬಗೆಯ ಛಂದಸ್ಸುಗಳನ್ನೂ ವಿವೇಚಿಸುವ ಪ್ರಬಂಧಗಳ ಸಂಕಲನ. ಲೇಖಕರ ದೀರ್ಘಕಾಲಿಕ ಆಲೋಚನೆಯ ಸಾರವನ್ನು ಒಳಗೊಂಡ ಈ ಹೊತ್ತಗೆ ಪ್ರಧಾನವಾಗಿ ಛಂದಸ್ಸಿನ ಸೌಂದರ್ಯವನ್ನು ಲಕ್ಷಿಸುತ್ತದೆ. ತೌಲನಿಕ ವಿಶ್ಲೇಷಣೆ ಮತ್ತು ಅಂತಃಶಾಸ್ತ್ರೀಯ ಅಧ್ಯಯನಗಳ ತೆಕ್ಕೆಗೆ ಬರುವ ಬರೆಹಗಳೂ ಇಲ್ಲಿವೆ. ಶಾಸ್ತ್ರಕಾರನಿಗಲ್ಲದೆ ಸಿದ್ಧಹಸ್ತನಾದ ಕವಿಗೆ ಮಾತ್ರ ಸ್ಫುರಿಸಬಲ್ಲ ಎಷ್ಟೋ ಹೊಳಹುಗಳು ಕೃತಿಯ ಮೌಲಿಕತೆಯನ್ನು ಹೆಚ್ಚಿಸಿವೆ. ಈ...

Karnataka’s celebrated polymath, D V Gundappa brings together in the fourth volume, some character sketches of the Dewans of Mysore preceded by an account of the political framework of the State before Independence and followed by a review of the political conditions of the State after 1940. These remarkable leaders of Mysore lived in a period that spans from the mid-nineteenth century to the...

Bharatiya Kavya-mimamseya Hinnele is a monograph on Indian Aesthetics by Mahamahopadhyaya N. Ranganatha Sharma. The book discusses the history and significance of concepts pivotal to Indian literary theory. It is equally useful to the learned and the laity.

Sahitya-samhite is a collection of literary essays in Kannada. The book discusses aestheticians such as Ananda-vardhana and Rajashekhara; Sanskrit scholars such as Mena Ramakrishna Bhat, Sridhar Bhaskar Varnekar and K S Arjunwadkar; and Kannada litterateurs such as DVG, S L Bhyrappa and S R Ramaswamy. It has a foreword by Shatavadhani Dr. R Ganesh.

The Mahābhārata is the greatest epic in the world both in magnitude and profundity. A veritable cultural compendium of Bhārata-varṣa, it is a product of the creative genius of Maharṣi Kṛṣṇa-dvaipāyana Vyāsa. The epic captures the experiential wisdom of our civilization and all subsequent literary, artistic, and philosophical creations are indebted to it. To read the Mahābhārata is to...

Shiva Rama Krishna

சிவன். ராமன். கிருஷ்ணன்.
இந்திய பாரம்பரியத்தின் முப்பெரும் கதாநாயகர்கள்.
உயர் இந்தியாவில் தலைமுறைகள் பல கடந்தும் கடவுளர்களாக போற்றப்பட்டு வழிகாட்டிகளாக விளங்குபவர்கள்.
மனித ஒற்றுமை நூற்றாண்டுகால பரிணாம வளர்ச்சியின் பரிமாணம்.
தனிநபர்களாகவும், குடும்ப உறுப்பினர்களாகவும், சமுதாய பிரஜைகளாகவும் நாம் அனைவரும் பரிமளிக்கிறோம்.
சிவன் தனிமனித அடையாளமாக அமைகிறான்....

ऋतुभिः सह कवयः सदैव सम्बद्धाः। विशिष्य संस्कृतकवयः। यथा हि ऋतवः प्रतिसंवत्सरं प्रतिनवतामावहन्ति मानवेषु तथैव ऋतुवर्णनान्यपि काव्यरसिकेषु कामपि विच्छित्तिमातन्वते। ऋतुकल्याणं हि सत्यमिदमेव हृदि कृत्वा प्रवृत्तम्। नगरजीवनस्य यान्त्रिकतां मान्त्रिकतां च ध्वनदिदं चम्पूकाव्यं गद्यपद्यमिश्रितमिति सुव्यक्तमेव। ऐदम्पूर्वतया प्रायः पुरीपरिसरप्रसृतानाम् ऋतूनां विलासोऽत्र प्रपञ्चितः। बेङ्गलूरुनामके...

The Art and Science of Avadhānam in Sanskrit is a definitive work on Sāhityāvadhānam, a form of Indian classical art based on multitasking, lateral thinking, and extempore versification. Dotted throughout with tasteful examples, it expounds in great detail on the theory and practice of this unique performing art. It is as much a handbook of performance as it is an anthology of well-turned...

This anthology is a revised edition of the author's 1978 classic. This series of essays, containing his original research in various fields, throws light on the socio-cultural landscape of Tamil Nadu spanning several centuries. These compelling episodes will appeal to scholars and laymen alike.
“When superstitious mediaevalists mislead the country about its judicial past, we have to...

The cultural history of a nation, unlike the customary mainstream history, has a larger time-frame and encompasses the timeless ethos of a society undergirding the course of events and vicissitudes. A major key to the understanding of a society’s unique character is an appreciation of the far-reaching contributions by outstanding personalities of certain periods – especially in the realms of...

