विदितमेव खलु काव्यं दृश्यं श्रव्यं चेत्यादौ द्वेधा विभक्तं; पश्चाद्गद्य-पद्य-चम्पूभेदत्वेन त्रेधा चेत्यपि । तथा च मुक्तक-युग्मक-सान्दानितक-कलापक-कुलक-अष्टक-शतकादिपद्यसङ्ख्यानुसारं विभागा वर्तन्त एव । अपि च गद्ये पद्यगन्धि-उत्कलिका-चूर्णिकाप्रायादयः सन्ति नैके विभागाः । महाकाव्यं, खण्डकाव्यं, आख्यायिका, कथा इत्यादयः श्रव्यकाव्यप्रभेदास्तथा नाटक-प्रकरण-भाणादिदशररूपकत्वेन च नाटिका-त्रोटक-सट्टकाद्यष्टादशाधिकोपरूपकत्वेन दृश्यकाव्यप्रकारा अपि राजन्ते । एवमेव नूतनसंप्रदायानुसारं लघुकथा (short story), दीर्घकथा (novel), प्रवासकथनं (travelogue), ललितप्रबन्धः (essay), जल्पकथानकं (comic writing) इत्या
The poetic conversation between Vāsiṣṭha-gaṇapati-muni and Ambikā-datta that took place at the conference of scholars—‘paṇḍita-goṣṭhi’—at Nava-dvīpa (Nadia) is a good example for the genre of dialogue-poetry.
Dialogue-poetry was not restricted to scintillating exchanges among scholars in India. Though rare, there are instances where this form of dialogue took place with foreigners as well. The current example captures an episode that is more morose than cheerful.
The contribution of Kerala to Sanskrit literature is tremendous. Just recalling the name of Śrī Śaṅkarācārya is enough to evoke in our minds the vast magnitude of the literary contribution from Kerala. The state had a unique setup, where anyone could learn Sanskrit irrespective of their caste or creed, and such indeed is the outlook of sanātana-dharma. Women in particular used to be trained in Sanskrit. One such Sanskrit scholar was Manoramā Tampuraṭṭi, who was born in 1760 CE.
Sarisava, a village near Amarāvatīpura of the Mithila province, was home to several erudite poets in the past. Mahāmahopādhyāya Bhavanātha-miśra, who lived in Sarisava in the latter half of the fifteenth century, was a great scholar, a connoisseur of the arts, and a gifted poet. Just like him, his son Śaṅkara-miśra was a polymath and a poet. Śaṅkara was a scholar of the four śāstras: pada-vākya-pramāṇa-vedānta and wrote several works on these, apart from composing a few poems and plays. A few episodes connected with them are narrated here.
There are many anecdotes associated with the life and works of Veṅkaṭanātha, a poet and tārkika (logician), popularly known as Vedānta-deśika. Some of them, though fabricated, are good entertainers. Among these is the debate between Vedānta-deśika and Ḍiṇḍima-bhaṭṭa, which is in the form of verses displaying their intellectual valour. Historically speaking, however, the two were not contemporaries at all. Vedānta-deśika lived between 1269 and 1369 CE and Ḍiṇḍima-bhaṭṭa lived during the times of Prauḍha-devarāya, who ruled from 1424 to 1446.
It is impossible for anyone to observe the unobstructed flow of literary tradition across India through the ages. Also since most of the endeavours are at the level of an individual or a close-knit team, a consolidated knowledge about this is difficult. So I can only present here a small bit of whatever I have gleaned from my observations.
The credit for the first ever literary characterization of humour as a Rasa (hāsya-rasa), and according it, its rightful place, goes to the Sanskrit ālaṅkārikas, scholars who specialize in the study of literary embellishments and undertake critical investigation of literature. The Nāṭya-śāstra of Bharata was the first and primary work of this kind. According to it, hāsya-rasa is revealed from hāsa (a bout of laughter). Feelings are all personal and culminate in happiness or grief.
संहितात्मकमिदं जगत् । संहिता नाम कश्चन समूहो यत्र नैकानि द्रव्याणि परस्परं संनिकृष्टानि। “परः संनिकर्षः संहिता” इतीदं पाणिनिमहर्षिभिः सन्दृब्धं सूत्रमत्रावधेयम् । यद्यपि समूह-समुदाय-संमेलनादयः शब्दा अमुमेवार्थं प्रकटीकुर्वन्ति तथापि गहनार्थगर्भितविषयाणां प्रस्तावनावसरे संहिताशब्दप्रयोग एवाभ्यर्हिततमः । अयमेव हि साम्प्रदायिको नयः ।
यत्र नैकद्रव्याणां समवायो दृश्यते, यत्र पुनस्तानि द्रव्याण्येकीभूय स्वीयकर्मसु प्रवृत्तानि दृश्यन्ते तत्र सर्वत्रापि संहितैषा विलसति।
ಸಾಮಾನ್ಯವಾಗಿ “ಕಾವ್ಯನ್ಯಾಯ”ದ (Poetic Justice) ಗೀಳಿರುವ ಕವಿ-ಕಥಕರಿಗೆ ರಾಮಾಯಣ-ಮಹಾಭಾರತಗಳಂಥ ವೈಶ್ವಿಕಮಹಾಕಾವ್ಯಗಳ “ದುಷ್ಟ”ಪಾತ್ರಗಳಿಗೂ “ದುರದೃಷ್ಟವಂತ”ಪಾತ್ರಗಳಿಗೂ ತಮ್ಮ ವಿನೂತನಪ್ರತಿಭಾಬಲದಿಂದ ಯುಕ್ತರೀತಿಯ “ನ್ಯಾಯ”ವನ್ನು ಸಲ್ಲಿಸಬೇಕೆಂದೂ ತನ್ಮೂಲಕ ಅವರಿಗೆ ವ್ಯಾಸ-ವಾಲ್ಮೀಕಿಗಳಿಂದಲೋ ಅವರನ್ನು ಒಪ್ಪಿದ ಸಹೃದಯ-ವಿಮರ್ಶಕಸಮೂಹದಿಂದಲೋ ಆದ “ಅನ್ಯಾಯ”ವನ್ನು ನೇರ್ಪುಗೊಳಿಸಬೇಕೆಂದೂ ಹಪಹಪಿಕೆಯಿರುತ್ತದೆ. ಈ ತುಡಿತವು ಅದೆಷ್ಟೋ ಬಾರಿ ಆ ಮಹಾಕೃತಿಗಳ “ಶಿಷ್ಟ”ಪಾತ್ರಗಳನ್ನೂ “ಅದೃಷ್ಟವಂತ”ಪಾತ್ರಗಳನ್ನೂ ಕೀಳ್ಗರೆದು, ಮೂಲದ ಕಥಾಕ್ರಮವನ್ನೇ ತಿರುಚಿ, ತನ್ನಿಚ್ಛೆಯನ್ನು ಸಾಧಿಸಿಕೊಳ್ಳಬೇಕೆಂಬ ರಸಮಾರಕವಾದ ತೆವಲಿನ ಮಟ್ಟಕ್ಕೆ ಜಾರುವುದೂ ಉಂಟು.