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Plot Structure and the Development of Rasa in the Śakuntalā, Pt.

II
Author(s): Edwin Gerow
Source: Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 100, No. 3 (Jul. - Oct., 1980), pp.
267-282
Published by: American Oriental Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/601799
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PLOT STRUCTURE AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF RASA

IN THE SAKUNTALA, PT. II*

EDWIN GEROW

UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO

PART II: THE INTERNAL CONSTRUCTION OF THE all cases (apparently) keeping the samdhyanga
SAMDHI within its proper samndhi, rarely follows Bharata's
With this overview of the play in mind, let us ordering, and does not feel obliged either to claim
consider the detailed construction of each samdhi that Kalidasa uses every possible samdhyanga.31
according to the Indian theory, as indicated by Certain units have been judged more necessary than
Raghavabhatta. others (cf. Levi, pp. 35-6, et seq.) though not even all
Just as the plot as such is instrumental vis a vis the of these find place in Raghavabhatta's analysis of
rasa, and the five elements of the plot instrumental to Sakuntala. In all, approximately 50 of the
the plot as a whole, so are each of the five elements samdhyangas are noted or clearly implied by
subjected to a thorough instrumental analysis which Raghavabhatta. We now inquire further into the
explains how the change defined by the beginning ossature of the five-part samdhi/avastha system,
and end of each samdhi is effected: designed (in our explanation) to assert plot as
mukha: how does the seed produce the first contributing to the play's fulfillment, its rasa.
effort? An additional benefit of this exercise will be to
pratimukha: how does the effort engender hope? convey a much more circumstantial sense of these
garbha: how does the hope become certainty? samdhyangas than is possible from the laconic and
vimarsa: what further is required once we are often opaque "definitions" of them in the laksana
certain? texts (NS, DR et al.). Even where illustrations have
nirvahana: who is he who deserves the fruit? been offered, the lack of text sequence has made it
Each of the five units of the play, which are the nearly impossible to understand the samdhyangas as
construction of its action according to the emotional integral parts of the unfolding plot.
realization of its characters, is understood as a
composite product of certain incidents, some
A: MUKHA SAMDHI
necessary and some only facultative that, taken
individuallly, are the units or parts of the action, and Let us first consider to what the samdhyangas
taken sequentially, define its direction and purpose. correspond according to Raghavabhatta. Though
These units, or samdhyangas ("parts of the they have to do with the representation of the play's
samdhi" ) thus have two aspects, an "atomic" action, they are not viewed as incidents per se, that
function, contributing a kernal sense to the complex is, as the events that the play is in some sense
samdhi regardless of order, and a dynamic function, representing. Rather they are integral units of the
depending on their placement and sequence (vis a vis play itself, of the words, abhinaya, and even stage
each other). Though Bharata and most other authors directions of which the play is constructed. Each
follow a prescribed order in defining and illustrating samdhyanga has a definite beginning and end, in the
the samdhyangas (NS 19.56-104; DR 1.24-54), it is play sequence, and its length, while obviously shorter
clear that the order is not fixed in actual use (NS than an act, is quite variable-from several pages of
19.56)30 and it may even be the case that certain the text (e.g., paribhosana of nirvahana samdhi: p.
samdhyangas occur in samdhis other than those to 259-63)32 to a single word (bheda of mukha samdhi:
which they are accredited (19.105). No critic, in any the word "Dusyanta," p. 51 [1.27/28]); upagahana
case treats the list as fixed; Raghavabhatta, though in (of nirvahana sam. dhi: pp. 256-7), may be only an
abhinaya expressing wonder-viz., the stage direc-

* Pt. I appears in JAOS 99.4 pp. 559-572.


30 Raghavabhatta ad Sakuntala 1.19 (p 33), defending
31 ad S 3.24: atra pratimukhasamdhau narmanarma-
the inversion of parinyasa and vilobhana in the mukha- dyutyupanyasanyahgani noktani, and he defends this by
samdhi, cites the Sudhakara: mukhadisamdhisvahganam citing Ng 19.105 (of "adibharata!).
kramo ndyam vivaksitah . . ." 32 References are to the Nirmaya Sagara Press Edition.

267

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268 Journal of the American Oriental Society 100.3 (1980)

tion "vismayad uronihitahaste parasparam avalo- Since this "deposition" of the bija is in consequence
kayatah." The text however is by no means of the King's dharmic character, the play does not
exhausted in the samdhyanga divisions (as it is by concern the question whether the brja will bear fruit.
the division into five parts of the main samdhis); the The upaksepa placed at this point also indicates
samdhyangas, though they are always discrete units clearly the Indian view that the plot is the liaison
of textual material, never overlapping or interrupted itself, and is not chiefly about one or the other
(although prapti of mukha samdhi appears to be character. In the story of a relation, neither one side
repeated: 1.20; 1.27 pp. 34, 50) are often not nor the other should predominate. But more
contiguous. In fact this is the most striking outward importantly, since the issue of character (the hero
feature of their employment: The samdhyangas are and heroine) is a function of the thematic content
very unevenly distributed over the play, reflecting (love and heroism) developed in the play, a decision
doubtless the view that the main story action is as to the primary sense of the play-its dominant
carried forward only intermittently, with much emotional tone-will have unavoidable implications
intervening material of different character. In all of for the status of the characters themselves. Hence
the second act, for example, there is but one (a) upaksepa "allusion" (putting forth) (kdvydr-
samdhyanga (vilasa of pratimukha sam. dhi: p. 77); thasya samutpattih: NS 19.69; bijanyasahl: DR
the text between 7.1 and 7.19 (more than half of the 1.27; depot du germe: L p. 36).33 From "janma
last act) is without a sam. dhyanga. The sam. dhyaigas yasya . . ." (L1.11) to "tam draksyazmi" (L.12/13) R
appear to be randomly distributed between prose and p. 23; so Levi, ibid. (Pischel: 1.11.3-12.3).
verse, with all possible combinations in evidence: a (b) parikara "preparation" (yad utpannarthaba-
single verse (paribhovana of mukha samdhi: pp. 46- hulyam: NS 19.70; tadbahulyam: DR (parikriya);
7); a single prose speech (nirodha of pratimukha premiere arrivee du germe L p. 36). The arya
samdhi: p. 114); or longer combinations which may "Mantam idam asramapadam . . . " ( 1.14) R p. 25;
include both prose and verse (upaksepa of mukha not noted Levi. (Pischel 1.15).
samdhi: pp. 21-23). Occasionally only part of a This arya, set as it is in immediate response to the
verse or speech is included (parisarpa of prati- first "sign of fruition"-the King's tingling arm, and
mukha sam. dhi: p. 89; vajra ofpratimukha samdhi: followed immediately by Sakuntala's first words (ita
pp. 103-4). The action narrative is quite clearly not itah sakhyau: chaYa), indicates that it is the King's
seen as conveyed only by the prose portions of the office to enjoy the fruit-the King in whom desire
drama. The samdhyangas do however seem to reveal must be awakened; and also clearly links Sakuntala
the focus of the action: in the mukha samdhi nearly to that desire, though she is not yet seen.
all define the condition of or a change in the King's (c) vilobhana "attraction, infatuation" (gutna-
awareness, while in the pratimukha (in effect, Act: nirvarnanam: NS 19.71; gutnakhyad: DR 1.27;
III), it is Sakuntala for the most part whose eloge des qualities: L. p. 37). Not apparently noted
"actions" further the plot (and for this reason there by R but clearly implied at p. 33, defending the
does seem to be a pre-ponderance of verse or prose in inversion (here) of vilobhana and parinyasa (the
the first or second samdhi: because the King speaks fourth and third samdhyangas of Bharata's list: cf.
more frequently in verse). above p. 267); according to Levi (p. 37) the four verses
The samdhyangas are thus frequently as interest- (15 thru 18 of our text) describing the beauty of
ing for what they leave out as for what they include: Sakuntala. (Pischel 1.16-21: more than 4 verses).
in mukha sam. dhi for instance, the occurrence of the In addition to illustrating the relative freedom of
first samdhyanga, upaksepa, at 1.1 1 ff, clearly sequence enjoyed by the samdhyangas, this vilobhana
marks the preceding material as introductory to the (perhaps so obvious an "e1oge" that Raghavabhatta
main plot. Indeed, as we have suggested above, the did not remember to note it specifically) cleverly
King's hunting scene (1.6-9) and his entry into the
hermitage (1.9/10-1.10/11) (pp. 15-21) are chiefly
significant for stating the King's dharmic character 33 In this and subsequent references: N(atya S(astra),
precisely as an introduction to the King's liaison with Gaekwad edition; D(asa) R(apaka), ed. T. Vefikatacarya
Sakuntala. The "upaksepa" or "deposition" (scil., (Adyar); (Sylvain) L(6vi), Le Theatre Indien, Paris, 1963.
of the bija) occurs as the King (a) is granted the birth
The place of the samdhyatiga in Pischel's edition of the
of a son ( 1.11) and (b) is told of Sakuntala (who will Bengali rescension (Harvard Oriental Series) is given in
be the son's mother). The upaksepa ends with the parentheses. A key for translating the samdhyaflgas of Part II
King's remark "bhavatu/tam drak~yami" (p. 3).
into one of the standard English version of Sakuntala.

