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Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute

THE AESTHETIC APPRECIATOR OR SAHṚDAYA


Author(s): A. R. Hardikar
Source: Annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Vol. 75, No. 1/4 (1994), pp.
265-272
Published by: Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute
Stable URL: https://www.jstor.org/stable/41694424
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THE AESTHETIC APPRECIATOR OR SAH&DAYA
By
A. R. Hardikar

1. 0 Abhinavagupta defines sahrdaya- s1 in his commentary on the Dhva


nyãloka called Locana as those appreciators who -

i ) have been exposed to appreciation of literary work and who have


made it a habit to think about the literary work ;

ii) who, because of this previous exposure, attuned their minds t


create the reflection of poetic emotions in their minds ;

iii ) who, because of this reflection, could get themselves assimilated,


as it were, with the emotions experienced by the character ; and

iv ) whose stable emotions are capable of being triggered into a sym


pathetic resonance with the emotions portrayed.

1.1 Abhinava, thus, has, in his definition, pointedly brought togethe


two essential qualities in this particular kind of audience contributing towar
the poetic relish ( rasãsvãda ) as also the process by which these two qualitie
are achieved. It is, thus, obvious that sahfdaya's are, according to Abh
nava, not born but made. An exposure to poetic works and an initial train
ing in their appreciation lead one to train oneself in relishing poetry. Thi
initial training also opens up the hitherto closed compartments of one's min
which can reflect similar other experiences afterwards. A person, thus, b
comes a sahrdaya, now capable of appreciating or relishing the rasa. Being
sahrdaya is, thus, undergoing a deliberate process of enculturation, and V.
Raghavan has aptly translated this term as ' cultured audience. *2

1. 2 Even such a cultured person, sometimes, does not have his faculties
attuned to appreciate a given literary piece. This, generally, is due to per*
sonai encumbrances such as worry etc. and Sanskrit poeticians realise that
these may cause even a cultivated sahrdaya to be temporarily devoid of th
quality8 and hence advocate the use of diversionary entertainment before th
main theme is presented.

1 Yesäm kcLvySnustlanHbhySsavasat vikadibhOte manomukure varnaniyatan


mayìbhavanayogyats te hrdayasamvUdabhVjah sahrdayHh (AD 1-1, p. 11).
" V. Raghavan, Bhoja's Šrhgaraprak5sa ( Madras, 1963 ), pp. 78 f.
1 Yenahr day o' pi hrdayavaimalyaprãptyV sahrdayìkriyate ( KH 76. 5 ).
34 [ Annals BORI j

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266 Annals BORI, LXXV ( 1994 )

1. 3 An additional characteristic of a sahfdaya is that he cannot tolefate


being jolted in and out of a particular mood. Sanskrit poeticians invoke th
characteristic in discussing the flows in r<wa-development.4

2. 0 Appreciative Connoisseur

2. 1 As we have already seen, the sahrdaya as an appreciative audience is


not born but made ; it has to be understood that different degrees of prepa
ration of the sahfdaya audience are necessary to relish different kinds of
kSvyas ( poetry ). In order to explain this idea, it is necessary to digre
and dwell on the classification of different kinds of poetry according to
Sanskrit poeticians.

2. 2 Sanskrit poeticians have regarded a threî-fold division of literature


from the point of view of rasa, its development and enjoyment. They may
be delineated as follows : -

i ) N&tya ( DaiarUptfi ) i. e. drama, as fully enacted, complete with all


the auxiliaries like the stage-craft, costume, acting etc.

ii ) Prabandhas - which include such compositions as MahSkSvyas


( epics ), narrations, KathSs ( prolonged stories ), KhaçdakathSs etc. in which
(he poet makes up for the absence of stage-craft, costumes and acting etc. b
a powerful descriptive technique which can create in the imagination of a
prekçaka ( spectator ) the effects of the art, as if, the events are taking pla
right in his presence.

iii ) Muktakas6 ( stray poems ) - wherein a single idea is expounded


in a short exposition without the help of either of the physical aids of scene
etc. as in a drama or of its powerful substitutes of eloquent description as i
a Prabandha etc. and has, therefore, to be made up by a previous narratio
appended at the time of presentation or self-presentation to create a prope
atmosphere for its appreciation.

2. 3 This threefold description appears to be universal. The tradition


classification of the poetry ( kãvya ) into Dfšya ( to be seen as in a drama etc
and âravya ( to be heard as a poem etc. ) is, altogether, on a differen
Criterion and it is necessary to dwell on the reconciliation of the two.

