Saturday, March 26, 2022







“Like a drama moving to its climax, aesthetic thought in Kashmir moves to its highest point in the writings of Acharya Abhinavagupta. Abhinavagupta was one of those very rare individuals who have earned as much reverence for the sublimity of their moral character as for the loftiness and magnitude of their intellectual achievements.’

(Dr. V. S. Narvane )


Patronised by Karkota,Utpala, Gupta Brahmin and Lohara Kings, Kashmiri Brahmins like Udbhata, Vaiaana, Rudiana, Ratnakara, Somendra, Prakasendra, Anandavardhana, Abhinavagupta ,Mammata, Ruyyaka, Vamana, Rudrata Bhatta,Dandin,Lochana, Utpala, Visakhila, Sambhunatha, Mukula Bhatta , Mahima Bhatta ,Kuntala ,Bhatta Nayaka,Bhatta Tauta ,Kshemendra , Bilhana , Vidyadhara , Kayyata, Manakha ,Ksemaraja, Somananda ,Sivasvamin, Bhavabhuti, Damodargupta ,Gopendra, Induraja,Somadeva and many more defined the scope and gave a complete shape to the Science of Poetics, religious philosophy, aesthetics, music, art drama and story writing. The exponents of the Shabda and Dhvani theory in poetics (that was forcefully upheld by the scholarly exposition of Abhinavagupta) were also Kashmiris .

Rudrata Bhatta is the forgotten , poet , scholar, aesthetician and rhetorician from Kashmir . He was a representative of the Alankara School. Son of Vamuka, the well known Sanskrit scholar, Rudrata was a master at the interpretation of Samaveda . There is a reference to his name in in Acharya Abhinavgupta’s commentary on Bharata Muni’s Natyashastra .Rudrata was a court poet of King Avantivarman.


The Sangita- ratnakara of *Sharangdeva ( also from Kashmir ) mentions him as the master of music .Rudrata is quoted by many Sanskrit writers of Kashmir from the tenth century A. D. onwards. The name of his prominent work on poetics is “Kavyalankara” .It is an extensive work consisting of sixteen chapters in which the entire field of poetics is fully reviewed. The work commences with an invocation to Ganesa and Gauri and ends with a treatment of Rasa and the various kinds of poetic compositions.


According to him, all figures of speech should only go to enhance the sentiment or Rasa in any poetic composition. He writes that the words of poets which are full of Rasa or sentiment do not merely describe the story but create an opportunity for the reader to enjoy a rare pleasure.

Rudrata was, perhaps, the first to introduce a scientific and systematic classification of figures of speech based on certain definite principles .After him the Alankara School suffered a decline and later merged itself in the all-pervasive Dhvanl School . Rudrata writes :-


“ A good poetic composition must have spontaneity with which it is composed and the natural flow of words twisted together to convey an extraordinarily fascinating idea to amaze the readers. .When there is natural exquisiteness, there is no necessity of loading it with ornaments. These superfluities mask the natural beauty of a poetic composition .”


( Avtar Mota )



* Sharangdeva (1175–1247) was the Indian musicologist who authored Sangita Ratnakara – the classical Sanskrit text on music and drama. It is considered to be the authoritative treatise in Indian classical music by both the Hindustani music and the Carnatic music traditions. Sharṅgadeva was born in a Brahmin family of Kashmir. About Sharagdeva, Sanskrit scholar Dr S S Toshakhani adds this :-


While Rudrata is not that unknown in the country’s Sanskrit scholastic circles, Sharangadeva’s Sangitaratnakara is undoubtedly the most comprehensive and important exposition of Indian music. What is great is that Sharangadeva bore his Kashmiri identity with pride. Introducing himself in Verses 2 to 14 of his work, he traces his family to Kashmir adding the prefix “Shrimat” with the name of the place to express his great reverence for it: “Asti-svasti griham vamshah shrimat Kashmir sambhavah” (अस्तिस्वस्ति गृहं वंश: श्रीमद्काश्मीर संभव:”). "

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