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GEROW: Plot Structure in the Sakuntala, Pt. II 269

develops, in guise of praising the natural beauty and have noted.) All this duplicity and double-entendre
simplicity of Sakuntala, her status vis a vis the King must be sorted out, and leads to
and thus her propriety as a love-object (which is (f) yukti "plan" (saMpradhczranam arthancim:
certified here by the next samdhyanga: parinyasa: it NS 19.71; idem: DR 1.28; arreter un plan: L p. 38).
would of course have been possible to identify her as From "vayam api tavad bhavatyoh . . ." (p. 41) to
the object first, and then praise her, but Kalidasa's the end of Priyamvada's speech: ". . . anurupavara-
arrangement has the force of a demonstration). In 15 pradane satpkalpah" (chaya, p. 45) R p. 45; not
(while Sakuntala and her friends are still offstage), noted Levi. (Pischel 1.24.38-26.2).
and in 16 the incongruity of Sakuntala's beauty (in
The King, having vanquished the threatening bee,
the asrama) is posited; in 17, her rusticity becomes
is now face to face with Sakuntala, and inquires into
an additional conceit (she is already "urbane"); in
her condition. He learns that she is not Kanva's
18, the incongruity disappears entirely as Sakuntala
daughter, but the offspring of Menaka (an apsaras)
becomes a metaphor of the lovely flowers and
and Kausika, (a rajarsi)-hence not at all an illicit
creepers in the czrama; and thus in 19, the
love object for him (1.22); further, that Sakuntala
"conclusion": if my "nature" be so immediately
has taken no vows of celibacy, but is simply a ward of
attracted to her "nature" then we must be of the
Kanva, who seeks a proper husband for her (1.23).
same "nature." Hence
This inquiry, here interpreted as Dusyanta'splan, in
(d) parinyasa "projecting over" (tanni~pattih: NSjustifies his schemes, which will become more
fact
19.70; idem, DR 1.27; le germe s'y etablit
concrete in the following acts. Her desire, in any
solidement: L p. 37). The verse "asamsayam
case, is now given objective scope, expressed in the
ksatraparigrahaksama . . ." (1.19) R p. 33; so Levi
(g) samadhana "solution" (biJarthasyopagamanam:
p. 37. (Pischel 1.21).
NS 19.72; bijagamah: DR 1.28; arrivee du germe:
As "proper" object, i.e., as a ksatriya, Sakuntala
L. p. 38). The verse 1.24 "bhava hrdaya
embodies not only natural beauty, but dharma, and
sabhilasam . . ."; R pp. 45-6; so Levi, ibid. (Pischel
this joining of themes "establishes the germ solidly."
1.27).
The remainder of the first act is devoted to clarifying
what is already implied in the parinyasa, and The brja again surfaces, affection is now fixed in
bringing it to full consciousness. The focus is the dharma, no longer a mere hope, or a feeling: the
King (hence the samdhyaigas are his acts; the relation of the King's affection to his dharma is no
reverse will be played in Act III as Sakuntala is led longer putative, but is known, established. The
to the certitude that she will accept the King.) But double-entendres implied in the "attainment" of the
here, the development of clarification precedes any love-object (e) have been dispelled. This solution
action-authorizes in a way the prayatna that will occurs only on the level of knowledge: perhaps
occupy the pratimukha samdhi. It is of course because of that the remainder of the first act (mukha
precisely the conjunction of dharmic appropriateness samdhi) appears to imply not only that such
with natural attractiveness in Sakuntala that is the knowledge must become manifest in action, but also
play's problem, the working out of whose relation is that the characters are not able to act given their
the play. condition as strangers to one another. The absence
(e) prapti "attainment" (sukharthasya abhiga- of, as well as the need for action, is demonstrated in
manam: NS 19.72; sukhagamah: DR 1.28; arrivee (h) paribha vana "overpowering" (kutuhalottara-
du bonheur: L p. 38). The verse "calapangam vegah: NS 19.73; abdhutavesah: DR 1.29; etre
dcrstim ..." (1.20) R pp. 35-6; so Levi, ibid. rempli de surprise: L p. 39). The verse 1.25
(Pischel 1.23). "anuyasyan munitanayam. R p. 47; not noted Levi.
The heavy, and even foolish irony of this verse (Pischel 1.28).
puts the King in the position of the bee (as far as Sakuntala, mightily vexed (and as the king opines,
wanting the sweetness of the girl's lips) and thus coquettishly so) at this discussion of her marital
asserts his status as lover (manifesting his affection). condition, seeks to withdraw; the King, wishing to
The bee "confused" knows Sakuntala (as a natural restrain her, is frustrated by politeness. Sakuntala of
thing): we (able to discriminate and also dissembling) course is not privy to the King's "knowledge," and
do not. The irony also sets up a test of valor: the bee the King can do nothing (consistent with the play's
(rival) is defeated and the King is a hero over nature bija) unless he shares it with her, thus involving her
(vs. 21). (This theme recurs in the last act, as we in the bija too. He is of course masquerading at this

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270 Journal of the American Oriental Society 100.3 (1980)

point as the King's servant.34 The only way the King further "effort") as encouraging Sakuntala (pre-
can assuage her anger is to surprise her with his sumably in her new found knowledge that the King
identity. This he does by showing his royal ring: desires her). But a more etymological interpretation
(i) karana "means" (prakrtarthasamarambhah: of the term (as that of Bharata, who considers bheda
NS 19.74; prakrtarambhah: DR 1.29; commence- [notkarana] the last of the twelve samdhyangas of
ment de l'action en question: L p. 40). From "Hala mukha samdhi) would simply indicate that by this,
na te yuktam gantum" (chaya: p. 47) to "tad aham the plot of the mukha samdhi is interrupted (and
enam anrnarm karomi" (ibidem) R p. 49); not noted thus given greater tension and force in the
Levi, (Pischel: 1.28.1-29.1) pratimukha samdhi, which follows). The offstage
In this sense a "means" is found correctly to begin remark, as indicated, has this function as well, which
the play's action; and only on the basis of this might lead us not only to revise Raghavabhatta's
mutually shared knowledge does the "effort" of the interpretation somewhat, but, in view of the rather
pratimukha samdhi make sense. This samdhyanga, odd coincidence that two quite different interpreta-
the last in Dhanamjaya's list of those appropriate to tions of the same samdhyanga are resolved in the
mukha samdi, is nevertheless followed by two others very same line of text, to wonder whether the
(and by a repeat of prdpti!) in Raghavabhatta's analysis by samdhyanga may not be more original
interpretation. Both concern Sakuntala, and seem to than even the commentary may give leave to think. If
complete the karana by showing that gakuntala is the tradition of samdhyarigas as constitutive units in
indeed involved (henceforth) in the plot: fact is older than the interpretations that may be
(j) udbheda "breaking out" (brjarthasya praroho based on them, it would be possible and probable
yah: NS 19.74;gcdhabhedanam: DR 1.29; penetrer that certain lines or verses be identified with a given
un secret: L p. 39). Priyamvada's speech "tena hi samdhyanga, even in contradictory explanations.
narhaty etad angultyakam. . . " (p. 49) to Sakuntala's (e) prapti, according to Raghavabhatta, is repeated
aside: "yady atmanah prabhavi~ydmi" (p. 50): R p. at verse 1.27 (Pischel 1.30)-being the King's
49; not noted Levi, (Pischel 1.29.4-8). recognition (this time) that Sakuntala is in love with
Sakuntala thus shows that she understands that it him (whereas before it was simply an assertion of
is the King who is so attracted to her (and attractive). himself as lover). The "prapti" is thus more
Note that this samdhyanga contains no verse. The complete, and might even be interpreted (from its
"discovery of a secret" (DR) would appear logically place between udbheda and bheda) as Sakuntala's
related to the "means" whereby the main action is declaration of herself as lover (beloved?). Though it
gotten off ground zero (10th and 12th samdhyangas); takes place through the means of the King's words, it
Kalidasa has not only reversed the "normal" order, seems indeed to have this logical force. But of course
but has made the discovery" gakuntala's: a response not until Act III does Sakuntala declare herself in her
to the King's correct understanding of a "means." own words.
Again an illustration of the character of these "units" The act ends, as we have said, with the separation
of action: clothed in various psychological reality, of lovers, each obliged to return to the separate role
precipitating different goals via different motives, out of which they sought escape: the royal monarch
they may sustain differently illuminated relations to and the forest-tending nymph. No way of union has
each other. been found: only its motive is established.
(k) bheda "breaking" (samghatabhedanartho The only samdhyanga of mukha samdhi we have
yah: NS 19.75; protsahanad: DR 1.29; encourage- not found reference to in Raghavabhatta's com-
ment, excitation: L p. 39): the single word mentary is vidhana ("production de plaisir et de
"Dusyanta" spoken offstage (p. 51) R. ibid., Levi peine" Levi p. 39). Byrski says, "Arrangement
cites the whole phrase pp. 39-40. (Pischel 1.30.2). (vidhana) is supposed to present the matter of action
The commentator, clearly following Dasarfipaka, (viz arthaprakrti) in its conflicting aspect as being
interprets this offstage mention of the King's name the source of both happiness and despair."35 In Act I,
(the beginning of the coda to the act which recalls the this juncture seems to coincide with theparibhavana,
King to his "dharmic" role as leader of the Army,
forcing a separation from Sakuntala and provoking

35 Honolulu Conference paper, cited supra, note 13. So


34 A "rajapuruya": reinterpreted as a karmadharaya on Abhinava, " vyamisritayC7 sukhaduhkhe abhidhiyete yatreti"
p. 49! ad NS 19.73: "sukhaduhkhakrto yo'rthas tad vidhanam. "

