Yakṣagāna – A Deśī Theatre Art - Part 4

Several people have the tendency to find parallels between Bhūtārādhana and Yakṣagāna. They classify Bhūtārādhana as ‘folk’ (Jānapadīya) and as a corollary, conclude that Yakṣagāna is ‘folk’ as well. However, Yakṣagāna’s allied forms of art such as Terukkūttu, Kūcupuḍi, Bhāgavatameḻa, Dūḍālapāya, Doḍḍāṭa and Keḻike are not influenced by Bhūtārādhana at all. Among these, one can say that only Kathakali has faint reflections of Bhūtakola in it. When this is the case, how can the argument that Yakṣagāna is also ‘folk’ be substantiated?

Yakṣagāna – A Deśī Theatre Art: Misconceptions – 3

In his insightful essay titled ‘Uparūpakas and Nāṭyaprabandhas’, Dr. V Raghavan classifies these (i.e., the lyrics/ scripts used for different theatrical/ Yakṣagāna-like presentations) as ‘Kāvya’ or ‘Citrakāvya’, a kind of Uparūpaka. (Refer –

[caption id="attachment_13946" align="alignleft" width="166"]Dr. V. Raghavan Dr. V. Raghavan[/caption]

Yakṣagāna – A Deśī Theatre Art: Misconceptions - 2

The word ‘Śāstra’ refers to a well-structured presentation with novel insights (Śaṃsana Śāsana-prajñā). Anything that has these characteristics can be said to be ‘Śāstrīya’. A Śāstra usually is in the form of a written set of rules as well as unwritten but traditional practises that come along with the community conciousness. Although folk forms of art might not conform to a set of written rules, they are the products of the tastes of people belonging to the particular community and have come down with time.

Yakṣagāna – A Deśī Theatre Art: Misconceptions

The terms ‘mārga’ and ‘deśī’ which have been in use for thousands of years in our tradition are today translated as ‘Classical’ and ‘Folk’ respectively, terms which hardly capture the original sense of the Sanskrit words. This equivalence was drawn by some western scholars and it is hard to say when exactly these were thought to be equivalents of the original Sanskrit words. The downfall and corruption of traditional knowledge systems of India has taken place because we have been taught to look at ourselves through the lens given by the West.

The World of Rasa – Aṣṭanāyikās

It is interesting to note that the Indian writers on the Kāma-śāstra classified the heroines as Padminī, Cittinī, Hastinī and Śaṅkinī, primarily based on their physical and sociological attributes. They were also categorised into svīyā, parakīyā and sādhāraṇā based on the same parameters. On the other hand, aestheticians who are well versed with the Nāṭya tradition of India classify the heroines based on their emotional states, which is subtler and more meaningful than the former. An actor, who is going to put on the role of a śṛṅgāra-nāyikā should keep these categories in mind.

“ಅಭಿನವಭಾರತಿ”ಯ ಕೆಲವೊಂದು ವೈಶಿಷ್ಟ್ಯಗಳು—ಉಲ್ಲೇಖಗೊಂಡ ಲೇಖಕರು ಮತ್ತು ಕೃತಿಗಳು, ಭಾಷೆ-ಶೈಲಿ

ಅಭಿನವಭಾರತಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಉಲ್ಲೇಖಗೊಂಡ ಲೇಖಕರು ಮತ್ತು ಕೃತಿಗಳು

The World of Rasas – Kinds of Heroes and Heroines

Let us first consider the different categories of heroes (nāyakas). While it is the male that has all the charm in the animal world, it is quite the opposite in the world of humans. The variety of heroes is limited. Nāyakas are usually classified into four kinds – Dhīrodātta (example: Śrīrāma), Dhīroddhata (example: Bhīma), Dhīralalita (example: Udayana) and Dhīraśānta (example: Cārudatta of Mṛcchakaṭikam). These categories have their associated rasas and all rasas find their place in one or the other kind of heroes.

“ಅಭಿನವಭಾರತಿ”ಯ ಕೆಲವೊಂದು ವೈಶಿಷ್ಟ್ಯಗಳು—ನೃತ್ತಕರಣಗಳು

ಅಭಿನವಗುಪ್ತನು ಅಭಿನಯಹಸ್ತಗಳ ವಿನಿಯೋಗವನ್ನು ಕುರಿತಂತೆ ತುಂಬ ವಿಶದವಾಗಿ ವ್ಯಾಖ್ಯಾನವನ್ನು ರಚಿಸಿದ್ದಾನೆ. ಇಲ್ಲಿಯ ವಿವರಗಳು ಯಾರಿಗಾದರೂ ಬೆರಗನ್ನು ತಾರದಿರವು. ಅವನು ಇಷ್ಟಕ್ಕೇ ಸೀಮಿತನಾಗದೆ ಈ ಬಗೆಯ ಹಸ್ತಗಳ ವಿನಿಯೋಗಕ್ಕೆ ಮತ್ತೆಷ್ಟೋ ಎಡೆಗಳನ್ನು ಕಾಣುತ್ತಾನೆ. ಅಂಥ ಒಂದು ಸಂದರ್ಭವು ಚಾರಿಗಳನ್ನು ನಿರ್ವಹಿಸುವಾಗ ಯಾವ ಬಗೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಹಸ್ತಗಳನ್ನು ಹಿಡಿಯುವುದು ಸಮುಚಿತವೆಂದು ವಿವೇಚಿಸುವುದರಲ್ಲಿದೆ. ಆ ಪ್ರಕಾರ ಅಭಿನವಗುಪ್ತನು ನಾಟ್ಯದಲ್ಲಿ ಅರ್ಧಚಂದ್ರಹಸ್ತವನ್ನೂ ನೃತ್ತದಲ್ಲಿ “ಪಕ್ಷಪ್ರದ್ಯೋತ” ಮತ್ತು “ಪಕ್ಷವಂಚಿತ”ಗಳನ್ನೂ ಒಳಿತೆಂದು ಸೂಚಿಸುತ್ತಾನೆ:

“ಅರ್ಧಚಂದ್ರೋ ನಾಟ್ಯೇ ನೃತ್ತೇ ತು ಪಕ್ಷಪ್ರದ್ಯೋತೌ ಪಕ್ಷವಂಚಿತಾವಪಿ” (ಸಂ. ೨, ಪು. ೭೭).

The World of Rasas – Śṛṅgāra – its Kinds and Modes of Execution

Among the four vṛttis that Bharata describes in his Nāṭyaśāstra (namely, the sāttvikī, kaiśikī, ārabhaṭī and bhāratī), kaiśikī renders itself the best for the portrayal of śṛṅgāra. Kaiśikī is a softer and more graceful mode of expression and is usually associated with curvilinear movements and ornate expressions. This has four limbs, namely narma, narmasphiñja, narmasphoṭa and narmagarbha and many secondary limbs. Bharata, Dhanañjaya, Dhanika and others say that one must understand these categories by close observation of the world.