Alaṅkāra-śāstra’s Debt to Early Indic Resistance Against Islam - 5

Mahmud returned again in 1020–21 CE, to punish Chandella legend Vidyadhara. On the way, Shahi Trilochanapala opposed him on the banks of the Yamuna. He was defeated again and was on his way to join Vidyadhara when he is known to have been killed. Thus, the great Shahi Trilochanapala died in 1021 CE.[1] Although Mahmud advanced to meet Vidyadhara, neither Mahmud nor Vidyadhara seem to have taken the initiative to fight and instead returned to their capitals after a show of strength.

Alaṅkāra-śāstra’s Debt to Early Indic Resistance Against Islam - 4

His younger contemporary, Abhinavagupta, of Kashmir, is a giant in every sense of the word. By his own admission, he was not short of guidance, and it shows in his works. In his commentaries, he fondly mentions two of his Gurus: Bhaṭṭatauta, who taught him Nāṭya-śāstra,[1] and Bhaṭṭendurāja, who taught him Dhvanyāloka.[2] Both were from Kashmir and, by Abhinavagupta’s own description, were masters of Aesthetics.

Alaṅkāra-śāstra’s Debt to Early Indic Resistance Against Islam - 2

It is during the time of Jayapida that we see the next stage of evolution of Alaṅkāra-śāstra. It was led by two scholars in his court, Udbhaṭa and Vāmana, who can be considered as the successors of Bhāmaha and Daṇḍī, respectively. Udbhaṭa is known to have written a commentary called vivaraṇa on Bhāmaha’s Kāvyālaṅkāra, which is not available today. He is also supposed to have written a commentary on the Nāṭya-śāstra, which is also not available.

Alaṅkāra-śāstra’s Debt to Early Indic Resistance Against Islam

[Alaṅkāra-śāstra is often called the youngest among Indian sciences. Several factors substantiate this statement. Of them, the fact that Alaṅkāra-śāstra boarded the bus of proliferation just before invasive Islamic hordes acted as a collective contraceptive to prevent the birth of original ideas is perhaps the most important. In this series of articles, H A Vasuki juxtaposes two extreme opposites to great effect – the worst of times producing the best of results.

The Ideal of the Indian Tradition of Kshatra is Needed in Today’s Democracy

It’s true that the Indian tradition of Kshatra has witnessed several ups and downs and hundreds of incidents of defeats and death. In reality, our Rajas and Maharajas and other towering Kshatriya warriors, owing to their near-sightedness, misplaced generosity, and needless pride lost their respect, wealth and culture to the forces of barbarism. At times, some of these kings turned out to be selfish, narrow-minded and were fatal to Sanatana Dharma.

Ahalyabai Holkar: The Ideal Kshatriya Woman

Like Sawai Jai Singh, the other warrior who toiled for the cause of Sanatana Dharma during the period of the downfall of the Mughal Empire was the ideal woman Ahalyabai Holkar. Before her were women like Jijabai (Shivaji’s mother) and Yesubai, the wife of Sambhaji, Shivaji’s son. Sambhaji who was caught and imprisoned by the Mughals did not convert to Islam despite the horrific tortures he endured, and finally died a martyr. After his death, Yesubai instead of giving the throne to her young son, Sahu, displayed magnanimity by giving it up to her brother-in-law, Rajaram.