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KMS series No. 55 - 57

Edited and Translated by: Sundari Siddhartha

2009, 466pp., abb., intra., ISBN 978-81-208-3281(val. I),
467-901pp., ISBN: 978-81-208-3282 (val. II),
902-138opp., ISBN: 978-81-208-3283 (val. III) Rs. 3000 (set) (HB).

The Sarasvatīkaṇṭhābharaṇam is a work on poetics (Bhoja has another work on grammar under the same name). This encyclopaedic compilation is a record of the wide range of human experience and knowledge that interested Bhoja. It discusses the usual topics of poetics in an unusual manner- doṣa, guṇa, doṣaguṇa, alaṁkāra, rasa, dṛśya and śravya kāvya. There are many earlier editions of this work, some with even two commentaries. But this alone has an English translation. The text has been exhaustively and incisively edited, without obscuring Bhoja's thought and intent.

Poetry cannot be fitted into rigid classes either of matter or of manner. Rightfully is Bhoja unfettered by the terms and definitions, armed with which writers try to study "great poetry". Bhoja has a practical approach and does not involve in the speculation on the soul of poetry. He holds rasa to be the crux of poetry. Śṛṅgāra is the foremost which can gather into itself all the other rasas. Bhoja uses Abhimāna and ahaṁāra as synonymous with rasa. It is, hence, inferred that the identification with the action and with the chief character, on the part of the reader, brings about this delight. The self-transcending state of aesthetic delight, spoken of by Abhinavagupta may be a more advanced stage of this joy.


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