ISSN 0976-8645


Rasa and ŚabdaŚakti According to DhanaMjaya



Research scholar,Dept.of Sahitya,

Sree sankaracharya university of Sanskrit,








lakŞya lakŞaka bhva





Indian literary theories started with the Ntyaśstra of Bharata.Bharata deals mainly with rasasiddhnta.But the later scholars concentrated mainly on kvyasiddhnts.They included rasasiddhnta in alankra.

The Daśarūpaka of Dhanamjaya is based on Bharatas Ntyaśstra.In this paper we are discussing how the śabdaśaktis is related to rasa according to Dhanamjaya.


It is believed by a section of scholars that the first reference to alankra is in Agnipura. They also held that Bharata wrote Nţyaśstra by giving alankra a scientific basis and adding the elements of kvyaśstra also. When Nţyaśstra with 36 chapters became famous, its 6th, 7th chapters explaining rasa and bhva attracted special attention. These chapters discusses the then existing kvyaśstra and their ideological sources.Abstract

From time immemorial the scientific enquiry on kvya was based on alankraśstra. In due course different concepts were originated. Among three the important aspects were alankra, gua, rĩti, dhvani, vakrkti, aucitya, anumna and rasa. Of these rasasiddnta became famous in the name of Bharatamuni by his Nţyaśstra which dealt with alankraśstra for the first time. Bhmaha and other followers of Bharata considered rasa as a part of alankra. In this context we recall

x ʽ oi EţSnl& |ɴii (x]ţɺj +&-6)

which is well accepted. The rasasūtra

"ʴɦɴx֦ɴɴʦSʮƪMpxɹ{i' - (x]ţɺjɨ +&-6)

of Bharata regarding rasaswarūpa is also well known.

There have been many interpretations for the sūtra that rasa is created by the combination of vibhva, anubhva and vyabhicribhva. Among them the mĩmmsaks Bhaţţalollata and Bhaţţanyaka, the naiyyika Śankuka and the śaivdvaidi Abhinavagupta are important.Of them, the most important is Abhinavagupta who gave an interpretation of Nţyaśstra and his abhivyaktivda is accepted by all.

In the 20th chapter Daśarūpakavidhana of Nţyaśstra, Bharata classified the ten rūpakas as follows :

x]E |EhɨRE ɪM B S

h& ɨɴEɮţS l |ɽx b&*

<ǽɨMţS ʴY nţɨ x]ɱIh, - (x]ţɺjɨ 20.1)

Daśarūpaka was wrote by Dhanamjaya based on this ten rūpaks. It is divided into four chapters. He dealt with all aspects related to rūpak in drama in all its variants while Bharata gave prominence for ntya, Dhanamjaya dealt mainly with daśarūpaks. In this paper we discuss the relation between rasa and śabdaśakti dealt in the fourth chapter of Dhanamjayas Daśarūpaka.

Rasa and Bhva

In the first chapter of Nţyaśstra dealing with the origin of nţya, Bharata says that the concept of rasa has its origin in Atharvaveda. While dealing with rasa there is the following question in the sixth chapter: what is the concept of rasa?

The answer was given as follows: sringra, hsya, karua, raudra, vĩra, bhaynaka, bĩbhatsa, adbhuta rass in nţya. There are eight consistent bhvs related to these eight rass. They are respectively rati, hsa, śoka, krodha, utsha, bhaya, jugupsa and vismaya.

Bharata has dealt with only eight rass in Nţyaśstra. In due course the śntarasa was also included making the total nine-navarass. The same is considered as the consistent bhva of śnta rasa.

While Bharata deals with rass in nţya only, Abhinavagupta says rasa is not only in dramas. It is also in poems which is similar to drama. My teacher Bhaţţatauta in his Kavanakautuka has said that in the case of poetry when one obtained the expressed meaning he could enjoy the rasa and this could happen in the absence of action (abhinaya) also.

According to Abhinavagupta kvya is also daśarūptmaka in its essence because it creates rasa by the factors like appropriate language, vypra, accent and adornment. It is because of this that the ten types of rūpaks were considered the most prominent in Vmans kvyalankra. Disregarding the technical details of structure like sandhi all the works from sargabhandha (mahkvy) to muktaks are kvyas. Thus there are three forms of poems daśarūpaka, sargabandha and muktaka. Among them the meaning of daśarūpaka is known as nţya. Later this meaning of daśarūpaka itself is called the body of nţya. In fact kvya is itself nţya.

Śabda Śakti

In Mammatas Kvyaprakśa he tells about the different meanings of words (śabdrthabheda) as follows:

nSE IhE& ţɤn%j \VEκjv

Snɺinl& & ii{ɪl%{ ESi

( |Eţɨ 2.6)

Among these there are three types of śabds - vcaka, lksaika, vyaňjaka - in poems. There are three types of meanings also for these śabds known by the same names. According to some others like Abhihitnyavdis, the followers of Kumrilabhaţţa, there is a fourth meaning also known as ttparyrtha (implied meaning)

J%lǺij J {ɮ%ʦvSi

( |Eţɨ 1.8)

The meaning that is obtained directly from vcaka is abhidha.

JlǤv itM fi%l |ɪVxi*

+xl Ii i Ih%{i G*

( |Eţɨ 2.9)

When the primary meaning is not obtained, meaning available by other aspects is laksaa.