* KH, p. 145.
8 Kävyam tUvan mukhyato da'sarüpakntmakam èva (Ab Vol. I, p. 292). Also MM
Abbinava commenting on " Tasrn&n nVfyaraslih srmtnh " ( - N 6. 36 ) says : Bata-
samudayo hi nHtyamt na nUtye eva ca rasUh9 kÏÏvye'Pi nJityflyamJlnU eva
rasTlh ... ( p. 291) ... And •• kïïvyam ca nJityam eva " - (p. 292) Also, KV .
1. 3. 30-32 : sandarbhesu dasarUpakam sreyah.
6 Tadrasasamarpanayñ tu Prabandhe bhüsGvesapravrttyaucitádikalpañllt tadu •
paftvanena Muktake (Ad p. 288).

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tÍAROiKAR : The Aesthetic Appreciator or Sahfdaya 26?

2. 4 Nfijya ( drama ) is, no doubt, the DrsyakSvya, wherein the contri-


bution of the producer-director ( pray ok tr ) is, at least, as important as the
contribution of the poet7 and does contribute to relishing of rasa ( rasäsväda )
even in the most ordinary prekçaka. Not enacted, however, the composition
of the drama can also qualify for the term kãvya, because it is still capable of
conveying the mood and be enjoyed by merely reading it. Under such
circumstances, the drama as merely drama sans its paraphernalia ( producer*
director's contribution ) will qualify itself as a áravya-kâvya. On the other
hand, a Prabandha, though primarily a ŠravyakSvya, depending upon the
intrinsic qualities like powerful image-creative description etc., will tend to
become nearly, if not exactly, equal to a Dfšyakavya.8

2. 5 The stray-poem ( Muktaka ) is an exposition of a single idea in a short


composition qualifying for the description of a Šravya-kSvya. For its com-
plete appreciation it requires a prop of explanatory note, or, in its absence, an
extraordinary imaginative capacity in the ultimate consumer, or both. The
reconciliation of the two classifications could be depicted as below : -

KAVYA

Dršya Šravya
I
Drama-enacted | |
- Dpsyavat Muktaka
Nfitya I I
I I I !
I Drama read Prabandha read |
I I
I I I
I Prabandha |
I

I
Kãvya

T There can be two opinions as to which contribution is more important» that of a poet
( kavi ) or that of a presenter or actor ( prayoktr ) and Sanskrit poeticians can be
quoted on the both sides of this argument. Bhoja attaches more importance to the
poet than to the actor, saying : "Ato 'bhinetrbhyah kavìn eva bahu manyllmahe,
abhinayebhyas ca kavyam èva iti " ( Vide Raghavan, op, cit., p. 81 ) whereas
the following seems to be of more importance to the Nata or actor : preksakUs tadra -
sUvistUh nate samyakprayoktari (BP 52. 1 ).
8 " Na nUtye eva rasïïh, küvye1 pi ññtyilyamUnU èva rasõh'$f and ** kUvyam
ca hätyam eva " ( Ab Vol. 1, pp. 291-92).

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268 Amais BORI, LXXV f 1994 )

2. ( It is obvious from the discussion above, that progressively


and more is expected of a sahrdaya audience when he is enjoying respe
Dfçyakãvya, Drsyavat, ŠravyakSvya and Muktaka. The first makes use
maximum number of props to facilitate transmission and relishing o
mood. These are progressively reduced in the subsequent varieties of K
and in order to relish them the audience has to make efforts for it b
personal equipment, viz. his study of Kãvya, exposure to different ex
ences etc., as discussed in the definition of sah [day a above.

2. 7 It is thus significant that we find the term preksaka ( spectato


sämöfika ( audience as a whole ) used exclusively in the dicussion of d
turgy, whereas poeticians used the term sahrdaya, sacetana, and some
even rasika etc. in the discussion of Drsyavat and áravyakSvya.
Sanskrit poeticians have regarded the position of sahrdaya high amon
other varieties of audience, say like prekçaka. V. Raghavan's trans
of sahfdaya as a cultured audience ( or reader ) is, thus, justified.

2. 8 This view is widely supported in the discussion on poetics, and


cians allude to different special characteristics of sahrdaya , connoisseur
ence as -

a) "Tasmäd alaukikah9 satyam vedyah sahfdayaih a


Darpana 3 ( 93. 8 ).

b ) " SaundaryaSälitayä10 sah rdayacamatkäri tã bhavati

c) " tasya ( dhvaneh ) sahrdayajanamanah prakSš


Dh'Vf 1-1.

d ) *' SahfdaySnSm èva saiůvedyam tat pratlyamãnatva


jïvita 56. 14.

