(“ಮಹಾಭಾರತ”ದ ಹಿನ್ನೆಲೆಯಲ್ಲಿ “ಕರ್ಣಾಟಭಾರತಕಥಾಮಂಜರಿ”, “ಕೃಷ್ಣಾವತಾರ” ಮತ್ತು “ಪರ್ವ”ಗಳ ತೌಲನಿಕಚಿಂತನೆ)
ಅರ್ಷಕಾವ್ಯಗಳೆಂದೂ ಇತಿಹಾಸಗಳೆಂದೂ ಹೆಸರಾದ ರಾಮಾಯಣ-ಮಹಾಭಾರತಗಳು ನಮ್ಮ ದೇಶದ ಸಾರಸ್ವತಲೋಕವನ್ನು ಪ್ರಭಾವಿಸಿದಂತೆ ಜಗತ್ತಿನ ಮತ್ತಿನ್ನಾವ ಪ್ರಾಚೀನಕಾವ್ಯಗಳೂ ಆಯಾ ಪ್ರಾಂತಗಳ ಸಾಹಿತ್ಯವನ್ನು ಪ್ರೇರಿಸಿಲ್ಲ. ಈ ಮಾತು ರಾಮಾಯಣ-ಮಹಾಭಾರತಗಳಿಂದ ಪ್ರಭಾವಿತವಾದ ಗೀತ-ನೃತ್ಯ-ನಾಟ್ಯ-ಚಿತ್ರ-ಶಿಲ್ಪಾದಿಗಳಿಗೂ ಸಮಾನವಾಗಿ ಅನ್ವಯಿಸುತ್ತದೆ. ಹೆಚ್ಚೇನು, ನಮ್ಮ ದೇಶದ ಸಮಗ್ರಸಂಸ್ಕೃತಿಯೇ ಇವುಗಳಿಂದ ಉಜ್ಜೀವಿತವಾಗಿದೆ.
uktirarthāntaranyāsasyātsāmānyaviśeṣayoḥ | (C.L. – 119)
In Arthāntaranyāsa, a general statement is used to provide a rationale for a specific case or a specific case is used to justify a general statement.
Iliad - Book 1, lines 217-220
(Achilles says the following to the goddess Athene, who has been sent by the goddess Hera, has come down from the heaven to put a stop to his anger.)
The primary purpose of any work of art is to evoke ‘rasa’, i.e. aesthetic experience in the connoisseur. The experience of rasa is universal and holds true for all times. This is achieved in poetry through verbal expression, by portraying the emotions of characters under various circumstances and also by employing a variety of imagery. Creative expression is what distinguishes poetry from a non-poetic text. (Here, the word ‘poetry’ is used to include aesthetic expression through prose and lyrical poems).
The Sanskrit Language
Our ancients sculpted a language to give perfect expression to their exuberant emotions. It has a well-developed scheme of letters and an inbuilt etymological structure that has endowed it with variety and a rare word-generation power. Being an inflected language, it is not tied down by a linear pattern of word order. It is thus highly flexible.
Viśvanātha who wrote Sāhityadarpaṇa starts off by criticizing the attributes of poetry as described by Mammaṭa and others, and ridicules the suggestion that comes from the topic or the object of poetry. Such suggestion, in his opinion, cannot be poetry. From his perspective, sentences filled with emotion make up poetry and nothing else, for:
देवदत्तो ग्रामं याति इति वाक्ये तद्भृत्यस्य तदनुसरणरूपव्यङ्ग्यावगतेरपि काव्यं स्यात्!
(Sāhityadarpaṇa Vṛtti 1.2)
Moving on to one of the greatest masters of all schools of thought and a very creative and gifted genius Abhinavagupta, we see humour sparkling aptly in both his excellent and incomparable commentaries Abhinavabhāratī (on the Nāṭyaśāstra) and Locana (on the Dhvanyāloka). Both his works, along with excellent usage of Sanskrit, portray a beautiful style of writing interspersed with his natural penchant for humour and thus is a source of joy for rasikas.