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GEROW: Plot Structure in the Sakuntala, Pt. II 271

where action is understood to be both necessary and so, with the bindu, the "growth" of the bija, the
yet is immediately frustrated. If so, then it would samdhi begins.
appear possible that a given crystallization of the plot But underscoring the tentative nature of the
might realize two (or more?) of the samdhyangas, samdhi analysis-or rather, the fact that it represents
seen as potencies in a story line inherently variable in part a critical evaluation of the play and thus is
because lacking (yet) a circumstantial focus.36 open to ligitimate disagreement, is Abhinavagupta's
placing of the first samdhyahga of pratimukha
samdhi (vildsa, infra) in the King's verse 2.1 (comm
B. PRATIMUKHA SAMDHI
ad Ng 19.76: p. 42 GOS ed). This not only disagrees
The pratimukha samdhi appears to be textually in with Raghavabhatta, but redefines the samdhi
worse condition than the others and involves some boundary to coincide with the more natural division
problems that may well be insoluble (without between the first and second act.
adduction of better manuscript material than was Now in all the second act, but a single
available to the editors of the NSP text). samdhyanga is noticed: the first:
One problem has to do with the beginning of the (a) vilasa "disport" (samiha ratibhogartha: NS
samdhi. Raghavabhatta states (p. 70) thatpratimukha 19.76; ratyartheho: DR 1.32; l'impatience de gofiter
begins with the words of the King "madhavya! avec l'objet aime les plaisirs amoureux: L p. 40).
anavdptacaksukphalo 'si... " (Pischel 2.7.10), From "cintaya tavat kenapadesena. . . " to the end
which excludes the two initial scenes of the act: the of verse 2.13 . . . "dadaty aranyaka hi nah" (p. 77),
Vidusaka's complaint to the King, and the instructions R p. 78. (Pischel: 2.13.2-2.14). The verse is also one
to the Senapati to cease hunting activities (pp. 56-63; of the recurrences of the bindu noted p. 70. In the
63-70). Now there is no reason to doubt technical sense of furthering the plot, the reference
Raghavabhatta as such, but what are we to do with here doubtless is to the call for a "pretext" on which
the excised scenes? By implication they now belong to remain in the asrama. That pretext is given
to mukha samdhi. The question is probably moot, au hasard (and not through the enterprise of the
precisely because in the excised scenes no vidiisaka) when raksasas come to trouble the
samdhyahgas are to be found. They thus constitute a austerities of the anchorites (2.15/16, p. 80). This
kind of neutral bridge between the completed mukha "pretext," which in fact characterizes the entire
and the yet to begin pratimukha. But since they pratimukha samdhi, is here determined in the form
contain as character the King (as well as the of a vilzsa: expresing the King's intense longing
VidUsaka) they cannot be relegated to the status of through the first refraction of an action designed to
viskambhaka. Without samdhyahgas, the "matter give it scope. The pretext is thus one with the
of action" is not furthered: this is the case if we prayatna, the "effort" to move toward the desired
consider that the plot is the relation between the King object, that is the mode of pratimukha samdhi. In
and Sakuntala, and not a story line centering on one this sense the "vildsa" really envelops the entire
or the other. In the two beginning scenes of Act II it second act, devoted as it is to a minute analysis of the
is the King's character and emotional condition-
King's subjectivity: the inflaming passion of separation
consequences of his meeting with Sakuntala- that from the love-object, and the transformation of that
alone are at issue. He hangs around the forest- passion into motive. The commentary is much more
displeasing the Vidusaka, yet abandons sport (viz., concerned here with delineating the "stages of love"
hunting )-displeasing the Senapati. Only with the
(dasovasthd; e.g., anusmrtih; p. 62; gunakirtanam:
remark cited by Raghavabhatta does the King
p. 74) than with the actual intrigue. In a real sense,
"further" the plot in the sense of suggesting pursuit
the plot is suspended throughtout the second act.
of Sakuntala ("yena tvaya darsanwyam na dvrstam").
In the third act, another textual problem relating to
This is the first occurance of the bindu: prayojaneznam the samdhyangas intervenes. If we are correct in
vicchede yad avicchedakdranam (R citing NS
the foregoing, the third act will contain 12 of the 13
19.23), the bringing up again of that which will give
samdhyahgas attributed to pratimukha samdhi
continuity through the obstacles encountered. And
(interesting in itself): Raghavabhatta however states
explicitly in concluding the commentary to the third
36 We are reminded of the sense in which the raswsvada act (p. 1 7) (the only such remark in the commentary
anticipates, even determines (in Abhinava's view) the to my knowledge) that of the 12, three have not been
peculiar "circumstances" of the play-world. found, viz., narma, narmadyuti and upanydsa. He

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272 Journal of the American Oriental Society 100.3 (1980)

defends the absence of these three37 citing a passage galanteries d'une personne chere: L p. 41). The first
from Adibharata not apparently contained in the speech (after entering) of Sakuntala: "kim vijayato
present text: kavibhih kavyakaugalai rasabhavam mum sakhyau" (chaya) R p. 91; so Levi. (Pischel:
apeksya tu/sarvahga ni kadocit tu dvitrihinani vM 3.9.7).
puna~z/vyutkramenapi karydni". Bharata's "adau" implies that the obstacle is
Narma and narmadyuti indeed are not found, but temporary, hence ambiguous. Thus Sakuntala's
the present commentary unfortunately refers to wasted condition, which cannot be alleviated by the
upanyasa twice (pp. 109, 110) citing both DR and fans, may be due to the seasonal heat, as well as to
NS definitions. Further we find no reference to three her love for the King. Levi also illustrates a later line
other samdhyahgas: tapana,38 paryupasana and of Sakuntala's "kim antazpuravirahaparyutsukasya
varnasamhdra. Thus the commentary seems both rdjarser uparodhena": 3.15/16, p. 106, apparently
inconsistent and defective: including upanyaisa, only following Abhinavagupta (GOS, p. 46) who so
9 of the 13 samdhyahgas appear to be noticed at all, designates this samdhyahga. In both cases, the point
making this samdhi the least well developed of the is clearly that the hesitation is in fact a sign of the
five. Our analysis thus can ony be tentative and may beloved's own infatuation. This forms the basis for
ultimately be vitiated by a defective text. the appeasement of the ambiguity:
The King's desire (samihe) becomes an act with (d) sama "quiet" (DR: tacchamah: 1.33; NS
(b) parisarpa "investigation" (drstanastanusa- defines here a "tapana: which seems more like a
ranam parisarpah: NS 19.76; drstanastanusarpanam: continuation of the former samdhyahga. As usual, R
DR 1.32; aller a la recherche de l'objet aime, entrevu follows DR, and so we; apaiser le malaise d'amour: L
et soudain disparu: L p. 41). In the King's prose p. 41). Sakuntala's speech "tad yadi vam
speech between 3.3/4, from "yovad enam anumatam... " (3.9/10) R p. 97; so Levi, ibid.
anvisyami. . ." to "tatraiva tavad gacchdmi"; R p. (Pischel 3.14.2-3)
89, so Levi. (Pischel: 3.6.2-4). Raghavabhatta's "anena" (anena samo nam anmgam
Abhinavagupta, though drawing on the Ratnaval! upaksiptam) usually refers only to the immediately
for the bulk of his examples, does also illustrate the preceding line; here however it would not be
first three samdhyahgas of pratimukha samdhi wayward to include in the reference the preceding
(GOS pp. 42-3). Parisarpa is put in the verse 3.5 verse of the King (3.9) and even the preceding speech
(abhyunnata ... ), spoken as the King enters (again) of Sakuntala ("yatah prabhrti... " chCaya) since
the bushes to spy on Sakuntala. But this placement, here she unequivocally declares the King as the
easy enough to explain contextually, is probably cause of her malaise. The King's response to all this
more a function of Abhinava's reading "ha na va" is "samsayacchedi vacanam," which indeed it is for
for the (in modern editions) preferred "bhinava": the progress of our plot.
"are her feet going to be visible or not (to me)?"39 To this point the second samdhi appears the
Odd that he doesn't read his own name where he can! inverse of the first: the King's effort to win the girl
The King's determination to act encounters an provokes a discovery of the girl's love for him. Her
ambiguous obstacle in love becomes the topic of one of the rare verses
(c) vidhuta "shaken" (krtasyanunayasyadau... attributed to Sakuntala (3.13), which is itself the
aparigrahah: NS 19.77; aratih: DR 1.33; malaise pivot that calls into play the mutual effort of the
qui porte a refuser les services ou a repousser les lovers (towards each other):
(e) vajra "lightning" (pratyaksaruksam yad
vakyam: NS 19.81; pratyaksanisthuram: DR 1.35;
37 See note 31, supra. adresser des paroles nettement cruelles: L p. 43). Sp.
38 But this is usually replaced by "&ama" (so DR) in later the last half of Sakuntala's verse "nirghrna...
texts. Sama is noted by R. (chaya, p. 103) R p. 104; so Levi, ibid. (Pischel:
39 The entire reading in the GOS edition may be 3.19).
defective: cf. "bhavitavyamatrataya" 'in respect of her The emphasis on the evidence of the cruel words is
about-to-be measurements (?)', noted in Sahitya Darpana intended (here at least) to convey the need for both
6.353 / 4 (p 282 Vidyasagar ed., Calcutta, 1905) as players to move beyond words. And the rest of the
"bhavitavyam atra tatha" (a quote from one of the King'spratimukha samdhi is taken up with the first, inept,
speeches preceding the verse), and rendered in the NSP ed.
and quite improper seduction of Sakuntala:
as "latimandape samnihitaya taya bhavitavyam / tatho (f)pragayanam ("chatter" from ga; Abhinava-
hi:" (p 89). gupta suggests an alternative pragayanam: "going

