From one perspective, Ramkumari’s character is fundamentally tragic. She is the only character in Mandra who keeps “losing” throughout her life. Her loss isn’t merely her abandonment by Mohanlal or much later, by her own grown-up children who choose their long-estranged father’s fame and wealth over their mother’s lifelong sacrifice in nurturing them.
Just because the Mahābhārata was narrated in the period of King Janamejaya it doesn’t make it an ancient tale; it is fresh even today and it will forever be new because when will there not be disputes between cousins? Although it is a story of the kṣatriyas, such disputes exist in all communities around the world. The problem is described with great imagery and we feel as though the events are happening right before our eyes. Who doesn’t like a story?
किं वेदैः स्मृतिभिः पुराणपठनैः शास्त्रैर्महाविस्तरैः
स्वात्मानन्दपदप्रवेशकलनं शेषा वणिग्वृत्तयः॥
The true root and heart of Mandra is located in the music of Raja Saheb and his small Mahadeva Temple overlooking the perennial, gurgling currents of Narmada River amid the dense jungle he has specially grown. In less than ten pages, Dr. Bhyrappa unveils a majestic opulence that at once encompasses the highest and the best traditions of Indian music, its underlying philosophy, its aesthetic goal and its ultimate ideal.
The story of the Mahābhārata is gigantic. It is thus divided into eighteen parvas. These divisions are called kāṇḍas in the Rāmāyaṇa. What is termed as ‘sandhi’ in later works such as Jaiminī-bhārata corresponds to an adhyāya. Several adhyāyas together constitute a parva. The word ‘parva’ means a span between two nodes of a sugarcane. Just like the span between nodes in a sugarcane stalk, so also is the role played by the parvas in the Mahābhārata.
Bhartṛhari begins his Vairāgya-śatakam with a verse on Śiva:
लीलादग्धविलोलकामशलभः श्रेयोदशाग्रे स्फुरन्।
श्चेतःसद्मनि योगिनां विजयते ज्ञानप्रदीपो हरः॥
Ask a random student of Sanskrit to recite a poem—chances are you will hear a verse from Bhartṛhari’s Nīti-śatakam. Go to an Acharya seeking wise counsel—chances are you will hear a verse from Bhartṛhari’s Vairāgya-śatakam. Suppose you are interested in love as it is depicted in Sanskrit literature and consult a book—chances are you will come across a verse from Bhartṛhari’s Śṛṅgāra-śatakam. Such is our poet’s popularity.
In the corpus of Dr. S.L. Bhyrappa’s twenty-three novels, seven stand out as Himalayan peaks in the order of their publication: Vamsha Vruksha, Daatu, Parva, Sakshi, Tantu, Sartha and Mandra. Of these, two share a basic and apparent similarity in the sense that they are the fine artistic and literary specimens of Dr. Bhyrappa’s profound meditations over nearly half a lifetime. These are Sakshi (1986) and Mandra (2002).
The culture of Greater India has its roots in śruti, smṛti, itihāsa, and purāṇa. Śruti means ‘Vedas.’ The Upaniṣads, which form a part of the Vedas, are the basis of Vedānta and other darśanas. Smṛti refers to dharma-śāstras.
ನಿದ್ರೆಯು ಪ್ರಕೃತಿಯಾದರೆ ಹಾಸಿಗೆಯು ಸಂಸ್ಕೃತಿ. ಮಂಚ-ಮಧುಮಂಚಗಳು ಮತ್ತೂ ಮಿಗಿಲಾದ ಸಂಸ್ಕೃತಿ. ಅಷ್ಟೇಕೆ, ಭೋಗಲೋಕದ ಸ್ವೀಕೃತಿ, ನಾಗರಕಜಗತ್ತಿನ ಸತ್ಕೃತಿ. ಸಂಸ್ಕೃತಸಾಹಿತ್ಯದಲ್ಲಿ ಈ ಎಲ್ಲ ಸ್ತರಗಳೂ ಸೇರಿ ಶೃಂಗಾರಶಯ್ಯೆಯು ಪದರುಪದರಾದ ಸುಪ್ಪತ್ತಿಗೆಯೇ ಆಗಿದೆ. ಅಲ್ಲಿಯ ಕೆಲವೊಂದು ಶಯ್ಯಾಸ್ವಾರಸ್ಯಗಳನ್ನು ವಾಚಿಕವಾಗಿ ಮಾತ್ರ ಸಹೃದಯರೊಡನೆ ಹಂಚಿಕೊಳ್ಳುವ ಹವಣು ಇಲ್ಲಿದೆ.