From Bharatha to Bhoja…Kavyashastra   KAVYA PRAKASA, The Rhetoric


By Soumitra Bose/Mukesh Kumar Sinha

GLOBAL CRAZE NOW : Treatise on Sanskrit rhetoric Kavya Prakasha

ISSUE : (research on) its “knowledgable” author Mammata Bhatta (fl.11th century); he was a Sanskrit rhetorician noted for his text on poetics, the kâvya-prakâsha (light on poetics).


BACKGROUND : The KavyaShastra from Bharata {(Sanskrit:: “The cherished”) was an emperor and the founder of the Bhārata dynasty, and thus an ancestor of the Pandavas and the Kauravas in the Sanskrit epic, The Mahabharata. Though the Bhāratas are prominent tribe in the Rigveda, the story of Bharata is first told in the Adi Parva of the Mahabharata, wherein he is the son of Dushyanta and Shakuntala. The story of his parents, and his birth, is also related in Kalidasa’s famous play, Abhijñānashākuntala.

There are also many references to “Bharata Chakravarti” in the sacred Jaintexts. In Jain mythology, Bharata conquers all of earth and the worlds above and reaches the top of “Mount Meru” (the center of the world) to place a flag. But upon reaching the top he sees numerous such flags of world conquerors who preceded him. Thus chastened he takes diksha and attains nirvana. He is succeeded as an emperor by his sonArkakirti.India has been called Bharatavara (the land of Bharata) after him, and Bhārat is an official name of the Republic of India. Varsha means a piece of land separated by mountains.} to Bhoja  {He was a philosopher king and polymath of medieval India, who ruled the kingdom ofMalwa in central India from the early 11th century to 1055 CE. Also known as Raja Bhoj of Dhar, he belonged to the Paramara dynasty.

Bhoja established numerous temples, including the BhojeshvaraTemple at Bhojpur, a city he founded, about 30 km from Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh on the banks of river Betwa. He also established the Bhoj Shala which was a centre for Sanskrit studies and a temple ofSarasvatī in present day Dhar}.

KAVYASHASTRA,KAVYA PRAKASHA : Entire KavyaShastra is incomplete without Kavya Prakasha. Kavya brings fame and wealth. It gives the sense of life in the world, forbids every thing unpleasant, offers supreme pleasure along with learning and gives advices on dos and don’ts like a loving wife.

FOR ALL OF US — now, hottest selling book in US, elsewhere in the whole world : The famous English “Translation” of Kavya-Prakasha by late

Mahamahopadhyaya Dr. Sir Ganganatha Jha had been out of print

for the last several years and the scholars from all over the world

have been persistently craving for its re-issue. (In 1966) The same is being

done with the concurrence of Dr. Adityanath Jha, Vacaspati, I. C S. .

Lieutenant-Governor of Delhi, the only surviving son of the illus-

trious translator.


Although Sir Ganganatha Jha called his work merely a translation

in all humility, it is really a highly learned commentary as well, since

attempt has been made here not only for reproduction in English of the Sanskrit text and commentary, but also towards their further elucidation, and for this the illustrious savant has supported his stand by references to different authorities and by providing supplementary notes. Although the work, as published hitherto, did not

contain the text in the present edition the same has been added for the convenience of the readets. Dr Jha had said m the previous editions that he had followed the text of Vamani, but at so many places

it is not so”, and so effort has been made to present the readings as followed by the learned translator, and not that by Vamanacharya.

In the meantime a copy of the manuscript of the Kavya Prakasha-

Kanka was discovered in the Saras^ati Bhavana Library, Varanasi. Its opening stanza is significant in as much as it mentions expressly that Mammata wis the Vtttikara, without mentioning about his

being the author of the Karika In addition the stanza, in which Santa is mentioned as a Rasa ( 31 ), is missing in this manuscript.

The writer of this manuscript has in another stanza, where Santa ( 26 ) is mentioned in other manuscripts, a text that does not have

the word bant a. In the present edition not only the Kankas have been reproduced, but the readings where this manuscript differs from those of Vamanacharya have also been mentioned.

While effort has been made to preserve the method of transcription of the translator, a deviation has been m^de^especially in

respect of the anusvara. Dr. Jha had m for both H and ahusvara, but in the present edition, anusvara is being indicated by m. Certain misprints of the text, particularly m the Prakrit passages, have been

rectified. Readers will find that % is tianscnbed in some places by

sh and at others.

The work is being issued in two parts, Part I consisting of the first seven chapters and Part II of the remaining chapters with

indices including a biography of Dr. Sir Ganganatha Jha. Dr. Adityanatha Jha has left to the charge of this humble student

the honourable task of arranging for republication of the works of his father. In consequence thereof through the interest taken in the project by the energetic proprietor of Messess Bharatiya Vidya

Prakashan Shri Kishore Chand Jain the first work of Dr. Jha that he had originally written as a university student is being published presently. It is now for scholars to see how far success has been attained in the matter of faithful reproduction of the work of the master. If this edition receives approbation of scholars, other works of Dr. Jha will follow in succession, and the second

work to be published is the Prabhakara School of Purva-MImamsa.

In execution of this work Pt. Shri Ahi Bhushan Bhattacharya, Principal. C. M. Anglo Bengali College, Varanasi, the worthy son of one of the greatest Sanskntists of the time, namely late j&ahamahopadhyaya Pandit Phambhushan Bhattacharya, has ungrudingly cooperated in correcting the proofs, although for all shortcomings the

responsibility rests with

Subhadia Jha.

Varanasi, 13. 12. 1966,

CONCLUSION : Its high time countrymen in this country adapted to/adopted this unparalleled Sanskrit Manuscript. It is path-breaking in Indian ethos. That we are Indian will be best perceived the moment we read this US-chasing Kavya Prasha. We should not be late in it lest the Americans along with others in the whole world leave us behind (like O discovered by us but usurped by others in the world with no name of India) and claim that It is written by them. That too in Sanskrit

LAST LINE : Its more than just about time we all wake up wide open and globally express our copyright — like our birthright — on our landmark “Grantha” Kavya Prakasha.  

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