8 The term alaukika is a technical term used by Sanskrit poetic


rasa borrowed from Naiysyikas, and refers to that aspect of the
impinging upon the senses at the time of its cognition and is
memory of previous encounter. The Naiyayikas have made a d
tion. That you see with your eye is one thing, but what you per
thing. What you see is an actor ( acting upon the character ), bu
is the character. The cognition i. e. this perception is called al
seeing the actor acting upon is a laukika. This term aptly qualifie
this aspect of rasa, a major concept in Sanskrit poetics, is not dea
10 While commenting on Siva's expression, ' oh how freezing this H
candra points out the beauty of the situation, when this apparently
not really offensive and thus has some: aesthetic qualities which
only by sahrdaya- s due to its saundarya sWtS,

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Hardi&ar : the Aesthetic Appreciator or Sahfdaya ¿6$

a) Ability to perceive with the help of recollection of triggered experi-


ence, what is not immediately affecting the sensory organ.

b ) An aesthetic sense capable of recognising the beauty in the situation.

c) Ability to perceive the meaning of words (because of the well-


accustomisation with the VyaSjanSsakti - connotative power of a word ).

2. 9 In conclusion, however, it may be said that these characteristics are


already noted by Abhinavagupta in his definition given above at the begin-
ning of this article. Most of the references to the sahrdaya as a kind of
appreciator of poetry are found in this particular sense of the word, viz.,
connoisseur or a cultured person ( s ) and a few more references could be
quoted in this sense, however, this list is very long and maybe a selected
few could be quoted.11

3. 0 Sahrdaya - Supreme among connoisseurs.

3. 1 Sanskrit dramaturgists propounded and used the concept of sãmãjika


to define many concepts peculiar to drama. The poeticians used the concept
of sahrdaya as a touchstone to defiae and explain a number of concepts invol-
ved in poetics, especially dealing with the Drsyavat and áravyak&vya. Among
the minor concepts, the following, in this connection, may be mentioned.

3. 2 Aesthetic rapture, result of enjoying good poetry, has been defined


as a state of mind possible only with sahfdaya- s.13

3. 3 Whether a particular poem or poetry does have the required charm


etc. it is required to bs so certified by the sahfdaya , a cultured appreciator.13

. 3. 4 Appropriate choice of expressive words conveying beautiful meaning


alone is poetry as defined by Sanskrit poeticians. They, however, need a judge
to certify the appropriateness of word and meaning for which they appeal to
the opinion of sahrdaya .M Such expressions give delight to the cultured audi-
ence.11 Both by its appropriateness on expressive side as well as by its
semantic side,16 Sanskrit poeticians have realised that tastes on the appro-

» 4 (1), »27.4(1), BS. 75, R 3. 3(1), SO 3 (p. 161. 13), V 145. 8, KV


1. 2. 21, CU 34. 24, R 435-1. 2(2).
11 " KevalUlhãdah eva sahrdayapramãnakah " - R 31. 13 ( 1 ) .
18 •• Hrdy am sahrdayahrdayãlhUdakõri " KU, 287.5. Also, V 36. 14.
14 " Sahrdayahrdayãhlftdi sabdãrthamayatvam eva kUvyalaksanam " (-Dh-Vr
LI) and V Al. 7. Also : " Dhvanir eva sahrdayõhlãdakãri kãvyatvam ( Dh.
Vrl. 13).
IB « Tena rãmantyaketia ramarityatvena ranjakah sahrday&hlïïdakah ( V 51. 21 X
18 "Arthah sahrdayahlSdakarï svaspandasundarah " ( V 15.18 ). Also, V 19.3, 16.16

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l70 Amais BORÌ, LXXV ( 1994 )
priateness of the choice of words, especially their phonetic content, vary
from region to region and would insist upon conforming to them to please the
sahfdaya- s of the different regions.1*

3. 5 Aesthetic delight is the raison d'rtre of poetry. This delight can be


experienced by sahrdaya- s only.18 This beauty may be contributed to a
number of basic aspects of poetry.

a ) The suggestive power of word which creates an image beyond what


is explicitly expressed is a major contributor. Here, the Sanskrit poeticians
say that this suggestiveness has to appeal to the mind of a sahrdaya .19

b ) The poet's aim is to trigger the stable emotions ( sthãyibhãva- s for


conveying the moods, the locus of this sthãyibhãva, which the poet desires
to invoke is the mind of a sahrdaya.30 The concept of sahrdaya is, thus,
important in discussion of the locus of the rasa, especially while discussing
the Dfšyavat and ŠravyakSvya. ( While discussing the same question, the
position of sãmãjika could be compared with this ).

c ) Figures of speech have been regarded as a primary instrument of


poetic delight from the earliest times of such discussions. AlamkSra, as a
concept, is earlier than those of rasa and dhvani. Sanskrit poeticians appeal
to the tastes of sahrdaya- s in defining and refining the concept of AlamkSras.

i ) Kuntaka, the author of Vakroktijlvita, has defined vakratS ( indi»


rect speech ) as the generative principle of all AlamkSras ( Artha )31

ii ) In disussing the concept of AlaiůkSra in details, Sanskrit poeticians


have made numerous appeals to the judgements by sahfdaya-s. JagannS-
tha, in deciding the nature of AlamkSra, at a particular place in literature
recognises the sahrdaya* s opinion as the sole judgement,-2 and there are nume-
rous other places where poeticians have made successful appeals to the high-
court of sahrdaya- s' considered opinion.83

IT " Vrttir apy atra ... sahrdayaikacamatkãririt - " R 46. 5(1).