Prekṣaṇīyam is an anthology of essays on Indian classical dance and theatre authored by multifaceted scholar and creative genius, Śatāvadhānī Dr. R Ganesh. As a master of śāstra, a performing artiste (of the ancient art of Avadhānam), and a cultured rasika, he brings a unique, holistic perspective to every discussion. These essays deal with the philosophy, history, aesthetics, and practice of...

Yaugandharam

इदं किञ्चिद्यामलं काव्यं द्वयोः खण्डकाव्ययोः सङ्कलनरूपम्। रामानुरागानलं हि सीतापरित्यागाल्लक्ष्मणवियोगाच्च श्रीरामेणानुभूतं हृदयसङ्क्षोभं वर्णयति । वात्सल्यगोपालकं तु कदाचिद्भानूपरागसमये घटितं यशोदाश्रीकृष्णयोर्मेलनं वर्णयति । इदम्प्रथमतया संस्कृतसाहित्ये सम्पूर्णं काव्यं...

Vanitakavitotsavah

इदं खण्डकाव्यमान्तं मालिनीछन्दसोपनिबद्धं विलसति। मेनकाविश्वामित्रयोः समागमः, तत्फलतया शकुन्तलाया जननम्, मातापितृभ्यां त्यक्तस्य शिशोः कण्वमहर्षिणा परिपालनं चेति काव्यस्यास्येतिवृत्तसङ्क्षेपः।

Vaiphalyaphalam

इदं खण्डकाव्यमान्तं मालिनीछन्दसोपनिबद्धं विलसति। मेनकाविश्वामित्रयोः समागमः, तत्फलतया शकुन्तलाया जननम्, मातापितृभ्यां त्यक्तस्य शिशोः कण्वमहर्षिणा परिपालनं चेति काव्यस्यास्येतिवृत्तसङ्क्षेपः।

Nipunapraghunakam

इयं रचना दशसु रूपकेष्वन्यतमस्य भाणस्य निदर्शनतामुपैति। एकाङ्करूपकेऽस्मिन् शेखरकनामा चित्रोद्यमलेखकः केनापि हेतुना वियोगम् अनुभवतोश्चित्रलेखामिलिन्दकयोः समागमं सिसाधयिषुः कथामाकाशभाषणरूपेण निर्वहति।

Bharavatarastavah

अस्मिन् स्तोत्रकाव्ये भगवन्तं शिवं कविरभिष्टौति। वसन्ततिलकयोपनिबद्धस्य काव्यस्यास्य कविकृतम् उल्लाघनाभिधं व्याख्यानं च वर्तते।

Karnataka’s celebrated polymath, D V Gundappa brings together in the third volume, some character sketches of great literary savants responsible for Kannada renaissance during the first half of the twentieth century. These remarkable...

Karnataka’s celebrated polymath, D V Gundappa brings together in the second volume, episodes from the lives of remarkable exponents of classical music and dance, traditional storytellers, thespians, and connoisseurs; as well as his...

Karnataka’s celebrated polymath, D V Gundappa brings together in the first volume, episodes from the lives of great writers, poets, literary aficionados, exemplars of public life, literary scholars, noble-hearted common folk, advocates...

Evolution of Mahabharata and Other Writings on the Epic is the English translation of S R Ramaswamy's 1972 Kannada classic 'Mahabharatada Belavanige' along with seven of his essays on the great epic. It tells the riveting...

Shiva-Rama-Krishna is an English adaptation of Śatāvadhāni Dr. R Ganesh's popular lecture series on the three great...

Bharatilochana

ಮಹಾಮಾಹೇಶ್ವರ ಅಭಿನವಗುಪ್ತ ಜಗತ್ತಿನ ವಿದ್ಯಾವಲಯದಲ್ಲಿ ಮರೆಯಲಾಗದ ಹೆಸರು. ಮುಖ್ಯವಾಗಿ ಶೈವದರ್ಶನ ಮತ್ತು ಸೌಂದರ್ಯಮೀಮಾಂಸೆಗಳ ಪರಮಾಚಾರ್ಯನಾಗಿ  ಸಾವಿರ ವರ್ಷಗಳಿಂದ ಇವನು ಜ್ಞಾನಪ್ರಪಂಚವನ್ನು ಪ್ರಭಾವಿಸುತ್ತಲೇ ಇದ್ದಾನೆ. ಭರತಮುನಿಯ ನಾಟ್ಯಶಾಸ್ತ್ರವನ್ನು ಅರ್ಥಮಾಡಿಕೊಳ್ಳಲು ಇವನೊಬ್ಬನೇ ನಮಗಿರುವ ಆಲಂಬನ. ಇದೇ ರೀತಿ ರಸಧ್ವನಿಸಿದ್ಧಾಂತವನ್ನು...

Vagarthavismayasvadah

“वागर्थविस्मयास्वादः” प्रमुखतया साहित्यशास्त्रतत्त्वानि विमृशति । अत्र सौन्दर्यर्यशास्त्रीयमूलतत्त्वानि यथा रस-ध्वनि-वक्रता-औचित्यादीनि सुनिपुणं परामृष्टानि प्रतिनवे चिकित्सकप्रज्ञाप्रकाशे। तदन्तर एव संस्कृतवाङ्मयस्य सामर्थ्यसमाविष्कारोऽपि विहितः। क्वचिदिव च्छन्दोमीमांसा च...

The Best of Hiriyanna

The Best of Hiriyanna is a collection of forty-eight essays by Prof. M. Hiriyanna that sheds new light on Sanskrit Literature, Indian...

Stories Behind Verses

Stories Behind Verses is a remarkable collection of over a hundred anecdotes, each of which captures a story behind the composition of a Sanskrit verse. Collected over several years from...