Society in Sanskrit Poetry: Separating the Wheat from the Chaff - 2

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[1].

Humour in Treatises of Indian Aesthetics – 3

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)

Humour in Treatises of Indian Aesthetics – 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.

Rasas in Homer's Epics

The epics, Iliad and Odyssey of Homer, largely complement each other in terms of what they offer to connoisseurs. Using the terminology of the rasas (flavours of emotions), the predominant rasa in the Iliad, which also acts as the sthāyi-bhāva, is valour (vīra). To sustain the undercurrent of valour for over 15,000 lines is a great challenge, which has been met successfully only by poets like Vālmīki, Vyāsa and Homer.

Jananāntara-sauhṛda: Towards an Understanding of Rasa Theory

Slaying of the rākṣasa Kabandha is one of the fascinating episodes in Ādikavi Vālmīki's Rāmāyaṇam. This oft-quoted episode appears at the end of the Araṇya-kāṇḍa (cantos 69-73). After Rāvaṇa abducts Sītā, Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa move southward in search of her. During their journey, they come across the impassable Krauñca forest, where Kabandha seizes them. Gigantic and grotesque, the rākṣasa had no head, neck, and legs. It was just ruṇḍa without muṇḍa[1].

ಕಾವ್ಯಪುರುಷೋತ್ಪತ್ತಿ — ಕಾವ್ಯದ ಹಿಂದಿನ ಕಥೆ


“ಪಾತುಂ ಶ್ರೋತ್ರರಸಾಯನಂ ರಚಯಿತುಂ ವಾಚಃ ಸತಾಂ ಸಮ್ಮತಾ
ವ್ಯುತ್ಪತ್ತಿಂ ಪರಮಾಮವಾಪ್ತುಮವಧಿಂ ಲಬ್ಧುಂ ರಸಸ್ರೋತಸಃ |
ಭೋಕ್ತುಂ ಸ್ವಾದುಫಲಂ ಚ ಜೀವಿತತರೋರ್ಯದ್ಯಸ್ತಿ ತೇ ಕೌತುಕಂ
ತದ್ಭ್ರಾತಃ ಶೃಣು ರಾಜಶೇಖರಕವೇಃ ಸೂಕ್ತೀಃ ಸುಧಾಸ್ಯಂದಿನೀಃ ||” (ಬಾಲರಾಮಾಯಣ, ೧.೧೫)

“ಕಿವಿಗೆ ಅಮೃತವಾಗಬಲ್ಲ ರಸಪಾಕದ ಆಸೆಯುಂಟೆ? ಸಜ್ಜನರು ತಲೆದೂಗಬಲ್ಲಂಥ ಕಾವ್ಯರಚನೆಯ ಸ್ವಾರಸ್ಯ ತಿಳಿಯಬೇಕೆ? ಉತ್ಕೃಷ್ಟಪಾಂಡಿತ್ಯವನ್ನು ಗಳಿಸಬೇಕೆ? ರಸಸಾಗರದ ಸೀಮೆಯನ್ನು ಕಾಣಬೇಕಾಗಿದೆಯೆ? ಜೀವನತರುವಿನ ಮಧುರಫಲವನ್ನು ಆಸ್ವಾದಿಸಲಾಸೆಯಿದೆಯೆ? ಇದಾವ ಕುತೂಹಲವದ್ದರೂ ಸರಿ, ಸಖನೇ! ಸುಧೆಯನ್ನು ಸೂಸುವ ರಾಜಶೇಖರಕವಿಯ ಸೂಕ್ತಿಗಳನ್ನು ಕೇಳು!”

The Iliad and the Odyssey of Homer – Structural Aspects

The events in the Iliad span only a few weeks in the final year of the war and most of them occur outside the city-walls of Troy. In the Odyssey, the events take place over a span of ten years and at different places on the earth and in the netherworld too. While the Iliad gives us microscopic details by zooming in on time, keeping the space constant, the Odyssey gives us a telescopic view of different places at different times. The name ‘Iliad’ suggests constancy in space.