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GEROW: Plot Structure in the Sakuntala, Pt. II 273

forth" from "prafic" ABh p. 45) (uttarottaravakyam: Gautami, which not only puts an end to the love-
NS 19.79; yathottara vak: DR 1.34 (emended by making but recalls both characters to their proper
Vefikatacfarya to "pragamanam" and so read by duty-roles. The "effort" of this samdhi, because it is
Vidyasagar: SD 6.358 (p. 284); dialogue ou les seen as hiddenfrom dharma, cannot survive the more
propos se croisent sans interruption et font eclater la pressing demands of dharma. The mode of this
passion encore a demi-latente des personnages: L p. relationship (love/dharma) is thus posed as the real
42). From "svagatam avilambino manorathasya" problem of the play: the correct one must be found so
(3.14/15, p. 104) to "nirvrte smah" (3.17/18, p. that the two principles can cease being inimical to
108; chaya:) R p. 108; so Levi p. 42. (Pischel: one another. And in this only is the satisfaction of
3.30.1-3.23.1). both. That only this separation is a problem, for both
The pragayanam corresponds to the conversation characters are now in love (emphasized in the case of
of the King with Sakuntala up to the point at which Sakuntala by the manner of her parting: p. 117), is
her two friends leave. The King both declares expressed by the last samdhyalga:
passion publicly (removing Sakuntala's last doubts) (i)puspa, "flower" (vigesavacanam: NS 19.80;
and promises the chief queenship to Sakuntala (1 .17) vakyam visesavat: DR 1.34; signaler des charac-
in plight of her troth. The seduction of Sakuntala has teres tout particuliers: L p. 43). The King's verse
thus engaged her dharmic self-interest and made of 3.23: "tasyah puspamayi40 . . . (p. 116) Rp. 116-7;
the love-story from this point onward a common so Levi p. 43. (Pischel 3.39).
moral enterprise. That the two friends are present as This verse, addressed to the absence of Sakuntala
witnesses suggests that we are not to take the King's (the empty bed!) signifies all the aspects of the
promises only as the cheap effort at seduction they relationship of the lovers that have so far been
turn out to be. The seduction proceeds with the achieved: she is timid but not unwilling; her shame is
proposition: founded on propriety, not distaste; our relationship is
(g) upanyasa, "propos" (upapattikrto yo 'rthah: to be one of suffering until the contradictions of will
NS 19.81; prasadanam: DR 1.35; assertion motivee and propriety can be reconciled. In returning now to
en vue d'obtenir une faveur: L p. 43). The King's his duties of asrama-protection, the King demon-
verses 3.18 and 19 "kim sPtalaih klamavinodibhir strates the same contradiction by his own behavior,
and utsrjya kusumasayanam... " (pp. 108- for in this he must give up (publicly) the girl.
110) R pp. 109, 110; Levi notes only the second of Thus ends, in Raghavabhatta's interpretation, the
the two.verses, p. 43. (Pischel 3.25 and 26). pratimukha samdhi. Structurally, the third act can
The King, now alone with Sakuntala for the first be related both to the second (as its complement in
(and only!) time seeks to counter her extreme character development) and to the first, (as a
embarassment with these not very veiled proposals to doubling of the same plot line, a line that will again
get her to bed. The "effort," now literally translated recur in the "successful" seventh act). In both
into a gandharva "marriage" (3.20), seems to be respects, the "bija" becomes bindu, by force of
moving to that obvious issue (The King has become repetition and discovery of latent obstacles. By
the bee he so much admired in Act I: 3.21), though repetition of character, the King is led to discover his
Sakuntala still resists his embrace and kiss, when it is love-lorn condition in Sakuntala; this mutual
abruptly suspended by the entrance of Gautami, discovery is the key also to the furthering of the plot.
personification of Sakuntala's dharma: The repetition of action (or plot) (Acts I and II)
(h) nirodha, "obstacle" (ya tu vyasanasampraptih: emphasizes both the latently successful quality of the
NS 19.79; hitarodho: DR 1.34; empecher le action, and the modes that define that success and its
bonheur: L p. 42). The speech of Sakuntala absence. The key to this modal "progress" we see in
responding to Gautami's approach: "paurava, the attempt the King makes to take the place
asamsayam ... (chaya: 3.21/22, p. 114) R p. 114; (clearest at 3.21) of the envied bee (1.20). He thus
so Levi. (Pischel 3.37.4-5). declares the naturalness of his affection, and just as
(Note the puffing in the Bengali rescension: this emphatically, its counter-dharmic character. That
gauche seduction is there made the topic of a dharma plays little role in the third act is again stated
fullfledged Radha-Krsna love-idyll; but that of at the outset: the viskambhaka (p. 86) formally
course conflicts with the tone of the act, which is that
of effort inept). 40 Are we to suspect the influence of verbal association in
The externality of the dharmic principle to these R's identification of this samdhyahga? N.B.: according to
goings-on is emphasized by the abrupt appearance of Levi, puspa is an essential ahga.

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274 Journal of the American Oriental Society 100.3 (1980)

corresponds to the hunting scene (pp. 15-21), with is thus appropriate that their separation be existen-
the very important difference that the ?isya simply tially asserted and overcome if only to establish that
announces the King's disaffection for hunting, etc. the mode of infatuation and dalliance that mark the
(3.1), while formerly it had had to be renounced out "externality" of the principles, has itself been
of respect for the hermitage (1.10). Otherwise, the surpassed. It is thus that the two leading characters,
two acts parallel in action to a degree that forces in the garbha, again "become' the two principles of
attention on their differences: King in bushes; affection and royal dignity, but this time to the
conversation between Sakuntala and friends; King exclusion of the other. But Sakuntald's affection for
apparent and subject to a test of valor (in the third nature is now wholly unstable, and she must move
act, his pledge to the friends); union of the lovers towards the King's capital and his dignity; the King's
followed immediately by separation and recall of dignitiy is in effect lost because he judges the girl to
prior motives. The absence of an external test (the be external to it (though this is clearest in the
"bee"!) suggests that the King has himself become following samdhi). "Love" in the garbha is
the test, and this is further supported by the King's expressed through the aspects offear and anger: fear
newfound determintion to "drink the nectar" of the of the other, and the need to move to it; anger at the
girl's lips. The quality of the King's oath (the mode separation of that which should be one. The samdhi
in which he here "passes" the test) is the issue, in begins with this symbolic mode fully realized in the
effect, with which the rest of the play is concerned: it
curse of Durvasas (his anger at her love-induced
gives us "priptyaia" hope of success (the mode of lapse in convention; the friends' fear of the curse's
garbha samdhi) but it must itself survive the divorce consequences on the lovers' planned reunion):
of this love from dharma that provokes its utterance. (a) abhitaharana "taking hold of the unreal"
In the fifth samdhi the same plot is repeated a third (kapatasrayam vakyam: Ng 19.82; chadma: DR
time, successfully. 1.38; cacher (un secret, sa personne, sa pensee): L p.
44). The final portion of Anasaya's and Priyamvadq's
C. GARBHA SAMDHI
conversation in the viskambhaka: dvayor eva nanu
mukha esa vrttantas tisthatu ... ko namosnodakena
The garbha (or "womb,"i "embryo") is in effect navamalikam sincatl? (chaya 4.0/1, p. 125). R p.
divided into two parts by the division of acts: in the 125; so Levi. (Pischel: 4.1.29-3 1)
fourth act, the King is absent and the entire focus is This is one of the rare afigas to occur in an
on the girl, and her departure from the hermitage; in entracte-but the curse of Durvasas is so crucial both
the portion of the fifth act assigned to this samdhi for mood and for plot that reference to it even though
(5.1-18 ff), the King is central, and his solitude is not acted out, must move the plot forward. In the
emphasized by the fact that Sakuntald, though same viskambhaka, Sakuntala's two friends also
present, is veiled and "not there" (It is the note the "marriage" of the protagonists, and its
withdrawal of the veil that signals the passage to the legitimation according to the promises made by the
next, or vimarda "reflection" samdhi) p. 173 NSP). King. That this is passed over so lightly by Kalidasa
The relationship of the lovers has clearly entered a (pace the Bengali rescension) and is not accorded the
new mode, for neither it seems, can now be with the status of an anga by the commentator, is sufficient
other: The King's absence dominates the fourth act, indication (if the plot line of the pratimukha samdhi
forcing Sakuntala to renounce all that is dear to her, were not enough!) that the fruits thereby enjoyed are
the aframa, her "parents," etc.; in the fifth act, only harbingers of the play's "phala": "&as" again,
Sakuntala's absence even more strikingly obliges the not "prapti."
King to renounce both the girl (who is dear to him) (b) marga, "path" (tattvarthavacanam: NS 19.83;
and (what is more fearsome) his word, his dharmic tattvarthakirtanam: DR 1.38; indiquer le but reel,
right. Yet these mutual renunciations, pitiable as les moyens precis: L p. 44). The Sanskrit verse
they are, are quite obviously functions of the lovers'attributed to a "divine voice" repeated by Priyaimvada
real and moral separation, and are to that extent "dusyantenahitam..." (4.3) R p. 130; so Levi
merely modes of stating that separation; they are (Pischel 4.6)
both cause and effect of the separation, and therefore The "truth" here indicated is that of Sakuntala's
guarantee the impermanence of the latter, and to that pregnancy: the impending birth of the cakravartin
extent their own unreality. But as we have seen, the Bharata. It is through the child that the final
two principles of this play, love and duty, have not to reconciliation takes place. But perhaps more signifi-
this point in the play been related save as externals: it cant still is the mode of this "truth." For it is the