ɺ |iiɨvi Ih ɨ{ɺi

ţɤnEM%j \Vxz{ɮ G*

( |Eţɨ 2.14)

When there are different meanings by factors like samyga, the one which is obtained as specific by some of these factors is vyaňjana.

The question may arise what is the relation of consistent bhvs and their rass to the kvya (poem) Is the relation obtained by vcya-vcaka. According to dhvanivdins it is not vcya-vcaka relation because rasa is not vcya and kvya is not the vcaka of rasa. The vcya- vcaka relation is that fixed in sound and meaning by abhidha.

Suppose kvya is the vcaka of rasa and the sense is obtained by abhidha; and also that the śabds like sringra, vira are applied appropriately. Then only rasa arises as vcya. But we dont see the rass like sringra vĩra and their sthyibhvas used as words in any poems. In order to get the śabdrthabdha one has to hear the word itself. But it is clear that

the source of bhva or rasa is the combined effect of vibhva, anubhva and saňchrĩbhva. Therefore when the words are applied rasa is originated because of the vibhva etc included. Thus kvya is not the sentence of rasa or bhva.

Discarding LakŞya LakŞaka

There is no lakŞya lakŞaka bhva in kvya and rasa Kvya is not lakŞaka and rasa is not lakŞya. The śabda śakti next to abhidha is lakŞana. Kvya and rasa cannot accept lakŞya lakŞaka bhva because lakŞaa is the result of the application of smnya śabda in the object of viśiŞta dharma. If the lakŞya of kvya is rasa there should have the applications of lakŞaka śabds which give the effect of rasa not by abhidha but the lakŞaa itself. But this is not seen in kvyas. In the sentence MRMɪ P&, the word Ganga means the flow of Ganga. But a P& (village) cannot withstand the flow of ganga or a village cannot exist in Ganga. So the meaning implied is a village by the side of Ganga in which all the virtues of the river are bestowed. Thus when the word village cannot carry all the virtues associated with Ganga, and to imply that it has got similar virtues, it takes the help of Ganga. When a word cannot express its meaning in total, it takes the help of another word in which all these meanings are implied- all the virtues of Ganga are implied in its banks also.

There is a class of people who enjoys rasa from the very words used in the kvya. Rasa is imaginary according to them. If it is so, one should know which technique employed by the poet corresponds to which rasa should be known in order to enjoy it. But the rasa is enjoyed by all. Therefore this argument is not valid. That is, rasa cannot be originated merely by the śabda. It can be only by the association of vibhva, anubhva and vyabhicribhava.

Not only rasa but vastu and alankra also can be created without the explicit use of śabda. There are two branches for this dhvani- vivakŞitavcya (abhidhmūlaka dhvani) and avivakŞitavcya (laksamūlaka dhvani). Again there are two types of avivakŞitavcya named atyantatiraskritavcyadhvani and sankramitavcyadhvani. There are two types of vivakŞitavcyadhvani also called asamlakŞyakrama and samlakŞyakrama. When rasa is dominant in kvya, asamlakŞyadhvani is present. When rasa is present as a part of kvya, (agarūpa) there is no dhvani. What is present is only rasavadalankra.

This argument of dhvanivdins is opposed by Dhanamjaya by the following arguments.

S |Ehn rl l G*

Sl& EɮEH ɴɺlliɮ&

(nţɰ{E 4-37)

When we hear or read a sentence we get its meaning from the word meanings included in structure and at times by our prior knowledge of related matters. At times even the appropriate sense of the word may not be present in the sentence. But we accept the meaning based on our own interest.

Thus whether the dharma is explicit in the sentence (vkya) itself or is according to our own interest, the meaning of the sentence is same. In the same way with the help of vibhvnubhvavyabhicris, the sthyibhva of kvya is become explicit as vkyrtha or ttparya. The sthyibhva also can occur in the same way.Here kvya is vkya, its word meaning vibhva, and sthyibhva is vakyrtha or sentence meaning. So it follows that sthyibhva and rasapratĩti are not vyaňgya; the word by word meaning and the image created are not object to its implication and kvya is only the field of ttparya śakti.

Thus it becomes clear that when rasa is implied in the form of vkyartha, the effect of all well known and unknown objects are obtained by abhidha lakŞaa and ttparya. So there is no need of another concept like vyaňjana. To conclude, kvya has no vyaňgya- vyaňjaka relation with rasa. Kvya is not vyaňjaka; rasas are not vyaňgya.


The relationship between kvya and rasa is bhvya bhvaka Kvya is bhvaka and rass are bhvya. The assimilation of rasa or sthyibhva takes place in the mind of sahrdaya. This is known as bhvana. According to this, kvya is bhvaka and rasa is bhvya which is automatically created in the mind of sahrdaya. With the application of appropriate words kvya creates this bhvana.

Bhva by itself or by the abhinaya of bhvas effects the bhvana of rass. Therefore it is called bhva by the exponents of nţya. Thus it follows that rasa is bhvya. Without the application of bhvaka śabds the bhvana of rass will not take place.





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2.   Kvyaprakśa of Mammata,R.Shmasastry(Ed) University of Mysore, Oriental Library Publications, 1922.

3.   Ntyaśstra of Bharatamuni (in malayalam), Kerala Sahitya Academy, 1987.

4.   Kvyalankrasūtravritti of Vamana(in malayalam), Kerala Bhasha Institute, 2000.

5.   Bhratiyakvyaśstram by Vedabandhu(in malayalam), Sahitya Pravarthaka Co-operative Society Ltd, 1976.