Literature

Footprints of Scholarly Temerity in Sanskrit Literature - 7

Previously we observed scholarly spats at the level of individuals. What happened when these debates were escalated to royal courts? Let us see.

Rāja-śekhara-sūri’s Prabandha-kośa records an episode of repartee between Hari-hara and Madana, the court-poets of Vīra-dhavala, the emperor of Gujarat:

Kavi-rāja’ (the best among poets) was Hari-hara’s honorific title. Wanting to trifle it, Madana said: 

हरिहर परिहर गर्वं कविराजगजाङ्कुशोऽस्म्यहं मदनः।

Introduction to the Kathāmṛta – Part 1 – Kathāmṛta and Kathā-sarit-sāgara

कवीन्द्रमानसाम्भोजनिवासभ्रमरीं नमः।
देवीं सहृदयानन्दशब्दमूर्तिं सरस्वतीं॥
(सोमदेवः)

श्रीरामायणभारतबृहत्कथानां कवीन्नमस्कुर्मः।
त्रिस्रोता इव सरसा सरस्वती स्फुरति यैर्भिन्ना॥
(गोवर्धनः)

Footprints of Scholarly Temerity in Sanskrit Literature - 6

Kirīṭa-pati Veṅkaṭācārya (18th–19th cen. CE) was a great scholar of several śāstras and was a champion of Viśiṣṭādvaita philosophy. He lived in Sura-pura, a province in Karnataka. It is said that he wore Viśiṣṭādvaita as a crown and was hence called ‘Kirīṭa-pati.’ Dvaita and Advaita were his sandals, it seems! As he walked through the streets, attendants would fan him from either side.

ಕರ್ಣಾಟ ಭಾರತ ಕಥಾಮಂಜರಿ – ಮರುಓದು, ಅನಿಸಿಕೆ, ಕೆಲವು ಪಾತ್ರಗಳ ವಿಶ್ಲೇಷಣೆ (ಭಾಗ 13)

 

ಕುಮಾರವ್ಯಾಸನ ಯುದ್ಧವರ್ಣನೆಯಲ್ಲಿನ ಕಲ್ಪನಾಶಕ್ತಿ ಹಾಗೂ ಯುದ್ಧದ ಬಗೆಗೆ ಅವನ ಅಭಿಮತ

 

         

Footprints of Scholarly Temerity in Sanskrit Literature - 5

Lolla Lakṣmī-dhara (15th–16th cen. CE) was a scholar-poet in the court of Kṛṣṇa-deva-rāya. He is well-known as the author of Lakṣmī-dharā, arguably the best available commentary on Saundarya-laharī. The tenets of Śrī-vidyā are said to be extremely esoteric. They are to be learned through a Guru alone. Lakṣmī-dhara took a bold stand in his work by proclaiming, “I hereby declare myself as the Guru of all honest seekers of present and future!”[1]

Footprints of Scholarly Temerity in Sanskrit Literature - 4

Naiṣadhīya-carita is considered the touchstone of scholarly poetry. Śrī-harṣa (12th cen. CE), its author, takes delight in proclaiming that he composed this work to ward off lesser mortals:

ग्रन्थग्रन्थिरिह क्वचित्क्वचिदपि न्यासि प्रयत्नान्मया

प्राज्ञम्मन्यमना हठेन पठिती मास्मिन् खलः खेलतु।

श्रद्धाराद्धगुरुश्लथीकृतदृढग्रन्थिः समास्वादय-

ಕರ್ಣಾಟ ಭಾರತ ಕಥಾಮಂಜರಿ – ಮರುಓದು, ಅನಿಸಿಕೆ, ಕೆಲವು ಪಾತ್ರಗಳ ವಿಶ್ಲೇಷಣೆ (ಭಾಗ 12)

ಆ ರಥದ ಸ್ವರೂಪದ ವಿವರಣೆಯನ್ನು ಓದಿದ ಮೇಲೆ ರಥ ಎಂದರೆ ಹೇಗಿರಬಹುದೆಂಬ ಬೃಹತ್ ಕಲ್ಪನೆ ನಮ್ಮ ಮುಂದೆ ಸುಳಿಯುತ್ತದೆ. 

ಅರಸ ಕೇಳೈಹತ್ತು ಸಾವಿರ-

ತುರಗನಿಕರದ ಲಳಿಯ ದಿವ್ಯಾಂ-

ಬರದ ಸಿಂಧದ ಸಾಲ ಸತ್ತಿಗೆಗಳ ಪತಾಕೆಗಳ |

ಖರರುಚಿಯ ಮಾರಾಂಕವೋ ಸುರ-

ಗಿರಿಯ ಸೋದರವೋ ಮೃಗಾಂಕನ

ಮರುದಲೆಯೊ ಮೇಣೆನಲು ರಥ ಹೊಳೆದುದಂಬರದಿ || (ಅರಣ್ಯ ಪರ್ವ 7.12)

Footprints of Scholarly Temerity in Sanskrit Literature - 1

Introduction

Sanskrit is one of the most sophisticated languages in the world. A rubric of aesthetics that is universal in scope governs its poetry. Sanskrit has also evolved a highly language-specific scheme of analysis comprising poetic conventions, prosodic patterns, and grammatical nuances. Its employment and assessment of figures of sound and sense are unique.