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GEROW: Plot Structure in the Sakuntald, Pt. II 275

divine voice that validates the marriage for Kanva, entire quality of the drama, and indeed of all Indian
Sakuntala's "father," and through his approval, literary art, is nevertheless the only samdhyaniga
transforms her into a saf. Thus, the "separation" noted in this long and poignant section of leave-
announced and provoked by Durvasas is now taking. None of the architectonic verses is considered
certainly to be overcome. The necessity that is now an afiga or to be part of an afiga; we are thus invited
attributed to the lovers' reunion changes its quality: to consider this aniga in that context, and to
no longer are two essentially different people looking speculate on the general relation of afiga to mood.
for some rapprochement, made external by their Sakuntala's link to the play's bja, given injunctive
differences in character; the separation itself has now force by Kagyapa, is reinforced by this one verse,
become an obstacle to the manifestation of an hence its afigatvam; but that intimation of success is
indicated but not fully comprehended union that put in the context of Kasyapa's conveying of the girl
cancels that externality. from himself (as father) and all that he represents, to
(c) udaharana, "example (yat satigayavad vdkyam: her husband, in a new dharmic relationship. His own
NS 19.84; sotkarsam: DR 1.39; c'est elever une mood of grief is clearly contrasted not only with
chose au-dessus d'une autre: L p. 45). From the Sakuntala's impending happiness, but it is to be
entrance of the two acolytes bearing gakuntala's noted that this grief, though real, reflects, for the first
ornaments "idam alamkaranam . . . ", to their exit, time in the play, that Sakuntala's love is allied with
announcing to Kanva the completion of the duty, and therefore is strong enough to take her away
"vanaspatiseva" (4.3/4-4.4/5, pp. 134-5), Rp. 135, from lesser forms of love. The four verses,
so Levi, p. 45.41 (Pischel 4.6.32-7.6) interspersed with others in this leave-taking scene,
Sakuntala is readied to leave the forest by not only convey most completely this mood of grief
performance of a ritual that emphasizes her oneness (?oka) that is real because subjoined to a greater
with it: the creepers and trees are themselves necessity, but refer specifically to the four points of
conveying ornaments to her. But it is a ritual of relation whose relationship must be altered in
parting, and its sense is thus that she will convey Sakuntala's new role. They thus in effect are a Hindu
their blessing, and their nature, into her husband's marriage ceremony: Verse 5 ("yyasyaty adya
home. This of course is essential if her departure Sakuntala") is addressed by Kanva to himself, that
from the forest is not to be destructive separation he must give her up as daughter; Verse 8 ("patum
from her own nature, and signifies also the nah prathamam... ") is addresed to the trees,
reconcilaition of principles that will ultimately Sakuntala's objects of care, that they give her up as
refresh the austerities of royal duty. In this phase of mother; verse 16 ("asmein sezdhu vicintya. . ") is
separation, the poet emphasizes again and again the addressed to Dusyanta, to accept her as mahisi; and
new unity that is being forged: but sense of this more verse 17 ("?usrusasva guruin . . ") is addressed to
impelling necessity only makes more poignant the Sakuntala herself that she may henceforth observe
need to leave behind all her innocence and her dharma and be sanl.
natural affections: The mood of this leave-taking scene is, like other
(d) krama, "gradation" (bhcivatattvopalabdhih: passages in which mood is developed exclusively,
NS 19.84; samcintyameinaptih: DR 1.39; Levi considered external to the plot line. The static
offers three different definitions, two of whichquality are theof these mood pieces (Act II in the main, the
ones of NS and DR just cited, and the third (which he King's maudlin regrets in Act VI) serves as
sees in the Sakuntala passage) not clearly identified: counterpoint to the plot-interest, sustains and
" connaitre l'avenir"). The verse of Kagyapa blessing nourishes our impressions of the characters whose
both gakuntala as sat! and her son as ruler (4.6) R p. actions will thus interest us more. But of course the
137. Levi as indicated. (Pischel 4.9) overall "mood" (rasa) of the play is furthered
The verse, embedded in the set of four verses of equally by subjoined moods (all the eight rasas can
Kasyapa (5,8,16,17) that are said to resume the by vyabhiciri to the "main") and by the plot, which
among other things, provides the logic of the moods'
many alterations and the sense of their direction to
41 The two interpretations of the anga propounded byaccomplishment. Here the separation of Sakuntala
Levi do not seem significantly different: one is founded onlyfrom her natural affections is made the topic of a long
on Dhanika's understanding of the laconic DR "sotkarsam," rasa-theme, whereas the "plot" (as marked by the
which doubtless presumes the same "vakyam" we have in afigas) is specifically construed as her progress
NS. toward a new set of relations in which affection is

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276 Journal of the American Oriental Society 100.3 (1980)

reformulated. That the two dimensions are mutually the appeasement of Sakuntala's trepidation is (if not
conditioned is clear; their "separation" in the play is effected at least) suggested.
but another mark of the poet's perspicuity. Thus ends the fourth act, whose action is devoted
Another perculiarity of the samdhyaiga analysis chiefly to defining the dharma to which Sakuntala
is illustrated by the next three angas which occur, in
must henceforth relate. In the absence of the King,
Raghavabhatta's analysis, in succeeding lines of a who represents the dharmic principle, the two figures
prose conversation between Sakuntala and her two of Durvasas and Kasyapa dominate the action.
friends near the close of Act IV. (The remaining Durvasas represents the irascible and compelling
aigas of garbha samdhi occur in Act V). In this aspect of duty, and Kasyapa the self-denying mode,
rapid sequence of remarks, the reality, consequence, who gains only viraha in performance of his fatherly
and eventual exhaustion of Durvasas' curse are duty. It is noted that not only is Dusyanta absent in
intimated, thus moving the deeper theme of the body during this act, but that the dharma he
separation of the lovers into Sakuntala's conscious- represents (ranavirya) also lacks (for the most part)
ness (for she has been oblivious of these problems the dimensions of forcefulness (danavirya, as in
until this moment). Though the emphasis in the Parasurama) and compassion (dayavirya as Jimu-
leave-taking is on reunion with the absent King, as tavahana).42 He appears to learn the former in
counterpoint to her forest-parting, the curse of abjuring Sakuntala, and the latter, in recognizing his
Durvasas makes clear that she may not accept the loss-but at the expense of his royal virya (yuddha)
King simply as another natural object of affection, which otherwise dominates the play.
but must find a wholly new way of expressing In the section of Act V completing garbha samdhi,
affection, in the modes of a demanding duty, until the relations of the characters have changed, but as
which moment the King will, like the trees, be hidden we have pointed out, the quality of the mood
from her. The utter terror of this renunciation, which sustained has not changed significantly. Dusyanta,
is not a quid pro quo as it seems but reveals a wholly now present, completes the rejection by virya of
new and undiscovered self, is briefly intimated in Sakuntala, who finds herself, in principle love and
these final conversations: tenderness, separated from her hero in and by all the
(e) riupa "form" (citrarthasamavaye tu vitarkah: forms of heroism. Two samdhyangas are noted in
NS 19.83; vitarkavad vakyam: DR 1.39; examiner this section.
une hypothese, considerer un cas improbable et (h) aksepa "objection" (garbhasyodbhedanam
surprenant: L p. 45). The friends' avertissement, yat: NS 19.86; garbhabijasamudbhedad: DR 1.42;
given from greater knowledge, "sakhi, yadi nama sa le germe du garbhasarndhi s'ouvre et un secret
ra ] pratyabhijfidnamantharo bhavet. . . " (chaya, jusque-la cache se rdvele: L p. 47). The akasagito
4.18/19, p. 150) R p. 150; so Levi. (Pischel 4.21.4- that opens the fifth act: "abhinavamadhulolupo . . "
5). (chaya, 5.1, p. 155) R p. 156; so Levi. (Pischel 5.8)
(f) sambhrama "consternation" (bhayatrosakrto Through a metaphor (arthantaranyasa) the re-
vidravah: NS 19.88 (sanka, v. 1. for "sambhrama"); jection of Sakuntala by the King is indicated, setting
sankcatrasau: DR 1.42; peur fievreuse et remuante: the action-tone of the act. The devanagarl recension,
L p. 47 (Levi takes the line in NS as a compound: beginning straightway with this verse, is much
sankabhayatrasakrto vidravah, which is more in clearer (and probably more authentic) than the
keeping with DR, thus making "vidrava" the v.1. for Bengali, which here as elsewhere, appears in its
"sambhrama.") Sakuntala's reply "anena samde- puffery to have obscured the itivrtta of the play.
hena vam akampitasmi" (chaya, p. 150,) R p. 150; (i) totaka "abuse" (samrambhavacanam: NS
so Levi. (Pischel 4.21.6) 19.87; idem: DR 1.41; langage courrouce: L p. 46).
(g) adhibala "referring to strength" (kapatenabhi-
The verse of Sarngarava insulting the King that
samdhanam: NS 19.87 abhisamdhih: DR 1.40; culminates the long and increasingly bitter argument
poursuivre des moyens qu'on a en vue par des about Sakuntala's pretensions (5.18) "kim krtaka-
moyens detournes: L p. 47). The friends' reply "ma ryadveso.. ." R. p. 172-173; so Levi. (Pischel
bhaisih; snehapapapsanktk" (chaya, p. 150) R p. 150;
5.18.3-5: not versified).
so Levi (though he cites again the two preceding Though a single verse is said to constitute this
ahgas s.v.). (Pischel 4.21.7). ahga, that verse is the culmination of increasingly
Affection always fears a flaw-but the flaw is a
fiction of the affection!-by this "moyen detourne" 42 DR 4.73 with Comm. (4.72, NSP ed.)