18 " Camatkãras oa sahrdayaikasUksikah UhlUdavtsesah " ( - AM 240. 11). Also,
Vy 2.(86-27).
» Dh-Vr 1. 1, 1. 4, and 1. 13.
«• R 25. 10(1), AS 21. 2(10), SD 3 (161. 13), AD68. 12(2.4.), SO 8 (452. 1).
" V 145. 8, 241. 3, 244. 14.
22 lha hi alamkfifavarge yo yatra sahrdayacamatkrtipatham avatarati sa voa
tatrülaiiikärah iti nirvivãdam (' - R 575. 11 (2).
M RH 331-21 , AD 45. 8 ( 1. 13 ), E 8. 75, R 203. 7 ( 2 ), V 183. 20, V 19. 7, P 338. 12
( 7 ), C 76. 3, 76. 4, KUK 6. ( 1 ).

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Hardikar i The Aesthetic Appreciator or Sahrdaya 271

iii ) While discussing the major class of AlamkSras, which may be


decided as a derivative of UpamS Alamkära, the aupamya, i. e. the point of
similarity, is sometimes disputed; here, again, the verdict of sahfdaya is
final and unimpeachable.94

iv ) Even the minor AlaiůkSras, like the áabdãlamkSras, are not out-
side the jurisdiction of this high-court of sahrdaya- s' opinion, and their opi-
nion is eagerly sought in defining and refining the concept of some subtle
version of the Šabd3lamk&ras. šrutyanuprSsa may be cited as an example
for this.85

3. 6 No wonder that assemblies of appreciative audience where poetry


was enjoyed and critically examined was a common feature of the society,
referred to in the literature of poetics and dramaturgy ; and these assemblies
had prestige and naturally the poets wanted to be recognised by such assem-
blies.86 It is necessary to distinguish this concept from vidagdhagofthi , a
similar assembly with critical faculties. The vidagdhagofthi, however, seems
to be a scholarly assembly which discusses the technical aspects of poetry rather
than appreciate it as in sahrdaya-goçthî.

4. 0 The concept of sahrdaya has, thus, been elevated to the status of


supreme authority in the matters of KSvya ( poetry ). We do find in the
literature on poetics this term equated with a knowledgeable, wise and
critical judge of poetry.'7 In justifying absence of faults in poetic composi-
tions ( kãvyadosa ) whose apparent presence disturbs some critics, an appeal
is, generally, made to the opinion of sahrdaya- s and their opinion is accepted
as final.' 8 This supreme judge is very sympathetic towards the poet and is
not a hard-hearted logician 9 and no wonder the rhetorician wanted the
poets not to offend or disturb this most revered of the audience.80

AupamyapratUau sahrdayahrdayatn eva pramdnam ( - R 435. 1 (2).


« SD 10 ( 476. 14.).
ï# KH 331. 21 ( 6 ), Ad 45. 8 ( 1. 13 ), or the word sahrdayaparixat ( V 235. 8 ).
« E 1. 13. 141.
*• C 35. 15, SK 115-19 (1), AK 68. 14; and evamprakUrair anekair vailakjanyam
yadi sahrdayodvejakam tads dosah ( - R 270. 6 ( 2)).
» A S 203. 22 ( 3. 33).
W Ifyafam prastutena sahriayajanodvejanena (AD 3. 14. ( 1-1. )).

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272 Annals BORI, LXXV ( 1994 )

Abbreviations

Ab i Abhinavagupta on Nãtya&ãstra ( G. O. S. no. 36, Baroda, 19


AD : Abhinavagupta on Dhvanyãloka ( K8vyam9lS 25, N. S. P., Bo
1891 )
AK : Alankãrakaustubha

AM : Alañkáramáñjüsü
AS : Alaňkaraiekhara

BP : Bhãvaprakã&ana of áSradStanaya ( G. O. S. no. 45, Baroda,


C : Candrãloka

CM : Citramlmãmsã

Dh : Dhvanyãloka
Dh • Vr j Dhvanyãloka- Vrt ti
E : Ekãvaii

KH : Kãvyãnuiãsana of Hemacandra
KP : Kãvyaprakãia
KUK : Kuvalayãnanda-kãrikõ
KV : Kãvyãlankãrasutravrttl of VSmana
N : Nãtya&ãstra

P : Pratâparudrayaâobhûçana
R : Rasagangãdhara

SD : Sãhityadarpana ( N. S. P., Bombay, 1912 )


SK i Sarasvatï kan fhãbharana
V i Vakroktijívita
Vy i Vyaktiviveka

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