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GEROW: Plot Structure in the Sakuntald, Pt. II 277

bitter comment and invective between the King and even chiefly Sakuntala's, for the King has to this
Sakuntala's escorts, and leads directly to the point made none of the journey of discovery
unveiling of the girl, with which act the samdhi ends. undertaken so poignantly by gakuntala in the 4th act:
And so it is not improper to consider this long section that is, he, as the dharmic principle, has not
(vs 2-18) as a unit wherein the temper of the divorce experienced the suffering and threats to his very
is carefully sharpened and provided with the nature that are provoked by love in its awful aspects.
overbearing anger that translates its "suggestion" As dalliance, love can be toyed with as an external,
(5.1) into psychological certainty (5.18). Thus the but in that no proper relation with dharma is
garbha ends on the same note with which it began: established, because dharma seems wholly inde-
the anger of the dharmic at the naturalness of the pendent of love. The King learns (vimarsati) his
nymph Sakuntala. Even Sakuntala is brought to lesson in the vimarda samdhi. The King, in rejecting
anger (beginning of vimarga samdhi, p. 180), which Sakuntala (even in violation of his word) continues to
surely marks this as the emotional crux of the play:treat her as a bauble subject only to his whim. His
not only have love and duty been put asunder, but the
rejection is in this way only a counterpoise to his
emotional tone suitable to their reconciliation has "love" for her in Acts I-III.
been turned into its exact opposite: enmity and anger
(and in that anger, duty is forgotten). That such a
D. VIMARSA SAMDHI
crux, which in our theories of realistic emotion must
constitute the very turning point of the play and Like the garbha samdhi, the vimarda is divided
concentrate our attention as nowhere else, is into parts by the break between acts (V and VI). It is
formally defined (by the poet's skill and his changes difficult to see what the two units have in common
in the story) as apparent, i.e., as excusably erroneous unless one accepts the samdhi division at face value.
and not altering the characters so opposed, is perhaps In the first (5.18/19 to the end of the act) Sakuntala
the single most important point which a cross- and the King are finally face to face, and their
cultural contrast of the genres must clarify. To rupture is accomplished in mutual distrust and
understand this necessity is to go far in understand- recrimination. The act ends with gakuntala's
ing the proper excellence of the Sanskrit drama.43 assumption into heaven (death?)-in any case, with
But at least the dramatic skill of the poet is evident her existential removal from the scene. In the second
in the masterful way these opposites are contained, half (Act VI) the King, having discovered the ring,
balanced and resolved without damage to the remembers gakuntala and becomes fully conscious
fundamental emotional tone. The fright and terror of of his folly. His uncharacteristic misery (love in
love is perhaps greater when it is understood to be separation) is rung through many changes, seemingly
strictly unnecessary.
inconsequential to the plot, until at the very end,
In garbha samdhi then the "nucleus" of a solution Indra's charioteer arrives to invite the King to
to the play's problem grows into palpable form. We participate in celestial warfare.
see that solution in the mode of dharmic awareness The link between these two dissimilar parts is
that Sakuntala is now expected to attain as the clearly the King; in the garbha samdhi gakuntala's
mahisi, necessitating a reeducation of her abundant relationship (many sided) to nature and dharma was
natural affections (where dharma was submerged in
the main focus of the action; now, brought face to
love). That the King rejects her at this point may
face with the girl, the King is forced to act-to
seem an artificial and unrealistic element of the plot renounce or accept-henceforth it is his action that is
(however necessary for "complication"); but in
central (and quickly symbolized by her complete
effect this rejection tells us that the story is not disappearance!). The King, in his role as the central
simply Sakuntala's (as we might be led to believe if focus of the notion of dharma, appears in this samdhi
all that were involved was finding her a suitable to recapitulate the dharma of the minor characters
husband with whom to live happily ever after), or who in his absence illustrated Sakuntala's relation to
dharma in the garbha. The King's rejection of
Sakuntala in anger appears to realize Durvasas'
43 Cf. Raghavabhatta's praise of Kqlidasa for having original anger; his viraha at her loss seems equally to
removed inauspicious elements from the Mahabhqrata plot! realize the viraha of Kanva, who was also giving her
(p. 121), and in general, Anandavardhana's cogent up. In his own character he thus "learns" something
arguments for the necessity of managing multiple rasas of the other aspects of virya, and it is not accidental
always in subordination to the main: Dhv. 3.20-31. that at the end of the samdhi he is recalled to his

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278 Journal of the American Oriental Society 100.3 (1980)

original and proper virya: that of the dharmic hero The rupture with Sakuntala is complete, signified
(yuddhavira). For his anger and his sorrow, though by her total character inversion (anger and disrespect
in principle modes of virya, have here been expresed of the King); yet the King, even in extremis is beset
as destructive of his basic character (separated from by doubts: the girl is both lovely and seems sincere.
it rather than integrated in it). In this way, the King's Again "vimarja."
anger, which is a form of ignorance as well (here) as a (c) drava "disrespect" (guruvyatikramo yah: NS
funtion of ignorance, keeps him from recognizing the 19.90; gurutiraskrtih: DR 1.45; manquer a ses
girl; just so his viraha, when the girl is forever lost, devoirs envers ses parents, ses maitres, etc: L p. 50).
though founded on knowledge, is knowledge that From Sakuntala's speech: "susthu tavad svac-
destroys his character. The element of "considera- chandacarin! krtnsmi. . . " (chaya, 5.23/24 p. 181)
tion" or "reflection" (vimarda) seems here to be just through the verse of garnfgarava, -'... vidyeti te
this two-sided play of ignorance and knowledge, both santu kildptavacah" (5.25): R p. 182. Not noted by
of which (in complement with the desired object) Levi. (Pischel: 5.24.2-5.26)
function to separate and destroy-both the object (in Sakuntala, abandoned by the King, becomes a
the first half) and himself (in the second). But also "free agent"; but her escort rejects her also, for
this reflection (is she or isn't she? Cf. 5.19 with having been given to the King, her only duty is to
which the samdhi begins, and the various dubita- him. No "natural" affection is available to rescue the
tions: 5.29 and 6 passim) serves to clarify the issue girl from the dharmic contradiction: she is destroyed
of the play, and to render its outcome certain by dharma:
(niyatapti), for only by reunion of the lovers can (d) ?akti "power" (virodhiprasamo yah: Ng
their true natures (illustrated by the lives they have 19.90; virodhasamanam: DR 1.46; apaisement
lost or abandoned) be regained. The integrality of d'une contrariet&: L p. 50). From the offstage
dharma and love is known; and forever destroyed is "ascaryam" marking the prodigy of Sakuntala's
the mode of infatuation, by which dharma was a mere assumption into heaven, to the purohita's verse
servant of desire. .. . utksipyainam jyotir ekam jagama" (5.30; pp.
The azgas of this samdhi focus on the King's 185-6) R p. 186-7; so Levi. (Pischel 5.30.13-5.3 1)
viraha, and specify the points of its development, A dharma whose power is such that in failure of all
through Sakuntala's withdrawl from this natural life, natural affections the very structure of nature is set
to the King's utter desolation of character. aside. This "wonder" of course sanctifies Sakuntala,
(a) apavada "denial" (dosaprakhyapanam yat: whose progress in dharma is in advance of the
NS 19.89; dosaprakhya: DR 1.45; blamer, critiquer, King's. But like his, her dharma is realized only in
declarer en faute L p. 48). The King's verse: the destruction of natural affection. But this is at
" vycapadesam a vilayitum . . . " (5.21) R pp. 177-78; least an advance over the stage in which dharma and
so Levi. (Pischel 5.21). love were hidden from one another.
Sakuntala and the King, now face to face, seal (e) prasanga "occasion" (guruna parikirtanam:
their separation: Sakuntala accuses the King of NS 19.91; guruklrtanam: DR 1.46; rappeler avec
deception; he Sakuntala of wishing to destroy his respect les parents (guru): L p. 50). The final verse of
family. Dharmic issues are used to divide. Making the King "kkamam pratyadistam. . . " (5.31) R p.
one last effort to secure the King's recognition she 187 (Pischel 5.32).
discovers that her ring has fallen from her finger. Her This "praise" by or of the respected ancients
feeble attempts to remind the King of their trysts marks a return of the inquietude suffered by the King,
provoke who knows that there is something wrong with his
(b) sampheta, "contention" (rosagrathitavokyam: non-remembrance of the girl. His "nature" hidden
NS 19.89; rosabhasanam: DR 1.45; echange de from him by the curse, is as far from his
paroles irritees: L p. 49.) From Sakuntala's angry consciousness as is Sakuntala.
words: "anarya! atmano hrdaya-numanena pasyasi Thus ends the fifth act, one in which the process of
... "(chaya, p. 180) to the end of the King's verse separation or estrangement begun in the fourth is
reply: .... bhagnam sarasanam ivatirusa smarasya"
carried to the next degree: not only is Sakuntala
(5.23, ibid.) R p. 181; so Levi.44 (Pischel 5.22.1- separated from her husband (bhartr), but the King is
5.24 [with an extra verse not in NSP] ). separated from his son-to-be. In the fourth act,

("prathitam dusyantasya . . . ") is excluded from the anga


44 The final prose line of the King quoted in Levi by Raghava.

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GEROW: Plot Structure in the Sakuntala, Pt. II 279

Sakuntala was ritually separated from her own character of Sakuntala from the first act. It signifies
nature (in withdrawing from the forest): now in the here of course her absence and the now total
sixth, the King suffers the final and parallel contrariety of nature and its alliances. To this point
estrangement: having realized his error, he loses in the act the King himself has been absent. The
himself, his own dharmic character, in bitter and remainder (save for the coda involving Matali) is
impotent regret. taken up with the soulful conversation between the
(f) vidrava "agitation" (DR 1.45; in DR only: NS King and the Vidiisaka, which often seems more a
and SD define other ahgas; tumulte, execution, self-pitying monologue addressed to the absent
incendie: L p. 49. The definition cited by R seems a Sakuntala. In its entirety only three an-gas are
more complete version of the DR text, source noticed, only one of them having to do strictly with
unknown: vadhabandhadikopas tu vidravah ... the King's despair (chalana: at its culmination):
From beginning of Act VI to the fisherman's (i) prarocana "encouragement" (samharartha-
remark, "nnarhati bha vo 'karanamaranam bhi va- pradarsini: NS 19.95; siddhamantranato bhavi-
yitum" (chaya, pp. 189-92) R p. 192; so Levi. darsika: DR 1.47; indication anticipee du denouement
(Pischel 6.0.1-6.1.18). en le presentant comme accompli: L p. 51). From the
The comico-tragic interlude at the beginning Vidasaka's of the remark, "yady evam asti khalu samaga-
sixth act in which the hapless fisherman is threatened mah kalena tatrabhavatya" (chayd 6.9/10, p. 209)
with death for the theft of the ring he has discovered. to his remark, "maivam... avasyambhavyacin-
The uncertainity of this anga makes interpretation tanlyah samdgamo bhavatiti" (chaya 6.10/11, p.
difficult; the discovery of the ring itself is probably 210) R p. 210-11. Levi cites only the first lines of
the point at issue. Kalidasa's nice sense of irony has this anga. (Pischel 6.10.8-11.2)
transported Sakuntald to the Gods while the all- The King's dejection, expressing all the separa-
important ring identifying her is dredged up from tions and and character reversals (some existential!) that
by the lower depths of society. In any case, the ring dominate this samdhi is revealed already groundless
in this act now takes the place of gakuntala, plunging in the wisdom even of a joking fool. Yet only having
the King into deepest grief. gone to the extreme of self abnegation will the King
(g) vicalana "boasting" (avamanarthasamyuta: be recalled to reality:
NS 19.96; vikatthana: DR 1.48; se vanter: L p. 52). (j) chalana (chadana) "hiding" (apamanakrtam
The speech of Sanumati indicating her qualities and vakyam karyartham: NS 19.94; avamananam: DR
past associations with Menaka and Sakuntala: 1.46; traitement injurieux a subir: L pp. 50-1). The
(6.1/2, pp. 195-6), R p. 196; so Levi, who cites only fainting and collapse of the King: from verse 6.24
one line from this speech. (Pischel: 6.1.53-60). through the end of verse 25 (p. 228) R p. 229. Not
As with many samdhyafigas, this one seems noted by Levi. (Pischel 6.26-27, though another
undervalued by its definition. The note of adbhuta verse is added before the king faints).
surrounding gakuntala is continued here in the The long cycle of viraha is thus completed with the
appearance of the Apsaras Sanumat! (Migrake?i, symbolic loss of the last bit of self-reliance and self-
Pischel), who is representing the absent heroine in respect suited to the dharmic hero. The King in effect
this act. She follows the despondent King about (as joins Sakuntala in limbo. As in earlier passages, this
he did the girl in Acts I and III) commenting on the long section depicting the King's dejection is
suitability of his despair and assuring the audicence dominated by the static (or perhaps we might say
that it is not in vain. The samdhyangas sakti through
more and more intense) expression of a minor rasa:
vicalana thus accomplish the translation of Sakuntala
karuna (through which alone the viraha is under-
into the other world, discover her presence (through
standable), wherein the plot is strictly speaking
the ring) in this one. suspended. But as the King suffers loss of his own
(h) dyuti "splendor" (vakyam adharsasamyuktam: nature through the loss of his beloved, hope, indeed
NS 19.92; tarjanodvejane: Dr 1.46; langage the necessity, of those natures' rapprochement is
outrageant ou menacant: L p. 50). From the entrance expressed by the still hidden Sanumati:
of the Kaficukj (p. 199) forbidding the spring festival, (k) a da na "acceptance" (Mbakaryopagamanam:
to the King's entrance at the end of her explanation NS 19.94;45 karyasamgrahah: DR 1.48; resumer
(p. 202). (6.3/4-5/6) R p. 202. Levi cites only the
first line of the Kaficuki. (Pischel 6.3.2-5.3)
The cancellation of the spring rites recalls the 45 Erroneously in text as "atanam": Cf. Abhinava ad
theme of natural benignity which has inspired the loc. (p. 55 GOS ed.).

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280 Journal of the American Oriental Society 100.3 (1980)

l'objet de l'action: L p. 52). The final remark of separated, and each finds its proper formulation only
Sanumatl "?rutam mayd ... ydvad anena vrttantena in terms thought suitable to the other. It is in this
priyasakhim samdsvasayami" (6.25/26, pp. 229- sense very difficult to say whether this play is
30) R p. 230; so Levi (Pischel 6.28.3-7) ?rn-ga-rapradhana or virapradhana. It can be read
Sanumati's assurance, coupled with the previously successfully in either way, perhaps with greater
recorded "inspiration" of the fool, reinstates the emphasis on the character of Sakuntala, or the King,
"bijakarya," which of course was never far from our but it cannot be read only in one way or the other. A
view. The king's sacrifice of himself, like Hariscandra's, part of its permanent sense of mystery derives from
is certain now to bring reunion and success. The its aesthetic amiguity, and for the remarkable way it
mechanism here suggested (reunion of Gods and balances and integrates two of the dominant motives
men) is made concrete in the final anga: of human life.46
(1) vyavasaya "determination" (pratifinhetusam- In the nirvahana samdhi, the plot line strictly
bhavah: NS 19.91: svasaktyuktih: DR 1.47; speaking concerns only the King and Sakuntala, and
proclamer son pouvoir, prendre un engagement so the long introductory section in two parts (the
raisonne: L p. 51). The king's return to self as King and Matali returning from battle in the chariot,
signified by his determination to aid the Gods in and the King inquiring into the origins and status of
warfare: "bhos tiraskarinigarvita . . . " through the precocious child-corresponding in principle to
6.28 "... tanmisrra varjayaty apah" (p. 233) R p. the scene of chase, and the discussion of the deer as
233; so Levi. (Pischel 6.32.7-6.33) asramamrga in the first act) is devoid of samdhyah-
Matali's entrance asserts the theme of adbhuta, gas-to the point of course, at which the King makes
commerce between this world and the other, that has the relationship between the boy and himself:
been an implicit motif of this samdhi, and will (a) vibodha "awakening" (kkaryasyanvesanam:
dominate the next. Matali's feigned "attack" on the NS 19.98 (GOS ed. "nirodha"); karyamarganam:
viduisaka is enough to awaken in the King some sense DR 1.51; s'6lancer sur la piste de l'objet final: L p
of his duty as protetor, and his invitation to join the 53). From the King's recognition that the boy is a
Gods in combat restores him to his lost dignity. But Paurava: "asty etatpauravdnam antyam kulavratam:
this is not merely a restoration, for Sakuntala is (7.19 / 20, p 254) to his discovery that the child's
among the Gods, and the King is now able again to father has abandoned the mother, "athavd analryah
approach her nature, which is half divine. paradaravyavaharah" (7.20 / 21, p 255) R p 255.
A few additional lines cited by Levi at the beginning.
(Pischel 7.19.9-20.9). Which leads immediately to
E. NIRVAHANA SAMDHI
the discovery (by pun) of the mother's name
The "issue," if we have understood what has ("?akunta-lavanyam preksasva") and the King's
preceded, is now "obvious." It needs only to be demonstration of his paternity via the test of the
revealed to the characters themselves, which is done, amulet:
as we have noted, through a parallelism of plot line (b) upaguhana "secret" (adbhutasya tu saMpraptih:
that makes in effect Act VII a duplicate of Act I. This NS 19.102; adbhutaprdptih: DR 1.53; arrivee d'un
parellelism underscores the differences that mark the prodige: L p 56). The remark of the two guardians:
success of the seventh act, the nirvahana samdhi: ma khalu idam avalambya / katham grhitam
the hermitage is presumably in or near heaven, rather anena? (chaya, p 256), R p 257; so Levi. (Pischel
than Dusyanta's capital; the King discovers Sakuntala 7.20.22).
via his own son, playing with a lion-cub, rather than This test corresponds to the test of the bee in Act I,
via the deer and trees that the natural girl loved; and through which the King is discovered. But the
through the son, of course, the protagonists' love is marvellous dominates here, for the test has divine,
given a firm basis in dharma, and the duties of both rather than merely natural ("bravery") sanction. The
no longer involve or provoke or require separation of
love and duty. But their son is just as "natural" as
any of Sakuntala's forest friends: not only has his
46 Following the dominant Indian interpretation we have
birth seemed to precede his parents' dharmic throughout taken the play as srtgarapradhana. This
marriage, but his existence implicates only the discussion as to possible interpretations should not be taken
dalliance and infatuation of the gandharva lovers. as implying an ambiguity of rasa at the level of production;
This presumably is the paradox on which the play's there one or the other rasa must dominate, the play must be
continuing power rests: nature and dharma cannot be played that way.

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GEROW: Plot Structure in the Sakuntala, Pt. II 281

King revealed, Sakuntala appears to understand the Matali is the charioteer of the Gods, and at this
portent: point the parallelism of the first and seventh acts is
(c) samaya "opportunity" (duhkhasyapagamo broken, at least in the sense that the "recall to duty"
yah: Ng 19.101; duhkhanirgamah: DR 1.52; sortir does not here force breaking off the rapport with
definitivement d'une situation penible ou douloureuse: Sakuntala; indeed quite the opposite, she is now
L p 55). Sakuntala's speech upon entering: "vika- "dharmapatn!." Marica, the divine hermit, now
rakale' pi. . .athavt sanumatyakhyatam tathI removes any lasting doubts about the King's delusion
sambhavyata etat." (chaya, 7.20 / 21, p 258); so by explaining it as Durvasas' curse:
Levi, a somewhat different text. (Pischel 7.20.42- (h) nirmaya "conclusion" (anubhuttarthakathanam:
44). NS 19.99; anubhratakhyd: DR 1.51; exposer ce
This "definitive end of their suffering" qu'on sait personnellement, par experience: L p. 54)
corresponds to the naive joy of their first intro- Marica: "vatsa. . (7.31/32, p 268). . .sa cdyam
duction, and leads to the King's address to her as she
anguliyakadardandvasdnah" (ibid.). R p. 269; so
was and now is:
LUvi. (Pischel 7.31.1-7)
The divine rsi, taking the place of the absent
(d) samdhi "juncture" (mukhab-iopagamanam:
NS 19.97; bijopagamanam: DR 1.51; retour du Kanva, seals the union of the two lovers, accomplish-
ing what was impossible in Act I (signaled by
germe: L p 53). The King: "aye. . . Sakuntali /
Kanva's absence from the hermitage), the blessing of
mama dPrgham virahavratam bibharti" (7.21,
love:
p 258). R p 258; so Levi. (Pischel 7.20.45-7.21).
(i) prasada "benediction" (uusruisadyupasam-
Sakuntala's appearance as ascetic is however now
ethical-caused by viraha-rather than natural, a
panna pritih: NS 19.101; paryupasanam: DR 1.52;
mere child of the hermitage. This view of Sakuntala
temoigner, par des paroles ou des actes, du respect,
de l'affection, de la docilite: L p 55). From Marica's
"as she was" restates the bartha of the play (first
alga in Bharata's list). "vatse, caritarthasi. ." (7.31 / 32, p 269) to the
(e) ananda "joy" (samdgamas tathCirthanam: NS
King's "bhagavata krtasamskcre sarvam asmin
vayam CUsmahe" (7.33/34, p 270). R p 271. First
19.100; vahchitavaptih: DR 1.52; atteindre l'objet
de ses desirs: L p 55). Sakuntala: "hrdaya, portion only cited by Levi. (Pischel 7.31.12-33.1)
&svasihi. . .aryaputrah khalv esah: (chaya, 7.21/22 Marica's blessing (to the King) is coupled by one
from Aditi to Sakuntala:
p 259) R p 259; so Levi. (Pischel 7.21.8-9)
(j) krti "accomplishment" (not cited in our edition
Mutual recognition is accomplished, and all
of N?, but quoted from NS by Levi; labdharthasa-
doubts as to status and quality are extinguished. It is
manam: DR 1.53; confirmation du resultat acquis: L
however still necessary to explain the mistakes that
p 55) Aditi: "bhagavan. . ." etc., and Sakuntala's
have intervened:
reply, "manorathah khalu me bhanito bhagavatya"
(f) paribhosana "conversation" (parivadakrtarm
(chaya, 7.33 / 34, p 270). R p 271.
yat: NS 19.99; mitho jalpah: DR 1.52; conversa-
The blessing is thus both published, and the absent
tion, echange de paroles: L p 54). From the King's
Kanva is brought into the denouement, restoring the
immediately following verse (7.22) to the re-entrance
last possible absence and reaffirming the parallelism
of Matali. (7.25 / 26, p 263) R p 263-64; so Levi. that is now fact.
(Pischel 7.22-7.25.7)
(k) kavyasamhara "resume of the play" (vara-
This conversation corresponds to their first pradanasampraptih NS 19.103; varaptih: DR 1.54;
conversation, but its purpose is far more serious, forobtenir une faveur, une grace: L p 56). The
it comprehends all their past obstacles, and thus conventional remark before the final verse, here
relates the first meeting to the present one. The spoken by Matali "kim te bhuyah priyam upakaromi?"
purity of motive reestablished, it remains only to (7.33 / 34, p 271) R p 271, so Levi (Pischel 7.34.2).
validate the relationship formally: (1) prasasti "praise" (nrpades'apras'antis ca: NS
(g) grathana "tying" (upaksepas tu karyanam: 19.104; subhajamsanam: DR 1.54; priere final pour
Ng 19.98; tadupaksepah: DR 1.51; mention de demander toute espece de bonheurs: L p 56) The
l'objet (comme atteint): L p 54). Matali's benedic- King: "pravartatam. . . (7.34) R p 272; so Levi.
tion upon entering: "dis.tycA dharmapatnisameiga- (Pischel 7.35)
mena putramukhadardanena cayuusmezn vardhate: The complex tissue of relations of which this play
(7.25/26, p 263) R p 264; so Levi. (Pischel 7.25.8- is an examination is now complete. Never more will
9) duty and love cast lovers in twain.

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282 Journal of the American Oriental Society 100.3 (1980)

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION or their consequences. Still, Oedipus is a Greek


drama, and though the events are those of a
In discussing the plot of the Sakuntala, issues of recognition and take place within a character, it is
plot and character have become intimately inter- just as if the standards of the "external" drama were
twined, perhaps in a way that would puzzle Aristotle, applied to the "internal": to every arrival (Tiresias,
but which in sum demonstrate the sense in which, in the Messenger, the Shepherd, etc.) Oedipus responds
the Indian drama, the "imitation of actions" with a conclusion that pushes him forward to the final
becomes an essential element in the realization of and damning insight. And also it is this sense that the
rasa. In effect, we have concluded that the plot is of "necessary" events are contrary to the interests of
character, rather than constructed of events or the character, rather than beneficial to him, that
incidents that reveal and complicate character. That mark the "plot" as tragic: the "events" are not
is why the "plot" in the sense of those incidental created by character but are by their own necessity!
events, such as the provocation of the curse or the Perhaps we have simply established that Sakuntala
finding of the ring, is purposely "outside" the play, is a melodrama by our standards, and I think that is
which to the modem taste suggests a defect of the case insofar as we consider it as a plot only, with
construction (deus ex machina). But in the Sakuntala merely stereotyped characters. When we observe,
what truly happens are not these incidents, but the however, that the plot is of characters and that the
characters themselves: Sakuntala the loving maid confrontation of character is adjusted to a notion of
and Dusyanta the virtuous hero. The "confron- " outcome" that demands both success and coherence,
tation" of these characters (who not only "reveal" the drama is seen to be in principle a highly moral
their character by their choices, as per Aristotle, but undertaking, truly akin to ritual; indeed, as the
are definite social and ideal foci of behavior) is an classical critics would have it, the highest moral
event, and the continuing "oppositions" of character undertaking-aside from ritual of course. And since
unleash a logic of development that again both is a it is moral by its nature, it is so only as regards some
sequence of events and must move to a resolution of audience that is both uplifted and restored to its
the opposition. It is as if to say that the characters essential humanity by it. The doctrine of rasa of
create their own events, rather than the events course expresses this view of dramatic success,
creating characters. The important "events" in the which is both of the drama (as action) and of the
play are thus those that state the kind or the mode of audience. Kalidasa's genius (if we may use such
the relation of characters then obtaining, such as the respectful terminology) in this play was to demon-
"bee" incident in the first act, the King's request to strate the reintegration of one rasa, srhgdra (or vira),
Vidisaka to find a pretext in the second, the King's not so much in se (as we might have it in the
pretense and sending the clown in his place to town, Gitagovinda, for example), but as it is reconciled
in the third, etc. These are all "events" that derive with its chief antagonist, vira (or sriigdra). The
from the King's character and state both the mode of demonstration of the play's success is thus a tour de
his relation to the girl and its inadequacy and force, for either rasa becomes the "proof" of the
direction. other. In this connection, Kalidasa's introduction of
The "plot" of Oedipus Rex is to some extent the curse and the recovery of the ring constitutes a
comparable. Although Aristotle apparently values wise addition to the plot, for by these devices is
this play as much or more than any other Greek shown-whatever tribulations of character ensue,
tragedy, its plot as such is entirely within its that the fundamental status of srfigara and vira is
protagonist, in the sense that the action of the play is one of concord, not opposition. The depth of the
simply Oedipus' discovery of himslef and what he characters' despair is to that extent more poignant,
has already done. The "incidents" that tend to because truly not founded in the abiding realities of
occupy us in contemplating his "tragedy" (cf. Freud's their respective beings.
reading) are all outside the play: the abandonment, The traditional Indian judgement that the Sakuntala
the exchange of parents, the slaying of the real father is best probably reflects not only the skill with which
and the cohabitation with the real mother. It might be the themes of love and duty are interwoven and
said equally with Sakuntala and her ring that this shown interdependent, but also the essential worldly
concatenation of events is "improbable"; that is why optimism of the Indian character, which could
both Sophocles and Kalidasa are careful to believe the possibility indeed the necessity of such a
distinguish those incidents from the plot, the one by satisfying reconciliation, where all, poet, actors and
making them a mere presumption of the true drama, audience, participate in their highest aspirations and
the other by making the characters unaware of them demonstrate their common humanity.

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